take fro grantedAs I sat at  my desk early in the week pondering what to write a post about, I was staring off into space and noticed our recently decorated Christmas tree in the foyer.  As always, it’s a beautiful tree and as always, Linda spent a lot of time decorating it. 

As I scanned the rest of our beautifully decorated home – most of which I had nothing to do with other than lugging the boxes of decorations around to where I was instructed – an idea for a post came to me almost immediately…

Linda does so much on a daily basis that I’m so grateful and lucky for, but often I fail to express my appreciation or I take them for granted.

So, my intentions for this post are twofold:  To express my gratitude and appreciation publicly for all that Linda does and to perhaps enlighten some folks to the little things that their spouse’s do that are often not appreciated.

Quick story…

The other day I walked into our bathroom and Linda was in there cleaning.   Mind you, she was not cleaning the bathroom, she was cleaning all of her brushes. You know, her assortment of hair and makeup brushes, along with a few other brushes that I had no idea what they were used for.

I jokingly said something to the effect of: “What in the hell are you doing?  Who thinks of cleaning brushes?  Only a woman would think of that!”  (This isn’t the first time she has cleaned her brushes by a long shot.  I just like to give her crap about it.)

She replied, “That’s because men are stupid!”

I really couldn’t argue with that because cleaning brushes is important to one’s hygiene I presume, and I venture to guess that I could count on one hand how many men in this world would ever think of doing it.  If our brush was full of hair and all dirty, we’d just buy a new one – maybe.

Joking aside though, this little episode represents just one thing that Linda (and most women) do that I (and most men) wouldn’t think to do, and certainly take for granted.

So I got to thinking that I would bring more to light some of the things that Linda does that I often take for granted. 

Now before any of you think I’m some raving feminist… I’m not.  But I do appreciate what she does and has done and want to publicly acknowledge it.  Besides, it might earn me a nice deposit in the old “love bank” if you know what I mean!  😉

It goes without saying that working a full time job, having and raising three awesome kids and taking care of a household have been tremendously important and she has done a wonderful job of that over the years.  Not to mention being a great wife.

When the kids were young and I was working long hours or traveling, I was always amazed (though didn’t express so often enough) all of the stuff she did for us.  She was the Chief Operating Officer of our entire existence for several years.  And for all but two of those years she did everything while at the same time working full time as a teacher.  She basically managed our lives.

I’m not going to get into specifics of all the stuff she did.  Suffice to say, she did a ton and she is the main reason our kids are as wonderful as they are and why we don’t live in a house that reminds one of a college dorm room – among many other things.  I’m also not going to get into all the intimate stuff as we need to keep some things secret! 😉

I appreciate youSo here are some everyday type stuff that Linda does that I often take for granted (In no particular order):

Always looking great.  Linda is 52 but she could easily pass for 35.  Most people cannot believe that she is as old as she is.  I think a combination of good genes, taking care of herself and having the desire to look good are all partly responsible for her beauty.   She also dresses professionally for her work and when we go out she always looks great.  That said, when she gets home from work she does have her sloppy, dressed-up-in-sweats side of her as well – and she looks great then too.

Takes care of herself.  Linda  is one of those women who always thinks she is 5 pounds overweight when she’s not.  Of course she gets that somewhat naturally as her  mother is 80-years-old and has been on a diet for at least the last 40 years (though she’s not fat at all).  As a result, Linda has always been into fitness and taking care of herself and her body. 

She has a variety of exercise DVDs that she works out to, she just did her first 5k race and she does Pilates with a group of teachers a couple of days a week after school.  We also do a bunch of stuff together that is fitness and outdoor related. 

A great baker.   I do 99.9% of the cooking but Linda does 100% of the baking.  I don’t like to bake as it’s too precise for me.  She makes the best pies and cakes from scratch and her Christmas cookies are out of this world good.  Since I have a bit of a sweet tooth, I really appreciate her baking!

