Do we treat our husbands as well as our friends?

Sometimes we wives and moms can be having a hard day, and are perhaps very tired or stressed, but when a friend calls we perk up and feel much better. And when a friend is in need emotionally, we find the time and strength to be present to them, offering a listening ear, encouraging words, and understanding heart…We are able to give the best of ourselves to friends, even when we are drained.

We wouldn’t imagine saying, “I’ve had a rough day, so I’m going to blast a heap of bitterness into the first available ear, even if it’s my dear friend.” Or “I think I’ll sting my friend with repeated sarcasm if she attempts to make me feel better. What does she know?”

Why then, do we women often do exactly that with our husband, as if our every struggle was his personal fault? As if he should cower under our mood, and be culpable if he doesn’t read our mind and fan us with palm branches before we mention being hot…

We’ve been taught to be very self-righteous as women, and very suspicious of men, but I ask you, is this prickly attitude making us happy? Does it not foster division in our marriages, and dissatisfaction in ourselves?

I grew up with three brothers, whom I love a lot, so I have a hard time buying the “evil men” stereotype. Personally I think we human beings are all fairly imperfect, but still kind of wonderful.


Ultimately we are the ones who have to make ourselves happy, who with the help of grace have to choose happiness despite life’s challenges. Blaming someone else for all our troubles only traps us in the cage of our own weakness. We wouldn’t blame all our challenges on our friends, so why would we choose (even subconsciously) to blame them on our husbands, who are supposed to be our best friends?

The role of a best friend is to love us no matter what and to walk with us through life, always by our side. It isn’t to carry us so we don’t even have to use our legs. It’s to support us in happy and sad times, but not to provide a godlike dose of happiness and protection from all sadness. You can be vulnerable and honest with your husband without expecting him to be able to fix everything. Don’t deify your spouse. Accept and love him as a human being who is worthy of your respect and tenderness, even if he’s not a superhero. Remember inside there is still a little boy who needs your love.


Perhaps you and I are never grumpy or sarcastic with our spouses (ahem!), but for those mortals who are, I think this is good advice: try to treat your husband with the same kindness and understanding you do your friends. And of course all this advice applies to men as well, in how lovingly they should treat their wives.

This year let’s take responsibility for our happiness by trying to be our best selves, not just with our friends, but with our spouse. In doing so we will become better people, and give him a chance to do the same. And it is in this striving to become the best version of ourselves that we will find peace and happiness.


Yippee: Debt Free

This Valentine’s my husband gave me a wonderful, unexpected gift. He paid off my last, our last, student loan. Six substantial loans gone…debt free!

After 4 years of living in a one-bedroom apartment with the kids to save money, 8 years of taking the bus because we couldn’t afford a car, cutting my own hair to save the money, 8 years of handing over every extra cent to pay them off, every tax refund, every little windfall, we finally did it. Paid off a massive amount of student loan debt on one modest income, and now we are free!

It is a wonderful gift. My husband works so hard and sacrifices so much for us. I am truly grateful.

So, you ask, what did you get him for Valentine’s?

Well, a sandwich.


I tried to make it the yummiest one I could: tomato bocconcini with fresh spinach leaves, homemade olive oil and balsamic dressing, full of basil, oregano and garlic…roasted in the oven, with juicy purple olives on the side…but yes, a sandwich.

And a card I coloured with my three year old:


It doesn’t really compare does it? To thousands of dollars? But you know, we each gave our gifts with love, and we’re both happy.

It’s not a competition, and besides, I am happy to be outdone by him. Happy to be forever indebted to him, who has given me so much. I don’t mind needing him.

After watching a sweet romantic comedy called “Just Like Heaven,” I listened to him falling asleep, breathing slowly and holding my hand. Our fingers were squeezed together until I couldn’t tell if the faint “ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum” I felt between my them was my pulse or his.

Being vulnerable and needing each other, each on our own ways, helps us stay close. And isn’t that what Valentine’s is all about?

Husbandly Awesomeness

This morning my husband did something so awesome. It was just a little thing, but it totally made my day. He was getting his shoes on for work, preparing to head off to another long day at the office. I was so excited to tell him, after having checked the stats on my blog that morning, that 8 people in Australia had read my blog that morning, and 1 in New Zealand, and well as a bunch here in Canada.

Looking around my rather exploding kitchen self-consiously, I began to backtrack before he had a chance to respond.

“Not that I’m just sitting around blogging all day…I’ve just been posting brief things lately, a little picture with a paragraph or so…”

My husband is really a tidy person, so he could have said, “Good thing, honey, cause this kitchen could use some work, and I wish you’d focus more on the house.” And it wouldn’t have been unreasonable. But he didn’t.

Instead he said, “That’s fine, but be careful you don’t lose followers who like your longer stuff, the ones who read it for your poems and writing. Don’t make it just a Facebook #lol, ;).”

In other words, take the time you need to write. To do your art. To be you.
Cause you’re more important than the house.

If I was a cartoon, little hearts with wings would have come flying out of me and stuck all over him.
I can’t really think of anything more romantic for him to have said!

I brought it up a few nights later to thank him again for understanding me so well, and for being such a good friend, and to say that I really do want to work on having a tidier house so it’s more peaceful for him. Remember that I mentioned he really likes things organized and clean, kind of minimalist, and somehow ended up falling in love with me, a bit of a scatterbrained clutter-bug.

Then he outdid himself again. He hugged me and said, “I’d rather have a messy house and a blog than a clean house and no blog.”

Fireworks! Applause!

It’s another reason why after 8 years of marriage, and 13 together, I’m still head over heels for my husband.

What’s your best husband story? Something little he did that just made your day…Please share your latest incident of husbandly awesomeness!

Have you told him how much it meant to you? Since I told mine about this he has been so affectionate…

Here’s me with my sweetie when we were first dating. Lucky me.