The Perfect Wife
Today’s guest blogger is Allyson Harris, author of Hitched & Happy: An Ode to a Happy Marriage. I love what she’s doing and am so excited to help support her passion of strengthening marriages. As a wife of going on eighteen years I sometimes wonder if I am “good enough” or if after all these years if I’m still holding up my end of the bargain. I hope Allyson’s thoughts on “perfection” help bring perspective to the way you view your relationships.
Is there such a thing as the perfect wife?
I think most people would agree that perfection is unattainable. However, supposedly, one should continually strive for it. Seems a bit oxymoronic, I know. But why should one strive for perfection if it’s unattainable? Well, if you’re striving to be your best self, it comes with the territory. And, as times change, people age, wants and needs change as well; thus, perfection is a moving target. You only have to look at how much the consumer demands in the beauty, fashion, music or technology industries have changed to affirm this. This not only applies individuals, but to relationships as well.
When talking about relationships, you often hear people mention they are looking for the perfect man/woman or this person is perfect for me, etc. You may also hear people say that their relationships are not perfect but they have figured out a way to make it work. If I think about perfection, I must reference the definition – free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects. Surely, the aforementioned comments reflect that our expectations for relationship perfection may be a bit too high.
In relationships, people bring in a ton of baggage that affects how they interact with their significant other. Their upbringing, past relationships or trauma and societal norms play a huge role in shaping their personality and behaviors. Their views on child rearing, household responsibilities and spousal expectations are most likely pretty established by the time they marry.
These will certainly cause conflict in a relationship as no two people are the same. How your relationship survives the conflict is dependent upon not only your ability to communicate effectively but your willingness to adapt and compromise. One thing of which you can be assured is that if you have an unwavering ‘my way or the highway’ approach to your relationship, you will be alone on that highway a lot.
In the context of a marital relationship, you will have to change the way you do and view things. How your parents approached their marriage may not work for you and your spouse. The things you may have done as a single person may no longer be acceptable to do as a married person. You must consistently make a conscious effort to acknowledge your spouse’s needs, be cognizant of your own expectations and address your own behaviors.
Sometimes your husband’s needs will need to come before your own. This may very well mean that you need to learn a different way to communicate and express your emotions. Your tried and true method of doing something as simple as attacking household chores may need some tweaking. A long held belief about a religious or political matter may be tested.
These are common challenges in a marriage. Recognizing that fact and actively pursuing alignment with your spouse, in turn will make you a better spouse. This is not an overnight process, nor is it an easy one. And this doesn’t mean that you and your husband will never have an argument or a difference of opinion. There will be some things on which the two of you will never agree, and that’s okay. Again, how you handle it makes all the difference.
This may all sound very one-sided. You may be thinking that your husband should make the same effort. You’re right, he should. But, you can’t control what he does. You can only control what you do and how you respond to something he does. The more you focus and work on your own actions, the easier this will get over time and the stronger and happier your marriage will become.
Allyson Harris is the Author of Hitched & Happy: An Ode to a Happy Marriage. The book is the true story of her journey of self reflection that led her to finding her husband and the happiness in her marriage. She is also the host of the weekly YouTube vlog, Comfy Convo, where she interviews married women on marital topics. She launched the Hitched & Happy platform as a way to foster a community of marriage-minded women and promote a positive narrative around marriage.
Allyson and her husband, Ray, have been married for seven years. They live in Suwanee with their son, Chris, and fur baby, Biscuit. Allyson is a full-time Human Resources professional and an avid Poshmark enthusiast. She enjoys reading, writing, travel and enjoying a nice glass of wine or a cocktail. She is currently working on the next book in the Hitched & Happy series.