My husband and I aren’t perfect. In our marriage I am in constant battle between my conservative Chinese culture and free spirited American upbringing. So how can I write this guide? It’s because I know the best qualities in Chinese and American cultures, and even though my marriage is very far from perfect, I work hard to get it a little closer everyday. This is not only a guide to find a good husband or spouse but also the guide to the wife I want to be.
Honor. Definition: regard with great respect. The biggest challenge I have with my husband is how very, very, very deep I have to honor him. It must be the foundation of the relationship and cracks can destroy it. When I was young, I thought I would have a husband just like Prince Charming. He would slay dragons to save me, build a castle for us to live in, and we would host lavish balls that all our friends would come to. My experience having a husband has not been anything like what I thought when I was young. I never thought I would have to honor Prince Charming when he decided to be a police officer and I was always against having guns in the house, or when he got back on his motorcycle after his good friend passed away in a motorcycle accident, or when the tests for down syndrome of our unborn child came back high risk. Honor is open communication but not necessarily agreeing. He must honor everything that is important to you, family, friends, religion, health, career, aspirations, hobbies, culture…everything.
Provide. Definition: to supply means of support. This one is simple. When you marry your husband you are both now the co-owners of a business called your life. You both must work together and use your strengths and talents to have a successful life. You want your husband to have the motivation and intelligence to do whatever is necessary to accomplish this. The range of tasks is massive and spans from earning more money by taking a second job, to taking out the garbage, to making dumpling stickers for a Chinese lucky envelope business.
Romance. Definition: a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. You must be attracted to his mind, body, and personality. It doesn’t have to be in equal parts but some mix. He must be thoughtful. You should be able to laugh together. Romance is the internal smile when you see his number on your caller ID, the warm feeling when he does something for you unexpectedly, the tingly feeling when you think about sex with him. This is the part of love that is crazy, fun, and doesn’t always make sense.
Did I miss anything?
My parents would have liked me to marry a doctor or lawyer because these careers are regarded in the Chinese culture as stable and successful. I married a police officer who owns a hot dog shop. He likes anything that drives fast, junk food, and Nike sneakers. He probably wasn’t the person my parents (or I) thought I would marry. Through all our differences and imperfections, he is always up for date night, eats my gluten and dairy-free cooking, helped take care of my grandparents, supports the vision for my blog, etc, etc.
It doesn’t matter their career, where they are from, or how they got here, just as long as they honor, provide, and romance you.
Happy Belated Valentine’s Day,