Plans killer parties.  When our kids were young and had birthday parties each year, the parties weren’t just your run-of-the-mill kid parties with cake and ice cream.  No, they were lavish theme parties.  We’ve had a paintball party, a haunted house party, a 70’s disco party, a princess tea party, a casino party and a spa party just to name a few.  Linda planned them all and the kids and their friends always loved them.

She has always carried this party enthusiasm on when we host dinner or holiday parties as well.  Trust me when I tell you that there has never been a person that has left our home hungry or thirsty after one of our parties.  She goes all out and does a ton of planning and preparation before each one.  Sure we work together on these things, but she is the planner and the task master that pulls them all together.

Watering the indoor plants and flowers.  Again, a very simple thing but for some reason, not something I think about.  Maybe it’s because she’s always done it!

wife appreciatesKeeping our house clean and orderly.  Now, I’m not just talking about keeping things dusted, cleaned and vacuumed on a regular basis.  We all kick in most of the time to help get these normal weekly housecleaning chores done, but that’s about where our involvement typically ends.  And I dare say that if it were left up to me and the kids, the house would be cleaned a heck of a lot less often.     

Linda will clean things like under the bed, behind the frig or under the stove.  Periodically she removes all the utensils and silverware from the drawers, the dishes, pots and pans from the cabinets and meticulously cleans them.  She takes down the blinds and washes them and vacuums the curtains and washes the windows.  I know I’m forgetting some things and I bet that most of you women readers probably do all this as well, but again, I venture to guess that most men never think to do this stuff.

Decorating for the Holidays.  We have no less than 8 Christmas trees in our home.  Every downstairs room is decorated for the holidays.  We have miles of miniature lights strung from our stairway, fireplace mantle and of course, on the trees.  She really does do a great job at decorating and making the house look so festive.  It’s certainly a production each year but she loves it and we all appreciate her talents.

Gardening.  Linda has an eye for decorating and design.  That doesn’t end with the inside of our home.  She loves to dig around in the dirt and as a result of  her love and keen eye for flowers, trees and plants, does a great job of making the outside of our home look great.  I love working outdoors as well but gardening isn’t really my thing.  I barely know a pansy from a tulip so I leave the flowery beautification up to her.

Our lives in scrapbooks.  Over the years she has taken virtually every photograph we’ve ever taken of the kids and their activities and has created numerous scrapbooks.  They’re pretty artsy-fartsy and well beyond my creative abilities.   They are memories in a book that we will enjoy for years to come.

Washing clothes.  I actually like to do the laundry and I do it quite often.  Since I work from home, I can knock it all out during the course of a day.  It actually makes for a nice break from work when that dryer or washer buzzer goes off.  That said, I’m not usually the one who sorts it all or puts it away.  If it were left up to me, I’d throw everything in at once on cold and be done with it.  Over the years, Linda has instructed me quite precisely how certain things need to be washed, so I try to adhere to her directions as best as possible – or else.

Remembers special dates.  Do I know when her side of the family’s birthdays are?  I have an idea of the months that they fall in but that’s about it.  Do I remember when the kids have a haircut or doctor appointment?  Not usually.  Do I remember what we did last year for our anniversary or to celebrate our birthdays?  Not likely.  She remembers all that stuff and more.

feeling neededAn awesome teacher.  If any of you think that teaching is an overpaid and simple profession, you’re nuts and I challenge you to spend one day with a teacher in the classroom.  I’ve spent some time in her classroom and on field trips and I admit I could never do what she does. 

She is one of the most respected teachers in her building and in the district and was recommended for district Teacher of the Year a few years back.  She mentors other younger teachers and is regularly approached by her peers and administrators for advice and assistance.  I could go on an on about her teaching abilities and all the shit she has to put up with, but for now, let’s just say I’m really proud of her.

