There are many moments every day when I have to do something I do not want to do. Some of them are trivial, like washing the dishes. Some are bigger, like convincing Violet to let me milk her. Then, there are the crisis times that leave my gut churning, like speeding tickets, fires, sick children, or empty bank accounts. From the very little to the very big, I am grateful to not have to face these things alone.
Jason will go with me into the basement to change the water filter. I know we'll pull that nasty wet carpet out together. He'll hang a nail in the barn for me to put the milk bucket on. He takes care of the cool box at least once a day. He'll help with the dishes any evening. He'll read to Sylvie which gives me a bit of breathing space. He feeds the cats and dogs while I finish the dishes. We walk down to the field together to put the animals to bed for the night. I can call him when Phaedra is fixated on having a fit. He'll call me to check on us if the morning was going rough before he left. I can ask him about how much salt to put in the soup or whether Elmer needs flea medicine.
Sure, I do not HAVE to have him to do all these things, but I think it's easy to underestimate the value of a marriage partnership. I may not get around to many important things even with the pair of us laboring away, but I feel like I have more time. I know he'll be there to help me pick up whatever I let fall aside, so I could read one more book or play a game or work with the encumbrance of an overeager helper.
Also, my gut twists less when I know he'll be home should I fall down the basement stairs or any other gruesome thing I occasionally imagine. I know if I'm feeling nervous about dealing with a house, animal, or child problem, his presence will help me find the way to a right answer.
This analysis does not even cover all the deep connections that enhance my life one thousand fold. It does not put any value on his humor or affection. And that's part of a lovely marriage, too.