Marriage: It’s Not a Competition

I talked my sister-from-another-mister Chrissy into sharing some wisdom on the blog today while I’m on vacation! God bless you sis for putting it out there for us! I love her┬áteachable heart – we can all learn something from this post. Give her some social media love and check out her blog about being a merchant marine wife!
I’m not a competitive person by nature but I’ve found myself competing with my husband. It started after I gave birth to our oldest daughter. I would get angry anytime he would call and complain that he was tired or worked hard that day.

“He has no clue!”
“At least he gets to sleep in peace every night!”
“How dare he call and dump all of his problems on me…he clearly has no idea how worn out I am!”

When we had our second child it only got worse. I became more bitter. I found myself angry at him but yearning to connect with him at the same time.

Marriage is not a competition
Thankfully God gave me some gentle nudging toward how selfish and wrong I was! I took a year long course called Biblical Womanhood this past year and my biggest takeaway was that my husband and I were created differently with different roles in mind.

Nurturing is in my DNA. I don’t have to try very hard to love my kids. It comes naturally. Those daily tasks I want to complain about so much… the middle of the night nursing, the endless laundry, the toddler tantrums, the same bedtime routine every night, the exhaustion… it’s just part of the package. In truth, my dream package. I’ve never had more fulfilling work than being a mother. Yes, it’s work, but it comes with a deep satisfaction.

Now my husband on the other hand. He has this huge weight of being the only provider for our family. Our entire livelihood hangs on his decisions every day. One wrong move or bad call and he will probably end up without a job (best case scenario) in jail or even dead. He sometimes works 24 hour days on a steel deck in blizzards and 15 ft seas. He goes without eating or sleeping if the job requires it. He is away from his entire support system for weeks at a time.

So when he calls to unload or tell me how tired he is, why am I angry?! Don’t I want to be that person for him? Would I rather he call someone else to vent about his day?

Instead of competing with my husband for who had the hardest day, who got the least amount of sleep, who works harder/longer. I want to help him up. I want to appreciate what he does for us. He showers me with appreciation. I get messages like this all day long:

“I don’t know how you do it. You’re amazing! Our girls are so lucky to have you!”
“I’m praying for you babe! I hope you get some good sleep tonight.”
“How was your night? I have a long day ahead but I will call as soon as I can!”

And he does.

So when that call comes, I want to love him, encourage him, respect him. I want to listen to what he went through. I still share my struggles but it looks less like a competition and more like two best friends catching up.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Chrissy DoucetChrissy is a Stay-at-Home mom of two and wife to Merchant Marine. She sporadically updates her blog with posts on family life, healthy living, fitness and the occasional recipe.