An interior decorator wannabe.  I mentioned previously how wonderful our house is decorated for the holidays.  Well, it’s wonderfully decorated all the time.  She’s got and eye for it and thank God that she does.  If were left to me, our home would look like a sports bar.

Frugal shopper.  We’re not wealthy by any means and Linda is a woman like many others who likes to shop and likes nice clothes, shoes, purses, furniture, etc.  She will go out of her way to purchase these items for as cheaply as possible and without running up massive amounts of credit card charges.  I like that.  Since shopping makes my eyes burn and gives me a twitch, I appreciate that she can do it without me (I’m sure she likes it that way) and without breaking the bank.

Heart of gold.  Linda will do just about anything for anybody.  Sometimes to a fault.  “No” is not a word that she uses very often.  Sometimes this gets her into things she doesn’t want too do – especially at work.   She is someone who can be counted on to be there if needed.

Puts up with me!  Finally, she has been able to put up with me for about three decades.  I’m pretty laid back.  I’m funny.  I’m not too set in my ways. I’m not a slob.  I don’t think I have too many disgusting habits, but I can be a stubborn sarcastic asshole at times and I know I do some other stuff that annoys or frustrates her to death.   I appreciate it so much that she hasn’t kicked my butt to the curb – though she probably wishes she had at times!

I’m sure there are things I’m neglecting to mention and if I think of them I’ll add them to the list.

The lesson…

When my Grandmother died several years ago, by Grandfather offered me some worthy advice.  He simply said… “Appreciate your wife and tell her that you love her everyday because you never know when she will be gone.”  My Grandparents were married for over 60 years and were each other’s best friends, so I think he knew what he was talking about.

Back a few years ago, I neglected my Grandfather’s advice and  I didn’t appreciate Linda or the things she does enough –  or if I did, I didn’t express my appreciation often enough.  I was too selfish and stupid

It’s important to show your appreciation for all the little things your spouse does just as much as it is when they do something bigger or more noticeable.  I suggest you make you own list of why you appreciate your spouse and show it to them.  Don’t wait!


 

Here’s all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ― George Carlin

Here is a video from the late comedian George Carlin where he expands upon the quote above and shares his views on all the stuff that women and men do.  (Warning:  Contains some crude humor and foul language.)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgeLpFTNn8g 

 

I’d be curious to read some comments from you guys as to some of the things your spouse does that you might take for granted – or perhaps some things you do that your spouse takes for granted!

 

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    21 replies to "Things My Wife Does that I Take for Granted"

    • Rachel

      That was a great post Doug . So nice to see how you really do notice all that Linda does and what a class act she is.
      I too did all of that but my husband still kicked me to the curb after 25 years.
      I do continue to do all of it still. Now I get thank you’s from my boys constantly. Thanking me for the wonderful feast I prepared for them for our thanksgiving dinner, and what a beautiful job that I did this year decorating the house. Not much goes unnoticed by these boys.
      My 17 year old wrote a beautiful thanksgiving paper about me. How much he appreciates me taking care of him and always there to guide him in the right direction. And how I am his best friend.
      Its nice to be appreciated.
      I am blessed. 🙂

      • Doug

        Thanks Rachel. Well, from all that you’ve told us here about your husband over the last several months, it is obvious that he is a fool. It’s so great that your boys notice and appreciate everything that you do. It is obvious that they love and care for you very much and you are indeed very blessed.

      • inthedark

        Rachel, I’m happy for you to have such sweet kids. My boy is only 8. Long way to go. How I wish he could be as appreciative as yours.

