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)?
An occasional tantrum.
And then feeling guilty and remorseful and so I tried to do more to make up for my bad behavior.
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.