Sequestered in their calm domestic bower, They sat together. He in manhood’s prime And she a matron in her fullest flower. The mantel clock gave forth a warning chime. She put her work aside; his bright cigar Grew pale, and crumbled in an ashen heap. The lights went out, save one remaining star That watched beside the children in their sleep. She hummed a little song and nestled near, As side by side they went to their repose. His arm about her waist, he whispered “Dear,” And pressed his lips upon her mouth’s full rose— The sacred sweetness of their wedded life Breathed in that kiss of husband and of wife.
~Domestic Bliss, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Before a girl marries she has dreams and ideas about how her home will be one day. I had mine planned right
down to the color of the kitchen cabinets and tea-time at three o’clock in the afternoon everyday.
We girls dream of how we will run it, how it will be ordered and how things will be in our very own home.What many of us do not take into consideration is the fact that the husband in the home will likely have his own opinions and ideas about how he wants things done in his home. And those ideas just might not line up completely with yours. Even with my very easy-going, laid-back husband, there have been a few bumps in the road in our journey towards domestic bliss.
Here is an example of domestic dreams clashing:
As I have mentioned before, my husband is an avid and dedicated hunter. I fulfilled one of his dreams by not only having land to hunt on (for free!) but also that I like venison (or deer meat, as we call it). His mother has never been able to eat deer meat, no matter how it is prepared, so having a wife that liked what he brought home meant a lot to him.
Being the avid hunter that he is, my Jacob likes to have his trophies stuffed and mounted and displayed on the walls of our home. His mom has always loved this aspect of hunting and joyfully displays all of the trophies that her husband and until recently, her son would bring home.
Unfortunately, mounts are not my cup of decorating tea. My father and brothers have always hunted, but the extent of their trophy keeping was to mount the skull and antlers on the shop wall. While I love the rustic country look—which is how I have most of my home decorated—mounts on the wall have never really appealed to me except in a man’s office or study. But not in my livingroom….Trophy mounts were not in my plans.
Guess what? When I married my sweet Jacob not only did I get him, but also his small herd of mounts. At the time it was only Dasher and Dancer (a whitetail buck and an axis buck), but soon our game preserve will welcome Wilbur (a Pineywoods hog skull) and Billy, a Corsican ram’s head. (Those are my nicknames for them—don’t tell Jacob! ;) )
Our apartment back home is about half the size of where we are living now and we are running out of wall space. It was really starting to bother me because it didn’t fit into MY plans, it didn’t match up with what I wanted, I didn’t want to seem like a redneck, I, ME, MY……..What’s wrong with this picture? Yes, there is a lot of ME and MY opinions in it.
I had to stop and remember that it’s not just my home, it’s our home. If I had wanted a house where I got everything my way and completely to my tastes, I shouldn’t have gotten married.
One of my responsibilities as a wife is to be the homemaker—to make our house a home. We as homemakers are supposed to make our homes havens and places of joy and relaxation for our families. It should be a pleasure to come home because that is where you are most comfortable and where the things that matter to you and are important to you are. I have to remember that what may not be important to me, may be very important to my husband. Something that might be a source of irritation for me may the thing that really makes our dwelling feel like home to him.
And to be honest, my wonderful husband lets me have my way in everything concerning the house—except the mounts. Those are the only things he asked for and really wanted. Sure, I could have thrown a fit and insisted that we leave them at his parent’s house and he probably would have eventually given in to me.But it means a lot to him to be able to display his trophies in his own home. It helps make it home. Just like the things that mean a lot to me—my great grandmother’s dishes, the doilies that I made—help make it home. He doesn’t complain about the feminine touches I’ve added here and there. It convicts me about how I’ve felt about his things.
Marriage is about two people compromising on their desires and giving in to each other. And not just “Ok, I’ll let YOU win this time, but I’m not going to let you forget it!” It means to do it without grudging or complaining. It’s about thinking about the other person and what is important to them and putting them first before yourself. No one said it would be easy, but everyone says how wonderful the rewards of it are.
Domestic bliss is not something that just “happens” when you return from your honeymoon or after you’ve been married a while. You have to work for it and sometimes the work is hard. You have to deny yourself—no one likes doing that! But if you are committed to making things work, you’ll do whatever is necessary, no matter how much of an inconvenience it is to you personally.
So I’ve decided to get over my dislike for trophy mounts in the livingroom because Jacob likes them. I’ve decided to start taking even more pride in what a great hunter he is and to appreciate his trophies.
That doesn’t mean that I’ll stop being concerned about wall space though!;)
EOA # 20