Well, for every mention of the word “I,” my wife is there in the background, doing something little to make sure it all happens. She’ll cook a great meal, do something amazing for our kids, come up with a plan for some purchase we have to make, or simply be there in the moment with a great smile and a hug.
It’s pretty simple – without Sarah in my life, I would never be able to reach for my dreams. She provides so much of the foundation of our day-to-day life in many subtle ways – and, from my perspective, it is these subtle things that build the foundation of a strong, financially stable marriage.
Here are twelve little things that she does to make it all work. If you want a checklist of little things to do to help your marriage click, this can seriously help.
She listens. When I have something to say that’s actually of any importance, she listens. She stops and considers what I have to say, and she incorporates that into what she’s thinking. She doesn’t simply discard it, but she doesn’t adopt it as gospel, either – she simply listens and actually absorbs my thoughts.
She’s not afraid to say what she thinks. On the other side of that coin, she’s not afraid to say exactly what she thinks. If she thinks I have a good idea, she’ll say so – but if she thinks it’s bad, she’ll say that, too, and support it with reasons. Such open and equal give and take enables us to constantly come to the best decisions for us – in our money, in our work, and in other aspects of our lives.
She’s honest about her mistakes. No one is perfect, and neither is she. However, when she does mess up, she’s willing to admit it. She’ll say things like, “I just didn’t get it done. Sometimes I’m lazier than I’d like to be.” That simple effort in admitting to mistakes makes it much, much easier for us to work together to overcome the problem.
She picks up the slack when I leave it behind. On the other side of that coin, there are often times where some responsibility of mine will interrupt things. I have a phone interview. I have a television interview. I need to get a piece of writing submitted somewhere. Whenever these things occur, Sarah always just steps up. She knows that if I succeed, she succeeds – and I know the reverse is true.
She’ll go over things as many times as I need to. Sometimes I don’t pick up on things. I’ll put things in the wrong place in the pantry. I’ll not get the towels washed, or I’ll forget to use the cold rinse on the cloth diapers. Instead of going ballistic, she just checks to see if I did things the appropriate way and, if I did not, she just reminds me of how to do it. She does it so coolly and calmly that the only upset I feel is at myself for not picking up on the right way to do things.
She has a good sense of humor and a lot of tolerance of my own foibles. Along those same lines, she just rolls with who I am. She laughs at (or at least tolerates) my goofy jokes. She knows the things I’m good at and the things I’m not good at – and worries more about accentuating the positive instead of eliminating the negative.
She understands and is committed to spending less than we earn. We sit down and talk about our financial goals all the time – and she’s similarly committed to putting our financial life on a good path. Thus, our choices are in sync – I’m not worried that she’s out there spending money in ways that are undoing my work – and vice versa.
She’ll make good career suggestions – but isn’t hurt if I don’t take them. My wife reads The Simple Dollar and often has suggestions for improvements on it – ways to market it, post ideas, and so forth. (She also sometimes laughs at the things I do to protect people’s privacy.)
She encourages me to grow – and makes room for it. She gives me breathing room for my hobbies and gives me “alone time” when I need it. That “me” time is the time I use for reading, meditating, and personal growth – which are all key for keeping me sane.
If something is clearly a good deal, she’s enthusiastic about pursuing it. She does almost all of the real nitty-gritty bargain hunting when we make major purchases. She also is the one who will find new and useful ways to expand our search and comes up with good criteria to search on. For example, with our car purchase, she was the one who suggested that we include new cars in the search, which eventually led us to discover that in the current car market new cars have tremendous advantages.
She’s there beside me when things are good and when things are bad. When something good happens, she’s there. When something bad happens, she’s there. She doesn’t back away, regardless of how things are doing. She’s just a steady constant, because she knows that we’re going to be there for each other no matter what happens.
She revels in the simple things in life. It doesn’t require an expensive gift or a fancy dinner to impress her – in fact, she’s happy with a spaghetti dinner and a potted plant for Mother’s Day. She’d far rather lay out on the grass or play with the kids than go out on the town or go shopping.
All together, she makes this crazy ride work. And for that, I’m forever thankful.