Wednesday, March 4, 2009

SuperSpouse

I went to a MOPS group on Monday with my new gal-pal Natalie. In case you don't know what MOPS is, it is a group for Mothers of Preschoolers, and they meet on a regular basis for moms to support one another through encouragement, mentoring, friendship, and fun. I had a really great time. The activity at this particular meeting was a Q-and-A session with the women mentors - the ladies who were a little bit older, the ones who've already "been there, done that." The questions mostly stayed on the topics of marriage and family.
We got around to talking about how we view our spouses, and how easy it is to compare them (in a negative way) to what our ideal mate would be. Sometimes that ideal mate is a fantasy, like Brad Pitt or Tim McGraw. But sometimes, that ideal mate comes in the form of our best friend's spouse. I mean, how many times have you been at a friend's house, and her husband talks to her quietly, doesn't interrupt the conversation, offers to make dinner, compliments her on everything, etc.? It has happened to me more than once. Sometimes that spouse seems so amazing that it can be easy to lift him up onto a pedestal and (unfortunately) my relationship with my own husband suffers because of it. In the back of my mind, I compare Texan Papa's shortcomings with the amazing powers of "superspouse". I realize it isn't fair to him and it only hurts our marriage. I've always said, "I try to only hold my husband up to the same level of standards to which I want him to hold me up to." So far, it helps me be okay with his imperfections when I realize that, uh, I'm not so perfect myself. (seriously! I know, I come off that way, but NO I do have some flaws.) :-)


We talked about the reality of marriage: when a guy is in front of his wife's friends, of COURSE he's not going to put all his bad traits out there on display. Of COURSE he's going to have good manners. Of COURSE he's going to talk to her sweetly and be helpful. What's going on behind the scenes is not always a mirror image of what is shown to the outside world, though, and it may be easy to think that the "superspouse" is really super 100% of the time. I mean, even Superman had to be Clark Kent every once in a while, right?

So, that got me thinking... if the superspouses possibly have a not-so-perfect side behind closed doors, I really wonder if the asshole that is married to my friend actually has a sweet, soft, gentlemanly side underneath the gruff exterior? I figure, if I love and respect my friend, and I trust her judgement in choosing me as a friend, how can I then second-guess her judgement in her choice of a husband?

Just thinking...

18 comments:

anymommy said...

Definitely possible, I think most relationships are way more complicated than any one moment someone observes. But...I do think that the way a spouse treats their partner in public is important. To me, it says something about mutual respect.

Kikit said...

i like this post. this is a good read even for someone who's still unattached like me. i've always believed that our ideal man exists. but usually, they just don't turn out to be the right one for us. :)

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Kikit, I totally agree. Thanks for coming by today!

Hair Bows & Guitar Picks said...

I really like this post...you are so right.

I know for a fact my hubby really does it up in front of people and I always call him on it :)

Debbi said...

Great post!!!!

Anna See said...

i've wondered the same thing during those, "what does she see in him" moments.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

He just might be great--you never know but there was a reason she married him after all!

Great post :)

MeadowLark said...

I live that lie.
I mean, Husband is a great guy, but he's totally not the "amazing superspouse" that he appears to be when we have guests. It makes me soooooo mad!!!!

I on the other hand am an idiot because I act exactly the same whether we have company or not. And I've been known to say that when I first meet someone I'm at my worst - that way if they can still stand me it's worth the effort to build a friendship.

This is not a good theory, btw. :)

Ryan@Cool Dad Central said...

Thanks for the positive Dad PR! We try our best.

Karly said...

I think everyone is a little different behind closed doors!

Jen said...

it kinda makes you wonder.......

Sturgmom said...

I'll be honest- I LOVE hearing about it when my dear friend and her "superspouse" get into it. Not b/c I wish her ill will in any way, but b/c it reminds me that they're NORMAL and NORMAL people conflict once in awhile.
No one's perfect. Least of all me!

Every Day Goddess said...

Superspouse is hilarious!! Mine is not a super spouse, but he is mine and I will keep him.

I always remind my newly wed friends that you cannot live with someone 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year and like them all the time. It is just not possible (at least in my world). Reminding myself of the reasons why I do like him helps me get through those other days, weeks (maybe a year!)times :)

Jennifer said...

This is what I always think when people tell me how great my husband is. Yeah, but you're not here all the time and you don't know everything. I think it is good to remember that NO ONE's life is perfect.

The Cookie Girl said...

Just stopping by from SITS

I really like this post. My hubby isn't perfect but he is definately my knight in shining armour. God sure knew what he was doing when he brought him into my life. Let's face it....It takes someone like him to handle a Southern Gal like me. :)

Natalie said...

very good post. i was thinking very similar things after the meeting! i have often thought, "wonder why she REALLY married him"...

btw, thanks for all of the linky love lately!!!

Anti-Supermom said...

Great post. If you ask me, no way does the 'Superspouse' even exist :)

Pinky said...

Yep. I think that when he acts like a a-hole in front of others..it may a low self-esteem issue, etc. Of course, he could just be an a-hole!

I do think they have a tender side that endears them to the women that love them. I've seen it in my extended family. Hopefully it doesn't become abusive. I've seen that, too.