How well do you know your wife or significant other? After all those years together, are you confident in your knowledge about the woman in your life? Up until today, I would of answered yes. Now thanks to those stupid Cosmopolitan magazine quizzes I am not so sure. I guess my relationship with Cosmo is still not paying off even after all of these years.
You see, this magazine is the sole reason I chose to embarrass myself by joining the high school swim team and prancing around in a Speedo. One evening I was covering the local swim meet for the school paper and noticed how the girls gathered around and read fashion magazines in between races. Being smarter than the average bear, I reasoned this could be my “in” to girl time so I quickly learned how to do the backstroke.
At first the plan worked to perfection. Considering I was like a brick in the water, this meant I normally had only swam in one event leaving me plenty of opportunities to answer questions on celebrity crushes, rules for breaking up with someone and what lipstick fits your personality. The girls felt they were unlocking the male brain and I thought I was getting closer to an actual date. Sadly, both of us were mistaken.
All the Cosmo quizzes got me back in high school was the friend card and a girl crying on my shoulder when their jerk of a boyfriend broke up with them. Fast forward to present day and the results have me wondering how well I pay attention to my spouse. I thought the only time I disengaged was on Sunday afternoons during football season, but maybe I do not realize how often my eyes glaze over and I go off to my happy place.
Thinking this had to be some sort of fluke, I Google “How Well Do You Know Your Wife Quiz” and decided to press my luck. Some tests were so easy an untrained monkey could pass them causing me not to put a lot of stock in the results. Then you had others that were more challenging than taking the SAT’s. Their sole goal was to make the male feel like the ultimate goober of a husband so they would shell out 3 payments of $39.99 (shipping & handling not included) for the communication CD’s they were hawking.
After a few moments of searching, I finally came across a quiz that seemed semi-legitimate with no hidden agenda. Jenn humored me and followed along with this whole charade. A few of the questions seemed odd like how many keys does she carry. I haven’t the slightest clue if it is 2 or 10, but I do know chances are good she has misplaced them. I also think chances are good that I will be paying later for sharing that tidbit.
Some of my answers were right on point as they were no brainers: Jenn’s favorite restaurant is The Little Dipper, she has been known to read cookbooks just for fun and would love nothing more than to replace the couches in the living room. Unfortunately, there was a fair share of responses that had Jenn rolling her eyes wondering how she married a guy as clueless as myself. I struck out on the favorite color question going for green (it’s red). Ditto on her favorite clothing store (Ann Taylor Loft) and mother’s maiden name (do you think I’d be foolish enough to post this on the Internet…).
This whole experience opened the door for conversations and taught me that no matter if you’ve are a newlywed or have been married for 50 years, there are parts of your spouse’s story you do not know. Go back to those conversations from yesterday. What dominated a large portion of the discussions? Presumably, you chitchatted about the kids, work, friends, weather, news headlines or what was on television the night before. We center our sights on general issues while the important details of our life go largely ignored. What chapters of his or her story are you missing? What is something they regret doing or not doing? What big life questions keep them up at night? How much do you know about the family they were raised in and the effects it had on shaping them into the person standing before you? Are they content in their career and purpose in life? If they are a parent, do they feel hopeless when it comes to raising their kids? Are there areas in their life where their integrity is compromised? What past mistakes are they struggling to learn from? Who or what do they struggle to forgive?
In order to fall in love with Jenn all over again, I must begin to enter her world by asking questions that drive to the heart. This requires an investment where my responsibility is being attentive and a student of her world. Little details like knowing her favorite candy or how she likes her steak cooked are important, but pale into comparison to knowing her heart. This is something you’ll never learn in Cosmo. Trust me, I read numerous issues cover-to-cover waiting to come in last place in the 100M backstroke.