In a very candid and refreshing blog post called “The Unlikely Advice That Changed My Marriage,” blogger Chaunie Brusie of Babble.com shares a piece of unusual advice that she found in during a very rough time in her marriage. That advice, which she found in Danielle Bean’s book, “Mom to Mom, Day to Day” was a little unexpected, but she swears it saved her marriage. It could be just what you need to restore your marriage, too.
Chaunie Brusie was a newlywed, had just started a career as a nurse and had just had a baby. She was exhausted, frustrated and building up resentments toward her husband. As she says, it was
Picking fights. Going to bed at different times. A constant, exhausting loneliness, even sitting together at the dinner table with my husband.”
Things were getting pretty bad, until she picked up “Mom to Mom, Day to Day” and read this advice: Let it go.
What Bean meant by this advice is explained in the article this way:
She said she made the mental decision to take on everything and in the process, freed herself up from resentment towards her husband. Instead of nagging him to take out the trash, she did it herself. Instead of wallowing in self-pity that no one else scrubbed toilets, she just did it.”
Once Chaunie Brusie got over the simplicity of this advice and the fact that it seemed to contradict so much of the advice she’d heard about marriage, she began to experience change.
As she says,
Instead of resenting my husband for all the things he didn’t do, I was able to appreciate the things he did do. And instead of silently brooding, hoping he would notice that the baby needed a bath, wondering why on earth I should have to tell him that, like I didn’t have enough to do, I would just ask him to give the baby a bath–and move on.”
The point of the advice and of this blog post, is that expecting everything to be divided equally 100% for the time is just a recipe for resentment, conflict and bitterness. There will be times when it seems like you are shouldering all of the responsibilities, whether it’s keeping the house and kids together or bringing in the family income. There will also be times, though, when your spouse is taking on most of that load.
Having a more realistic expectation can not only free you from disappointment and anger, it can also help you to avoid building up resentments that can outlast your marriage. Isn’t peace a bit more valuable than equal division of labor?