I received a posting on an old blog entry that I thought I deleted, "Angry with my wife...". It is such an interesting feeling going back to old blog entries and re-reading the rage or emotion I felt over one topic or another (especially because she'll be giving birth any week now with our THIRD child), knowing that I'm about to go through the same thing all over again. The question this time around is, "will I be a jerk again and will I think her evil for the things she leans on me to do?" Or this time around, can I be a better person and a more loving husband?
Every day these past few weeks, I've had this wonderful EXCUSE of why I don't have to help, contribute, wake up in the middle of the night, take care of the kids, etc. -- that I'm spending all my time preparing for the bar exam -- and honestly, I often ask myself whether I can be better at being a good person. This is the perfect excuse because she expects so little of me (probably because she's just as afraid as I am that I might not succeed) because she wants me to focus all my energy on studying, but often enough, I'm sitting there with the books open and I see she's having a difficult time, and while sometimes I won't help because I don't want to be distracted, often to the detriment of my studies, I do help.
It's very interesting being NOT nearly close to my best, either in physical shape and form, discipline, religious observance (in terms of midot, taivas, and controlling my emotions and my habits). I am also far from being my best when it comes to being a good husband. I feel in many ways that I've left my wife out to dry, so to speak, in so many ways because I've taken on this burdensome task of studying for the bar exam, and now she feels that her parenting duties have doubled because I am no longer around. In truth, I actually think that I am just as helpful as I usually am, but the perception of the matter is that I'm not because so many evenings and mornings I am just not around when in the past I would be. I'm rambling.
I suppose what I am saying is that from taking a step back because I had to study for this exam, I've seen what a trooper my wife is. She's really wonderful, and she gives of herself way beyond her natural capabilities.
In response to "Inclusion in Art" in my posting from a little over a year ago, I no longer see my wife as manipulative or mean when she asks me to shoulder more than I already am in terms of lightening her load. She works hard and very often, she really needs a break. Case in point, she often thinks that our involvement in the parenting is off-balance; we got into a fight on Saturday morning and in anger (and exhaustion from a fight which she instigated over me using the word "taiva" in a sentence), I was drained of energy and I went back to sleep to start the day over. She didn't say anything, but from the slamming of the doors, I knew she was upset. When I woke up, a few minutes later, I saw her sneak away into the room and lay down in bed, leaving me with the kids when I would normally have gone to shul (synagogue). Instead of starting a fight, I let her sleep because I knew she needed it. When she woke up hours later, she was still upset at me and felt that it was her "turn" to take the nap and that she was justified in doing so because I took mine just a few hours earlier. However, I corrected her that I let her sleep because she looked like she needed it, turning the issue from one of right and wrong and fair and unfair to me being a good husband and her being the immature one who let the "my turn" arguments of our two-year-old rub off on her adult mindset.
In sum, husbands and wives owe a duty to be nice to each other, even when the burden one or both is shouldering is not fair. On top of that, each should go out of their way to do things for the other person just because that spouse is likely having a difficult time too. Okay, I'm not making sense and I'm sorry for giving you guys the run-on blog entry (these annoy me to no end), but in short, just be nice to each other. Seriously.