Learning to be a father and husband is a real struggle. Trying to figure yourself out while you are trying to figure out the women you love is a real confusing time. My wife and I got together in our early twenties. At that point in time the only thing I knew about relationships was the vision my parents had provided me. You eventually learn that what you see from the sample your parents give you is not the whole picture.
Growing up when dad spoke, we all listened. Dad was the man of the house and if he said it wasn’t happening, it wasn’t happening. When he said something was happening, it was happening come hell or high water.
I remember sitting in the kitchen with my father one day while he gave me a rare piece of relationship advice. He said to me “son, you cannot fight with your wife over everything. You should only fight about the 20% that is really important to you.” Now, I was in high school when he said this to me, so it meant absolutely nothing at the time.
OK Dad……Can I go play basketball now. And whatever you and mom are going through, work it out and leave me alone. Stupid adults.
Become A Great Husband
One of the things I had to figure out as a new husband was where I stood in the relationship. Fast forward some years and you will find me in a Wal-Mart with my wife. My wife walks up to me and says, we are buying some Dixie Cups. I ask, why are we buying Dixie Cups? She insists that we need them for mouthwash. Why do we need them for mouthwash when you can just put the mouthwash in the cap of the mouthwash container and take swig?
Now, now ladies, I am just trying to save some money. You literally can just put the mouthwash in the cap of the mouthwash bottle and take a SWIG! But I digress. My wife thinks that this is nasty and we start fighting in the ladies section of Wal–Mart. Side note, I think Wal-Mart brings out the worst in people and should be avoided at all costs. I absolutely hate going there now.
That brings us to today and I am 41 years old. I really wish I owned a time machine because I would get into it and go back to that day. I would find my younger self looking at my wife trying to explain to her why we shouldn’t buy Dixie cups. I would like to look my younger self in the face and envision my younger self looking confused as to why the older me is so furious.
The conversation between my older self and my younger self would go something like this:
Dixie Cups…………DIXIE FREAKING CUPS……You are fighting with this smart, beautiful, and capable woman who doesn’t need you, over Dixie Cups. Why are you acting so stupid? They are literally one dollar. Get your ignorant butt in that line and buy those damn Dixie Cups. In fact, buy her whatever she wants right now, just because you’re being such an idiot. On another note, I plan on coming back next week for your argument over who is right about the TV show The Real World. We’ll talk again about why you need to stop wasting your time having stupid arguments about things that don’t matter.
The Dixie Cup argument was not a high point in my marriage. Somehow, I knew I was wrong, but man was I trying to figure it out. It took me a little while to really understand when to pick my battles with my wife. I have gotten really good at beginning an argument with the end in mind. Sticking with the Dixie Cups argument as an example, the conversation really should have gone like this.
Me: What are those?
My Wife: Dixie Cups, we need them for mouthwash.
Me: Why don’t we use the cap to put the mouthwash in and take swig?
My Wife: Because that is just nasty.
Me: How much are they baby?
My Wife: They are $1.
Mental Discussion with myself: I don’t know why my wife wants these Dixie Cups but I am not fighting with her over this. It is $1. There is literally no one on this planet that I would fight with over $1. I will just use the cap and then the Dixie Cups will last longer.
Me: OK Baby, let’s get them. I love you!
Over time I have learned what is worth fighting over and what is not worth fighting over. My father had been right, but he left a very important lesson out. When I get into a fight with my wife, it is usually for what I feel is for the betterment of the family. To be honest, I don’t even really fight about it. I simply say we are not doing it. I will give my reason one time and then I am pretty much done. I am not fighting about that.
Look baby, I am just trying to not go $60,000 in debt on a car. I don’t think it is in the best interest of the family. And of course, my wife would say, we can make it work. And I say, nope, no we can’t make it work. We never make it work, we just go into more debt. Then I stress out and we are fighting about money. And baby, I love you too much to fight about money. So nope.
And as my wife is getting mad at me for not working with her on this, I calmly look into her beautiful eyes and say, “well baby, you get your way about 80% of the time.” Case in point, look at what I am wearing today. I didn’t even pick it out. Apparently, I am horrible at dressing myself. And when I go out in public and look bad, it is a poor reflection on you. And we can’t have that, So I put this outfit on. An outfit that I didn’t want to wear. Because I wanted to make you happy. I love you!
I Don’t Want To Just Be A Husband
Relationships are complicated and most husbands don’t want to be just husbands, we want to be great husbands. I know that my wife is sometimes unhappy with me. And trust me, I want to buy her that $60,000 car one day. I want to be able to buy the purses she wants. When she tells me she wants something, my mind begins trying to figure out how I can get it for her and when is the right time to do it. She is my wife and the mother of my children.
Just like you can’t love God without loving Jesus, you can’t love your children, without loving their mother.
That said, I am a man that looks to the future a lot. I am a man that wants to be judged by his whole body of work as a father and a husband. Since I will most likely die before my wife, all I want is to have my wife and children look at me and know that I took care of them. I don’t want my wife to ever worry about money. Nor do I want my girls worried about their mother financially. I want to die knowing that my wife is safe financially and that my children have enough to take care of her. That is why I got into a fight over Dixie Cups. I was just doing too much and stressing about the small stuff. That is the problem with being young and dumb. But now that I am older, I am constantly trying to figure out what I can do to put our family in a better mental, physical and financial head space to be better people over time.
That is what I think about when it comes to being a great husband.
About the Author:
Armond Croom is a Certified Financial Planner who has branched out from his day-to-day grind to challenge himself to be a healthier and happier man. This includes spending more time with his wife and making the time with his girls count. To see Armond’s other blogs, check out his website and to sign up to have them delivered right to your inbox, check out his site – www.thefinancialeffect.com
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