This is part of my series on How To Be A Good Person.

When my wife and I got married, our lives were very busy. I was embarking on my last year of a bachelor’s degree in computer science. And my wife supported us by working full-time as a junior high math teacher. (Yes, we are two nerds!)

As with many busy couples, Saturday was laundry day. Each time the weekend rolled around, we collected our dirty clothes into a couple of baskets and hauled them to the nearby laundromat.

My mistake

The first time we did laundry together, I made a mistake. I removed my pillowcase from my pillow and threw it in the laundry basket but I didn’t get my wife’s pillowcase. I grabbed my bath towel from the bathroom but I didn’t get her towel.

In a burst of annoyance, she asked, Why wouldn’t you get mine? Are we roommates? Or a family?

She was right to feel irritated. We were married. We were family. But my mindset hadn’t switched from living with roommates to living with family.

Roommates vs. Family

Each roommate

  • Buys their own food and writes their name on everything.
  • Does their own laundry individually.
  • Cooks and eats dinner by themselves.
  • Succeeds or fails by themselves.

A family

  • Shares everything in the refrigerator.
  • Washes everyone’s clothes together.
  • Makes dinner for everyone and eats together.
  • Succeeds together and fails together.

After living with roommates for years, it took a bit of time for me to transition to family-life. But I eventually did. And my life has never been better.

Be well, my friend.