Want a Fair Marriage?

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What makes a marriage fair?
A while before my first husband died, I thought it was unfair he wouldn’t take on consulting work, like other professors did. We needed the money. In the months right before his death, I thought it was unfair he wouldn’t accept a semester of disability pay, allowing him to take on more work at home but less work overall with no loss in pay.
Then he died, and I had to do without his salary at all. So I worked hard, focused my efforts, increased my hours, paid a housekeeper, and doubled my income in twelve months. Now I wonder just how fair I had been, working at only half my ability all those years.
Before he died, I thought it was unfair I had to make all the phone calls about the house we were building, because I spent two and a half hours a day driving to and from work. We lived near his job. He got home in less than 15 minutes. We didn’t have cell phones. Car time was useless time.
Then he died, and I realized there was no way I could afford to spend two and a half hours a day driving, so I moved my job closer to my house. It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I believed it would be. How unfair had I been to him, wasting all that time driving and bugging him about making phone calls. He hated making phone calls, while I made them easily.
What would you do if you had to do it all yourself? How would you pay the bills? How would you keep your kids healthy? How would you entertain yourself? How would you maintain your carpets and your gutters? How would you keep learning? How would you make sure you had other adults to talk to, other parents to help out in an emergency?
If you’re not doing these things now, have you noticed how incredibly fortunate you are to be in such an unfair marriage? People who do are happier and enjoy their marriages more. Expect love. Any other expectations just make you miss the sweetness of being loved.

About the author

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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  • That’s one inspiring post. I’m using only 1 to 1,5 hours a day to get to work and back, but I know there are days I wouldn’t have to. I could work, say, in our local library 15 minutes away from our home. A minute saved is a minute earned.

By Patty Newbold

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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