Building Character in Your Spouse

When Brent and I were first married (6 months to be exact), we were asked to share our story with a gathering of coworkers. We thought it would be fun to begin with a bit of humor. We called it “Building Character in Your Spouse.” Hope you enjoy!
Building Character–Maggie’s Version:
  • While grocery shopping, insist that you buy random spices like, “cream of tartar.” When questioned whether or not you need it, say “Of course I do…I saw it in the cookbook this week.” Then be sure to leave it unopened in the cabinet for at least 6 months. (I have to say, that nearly two years later, I have yet to open that Cream of Tartar.)
  • While cooking dinner, experiment with your spices. Be sure to use every spice in your cabinet (except the cream of tartar of course) and by all means, whatever the recipe book calls for, just go ahead and double it. View your meal as a craft and see how many different colors you can change your food. (BTW—a ½ cup of cumin changes pasta a really cool earthy brown color—it almost looks shimmery in the light.)
  • Wear a pair of your husband’s socks and when he asks, say, “Sorry babe, but mine are all dirty.” Then be sure to wait until all his are dirty before doing laundry.
  • Beg your husband for a pet fish. When he finally gives in, insist that you actually need two more fish and a snail. Make a deal with him. If he feeds the fish, you’ll wash out the bowls. Then be sure to put off washing out the bowls until the fish are barely visible in the murky water. When your husband complains about your lack of responsibility, let him know what you really need is a pet mouse. (Just so you know, we did end up getting a mouse and named it “Nelly.” However, once I found out I was pregnant with Gideon, I lost all interest in the mouse. We then gave it away to my nieces, and soon after Nelly grew a tumor and was kindly released into the wild.)
Building Character–Brent’s Version:

  • Snore. When asked politely to turn over on your side, do so…for three seconds. Then turn over on your back again and…snore. What until nudged a couple of times, then murmur groggily, “Okay, okay, I’m turning over…” but this time remain on your back and continuing snoring. Dismiss your wife’s nudges until she speaks sharply. Then roll over on your side while mumbling, “Well, you don’t have to be so mean about it.” Repeat this process throughout the night. Don’t forget to mention first thing when you wake up, “Boy, I sure didn’t get much sleep last night…someone kept waking me up!”
  • Purchase the board game “Sequence.” Persuade your wife to play with you. Proceed to stomp her in the game, letting her win only occasionally. (It’s important to let her win from time to time so she’ll continue playing with you.) When she does win, mention things like, “You had some really lucky cards.” When you win, say things like, “Yeah…I really had a great strategy.”
  • Go grocery shopping with your wife. Insist that the Great Value ice cream is just as good as Breyers or Ben & Jerry’s. If she remains un-persuaded by your brilliant reasoning, challenge her to a blind-folded taste test.

  • Wait until your wife has finished loading the dishwasher. Then go behind her and completely rearrange all of her hard-work. Be sure to point out your outstanding organizational skills and gloat over the fact that you were able to fit in three more forks than she was.


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