“I’m afraid I used to be the wife who rolled her eyes at how my 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 somehow the work fell mostly to me.
Instead of talking about it, I accepted the lie 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.
Never mind 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 it in advance, which seemed like more work for me. Then 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, 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 roller coaster of my emotions 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, 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 which are delicious. And sometimes weird, in the best way.
He is actually way better than me 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 ME’s 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 they are designed to love.
See and honor the good they bring.
It’s there, I promise.
Go out of your way to let go and enjoy their gifts.
Your life may look different than what you imagined, but also better than you ever dreamed.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt. Follow Amy on Instagram here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more from Amy here:
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‘We couldn’t possibly have known. There was so much more ahead of us.’: Woman reminisces on being a clueless new mother, ‘You’ll all be OK because you already know the secret, how to love this baby’
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