Marriage Musings: "What my baby wants, my baby gets."

I will always remember the first time that I looked at the husband and said "What my baby wants, my baby gets." I will always remember this because it was quite possibly the first time that I consciously, actively, deliberately pushed what I wanted to the side in order to make him happy. (Side note: I realize this makes me sound completely spoiled and self-centered -- which I really hope is not the case -- but this is truly the first time I remember thinking "Ugh, I do not want to do this at all but FINE, I'll do it anyways" and then making up my mind to not only go along with it, but also to enjoy it.) It wasn't some huge, life-shattering event, but in the end, it made a big difference.

Let's back up a bit. In March 2012, we were spending a week in Florida for a spring vacation. It was our first time together since he had proposed, and I was on cloud nine as we enjoyed our time together as an engaged couple.

This is what cloud nine looks like.

Yet all I wanted to do was lay on the beach. Lay on the beach, dip my toes in the ocean, soak up the sun, and repeat. Yes, that is pretty much all I had planned. It was my only break from school and student teaching that semester, and I felt that I deserved to be a lazy pile of bones if I wanted to. The husband, quite contrarily, had had enough of laying around. He was ready to get off the lounge chairs, take a shower, walk along the beach and into town, and find a place for dinner ... a plan that was much more active than what I had in mind. But, I could see that he needed to move, so as I stood up to head into the condo, I looked at him and said:

"What my baby wants, my baby gets."

I felt a bit cranky at first, but quickly realized that a cranky partner for the evening was not what he wanted, and not what I had agreed to with my previous comment. So, I sucked it up and let him call the shots. As we left the condo and started walking, I could see the husband getting excited for the evening and my spirits were also lifted. We had a long, romantic walk into town along the shore and an even more romantic evening together. An evening that has proved to be one of the most memorable nights of our trip, and an evening that never would have happened had I been stubborn and selfish.

This saying has now become quite commonplace in our marriage, and I believe it has made a big difference. Marriage is, obviously, about compromise, but I think you can even take that one step further. Marriage is about noticing when your partner wants or needs something more than you may want or need something else ... and then making it happen.

Ever since that day in March, the husband and I have taken care to notice when the other has an idea that they feel strongly about. We then we recite our little mantra and put it into action. I urge you to try it in your own life. I bet you'll find that not only is the happiness it brings to your partner (or friend or parent or sibling) infectious, but making it a point to push your wants aside for the benefit of another feels great as well. It's a win-win situation, I'm telling you!


  1. We're reading (aka I read and "requested" that he read) the 5 Love Languages right now--similar concept! It makes such a big difference focusing on the other person's needs instead of your own. I find my boyfriend and I being aware of it without even saying anything to remind each other.

    1. It really does, doesn't it? And it's such a satisfying feeling! I'll have to look into that book, Tessa. Thanks for the suggestion!