Frazzled Mom, Exhausted Wife: What to Do When Everyone Needs You

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Frazzled Mom, Exhausted Wife: What to Do When Everyone Needs You

By Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

Being a wife and a mom is one of life’s greatest joys. Partnering with your husband to raise a family is an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling role; however, it’s challenging all at the same time. The role of a wife and mom is not only a huge blessing, but a huge responsibility–and it can leave you completely WORN OUT.

The kids have fifteen different places they need to be and, on top of all that, they have a mile-long list of school supplies waiting to be purchased and thrown into their backpacks. Your husband’s working late, and needs you to set up and prepare for your small group to come over, and the babysitter just called and canceled for the second time this month.

So what do you do when it’s all just too much? What do you do when everyone needs something from you, and it feels like everyone forgot you’re only one person?

Here are few things to remember:

FOCUS ON GRATITUDE

There was a time in your life when you were longing for this. You anxiously awaited the moment you would walk down the aisle to say, “I do,” to your husband. Your heart leapt for joy when you found out you were pregnant, and for nine months you dreamed of holding that sweet baby. Take your mind back to those moments.

Remember, it’s all a gift. Sure, your child may be screaming in your face, but soon they’ll sleep, and you’ll catch yourself staring at their peaceful little faces and wonder where the time has gone. A mindset of gratitude and joy will not only give you a calm demeanor; it will overflow and impact your family as well.

BUILD IN TIME AND SPACE FOR YOURSELF

In all of your planning and coordinating, don’t forget to schedule some time for yourself. Maybe this season of life doesn’t allow much time for you to sneak away for an afternoon alone, but look for a window of time in your week where you can sit on your porch with a cup of coffee or spend a few minutes reading a book. The mental break will rejuvenate and refresh your spirit and offer you the chance to breathe for a minute.

ASK FOR HELP

No one’s asking you to be Superwoman.

There are a lot of requests coming your way and a lot of things on your plate. Don’t be scared to call in back-up. Maybe you need to ask a friend to watch your children one afternoon so you can get a few things done around the house. Maybe you need to call a family member and ask for some advice. Your closest friends and family have your best interests at heart, and they want what’s best for you.

Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to things. Share responsibilities with your husband. We’ve all heard the common phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child.” That statement resonates with us because we know it’s true. You don’t have to do it all alone.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK

There are a lot of rabbit trails of doubt, worry, and self-consciousness you can go down when you are overwhelmed and tired. One major thing that can fuel the fire of exhaustion and stress is the internet. While we have every resource, piece of advice, and article imaginable at our fingertips, we also are bombarded with pictures, posts, updates, and requests through social media. What can start as a quick “Facebook break” turns into an unexpected self-shaming campaign because you think another mom is doing everything so much better than you are, or another couple looks so much happier.

Give yourself a break. Remember that social media is a highlight reel for many people, and you’re only seeing one side of the story. Focus on your marriage, your children, and your family. Life does not have to look like every Pinterest meal you see, and your kids do not have to win every award the neighbor’s’ kid won. Love your family the way God calls you to love your family–not the way Instagram tells you to love your family.

No one is looking to you for perfection. Your husband loves you for who you are, not what you do. Your children need your love, affection, and guidance, and they’ll be okay if they don’t have a sandwich cut in the shape of a heart. You’re a good wife and a good mom. Just take a deep breath…and maybe grab a cup of coffee!


If you are struggling with some of the stresses of life and would like someone to talk with about life, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a coach or counselor.

The Habit of Telling Your Wife She is Beautiful

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Husbands, Get in the Habit of Telling Your Wife She is Beautiful

By Shaunti Feldhahn

Every little girl dreams of finding her prince and knowing she is his princess. Husbands, you need to know that even after years of marriage, your wife probably still has some of that little girl inside. A little girl who wants to know she is still your leading lady. And one of the greatest ways you can get that truth to “stick” is by regularly telling your wife she is beautiful!

Our surveys found that inside nearly every woman is a deep desire to know she is beautiful. This is true no matter what age she is, or how successful or confident she may be.

You may be thinking, “But I do think my wife is beautiful!” The thing is, it’s easy to forget to put the thought into words! The best thing you can do is take every opportunity to tell her you feel that way.

Think about the last few times you both went out together—like on a date night or out with friends. It is very likely that your wife put in effort to look nice. Maybe she bought a new outfit to catch your eye, or took extra time on her hair and makeup. As you continued on to the restaurant or movie, did you ever hear her ask, “Honey, how do I look?”

Her question is pointing to her hope that you will say those magic words: how pretty she looks.

You see, every day your wife is bombarded with constant images from the media setting unrealistic expectations for beauty. These images tell her she must lose more weight, be sexier, look younger or dress better. It can take its toll on even the most confident of women. I know you want to make your wife happy, and the best relief you can give her from that pressure, the best antidote you can find for the forever-young, forever-size-two Photoshop expectations of this culture, is the encouragement of hearing how beautiful she is to you, in all her individuality.

