A Better Spouse

Hubby recently told me that one of his friends said, “You married a good wife.”

My reaction to him was, “Huh, what are you saying about me behind my back?” and the one to myself was, Yeah, you go, girl!  😉

I think everyone enjoys getting complimented, right? We all like to feel good about ourselves and to look good to other people. So I was more than happy to hear that someone would think I’m a good wife. And to be honest, I’ve thought the same thing myself on occasion.

I cook, clean, do laundry, buy groceries, take care of the kids, listen to hubby vent, put up with his crazy work schedule, etc. 

I am a good wife!

I’ve even gone to the point of thinking, I’m not just good, I’m better. I’m the better spouse. I’m easier to live with. I don’t leave my socks in random places around the house. I’m so easy going. The list could go on and on. (And my head would grow bigger and bigger.)

I would likely have a very huge ego by now if it were not for an incident that happened one morning. I had just stepped out of a nice, hot shower and grabbed my towel off the rack when something in the trash can caught my eye. Lying on top of a bunch of wadded up tissues was a clump of long, wet hair. I leaned down to take a closer look and realized the black blob had once belonged to me. Over time, I had shed a long lost relative of Cousin Itt in the shower and someone had picked it up and thrown it into the trash. That someone had been my hubby.

In that instant the reality of the situation hit me as strongly as the cold air that had met me when I stepped out of the shower.

Are there things about me that annoy him, like my hair always clogging up the drain? Is there a slim possibility that I’m not as easy to live with after all?! (Gasp!)

Image courtesy of winnond/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of winnond/freedigitalphotos.net

I know my tendency to shed in the shower (and all over the house) is not that big of a deal. Just the fact that hubby discarded my hair without mentioning it shows it’s a minor issue for him. But likewise, hubby’s tendency to shed his socks around the house shouldn’t be a big deal either, yet I confess I have made it into one in the past. This got me thinking – could it be that one reason I believe I am a good wife is because hubby often chooses to overlook my imperfections? In actuality, I know there are things that I do or the way in which I do them that cause him to sigh and shake his head. However, he is quite patient with me and gives me grace as I grow. I, on the other hand, am not so kind. I would rather downplay my shortcomings and focus instead on his. Clever, huh? It’s the classic speck and log scenario, which I admit I fall prey to quite often throughout our marriage (Matthew 7:1-5).

What I’ve come to realize though is that marriage should not be about criticizing or comparing, but about cooperating and giving grace. When two people share the same roof, conflicts and disappointments are bound to happen. A harmonious relationship takes a lot of work and time to achieve. As a marriage goes through its growing pains, the point isn’t to figure out who is doing more or less in the relationship (cause it will never work out perfectly fairly). What matters is keeping the right perspective of our spouse.

When we choose to see our husband or wife as good – essentially as valuable and lovable – a lot of the things that annoy and irritate us will go by the wayside. It will become more natural to show patience and understanding on a daily basis. It will become easier to see the planks in our own eyes. It won’t be a big deal anymore to pick up socks off the floor or hair from the shower drain.

Because when it all comes down to it, the goal of marriage is not to focus on who is or is not the better spouse, but to become a better spouse.

Take a listen to John Legend’s song, “All of Me“. I like the line about loving all the “perfect imperfections”. 🙂

What perfect imperfections have you come to love about your spouse?

2 comments

  1. Amy from Swag on, Momma! says:

    Great post! Haha…yeah, sometimes those realizations aren’t too comfortable. I have a hard time not thinking competitively with my husband, and I have to remind myself, “We are a TEAM! Not, opponents!” Cause it’s lame to keep score. It’s humbling to be pregnant and super tired and be going through some health problems, cause I am letting things in the house slip (um like dishes for days…), and when he steps in to get it done after a busy day at work and school, I often feel guilty and then defensive, instead of feeling grateful. Ughhhh. But, I am trying to be better! 🙂

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