Thursday, July 25, 2013

Discouraged & Frustrated

As a wife I think one of the hardest things for me to do is to work on meeting my husband's needs when I feel as if my own aren't being met.

I'm sure that's probably true of just about everyone, regardless of the relationship.

In my last post I mentioned the importance of having perspective, of realizing when little things are just that: little.

But the truth is that right now we are in a place where all those little things have begun to add up to a big thing for me. And I am struggling.

Normally, at least several times a week, I consider how I can encourage him, what I can do to ease his burden, what can I do to please him sexually, and even how I can look nice... for him. Not any one of those things being huge, but just little efforts to show my husband that I love him.

Now? Not so much.

I am in a rough place mentally. Right now Jason is not meeting several of my needs. And quite frankly hasn't for a while. Encouragement. Romance. Financial security. Support. I've tried to talk to him about each of these, but what hasn't resulted in an argument seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

I started looking up resources, challenges, inspiration today to try to get me back on track of being purposeful about showing love to my husband, but the fact is that I am not at all in the right mindset. And so I stopped looking.

Was it that bad? Yes.

Because right now I am in such a mindset that when I read how I should encourage, I think about how he has discouraged me the past few days. When I read how I should support his efforts, I think about how he has demeaned my efforts. And so on and so forth.

I know I need to change this mindset, this thought process. Because I know that I am not perfect, and in fact that I fail him daily too. I realize that this is a selfish, entitled mindset instead of a forgiving, serving mindset. But I am really struggling right now.

What about you? What causes you the biggest problem in showing your spouse how much you love them?

Thursday, July 18, 2013


I don't know about you, but sometimes, my husband just gets on my nerves.

The other day I found myself feeling this grating on my nerves as I did housework... and he sat on the couch on his laptop.

Now, unless you're new to my blogworld, you know by now that this is not a new issue. We've had this battle several times, and finally settled in... to a messy house.

Long story short, our fights would go like this:

Hubs (usually from his perch on the couch): "This house is filthy. Why don't you do something?"
Me: "Because I worked 8 hours today, got Jena ready for preschool, dropped her off, picked her up, made dinner, gave her a bath, got her ready for bed, did laundry & dishes, took out the trash, & cleaned the kitty litter and am just now sitting down to relax for the first time since I woke up 15 hours ago?"
Hubs (usually rolling his eyes): "Well, my mom worked too" (or insert any other name of a working mom who keeps a better house than I do)

Me: "It's physically impossible for me to do it all. I need more help. Either make more money so I can stay home, make more money so we can hire a housekeeper, or help out around here more yourself"
Hubs is silent.

Now, obviously not every conversation went exactly like that, but you get the gist. That's pretty much how the argument went for a few years. Until he stopped nagging me.

But he also still doesn't help out around the house. Nor can I quit my job. Nor can we afford a housekeeper. So the house is perpetually not clean. And now you know why I don't have people over more often.

But on the other hand, we don't argue as much anymore. And not about housework at all really. So our home is more peaceful.

Both of us picking our battles, I suppose.

But sometimes... sometimes... the disparity drives me nuts sometimes.

Our morning routines are a great example:

When he gets up, he typically rolls out of bed, gets out a clean towel & rag (that I washed, folded & put away) takes a shower, grabs a clean uniform out of the closet (that I washed, folded, & put away), then grabs a quick breakfast (that I went grocery shopping for), then heads out the door, and drives to work.

When I get up, I typically do 2-3 chores (usually laundry or dishes related), get Jena's breakfast ready, set out her clothes for the day, iron & set out my clothes for the day, take Jason's towel that he left in the shower, fold it and put it on the towel rack, take my shower, get dressed, fix my hair, get Jena dressed (if she hasn't already, we're about 50/50 at this age), fix Jena's hair, load up the car, drive to preschool, drop her off, and drive to work.

Am I the only one who sees the disparity there? And so yes, sometimes I get frustrated, and even angry.

But.. the other day, right as I was on the verge of complaining about the housework / child care disparity, right as the words were ready to come out of my mouth, the thought hit me (and by "hit me" I mean completely out of the blue, like maybe God was trying to tell me something):

"Isn't it great that the biggest thing you have to complain about is housework?"
Ouch. What a reminder to have a little perspective. As a couple Jason & I have certainly been thru the wringer already when it comes to marriage issues, even very serious ones. If the biggest complaint I have right now, if the worst thing he's doing right now is not doing "enough" housework... what a great marriage we must have.

