I have mentioned this before, but we continue to deal with the attitude that husbands need "to appreciate what I gave up for him," or some such thought. 

This is one of those oddities of the human mind. Not only do we want credit for what we actually do for other people, we also want credit for some imaginary other thing that we might have done but did not do. So, if a wife "gives up" going with her friends for coffee and chat in order to spend a day with her husband, he is supposed to not only enjoy and appreciate her company, but he is supposed to somehow "appreciate" that she could have done something else. 

Likewise, wives often think back to who else they think they could have married or to their "career" that they "gave up" for "his sake." Sometimes, stay at home wives are especially guilty of this practice, imagining some great career they think they were on the verge of having as compared to the "drudgery" of raising children and taking care of a home. 

First, it makes no sense to spend your life fretting (or wanting others to fret) over something imaginary. Things that aren't, aren't. Decisions you did not make were not made. You have no idea what else might have happened if you had chosen differently. 

Do you really want your husband to sit down, stop thinking about the person he actually married, and start imagining another person whom he wanted to marry but who turned him down and went on to live some other life? Then, apparently, the idea is that he is supposed to feel guilty over having "ruined" that poor girl's life by offering to marry her. He is supposed to spend his day "appreciating" how much she gave up for him? 

Is this focus on an imaginary life really important to you? You would have continued your focus on your career, but who knows what might have happened in that career? You would not have him or your children or your current life at all. How can you spend time feeling badly about what never happened? Why would you want him to feel that way?

Second, remember that you not only "gave things up" to marry him, he gave up a lot to marry you. Believe it or not, marriage is not, generally speaking, a man's goal in life. Men who marry also surrender a lot of things. He has kept working, but he does not keep the money. He has to take care of a house and cars and children. He has to love you and care for you. He cannot go where he wants to go. He cannot do what he would otherwise want to do. He, also, could spend his day focusing on an imaginary life and wonder about why you do not appreciate him. 

All imaginary life is just that - imaginary. It has no meaning. To ask a man to live his life in guilt (which we call appreciation) over some life that you abandoned is foolishness. 

The life you have is the life you have. Live it. Stop wasting it in wondering about whether you would be president or a great business leader or a world renowned singer. You almost certainly would not have been any of those things. You did not value that "other life" so much when you gave it up, why value it now?

Love the husband you have. Love the life you chose. Live freely. And let him do the same.

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