Rebecca Ward spent five years in a relationship with Joel Gruben, patiently and lovingly training him to be the perfect husband. And now, he will finally have the chance! After breaking up with Rebecca and becoming engaged to part-time model and SoulCycle instructor Lisa Clark just six months later, Gruben is finally fulfilling his role as an amazing spouse.
Ward was meticulous in her training, always careful not to come on too strong or too weak in her training of Joel.
“I didn’t want to seem like a nag, so I’d politely let Joel know things he could do that would make me happier, like buying toilet paper when it ran out and just noticing when things got super dirty around the house. But I never got mad or mentioned more than like two things in a day.”
Ward is happy that he can apply these skills to marriage with a completely different woman.
Over the course of time, Joel learned the skills of a good husband, like letting your partner know if you’re going to be home late, or that dishes can go in the sink, or that you are not the only person that lives here, which Lisa appreciates very much.
“Joel has always just been really attentive,” Lisa says, largely unaware of Ward’s previous work. “He’s kind of a natural nurturer. He’ll be a really great dad.”
Ward frequently asked Gruben to hold or entertain children at various family functions over the years so that he might ease into the future role of a father, specifically with Clark.
“Joel didn’t know you had to clean a toilet,” says Ward, “He thought they just stayed clean because they’re filled with water. Now he knows the truth and it’s really remarkable to see him applying his skills to a life that definitely doesn’t include me.”
When asked what caused his transformation from a man who used to leave a pile of dirty clothes on the bathroom floor for weeks at a time, slowly accumulating moisture from the shower, into a man who now knows how to scramble eggs and wipe up spills, Gruben is perplexed.
“I guess at some point you just sort of become an adult about things. I don’t really know how it happens.”