Are you tired of being a good wife?
Of chasing connection, bringing up the hard conversations, wooing growth, always running after a healthy marriage?
You want your husband to share the weight of the relationship. To care as much as you do. And show it.
Before we continue, a quick caveat; this post is addressing wives in the early years of marriage. If you are older in marriage, I invite you to still read because there’s a lot to learn. These thoughts are not meant for marriages where adultery, abuse (please get help!) or abandonment are present.
I hit the “I am done” button a few months after the wedding.
My husband and were struggling in our communication, and as it happens, the issues spiraled into struggle everywhere else.
I told a mentor “I am done trying to fix us” Which translated to “It’s my husband’s turn now “
Being the good wife and giving it all up
I didn’t realize it then, but by pushing the responsibility of all growth on my husband, I was dismantling the foundation I had built my marriage upon. Further, I was expecting him to fall in love with the new me.
The blame-shifting, in-your-face, despairing me who wanted a good marriage, but was entirely oblivious about the cost of making marriage good.
But something changed and today I want us to look at betters way to “grow up” your marriage when you are done with the excellent wife walk.
Because pushing back on your husband in unhealthy ways will not give you the marriage you are looking for. Courteous goodwill is an indispensable part of a marriage relationship.
In fact, your husband married you because you were gracious to him (and vice versa.)
Swapping compassion and goodwill for straight-shooting, tired, hurt, bitter, blaming, hard-hearted will most definitely land your relationship on a very different planet.
Very far away from the one you are dreaming about.
By checking out, you are in effect, introducing your husband to a new wife. A woman he didn’t say “I Do” to and likely wouldn’t have married.
So how do you still grow together without uprooting healthy foundations? How do you pursue health without crushing?
Four things to remember when you are tired of being a good wife
1. Embrace honesty
Let’s start by affirming what you already discovered; there’s no place for fakeness or hiding in marriage — no place for passivity or laziness. If you are going to have a grown-up marriage, you will have to grow up.
Maybe in your desire to rid the marriage of excuses, you met with people who made silence and passivity look like symbols of holiness.
Characters who made it seem like the highest aspiration for wives should be “see nothing, say nothing, do nothing” — folks who look down on women who exercise their brain, will and heart in marriage.
Relationships start to die when walls go up. Walls go up when we feel unheard and stop connecting.
When we don’t speak truth to each other, when we hide because we don’t want to rock the boat or because we think that’s how submission works, we rob ourselves of the best version of the relationship we can have.
We can’t build a healthy marriage on weak communication.
But here’s the tricky part for most wives. Accepting that self-protection, manipulation, control, and fear is actually poison to the relationship.
Understanding that honesty at all costs policy kills the very connection you are trying to grow.
There’s a right and wrong way to share the truth. While a marriage without honesty is a marriage without intimacy, a marriage without godly wisdom, self-control and filters is a marriage filled with wounds and walls.
Take a deep dive into the delicate balance of truth and honesty when you read the following posts:
2. Embrace filters
Why did you marry your husband? Why did he marry you?
It’s most likely because he was a good man who treated you well.
His faith might have been on point, his character incredible, and it helped that he was liked by your best friend. But one of the things that mattered the most was how he treated you and how he made you feel.
You were both at your most impressive; in fact, impressed each other all the way to the altar.
What mattered then still matters now.
Filters are important because humans communicate on a fragile wavelength of truth, grace and respect. It’s possible to say the exact same thing and receive two different outcomes, depending on how and when you said it.
When dating, most people play a good game. Even when they drive each other nuts, they still try to believe the best of each other. In hardships, they present their best sides.
Then they get married, and the rigors of doing life with another human being 24-7 catch up.
When doing their part is laborious, they walk, instead of cleave. When they hate being good, they don’t force ourselves to grow up and still act right; they figure it’s time to get tired of being a good spouse.
So they remove the filters that gave them the title of a “spouse.”
Niceness, goodness, preference, benefit of doubt, self control, friendship; they are hard to come by.
I am not suggesting hard marriage seasons should feel nice, or that we should gloss over trouble so as not to make our spouse feel bad. Obviously growing up is already hard.
I am just proposing that even when we have to dig deep, when we have to confront and hold each other accountable, we should aspire to do so with respect and self control.
We should keep our best foot forward. You know, the same way we did back when we were starry-eyed for each other.
And when we fail at being good spouses, we should be honest about, ask for forgiveness and take the posture of humility. Even when we believe we are right.
3. Don’t underestimate the power of time
Author and poet Jackie Hill recently shared a quote on Instagram:
“What might feel big now most likely won’t be in five, ten, or twenty years. Time doesn’t heal wounds, but it does put our current burdens into perspective. Life as it is now, won’t always be. Time gives you the freedom to hope.”
Time gives you the freedom to hope. I love that.
But the idea that things can get better with time (as she prays and does her part) is frustrating for the woman who is tired of being a good wife.
She feels the rigors of going the extra mile, of desiring growth and just wants her husband to want it as much as she does. Her giver feels empty and an emotional walk out feels like the only salve there is.
Here’s the thing about giving your marriage time; it’s not optional. Furthermore, it needs to be intentional and engaged. You need to look at seasons and actually believe God can use them to shift and grow things.
So you start to do your part because you believe He is interest in your husband’s growth, more than you are.
But just as the seed doesn’t become a giant tree the day it was buried in the ground, your marriage doesn’t grow up overnight.Just as the seed doesn't become a giant tree the day it was buried in the ground, your marriage doesn't grow up overnight.
But with just a little more patience, lots of goodwill, active intentionality, and a whole lot of God, the seed you planted will grow.
4. Remember every one struggles
Finally, some good news. Everyone struggles : )
This tired season is not unusual.
I have been in the marriage education space for eleven years, and catch this; almost all the marrieds I know wanted to check out in the early days. And long after the honeymoon was gone, these folks are still working on staying.
My husband and I stayed.
Not because we really knew what we were doing at first or we had big hopes with each other. We stayed because we believed God could change things for us. (We also liked the sex : ) )
We had mentors who believed in us, friends who did life with us and a legacy to mind.
Everybody’s struggle is different because we bring divergent baggage into the marriage. Please know I am not minimizing your challenges.
But I just want you to remember that most marriages go through hard checks. And most couples feel like their marriage is ending.
You are not the only ones facing trials.
Get counseling, do your part read books, take time-outs, do everything you need to do. But don’t slide into a pity-party, feeling like no one understands.
(Please note: this post is not addressing marriages where adultery, abuse (please get help!) or abandonment are present.)
Summary: when you are tired of being a good wife
When you feel like you are the only person who cares about your marriage, certainly get help! Talk to someone, do your part. But also
- Remember honesty
- Embrace filters
- Don’t underestimate the power of time
- Remember everyone struggles
I invite you to read the following posts for deeper insights into marriage issues.
Your turn! What do you think? Has the “I am tired of being a good wife” thought ever crossed your mind? How did you work through the season? What stood out to you in today’s post? Let’s chat in Comments!