I’m afraid I used to be the wife who rolled her eyes at how her husband did all the things.

There was a time when I nursed my resentment and held it close.

It somehow felt like winning.

Early in our days of raising kids together, I realized the work somehow fell mostly to me.

Instead of talking about it, I accepted the lie that moms should be good at all the things kid and house related and went all in trying to live like a modern-day Donna Reed.

Nevermind I also had a full-time job. And was organizationally challenged. And only human.

I watched my husband’s life change what seemed to be very little as we added offspring.

His body stayed intact while I didn’t at all recognize my new shape.

He got up at night to feed our babies but I had to prep for that in advance, which seemed like more work for me. Then he got a ton of praise for it. When I got up night after night, it was the expectation.

I got home earlier from work so I picked up the kids and cooked dinner, I cleaned and did the laundry and grocery shopped and paid the bills because those had always been my jobs.

And on and on and on.

Anytime the poor guy offered to help, I rebuffed him.

He’d only mess it up anyway, I told myself.

The lies had clearly taken over my soul.

And as the lies took over, I got bitter and resentful from doing it all alone.

My preferred method of “communication” (air quotes warranted)?

Silent seething.

An occasional tantrum.

And then feeling guilty and remorseful and so I tried to do more to make up for my bad behavior.

Good. Times.

I’m not letting him totally off the hook here, but I”m also not going to attempt to tell his side of the story.

But what it took me WAY too long to learn is silent seething, tantrums, and basically sending the whole family on a rollercoaster of my every emotion aren’t actually valid ways of communication with another adult human.

Also, being in love doesn’t make anyone into a mind-reader.

Or a good communicator, apparently.

The lie that whispered because I am the woman means I can somehow do all the things? Total. Crap.

I had to stop resenting and start believing in and honoring the amazing man who is my husband. I learned he did things differently, but different doesn’t mean wrong.

He can make meals that are delicious. And sometimes weird in the best way.

He is actually way better than I am at playing with the kids.

When he cleans, he is meticulous in a way I will never master.

The kids want him to iron their clothes instead of me because he’s got the patience and the knack.

He is even-keeled, he brings the humor when I am losing my mind, and he is just a gem.

But only if I let him be himself. Only then can he bring his gifts.

No one needs two mes in this world. Even when my pride tells me otherwise.

And no one needs two of you. Even though you are awesome.

Our loves are made to complement each other, not force one to become the other.

So if you are struggling today, rolling your eyes, doing all the things and basically carrying the weight of the world on your martyred shoulders, let it go.

Let your partner love as he is designed to love.

See and honor the good he brings.

It’s there, I promise.

Go out of your way to let go and enjoy your spouse’s gifts.

Your life may look different than what you imagined, but also better than you ever dreamed.

This post originally appeared on Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt

Marriage takes work. Thankfully, there’s an app that can help! Lasting—the nation’s #1 relationship counseling app—provides accessible sessions designed to help you build a healthy marriage. Download and take Lasting’s free Relationship Health Assessment.


So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Amy Betters-Midtvedt

Amy Betters-Midtvedt is a writer, educator, mom of 5 crazy kids, wife to a patient husband, and lover of Jesus. She writes along with her friend and former teaching partner Erin over at Hiding in the Closet With Coffee. Our mission is to help parents find sanity and joy, and we know sometimes joy is found hiding out in the closet with coffee, or hiding out on Facebook — come and join us both! You can read more about us here. You can also find us hiding out over at InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

You Came between Us

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Toddler between mom and dad under sheet

Right in the middle of our deepest love, you came—just between us. A silent, unseen surprise. A mysterious miracle of incarnated love and joy. From that sacred moment that we couldn’t imagine being any sweeter, came you. Sometime in the middle of all the daily goodbye hugs, my stomach began to grow and you came between us. This beautiful bundle of life blossoming right inside of me. And we were in awe of every single tiny formation of you. In awe of who you were, excited by who you’d be, in awe that you were ours. You came between us...

Keep Reading

To My Wife: I See Your Sacrifice

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Family of 3 sitting on floor together at home

Selfless. No other word more clearly depicts your commitment to your family. Motherhood is drastically different than you dreamed of your whole life—the dreams of what sort of mama you would be, of how much you would enjoy being a mother even on the tough days. Since day one of our relationship, you’ve been selfless. Since day one of being a mama, you’ve been selfless. Your love for your family shines through on the brightest and darkest days. But on the dark days, it shines the brightest. I can’t count the hours of sleep sacrificed, the tears cried, the time...

