When Marriage Isn’t Fair

IMG_2166The hubs and I have been in a funk lately. Ya know the kind I’m talking about. Where everything the other says and does is super annoying, even their breathing sounds like nails on a chalkboard, and it feels like their laugh will make your ears bleed. If you just scoffed and thought, “Gah, that’s harsh.” move on. This article is not for you perfect Patty.

I can’t point at a specific dated square on our overfilled calendar and confirm that’s when the first whiff of funk crept in. But I believe it floated in on the dust stirred by frantic feet running to and fro, and it settled right between us.

Before dusk and well after dawn, my husband and I are all over our small town keeping the gas stations in business as well as our ready-mix plant. I burn the roads up in my Expedition chauffering kids to school and dance, speaking engagements, volunteer work, household errands, and secretarial errands. While he burns them up in his F250 picking up parts and meeting with potential customers and his Mixer truck delivering concrete. Recently dinner hasn’t been a family filled table; it’s been waves of diners, reminding me of my highschool waitressing days.

Complete sentences, which are necessary for successful conversation, have been non-existent. Our interactions resemble broken English over walkie-talkies with a whole lot of background noise of shouting children and rumbling heavy machinery, including the static of our own thoughts, results in frustration and screaming requests and snapping answers to minuscule questions.

Nights that used to be filled with conversation and cuddling have been replaced with controversy and comparing daily heartaches in an attempt to prove who’s had the hardest day. Instead of encouraging each other, we enabled the other, and ourselves, to gripe and complain.

Not a promising picture of Christian marriage.

Now, this is usually where I start in on a revelation given to me and offer it to you in an attempt to spur you to Christ-like living. But the revelation didn’t come to me. I actually awoke this morning looking at my husband and wondered, how was it possible to go from covering his sleeping face in morning kisses to wanting to cover it with a pillow?

Nope. The revelation came to my husband.

I resisted the urge with the pillow, instead, covering him with harsh words as soon as he creaked open an eye.

I let him have it.

“I feel like I work so hard to help you fulfill your dreams; I don’t have any time left to work on mine. The other day when you told me I needed to slow down and rest up because we were going to be even busier this summer, I wanted to punch you in the face. I feel like you don’t even care that my book is really coming along and my ministry is reaching even farther, all of which demands more attention from me.”

UGH. As I write that I’m rolling my eyes at the level of immaturity and aggravation with myself.

For the record, if you don’t know me in person, I may talk a little harsh but everyone who knows me, knows I’m just a bit dramatic. I would never actually strike my husband. I do NOT condone domestic violence of any sort. 

Do you know what that man, with his eyes still groggy with sleep, said to me?!

“How about instead of tearing one another down at their screwups, let’s start trying to help the other.”

Imagine me caught off guard because I wasn’t really listening and was actually brainstorming my argument.

*Insert blank stare.

“What do you need me to do so you can make time?”

And just like that, the funk is in the process of being cleared out. So if you’re in a funk, don’t fret, every couple goes through the stinky, it’s not fair stage, just don’t stay on it! Be the one who takes that first step off that stage.

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