by Marc Cullison [mcullison.com]
My wife and I celebrated our 40th anniversary last June. Well, actually our anniversary was in June, but we didn’t formally celebrate it until New Year’s Day aboard the HMS Westerdam, from Holland America Lines, while sailing around the Caribbean. We also celebrated my wife’s XXth birthday.
Having lived with my wife for 40 years, I can honestly tell you that I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world. We’ve had our ups and down, just like every other couple on the face of the earth. We’ve had joy, sorrow, good fortune and bad, a child to love and nurture, and a host of experiences that astound me every time I stop to think about them.
Folks in this country, and others, tend to measure a couple’s success and happiness by the success of the husband. What a load of crap. If it weren’t for the wife, the husband most likely wouldn’t be worth a tinker’s dam. I feel that I am qualified to say this because I have lived it. I am well aware of my accomplishments and all the accolades that have been thrown my way by lackadaisical well-wishers. But how many people really know about a wife’s accomplishments? Few people in my wife’s family think of her as anything except my wife. That is really sad and it gives you some idea of what kind of family she came from. I can’t say that mine was much better.
Think about this: how often do you socialize with friends and, to my male counterparts, who is it you buddy up to? That’s right, the husband. You want to measure his mettle in the event that he might have more than you do. And for you females out there, who is it you kiss up to? Oh yeah, the wife. You want those juicy tidbits of information that tell you she doesn’t quite measure up to you. If you visit friends, what do you do in their home? Oh, yeah…inspect it for cleanliness. Is there dust lying hidden beneath the furniture? Cobwebs in the corners? Filth in the bathroom? And who traditionally takes care of all that? Well, it’s probably isn’t “Mr. Importance”. He’s too busy making a name for himself. Or, in other words, his wife is.
So, if you and your wife (or husband) have determined that your friends have less of a successful marriage, what was the deciding factor? The husband’s apparent success or the wife’s happiness, if you could gauge such a thing at all? Money, influence, prestige? That’s what a lot of folks think of as success. Well, I don’t follow that logic. I happen to believe that happiness determines your success.
All the money in the world can’t buy it. All the influence in the world can’t make people believe you. All the prestige in the world can’t make people like you. Oh, there are those people (a lot of them) who are followers and habitually allow others to influence their beliefs and aspire to make their idols recognized them by succumbing to their every desire. How sad that they can’t think for themselves.
So, I would not be where I am today without my wonderful wife. I know she must love me or she wouldn’t be putting up with all of this rot. And I love her dearly. I try to lend credit to her accomplishments. Oh, there is that, again. Exactly what accomplishments can a wife have?
The most important one is the rearing of your children. You guys out there, how many of you played a major role in that? I mean, really, did you stay up nights with them as infants, change their diapers, take them to and from school, tend their injuries, real and imaginary, and just talk with them, giving them the guidance and wisdom to face life on their own? That’s what I thought. Your wife did most of that, in addition to keeping the house clean, preparing the meals, doing all of the stuff you could have done but didn’t think you had time to do, or thought you were too important to do.
So your children live on to extend your family legacy into the future. For most of you, that was your wife who made that possible. And who supported you all of those years when you were not doing what she did? She deserves something, don’t you think? Maybe the credit for your success?