And who wants to settle for it anyway?

Look, it’s a popular thing to complain about your husband.  Make it a rule – NEVER do it.  Ever.  It’s a breach of trust.  It is a forbidden topic.  It’s stabbing him in the back.  Don’t do it.  Don’t laugh at him in public.  Don’t mock him.  Don’t make fun of him to your sister or your mother or your aunts.  Woman!  What kind of crazy are you?  A foolish woman plucks down her house with her own hands.  The wise woman BUILDS it up.  Build up your husband.  Don’t tear him down.

Beyond that, let’s talk about our “Honey, Do…” lists.  Ya’all know you nag on him on the same thing.  Probably have for the last 13 years.  “Honey, PLEASE don’t take off your socks under the covers.”  “BABY!  The hamper!!  Just put your underwear in the HAMPER!”

If it hasn’t worked in the last 13 years, WHY do you continue to nag?  Do you REALLY think that somehow, some way, all of a sudden, your nagging is going to miraculously work.  Bwwwahhaaahhaaa, I laugh at you!

Albert Einstein
“Insanity : Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Quit being insane.

On another board, and I’m SO glad this young mama asked the question, it was asked what to do with a husband who refuses to do simple things, like take out the garbage / recyclables.  After all, he didn’t have a lot of household tasks, this was pretty much it.  And yet, it caused a lot of dissension between them.

Now, we all know our world really operates on the 50/50 rule in marriage, which is, to put it bluntly, crap.

This post was born of a lot of frustration.  So many of these young mamas and wives have been raised up in the “let’s have it all fair and equal” world and they’ve been sold a bill of goods.  Too bad they can’t return it and get their $$ back because they’ve been totally ripped off.
Following is the quote from another sweet mama who didn’t understand my previous responses because frankly, I think they went against everything she considered right and good.  And following that my further explanation.

Either you will find this good and useful and use it as fuel to improve your marriage.  OR you’ll write me off as a complete nutjob, anti-feminist who is a “slave” to her husband.  Let me be clear.  I AM a complete nutjob, anti-feminist and I firmly believe there is ONLY freedom in serving.  Everything else is SELF-SERVING and will hold in the bondage of pride, anger, and selfishness.  Those bands are difficult to break.

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Original Quote from the other mama:

“So she should expect NOTHING from him and do everything herself to make him happy?  That does not sound like a marriage I want.”

MY RESPONSE:

No, she should nag and scream, still get nothing, end up divorced, have to put her kids in daycare while she works a job or two, and hope nothing bad happens to them in the meantime. I definitely think that’s a better solution.

Okay, sarcasm aside, we have this cultural attitude that says, “HEY!!!! Gimme what I got comin’ to me. It’s fair or equal and if I can’t make everything FAiR (I HATE THAT WORD!) than I’ll make you pay for it by at least making you miserable.” Sorry, it doesn’t fix a marriage. You can’t force fair and equal.

Moreover, she flat out says that he goes to work come one way or the other to provide for the family unless he’s practically at death’s door. I don’t know about you but this ALL comes down to being grateful.

It ALWAYS comes down to being grateful.

I could look around my house and I could be irritated. After all, my dh doesn’t even have to pick up his own socks. I don’t even ask. He leaves his underwear on the bathroom floor. I or the kids feed the goats, chickens, dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. and weed the garden. We take out the garbage.

I could totally focus on what he DOESN’T do. And I’d be angry at him most the time. I’d be bitter.

But God gave me this life and for that I’m thankful. He gave me a husband and for that I am thankful. He gave me these children and I’m grateful.

My DH goes to work and works about 10-11 hours per day. He also drives about 20-25 minutes each day. That means he’s putting in about 60 hours a week. He has demands on him, deadlines, and stress that I NEVER have to deal with. If I want to take out garbage at 8AM, I can. If I want to take a nap, I can. If I want to wait to do dishes until 3PM, I can. If I don’t feel like making breakfast and instead want to make the kids brunch, I CAN. I have SO much freedom in my day. I can get on my ‘puter and totally waste time posting on diaperswappers. No one is breathing down my neck deciding how I spend every single minute of my entire day. Can you all GET why he might want to decide his own free time on his only day off????? Why he might just want to sit and NOT think and NOT be told what to do and NOT be yelled at? He answers to someone else every other minute of his day!!!! Why come home only to answer to a different boss? That would suck.

Let me turn it around for you.

