Friday, September 2, 2011

World's Best Husband

Special thanks to Matthew Croke for a guest post today!
I was at Denny’s restaurant on my lunch break, enjoying a turkey club sandwich, an iced tea, and reading the newspaper. Sitting in a booth by myself, still having another 35 minutes to go on my break, and kids away at school miles away from where I work.  I was in a peaceful state.  That’s when I heard it from the booth behind me.

“Mike has been such a jerk lately, if he wants to keep putting his friends above me, why did he even get married.  It’s like pulling teeth to have him stay home.” Said the woman whose voice sounded to be in her mid thirties.

“Consider yourself lucky.  Bill’s home all the time and all he does is watch TV.  Last night he asked to eat in front of the baseball game and then expected me to clean up his dishes when he was done.” Said the second woman.

My lunch was ruined.  I was angry and sad at the same time.  I felt like getting up, walking over to that booth and asking both women to marry me right then and there. 

 “Ladies, I use to be a good husband.” I would say on one knee “Marry me, and I will stay home with you, I will turn off the television, I will clean up my own dishes, and we shall go out afterwards and dance until midnight to the sounds of Dave Brubeck.”

I paid my check and left Denny’s very melancholy.  How could these guys treat their wives so?  Didn’t they know how lucky they were to have their companions still alive?  How dare all these people who are married treat their spouses with disrespect.  And yet, the guy whose would dote on his wife is a widower. 

I carried this anger all through out the rest of the day.  Then, on the drive home while I had the radio off, I felt the tears coming of anger, sadness, and pity of the greatness of my husbandhoodness that was being wasted.  Finally, I got my head together and said out loud to myself, “You’re full of crap.  You were no better and you know it.”

For the past few years my memories have strayed into rewriting memories.  I have turned regret of not fully appreciating my wife to false memories of me being this great husband who is alone.  I’ve done it because it hurts less when I think the world has done me great injustice instead of looking myself in the mirror.

I have to keep an eye out on this, I cannot let myself drift father and father into what is false realities and unreal expectations.  If that happens, I will create such a cyclone of anger trying to live a life that not only doesn’t exist, but never did.


  1. Matthew, I've felt those same pains many, many times while listening to people complain about their relationships. Why must I be left to dote on my wife while others who are still married "suffer" from all this spousal injustice? I'd give my left foot for a good fight with my sweetie about my lack of participation in the kitchen or my callous disregard to her TV-watching preferences. I'd love to be "miserable" with her again. But that's just not in the cards.

    Nice to read this, Matthew. Thanks.

  2. What a powerful, candid post! Thought provoking... Thanks for sharing.

  3. Matthew,I own up to not being the greastest wife and my husband not being the best. When I hear spouses complaing or arguing,like Chris I think be gratful you have a spouse!I want to shake them.

  4. Ditto. I would give everything I have to let him watch whatever he wants on TV, wait on him hand and foot, cook elaborate meals on weeknights and I would do it all and be grateful for the chance just to sleep next to him one more night.
    One year out this week.

  5. There are soooo many people in this world that I have wanted to shake in the last two years. Neither of us were perfect but we knew and appreciated what we had together. When I hear the complainers it makes me miss him so very much more. I loved him when he was here..but it's taking me a long time to move to being grateful and content for having had him for so long. Maybe one day....

  6. How beautiful, how honest.
    I watch couples now and I often find myself wanting to say - every little annoyance will become meaningless the minute you lose them>
    My husband used to joke he was "the best husband in the world" and you know what? He was pretty damn close. He was loving, generous, kind, a great father, friend, lover. I was so very lucky to have him and I would give up everything I have to have him back. He wasn't perfect but he was mine.
    I would bet you are the same. Pretty damn good. It is human nature to take for granted that we have always had, but once you lose it - you know better. I will never take my life or those I love for granted again. Everyday - i spread the love around so when I die they will know.
    Thanks so much for the truth.

  7. “You’re full of crap. You were no better and you know it.”
    Haha! Awesome!
    It is amazing how we(I) have idealized our relationships.
    I'm at 16 months but it was about a year before it started bothering me less to hear couples bickering over or about each other. Because I KNOW we did it as well!

    I like to think that if I ever find my way through this nightmare called widowhood, and am lucky enough to fall in love again that it might just be a perfect relationship. :) Realizing how fragile life is and living with regrets and wanting our spouses back so dearly. I hope all of these things will make the small stuff invisible, and the mundane aspects of life and relationships become all that much sweeter.

  8. I agree Being alone stinks . I used to think my husband would outlive me. I was wrong . He died waiting for a heart transplant. All the hours at the doctor's office's . At least he came home with me and we would order out because he knew I was tired and couldn't cook. Now that I have cleaned everything in site there's no one and nothing to do.Sometimes I think I hear him yelling at me to sit down for five minutes and let's talk. I wish he was here to say that to me . These days are so long being alone I just can't marry again and go through this awful feeling of visiting the graves. Oh yes didn't I say I was a widow at 28. I met my second husband at a club with my cousin I was 28 and needed to get out . I met him and we married when I was 30. I have a Daughter from my first husband and a son by my second husband. they get along but it's like I have two families. My Daughter and her relatives. my son and his relatives. It's hard because I don't belong in either now that my husbands are both gone. Like I said It stink's to be alone.