It was one of those days where I spent all day mopping, vacuuming, cooking (which I loathe), and doing laundry. I even made the time to organize my husbands underwear and sock drawer. (Bonus points!) Feeling pretty good about myself, I went to the local flower store to buy some fresh flowers, lit some candles, shaved my legs, and set the house up for a romantic dinner for two.
And then it happened.

He comes in the front door, says hi, gives me a kiss on the cheek, plops down on the couch and numbs out on his phone. My blood pressure skyrocketed in about 1.2 seconds and I was mad … furious! … and ready to throw my homemade cornbread at him. Doesn’t he know how hard I worked to clean our home? Doesn’t he get that I’m exhausted and would love to be on my phone too? I even cooked and I hate cooking. Is he even going to notice that I set the mood just perfectly so that we could connect and have a romantic dinner which will probably lead into sex… the thing he wants all the time?

We clean.
We cook.
We run errands.
We take care of the kids.
We pay bills.
We schedule the doctors appointments.
We volunteer at the kids school.
We make sure that we celebrate grandma’s 80th birthday.
We plan the date nights.
We do a lot and are usually the glue that holds our family together.

I’m not saying that men are lazy, because that’s far from the truth, but what I am saying is that women often feel like their husband doesn’t appreciate all that they do.

I know you ladies have been there too… you did something special or went out of your way and it went unnoticed. And boy does that hurt to the core. For years I allowed my frustrations to get the best of me but I have come to some realizations that I want to share with you all. These aren’t just quick tips or suggestions, they really do work if you want them too.
Focus on his positives

If you see dirty dishes in the sink, your mind will start a downward spiral of all the other ways he hasn’t helped you around the house. Instead, focus on what he does do. Turn those negative thought stories into positive ones. Make a list of things you love and appreciate about him. For bonus points, share the list with him and then say, “Thank you.”

Recognize that you have different expectations

I expect the house to be a certain way but that doesn’t mean he has the same expectations.  It’s okay and even normal to have different expectations when it comes to the house, communication, the kids, and even sex. You’re two different people with different backgrounds, talents, opinions, and personalities.

Work on yourself

Every wife I’ve ever coached has admitted that they give everyone else their firsts and rarely, if ever, make time for themselves. This is a dangerous place to be. A healthy woman makes a happy wife, and a patient mom, and a loyal friend, and is an inspiration to her community.

Some ways to invest in yourself:
Have a spa day

Yep, my answer to many of my problems. Spending an entire day or even a half day at a spa forces you to relax, rest, recharge, and clear your mind. Often times you can get a day pass and skip out on the massage/facial and enjoy the amenities the spa has to offer.

Join our women’s mentor group

Three times a year we host an online women’s group called A Beautiful Mess. Those who join will have dedicated life coaches that will encourage you, hold you accountable, check in on you and your progress, and always love and accept the messy you. This group is for women that want to forgive from wounds of the past, have a safe place to be messy and authentic without judgment, and who want to find that balance in life. Learn more about A Beautiful Mess here.

Take a walk
Honestly I walk and talk out loud (many of my neighbor think I’m crazy but I don’t care).  I go through my day, sort my thoughts, process, pray, and sometimes I’m just silent and soak up nature. Giving myself this time has been life changing for me in more ways than one. It’s a very healthy habit to start for yourself and it’s free.
Marriage365 Challenge
Ladies, I want to hear from you. What are some ways that you invest in yourself to make sure that you’re happy and healthy? Comment below to inspire more women!

 


 

Written by Meygan Caston

Marriage365 Meygan Caston

 

Meygan Caston is the co-founder of Marriage365 and lives in sunny Southern California with her husband Casey, their two children and dog Hobie. She loves her family, the beach, writing, spa days and helping couples connect in their marriage. Her life long dream is to live with the Amish for a month, walk the Camino and have lunch with Brené Brown.

 

 

30 thoughts

  • Sharon

    Wow that’s so true in my life and I don’t put myself even third on the schedule. I hope I can figure out how to let things go and put effort into me. I keep praying for that lightbulb to make me a priority and get the positive back in my relationship

  • Ashley lucas

    I find investing in myself hard. It’s time consuming to find a sitter to watch the kids just so I can find time for myself. I would love a walk alone once a day, or heck I would take once a week but again, who’s going to watch the kids? My husband doesn’t understand why I need time to myself so he won’t watch them.
    I have had a gift certificate in my cupboard for a local spa for over two years now that I have been dying to use….
    So, I get up early sometimes when I want quiet time to myself before the kids are up. Just for a few min of peace. Even though I’m sacrificing sleep (which is precious when you have a 3 month old) it’s nice to have a few min here and there to think and pray.

