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After a mandatory morning at work today, I decided to treat my husband to lunch.

I drove to his work, picked him up, and took him to Dar Essalam, a delightful Moroccan restaurant in Wilsonville.  By the way, if you’ve never been to Dar Essalam, go, now, as soon as you can!  Dee and her husband own and run the place, they are delightful, the food is delicious, and you will always feel like you are their very favorite customer!

As Stuart and I savored our hummus and pita bread, the unpleasant subject of taxes (April is fast approaching) came up, which led to a discussion of money and working to earn money.

My husband commented wryly that money comes in and it goes out.

I nodded enthusiastically, yeah, it does, but isn’t that kind of the point?  The perplexed furrow of my husband’s brow suggested to me that for some odd, bizarre reason, he did not comprehend.

I realized then that perhaps my husband didn’t fully understand the significance of those two aspects of money – the coming in and going out.  More importantly, if he didn’t fully grasp how those two concepts were intricately entwined, along with our individual marital roles in each of those aspects, he may not be recognizing how I utilize those two aspects of money – the coming in and going out – to demonstrate my love for him.

I explained that marriage involves a division of labor, and as such, we each have different roles to play.  Since Stuart is very much focused on contributing to the ‘coming in’ aspect of our finances, I see it as my wifely duty to contribute in an equal manner, and ensure that there is a balance to be had between the ‘coming in’ and ‘going out’ of money.  Hence I take care of the ‘going out’ aspect of money management.

After all, life is all about harmony, give and take, ebb and flow, yin and yang.  Money comes in, it goes out.

Stuart had a decidedly skeptical look on his face, however, he was sufficiently absorbed in eating his kabob that he opted not to argue, and instead allowed me to continue explaining this delicate, yet oh so important concept, to him.

Which I was all too happy to do, even if it did mean I couldn’t inhale my gyro in true Casey fashion.

You see, I told my husband, I value and appreciate the many, many contributions he makes to our marriage.  I think husbands need to know that they are appreciated, and as a loving wife, I strive, on a daily basis, to express, through words and/or actions, just how much I appreciate him.  Just as I tell him I love him regularly, so too, as a good wife, must I let him know that his contributions are valued.

My husband puts in well over forty hours a week at work, not to mention the many hours he puts in while at home.  Add it all up, and a tremendous chunk of my husband’s life is spent working.  And the primary reason that he does this is to contribute to the ‘coming in’ aspect of money for our family.

If I did not take the time, indeed make the time, to hone the ‘going out’ aspect of money management, what message would that send to my husband about the value I place on all of his hard work and efforts towards the ‘bringing in’ aspect of money in our marriage?

Stuart finished his kabob and watched patiently as I finished my gyro.  A task made somewhat difficult because it required me to pause from my dissertation on the division of labor in marriage.  A dissertation, I must add, that was crafted solidly utilizing the unbeatable Casey-logic system of reasoning.  However, Dee’s food is meant to be savored and enjoyed, so pause I did, until no sign of the aforementioned gyro remained on the plate.  Besides, we couldn’t/wouldn’t order dessert until we finished our meals.

Once I’d licked my plate clean (ok, I didn’t lick it, but I sure wanted to!) we ordered dessert.

We shared a baklava (the best ever – really, I’m not joking, you have to go to Dar Essalam!), and I summarized my points, just to be sure Stuart understood:

I spend money as an expression of gratitude to my husband for all of his efforts towards earning that money.  I do it out of love.  I do it because marriage is a partnership, and far be it for me not to be an equally contributory partner in our marriage.  In summary – I spend money because I love my husband!

When not a shred of evidence of the existence of the baklava remained on the plate, my husband paid the bill and we rolled our happily stuffed selves out to my car.  Being the good, loving, appreciative wife that I am, since Stuart paid for lunch, naturally, I drove.

After all, that is  what the division of labor in marriage is all about, right? 🙂

P.S. – I love you Stuart! 🙂  You are the world’s greatest husband, thank you for being mine!

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