Monday, July 23, 2007

What Does Your Spouse Add to Your Life?

It’s so easy to focus on the things that our spouses do wrong. These are some of the things that annoy me about my husband:

He constantly throws his clothes on the floor.
He sleeps with 3 pillows, thus crowding me out.
He has every tool ever known to mankind cluttering up our garage, but berates me for buying one more makeup item that merely clutters a single drawer.
He never says, “I’m sorry.”
He drives too close to the car in front of him.

Of course, I could go on for pages…and, if he were inclined to write about the things I do to annoy him, he’d probably have an even bigger list (and I’d like to add “He’s too critical” to my list above). But just when I think I’d be much happier without him—my floor would be clothing-free, my bed would be pillow-free, my garage would be tool-free, etc.—I realize that there are quite a few things that he does right. For instance:

He does laundry.
He takes care of the cars.
He cooks—often.
He does our taxes.
He does his share of childcare.
He works outside the home at a job he dislikes so I can work at home.

And this list could go on and on, too. When I think about what I would miss without him, I know that the little annoyances are a small price to pay. In fact, I already know what it’s like to be without him as I was a single mother and head of the household for nine years before we met. I did it all, from dealing with the meals and laundry, to handling all the childcare, to working an 8–5 job to support my family. My closest relatives lived two hours away. I managed, and I learned a lot from the experience, but I also realize how fortunate I am now to have a partner to share the load. Sure, my husband sometimes adds to my workload, too, but he lightens it a lot more.

The next time your spouse does something to annoy you, think about what he or she does to please you. How does he make your life easier? What does she do that you don’t want to do yourself? What things are more palatable because you tackle them together? Focus on your mate’s contributions rather than his or her annoyances. Believe me, it puts things in perspective. You’ll never find the perfect mate, but you can find the perfect mindset that makes the marital trip worthwhile.


  1. I like reading your entries. Have you heard of the Mean MOm? I like her writing, too. She's funny and has good advice...wish SHE'D write a book!

    I bookmarked your blog and will check back soon.

  2. PS: The Mean Mom blog is:

  3. Thank you, Sarah. It's great to hear from you! I will check out the other blog you recommended, too. Let me know if there are any parenting issues you'd like me to address!



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