My husband and I enjoy watching reruns of the show King of Queens. One old episode addressed the concept of wife credit. We found this idea very funny, and have recently come to terms with the fact that wife credit is a part of our marriage. Maybe you don’t call it by that name, but it’s probably part of your marriage too.
The idea behind wife credit is that a husband can go above and beyond his normal day to day duties and earn extra credit with his wife. Wife credit can then be used in exchange for favors from his wife. During the episode of King of Queens, we watched Doug (the main character in the show) try to earn enough wife credit for a trip to Vegas with his friends. He even subjected himself to a long weekend at a spa (which he hated), in an attempt to earn enough credit to get his wife to say yes to Vegas. In the end, his plan failed, his wife says no way to Vegas, but offers the usual wife credit reward — sex. Doug’s painful spa trip didn’t pay off because he forgot a pretty basic wife credit rule — it can’t be used for big things.
And there is a reason wife credit can’t be used for big things. It has a very short shelf life. Wives tend to forget or give less value to kind gestures as time passes, and so the credit starts expiring almost immediately after it is earned. Except for rare instances of extremely heroic acts, the credit lasts for no more than 24-48 hours. Use it or lose it. In the show, Doug has to be told this by his buddy Deacon.
Deacon — You can’t put wife credit in the bank.
Doug — Why not?
Deacon — It’s like a piece of fish. As soon as you get it, it starts goin’ bad.
Accepting the reality of wife credit in our marriage has been beneficial. I’ve thought a lot about the little extra things my husband does to earn his credits, and I’ve tried harder to extend my wife credit shelf life –2 hours was definitely unfair. I know in the ideal relationship you would never keep score. But most relationships are far from ideal, and so I’m doing my best to be a more generous scorekeeper. “Kindness begets kindness evermore.” ~Sophocles
How about you? Is wife credit a part of your marriage? If not, let us know your secret to a selfless marriage dynamic!