Monday, April 10, 2006

Husbands are Underrated

It happens to a lot. When the family starts expanding, the husbands become second, third or last priority. I see it a lot. Some of my closest friends and relatives reserve the sweetest of smiles and affections for their children but give the most perfunctory of nods and curt answers to their so-called life partners. People tell me it's normal but if that's the case then I'd rather be wonderfully abnormal. I married Jay because he's the best thing that's happened to me. He's the first person I look for whenever I have something good or bad to share and the person whose opinion I value the most. He's my best friend and I can't imagine my life without him now.

I don't understand why there has to be a trade-off between motherhood and being a wife/lover/best friend. If this is normal then these women shouldn't marry for love. They should marry because they want to procreate. Balance?! Easy to say, impossible to do! Nevermind if the marriage is barely working, at least they have kids -- and everything that they eat, live, do and achieve for is only for the kids! But is this really good for them? Growing up, I was fortunate to have been given a good education and material wealth but whenever I witnessed fights between my parents, the thought of them splitting up was totally the end of my world. It was unimaginable. Reflecting on this, I realize now that when my friends are being "normal" they are doing as much damage to their kids as to their marriage. Children are so smart. They see and hear everything, and they learn from example. Luckily, I learned early on that I should never take my life partner for granted because he can easily be taken away from me anytime -- by acts of God or simply by another crafty female!

In all my life, I have only heard of one personal story -- just ONE -- about parents being totally devoted to one another. So devoted that they eventually admitted to their daughters (only when they were old enough to understand) that yes, the love they feel for one another surpasses the love they have for their children!! Shocking!!! And how did their daughters react? With tears of pride and joy! This personal story was told to me by a former roommate of mine. Gemma told me that "papa and mama would hold hands in bed every single night even when they were well into their 70s". They are in their 80s now and I am sure that things have not changed one bit. I am praying very hard that Jay and I can beat their record! :)

I end this blog with an article I first came to know about through a feature on Oprah. This woman wrote that while she loved her children, she was not "in love" with them. Rather she reserves this very special honor for husband. Naturally, this sent shockwaves across the audience and women were condemning the writer, Ayelet Waldman, for being a bad mother. But I saw it differently. I saw her as woman who has achieved what others have worked for all their lives: a well-balanced family life. Her children were not her whole life, and her husband was the reason she bore their children and not the other way around. Sadly, these very same women who condemned her later on admitted that their marriages were crumbling because they have placed their and their husbands' needs last since their children always came first. And not surprisingly, the people who supported Ayelet were the children of these women who were not "in love" with them -- because they witnessed first-hand how their parents' happy marriage brought so many blessings into their lives. Simply put, the "spillover" from this strong, mutual love benefited everyone! I am no genius but don't you think that the greatest gift a parent can give to their kids is a marriage that works? So in case you haven't told your hubbies today how much you love them and how much they turn you on -- what are you waiting for?! :)


Blogger ragamuffin girl said...

This wife and mother agrees. But honestly, while I'm not "in" love with my child, the first two years of his life I devoted myself to him; it's difficult (almost impossible) not to at that stage,(especially with Joaquin and his personality) and yes, Derrick came second. He knew it, he felt it, most times he understood and was ok with it. Which is why now that Joaquin's older, Derrick and I have planned romantic trips for two, weekend dates and movies, and I have many travel plans alone and with my girlfriends, minus my better half. Can I just add that our personal, innermost selves are underrated, forgotten and undervalued too when the family expands?!
As long as wives know the difference between being "in" love with their husbands, and loving their kids, there shouldn't be a problem. Both feelings can peaceably coexist. It's never healthy to dote on one, to the detriment of the other. But from this mother comes this personal realization: when a child is born of you, your life really does revolve around him for a time, no matter what you know is logical and reasonable etc... there is that moment, that suspension of reality, when most (not all, thank God)of it is just about you and your child.

11:52 PM, April 10, 2006  
Blogger shyguy said...

Been itching to write this blog for the looongest time. So many of my batchmates have their own families and it saddens me whenever I see them turn into their mothers (you know, the typical kind). You would think that they would learn but guess they are programmed to act that way. I chose to focus on the husband's side this time because no one seems to be writing about them anymore. We all know that mothers make the ultimate sacrifice "forgetting" herself all for the sake of the children, but when the fathers get up and leave, they don't have a clue as to why it happened. It takes two to tango. I just hope that if it's my turn to be a Mom I won't be eating my words. Guess that's why a big part of me is absolutely frightened to be one. It takes a whole lot of responsibility, courage and selflessness. A whole new paradigm shift especially for someone like me who likes my life and my things neat, dependable, efficient, orderly, and compartmentalized -- literally and figuratively. Call me the female Monk, if you please. :)

2:03 AM, April 11, 2006  

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