Tuesday, July 10, 2012

So Happy Together: Marriage is a Partnership

Tuesday’s topic (Marriage is a Partnership) has finally arrived, after an introduction post about this series on the "Seven Secrets of Lasting Love," Secret # 1 (Have Realistic Expectations), and Secret #2 (Sweat the Small Stuff). 

I mentioned in the introduction that both my husband and I work outside the home. Though his doctorate in physical therapy brings home more of the proverbial and literal bacon than my professor’s salary, I don’t feel my husband devalues my work or my contribution to our finances.

When we were dating, I told him I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. This was not a calculated lie to land a husband who hoped for a clean house and home-cooked meals June-Clever style: it was my honest goal. When I started work at O’More College of Design, however, my goals shifted. I fell in love. With a job. I never thought it possible. Jay got a three-day-a-week shift so that we could have the home schedule we desired for ourselves and our kids.

Jay is hands-down the best daddy I have ever seen. If you know me, you know this is a wildly large compliment. I adore my father. He is my hero. But I don’t remember how he interacted with me as a child. (I just remember that I’ve always adored him.) 

One of the top reasons I married Jay was because of the way I watched him play with and talk to kids.  This towering six-foot-five giant gets down on his knees; his voice is one of excitement and kindness. I hope our boys and our future children know what a blessing they have; I don’t believe they will be able to miss it.

Parenting-sharing is not an issue. The only time I feel a lack of partnership is in some of the other duties that come in marriage. I often tend to take over the home side of responsibilities because I have a hard time asking for help. (Also, I jokingly say it is the “Hilliard Way,” using my maiden name, to just do it yourself.) I’m probably the only wife on the planet whose husband says, “Please remind me over and over—otherwise I just forget.” Really? You know that is kind of the definition of “nag,” don’t you?

We’ve figured out a system that helps, for the most part. Somehow I feel like it’s okay to write down what he needs to do each day. A pad of paper from the $1 bin at Target receives my requests: take out the trash, fold the laundry in the dryer (how my mother would be appalled to know how long it had been sitting there, unfolded), balance the checkbook….

The problem that arises is in things that pop up throughout the day. Thinking ahead to all possible To Do items first thing in the morning is a challenge. So our system isn’t perfect, but it is helping.

The responsibilities connected to marriage can seem endless at times, but they are not for one spouse to conquer alone. Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” I tend to think a little differently: alone we can do so much; together we can do even more. Here’s to even more.  

Keller, Helen. Thinkexist.com. n.p. n.d. Web. 10 July 2012.

 the entire series (with written posts linked)
Secret #2 Sweat the Small Stuff 
Secret #7 Spend Time Apart

this post is linked up with


  1. That sounds like a great strategy! A sunday school teacher once told us to give a "deadline" with our requests, so if I want Michael to take out the garbage I would say, "Honey, will you please take out the garbage before you go to bed tonight". That way they fully know what and when we want something done. It's helped us although I don't always do it.

    Looks like a good series you've got going!
    Thanks for linking up with WIP Wednesday!
    Mary Beth

  2. Sounds effective to me! Mary Beth said what I was going to...I've found the timelines work well for us. erases the guess of expectations...which I despise altogether....

    Stopping by via WIP Wednesday!