Last night we watched the movie The Wife. I highly recommend it, but if you’re a male be prepared to think about your lot in life.
I was cringing pretty much the whole time I was watching the movie. And I cringed cause it had me wondering how much I’ve been propped up by Tracey. So much of my success is due to Tracey, and this movie got me thinking about how much she has, and continues to, sacrifice for me and the family. She had a really big exciting career working alongside the Olympics travelling the globe and gave it up to raise a family. And to this day she will say it was the best decision and has no regrets. But still, she did it.
So as I ponder my lot in life as it relates to my wife I cannot help but be a big ol bag of mixed emotions. I have so much respect and admiration for so many things she does or is capable of doing. I am always in awe of her multifacetedness (new word) - she creates beauty in any medium. She can solve any problem. She is a wild hybrid of uber-artistic and relentlessly linear, she can jump from painting to spreadsheeting (also new) in a moments notice. She has a wicked sense of humour and a sad affliction with puns. I love her to bits and could easily fill screen upon screen with lists of respect and admiration for Tracey.
But. Back to me. 😉
As I continue to go thru the various treatments I continue to find myself being less capable, or requiring extra assistance. My mind isn’t as sharp, I have intense fatigue, I cannot lift anything heavy, my diet can be complex, occasionally I am not allowed to drive and I have a lot of medical appointments.
In short my wife now has to pick up the pieces and prop me up yet again. And she does it without complaint or fail. She does it because we have a great partnership and she has my best interest at heart. Also she said yes to ‘in sickness and in health’ 22 years ago. My best negotiation yet!
So the movie hit me hard in two ways.
First, my public success was never mine to bask in without her. She put her efforts towards the three of us and my part of the equation was to do the best work I could to ensure we had financial security. A perfect partnership that needs more weight on her side of the scale from a recognition perspective…although truth be told she would take any accolades in any way. That’s Tracey.
The second thought around how the movie got into my mind centres around the sacrifices my wife is presently making to prop me up and keep me moving forward. Again it’s a team effort but the role of caregiver is about as thankless as the role of mother. Incredibly important and challenging and rewarding but often under appreciated.
So for those men that want to get all introspective and really appreciate their relationship this is the perfect movie. I just hope it pulls out your admiration and respect for your wife - and that you share it with her.
She deserves it.
Everyone needs a wife; even wives need wives. Wives tend, they hover. Their ears are twin sensitive instruments, satellites picking up the slightest scrape of dissatisfaction. Wives bring broth, we bring paper clips, we bring ourselves and our pliant, warm bodies. We know just what to say to the men who for some reason have a great deal of trouble taking consistent care of themselves or anyone else. “Listen,” we say. “Everything will be okay.” And then, as if our lives depend on it, we make sure it is.
Meg Wolitzer, The Wife
PS this movie couldn’t have come at s better time as our society rassles with gender equality.
PPS Happy Anniversary tomorrow my sweat princess…😉