Nobody Is (SET ITAL) Just (END ITAL) A Wife

"Well, I'm just a wife," she said, with apology in her voice.
A wife, according to Webster, is: A female partner in a marriage.
That may not sound like a full-time job, but this wife's responsibilities on a job description would read something like this:
Nurture husband and children; plan, shop for and prepare meals; select and maintain family wardrobes; chauffeur; tutor; administer first-aid; coordinate calendars; volunteer; host parties; select and wrap gifts; manage household budget; supervise housecleaning, and house and lawn maintenance; manage issues resulting from physical, mental, emotional and financial stress; assist as called on; and maintain personal well-being and wifely and motherly demeanor.
Nobody is (SET ITAL) just (END ITAL) a wife.
"Well," she went on, "it's not that I would mind working, but my husband earns good money … and well, what I could earn is insignificant." She was apologizing again, this time because she was unable to match her husband's contribution, without realizing that it would be equally difficult for him to match hers.
Not only did she exhaust herself trying to keep up, she disappointed herself by not doing it with ease. After all, she wasn't working.
Whether you're a wife, a husband, a single parent, a single person looking for love or time for love, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Sometimes it seems as hard as we try, it's not enough … we're not enough.
Step back and look at your job description and add this responsibility: Reevaluate objectives and your effectiveness in meeting them by fulfilling your current responsibilities. Adjust responsibilities accordingly.
When we revisit our wife's duties as listed above, we can make a positive shift by moving "maintain personal well-being and wifely and motherly demeanor" to the top of the list. We can also drop the "and wifely and motherly demeanor."
When we make our own well-being a priority, we understand our worth. Then, we can function with more self-esteem, which translates into more efficiency and joy -- and attractiveness as a partner. And, there is nothing more valuable to pass on to our children than self-esteem.
Until we have self-esteem, we spend ourselves trying to be good enough, and making sure that others don't look too good (and, thus, make us look bad). We can't love others well until we love ourselves well.
Nobody is (SET ITAL) just (END ITAL) a wife, but, male or female, to be the partner we want to be, we have to maintain our well-being. First, we have to find it … and that looks a lot like maintaining it.
When former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton said, "I'm not some Tammy Wynette standing by my man," clearly she had no intention of leaving his side. But she wasn't (SET ITAL) just (END ITAL) standing by her man. She knew who she was and what she was doing.
We can't find ourselves while we're losing ourselves in meeting the demands of others. We have to develop an awareness of who we are to be who we are. The good news is that once you're aware of your greatness, you'll enjoy maintaining it. And, you'll enjoy loving others.
You might even condense your responsibilities to: Love well.
When you do that, you do everything else better, and you're happier doing it. You won't feel like (SET ITAL) just (END ITAL) a wife. You'll feel like what you are -- a counselor, a nurse, an administrator, the nanny of your dreams and the wife of your husband's dreams.
Your partnership will flourish, and you'll assume more responsibility. And with that, you just might sign off on a raise for yourself, hire more help and, of course, share more love.
You might even honor your partner with the role of "first lady," a lofty objective, indeed.
Jan Denise is a columnist, author of the book "Naked Relationships," speaker and coach based in Ormond by the Sea, Fla. Please e-mail her at, or visit her Web site at To find out more about Jan Denise, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Author's Bio: 

Jan Denise is a columnist, author of the book "Naked Relationships," speaker and coach based in Ormond by the Sea, Fla. Please e-mail her at, or visit her Web site at .