Monday, November 22, 2010

A Happy Spouse... a Happy House.

So then why am I so busy trying to make myself  happy at his expense?  I like to think that for most of the month, I am a nice, affectionate, sweet, and understanding wife.  But there's that one stupid week per month where I can act like a total witch, mostly just to my husband. 

Suddenly, he's not helping out enough, even though he does everything he possibly can.  Or maybe it's just that he's not doing it correctly, or fast enough, or reading my mind.  I've even argued with him about splitting an english muffin with a fork. I maintain that they are already fork split, you just have to pull them apart, but he thinks to maximize the nooks and crannies, you need to use the fork to split them.  He sees potential yumminess, and I see another dirty fork in the sink.

Speaking of dirty dishes in the sink, I was recently heard singing "It's a magical sink, a magical sink, where everybody puts in their dirty dishes and they come out clean.  Don't worry about cleaning them yourself because it's a magical siiiiiiiiiiiink!"  Pathetic song, and even more pathetic attitude.

Why do I feel the need to bark at him about helping with the laundry, when he has never once asked me to mow the lawn, fix the faucet, take out the trash, or work full-time to support the family.  Why do I see what he isn't doing instead of all the things he does for us everyday?

I think many of us wives can admit to this sort of bad behavior from time to time, and I've been looking for ways to overcome it. 

First, I put myself in his place.  Would I like to come home to a nice dinner and a clean house, or to a nagging spouse who complains about every detail of his day?  Would I like to get a thank you for all I do, or a list of things to do?  The answer is easy, treat him as I want to be treated.

Secondly, I learn to love him in the language he hears best.  For my husband, that is with physical touch.  Although at the end of a long day, I sometimes feel "touched out" by the babies, a hug or back rub shows him just how much I love him.

Another way to become a better wife is to change my attitude in my daily chores.  I recently read a wonderful article that suggested replacing the "have to" with "get to".  For example, I don't have to take care of my kids, I get to take care of them.  I get to go to work to help our family's financial situation.  I get to make a wholesome dinner for my husband and children.  It truly gives my priorities a much needed makeover at times.

Finally, I can offer it up.  This month of November, as we pray for the Souls in Purgatory, we can offer up all our daily nuisances for their eternal salvation.   It's not easy being a good and holy woman, but it's a lot better to suffer here on Earth than in Purgatory.  So carry your cross with grace, and with a smile on your face.

These are some of the things I have been trying to do to make my spouse (and house) happier.  What are your tricks for having a happy spouse?  I'd love to hear them!


  1. "I think many of us wives can admit to this sort of bad behavior from time to time" - time to time? ALL THE TIME!! I've been either pregnant or nursing since we got married and during the 2 blissful months of "normal" life between kids, I was a really normal person. Now I'm a bit off-kilter about everything.

    When I notice things are getting really bad with my attitude towards Jason, I do all the tactics you suggested. I also tell him exactly what I need. (Sometimes, I need help picking up the toys on the floor before I start throwing things!!) and that helps. Sometimes I remember it has been months since my last confession. That always sets me right for a few weeks.

  2. Oh my goodness. i was just thinking this same exact thing this morning. I was getting myself all into a funk of depression because I wanted so many things done for me by dh and listing them all off in my head and getting angrier with everyone...then at the end of this long "talk to" with myslef in my head I came to realization like you did about its not about the here and now but the getting to heaven part and helping your spouse get there etc...

    and everyone gives me unwarrented marriage advice about the happy wife happy life part and it always hits me the wrong way---I hate that phrase.

    My advice to others is that there is no such thing as a perfect spouse. But you can work on making yourself more giving and forgiving and modeling how you want to be treated.

  3. Awwww, I love it, Colleen! I try to do the same, though I'm not *always* successful. Take last night, for example, I was sooooo tired, I just wanted to go to sleep. But most nights. Almost every night, really, once Jeremy and I have gotten in bed, I give him a massage until he falls asleep. He loves it and appreciates it, and it's a small way for me to "say" thank you for allowing me to be at home. Thank you for going to work, and then coming home to work some more. So important to really show them how much we love them.

  4. oh thank you thank you thank you for this post...

    i've been a tad stressed and weird this last couple of weeks.. and I KNOW i take it out on poor hubs... and it's NOT EVEN his fault...

    reading this post of yours.. made me ask myself-- would I WANT TO COME HOME TO ME every night???

    YIKES!!! thanks a million for putting it ALL into perspective!!

  5. The fact that you even think this way is evidence to how lucky I am. I still win when it comes to choosing the best spouse.

  6. Great post Colleen.
    I always try to be mindful of my words and tone when he FINALLY gets home....
    I do warn my entire family when I feel that way they don't take it too personal.

  7. well, Phil is right about splitting the English muffin with a fork. Gotta maximize the nooks and crannies ;).

    I think we all do this with our spouses. I feel it most when Rob has to work late and I give him grief, but then, if it's time for me to be out of the house, he sends me off with a kiss and smile.

    When I'm feeling particularly put upon around the house, I just say "I love you" whenever I'm doing something that someone else should have done. Picking up socks? "I love you, Rob." Emptying the dishwasher? "I love you, Francie." and so on . . .

  8. Tricks to having a happy spouse? I think for me it is to try and be happy myself. Not is in self centred kind of way, but in an eating healthy, getting enough sleep, enjoying the moment kind of way. If I feel good about me, then I can feel good about us.

    Loved this post. I related so much to all of it.

  9. great advice! needed that.

  10. You make so many great points, have you read "Holiness for Housewives"? It is very similar to what you write about in this post.


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