Shut up. You have a good wife. Now, go home.

“Shut up. You have a good wife. Now, go home.”

That is how every single one of the conversations I had with my mother about my spouse ended. Whether it started as a tirade of blasphemes against her character or an embellishment of wrongs that she had done to me, her response was always the same.

“Shut up. You have a good wife. Now, go home.”

There are times, now that I think back on those conversations, where I am convinced that she liked my wife more than me. I’m sure of it, mainly because I believe she actually said those words. Having raised three boys, my wife was her second daughter-in-law, and my mother truly appreciated the pity that she had on me when she actually agreed to say “I do”. So when ever I ran into a marital issue that I was totally sure was caused by the callousness of my betrothed, I would go over to my mom’s, sit down, and begin to dissect for her how horrible she had been.

Me and Mom

My mother, as all good parents do I suspect, would listen to me, would hear my words, careful not to agree but to encourage me to vent out of my system all the issues that I have contrived in my brain, and then simply disarm everything I had to say as she got tired and wanted to go to bed.

“Shut up. You have a good wife. Now, go home.”


I would sit there in stunned silence, knowing that she had just dismissed all my arguments with a stroke of her words. The first time she did it I immediately followed up with, “But mom…”. That’s as far as I got before she repeated her words.

“Shut up. You have a good wife. Now, go home.”

After that, I understood that in those words she was ending my venting. Letting me know that it was now time for me to depart her presence and head home to the woman that had come into my life to take my mother’s place as the first lady of my life. It took years to come to that conclusion, and to realize that, in essence, was what she was saying. Or maybe she was just tired of hearing my berate the mother of her grandchildren. Either way, I knew that, no matter what, my next task was pretty simple.

Shut up. I have a good wife. Now, I’m going home.

It’s been 8 years since I had the opportunity to hear my mom say those words out loud, and there are times I really could use my mother’s listening ear when it comes to the trials that my marriage of 24 years runs into. Through those years, somehow, her wisdom has ingrained itself into my life on such a level that, even though she isn’t here anymore, when times get tough and I just want to get angry with my bride, I can still hear my mother’s voice saying softly…

“Shut up. You have a good wife. Now, go home.”

When she looks at me like this, I could do anything... if I weren't melting inside, that is.
When she looks at me like this, I could do anything… if I weren’t melting inside, that is.








12 thoughts on “Shut up. You have a good wife. Now, go home.

  1. First, I’d like to say, I am sorry your mother is gone. It sounds like you were very close. Second, I must say this, it is rare to find a mother that doesn’t agree with her son where the spouse is concerned. I find that quality a beautiful trait. And last, I think you knew all along you had a good wife, and just needed to vent, and hear the wise words, of shut up and go home. Lovely share.


  2. Even after eight years I’m sure you miss her; what a lovely way to remember her by sharing this. My mother-in-law is like-minded. She tells JD all the time that I’m the best thing that ever happened to him. He agrees, usually. 🙂


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