Wednesdays for Wives: Making a List and Checking it Twice and Thrice and…

O.K. So this turned into Thursdays for Wives. It was Wednesday when I started it. It’s just been one of those weeks.

Did you get married with a list of things you expected your husband to do for you? I think many of us do. The list might include everything from providing financial security to taking out the trash. And usually as long as most of those things get done most of the time, we’re happy.

But what happens if he can’t fulfill your expectations?

Over-time may prevent him from keeping up with the yard work. Cut backs at work might mean he didn’t get his yearly raise and you didn’t get the new house with the white picket fence. Maybe you feel like he’s not meeting your emotional needs, because he doesn’t understand when you tell him that the gray hair your found this morning is ruining your life.

Sometimes our expectations are minor. Does it really matter if he always forgets to turn the light out in the garage? Sometimes they are major issues. It’s very stressful for a family if husband and dad is always out-of-town on business. In either case, going through your list and dwelling on what’s been left undone doesn’t help.

I am a champion list maker. In 30 seconds I could come up with 15 things my husband should be doing for me, and tell you the last time that he did each one, with a margin of error of a day or two. When I do this, I end up dwelling on the undone tasks, no matter how few. I get angry and stew and fret over them. And in my stewing, I add more and more undone items to the list. Soon I’m asking myself, “What has he done for me lately?” And when I get that kind of attitude the answer, true or or not, is always, “Nothing!”

But what I should really be asking is, “What have I done for him lately?” It’s contrary to human nature, but putting my selfish desires aside and focusing on his happiness, actually makes me happier. There is satisfaction in contributing to someone else’s well-being. And you can’t stew at the same time. It’s amazing just how many things I discover he has done for me when I’m not being selfish.

Marriage should be about giving to your spouse, not getting. If it’s become all about you, it may be time to rewrite the list. What can you do for him today?

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2 Responses to “Wednesdays for Wives: Making a List and Checking it Twice and Thrice and…”

  1. misty Says:

    Great post! sometimes even the best of us need reminding!

  2. realworldmartha Says:

    Great reminder. I have to admit I had a lot to learn early on but after 14 years I think I have made some progress in this area.

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