Last Wednesday night was not a great one at Chez Schwartz. It was after dinner (one that I had prepared after a very long day at work) and all three kids were working on homework while my husband of 7 years was supposed to be doing the dishes. This is our division of labor, I cook, he cleans. (Very 21st Century.) But he’d had a terrible day at work and had a cold coming on and was really dragging. So I said I’d step in and clean up the kitchen. My teeth may have been gritted when I said it, but I said it. This was, in truth, the very last thing on the planet that I felt like doing. The dishes are HIS job, right? I really was irritated, I gotta say. But I saw his weariness and I knew I needed to do what I could to make his life a bit easier.
And this, in my opinion, is marriage. It’s not the wedding, as we all know. It’s not the party or the photography or the dress. It’s definitely not the ring. It’s doing dishes when you really don’t feel like it. It’s believing that the whole reason we marry is to commit to making our spouses’ path through life just a bit easier. Actually, it was my husband who taught me all about “love through actions”. He lives it every day, making me my morning coffee, surprising me with a shiny, washed car or insisting I stop working at my computer and sit down for a five minute shoulder rub. He’s such a wonderful man.
As I stood there thinking about this that night, I thought that really, this was a great opportunity to show my love for my husband through my actions. And then I thought about all the brides out there right then planning their weddings in the later hours of the evening after a hard day at work. Do try to hear me on this: my husband and I had a lovely wedding. I wouldn’t trade that away for anything. But my experience doing the dishes the other night was a very powerful reminder of what we committed ourselves to on that day.
What if, after you’re married, you commit to putting as much effort into showing your new spouse your love through actions as you did planning your event? What would that mean for your new marriage?