    • Saw the Light (formerly Roller Coaster Rider)

      I agree. And Rachel, I’m also really happy for you to have such a close and affirming relationship with your sons. My two sons have also been so supportive and such a source of joy to me. During the week following my final D-Day, at dinner, the younger one said to the older, “Let’s make a pact that this legacy of infidelity stops here!” The challenge I’m facing now is moving into a future that is not as connected to family because they each have their own nuclear families, and I for the first time ever am living alone and making plans for my own life. I know I’m appreciated and loved, but it feels a little like setting out on a tightrope, and I have always been especially fearful of heights! I think I need to turn my focus outward and concentrate on expressing appreciation to others for their support and kindness to me so I’ll start with you, Doug and Linda. You have both helped and blessed me in ways that would take too many words to write! I hope you continue growing in your love for one another and helping people in pain, because it absolutely makes a difference. Thank you.

      • Doug

        STL/RCR, That is very awesome of you to say! We’ve communicated with you in a variety of ways over the last two plus years and one thing that is for certain is that you are a very strong woman and I have no doubts whatsoever that you will be just fine at whatever you choose to do. You just need to “Trust the Rope.”

      • Rachel

        Saw the light,
        Yes that tight rope is so scary. I know just how you feel.

    • Broken2

      I appreciate my husband in many ways. He has always been a really hard worker and is usually the first one to work and the last to leave. He never complains and says it brings him great joy to take care of us. When many of his colleagues are dropping the ball, he is there to pick it up. I have had many people tell me that he is the best boss they have ever had. He is generous and giving in fact he just won an award at work and he could have bought something for himself but instead insisted we buy doll houses for our granddaughters for Christmas. He is wonderful with our grandchildren. They run to him and laugh and squeal as he throws them in the air after he gets home. We are essentially raising our granddaughter and she spends most of her time in the garage with him as he is a car enthusiast. He has taught her every tools name, every nut and bolt. She grabbed his hand the other day and said come on grandpa lets go hang out in the garage. Our children although grown and married spend countless days with us, the boys hanging out with their dad at every chance they get. He can fix anything. We have never had a car serviced in a shop in 40 years. If he can’t fix it he will figure out how to do it. I am proud that he chose to change himself from a self centered idiot to who he is today three years after his affair. It takes courage to change yourself and a tremendous amount of work. There isn’t a day that goes by that he hasn’t said have I told you how much I love you today and how beautiful you are. For those of you who know my story you understand the change I speak of. He drops everything if I want to talk. He is supporting me through my moms death and my current struggle with depression. I am grateful and thankful for him.

      • Doug

        Broken, It is indeed a great thing to see how your husband has changed since you’ve been coming here. Thanks for sharing as usual!

        • inthedark

          Broken2, where is your story? Any link? Did you do anything to make your H change or did he return to you on his own? I like to read stories like yours because they give people hope, but right now I’m still living in the hell. (Mine is here towards the end of the post: http://www.emotionalaffair.org/it-is-tough-to-stop-an-emotional-affair/ )

    • Saw the Light (formerly Roller Coaster Rider)

      I’ve been thinking about Doug’s list of what Linda does, and I just have to say: When do you sleep? Maybe it’s the depression or maybe it’s just that my standards are lower, but if I did what you do, Linda, I’d be dead in a week! You truly are amazing! And if I were you, I would print and frame this post. It is definitely a tribute worth framing!

      • Linda

        Saw the Light, this post does have very special meaning to me and I really appreciate everything that Doug that wrote. I am not a superwoman, and I sleep a lot, every woman has a list similar to mine, their list may contain different things but we all work very hard to keep our families together, the house running smoothly while trying to create as many good memories as possible.

        This post is so important to me because when Doug was in the fantasy of his affair he didn’t appreciate anything that I did. Honestly most of the things he mentioned in his post he used as a reason why he had an affair in the first place. I was so busy doing those things that I put him last. So through the years I often questioned everything I did, I wondered if I really was the bad wife he had told me I was.

        For a time I stopped doing many of these things for fear that I would lose my marriage and I became very depressed. I felt that I had lost myself in order to keep Doug faithful. Thank God I was able to find a balance between being super woman and being true to myself. I figured out that many of the things I did was for love. If I did this Doug would love me and not abandon me (I had some issues) now I do things because I enjoy them, they represent who I am. They give me a creative outlet or help to reduce my stress.