  • Ellen

    My husband and I both work for large corporations and have demanding careers. I have always been the type of person that neve rnags my husband for helping out with chores. I just don’t need him to for me to feeel fulfilled. Where I have issues, is I work 11-15 hours days, regularly, do everything around the house, and then when we finally get a second to just watch a show on the couch, etc., he falls asleep. I get so defensive because for me, I have busted my hump all day and worked, and he doesn’t even care to spend time with me. It cuts me to my core and I don’t know why I take it so hard, but I do. My husband is 99% perfect and supportive and we have an amazing relationship. The only problem is this and it seems to be a big one for me. I wish I could just not care about the house and just chill the way he does. Not sure what the right response is but the whole “you can only change yourself and not others,” doesn’t seem to be helping. The more I put in, the less he does and I think it’s my fault, but I have no idea what to do to fix it.

    • Polly

      He may not have your energy level. For years I was you, your hours, and my (then) husband felt it was a competition, not valuing my work because I was “desk bound” in a/c and had it easy. Everything I did could not match up to his contribution, my contribution to the household all discounted, including my cooking, the caliber of walks I took the dog on, name it. ( and my friends say I’m a great cook ). So I stopped cooking, moved into the spare bedroom and cleaned only that and the kitchen but only when I wanted to use it and did that until I moved out and divorced him . Heard through the great fine his second wife said the same thing he’s on his fourth now. I guess my point is that people don’t change they are what they are which sounds Pat and smug but frankly it’s true and my advice is if you aren’t happy and you can’t figure it out cut your losses and move on

    • Anonymous

      I feel the same way. My husband is pretty good, but where he fails, he fails big time, and being told to change my expectations is a hard pill to swallow! He takes what me, and all I do, for granted, and the only way to make that right apparently is for me to accept the situation as is? Ouch.

  • Anonymous

    My husband makes a very good living, yet he expects me to work to pay my “own” bills. I don’t have a problem with working, but it breaks my heart that when my husband sees me mentally and physically exhausted…he isn’t affected. I work 10 hour days, come home cook, clean, and tend to my children. He just sits on his computer posting things on FB. It bothers me because his ex wife never worked. She was a Stay at home mom. I guess he thinks I deserve this exhausting life because my kids are not biologically his. He spends an excessive amount of time on his leisure activities (he is a runner), and I can’t manage to squeeze in 1 hour for a manicure. I was raised in a traditional home, where my mother tended to the home, and the kids. I always feel like I can’t put 100% into anything because my time is so divided. I guess a clean home, good meals, and a relaxing environment for all kids , isn’t a priority to him. Sometimes I think if be better off alone, since I already function as if I am.

    • Amy

      I definitely agree with you. You could easily survive on your own. I’m taking care of the kids and do all the house work. I feel if I had a job and still was working outside home, I would leave my husband in no time!

