I’m not exactly a newlywed (we’re heading towards the 5 year mark) but we don’t have children yet do to infertility, so we kinda still live like newlyweds at times. But even though our relationship is strong, I seem to have lost my focus in fulfilling my vocation as a stay at home wife. I’ve been stressing out over so many other things (my health issues, deaths in the family, our infertility, failed adoptions, my mother’s serious illness, my OCD, etc.) but I rarely just sit and think about my husband and the blessing he is anymore. I don’t pray for him as much as I used to either. Or do the “little things” without being asked/reminded. I’ve even been slacking on the housework, leaving dishes piled up, heaps of laundry waiting for the wash, dirty floors, messy rooms, etc. Instead I’m spending it all on “me” time. It’s not just the house either, it’s our relationship. While it’s really nice, I know he’s doing way more on his side than I am on mine. I feel so unworthy of this gift, and wish I was better qualified to care for it. But since I am who I am, can y’all please help me? Help me be a better wife. What things have worked for you? I love to read are there any good books on being a better wife? (Please no parenting books, that is not for us right now. ;)) Anything to help me be the wife God intends for me to be.
you and me and most of us on CAF can attest to the predominant suggestions that love is action.
you know we didn’t make that up; we learn that Truth from God.
so, how does your husband feel loved best?
mine: when he was working outside of home; if i had his work clothes clean and ready. when he came home, if i listened to him talk about work. he liked smelling food cooking for dinner when he came in after day shift. and intimacy without “the discussion” would make him happy too.
so what’s it for your good guy?
in addition to praying for him daily, just begin again with one simple thing every day-- one thing he values. one thing that says to him, “love.”
of course when i begin again after losing the habit, it’s a discipline. but what better disciple to be than a disciple of love!!!??
I don’t know how serious your health issues are, but have you thought of pursuing something you really love? Maybe dancing, or painting, or running a marathon, or writing, or taking some classes?
If you do things that make you happy, you might be more energetic when it comes to doing the chores and working on your relationship with your husband.
Since you are a stay at home wife, perhaps you may want to reflect on why you are one. Whether you made the choice consciously or whether it was “made for you” due to your health issues; I do not know your circumstances, but maybe you need to refocus on the reason in order to give your day some direction. If you don’t have a job and you are responsible for all the things you say you are slacking off on, well that just isn’t fair to your husband. Whether it is the actual housework or the work of the relationship, you indicate that he is doing his part, but you are not doing yours. The reason that you feel unworthy of his gift is because you know that there is an imbalance going on. You know that you could be doing more and you are not.
I understand that you have health issues, deaths, etc and I don’t mean to make this sound harsh, but yes, life goes on. Everywhere around you are people that have illnesses, stresses, families to take care of and jobs to go to. And they do it. I am not saying it is easy, but it can be done and it is by the grace of God.
Start off by vowing to make steps toward changing. Make a schedule for yourself. Certain things you have to do every day, like dishes and cooking a nice dinner. Assign certain jobs to certain days and times if it all seems overwhelming. Not a rigid schedule, just a guideline. (Food shopping on Mondays, laundry Tuesdays etc.) Pretty soon you will just fall into a routine and it will become a normal part of your life. And then you will be able to add things to your life that you might enjoy as flyingfish suggested.
Thank God for the wonderful man you are married to and ask Him for the strength to do what needs to be done each day. There are times in everyone’s life where we just seem to be going through the motions. Do it anyway. And keep doing it until something changes in your heart or in your life.
May God bless you and guide you.
First I would recommend talking with a doctor to see if what you’re experiencing isn’t mild depression. With the right medication, your problem with lack of motivation might be solved. If that’s not it, then I would recommend setting a schedule for housework. I was never a stay at home wife or mom, but I learned from others in my family who were. Grandma had the best system: Mondays were wash day, Tuesdays ironing, Wednesdays sweep and mop the kitchen floor, Thursdays dust and vacuum, Fridays sewing. All that was in addition to preparing meals and washing dishes. Weekends were spent relaxing with the family. I always admired her and thought if I were able to stay at home I would do the same. Also, it might be nice to go to at least one weekday mass to add to your prayer/spiritual life. Hopefully by setting a schedule you’ll be more inclined to keep up with your duties at home.
