I married a great guy. He’s a likable husband. I should be proud of that. I am proud of that. But I’m also annoyed by it, if I’m being honest.
I am the wife of a likable husband. The grumpy baggage to his huggable, lovable, charming self, if you will. I don’t write this looking for reassurance from friends, I promise I don’t. I’m simply here to share what it is like to be the other person in a marriage with such a popular, lovable guy.
I’m not saying I’m not likable, but I’m not saying I am likable either.
Truth is, I’m slightly socially awkward, goofy, and reserved, but also not. I get nervous in social situations and talk way too much, sometimes about complete nonsense. I do best by myself and with my family. And I like it that way!
My husband is quiet, barely says two sentences, and often appears unapproachable when he has his sunglasses on. But people are drawn to him. Once he lets that tough facade relax, he is friendly, lovable, playful, and genuine. Babies and grandmothers and everyone in between love my likable husband. I get it. I was drawn to him for those very reasons too.
While it may seem as if I’m jealous of him, I assure you I’m not. But it’s comical just how likable he is for a man of very few words. Maybe that’s the key to his popularity and my lack of it!
I am irked by how naturally my husband accepts being adored. I feel as if I have to work at making people like me and to develop new friends. For example, my husband is now so close with someone that I grew up with, that I often forget they didn’t grow up together too! My likable husband is my best friend, but sometimes I feel like I’m in a friend-making and likability competition with him.
I think simple human nature explains best why my husband’s equanimity is so irritating to me.
We all have a basic human need to be liked, and it is a struggle to constantly wonder if I am liked for who I am, or simply for who my agreeable spouse is.
Deep down, I know I miss the friendships of my youth. Some of them are still there, but with distance and families, social media seems to be the only way we stay in touch. The older I get, the more comfortable I am in my own bubble (i.e. at home.) This isn’t to say I don’t socialize, but if I had to choose between a night out with friends or a night at home… I’d choose home. With or without my family present (though I prefer their company).
Admittedly, I have distanced myself from my friends. This has nothing to do with them, and I miss them incredibly. I’ve distanced myself because of my own anxieties. I know how nervous I can be, and how annoying that can be to those around me. I’d rather pull away than be a bother. Which only serves to support my suspicion that I am the non-likable spouse in my marriage.
What does any of this have to do with having a likable husband? Everything! He’s likable because he doesn’t worry. He cares about others, but he doesn’t let their opinions of him control how he feels.
My likable husband is one of the most down to earth people I know. He can easily adapt to any situation, without stress or anxiety. This is what I believe makes him likable. I think my anxiety makes people shy away from me, despite my efforts to be easy-going.
There is always the possibility that my guy isn’t the likable husband like I think he is. Maybe I just tell myself that he is friendlier than I am as self-justification for why I distance myself from social situations and don’t have as many deep friendships as he does. Perhaps the entire concept of a likable spouse is the musings of a still growing and slightly insecure woman? As I’m continuing to still find myself as a wife, as a mother, and as a grown woman, I also need to consider what I’ve done to make myself think I am unlikable, and work to change dynamics so that my husband and I are both likable.