General Fiction posted July 13, 2016

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New Definition of an old definiton

A Wife

by jusylee72

What is a wife Contest Winner 

I want to be a good wife.
I want to be myself.
I want my husband to feel loved, admired, desirable.
I don't want to give up myself to be loved.

Financially, I can make it on my own.
I am educated.
I don't have to be married.
I want to be married.

I respond when my husband is needy.
I know when he is unhappy.
I know his greatest regrets.
I know his failures.

what a big little word,

the conjunction that negates my other words.

I want to be me.

I don't want to pretend I can cook.
I am not a good cleaner.
I don't put on lipstick before he comes home.

Lipstick was a five o'clock ritual with Mom.
She told me once, "You have to look good for your husband. He expects it."

She was brilliant. Paid for her own college. Had a degree in Chemistry. Painted beautiful pictures. Believed in her children. Overcame abuse as a child. Became a stay at home wife as soon as she had children.

I repeat; Became a stay at home wife as soon as she had children.

I wonder how frustrating that was. It was obvious she loved us. Protected us. She sewed surprise Christmas gifts for us each year. She searched for hobbies to keep her busy.

My father was an officer in the Air Force. He died as a retired "Full Bird Colonel". Mom was the military wife who organized events. When my Father's crew was awarded the "Fair-child Trophy", she was interviewed on the Today Show. Dad was introduced in the audience of the Jack Parr show.

Life was always about his career, his needs. Mom didn't complain.

They loved each other.

They accepted each other.

Dad was also a survivor. He grew up with an angry, single mom during the depression. He joined the service young. He flew planes in World War Two, B- 52's in the Korean Conflict. He was
in the air over Cuba during the Cuban Crisis. During my teenage years, he was gone, stationed in Thailand, during the Vietnam War.

Dad had a beautiful singing voice. It was similar to Andy Williams, warm and sincere. When he was in boot camp, his trainer ordered him to sing to a special tree everyday. In another life, he could have been a professional singer. I don't think that was an option as he grew up in the small town of Cambridge, Nebraska.

I don't think my Mom ever used the word sacrifice when she talked of her life. I don't think she ever realized the career she could have built. I don't think it mattered. I think they made their own decisions. I do think that it was natural back then to put Dad first.

Which leads me to now.

Am I selfish to want to put both of us first? Is that even possible?

Can the definition of wife be "someone who wants her husband to become the best person they can be"?

Can the definition of husband be "You too sweetie, go for it."

Can the definition of Marriage be "Compromise, your turn, go for it, oops someone has to take care of the children, my turn, who makes dinner, eat out tonight, let's have sex, see you some time tomorrow, don't forget it's your day to pick up the baby, We have to move where for your promotion?, Bank is overdrawn, You forgot to transfer money. Can we have sex?, Tommy's teacher called again, Can we have sex? , Started my diet today, the dog needs worming, Do you still think I'm sexy? You can't be pregnant! Oh, twins. Water heater is broken. Mom called, she needs you to trim her trees. We haven't had sex in two weeks. Can't you load the dishwasher properly? Do you still love me?"

Role models in marriage made life easier for my parents. They raised three successful daughters, who have raised successful children of their own.

Maybe that is the one connecting factor,

Raise your children to know that they are wonderful. Tell them they can be whatever they want to be. Raise them to know that they are loved. Raise them to know that everyone has to compromise.

If they choose marriage, tell them one simple thing.

Love your spouse as they are. Define your own marriage.


Writing Prompt
Wife - The world has changed. The expectations have changed from one generation to another. I was a teenager in the seventies. We were the first generation of women who were told they could be anything they wanted to be. Yet, our examples of women were stay at home moms. My mother both broke barriers and lived barriers. She became a chemist in the 1940's. However, as soon as she became a mother, she left her career to raise her children. Women are still searching for that perfect balance. Our men still need us to admire and love them and we often choose to do just that instead of following our own paths. Humans are complicated and wonderful, confusing and complex. What is the new definition of wife?

What is a wife
Contest Winner
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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