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The Day I Realized I Was an Ungrateful Wife

The Day I Realized I Was an Ungrateful Wife

I have been an ungrateful wife. That’s not an easy thing to say, but there it is. In our house, tensions have been high, and when we sat down to talk through a few things, I placed the blame almost entirely on him.

Did I concede that I had faults of my own? Sort of–with phrases like, “I know I can be snarky, but…” And that “but” would be something that he does that I think is so much worse. At the end of our talk, nothing felt resolved. He said that he was sorry for his part, but i still felt this nagging feeling that neither of us were happy.

couple arguing

As I lay in bed, I remembered something that he said recently, half-jokingly and half not. “You’re an awesome mom, but a bad wife sometimes.” Probably not the most tactful thing, but I laughed at the time. I had been a bad wife. He said it after I had forgotten (for the second day in a row) to have his uniforms ready for work. Why did I forget? Because I was too involved with doing things for the kiddo to notice what my husband needed.

He works 12-hour shifts (and nightshift, at that) so that I’m able to freelance and be home with our son. He works so hard for us, and he asks me to get his uniforms ready because I iron them better than he does. That’s not too much to ask, right?

But even as I laughed, I scolded him for not doing it himself. “Why can’t you just start getting ready earlier so you can iron them, and then I won’t need to do this at all?” Again, I placed the blame on him because I failed to do what I should have.

Couple Having an Argument

And before you think that he’s “one of those men” who want women to do all the housework, he totally isn’t. Despite working long hours at a job where much of the public is unappreciative these days (law enforcement), he still helps a lot at home. He does the grocery shopping 80 percent of the time because it’s my least favorite chore. He helps with the laundry. He helps with the cleaning. And he gets the kiddo out of the house for a few hours when I’m at my wits end trying to finish up with something for work.


I was so ungrateful.

Instead of thanking him for cleaning the kitchen one night, I asked why he didn’t clean the living room instead because that’s where we spend most of our time. Ungrateful. Instead of telling him that I appreciated him washing a load of laundry and putting it in the dryer, I complained that he didn’t put the clothes away, too. Why should I have to finish what he started? Ungrateful.

Couple Arguing

Nothing he did was ever good enough. And rather than making his life a little easier when and where I could, I begrudgingly did the few things that he asked me to do, with a lot of fussing and nagging to boot.

When I realized that–how ungrateful I’ve been… how spoiled and selfish I’ve been… I knew I needed to change. I needed to learn to be appreciative of my good husband.

Is he the perfect husband all the time? Of course not. But he loves me and appreciates my efforts all the time. And he deserves nothing less from me.

Have you ever caught yourself being ungrateful for your spouse? How did you turn that around? I’d love to hear your comments!

UPDATE: I’ve received several emails and un-publishable comments asking how we are doing. This post was written about three years ago, and I have to say that NOW we have a great marriage. It took a lot of work on both of our parts, but we came out of our rough patch better than ever. You can read our tips on How to Make Your Marriage a Priority to find out more.

Don’t miss this post:

Do you find yourself nagging your husband too much? Nagging can take its toll on a relationship. Here are some helpful tips to help you kick the nagging habit.

 

Dan

Wednesday 14th of April 2021

Feminism has sold women on the false ideal that they can "have it all". No one has it all. When women finally realize they have been sold a bill of goods they become enraged. Instead of accepting responsibility for falling for a ruse and vowing to do better she projects her anger on her husband. Then he is placed under a microscope. He could do 99 things right but she will rake him over the coals for the one mistake he made.

It's like that with my wife. Nothing I do, and I do a lot, is enough. She gets to complain about everything under the sun but the second I try to defend myself or lodge my own complaint I am "fighting". It's to the point where I will do just about anything to avoid being around her. We have no children so that is not the issue. If everything is not exactly perfect in her life I am the cause if it. I never saw this spoiled brat side of her when we were dating. She was deceptive and hid it well.

Ladies, try being more empathetic and understanding of your husbands. It will mean more to them than you could imagine.