    • Lazy Useless Wife

      Wow. This is really sad. I can somewhat relate because despite the fact that I’m disabled and raising my daughter’s baby because she died shortly after having him, my husband gets mad when he has to give me money to help me pay for groceries or things for our house or the babysitter. I feel like most people in my shoes would probably be in a mental hospital or at least still in bed with the covers over their head not wanting to get up, but despite my grieving over losing my daughter in July, suddenly becoming the mother of her premature newborn grandson AND being very sick with autoimmune diseases, I still get up, take care of the baby all day & through the night when he wakes up all the time, and I do my best to keep the house as clean and nice as I can & have even been trying to cook for my husband (which he gets mad that I spend money on groceries to cook & he never likes anything I make because he’s Indian and really only likes his mother’s food or spicy food that is as similar to Indian food as possible.) Im rambling but my point is that despite being sick, despite being devastated at losing my daughter and becoming an instant mother to her newborn in July, instead of allowing it to destroy me (which would be perfectly understandable), I picked myself up & I try my best to be the best mother & wife I can be. I started a health regimen 3 months ago & have lost 56 pounds and increased my energy and ability to function and still my husband doesn’t acknowledge anything that I do. He says that I don’t do anything for him which isn’t true. I agreed to move 3 houses down from his parents & his sister to make all of them happy, I go with the baby to his parents’ house at least once a week and go with them every Sunday night to dinner and sometimes movies that they want to see even if I have been wanting to see something else forever. I do as much cleaning and laundry as I can. I drop everything any time my husband needs an errand done including going with him on long drives out of state for him to buy cars (his hobby) & help him drive both cars back. I take care of the baby & I have started trying to work at home in a direct marketing business to make more money. Not bad for a mom whose 22 year old daughter just dropped dead not even a year ago just 2 weeks after bringing her newborn home from the NICU. When my doctor made me quit working because of lupus, I went through all the drama of applying and fighting to receive social security disability to try to bring as much of my own money into the house as possible but he still complains that I don’t do enough. He actually accuses me of doing nothing & especially nothing for him. I told him that most wives in my circumstances don’t work at all or have any income and their husbands don’t degrade them for having to give them money. As sick as I was, I had to hire someone to come a few days a week for a couple of hours a day when my daughter died, but I still put the baby down to nap even when she’s here. I rarely get to rest when she’s here, even after having surgery on my dominant hand for carpal tunnel and/or getting chemo infusions for lupus every 28 days. Most women in my situation wouldn’t do half the things I do and try to do, nor would they be expected to. Everyone else in the world is always telling me what an inspiration I am yet my own husband tells me I do nothing and he doesn’t even give me credit for how hard I work taking care of the baby just because I have help here and there just so I can shower or take an occasional nap (I’m supposed to nap every day because of my illness but I don’t!) or catch up on housework or laundry. I am very hurt and getting fed up of being disrespected and unappreciated. I “overspend” money because my husband will complain about our house or my cheap curtain rods or not having certain groceries in the house, yet when I use my own money to buy these things for our home (never anything for myself) he gets mad that he has to give me money from his earnings to help. (And he makes plenty of money. He owns s jewelry store with his parents.) I buy all of our groceries, all of the baby’s stuff, spend at least $600 to $800 on the babysitter a month lately because of needing help after chemo & surgery, and spend about $500 a month on my medicines. I only get $1600 in disability for myself and the baby’s SSI together. My husband is lucky I was diligent enough to figure out how to get this money and bring it in every month so he doesn’t have to bear the burden of it all himself, yet still it isn’t good enough for him. I just don’t know what he expects of me because I am doing so much more to contribute than a lot of women in my situation could or would. He barely acknowledges the fact that I’ve lost 56 pounds over the last few months & doesn’t even lift his head up when I get sick or even vomit because of my illness & chemo yet he acts like the world has come to an end if he gets a little headache or stubs his toe! My heart is very hurt and I just don’t know what to do anymore. We are starting to have bad fights almost once a week now and it’s just becoming too much for me with everything else I’m dealing with in life. All I’ve wanted to do since my daughter died is lay in bed with the covers over my head & cry or just jump out a window so I can go be with her yet I fight it with everything I’ve got and have been using her death as a catalyst to get healthy and try to live a happy life for the baby, but my husband gives me no credit for any of it. Sorry to ramble. I just don’t know what to do.

      • Alwan1214

        Wow I’m so sorry to hear about what you are going thru, as a mom I can’t imagine losing a child.. Remember god doesn’t give you more than you can bear, you seem like a very strong woman, many can’t do what u have done if they were in your circumstances. I think as woman we are always looking for affirmation from the men in our lives to tell us how great and amazing we are but that is wrong!!!!! We are strong and we are able able to give those affirmations to ourselves!!!! Do not wait around for your husband to tell you those things or even to notice your strengths, you know who you are and that is enough. I’m sorry to say this but you will probably be more happier without your husband in your life, he no longer is treating you the way a husband is suppose to treat his wife, by being supportive or helpful to you in any way. Maybe it’s time to move on, you are strong enough to do it!!! Sending you prayers and love

    • Polly

      I would agree – And society disrupting as it is my point of you is that if you are undervalued and you cannot change it and you are unhappy and unfulfilled there is absolutely no point no point at all in staying in that environment watching your self-confidence erode.

  • Anonymous

    This type of advice shifts all the burden of responsibility to the woman and men continue to get away with doing whatever they want. Focus on his positives = congratulate him for doing the bare minimum. Recognize that you have different expectations = lower your expectations of him and pick up the slack yourself. Work on yourself = you’re unreasonable for getting upset about this power structure. Have a spa day = pay for a day of pampering while you stress about doing 2 days’ worth of work tomorrow.

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely true. I don’t understand why all of these types of groups say this.
      How is taking care of me going to make him appreciate me. It’s not.
      They don’t notice the things you want to be appreciated for so they damn sure won’t notice how lovely and nice you are now suppose to be!
      And yes they are lazy! Maybe not in their job but in their marriage oh Yes they are.

      • Nij

        They are very freaking lazy! I’m use to seeing the old school man, who could work out in the elements all day, then come home mow the lawn, wash cars, take out the trash, etc. before looking for a meal. Men these days want to work, come home, kick their feet up, and not help with the kids, and still want a hot meal. GTF outta here.

      • Amy

        Taking care of yourself first and do what you love, will not make your husband appreciate you more, it will just make you feel better and happier. When you’re happy you will care less. And yes man can be very lazy at home!

    • Mike

      As though this inappreciation never happens in reverse?!? You ladies need a better man, and I a better woman, if their behavior is driving us to this.

