This month’s book club selection was the book “Committed,” which we all hated for various reasons, but which sparked a lot of conversation, probably more so than any other book we’ve read. The main theme of the book is basically “Why bother to get married if you’re already in a long term, committed relationship?”
(Obligatory side note about how it’s nice to have the option)
This thread of conversation – which is of far too much length to be of any interest here — resulted in one of my good friends asking me if I had heard about “The Husband Project.” My loose understanding is that it’s basically an effort to do one nice thing a day for your spouse, for the purposes of preventing your marriage from descending into interactions more befitting two roommates than two life partners. (Apparently, there’s more to it, but frankly neither one of us is willing to shell out actual money for marital bliss, so we’re going with the abstract version posted on the website.)
Anyway, the concept seems simple enough, and there was a five day “Mini Project” on the website that was available for free, so we decided to try it out and see how it went. What the hell, right?
Day One: “Maybe This Isn’t For Us”
Ok, so, here’s the list of our daily projects:
- Create 30 minutes of free time for your husband when we gets home
- Initiate an activity that your husband used to love. Whether it’s his favorite hobby, sport, or pastime, it’s time for you to get involved – be his buddy today.
- Say something nice about your husband to someone else. Make sure you tell him what you said, and to whom.
- Get a food treat for your husband that he’s not required to share with you or any other family member.
- Send a flirty text or e-mail to your husband.
Review of the projects lead to the following conversation:
Me: “Ok, I’m mostly kidding when I say this, but project #4 I like to call: “Every single time I grocery shop, which is by the way every week”
Her: “Too funny. I was just thinking I do #1 almost every damn day. Maybe this isn’t for us”
That should have been an indication that we are so not the type of people who should undertake this type of thing, but, you know, it’s not like the projects were particularly tasking, so: off we went. Day 1: 30 minutes, free time. On it.
Texts messages that night between the two of us showed that she had picked up her daughter from day care, enabling her husband to keep working, and I had walked the dog and started dinner while he vegged in front of the World’s Most Annoying TV Show.
This type of behavior is otherwise known as “Your Typical Monday.”
Flash forward two months: I’d like to tell you that we finished the five day mini project, but we totally did not. We were both happy on Day 1 to think of doing something nice for our spouses, and most of the other projects were easy enough to accomplish and fun, but we totally had to bail on the “Do an activity he used to like before you were married.” (I briefly contemplating offering to go to a bar and pick up chicks with him, but thought that might end poorly, so instead we went for a run together. Which is cheating, in that we do that anyways, but, hell, I don’t make the rules, right?) I suppose this makes us slight failures, at least we were able to take it in the spirit it was intended, which I understand to be, basically: “Remember to not be a jerk all the time, and all will be well”