He handles my mom better than I do.
My mom and I have a.... well, a strained relationship, at best. It is difficult because I love her, she's my mother, of course I love her, but I don't like a lot of things she says and does. I don't agree with her on many, many issues, and there's little room in her world for people who disagree with her. She did the best she could when we were growing up, and I have absolutely no doubt that she and my father loved us, but we just don't have much of a relationship as adults.
Usually, I'm the one who does well in social situations and family gatherings because I am, in general, the one who is more social. However, when it comes to my mom, my husband is the one who handles her better. I get frustrated easily and can become short with her because I'm so tired of going around the same circle, but he'll nudge me or whisper to me to practice patience.
One day, she'd had dinner with us, and something she was doing was just grating on me, so I asked her to stop. I didn't intend to be snippy, but I guess I was, because hubby conferenced me in the kitchen and told me I was snippy, that I needed to be a little softer with her. You can imagine how soft I wanted to be in that moment - about as soft as a brick wall, but he's really good at that stern presence, so I conceded and thought about it for a minute. I had to agree that yes, I could have been gentler.
I never thought that my husband would be better at handling my mom than I am, but he seems to be. You know what? I love him so much for it. He's my buffer, my safe place, the one I can vent to when I need and he'll just listen. He's also the one who will let me know when I need to handle things a little differently - and he's usually right - darn if that isn't frustrating!
I love my husband because he handles what I can't, or don't want to, but he's always on my side, always for me, even when he's pointing out the other side's perspective.