    • Zelda

      I absolutely agree, all the tips are on focusing on your husband this, that and the other.. I’ve done all this and it still gets me no where.. The whole point being I want some of this thinking from his side of things. I cant live my life frustrated for much longer. He is the only man I want and love i crave his attention. But after 26 years i no deep down its not going change. Ive tried everything. Do i put up because i adore him so much but live a life of frustration or do i do the unthinkable and leave. It would kill me . The dilemma is a huge one. I married for better or worse but i didnt realise the worse part could be so bad.

  • Jada

    I’m on the same page as the other women. My Husband and I both work full time jobs, however mine never ends. I come home cook ,clean, laundry, sons needs, father in laws needs, husbands needs… I don’t have time to sleep properly let alone take time out for a spa day or anything close to it.

    • Chris

      Yeah try having your husband tell you all your life that you don’t do enough or make enough money. That why should he be paying the brunt of the bills. I clean , cook, garden, raised our children , did all the book keeping secretarial work for his business for 30 years so he didn’t have to pay anyone. I cut his hair for 35 years , oh yeah and I worked full time everyday of the 35 years unless I took a break to push out a child. Yet I’m not good enough not appreciated. He should have married a freaking brain surgeon, not me… every time I get beaten down about being a useless piece of shit, I say to myself this is the last time, I’m leaving. Then I give it another chance because he senses it and tones it down a little. Until it happens again. And again and again.

  • Married A Man

    Hello,

    I invest in myself by working out regularly, hoping it will decrease stress, keep me healthy, and give me something good to do without clinging on to my husband. But then he often times interrupts my workouts by asking me questions that can wait and tells me I want to workout for attention from other people. (I work out AT HOME, in a room with the door closed.) Then he wants me to be able and willing and ready to do any and everything he’s seen other women do sexually on those ‘flicks’, but i can’t even ask him for a cup of coffee without him blowing hard and seething and fuming like he hates I even asked.

  • Nikki

    My husband always puts me down. He never helps with anything. If food falls out of his mouth he will leave it there. Doesn’t even take his plate to the kitchen after he finished eating. I have a 9-5 job, I shop for groceries, I cook, I do laundry, I clean, I take care of our front yard/ landscaping. He works from home and he has never ever surprise cooked me dinner or show that he cares. All he cares about is cars, games and computers 🙁 how do you cope with that? I got to the point that I am constantly drained , frustrated, miserable

    • Polly

      In this situation I think voting with one’s feet is the best course of action because these men will not change and we are delusional to wait it out hoping for the best when all it will do is deteriorate over time

  • Nishita

    My husband is probably the most unappreciative person on this planet. I work 9-5 job, take care of my daughter, her feeds, clean home, blah blah blah. The list is never ending, though I am never asked for any kind of help from him. And when I tell him that I could use some help, he has the audacity to tell me that he is earning money n taking care of his family. I mean what am I doing then? Am I not earning as well. Sometimes I feel like I should kick him out of my life, but I don think I have the guts to do it. Why should we keep up with such unappreciative spouses?

    • Polly

      Honestly …. so many men discount the contributions and the work and effort put into a working woman’s full time job because nothing could ever be as hard Or valuable as what they contribute. Been there. Leave him and get support payments that way you can work and have more money without the hassle of him

  • Cathy

    I agree…why should we (the wife) make all the changes and adjustments while the husband continues on with his same old ways??I am an old school wife…I do all the cooking, all the cleaning, laundry ect…and never do i get a thanks babe..or the house looks nice…instead i get “suggestions” of how I need to better my organizational tasks and how I need to de-clutter better. If I do crafts and set myself “me time” when he is home..I get the “look”. Or smart remarks like what’s wrong with you?, why are you ignoring me? It’s just very upsetting. And when I express sadness/depression/forgetfulness ect…(I have MDD). If I mention my depression disorder; he says I am just using that as an excuse….And he says, he has alot of pressure/stress/complaints at work and doesnt want to hear about it at home too. Oh well, after reading all these comments; at least I know I am not alone!

  • Amber Dominitis

    I initiated space from my husband after multiple times of him telling me that he was not sure if he can be married to me. I brace myself every time I want to text and hold back. I stopped doing everything for him like I always have…laundry dinner errands I even stopped saying I love you because I’m not sure if it’s live or codependency. We still live together but I avoid his space and him altogether. He still wears his wedding ring and I caved and saw that he still has our photos on Facebook. I don’t initiate contact and only briefly respond when he texts and mind you he began to text within hours of me requesting time to think. I moved here with him so I have no friends or support and even though I requested the space it is still difficult. We have been married 4 years with the best of times and the worst he was my best friend. I want things to work out and I know it upset him when I asked him to remove his wedding band. I don’t know what to do. I feel lost and broken.

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