A Happy Spouse is a Happy House by Colleen Martin


So then why am I so busy trying to make myself happy at his expense?  I like to think that for most of the month, I am a nice, affectionate, sweet, and understanding wife. But there’s that one stupid week per month where I can act like a total witch, and unfortunately, my husband bears the brunt of all that angst.

Suddenly, he’s not helping out enough, even though he does everything he possibly can.  Or maybe it’s just that he’s not doing it correctly, or fast enough, or reading my mind.  I’ve even argued with him about splitting an english muffin with a fork. I maintain that they are already fork split, you just have to pull them apart, but he thinks to maximize the nooks and crannies, you need to use the fork to split them.  He sees potential yumminess, and I see another dirty fork in the sink.

Speaking of dirty dishes in the sink, I was recently heard singing “It’s a magical sink, a magical sink, where everybody puts in their dirty dishes and they come out clean.  Don’t worry about cleaning them yourself because it’s a magical siiiiiiiiiiiink!”  Pathetic song and even more pathetic attitude.

Why do I feel the need to bark at him about helping with the laundry, when he has never once asked me to mow the lawn, fix the faucet, take out the trash, or work full-time to support the family.  Why do I see what he isn’t doing instead of all the things he does for us every day?

I think many of us wives can admit to this sort of bad behavior from time to time, and I’ve been looking for ways to overcome it.

First, I put myself in his place.  Would I like to come home to a nice dinner and a clean house, or to a nagging spouse who complains about every detail of his day?  Would I like to get a thank you for all I do, or a list of things to do?  The answer is easy; treat him as I want to be treated.

Secondly, I learn to love him in the language he hears best.  For my husband, that is with physical touch.  Although at the end of a long day, I sometimes feel “touched out” by the babies, a hug or back rub shows him just how much I love him.

Another way to become a better wife is to change my attitude in my daily chores.  I recently read a wonderful article that suggested replacing the “have to” with “get to”.  For example, I don’t have to take care of my kids; I get to take care of them.  I get to go to work to help our family’s financial situation.  I get to make a wholesome dinner for my husband and children.  It truly gives my priorities a much needed makeover at times.

Finally, I can offer it up.  This month of November, as we pray for the Souls in Purgatory, we can offer up all our daily nuisances for their eternal salvation.   It’s not easy being a good and holy woman, but it’s a lot better to suffer here on Earth than in Purgatory.  So carry your cross with grace and with a smile on your face.

These are some of the things I have been trying to do to make my spouse (and house) happier.  What are your tricks for having a happy spouse?  I’d love to hear them!

Copyright 2010 Colleen Martin


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  1. Colleen, I love this! I have this problem sometimes – of seeing the work around my home as more of a chore than a gift – thanks for helping me to redefine it into “get to” or “gifted to”… Nice!

  2. I;ve had the same exact arguement with my husband over the english muffins except it was a knife instead of a fork! I completely relate to your frustration and your solutions are great! I will definately think of them next time the nag inside of me trys to boil her way to the surface.

  3. Sarah Kusznir on

    After spending all week reminding my children “to treat others as you wish to be treated” I seem to forget that I should be doing this myself! Thanks for the reminder…..I’m sure my poor husband thanks you too!

  4. Miranda Baumguardner on

    This is my favorite article and I most definitely appreciate the reminder that we ” get to” to do all that we do. I sometimes forget to thank God that I have a family to take care of and a fantastic husband. That we have food to cook for dinner, that I’m physically able to do the dishes and laundry, that my husband and I are blessed to be able to have children, that I have a beautiful home to clean.

    Yes, this was a much needed reminder. Thank you.

  5. “For example, I don’t have to take care of my kids; I get to take care of them. I get to go to work to help our family’s financial situation. I get to make a wholesome dinner for my husband and children. It truly gives my priorities a much needed makeover at times.”
    How great! You’re exactly right! Plus, it is so nice to see that you are a full time mom and you work!

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