This week my article titled “Does Dr. Laura know what women want?” was published. In it, I discuss a caller who vented his feelings to Dr. Laura about his wife who he thought had “let herself go.”
I was disgusted and annoyed that he would put that kind of pressure on his wife to look perfect, and I exaggerated my point.
I have a confession to make:
I hadn’t yet finished the book.
After submitting the column and feeling witty, I went back to the book for a quick “crunch time” speed-read to finish before book club next week.
The more I read, the more I began to realize the point Dr. Laura was trying to make. One sentence in particular shot out at me like a firework in the sky:
“No, I probably will not be writing about the care and feeding of wives.”
“Why? Because the truth is that when it comes to home and relationships, women rule. This is a book about how to rule wisely and lovingly.”
I was floored. First off, How did Dr. Laura know EXACTLY what I was thinking?! Second, I had never thought of my relationship with my husband as one of us women having more “power.” But the more I pondered this idea, the more sense it made in that we women actually do have the “power” to SET THE MOOD of the relationship. You know that quote, “Happy wife, happy life”? It’s true. If we are positively reinforcing, kind, thoughtful, warm, giving, nurturing, all those “feminine” things that are already innate in us women, our men will slay dragons and climb any mountain. Men grow up wanting and needing the love and nurture of their mothers, and spend the rest of their lives wanting and needing that from their wives.
Case in point: Last weekend I was up in Logan speaking to a group of girls for Deseret Book’s “Time Out for Girls.” It was a tough first night, and as I walked into my little hotel room close to midnight with a cranky baby and a heavily-weighted stroller, the thought of waking in a few short hours and doing it all over again was almost too overwhelming.
I called my husband and expressed my feelings and concerns. He was reassuring, as usual, and told me he loved me and to get some rest.
The next evening after a much more successful — if still a little stressful, yet most fulfilling — day, I came home to the most amazing of surprises, the ultimate “I love you, I want you to be happy” gift in my eyes:
A completely, perfectly, spotless home.
My husband had not only deep-cleaned, vacuumed, picked-up and polished our house, but he tackled the most dreadful of tasks: cleaning out the closet. He organized, arranged, stacked and DI-ed that sucker to a “T.” The sweaters were stacked. The skirts were hung. The socks were sorted. No more flinging pants up on a shelf and quickly covering your head in case of a bad aim. Nope. They were department-store displayed, all facing the same direction in little, neat piles.
People, even the underneaths were folded.
Two days later I caught the bug and did the garage.
Now, what made my husband do something so incredible, you ask? I hate to tell you that it’s mostly because he’s just the most amazing, wonderful, selfless and giving man and that his make and model is, in my opinion, very rare, but I also think it’s because since reading Dr. Laura’s book, I’ve actually tried to follow some of her advice. (Tail between legs.) Here are three things I’ve learned:
1. Let little things go.
This is actually one of THE HARDEST things for me to do. I am a dweller. I am obsessive. I am a worry-wart. I have a hard time letting things “roll off my back” as my mother would always beg me to do. But I decided to just TRY it the last little while, and I must say … within hours, if not MINTUES, I have forgotten what it was that bugged me so bad. This makes my husband very happy.
2. Pay attention to his needs.
Call me a hypocrite. No, don’t, but you can roll your eyes at how I ran my mouth about not being “perfect” for him in my last article and am now eating some of my words. I still don’t expect perfection of myself, but after getting my hair done this past week I decided to take some extra time to get ready and make myself look, well, pretty. I don’t know how many times my husband complimented me on my looks, but I was amazed at how something as simple as curling my hair could suddenly make me seem (and feel!), to him, like that supermodel I was yakking about.
3. It’s the little things.
I asked my husband when he got home from work if Dr. Laura was really right.
“Is it REALLY that simple to keep you happy?” I asked. “Good food, good lovin’, and a good attitude while at home and raising the kids?”
My husband looked right into my eyes and said, “Yep.”
Well for goodness sake.