I have a confession to make. I know I give a lot of marriage advice on this blog, especially advice for how to be a better wife. My confession is that a few weeks ago, I was being an absolutely lousy wife.
Don’t get me wrong. I had the best of intentions. We were facing financial difficulties and they stressed both of us out. I wanted to do what I could to make things better, so I got cracking.
I worked from sun up to sun down trying to make things better. If I wasn’t making progress, I told myself I needed to push harder. I didn’t think I could afford to spend any time on leisurely things, because time that I wasn’t working was time wasted.
I asked a few of my readers the other day about what they struggle with on a day-to-day basis. One of the responses I saw frequently was their husband’s potty mouth at home.
The phrase “swears like a sailor” can definitely be extended to “swears like a cop”, too. Or firefighter, or EMS. When you see awful things on such a regular basis, it’s pretty understandable.
After all, your husband’s worst days on the job probably don’t have to do with paperwork snafus. “Darn it” doesn’t cover a run-in with senseless violence or a grisly accident. And even when things are okay, swearing is also just part of the language when dealing with a suspect or criminal.
No matter the culture you’re a part of, no matter the opinion you have on swearing, it’s something most people think differently about with regard to kids. Even if you’re okay with casual swearing, most people aren’t big on their kids running around with a potty mouth.
In this post, I mentioned that one of my favorite metaphors for a relationship is that it’s like a bank account. You have to continually make deposits when times are good to sustain you for when times are bad. If you don’t, the account could get dangerously low… or even withdrawn.
As much as I detest financial debt, debt in terms of the “relationship bank account” is much worse. And especially when you’re in a law enforcement marriage, things can go south suddenly and without much warning. Hooray for unpredictable schedules, right? 😉
This list of ideas to serve your husband is meant to help you make deposits into your marriage account. Even the smallest act of service toward your husband will help buffer your relationship when these storms come.
I received a message from a reader the other day after posting this article from Melissa Littles on Facebook: The Police Wife Life: Selfish is Not An Option. It’s one I read shortly before J went to the academy and I felt it was a great preparatory article.
This reader, however, said she didn’t like it. She said it was depressing and scary. In fact, she said, after reading it, she didn’t want her husband to become a police officer at all.
Yikes. I wasn’t sure what to say.
As I mentioned last month, I’m a newly chosen contributor for My Joy-Filled Life! My Joy-Filled Life is a blog primarily about homeschooling, but also has lots of recipes and craft ideas, as well as encouraging posts mostly aimed toward those of the Christian faith.
If you didn’t catch it, last month’s article was called When You’re In the Planting Season, where I described the similarities between my first actual planting season and the planting season happening in my life.
This month, I wanted to write about service. I mention that a lot, but it’s because I think it’s so important.
Not only does service help those in need, but it also benefits those who serve. Like many others, I struggle with depression sometimes. The one foolproof cure for it is to do something nice for others.
Date night can be hard to organize when you have kids. It winds up being a lot more expensive than when you were just a couple.
And is it just me, or did rates for babysitters go way up since I was a kid? I feel like I remember something about the going rate being half minimum wage. Now, it seems like everyone pays $10 an hour. Which is great for the sitters, but not so great for budget-conscious parents who just need some alone time.
Especially when your husband sees terrible things on a regular basis, babysitters become expensive, because you don’t want to hire just anybody. You want someone you can trust to keep your kids safe. An older, more experienced, more trustworthy babysitter is going to cost a little more per hour than your average 13-year-old.
I heard this quote once that, if you want to make God laugh, all you have to do is tell him your plans. I feel like this is doubly true when you’re married to a first responder or a member of the military.
I was due with our son on February 26th. I thought for sure I’d go into labor early, because my mom and sister both had their babies between 37-39 weeks. By the time February 26th rolled around, I was getting antsy.
Then came March. People would ask, “When are you due?” I’d grumble back, “Last month.”
One reason I was getting so antsy is that my husband was due to have mandatory firearms training starting on March 9th. I wanted so badly for him to be able to take some time off with me and the baby, but I also knew he couldn’t miss the training. It only happened once a year, and if he missed it, because he was in his probationary period, he could risk losing his job.
At the same time, I didn’t feel right about being induced just for convenience. I wanted our baby to take as much time as he needed.
When my husband went to the police academy, we didn’t live near the actual academy. The closest one was about 3 hours away, which meant he’d leave Sunday afternoon to drive there and return late Thursday night. He drove with 3 other new recruits in a department car, one of whom was a woman.
To be honest, I didn’t have any issue with that. I thought she must be super cool and couldn’t wait to meet her.
When I dropped him off at the academy, however, there stood a tall, thin Blair Waldorf look-a-like asking my husband if he’d like to join them for dinner.
Meanwhile, I stood there, four months pregnant in clothes that fit awkwardly because I still looked like I’d just had a big lunch. I, um, wasn’t feeling exactly confident.
I had a pretty riveting conversation with my toddler the other day.
“Sweetie, can you say mama?”
I’m super stubborn. I don’t know if it’s because I’m the youngest in my family, or if it’s the German roots coming out, or what it is, but even my mom said I was her most difficult child.
Part of it’s passion. If I’m on a path I’m excited about, it can be hard to dissuade me. Some of it is just hard-headedness and not wanting to give in.
This part of my personality isn’t always a good thing – but on some occasions, it can be a huge asset.
Take marriage, for instance. When I got married, I knew it was forever. I promised we’d make it work come hell or high water, and that divorce was not an option. People told me marriage was hard, but I thought maybe they were just doing it wrong, and that I could do it better.
To my credit, I think we have a pretty great marriage. We’re going on 4 years without major incident, so that’s good 😉 But that being said, even though I love my husband and love being married to him, it’s just as hard as I was warned it could be.
Between financial difficulties, chronic pain, and a job in law enforcement, our marriage has a lot going against it. Our combined chances of divorce are somewhere around 90%. Yikes.