It's easy to diss your ex. But, if it really does take two, what were your shortcomings in the relationship? What will you do differently next time? We could probably all learn how to be a better wife, and I'm no exception.
For marriage to be a success, every woman and every man should have her and his own bathroom. The end. —Catherine Zeta Jones
Here are my personal goals on how to be a better wife the next go around
If I get a do-over and remarry, I hope I will be a different kind of wife. A better wife. This is how I will be in my next marriage:
- Be more adoring. Saying nice things to another person often requires thinking nice person about an often, and that muscle gets exercised until it changes my life, and the relationship, and the world.
- More appreciative. See above. Focus on the positive. Really simple.
- I won't nag. Women are naggers. I nagged. I'll try really freaking hard no to nag. too much.
- Or pick. Eek. So guilty.
- Separate bank accounts. What I make is mine, and what you make is yours and what we share we share.
- Pre-nup. It's more about the discussion than the document. But the document is good, too.
- I won't talk trash about his family. Even when he's going off about his alcoholic, abusive, philandering, compulsive-lying relatives, I will keep my pie hole shut. Until it needs to be talked about. Then I will find a quiet time to do so.
- Let stuff go. Forgiveness. A beautiful thing. More a gift to myself than him or the relationship, but everyone wins.
- Let lots and lots and lots of stuff go.
- Ensure we have enough real estate so everyone has space that is exclusively their own. Everyone needs their own space. A room of her own, ya know? The deeper point is that there are two individuals with their own thoughts, items, habits and energy. Space honors that humanity.
- Always earn enough to support myself and my kids by myself. Independence and inter-dependence. Not co-dependent or, God forbid, dependent. We're all adults here!
- Believe that my career and income are just as important to his — even if I earn less.
- Laugh about his annoying habits. This is really about self-forgiveness, acceptance and just fucking loving.
- Laugh at my habits he finds annoying. His grievances about me are just as valid as the other way around.
- Accept that his shortcomings — small or large — do not reflect on me.
- Fight fair and fast. No name calling, brawling with the goal of winning, digging up past grievances. Go to the nut of the issue, listen, compromise, hug, kiss, sex, the end.
- Let stuff go. Yes, again.
- Make sex a priority. No matter what.
- No intentionally farting in front of each other. Human? Yes. Also a slippery slope to being a disgusting slob in front of the person you need most to find you sexy. Boundaries.
- Or using the bathroom with the door open. Boundaries and mystery. Good things in romance.
- I won't expect him to change. Whew. That is tough, but necessary. Expectation management!
- I'll compromise more.
- And listen more.
- Let him have his way more.
- Put my energy into what is good in the relationship, and not dwell on the other things.
Great quotes about relationships and marriage
There is so much to say about how to be a better wife, but remember it's a two sided-coin, too. Every relationship is unique, but a few points stand, regardless:
“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness–and call it love–true love.”
– Robert Fulghum
People always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partner’s faults honestly and say, ‘I can work around that. I can make something out of it.’? Because the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you. ― Elizabeth Gilbert
Truth is everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for. — Bob Marley
Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that many people enter into a relationship in order to get something: they’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take. — Anthony Robbins
There are a hundred paths through the world that are easier than loving. But who wants easier? — Mary Oliver
You can measure the happiness of a marriage by the number of scars that each partner carries on their tongues, earned from years of biting back angry words. -Elizabeth Gilbert
If you're afraid of loneliness, don't marry. — Anton Chekov
Passionate sex is great. A passionate marriage filled with passionate sex … SO much better. –Fawn Weaver
You know it's never fifty-fifty in a marriage. It's always seventy-thirty, or sixty-forty. Someone falls in love first. Someone puts someone else up on a pedestal. Someone works very hard to keep things rolling smoothly; someone else sails along for the ride. ― Jodi Picoult
Marriage is three parts love and seven parts forgiveness of sins. -Lao Tzu
An intimate relationship does not banish loneliness. Only when we are comfortable with who we are can we truly function independently in a healthy way, can we truly function within a relationship. Two halves do not make a whole when it comes to a healthy relationship: it takes two wholes. -Patricia Fry
Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation. -Oscar Wilde
Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. -Carl Jung
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Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.
Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.
A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.