Every wife that’s been married more than a few months or so can relate to that moment when the annoying habits her husband has suddenly become actually really annoying. It’s not that they weren’t there before, it’s just that he hid them because he was trying to impress you so you would marry him. If you were bothered by some things, you ignored them with the attitude that you would “fix him later”. Besides, when you’re in love and everything is roses and sunshine, the object of your great affection can do no wrong. Love covers over a multitude of imperfections, right?
Well, used cups all over the house..empty chip bags on the floor..dirty laundry piled right beside the clothes hamper..wet towels thrown on the bed..this drives me crazy!
After you do life together for awhile, these little things can start to turn into really big issues. Issues that us wives can start to get resentful about. Resentment is not a good thing for your marriage. It will kill it dead. So what to do?
Obviously we need to communicate to husbands right away about the things that really bother us, and why. Most men want their woman to be happy and can come to a fair arrangement. If you decide as a couple that you, the wife, are in charge of doing all the laundry, then don’t get mad if he doesn’t ever do laundry. If his part of the laundry is simply to put all dirty clothes in the hamper, then gently remind him when he doesn’t. Decide what things are issues worth bringing up in the first place. Don’t role your eyes and huff if he forgets and you have to do it for him every now and then (we’re all a work in progress), and don’t assume he was trying to annoy you on purpose by forgetting.
When we first got married, I just picked up my husband’s clothes all the time and put them in the hamper for him. When he left dirty dishes or chip bags in the living room, I cleaned up after him. I was so happy to be married that I figured I would gladly clean up after him, since he was working hard all day and I just worked part-time. Once we had twins though, I didn’t have time or energy to be cleaning up after him like I used to. So then some things had to change.
I communicated that he could help lighten my load by simply picking up after himself, and so he has been doing that more now. Since he is a good man, he does his best, and I love him for it, and remind him when he forgets.
When we first got married I knew that my attitude about these kinds of things would be the game changer for me. The thing that would either make me a resentful and bitter wife, or a happy and thankful one. I really didn’t want to be the first of those options, so I decided to make a commitment to try have a good attitude no matter what.
Two things played a huge role in my attitude:
First was a book I read before getting married titled “Let me be a woman” by Elizabeth Elliott (highly recommend it for any woman to read, single or married).
In it she talks about the importance of appreciation in a marriage and how her being a widow for a few years helped her have a good perspective in her second marriage after her first husband Jim Elliot was martyred as a missionary.
Some years ago there was a series of letters to columnist Ann Landers on the subject of men who snore. Wives wrote in complaining of the countless hours of lost sleep and the irritation of that awful noise beside them in the bed. Others wrote offering solutions, but the discussion came to an end with one letter, “Snoring is the sweetest music in the world. Ask any widow.”
She continues by saying how hard it was for her as a widow to see women criticize, belittle or contradict their husbands, showing an ungrateful attitude.
If only there were some way for every wife to have the experience of losing her husband for a little time-even of thinking that he’s dead-in order to regain some of the perspective she needs for genuine appreciation.
The second was my husband’s boss passing away in a tragic work accident only five months before our wedding, leaving behind his widow who was younger than me.
Nothing makes a new wife more appreciative of her husband than the image of her devastated friend at her husband’s funeral etched in her mind. So tragic and so hard to understand. If every woman planning to get married soon went to the funeral of someone younger than themselves that was married, I think more people would have a happy marriage built on appreciation.
If you’re having trouble finding a thankful attitude towards your husband, then find a widow to be friends with. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. So be thankful for the gift while you have it. Think of the women who would give anything to have their husbands back, annoying habits and all. Make sure the battles you pick are the important ones, and don’t spend your energy on things that in the end, don’t really matter.
Cherish each day. Some day, it will be your last day together. If you can’t change your husband’s annoying habits, change your attitude first, and every time you pick up dirty socks that missed the hamper, say a prayer of thankfulness that dirty socks means you have a husband to wear them!
Get your copy of “Let Me Be a Women” for under $5 here! I promise you it will change your marriage in many ways!
For those buying in Canada, click here for Amazon.ca