Monday, November 25, 2013

Help, and Expectations

 There's something that's been on my mind for quite a while, and I've wanted to blog about, but have been hesitant. I hesitate because I'm a very non confrontational person, and I do NOT want to offend anyone. However, I know there's so many wise holy women out there, maybe some one has thoughts on the subject and would like to share. The subject is simple, what is appropriate for a wife to expect in terms of help from her husband. 

 My thoughts on this subject have been slowly going through an evolution for the past seven years of my marriage. Back in my young newlywed days, I really wasn't that concerned about needing Jay's help, when it was just us I didn't need much help anyway. However as time went on, and we began our journey as parents I found myself starting to think more on what we should be expecting or hoping for in each other. I began to worry if I expected to much from Jay in terms of help with the house and with the baby. At first my attitude was simple, "I need help, and we're in this it's ok to ask for help." And I'm a lucky girl, because nine times out of ten Jay will help me no matter what the request may be. He has changed diapers, walked restless babies, shopped for embarrassing feminine hygiene products, and always tries to figure out how to help me no matter what I ask. Yes, I am blessed, and I'm guilty of forgetting sometimes just how blessed I am. But somewhere down the road I started to feel guilt for asking my husband to help me inside the home, and with the care of the children. I started to question the expectations I had for my husbands involvement in things other than bringing home the bacon, or in his case studying. Maybe I shouldn't expect....anything. Maybe by me expecting or asking for his help I'm not being a good wife. I had completely in my mind bought into the idea that a husband should not be expected to help out with much at all, and that no matter what his faults or vices, he should not be corrected or confronted. Yes, I believed this whole-heatedly. I strived to change, to become the super martyr mom that does everything while the husband is left to reign on his relaxing throne. But to my sad dismay, I fell short,I could never manage to do everything without seeking his help. This caused me to feel like less than I should be, and in a way slightly depressed. 

 For so long I felt like I wasn't the wife I was called to be, how can I do everything and never ask for his help??!  How can I do everything and not complain? And more importantly, how do I keep my sanity and not become resentful??

 One brave day I decided to talk to Jay about the whole complex confusion of ideas I was sorting through, and I found out that he was completely unaware of my fears. He assured me that he in no way wanted or expected me to be the one that does it all. At first I wasn't all that relieved or even at peace, Jays a nice guy, he just doesn't want to upset me.

Yet only recently, after much confusion,talking, prayer, and a lot of grace, I came to a new realization that has brought me clarity. It probably sounds very simple to some people, but to me it's an epiphany. Marriage is a call to sanctity, and husbands and wives are called to help each other both get to heaven, together. Based on this truth I have felt peace in receiving the help I need from my husband, because we are both called to sanctity. Jay making it to heaven is just as important as me making it to heaven, and sometimes his call to sanctity may involve helping me with the kids, even if he is the breadwinner. I've come to believe that asking for his help is good for both of us, it humbles me, and keeps him the hero that he's called to be. 

 I am curious to know how other woman view this in their marriages? Maybe other woman can approach this topic from angles I haven't considered? Even if no one has anything to add, I can attest to feeling much more at peace after accepting that I'm not called to carry everything, but that together we have the strength to handle what ever life may bring.




  1. Interesting topic Angie! I love your reflection about how asking him for help can bring him to sanctity.

    We've been married almost 13 years, and have gone through many seasons and times. The amount of "help" I "expect" or ask for really depends on where we are in life and what is going on. We've had times where my husband was gone very long hours (or even one entire summer for an internship) and then I didn't have any help. We've also had times where he is home more, so he's helped more. We' have times where I had a nursing baby and needed more help and times when my youngest kid was 4, and I didn't need as much help. Now, I have older kids (who are home all the time, because we homeschool) and a husband who works long hours, so my husband doesn't do as much around the house, but my older kids do help out a lot.


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