Scot

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

Help please! I'm a perfectly imperfect man who loves and appreciates his wife but I'm drowning. My wife lived with her parents and grandmother until we married......I on the otherhand went out on my own and learned to support myself. I learned to keep up with chores and housework the hard way & understood how living with someone requires a certain level of respect for your rommate's space. We've been married 17yrs and I've given up. We live like hoarders in a frathouse. I hate it. Its really bad yall. She's never (not once) cleaned a bathtub or sink, vacuumed a carpet, scrubbed a base board, taken out the trash, washed a window or even put away an entire load of laundry. Please help me....I'm crying as I write this thinking leaving her is the last option to get her attention. I've talked privately with my inlaws & they only empathize with me & tell me she's always been this way. We've gone to counseling but it never sticks...I love her so much but we're raising children in a pig stye & it must stop. She wants to build a new house but I'll have to hire professional help to get this one ready to 'show'. What can i do?

Chris

Tuesday 11th of February 2020

I'm the husband of a wife who I feel is under-appreciative of what I do for her. The thing I can't work out is; where does she even get the idea to criticise me for the things I haven't done. I believe in taking care of my own needs; and am openly thankful when she does things for me. But on the occasions when she doesn't; that's fine, I have no expectation that she has to 'do things for me'. For example; she does most of the cooking for several reasons: 1) I'm out at work all day 2) She wants to have dinner at the time I get home, not after and 3) She's simply better at cooking, great at it, in fact. But if I got home and there was no dinner prepared, because she'd had a hard day with the kids or whatever, this presents absolutely no issue for me. I would make something. I don't have expectations of her. And yet, all I get day in, day out, is nag after nag, expectation after expectation. When I do something around the house, I'm watched like a hawk and criticised the moment my process appears to be deviating from the way she would do it. I just don't know where this attitude comes from. I've put up with it for years and suspect I will continue to do so until the kids reach adulthood.

Ts

Monday 25th of November 2019

wow, never would have thought to seen a post such as this, i was looking online to find a way to broach the subject of someone seeming ungrateful and ended up writing this to vent!

I Work from home (all PC technical work and phone calls about projects/designs) and do quite a bit to help out at home but more and more my other half (a home maker if i could use that term) is doing less and not seeming to care about what a home (or I) needs. The way i think about it is if i have to sit here working 8 to 10 hours a day and that is a resource i put into our life as a family, along with LOTS of house / yard work it should stand to reason that they would feel compelled to... i dont know.... clean up after making the kids breakfast (and its usually never a cooked breakfast) and then ok, they take kids to school but then are free to do what they want and i would figure that an hour or two doing what the house needs, like cleaning and or meal planning, would be a given thing to do but most days they do not come home and i dont know what they do really. i end up not wanting look at the kitchen mess so clean it up when i make a cup of coffee.

there are times they come home and make me breakfast (usually egg based) and i always appreciate it and always say thank you but it is a bit bitter sweet as i usually clean that up later as well. clothes are also left laying about whether they are dirty or a clean pile after it is machine washed/dried and thrown somewhere. the house we live in we moved to as it consolidated having to travel between different properties and is big enough for our family in the future with moms, brothers, cousins staying and it is their family 99% of the time which i always whole-heartedley supported as well but i am getting a bad taste in mouth as i do feel like i give every ounce of myself but my other half does not seem to be very considerate.

sometimes my other half makes comments about things that are not done yet or they want done that come out all wrong as well so that on top of my growing animosity is not good! And to be clear i never once made any comments about me being the one that "worked" as when we got together is said specifically that if they are taking care of kids/house then what i make monetarily is the other half of the equation and it is not an issue and not mine, period and i have stuck by that!

I wish I knew what to say as this is getting toxic! any advice would be great

James

Tuesday 6th of December 2016

I am a man who works a very demanding job and I help out around the house. Unfortunately I work more than 80hours a week. Your post describes my wife because I get accused by her of not caring enough about our family because I dont help out as much as she expects me to and that i hide behind my work as an excuse. I am a christian man and I try to follow the direction of the bible but this accusation from her hurts me in the deepest place esp cos she feels she is justified. I do a bit of charity work to save lives of innocent newborn babies that takes little of my time but she believes I care more about this and helping others than I care about my family. I pray that the Lord will help me and show me the way. I have asked her to write down what she wants from me and I have watched her struggle writing pages and tearing them up. I am not a perfect man but I know i am not what she is describing. Thank you for your article and apologies for my rant.