        This post represents how much both of us have grown during this recovery process and how we have become equal partners in our lives. I also realize that I don’t thank Doug enough for everything he does and how much he means to me.

        • Saw the Light (formerly Roller Coaster Rider)

          Linda, it’s so great that you both now can be there and appreciate each other. My H apparently was threatened by my >>>>________(fill in the blank with anything you choose), and because from his earliest childhood always felt that life was one big competition and he couldn’t ever win, since he was youngest of five and everyone tried to outdo and one up everyone else. He spoke of wanting to appreciate and not take me for granted. Guess he was just too broken when all was said and done.

    • Broken2

      Linda you are AMAZING and I see such a change in both of you has far as the tone and contents of your posts. Its been a long journey but worth it! Have a wonderful holiday.

    • Gizfield

      Linda, it’s funny you say a lot of these things were used by Doug as “reasons” for his cheating cause thats exactly what I thought when I read it. my husband did the same thing. The fact I was actually doing things around the house and for our child was what gave him plenty of time to sneak around with his partying Slutface. When I gave him a taste of what life was really like without ME was when I saw the change in him. Only wish I’d done it MUCH sooner. Our family is now his main priority, whereas before it was like his competition , in his mind.

      • Rachel

        My ex husband said he didn’t want to be married to me because I was too over protected to our two boys. Also that my parents didn’t have many friends????
        Perhaps they don’t have many friends left, many have passed away. My parents are in their 80’s. Imagine that blaming my parents who always treated him like their own. Such a jerk!

        • Saw the Light (formerly Roller Coaster Rider)

          When they can’t look in the mirror, I guess the best option is to shift the blame to anything and anyone else. I’m sorry for your loss, Rachel, of an intact and loving family but you are still providing that as you always have for your sons, and I’ll bet your parents are also very close and nurturing. There is good stuff ahead for you!

    • Gizfield

      Wow, Saw the Light, my H was the youngest of four in an EXTREMELY Dysfunctional family. Lots of insulting and comparisons. His father was such an asshole. One day his sister said she was hot. He said “the reason you are hot is because you are FAT”. He would make her sit at the kitchen counter instead of at the dining room table with everyone else. Tell her she couldn’t have birthday cake because she was too fat. This was when she was in her fifties. Can’t imagine how it was when they were kids…

    • Saw the Light (formerly Roller Coaster Rider)

      My sister-in-law was molested by their dad for ten years. This same man was the president of our local school board and highly respected as an attorney. No one knew the hell that happened behind closed doors.Their mom was in and out of mental hospitals for depression when my H was a baby, and would often close herself off in the bedroom for days, only coming out in the middle of the night to eat. One of my brothers-in-law is gay. The other one divorced his African-American wife after she almost killed their son in a low moment with her bipolar condition. My other sister-in-law was in therapy for decades. And I was probably just as sick as any of them because for four decades I settled for truly crappy treatment and emotional abuse. Loved the man, but I’m starting to love the freedom I’m beginning to see and almost taste in the near future…

    • Saw the Light (formerly Roller Coaster Rider)

      I need to clarify, just to say that it wasn’t all crappy. Much of our history was beautiful, and it had the potential to be truly glorious. I’m still sad for what could have been. But done.

    • Joanne

      Awesome blog. Thank you for the simple yet true ideas about realizing what we’re grateful for in our spouses. Linda, I like hearing from you. I agree that I need to realize how much my husband does around the house. We both do quite a bit & we both appreciate each other more than we used to.

    • Patsy50

      Appreciation is a must from both sides in a relationship.

      A simple “thank you”, “great job”, a touch or a kiss can say I do appreciate you.

      It definitely can put points in the love bank.

      Great post Doug and Linda. Sometimes we forget to show or say how much we appreciate one another especially in a long marriage. Sometimes it just gets lost.

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