Let’s shake things up a bit! Oooooo….
Come with me as I take you on a journey where this time the star isn’t a pin from Pinterest, but me. I know you’re probably thinking, but she has told us so much about herself and her marriage (that’s all true, I have and I want to continue) but what I haven’t told you is why I’m struggling in my marriage; why I’m failing to implement things I’m learning. Why all of those lovely pinners/bloggers struck my fancy enough to want to share them with you but that rarely impacted me enough for the thoughts or ideas to come to fruition.
*Deep breath in*…… and… *out*…..
A Little Back Story
From the time I was little I can remember wanting to be a mom. Which is sort of weird since I hated playing with dolls. My sister would ask me to play with her and her dolls; I would, but shortly into playtime I would rip the dolls heads off and skip off to color (wow that sounds a lot scarier on here then it seemed in real time. How did I ever become a babysitter- she says with a *nervous laugh*)
The idea of being a wife never really crossed my mind. I honestly can’t say I ever remember wanting to be a wife, a mom yes, but a wife?….well….nope, don’t recall that ever entering the picture. I was just going to be a mom to 6 kids, I don’t know how I thought that was going to happen, but hey I was young! (yes, I wanted 6 kids, but God had other plans for me—2 was enough, but that’s a story for another time)
When I was 18, I married my first husband. I had that romantic high-school sweethearts married for life story all figured out and it was going to be great!
Hi, I’m Robyn and I’m a Perfectionist
For the first time in my life I thought about being a wife. I was going to be the perfect wife. One he would never want to leave or ignore or cheat on. A wife who cooked and cleaned and did the laundry and kept the house clean and who never, nope not once, ever considered having kids with this man… WAIT!!! WTH?
That’s right, it never once crossed my mind that this would be the father of all of those kids I wanted. As a matter of fact, we never even talked about whether we wanted kids or not.
I realized shortly into this marriage that I had married him for all the wrong reasons, the main one being I needed an escape from a bad home situation. That’s not why you marry someone. Don’t misunderstand, I loved him, or at least I believe I did. Then things started happening ( I won’t bore you with all the details) that eventually tore us apart and divorce number 1 was under my belt.
Several years later, much to my chagrin, I felt the old time clock ticking and started thinking about never being able to have those 6 kids I had always dreamed of. I wanted kids but I was still not confident about the whole wife thing, especially since my first marriage showed me how incapable I was.
As life would have it, it wasn’t long before I met a man who I thought was finally ‘the one’. We did like so many others, we dated, we got engaged, we lived together, we got married and 6 years into the marriage, we had our first son (again a tale for another time about why it took so long).
Sometimes We Just Don’t See
I was still trying to be that perfect wife. I wanted to be and do it all. I was blessed enough that this man had a job that afforded me the opportunity to stay at home with our son. I loved it. This also gave me the ‘prefect’ opportunity to work even harder at being the perfect wife I so badly wanted to be. Well, I loved everything about it except the failing as a wife part.
I wasn’t perfect in any sense of the word, but I kept striving for it. I also expected him to be what I envisioned as the perfect husband and he fell short. I often found myself wondering what was wrong with me; wondering why I was so good at the mom thing but so terrible at the wife part of life. Things were starting to unravel, but thankfully we lasted and 6 years later we were blessed with son number 2. Quickly after that, things unraveled, fell apart and 14 years after my second marriage began, it ended.
Sometimes it takes bad things happening before we can truly see who we are, where we need to grow and what changes we need to make (boy does that suck or what?). The 2nd divorce sent my life into a downward spiral of bad things happening. Things I never could have or would have ever even imagined.
Isn’t it funny (okay not really funny, but you get what I’m saying, right?) how life throws us to the bottom of the pit just so we can finally come to grips with what is really going on?
I was in the pits, often feeling like I was lower than the pits. I had two failed marriages, two fabulous children who the courts said couldn’t live with me full time (there’s a story I’ll share with you one day when I feel able to talk about it) and a loneliness like I’d never experienced before and yet, I was somehow learning positive things about me. Good things. Things I had never given any second thought to before this dark and lonely time.
