• Kara Abernathy

3 Reasons I'm Not a Good Wife

I’m not a good wife

Less than two years into marriage and the romance behind spending 24/7 together has become a mirage. Unlike dating, I’m not always at my best. I didn’t spend time getting ready. My hair and makeup aren’t done. There’s not a planned activity.

Marriage is a messy house and dirty laundry. It’s walking through the door after work starving because I had lunch at 10:45 a.m. and get hungry every couple of hours. There are sick days, lazy days, and argumentative days.

While I’d like to hold the badge of honor that reads good wife, sometimes that’s simply not true.

1. I’m not present

My phone captures my attention as I scroll through the content of social media. I tell my husband “just one more thing” as I strive to finish another task before relaxing with him. I even get distracted during conversations because I am thinking about what I need to do or who I need to talk to or what errand I need to run.

Sometimes, I’m simply not present with my husband. Taking for granted that I can see him more than others, I don’t treasure our time as highly as I should. He’s the most important human in my life, so I should treat him as such always.

2. I lash out and get impatient

As a teacher, my job requires me to be “on” all day. Managing behavior, providing instructions, walking around the room answering questions, I spend my time concerned about the welfare of 30 teens at a time. The next hour, 30 more arrive.

By the time I come home from work, I’m sometimes mentally and emotionally drained. I’ve lost my patience because I’ve poured it all out to sixteen-year-olds.

I find myself lashing out at my husband over the dumbest issue because I’m blowing off steam. It’s not fair that he is subject to my impatience when others are extended grace.

His job is even more demanding. As an emergency room physician, he spends his time problem-solving multiple life-and-death situations. He cares for others, rushes to traumas, and spends 10+ hours on his feet.

When he gets home from work, he needs a minute to decompress. I know this and can respect it, but still, I test it. I want him to walk in the door ready to tackle my to-do list. After saving lives and putting chest tubes in patients, I want him to hurry to my side to empty the dishwasher.

It’s ironic because I am a teacher who can accept work that’s three weeks late from a student without a second thought, but I’m a wife who lashes out after ten minutes of waiting on my husband to complete a chore.

That’s not right.

I need to honor my husband with patience. I can’t expect a perfect husband when I’m not a perfect wife.

3. What I do behind closed doors doesn't always exemplify the God I follow

The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in love. He instructs us that love keeps no record of wrongs.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corin. 13: 4-7).

It’s probably the most used passage at weddings, but doesn’t it still sting with conviction?

I deeply love my husband, but I fail often at abounding in love. My temper flairs or my defensiveness wants to prove I’m right. I desire to recall past instances of problems to justify why I’m angry now.

These behaviors do not exemplify Christ. I’m called to be a light, and unfortunately, sometimes my light shines dimmest in my own home.

Even though I desperately want to show Josh the most love and respect, I’m afraid he often receives the most hurried and nonpresent version of me.

Growing in Marriage

Something I love about Josh is that he is steady. His behavior and personality and charm are the same everywhere. The goofiness and joy that he exhibits around a table of friends playing games also arrises in his laid-back way of calming me down and reminding me to rest. He cracks jokes at work. He tries to get a good laugh out of me every day.

Instead of showing me the spent and impatient side of himself to me, he reserves energy to welcome me home with a hug. Josh readily sets aside everything to cuddle.

We are in year two of marriage, and I want to be a better wife. I want to exemplify the steady and abounding-in-love nature of God.

Prioritizing the Marriage

Maybe you feel similarly. Maybe you are one person at work – professional, patient, put together – and another at home. Maybe your family sees the worst side of you because you are the most comfortable to let the fleshy and sinful side of you become unveiled.

When asked who are the most important humans in your life, do you automatically think of your family? Most likely.

If you’re like me, you probably need to work at extending grace to the people you love the most.

Marriage removes all barriers and exposes the ugly. When we are most comfortable at home, we are often co-dwelling but not communicating.

Perhaps we are sitting on the couch together but on our own devices. Impatience weaves its way into our hearts because we are exhausted and needy. While we boost our public reputation with kindness and forgiveness, we hold attitudes of animosity at home.

As the year winds down, I need to re-read my own words. I need to learn from my mistakes and work on the way I honor my spouse. Maybe you do, too.

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© 2019 Kara Abernathy

Disclaimer: my thoughts do not necessarily reflect the thoughts of my employer.