I’m hearing a phrase more and more these days, and it’s a bit troubling to me.
“Happy wife, happy life.”
I’ve been familiar with it for years, but I heard it in a Weight Watchers commercial tonight, I’ve heard it on an episode of HGTV’s House Hunters and I often hear it in casual conversation.
It makes me feel about as warm and fuzzy as I feel when I hear a Bridezilla whine about it being her day.
No, no. No, it’s not your day. It’s also your husband’s day, it’s your guests’ day, your vendors’ day — it’s everyone’s day, because everyone wants to have a good time.
It might be her big day, but she does not own it and the people who are present are not servants. They’re there to make the day great for everyone. You think a vendor wants to have a terrible time? No. They want to get home at 3am, kiss their sleeping kids on the forehead and feel like time away from their family was worth it. And if you turn on any of these crazy wedding shows, I’m guessing very few of them feel that way when they get home.
But back to my favorite phrase: what about the guy? Where’s his line? Why is it seemingly all about the girl?
A happy wife does not automatically equal a happy life, particularly if she’s only concerned with her own happiness. Nothing is a guarantee these days (what’s the divorce rate again?), but when spouses place each other on a pedestal, that seems like it could be a good place to start.
Tonight I am thankful for these silly lines that open my eyes to the fact that it’s never about one person. If the line is a joke and nothing more, that’s one thing. But at the end of the day, I suspect there’s a lot to be said for it being about compromise, a solid partnership and in keeping the well-being of your relationship protected, respected and top of mind. It’s a two-way street even when things are rocky, torn up or under construction, it’s give and take even if we don’t feel like giving and the person across the table should always be seen as a blessing — never a servant.