I thank my husband for some pretty mundane shit. I love and appreciate him, and I want him to know that when he does something like taking the kids to the park while I hang back after a particularly difficult day at home, he is making my life better. I thank him for changing a nasty diaper that I definitely smelled first. I thank him when he encourages me to get out and see my friends when the mom guilt is tugging at me to stay home.
The only time he can’t take the praise is when I get a text from a friend that she can’t meet me for dinner because her husband has never been alone with the kids at night, or hear a story about one’s husband pouting because he got home from work and dinner wasn’t ready. Never mind that my friend was sick herself while taking care of her sick kids all day — Johnny Husbo can’t be bothered to pick up some pizza and an extra box of tissues on his way home from work. He still wants his pot roast.
I walk away from these conversations and immediately thank my husband for not being a complete asshole. And every time, he balks at the idea that all he really has to do to be a good husband is not be a terrible husband. The praise rains down upon him.
This is not to toot my horn over having a great husband.
This is to ask what the fuck is wrong with the ones who can’t be bothered to do the minimum required to be a good husband. It is not that hard to not be a shitty husband because there are only two basic tenets to doing the damn thing correctly:
1. Be nice.
2. Be considerate.
End of list.
Two things. Your job is two things.
And if those two things seem out of your reach, please take a long, hard look in the mirror that involves telling your reflection to stop being such a dickwad and to adult the fuck up.
Every relationship has its own dynamic and marriage requires a certain balance of responsibilities. Sometimes that balance involves one person handling the majority of the cooking, and there is nothing wrong with that being a mutually agreed upon role. What is wrong is walking in the door at the end of the day and grunting an inquiry about when dinner will be ready instead of greeting your wife and asking what you can do to help.
Better yet, don’t ask. You have two eyeballs and a brain so you are fully capable of looking around, assessing the situation in front of you, and helping. Empty table? Grab some plates and start setting. Carrots, a knife, and a cutting board are sitting on the countertop? Get to chopping. There’s a start.
If you are a husband and father who glides through existence, it is likely because your wife routinely clears a path for you and does so at her own expense. If you hear her lamenting over the lack of time she has to shower and have never done anything about it, you are bad at your job. Remember that your job as her husband is to be nice and to be considerate.
If you are not kind enough to peel your butt off the couch to watch your own damn kids so she can take a real shower that doesn’t involve setting the nozzle to power wash and hoping she sprayed all the grime off from the last four days, you are bad at your job.
If you feel the need to lift yourself above her by belittling her work and effort, questioning what she even does all day, and not offering an ounce of gratitude, you are bad at your job.
If you act like some inept fool when it comes to the care of your children or the basic maintenance and management of your home, you are bad at your job.
All you have to do is not be a jerk and think of the needs of the one person who anticipates all of your own. The one person you vowed to love and care for, and created a family with. Do those two simple things, and you are at minimum a decent husband.
If you can’t be bothered to be nice and considerate, you are at best another child for her to take care of, and at worst, going to be signing over half your shit in divorce mediation because she deserves better. So do your fucking job. Now.