Saturday, June 02, 2007

Searching for the line between nicely chilled and frigid

Our refrigerator conked out yesterday, which gave me lots of time to ponder deep questions while waiting for Larry the Repair Guy to come save our milk and mayonnaise. (Which he did. Yay Larry!!!)

Here's what I was thinking about:

Many of us have spent all kinds of time thinking/wondering/planning/praying/hoping for the qualities our "Mr. Right" (or "Miss Right," if you're a guy) might have. But what about the flip side? What are the qualities a good Mrs. Right should bring to the party? More importantly, perhaps, what skills should we be working on if we don't currently have them?

(And to keep things from sounding like a pop-psychology book, let's all agree that yes, communication is very important.)

And (I wondered, while Larry replaced the timer and thawed out the freezer with my Revlon 1875 with TOURMALINE IONIC POWER) what are some of the coolest qualities you've seen in other people's marriages?

15 comments:

Beck said...

Do you mean qualities that we should have to be a good spouse? Um, I think reducing the volume and quantity of shrewishness always works... but really, I think there's something for everyone and changing ourselves will always backfire in the end.

Sarakastic said...

Once again the magical power of gemstones saves the day.

Now I don't know because I'm not married, but one day when I find Luke, the things that I'm working on are to be able to be good whether I'm with someone or by myself & to be able to handle my own problems

Alyssa Goodnight said...

I think it's awesome when a spouse can be completely selfless for the other. I find myself getting shrewish (to use Beck's word) when my husband spends a large amount of time on personal hobbies that exclude the rest of the family. We don't get to see him enough as it is! But I feel like I should be better, and I'm trying!

ellesappelle said...

Cool things about other people's marriages: I was actually thinking about this today, regarding an elderly couple at my church. They don't take offence at anything the other does, but they're always cheerful and laugh at each other (and themselves). I think that's cool. Example: Bill stood up today and launched into a long rambling story, and Milly kept interjecting with corrections, or trying to hurry him up, while he would say "all right, all right Milly, stop rushing me" - but all in the most cheerful way. I think you'd probably have to be married for a long time, though, to get to that stage! At least I would!

Which brings me to Mrs Right's qualities: I would have to agree with Beck, regarding shrewishness. I would hide this in the dating period, extremely successfully, but a few years into a marriage I'm sure I would find it very hard not to take out my grumpiness on my partner. Obviously, everyone's going to do this to some extent, but I think I could easily exceed most people. :(

Aimee said...

I remember once, a couple-friend of ours had an exchange that really cracked me up - in a good way.

The man smacked his woman playfully on the backside. She was PISSED. She turned to him and calmly said, "I love you more than anything in the world - but if you do that again, I will hurt you."

:)

Patti said...

humor has made me stick more times than i can count...and the ability to grill on a wood burning pit can never be underestimated.

JenKneeBee said...

communication skills. i'm a firm believer that with communication skills the relationship can pull through and without them it's doomed

Swishy said...

I read once about how it means everything to a little kid for someone to light up when he or she walks into the room. I would say the same is true for adults. We don't put everything else aside and light up very often when we see someone we love, and we should. People should know that we're SO HAPPY to see them, even if we see them every day.

KitLiz said...

A person that can keep their word. It's the most important thing to me, and I expect a man to do it now, and long after I'm legally bound to him through paper.

As far as other peoples marraiges... I always say I've never seen one that I would be happy being in forever, which is why I'm not rushing to the alter. But I do like people that take the wedding and marraige traditions and make them into their own. Something meaningfull specifically to them, like these couples did. (www.offbeatbride.com)

Jenny Rough said...

I think appreciation is huge. Not false praise, genuine appreciation. Ron and I try to tell each other thank you a lot - and it sure does make it easier to do an unwanted chore the next time around.

L Sass said...

I think flexibility is very important. (I say this as a TERRIBLY inflexible person!) When you're living your life as someone else's partner, you have to be willing to realize that the number of "out of your control" events has at least doubled. Constantly a challenge for control freaks (me).

LEstes65 said...

I kind of have my mom set up as the uber-wife/mom. After spending 6 weeks straight with her lately, I still think I'm right.

The one quality in her that I have tried to emulate but know I've missed the mark on? She does all work well. And she does it with love. Lately, I found that she did everything she did as a stay at home wife and mom for the love of her family. I think too many of us these days are caught up in the stupid thought that, "I deserve to be instantly rich and not have to do anything" mentality. I know too many people that see their job as a chore. Over the last couple of years, I've been trying to approach my job as something I'm doing out of love for caring for my family. It's hella-hard sometimes. But I'm trying to picture my mom as I do things for my boys.

kim said...

A) Trish, you know I love that hair dryer :o).

B) A couple who can look on their fights and laugh about what a couple of jerks they were -- I love that. My favorite married couple turns their fights into the best fodder for party conversation ever. By the end of their retelling of events, it matters not who threw the bolony sandwish at whom -- you are wiping tears of laughter from your eyes and trying not to pee you pants.

C) I think a woman should keep the sink clean and have dinner ready for her husband when he gets home. On special days, she should greet him with a cocktail while wearing a sexy nighty. -- Oh, I'm kidding!

Any shrew worth her salt knows that to bottle the shrew is to become homicidal. I think the answer is to have more lunch dates with the girlfriends so you can better tolerate not being able to figure out the whole Mars/Venus thing.

heidikins said...

I think it is important to find things that you both love, and I also think it is important to keep the parts about you that are the most dear, you don't have to merge into a single personality just because you got married. Keeping your own identity is essential to keeping your sanity.

smartypants said...

The Mars/Venus thing IS hard to figure out but it's right on the money and if you can remember that your spouse/partner needs those particular things like support/appreciation for a woman and attaboys for a man, they go along way in making a great relationship last. I've read the book more than once and actually keep it around as a reference and as a lender to others.
In the long run, if you can't communicate with each other, you have nothing. Last but not least, there has to be humor and great sex!!!

Working on all of those for the past 24 years.