From what I’m reading and the limited information I have about your situation, it sounds as though you are rather bored. As some have already stated, you may have health issues that prevent you from leaving the house. However, this need not prevent you from pursuing personal interests that you would find intellectually or spiritually (or both) stimulating. FlyingFish has the right idea of picking up a hobby and perhaps pursue his/her’s suggestions there. You say you enjoy reading, perhaps you can delve into some classic literature or philosophical transactions, which you can converse with your husband about in the evening. I don’t think you are failing at being a good wife, it is more likely though you are in a rut. Seeing as you have no children at this point in time, I don’t see why you shouldn’t go out and get a job or perhaps do charity work.
I am a newlywed (September of '09) and we are expecting soon, but I was having a rough time working. I had to work 2 hours from home so I was gone all week and home on the weekends. During this schedule ALL of our time together was just “fun” time, because when you only have 2 days to spend together you don’t want to spend it working right? However, in April my husband paid off the contract I had at the hospital I was working and brought me home. I’m now working a couple of hours a day, but mostly I’m home. I love, love, LOVE being a stay at home wife; that being said, I have a hard time having the drive to do the work. Right now it’s because I don’t always feel wonderful. Today I’m really going to get down and clean a lot of the house and do laundry. This will be the most rooms I clean in one day though. I think it’s much easier to just focus on one room a day. Mondays-kitchen, Tuesdays-living room, etc. Then I can really clean it well, but can rest often. My husband has really appreciated it because even though we were married, he was living like a bachelor while I was working. :o He loves having dinner ready when he gets home and really appreciates it.
Sometimes he’ll come home and he’ll do the dishes or pick up, and I’m like you, it really makes me feel guilty. He does SO much for me.
But, I think if you make a schedule that works for you focusing on one part of your home each day of the week. I try to do the kitchen on Mondays because Tuesdays is when our garbage is picked up! But find what schedule works for you!
Oh, and I haven’t read it, but it is suggested often on here, “the proper feeding of your husband” or something like that by Dr. Laura!
I am totally in the same boat! We’ve been married almost seven years, no children, stay at home wife, difficult health issues, etc. It’s good to not feel so alone.
I don’t know any specific books for this issue. I wish I did! I sometimes look at old housekeeping books from the 40s-60s about cleaning, cooking, etc. That is a lot of fun and educational. I’ve found a lot of blogs online about stay at home wives, and that’s helpful too. I like to read them every day for good suggestions and to get grounded on what other people are doing in my same situation.
I also got a pet… I know, sounds simple and it’s a LOT of work, but she keeps me company and keeps me busy. My DH is away on business a lot and it’s nice to have someone around for companionship when he’s gone.
I also spend a lot of time reading, talking to my mom on the phone (who is also a stay at home wife, living in another state), volunteering and spending time at church. I’ve done a lot of fun volunteer activities from teaching at a local children’s museum to reading to senior citizens in the evening. It definitely boosts your self esteem and helps you feel better about your daily life.
As for tasks throughout the day in your home… I’m still looking for answers on that! I’m terrible about keeping up with the housework, but I try to do it little by little. I think everyone offered good advice so far.
PLW, Hon, if you and your husband haven’t already read this book, The Five Love Languages, I highly recommend it. It has concrete ideas, based on how a person feels the most loved, so that you can show your spouse that you love him in ways that make him feel loved. Both of you should read it, so you both can identify your own Languages (instead of one of you guessing which one the other has), and speak those Languages to each other.
It’s a really nifty book. We read it during marriage preparation.
I get into slumps like that too. I’m a SAHM and my hubby busts his hump to make it possible. I find that once in a while if I cook him a fancy meal, maybe light some candles, have a glass of wine waiting for him and tell him that I really appreciate all that he does for me it makes a world of a difference. Tell him why HE’S a great husband…Then just be honest and say that you need some encouragement too! Tell him you’re feeling a little out of sorts and you know that the housework’s fallen behind and that you’ll try your best to get things back up and running. Do this every few months, it can work wonders