I got off the video conference and sat on the sofa wiped out. My call went longer than I expected and the day had been a draining one. When I did get up, I walked to the kitchen, looked at the messy sink and overflowing trash can, considered cleaning them up, and then grabbed a glass of water and sat right back down.
When my wife came home from her job, I apologized for failing to help more around the house. I meant to clean up the kitchen and dining room. When the day started it was on the top of the list. Of course, I meant well, but my work got in the way.
Partners for life
When I was a young husband, I believed the myth that marriage is a 50-50 affair. I guess I imagined my fiancé and I would cut things right down the middle like a piece of cake. She’d do her part and I would do mine. If she washed the clothes, I was going to wash the dishes. We’d come together in perfect harmony.
Oh, how naïve that sounds now. Life has a way of getting in the way of our best laid plans.
For instance, I would say that over the past several months, we’ve been far from 50/50. I took a new job that’s been a bit demanding and thrown me off my game, forcing me to play catch up. I’ve been working extra hours, getting up to speed as quickly as I can. When it’s come to home life, my share of the responsibility has dropped. If I had to guess, I would say the husband-wife responsibility gauge has shifted to 70 percent my wife and 30 percent me at my worst, and has averaged out to about 65/45.
She’s got my back
My wife has stepped up and been there for me. I’ve stepped back when it comes to chores. I’ve helped out in other areas, especially giving my wife, a teacher, a shoulder to cry on as we processed the news about the shooting at the Texas Elementary School in May, but overall my percentage has dropped.
Like the old proverb goes, for every thing there is a season, and a time and a purpose. I’ve been pulled in different directions over the past several months, but yes, I know that I need to raise my game. I need to make it up to my wife.
The path to happiness
So when school kicks back up in late August, I need to be there for my wife. I’ll need to raise my game so that she can tackle her increased work responsibilities. Yes, marriage can be hard. It can feel like you’re in a black hole, but it also can feel like the best thing since sliced bread. It’s a partnership.
Fortunately for me, my wife doesn’t count. She knows that I’ll be back giving my all as soon as I can, and I know that in the future I may need to carry the relationship for a while. We’re a team and we’re there for each other.