Hi, I’m Still Trying to Be the Perfect Wife
My philosophy on marriage was and is flawed, terribly. When my first husband came along I was so flawed in my thinking and didn’t even recognize it. I wasn’t going to make the mistakes my parents did. I was going to be different. I was going to be the perfect wife and I expected him to be the perfect husband. I was getting married ONE time. Once it happened, it was going to be forever! Yep, you know how that turned out. Let me tell you now, I still had no clue why it didn’t work out.
Then the second husband came along and I was going to be the perfect wife and I expected he would be the perfect husband. Um, again…nope. I’ll say it again…I was still, at this point, clueless about why it didn’t work out. I went through the normal it’s all his fault, if only he would’ve, should’ve, could’ve.
For the nearly 9 years I was single, I swore I was never getting married again. It just wasn’t worth it. I carried the philosophy that women needed 3 men in their lives; one for financial support, one for sexual satisfaction, and one for emotional/mental support because one man was not capable of providing all three (warped thought process huh? Think I was a bit bitter?)
You all know how that turned out for me. I did get married again. I am still married. I’m still not perfect.He’s not perfect. We are not perfect together. Our marriage doesn’t always fit the ‘we are happy’ mold.
Husband number 3 is in the picture and I’m STILL trying to be THE perfect wife, expecting him to be THE perfect husband, wanting our marriage to be THE perfect marriage and I. am. miserable
What trying to be THE Perfect Wife is Helping Me See
Perfection is an illusion: Whether we’re talking about our jobs, our homes, our blogs, our self, our families, others, our skin, our bodies, our parents, our Facebook friends, or our marriages, whatever. No matter what we do, how often we do it, where we do it, when we do it, nothing is EVER perfect. Life just doesn’t work that way. I am not the perfect wife and most likely, never will be. Knowing this, certainly hasn’t stopped me from getting caught up in the “I should be the perfect wife and he should be the perfect husband” web I weave in my mind. I still get trapped there a lot.
I am flawed, broken: I bring to this relationship every terrible and flawed thing I have ever seen, experienced, or done.Thankfully, every day I get to have a new start, another chance. I have a God who forgives all of those imperfections and who loves me just where I am, just how I am. I fall prey to many things of this world and those things cause me to be more broken, more flawed but through it all I can be the best me I have knowing that it’s OK.
My spouse is flawed, broken: He is not different than me in this aspect. He brings to this relationship every terrible and flawed thing he has ever done, seen, or experienced. We are the same in this but in different ways. Every day he too is offered new chances and has a God who forgives him and loves him just where he is, just how he is. He deserves the same from me even on those days when I don’t pull it off very well.
Understanding, Acceptance and Forgiveness are not options but imperative: These are the only ways to withstand the pain of things not looking like we think they should look – perfect. We are going to make mistakes. We are going to fail our spouses. We are going to fail ourselves. There is no two ways about it. Our spouses, in turn, will do those same things to us. Making marriage work means we keep in mind how very similar we are in our brokenness and flaws. Making marriage work means we understand they are never going to ‘measure up’, accept them for who they are, and love them anyway.
The trick is to not give up: The sun does not shine every day. Marriage is much the same. There are going to be days (heck maybe months or even years) when we are not happy. When things look bleak and insurmountable. When troubles come and we aren’t sure we are going to make it through. There are times when one side of the marriage partnership seems to be carrying much of the weight. In those times we need to remember hardships make the good times seem all the more GOOD. The trick is to not give up. To know this too shall pass ( I hate it when a cliche actually works and makes sense) 😉
I’ve come to realize, marriage isn’t about always being happy. Marriage is about knowing who I am on a very deep, personal level and then working within the confines of those things that make me flawed. Striving to be a better me each new day, knowing perfection is not required.
Seeking to know where we are broken and flawed and working within the confines of how that makes us act and interact with our spouse helps us understand that it’s OK. It’s OK because we are going to make mistakes, they are going to make mistakes, but in the end….we still have each other and a GOD who never gives up on us, so we should be less ready to give up on each other.
Are there things about yourself that make your marriage less than perfect?
I would love to hear from you.