One man told me that on his 30th anniversary, he did something he had never thought to do before: he took his wife’s lipstick and wrote on the mirror in their bathroom: “You are the most beautiful woman I know.” Three months later, that message was still there. She couldn’t bear to wash it off.

So find ways to say it out loud, and put it in writing. When you have date nights or she gets dressed up in a pretty outfit, tell her how amazing she looks. If you need to, take a sticky note and stick it on your computer or in your closet to help you remember. You’ll see so much delight on her face – you’ll see her start to believe it — as you get into the habit of putting into words that she is the most beautiful woman in the world to you.

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For more help in enriching or working through relationship rough spots, please call CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to set up an appointment with one of our counselors or coaches.

 

3 Ways to Fight for Your Wife Daily

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3 Ways to Fight for Your Wife Daily

By Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

The call of a husband is a mighty one: to sacrificially love their wives, the Bible says, as Christ loved the church. What exactly does that mean, and how does it practically play out day in and day out? It is innate in men to love and protect, no matter the cost. Most men would go to battle for their wives–likely even die for them.

But what does it look like to fight for your wife daily? In order to win the war, men, you must engage daily in the battle for your wife’s love. It’s a kind of sacrifice that can appear costly but carries a great reward.

Here are three simple, yet powerful, ways to fight for your wife that could shift your mind and your marriage.

1. GIVE YOUR WIFE UNDIVIDED ATTENTION.

Your time and attention is one of your most precious commodities. Men, your wife craves your undivided attention. Not only does she crave it, but she needs it. There is a powerful statement made when you set aside the phone and the distractions of life, look your wife in the eye, listen to her, talk to her. It shouldn’t be something you get around to once a week. It should be a daily priority.

There is a sense of togetherness that happens when you give your wife your attention. Simply being in the same room isn’t enough. Engage in conversation. The kind where you are getting to know one another, talking feelings and emotions. This will show her that she is important, loved, and valued. It will prove she is a priority. It will show her that you are fighting for her love.

Men, I realize this may not come easy to you. There is an art to conversation and you may not always be dialed in to your wife’s emotions. Over time, though, you will find an ease to these types of conversations as a closeness develops–ll from fighting for you wife daily with your undivided attention.

2. GIVE YOUR WIFE NON-SEXUAL AFFECTION.

Listen closely, men! It’s no secret that when you think of physical affection, you think of sex. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but understand that women are different. What if the key to more sex was showing your wife daily non-sexual affection? What if the other benefits could shift other challenges of your marriage? Simply holding your wife’s hand, giving her a hug, or putting your arm around her shows her that you are fighting for her love and affection. Your wife craves your touch. She longs to know that you want heart. And here is the kicker: likely, the more non-sexual affection you show her, the more she will be interested in sex.

Physical affection may not come easily to you. You may have grown up in a home where there was no affection shown. It may be a learned behavior, but it is something that your wife craves. Do it without expecting sex. Do it daily. It will set a tone in your marriage, create a sense of oneness, and show a great example to your kids if you have them. There are few things more beautiful than a strong man who can also show tenderness to his wife. It is a way to fight for her love that you won’t want to miss.

3. DREAM, PRAY, AND PLAN TOGETHER.

When you marry, two become one. You may have separate dreams, different career paths, and perhaps even unique pictures of how your lives will turn out when you get married. But one of the most beautiful parts about marriage is the privilege to dream together, to pray together, and to plan together.

Deep down inside of all of us, we long for a companion to share life with. This is marriage! Instill the discipline of praying with your wife daily. There is a depth of intimacy reached when you hold hands and pray together. It is a reminder that God is the center of your marriage. It tunes your heart to His purpose for marriage, which is for it to flourish and to grow. God loves marriage, and praying together is of the best ways you can fight for your marriage to grow and to thrive!

Make plans and dreams with your wife. This may not be a daily task in itself, but as you make dreams and plans together, it provides something to look forward to daily. Doing life together is a privilege, and it’s fun!

So that’s it, men! Your wives may not be as complicated as you think. Build these disciplines into your marriage and see it flourish. Show your wife that she is worth fighting for. Treat your marriage like the gift that it is by fighting for your wife daily.

7 Ways a Husband Injures His Wife Without Knowing It

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Yesterday, we posted 7 Ways a Wife Injures Her Husband Without Knowing It.  Today, we take a look a the other side of the coin – seven ways that a husband injures his wife without knowing it.

In a healthy marriage, spouses do not intentionally hurt one another.  Yet, there are things that we do and say, or don’t do and don’t say that result in pain for our spouse.  The purpose of theses lists isn’t to give a spouse a weapon to attack their partner, but a tool from which they can examine their own heart and have constructive conversations to enhance their marriage.

