I walked through the door at the end of a long work day and I could tell from the first look that she was angry. My wife gave me that universal look all women possess to warn their unsuspecting spouses to tread softly.
It was clear she was having a bad day . . . or should I say year.
I knew the next 10 minutes would be a strategic interrogation of how my day went so we could somehow end up talking about how bad her day went. It seemed like every day was the same and I couldn’t quite figure out why she seemed so unhappy all the time. All I wanted was for her to be happy and to enjoy the life that I was working hard to provide. I felt like I was failing her as a man and our marriage was starting to unravel.
I was at my wit’s end so I did the one thing most men fear most of all: I asked her . . . TO TALK ABOUT IT! Cue the soap opera, close-up, awkward pause, suspense music.
Here is what I found out:
1. She feels like she is parenting the kids alone.
Our wives feel like we don’t help enough with the kids when we come home from work. Are we tired when we get home? Yes. But are we really THAT tired? Probably not. Do some of us work manual labor, back-breaking jobs? Yes, that’s me, but I can still change a diaper, play with my kids, and probably wash a dish or two. Does it suck sometimes? Yes, it does, but it sucks for your wife, too. Step up. Do the crappy jobs. Be a man. Don’t be too proud or selfish and think that once you make the money for your home your job is done. Your job is to lead your family by dying to yourself so your family can thrive.
2. She feels like she has to make all of the decisions.
Our wives feel like we don’t care about anything important or useful. She has to make all of the schedules, keep up on the bills, and keep the fridge stocked. She doesn’t feel like she has any help making decisions and when she does ask, all we can come up with is, “I don’t care. Does it really matter?” If all of these statements are true, we don’t really have a wife, we have a mom, version 2.0. Our wives want us to take initiative! Stop being a passive male. Step up into the leadership role you were designed for. Our wives should not have to make decisions by themselves. Be interested in the small details of your family’s lives. Give your wife the companion and protector she has always wanted. Be one.
3. She feels underappreciated.
Our wives feel like everything they do goes unnoticed. This is especially true for stay-at-home moms. These women keep our homes clean, wash our dirty, stinky laundry, and cook meals that we don’t have to cook all while keeping the kids from burning the house down or flooding the basement. Sounds like a hard job to me. How about we take the time as men to tell our wives that we appreciate them? I’m not talking about a one-time blanket statement that will get you laid, I’m talking about the small things. Tell her your clothes smell amazing. Tell her the house looks clean. Tell her she looks beautiful. Tell her she is a great mom. Be the encourager. Take the time. You may just get yourself a happy wife one of these days.
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