beginning the following essay, we need to have a foundation in
place… an understanding… a common ground that allows for appreciating
the ideas involved as presented in good humor while being accepted
a joke people. It’s not a reflection of my home, or yours, or
anyone else. But it is designed to be a scenario where—perhaps—three
or four friends, gathered as a group and including a husband and
wife, are standing together at a party…
number one: “Well, you know, happy wife, happy life.”
number two, also a husband: “Hold on. Happy wife? Is such a
thing even possible?”
group, including friend number two’s wife: “Ha ha ha ha…” (Laughter
continuing until at least one person begins wiping tears away.)
how fun that is? We’re having a really great time. Relaxed and
goofing around and… and no one went running to Terry to tell her
we have a common ground here? A safe place? Good.
~ ~ ~ ~
is dangerous territory folks. Shaky footing all around, and no
clear path ahead.
morning I set off on a list of things I needed to get accomplished.
I had written the list myself, but made the mistake of letting
my wife know of its existence. This was accomplished in the simplest
of stupid moves, something like my saying: “Hey, I’m headed to
the store today so I can get a few things and fix that electrical
outlet. I’m thinking I’ll also grab some stuff to cook on the
grill for dinner while I’m out. Do you need anything?”
out, there were a few additional errands to run. After the first
three suggestions from her, I grabbed a pen and began taking notes.
the background, some television program was on, and a character
uttered that phrase we all know about a happy wife. Which, with
my making sure I had everything written down that my wife had
mentioned—combined with my sarcastic mind and think it but don’t
you dare say it out loud at this time thoughts—became a thought
of wondering if it was even possible to have a happy wife.
all heard the saying. But sarcasm and humor aside, let’s ask:
Is it true? If you’re married, does a happy companion make for
a happy life? And I’ll be honest here with my response.
a bit of a side to our story, I probably should offer thoughts
about how fortunate I am. Terrific wife. Very happy overall. Zero
complaints. And I do strive to do whatever I can to make her happy.
thing is, I don’t know about this saying involving making her
happy having an equal or somewhat proportional reaction toward
my happiness. And there are several parts to the equation that
make me wonder…
are times when I might be reading a book, watching television,
or just tinkering around on a project. And within those moments,
my happiness has very little to do with how my wife is feeling
at that very moment.
am equally convinced there are occasions when my wife is laughing,
smiling and enjoying each and every detail of her surroundings…
while at that precise minute I’m covered in dirt and grime, cursing
during fits of blinding frustration, certain that my misery will
extend for the remainder of the day.
can be happy when perhaps she isn’t. I can be ticked off and grumbling
while she’s carefree and smiling. We have moments where the scales
do not move in any ways as a result of her side or my side of
the happiness meters.
we travel together. See a movie. Celebrate an accomplishment…
visit the kids… head out for a day with friends… and the happiness
I imagine that like many husbands, my goals are a bit subtler,
built on a desire for quiet rather than a pursuit of happiness.
a sink that won’t drain properly… a run to the grocery store needed…
laundry to wash. I’d be much happier tuning my guitar out on the
deck, wasting a bit of time on a gorgeous afternoon. But, there
will be peace and harmony in the kingdom if I put the guitar away,
then sort a load of towels before heading out to pick up some
milk and bread.
I really care what color we paint the living room? You could argue
I’m compromising because it makes her happy. There might be a
compelling case made that blue, seafoam, eggshell or whatever,
all colors are beautiful in a tranquil home. Honestly, the color
doesn’t matter to me. And, if the color is what she selected,
there will be less complaining about the need to paint the living
this is a discussion between friends in the end. Simply put, I
enjoy doing things to make my wife happy because they make her
feel good. That, in turn, makes me feel good. So yes, happy wife
does mean a happy life. And I am completely in favor of as much
happiness as possible.
does not guarantee dinner though. So… yeah… trip to the store.
There is that.)