Dirty socks on the floor. Kids are constantly coming to you for their requests when they walked right past dad on their way. Dishes left out. Garbage overflowing when he’s already gone to work and should’ve taken it out. Kids still awake when you get home from girls’ night, and it was his turn to put them to bed at a decent hour. No card on your birthday.
It’s much easier to notice the faults and shortcomings of your spouse than it is to be grateful for the good man he is.
Have you embraced the husband you have, or do you wish he would change? Do you dwell on all the negatives and let those thoughts keep spiraling down? Think about it.
If we’re not mindful, we can dangerously hold our husbands to the prince charming standard. What does that “perfect” man even look like? Does he exist? Spoiler alert… nope!
So is it possible to live happily ever after with your less-than-perfect man? Yes, I think it is certainly possible, but it begins with loving the husband you have and not waiting for him to be the unrealistic version society portrays.
Early on in our marriage, my husband and I were a part of a networking team that focused on personal growth and development. I will forever be grateful for this season because together, we learned our personality types and love languages. I believe this is essential for a healthy marriage.
With these assessments came a list of many useful and detailed strengths and weaknesses. We learned that I am loved by words of affirmation and my husband by physical touch. We learned that he is an organized, introverted melancholy while I am a strong-willed, extroverted choleric.
Knowing your own weaknesses can help you evolve as a person. The bible says we are a new creation in Christ. If we’re submitted to His will, He’s always at work pruning and stripping away our imperfections. I love that. I want to be the woman God created me to be. Knowing your husband’s weaknesses will allow you to show grace and not take things so personally.
It was helpful to find out that my husband isn’t good with words- a bit unfortunate for the wife who thrives on words of affirmation- but that’s where grace steps in.
In May, we will celebrate 15 years of marriage. Together we’ve faced job losses, foreclosure, miscarriage, death of a parent, death of grandparents, death of a close friend, health scares- to name a few. He doesn’t always say the right thing, but he still does the right thing, and love is not a feeling but an action.
He brings me flowers just because. He lets me know he’s attracted to me when I feel frumpy and visibly exhausted with mom’s life. He comes home from work every day happy to enter the chaos and immediately becomes a super dad. He patiently makes space for my grief. He gets up with the kids and lets me sleep in more days than not. He knows the value of my self-care time and encourages it.
My husband was never meant to meet all of my needs. Where he lacks, Jesus fills that void. It’s actually been a blessing in disguise when not having my needs met by him because it drives me into the arms of Jesus.
It’s imperative to communicate on a regular basis your thoughts and needs. For some reason, many women expect their husbands just to know what they want! It seems evident to us, but we are wired so differently. I’ve been there. If you want your husband to help with the dishes, ask. If you really would be encouraged by a card and small gift, tell him. Don’t be too proud to ask for your specific needs. Like I tell my kids daily, “use your words!” Effective communication can squash misunderstandings, align desires, and diffuse bitterness.
How well do you truly know your husband? If you’ve not discovered your personalities or love languages, I encourage you to do so soon! Knowing him and being known are a beautiful thing that will strengthen your marriage. And remember, “Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.”
“Personality Plus” by Florence Littauer
“The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman