This week I thought I’d sit down and write about marriage. But every time I start to type something I feel like such a fraud. Mainly because I have zero clue what it takes to make a marriage successful. My husband and I have been together for a total of 17 years, yet I have zero wisdom to offer. I have no authority or accreditation to qualify me to talk about relationships of any kind. I laugh typing this because just this morning I wanted to scream at my husband for his total lack of consideration for my day.
After dinner last night I asked my husband to please take out the trash and finish the dishes for me while I got the kids through their bed time and story time routine. I need to be in my office to write and I am hoping to get to bed before 11 p.m. (Never happened). I went about my routine, got the girls into bed and ran off to type up my thoughts. My husband forgot I even mentioned any of those things and sat down in front of the TV to relax. I assumed he took care of everything I asked him to. I went to bed an hour or so after he did, so I didn’t think to check on what I asked him to do.
This morning his alarm woke me up around 5:30 a.m. as it does most mornings. I could hear him resetting his clock. We had a huge blizzard yesterday and everything closed down. He wasn’t needed very early so he took a little extra time to sleep. Well, once I’m awake. I am awake. So, I decided to get up and get some coffee and maybe listen to a podcast for the first time. Maybe I’ll even get on the treadmill. (Never happened).
The first thing I notice is a sink full of dishes. I had to take deep breaths and swallow hard the bitterness. I made my coffee and rolled up my pajama sleeves to do the dishes. As I was dumping the remnants collected at the bottom of the sink into the garbage, I see that it is still overflowing. I may have snarled a little. As I close the lid and turn around I see several cups on the kitchen table left from dinner and a trail of food bits left over by one of our Tasmanian devils. *Sigh* well at least the dishes are done and so is the coffee.
I pour my cup and fire up a Ted Talk on YouTube (I know not a pod cast, but still info). Not even five minutes later I hear, “AAAAAAHHHHHGGG MOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!” and deep sobbing. I rush to my daughter’s room and see she had a potty accident which is very unusual so I’m guessing she has a urinary tract infection. We can just add a trip to the emergent care to today’s list of things to do. I cleaned her up and got her to the couch to rest since it is so early. I cleaned up her room and started the laundry. Hubby gets up to get ready for work. He simply has to pick up his keys and lunch box and head out the door and his morning is under way. “Don’t forget the garbage,” I yell after him.
I really have to congratulate myself for not losing it right there in the kitchen. I really wanted to yell and give him the big lecture about how his neglect set back my morning. But I didn’t. After he left and silence fell over the house again I realized I don’t have to dig us out of the almost 3 feet of snow today. My husband, full of his annoying faults, went outside three times yesterday during winter storm Stella to snow blow our driveway. He even played with the kids in the giant snow banks. This morning he moved my car to the middle of the driveway before leaving so that I could load the kids in easier. He knew I’d need to get out to the doctor today.
When he arrived home, after battling whatever annoying things happened to him at work, and braving crazy people on the road, he transferred our pet fish into the clean tank because I was too nervous to do it myself. Then he finished the dishes and read the girls a book so I could run into my office to check email (and edit this post). I realize now at 10:00 p.m. he isn’t responsible for making my day perfect. No one is. There are no perfect days, only perfect moments. After 17 years I know enough about him to know he shows his affection through random little things I don’t always notice, like setting the car up for easy maneuvering, or setting the timer on the coffee pot.
So here is the small wisdom I learned today. When the stress of the day begins to pile up, it’s easy to dump it on our spouse. When we are tired and overwhelmed we want someone else to take responsibility, or sometimes take the blame. My husband isn’t as plugged into the household grind as I am. But I do have to give him credit for his supporting role and background efforts. They may not be as loud, or as messy, or as “perfect” as mine, but he is there and he is trying.
Maybe you have had similar moments with your spouse? Anyone have any married with children insight to share?
The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia
So it turns out you have great marriage advice and you’re right it can be easy to dump it all on the other person but we have to remember our own stresses too
Good advice to recognize my own stress levels too!