And so I kept my mouth shut. And instead of complaining when I see housework that I wish he would help with, I'm trying to take it as a reminder of how far we've come as a couple, that this is now the biggest thing I can complain about.

What about you? Have you ever had a moment of gaining perspective on your marriage?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I Fail Him Daily

Today Jason announced that tomorrow he isn't on shift, and doesn't have any jobs for his side business scheduled, so he's going to stay home and probably spend some time cleaning the house.

Our disaster of a house.

I have admitted more than once that keeping the house is something that I struggle to accomplish. At least to my satisfaction, or even my husband's. It was already a struggle. But the fatigue that has hit me the past few weeks has pushed it over the edge. Our house is not in a good condition. Seriously.

I've been thinking of taking a vacation day myself, just to clean. But I have several days coming up already, and feel like I don't want to over-do it on the vacation requests, or use them all up all at once. I'm taking off this Friday for a weekend trip, another day in two weeks to visit with a friend from out of town, and in two more weeks another two days for a family vacation. But I digress...

He has never complained about the house being a mess. This time, I mean. Since my short-lived pregnancy and then miscarriage. He knows I'm fighting the fatigue. He may not always be the most romantic husband, say the sweetest things, but this time he has done a good job of not saying the things that would sting.

This has not escaped me.

But just him mentioning that he would "work on the house" on his day off stung. Not because it was a passive aggressive comment on my lack of housekeeping skills (although in a different tone of voice it definitely could have been). Not because he was nasty about it, or threw in any other hateful words. No, not because of anything he did.

It stung because it was a reminder to me of one way in which I am failing my husband.

And then it really sunk in. I am failing my husband. Daily.

Furthermore, he is failing me. Daily.

Why? Why so harsh? Because neither of us is perfect. We fail each other daily, yet we come back to one another each day, each night, again and again because of our love for one another, but even more than that, because of the covenant we made between one another and God.

Each of us have needs that go unmet. Sometimes for a day, sometimes continually. We do not, we cannot, perfectly meet all of each other's needs. Yet as a spouse, it is our duty to try. We are be one, to complete each other, meeting each other in our places of imperfection, and filling in the gaps as we are able.

As I thought about this idea - the meeting of needs, the failing, and so on and so forth - it dawned on me how much our marriages really are a reflection of our relationship with God.

We fail Him daily too. Not because we aren't good, but none of us are perfect. We fail Him with every tiny sin, every white lie, every missed opportunity to share His love. We fail him a hundred times in a hundred ways, every single day.

Yet He waits for us, reaches out for us. We come back to Him each day, each night, again and again, because of His love for us and His commitment to us.

So we fail. But because of the grace of God we are renewed each and every moment of each and every day. Every moment is another chance at success.

So here's to trying again another day.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I've probably been a bit naggy lately

Lately I've been struggling with being supportive of my husband. This is definitely an area I need to work on.

See, Jason has started a new business, which is great. It really is awesome to see his enthusiasm for this new endeavour, and I believe it is something that he can be very successful at.

But, as with just about any business startup, the beginning kinda stinks.

He's been putting a lot of time, and energy, and yes, money into something that so far has little to no financial return.

And in my head, I get that. I understand that it's just starting out and it will take time to build up a good customer base, it will take time to get his name out there. Some things just take time.

But the time away from his normal 2nd job (his 1st job is a firefighter) to start things up means a drastic drop in our household income while we're waiting for this business to take off.

And that is causing me stress.

Not being able to pay all of our bills. Having to drastically cut back on our food budget. Standing in the grocery trying to decide if we should buy milk or toothpaste, because we can't afford both right now. These are the things that stress me out. Greatly.

And so, while I really do support Jason on this endeavour, and I do believe he can succeed, and I do whatever I can to help him out... I also know that my tone of voice has not been the most... loving... lately. In fact, it's probably been a bit naggy.

But I'm trying. If I catch myself in that negative tone of voice, I try to stop, and even walk away if I have to. He knows our budget and our bills. He knows the situation. He doesn't need me to mouth off about it.

And so, I'm working on it.

But man, it'd be nice if some $$ would start rolling in while we wait, wouldn't it?

As always, thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 should have been awful.

My father-in-law passed away. A dear friend passed away. There were a lot of changes at my job that caused tons of extra stress. Three loved ones were diagnosed with cancer. My nephew almost died. Three of our pets suffered from illness. The list goes on & on.

But the truth is, that despite all those awful, hard things, 2012 was wonderful. And that was in no small part due to my husband.

I love you, Jason! Thanks for a great year!