Keep Reading

If You’re Fighting for Your Marriage Right Now, Keep Going

In: Marriage
Couple embracing with worried look on woman's face

My husband and I just celebrated 20 years of marriage last week. For the first five years of our marriage, we had no kids. We now have six. We have been through multiple moves, job changes, pregnancies, miscarriage, child loss, the death of loved ones, grief, three adoptions, mental illness etc. I see marriage totally differently than I did 20 years ago.  I believe, above everything, it takes two people willing to sacrifice and work hard (maybe one more than the other during different seasons) in order for the marriage to stay afloat. Marriage, if done right, does not puff one up...

Keep Reading

“I Can’t Do This Anymore,” He Said—Then Everything Changed

In: Living, Marriage
Woman with head in hands

The questions are very much valid. Did I know when I married him? Did I know when we struggled with infertility and trying to become parents? Did I know when we unexpectedly became pregnant with our second child? When did you know your husband was an alcoholic? The answer is simple yet so complex, I pretty much knew from the first year, yet I was in complete denial. When I met him, he was just my type—a bad boy with a bad reputation, yet so cute! On our third date or so, I saw how much he could drink and how...

Keep Reading

She Left Him on Valentine’s Day

In: Faith, Marriage
Husband kissing wife on cheek, color photo

“Can you believe that?” Those were the dreaded knife-cutting whispers I heard from across the table. I sunk deeper into my chair. My hopes fell as everyone would forever remember that I had left my fiancée on Valentine’s Day. Maybe one day it would just dissipate like the dream wedding I had planned or the canceled plane tickets for the Hawaiian honeymoon. Some bridesmaids and guests had already booked plane tickets. It was my own nightmare that kept replaying in my head over and over again. I had messed up. Big time. To be honest, if it made any difference,...

Keep Reading

I Want More than Mediocre Love

In: Marriage
Man and woman holding hands facing away from each other, silhouette

It felt like an out-of-body experience as I watched my fingers type into the Google search bar, “Local divorce lawyers near me.” I just want to know my options. Yet, my heart pounded as realized I was halfway serious in considering a divorce. There was no betrayal, no abuse, no lying, or cheating. My husband was and is a good man. The truth was he did not do anything wrong, I was just convinced he was doing nothing right. We were in the thick of life with a new baby, and I was certain that the man I loved was...

Keep Reading

My Husband’s in Love with a Different Woman Now

In: Living, Marriage, Motherhood
Couple standing by Christmas decorations

He’s in love with a different woman now . . . I met my husband seven years ago. We got married and went on adventures. Went to some weddings and had a bunch of kids. Every Christmas party season, we would celebrate by going out to dinner . . . except this year that one dress didn’t fit. I had my husband try to zip it, and then my mom . . . there was no budging. I had been tiny, I had been heavy—sick and healthy. My weight had been a roller coaster always. But, this special dress had always...

Keep Reading

Did I Deserve My Husband’s Affair?

In: Marriage
Woman looking out window

When my husband left and ran off with a lady from his office, all of my friends and family bombarded me with one massive conclusion: Divorce him! You deserve better! Back then, I agreed. “Yes! I deserve way better than this!” And like a fast-moving train locked in place, my deserving something better became the fuel to cut him off. Then, as time wore on, I began to wonder, what exactly did I “deserve”? In the dictionary, “deserve” means “to have earned or to be given something because of the way you have behaved or the qualities you have.” Am I...

Keep Reading

I’ve Changed My Mind about Everything but You

In: Marriage
Husband and wife selfie in field of wildflowers, color photo

I’ve changed my mind about almost everything but you. When I was a little girl, I couldn’t pick my favorite Spice Girl. I loved Baby Spice, but was also a big fan of sports. So what about Sporty Spice? And all their outfits were so cool, I couldn’t make up my mind about which one I hoped to become one day. When I was in middle school, I’d eagerly await my bi-weekly orthodontist appointments just so I could pick a new band color for my braces. And within a day or two, I’d have already decided I hated them, and...

Keep Reading

Marriage is Not always Equal Effort

In: Marriage
Couple smiling on beach

I’m in the kitchen making dinner, swaying from one foot to the other to mitigate that third-trimester sciatica when I hear the click of your keys in the front door. The dog’s paws lose traction as he scurries to the door and our son stops what he’s doing to look up in anticipation. If our daughter wasn’t napping, she’d scurry to the front door too. For me, I feel my body relax and immense joy fills me up. My husband is home. But here’s what really awes me. The last week, he’s been commuting two hours one way for work-related...

Keep Reading