WT 020: How Do I Stop Resenting My Husband?
There’s no way to sugar coat it, today’s episode is a heavy topic. However, it’s one that lots of moms deal with everyday. Karen and Sunny answer your questions on what to do when you find yourself in a place of resenting your husband. It’s hard, but it’s possible to get through it with a little bit of advice and a whole lot of God’s grace.
Question 1: “I support my husbands dreams and career goals 100% - but sometimes I feel like I’m the one who is sacrificing and paying the price for those dreams by being a stay-at-home mom who does everything by myself. How do I get rid of the resentment, but still remind him that I have dreams and goals too?”
Karen’s Answer: Woo girl, I feel you and hear you!! Wow! This is so tough and there is NO easy answer. I think I would talk to your husband. Really talk—not yell, or be sarcastic, or blame—but just talk. I would share what your dreams are and then look at it realistically to see if you can both accomplish your dreams at the same time. It starts with a conversation.
This could easily count as the only question on today’s episode because my answer can take up an hour at least. I’ll try and make it short. When we lived in VA, I for sure was right where this mom was, but the real life fact was I also didn’t want to put my children in childcare. So, I was truly stuck. And Greg continued to rise up in his career path. I was happy for him, but I felt so useless in life. I did everything by myself as most months Greg was gone 3/4 of the month. The only way I got through it was with God. I had to stop looking to Greg to meet my needs and look to God. That was so hard for me. But, God met me where I was. God filled my void and helped change my perspective in life. Looking back, I’m so thankful for those days and without those days, Birds on a Wire would not be here. Greg and I are in such a sweet time now, and he is so proud of me. He encourages me, builds me up, tells me to go for it. So, I guess I’m saying hang in there. But, still talk to your husband. The worst thing you can do is to sit in your resentment and watch it grow. Resentment is like a weed in your garden, it doesn’t take much to make it grow. You have to get to the root and cut it out or it will choke out the healthy plant and eventually kill it. Greg and I just celebrated 30 years of marriage and i am so thankful God pressed on my heart to get my resentment under control.
Question 2: “I'm a stay at home mom of 1 and 3-year-old girls. My days are long and I don't receive a lot of help from my spouse. I've been catching myself not being able to control my anger toward my husband lately, and it's taking a toll on my marriage… which takes a toll and me and ultimately my girls. Please share any advice you have on this.”
I completely understand where you’re coming from. But I have to encourage you to ask yourself this question: “Do I want to stay married?” If the answer is yes, which I think it would be then you need to start making steps toward building a strong marriage. The deal is, if you are a stay at home mom, it is all on you. Your husband may lend a hand with bath time or bedtime, but that’s it. The discipline is on you, the training, teaching, constant answering the call, “Mommy!” It is draining and the days are long.
I was a stay at home mom for 10 years. I loved it, but it was absolutely the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. Going back to work was like a vacation for me. How did I overcome the anger? I stopped listening to satan whispering in my ear that I was all alone, and Greg was no help. Which builds resentment. I started reminding myself, that Greg was out providing a living for our family and was working just as hard as I was just in a different way. Why should I resent someone who works hard all week and then gives me his paycheck to buy food, clothing for the kids, a home to live in, a car to drive?
Just remember this: You are not alone. God will give you what you need and when you need it. I found out I was a lot tougher, smarter than I ever gave myself credit for. I dug down deep and put my big girl pants on and rolled up my sleeves and got to work. And there was plenty of work to do raising 4 children.
Question 3: “I hate to admit it, but I have a child-centered marriage. Our lives, free-time and conversation revolve around our kids. How can I help this? Or is this a phase a life thing (we have 4 young children)?”
Karen’s Answer: Good gracious, I am so proud of you! I wish you were standing here and I would give you a big hug. Do you know how many people have a child centered family and are clueless about it? Whew! I love you and I’ve never met you!
What can you do about it? Learn the word no and say it to your children. There is a key phrase you should learn, “Your dad and I are going to invest in our marriage.” Your children will fuss and cry, go anyway!
Question 4: “My husband and I are both working parents, but I sometimes struggle with being resentful that I have more "mom" duties at home than my husband, and I always feel so frazzled. I’m not sure if this is a marriage issue, or just a “me” issue – how do I start that conversation?”
Karen’s Answer: You probably do have more mom duties. It is frustrating. I don’t think it’s a you issue, just a life issue. I think for all of us, we believe the lie that it’s going to be 50/50. It’s not. In most cases the mom does 80% of the work with the children. And even then when we aren’t doing 100% of the work, we feel guilty.
Greg is a great dad, don’t get me wrong. When he is home, he does a ton of work, but he still traveled for half of the month. I think you start the conversation, “Honey, I’m finding myself resenting you because I feel like I’m doing all the work and working full time. Can we figure out a way to split some of the work up, or talk about me cutting back my hours. It’s getting to be too much for me.”