I have also been married for almost 17 years too. And yes we have similar moments except for it’s usually the other way around my husband reminding me to do the dishes and me forgetting to do it and him complaining about it .
I try not to remind my husband of things because I feel like I do that all day long with my children. Ha! And if I am being honest there are days I forget the dishes too. And I have to ask myself, “how would I want to be spoken to about it.”
I think you did a good job of giving advice to all! My daughter is grown and married herself, but I wish I could do parts of that time of my life all over. I would do things differently but hopefully with an improved outcome!
This is some really great advice. I take stuff out on my husband sometimes and really need to keep in mind that he does more than his share to help and doesn’t deserve it. Ok, sometimes he does – but not most of the time.
I agree that there are no perfect days. It’s important to really cherish the perfect moments.
I think we’ve all been through this. We always want someone to blame or share the responsibility with. It’s called being human. But we also have to realize that we can be in control, of what we feel, how we react, etc. It’s better to be more vocal though if we need more help around the house.
Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone in this struggle. 😉
Very good advice, this post is one that could be read at any stage of marriage, great reminders!
Thanks for reading!
Thank you for sharing your story. Found great and helpful advice for my own marriage. 🙂
Glad you found it helpful! Thanks so much for reading. 😉
How awesome that he kept up with the snow, that’s an impressive feat all on its own! I know it’s a pain when they don’t do the little things that we ask them to do, but sometimes those big things really make up for it.
I have been married 18 years and you have to pick your battles and not sweat the small stuff. You have to appreciate your husband for the good things and not expect him to be everything all the time.
You’re post is us in a nutshell. I am so happy for the grace we share and the ability for us to take things in stride. I am more vocal than my spouse but there are times, still, that he doesn’t know every fine detail of the day. I think remembering that the other person has a different perspective makes things more understandable and helps to defuse the situation. Very, very helpful post.
I am so glad it is helpful! Some years we really struggle in our marriage, more so once we had children. I agree to allow the other person some space to be who they are too.
This is really beautifully written. I can absolutely relate. I am married with 2 toddlers. I agree with how easy it is to just lash out on my husband when things don’t go my way or everything just starts piling up. I am lucky though that he helps out with the kids and in the house. So whenever I feel like that, I just tell myself that he goes through the same things as I do but he doesn’t lash out on me.
I think my sister would like your posts.
I plan to share with her.
I agree with you that you cannot simply dump on your husband just because you’re having a bad day. Also, I think kids scale up the stress in the relationship to another level in general.
Thanks for sharing! I agree kids can really scale up the stress in a relationship. It becomes more to consider than just ourselves.
I am not married yet but I heard it can be a lot. My parents have been together for 34+ years and my mom probably sounds like you she doesnt have all the answers.
I think marriage is literally the epitome of extreme patience.
Congrats to your parents on 34 years! Experts aren’t kidding when they say marriage takes work. I think the important thing is to marry someone you genuinely like, not just feel romantic love for.
have been married for 3 years and the success of good marriage is not to share your relationship concerns with any 3rd party.
Does that rule apply to bloggers? 😉 *kidding*
I’m a single girl so I have to do everything for myself, but I will say it is nice to have someone to do those little things every now again. No one is perfect. Sometimes your significant other will make you want to scream, but then there are those other times when they will do something for you that makes you feel so special, even if it is a small gesture.
I love that yoou’re honest about the zero ideas part. So many people say the same things so often and soemtimes i have no ideas what makes us work either.
I think there is frustration and annoyance in all relationships. Society puts too much pressure on the “perfect” marriage. There is no such thing as perfect, unless you tailor it to your kind of perfect.
Awesome post!! I have to say no one is perfect so its obvious no marriage will be perfect. We have to just learn to accept each other with flaws and good qualities. Communicate and listen. Its important to remember how we came to be a couple and the good things and memories that united us in the first place.