I joke all the time now that since my wedding is over, I am just an “old married lady.” So let’s embrace that for a moment and let me tell you what I have learned in my marriage thus far and the years leading up to it.
1. “I want you to want to do the dishes.”
Let’s be serious ladies… No one ever WANTS to clean. I mean, there are a few people out there who get this weird enjoyment out of cleaning. I feel a great sense of accomplishment when my house is done and spotless, but never once enjoy it. The vast majority of people do not want to clean. Ever. And men fall into this category too. So the famous line from the movie The Break-up “I want you to want to do the dishes” is just never really going to happen, unless you lucked out and married a neat-freak. And in that case, I hope you too are a neat-freak because someone is bound to get on someone’s nerves. My husband doesn’t enjoy cleaning, but he does it. Does he do it how I do it? No. Not even close. But he will make an honest attempt and that is all I really care about. I can never get mad at him for cleaning and it not being to my standards. If my standards are that high, then I should just do it myself.
2. “Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis…”
Men NEVER grow out of video games. I know it is something you hope will happen, but you are only setting yourself up for disappointment if you truly think it will happen. If you think about it, they have all grown up with video games. As they have matured, so have the video games. My husband has been playing in an online NCAA Football league for the last year and a half (at least, I haven’t actually kept track of how long). He enjoys it. He always asks if I want him to use the PS3 in the other room before hopping on to play a game. He is courteous about it. He doesn’t put the games ahead of something else that is truly more important. I guess I just think about it like this… he could be dealing or smoking crack. Instead, he plays video games. Could be worse, right?
3. He will always be his mother’s son.
There are two kinds of mama’s boys. The first is one that respects and loves his mother. The other is one that believes that his mom is the only woman good enough for him. In the case of the former, there is a good chance he will treat you right and expect that your children treat you how he treats his mother. There really is no help for the latter. But then again, you probably wouldn’t be engaged to a guy like this. I can only imagine how annoying it would be to be constantly compared to your beau’s mother. Lucky for me, I have the first mama’s boy. He loves his mom. He respects her for her devotion in years past to his football games or for hosting his friends in basketball tournaments at their house with chipped ham sandwiches. I have no doubt that when we have children, he will teach them to respect me like he does his mom. So you can’t always knock the mama’s boys. Sometimes they make the best husbands.
4. He is always going to be an after-school snacker.
Try as I might, Joey just has a less experimental attitude toward food than I. Our freezer is full of frozen pizzas, chicken patties, hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets. He actually has “Chicken Nugget Mondays.” No joke. He likes what he likes. Don’t get me wrong, I try to force new things on him all the time. Sometimes he likes it, others not so much. Most guys love these after school foods because it is easy and simple. While I might be grilling marinated salmon with rice pilaf and green beans almondine, he’d be completely happy with a burger or a frozen pizza. I can’t really complain though. He could be completely helpless and expect me to make him dinner every night. He is self-sufficient. And that works for me.
So the moral of this blog is, you can’t change a leopard’s spots. You just can’t. If you want someone to change so badly, you probably shouldn’t be with them. You have to learn to embrace these things and remember these are the things that make him who he is. I giggle every time I ask Joey what he wants to eat for dinner on a Monday and he looks at me with a straight face and says, “It’s Chicken Nugget Monday.” Sometimes I do it just to laugh because I already know what he is going to say. I love him because he loves his mom. I don’t always get the video games, but I let him go if it makes him happy. And the cleaning, well I don’t like it either so we usually have to motivate each other on that one. These are all things that come as part of him. When I think of the bigger picture, none of these things change the way I feel about him. This is the small stuff. And you should never sweat the small stuff.