In my spare time (ha!) I stalk the Duggars and read blogs of polygamist Mormon women.
(If you’ve never binge-watched Big Love while considering which of your girlfriends you could bear to live with, you’re missing out!)
OK, it’s partly because they DOWNRIGHT FASCINATING, but I also think I’m hunting for something.
Something between the dogma and the religious righteousness. Something wholesome. A secret. Something about being a good wife.
A good wife.
I don’t think I’ve ever been one of those
I’m a second time ’round wife, who lost her first husband because she wasn’t quite enough (or too much, or not right, or something…)
I don’t bake. I can’t even drive a manual.
I am sick more than I am well.
I clean the house in fits of fury and indignation in an irregular fashion.
Our last wedding anniversary I even forgot to buy a card. (I hate cards given on actual events. I have some reaction I don’t have on any random dates, just like with flowers.)
Above all, I think I’m just Really High Maintenance.
I want spontaneity in my love life and stability for my children, total devotion without being suffocated, swinging from the chandelier afternoons or macaroons, but you have to guess which one with no indication and if you get it wrong I’ll be sulky and stroppy, but you can’t ever be cranky.
I’m the antithesis of the perfect wife.
I’m one dodgy wife.
So, why do I fill my spare moments up with this waterfall TV family viewing of everything I’m not?
As someone who was formerly married to a man from a strict religious background, I have absolutely no desire to ever be married to religion again. I believe, in what I believe in. I have a church, and a Father who wears Converse. My relationship with the Almighty is tight. So, it’s not that.
I think I need to look at this stuff because I actually don’t know what marriage looks like at 8, 12, 17 years. My husband and I found each other pretty late in the game.
We won’t ever get a 50 year anniversary, because we wasted all that time before the night we met, sighed with relief, laughed until we nearly cried, and traded hearts. What’s more, my first marriage only lasted three years. When my (now) husband and I got to our fifth year, I panicked.
My Mum and Dad were only married for 7 and I’m pretty sure I heard the phrase “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” every day from the time my Mum stopped crying until, well, yesterday.
I have NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING HERE, PEOPLE!
But my husband does. He’s done a 12-year stint before.
He thinks I’m lovely.
He says being married to me is constantly interesting.
He once told me the most exciting thing about being my husband is that I wake up every day and don’t need him. Which means I choose him. Which he finds comfort in.
Let’s thank goodness for that because there’s not much comfort in my culinary skills, my homemaker capabilities, or even my capacity to be selfless in my marriage.
When we got to six years married, and I didn’t know what to expect next, my husband arranged for us to be married again. I got an invitation to my own re-wedding. I rocked up in my cowgirl boots. Our Converse-wearing Father smiled his way through another ceremony. Our baby slept through it on his sister’s shoulder
My Mother rolled her eyes.
I may not know what I’m doing, but I’m sure doing it with the right man.
Maybe I’m not one dodgy wife.
Maybe I just wasn’t married to the right husband.
Jay Crisp Crow
Yep, really my name