7 Ways a Husband Injures a Wife Without Knowing It

Adapted from an article by Ron Edmondson

1. Cuts her out of the discussion. When you act as if she isn’t even there or wouldn’t understand what you’re talking about, she feels a part of her is detached. She sees the marriage as a partnership in every part of life—even the parts she may never fully understand.

2. Fails to notice the difference she makes. A woman doesn’t want to be appreciated for only what she does. She wants you to appreciate who she is, but you can admit it—she does a lot. Whether it’s decorating the house or making sure the clothes are clean or that you have your favorite soap, a woman wants to know what she does is valued by you.

trap3. Underestimates the small stuff. You only said “this” but it was “THIS” to her. And it hurts. You may even think it’s funny. She may even laugh. But it is often building a wall of protection around her heart each time you do. The key here is that you can’t talk to her like you might talk to another guy. She hears and feels deeper than you do. Words can and do hurt.

4. Speaks with curtness. When you talk down to her, as if she’s somehow less than you, you bruise her spirit. Deeply. You know she’s not less than you—you don’t even think she is—but she just can’t tell that sometimes based on your tone and the way you talk to her.

5. Corrects her as she’s talking. This could be finishing her sentences or speaking for her in the company of others. She feels demeaned and devalued when you present her to others as if she can’t compete with you in original thought, which you know isn’t true. (My wife is much smarter than me.)

6. Acts suspicious. Don’t misunderstand or misapply this one. When you hide information, even when you think you’re protecting her, you cause her to question your motive. When you protect your calendar or act like you are upset at the question “What did you do today?” or “What did you talk about?” or “Who was that?” when someone calls, it gives her an eerie feeling something is wrong. And that hurts.

7. Admires other women over her. She sees you looking. She may even understand your highly visual makeup. It hurts her, however, when a glance becomes a stare, especially when it happens everywhere you go, all the time.

A wife’s heart, no matter how independent or strong she is, is tender in places—lots of places. She can bruise easily in some areas of her life, especially the places that involve the people she loves the most—like you. A husband who understands this is more careful in how he speaks and responds to her.

Most husbands I know would never injure their wife knowingly. They want to be her protector. Men, when we don’t realize the damage we are doing to our wives’ emotions, we invalidate every desire we have to be her defender. I always like to use this thought as a reminder: Would I ever allow another man to speak to or treat my wife like I am doing?

7 Ways a Wife Injures Her Husband Without Knowing It

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In a healthy marriage, spouses do not intentionally hurt one another.  Yet, there are things that we do and say, or don’t do and don’t say that result in pain for our spouse.  The purpose of theses lists isn’t to give a spouse a weapon to attack their partner, but a tool from which they can examine their own heart and have constructive conversations to enhance their marriage.

Tomorrow, we will post 7 Ways a Husband Injures His Wife Without Knowing It.  But let us not skip over this important aspect of the marriage partnership.

Seven Ways a Wife Injures a Husband Without Knowing It

Adapted from a piece by Ron Edmondson 

1. Put him down in front of other people. Most men will not counter this type of humiliation in public…if ever. They will simply take it…and hurt. If they do eventually address it will be out of stored up resentment…maybe anger…and it won’t be pretty.

2. Go behind him when he tries to do something at home. Always show him how much better you can do things than he can do them. He will appreciate that. When he fixes the bed, make sure you show him the “correct way” immediately after he finishes. He will be reminded he doesn’t measure up to your standards.

trap3. Constantly badger him. If he doesn’t do what you want him to do …remind him. Again and again (Because that accomplishes what you want it to do).

4. Use the “you always” phrase … excessively. Because he “always” does and, best news yet, it helps build him into a man that always will.

5. Hold him responsible for your emotional wellbeing. He’s the reason you feel bad today and every other day you feel bad. So, make sure he knows it’s his fault. And, you don’t have to tell him. Subtly, just be in a bad mood towards him, without releasing him from guilt. He’ll take the hint and own the responsibility. He will think it’s his fault even if it’s not.

6. Complain about what you don’t have or get to do. He has a desire to fix things. He wants to be a provider. Every man does. Some attempt to live it out and some don’t. But, when he’s trying, doing the best he can and yet he feels he isn’t measuring up, he’s crushed. When you are always commenting on what other women have that you don’t, he carries the blame, even if you’re not intending it to be his.

7. Don’t appreciate his efforts. Want to injure a man? Refuse to appreciate the things he feels he does well. It could be work, a hobby or a trait, but he feels part of his identity in the things he does. When you don’t find them as “valuable” as he does, his ego is bruised.

The reality is a man’s ego—his self-confidence and sense of worth—is greatly tied to his wife, just as a woman’s is to her husband. We can be fragile people, some more than others.

Understanding these issues and addressing them—with a third party if necessary—will help build healthier, stronger and happier people and marriages.