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Challenge: WHO Are You?

Dear Wife: You're not always a treat.

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Dear Wife,

You're not always a treat.

You're not always the most enjoyable person to be around, especially after a long day at the office or heck, even on the weekends.

You operate from a place of "get sh*t done," and I understand it -- but, I don't really like it.

We're two overworked, underappreciated, underpaid, and sadly, predominately ungrateful adults who are attempting to sail our kid-packed (and thanks to them) messy ship to the land of happiness.

That far off place where contentedness regularly soothes our soul and balance keeps us aligned.

To get there we must be diligent in staying on course, so you say, and to curb the chaos and prevent any or catastrophe, you have to be in control.

I'm not blaming you for not being pleasant.

I ain't the cherry on top of a gelato sundae either.

Still, we've got to stop spitting ungracious remarks to one another in the name of keeping order.

Stress is a killer; it can physically and emotionally take you down.

However, if you resign yourself to the fact that you and I and the kids are not on this life journey to reach any other destination than the one we are presently in at any given moment, you will encourage within yourself the maintenance of a more mindful, "here and now" attitude.

"But in the here and now there are piles and piles of laundry building up," you argue.

You're right.

"But in the here and now our carpet is covered in dog hair, and our vacuum is broken," you contest.

You're right.

"But in the here and now I have no time for myself for self-care or to get work done," you whine.

You're right.

"But in the here and now the kids are fighting nonstop," you state while on the verge of tears.

You're right.

"But in the here and now there are bills to be paid, activities which the kids need to be transported to and from, family, work, and social obligations, and an ungodly amount of responsibilities and tasks to tend to," you comment, practically pleading for me to understand.

But, I already understand.

You're right.

You're right about all of this, honey.

But, there is something you are wrong about.

You are wrong to think that you are the only one carrying this heavy burden.

You are wrong to think you carry "the mental load."

A husband's mental load may be made up of different fears and anxieties, but it is equally as tension-provoking and depleting.

Hence, why I am not always a treat.

And, why I am not always the most enjoyable person to be around, especially after you've had a long day at home with the kids or heck, even on the weekends, when you hope, wish and pray for me to give you some break.

I, too, am operating from a place of "get sh*t done," and though you may not like it, I need for you to deliver some understanding.

Still, more than I think either of us needs to or should sympathize with one another and the burdens we carry for the sake of serious progress towards the holy grail of life gratification, we must be kinder to one another.

We must start being each other's treat.

We must start being the thing the other person looks forward to at the end of a long day.

We must start making the other feel as good as that first sip of hot or iced morning coffee.

We must be the surprising sweetness that once taken in goes right to the heart of the receiver.

We must indulge in one another's presence as if we were each other's energy-giving, mid-day snack or waited-all-day-for-it, late-night dessert.

And, if I'm being direct, we must stop crapping on each other at every opportunity.

Living life through all its ups and downs is challenging on its own.

Living life next to another person living life while you are both handling the personal and relationship demands placed upon you makes it tougher.

Living life next to another person who is also attempting to thrive in this life while you both raise one, two or three-plus people in such a way that they will grow up to be self-sufficient, good-hearted, well-mannered, respectful and respected is a real damn feat.

A feat that, in any way, shape or form, will not be a treat.

And for this reason, we must be one to one another; regularly, if not daily.

We must be a treat to one another, every single day, no matter how ridiculously hard we must work at it.

Yes, the house is full of laundry, toys, general clutter, and noise)and so are our minds full of fear, worry, and hope, but a full life is a good life and one we should be thankful for.

A full life is an earned life.

A full life is a we-work-damn-hard-for-it life.

And after all that hard work, we both deserve a treat, so let's be that to another and the kids.

And let's never, ever forget that the real treat is that we been blessed with this busy, chaotic, imperfect, but extraordinarily, growth-provoking life.

My dear wife, you're not always a treat, and neither am I, but this life we have, it is.

And, perhaps, if both try to remember that more, the more critical sh*t will get done, like just loving each other in the way we vowed we would over ten years ago.


Your Husband


This article was written from (what I believe to be is) the perspective of my husband.

And, I did that, because sometimes, in a marriage, you must take a moment to step outside of yourself and your thoughts and impressions.

You must try to see your life -- the one you are so carefully and purposefully curating -- through the eyes of your spouse, and when they know you are merely trying to do that, that's all they really need to feel supported and encouraged to keep cruising along with you.

No one knows where your ship will dock, but what I know is that the journey will be so much more satisfying if you treat your spouse, children, and yourself with more kindness each and every day.

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