Many years ago I posted about some of the unintended consequences of marriage. I wrote about all the unexpected responsibilities bestowed upon the wife as she (oftentimes) becomes the administrative assistant for hubby; his chef, his housekeeper, and his personal shopper. Getting married, from the male side, is a pretty dang good deal. Because even in marriages where life is “split” evenly, it seems the wife may somehow take on more of these particular tasks as she earns a whole new job description. It’s a slow process, like with most jobs… extra duties just creep up on you.
When you accept the ring after that romantic proposal, you read the posted job overview and negotiate your best deal with the hubby-to-be. Then as the years go by, and your world begins to demand more and more with less and less time, you take on a few more tasks. Then as other employees go on strike –or hubby forgets where the hamper is or burns his last grilled cheese….. you take on a few more tasks. Before you know it your responsibilities have doubled – you add kids, pets, after-school activities, a bigger house.. and you take on even more tasks. Then, years later, you wake up one morning and realize you’ve been getting the standard 2% cost of living increase via an extra back rub here and there, or maybe a sparkly piece of jewelry on occasion, and you begin to recognize that you are now doing the job of 3 people. You are putting in extra hours, doing things you never said you’d do like darning socks (do people do this anymore??) and sending Christmas cards to your hubby’s crazy Aunt Barbara – who you only met once at your wedding….. and, you stop. You step back. You wonder… how did I get here?
You think back…… “Hmmmm… I don’t remember the job description mentioning anything about buying new undies for hubby or making sure he changes them every day.” You sigh “ I don’t recall signing any agreements that said I would be the gift buyer for any and all holidays/birthdays/anniversaries of everyone we know.” But here you are. This is your *new* job. You celebrate the fact that you still have a job. Many other people you know have been downsized and are no longer “working”. You still love your job. You work hard and there are still quite a few perks. And then you realize, that while your job may have changed, you’re still your own boss (well – some days………… ) and the daily grind is still rewarding. And, ultimately, you still love what you do… even though you’re now the designated booger wiper, boo boo kisser, cleaning fairy, buyer of TP and finder of lost things - even though, these are all things that hubby can do for himself!! J (and just for the record these all apply LONG before you ever have any kids!!)
So, it’s probably no surprise when I use the above info as a “warning” for all new brides-to-be. This is just a glimpse into your future. You may not think so.. you may say… “nope, not me”. And, at the beginning, you may actually fight the good fight…. and, you may actually win on some occasions. Or, you may be one of the lucky few who marries an award winning grilled cheese maker. Or maybe you hit the jackpot and you have a man who just loves to do laundry (do these exist??). But I can assure you that there will be tasks that you take on without even realizing it. Because eventually, you will realize you need to pick your battles. And you will discover that the definition of marriage, is learning how long you’re willing to wait to have a heavy item removed from your kitchen or recognizing how many days can pass before you give up and move the empty soda can from the counter into the trash. Because remember, nobody ever looked at a married man who is dressed in wrinkled clothes, holey black jeans, white socks and a flannel shirt and said…. “Oh boy, he looks awful”. Instead they say….. “How could his wife let him out of the house like that??!!”… and *poof* you have instantly become his personal shopper and wardrobe consultant… just one more of your job duties!
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