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So, I want to talk to you guys about something: what you read versus reality.
I read this article the other day that compares a lot of the things you see on Pinterest (perfect homes, perfect families, etc) to porn, because it casues you to have unrealistic expectations of your life (much like porn causes you to have unrealistic expectations of sexual relationships).
I got to thinking about it because, every now and then, I get reader comments/emails saying what a wonderful wife I must be, and how I’ve inspired them.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the compliment (and the latter part of it just about makes me cry every time), but I feel, lest I give the wrong impression, that I need to address something.
I’m really not a wonderful wife.
I’m selfish. I complain more than I should. I don’t always communicate clearly. I’m not always fair. I don’t always put my husband first. I don’t always forgive him as quickly as I should.
I’m messy, I forget to put my clothes away a lot, and the house is constantly unkempt.
I make promises to do things I haven’t yet done (like knit my husband a sweater – I think I promised that years ago and it still hasn’t happened for a myriad of reasons. Sorry honey!)
I can name a thousand faults I have. And that’s okay.
But what you all need to realize is that my point in starting this blog and writing about marriage is not that I want to share how wonderful and successful our marriage is – it’s that I fail every single day… but I’m trying. And for those of you in a similar boat, I want you to know you’re not alone.
When I write my tips on how to cope with the war on cops, or how to be more patient when your husband doesn’t want to talk or when he cancels again, I’m not writing it because I’m perfect and I never fall short when dealing with those situations. It’s because I’ve struggled, and continue to struggle, but those are the ways I’ve found that help me.
And sometimes, I’m writing about things I’m failing at hardcore, like being okay with having a vastly different personality type from my husband. Sometimes it weirdly helps to write it out and pretend I’m helping my best friend with a problem, rather than helping myself.
The point is, marriage is hard work. Even the best marriage is hard work.
What’s important to remember is that it’s not about being perfect – it’s about doing your best and improving every day. That’s all you really can do, anyway.
I recently watched a Facebook Live from my fitness coach, who said two things that really struck me:
So with that in mind, I want to invite you to do what I did: to take stock of what you do daily to meet your goals.
Do you strive every day to meet your husband’s needs? To make him feel loved? Do you intentionally make an effort to make his day better and to connect with him?
If you want a better marriage, you have to change something you do daily, whether that’s packing his lunch every day, or making the bed, or making sure to have dinner together or a one-on-one conversation, putting your phone away more often when he’s around, or even snuggling in bed a little more.
And if you’re not sure what you should do, ask your husband for suggestions, or think about the stuff he’s complained about in the past and work on fixing.
But don’t neglect to improve in your everyday interactions with your husband just because you’re disappointed your life isn’t perfect. There’s a reason you often hear this quote, that perfection is the enemy of the good.
Because while you’re worried about being perfect, or not being good enough, you’re wasting time that would be better spent recognizing that you’re doing your best. Time in which you could figure out a new habit you’d like to get into that would better your marriage little by little, day by day.
So take action! Make your marriage just a little better today than it was yesterday. That’s honestly the simple secret behind having a better marriage.
(Also, I just ordered this book and I’m super excited to read it: I’ll probably post about it in the future, but she’s an excellent writer, and the topic of figuring out how to nurture your marriage while nurturing kids is something I could use advice on.)
I’m a twenty-something LEO wife and stay-at-home mom to a one-year-old little boy. I enjoy writing, reading, taking my son for walks and runs in the stroller, and crafting. My goal is for Love and Blues to be a resource for first responders and their families. I write about marriage and family topics, as well as about the quirks that come with being married to a man in law enforcement, firefighting, or emergency medical services.
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