Let’s pretend (LOL) I’m an incredibly productive wife. I get up at 5AM, make his lunch, his coffee, and get on with my day. I wake the kids, dress them, smile at them, and make them breakfast. We then have the choice to go to the library or the park. You know why? That freedom was bought and paid for by my husband. Then we come home and we have a nice, slow lunch. No time clock. You know why? It was bought and paid for by my husband. Then, I’m pregnant. And I tell you what, I get tired awfully easily. So I can snuggle up with my baby and my toddler and I can take a nap? You know why? Yup, you guessed it… It was bought and paid for by my husband.

Now, how would I feel after a day of taking care of his kids and working hard EVEN WITH ALL THE FREEDOM THAT I HAVE if he came and was on me to do a list of things – even if it was a short list? It would frustrate me. It would make me feel like he didn’t recognize what I did all day. Hello?! My day didn’t just start when he walked in the door. I had been working all day… All week for that matter! IF we were comparing, you betcha, I put in more hours than he does. But it’s NOT a contest. It’s not a matter of “I work harder than him” or “I do more than him” NO ONE will ever, ever, ever win. You can’t compete with your husband. It’s not a contest. You know why? Because NO ONE wins. You both lose.

And, yeah, I agree with what you said. I don’t think I have a right to demand things of my husband beyond those great things that he has given me. For goodness sakes I GET TO STAY HOME WITH MY KIDS! We’re a family willing to live in a two income world on a one income budget. Do you know how hard that is? Do you know how many moms WANT to stay home with their kids and they can’t? Do you know how many single moms would give anything to have a hard working husband to support them and feed them just so they’re only job in life is to stay home and take care of the house and the kids and take out the garbage?

If you’re thankful, truly thankful for what you have, you don’t spend your time going, “Well, if only………” You spend your time being grateful and doing for that other person. If you’re grateful you don’t think, “Jerk… he’s so lazy for not doing 1-2 things.” You spend your time thinking, “Wow, I’m SO blessed. I get to stay home with my kids.” Recyclables and kitty litter is a pretty small price.

So, no, you’re not going to hear me telling my husband about my “expectations.” I won’t be yelling at him to pick up his underwear OR his socks OR take out the garbage. When he comes home at night, he’ll come home to a hot meal, no honey do list, and a grateful family who are THANKFUL for his sacrifices every single day, when he doesn’t feel like it, when he wants to go fishing, or to the park, or to story hour, or just take a nap, but he goes to work ANYWAY for US.

Marriage IS about sacrifice. It’s never about making sure we all “get our share” that everything is fair and equal. Whoever came up with the 50/50 plan sucks. It takes 100/100. I’m going to give 100% every day. And if I don’t shame on me. And it’s NOT my responsibility to make sure he gives his share. That’s HIS responsibility. He’s an adult. He isn’t accountable to me. He’s accountable to God. If he doesn’t do his part, he doesn’t answer to me.

But I’ll tell you something. I’ve had it both ways. I’ve tried that whole 50/50 thing. It didn’t WORK. It’s a great THEORY, but it does NOT work. It leaves an angry bitter wife and a resentful husband who thinks you don’t notice a damn thing he does, only that which he DOESN’T do. And then I’ve tried this way… This whole pour yourself out for the other person, truly loving and serving the other person, and let me tell you what, I’m not doing it to get results, I’m doing it because THIS is what God wants from me as a wife, as a mother, as a human being. Christ never said, “Well, that guy just sits around the pool all day waiting to be healed, he’s not doing his share, so I’m not going to do my part and heal him.” That wasn’t the way it worked! Christ gave 100%. It didn’t matter if the other person SUCKED. And He inspired a world of change.

Look. You know what doesn’t work. If you want fair, then go for it. But if you want something AMAZING, if you want to have a husband who would live and die for you, try respecting him, serving him, loving him, adoring him. Focus on his good qualities, let the bad pass, and give, give, give, give. I know, it’s crazy! It goes way beyond our culture’s expectations. But you know what? We have a what? 60% divorce rate? Um, yeah, I don’t think I need to be taking advice from the world or what everyone else finds acceptable. I want one of those 1 in 1,000,000 marriages where I’d do ANYTHING for him and he’d live or die for me. And we’ll show our kids what a real marriage is and I never want them thinking that a 50/50 marriage is as good as it gets. Because it’s pathetic compared to what I know a marriage CAN be.

Precious things are gotten ONLY at a very high cost. And sometimes that means giving everything you got and risking getting absolutely NOTHING in return – it’s like a lottery. But, baby, when you hit it, you hit it big. And nothing in the world compares.

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