I Still Do

My Husband Is an Overbearing Jerk … and I’m a Pouty Little Snot

When did our culture decide that marriage was supposed to be light and fluffy?

by Tracey Eyster

I have friends who have been devastated by divorce. Divorce is heartbreaking, and all the more when one of the parties is blindsided by the decision of the other to give up and end the marriage.

This seems to be happening more and more. Things get hard, marriage stops being fun, life gets serious, issues arise, and someone decides they do not want to work at it and they just leave.

A few weeks ago I was speaking to a friend who said she knew 10 couples who were headed toward divorce. In each case it was because the wife decided it wasn't worth the hassle to work at it. She'd had enough and she was out of there.

I struggle to comprehend how a woman can give up on her family without fighting for it. Actually, I get angry. It seems like such an unbelievable display of selfishness. If you and your husband are fighting and having problems, don't think you are alone in your struggles. All marriages suffer and have problems—all marriages. In the situations I have observed, there is no abuse. The individuals just refused to work through the problems they were having with the spouse given to them by God.

When did our society decide that marriage was supposed to be all light and fluffy? Marriage is hard; marriage is where life gets real. And each of us should have realized that going into it ... better or worse, richer or poorer ... remember?

I have had many women assume that my husband is perfect because it appears to them that our marriage is so good. I laugh and tell them that our marriage is good, but not because my husband is perfect. He is an overbearing jerk. And I am a pouty little snot. But we know this about each other and we work at marriage.

In our home we recognize sin for just what it is: sin. And often, a moment's frustration is all it takes for us to slip into our sin nature. Hubby's moments of frustration slip him into "overbearing jerk"—and he knows it. My moments of frustration slip me into "pouty little snot"—and I know it.

This from the parents who have been known to tell their children they are being "selfish little heathens."

Do we point these things out to be mean and ugly? No, we do it to identify sin and snap each other into recognition of that sin.  We know that because we are most comfortable at home; it is there that our sin nature rears its ugly head the most. I recognize I need someone to help me tame the beast within.

Is it always easy to hear about it when I'm being a pouty little snot? No. But hey, my hubby loves me and he needs to help me to be a better person.

Are there times when he knows that I'm having a bad day and he needs to just let a problem go? Of course—neither of us is looking for trouble!

As moms, we spend our days teaching our children that the world does not revolve around them and they have to learn to get along well with their friends and siblings. We constantly remind them to extend grace to others, to realize others are not always cruel on purpose. Maybe we should remind ourselves the same thing when it comes to our relationship with our husband.

So, if you have had recurring thoughts of disappointment and anger toward your husband and you are getting fed up, please allow me to mother you a bit ...

The world does not revolve around you. You need to work at getting along with your husband. You need to extend grace to your husband. Your husband is not being mean on purpose; sometimes he just doesn't think.

Marriage is a covenant relationship and God made it that way because He realized that, left to our own desires, we would want to walk away. But a covenant is a commitment, so we must stick it out and work at it.

Working at it pounds some of the stubbornness out of us: My husband is becoming less and less of an overbearing jerk, and I am becoming less and less of a pouty little snot.

Last night when I asked Hubby if we were going to have a date night this Friday he said, "I don't know. Do you want to go out on a date with an overbearing jerk?"

"Sure," I said.  "Because you are my overbearing jerk and I love you!"

Copyright ©2009 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved. Read more from Tracey Eyster on MomLife Today, FamilyLife's blog for moms.

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