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I didn’t realize I was that wife.

That wife who barks orders at her husband in exasperation, “Can you unload the dishwasher please!?”

That wife who does the laundry, vacuums, and cleans bathrooms because she prefers her way of doing it, but then resents her husband for not pitching in.

That wife who takes care of everything inside the household because it is her way of compensating for the paycheck she does not bring home.

That wife whose internal clock is dictated by the external clock of breakfast, lunchtime, naptime, bath time, and bedtime.

That wife who expects flowers for her birthday and on anniversaries, and whose husband buys them for her out of obligation more than out of sincerity. Bananas? Check. Milk? Check. Flowers for wife? Check.

That wife who craves affection from her husband and is sometimes jealous when her husband shows it to their kids more than he does her.

That wife who is controlling and can’t just let things go.

That wife who treats her husband more like a child who needs reprimanding than an equal partner.

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That wife who discovered that sometimes the thoughts in her head create a story about what her husband is doing or not doing when in fact, the situation is completely neutral.

That wife who hasn’t had positive role models in her life when it comes to marriage, but then again neither did her parents.

That wife who is a smart, successful, driven woman in almost every aspect of her life, but who is ashamed of her less than mediocre marriage.

That wife who feels like a failure in her marriage because she never measures up to her own expectations for it.

That wife who knows women reading this will think her husband is a jerk and she should just cut her ties and move on with her life.

That wife who knows men reading this will think she’s a controlling wife and her husband should just cut his ties and move on with his life.

Yet, that wife also knows she is this wife.

This wife who knows she wants to have a better marriage.

This wife who knows her husband and she are in it for the long haul, and when they said “till do death us part,” they truly meant it.

This wife who knows that as much as there have been challenging times in her marriage in the past few years, there have also been incredibly beautiful moments.

This wife who knows that although the road ahead will be long and arduous, if she perseveres, it will also be rewarding.

This wife who knows she still loves her husband even if she fails to show it at times.

This wife who knows her husband still loves her even if he fails to show it at times.

This wife who decides to forgive herself and practice self-compassion because she is human, and humans make mistakes all the time.

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This wife who realizes in order to change her marriage, she does not have to wait on her husband to change, she can start working on herself.

This wife who wants to say to other wives reading this who are also struggling in their marriages: If you have a good man by your side and you want to stay married to him, it is possible. Start by working on yourself. Be the change YOU wish to see in your marriage.

This wife who regrets that that wife has played victim far too long.

This wife who wants to say to that wife–thank you. Thank you for doing the best you could during those years in your marriage. Now it’s time to say goodbye.

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