A Good Wife

Dear Sailor,

If you have any sense in your head, you are looking for a good spouse. It is not an easy path. I spent a good portion of my first several years in the Navy foolishly in the hunt for an acceptable wife. I was horrible at it. I hurt some good women in that process, and I got hurt a lot too.

For a long time (it seems) I was busy chasing the idea of an acceptable wife when in reality God had hand-picked a good wife for me. I want you to understand the difference between "acceptable" and "good." Not merely acceptable. Alicia has proven over and over again to be a very good woman.

Alicia isn't someone who will tell you she's good at something. She's too humble herself for that. But I am her husband and I like bragging about her. Here's what she is best at: When I come home at the end of a day at work, she can almost instantly gauge my status and know what I need. On good days, she allows the kids to tackle me, and on bad days, she helps redirect them to other things so I can get my bearings. Furthermore, she is an excellent listener. We almost always spend the first 15-20 minutes after I get home just talking. She makes it a priority and that helps me a great deal as I process my day. And since I communicate in more pragmatic ways, she is also very good at helping me find the answer to problems at work. Sometimes, of course, that backfires, especially when she points out how I failed a particular situation. Such is life. I'll take the humility that comes with that in order to get the overwhelming good that comes from a good listener. Actually, even the humility is good. She points out my faults lovingly and with a goal to make me better. And it has worked!

I'd like to think that I'm doing pretty good as a husband as well, although I'm far from where I want to be (and where Alicia wants me to be I'm sure). Still, I have my strengths, and I know what they are.

Things weren't always this way. We went through some very ugly times as we adjusted to each other, and I spiraled out of control for awhile. I hurt Alicia for some time before I realized what God had given me. That was a very humbling moment. It is not every day that God breaks you in order to make you realize what he's given you. Yet I'm grateful for that time period in my life.

Before I digress further, let me bring it to a point. You need a good spouse for a good marriage. When you have that good spouse, you will have to realize that a good marriage is not easy. If it was, I wouldn't have had to write the previous paragraph. But it can come. Put in the work and enjoy the fruits of a good marriage.
Alicia, I am extremely grateful for you and our time together. We have a great relationship, great kids, and a great life. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I hope you can enjoy our anniversary day. I love you! 

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