Thursday, January 08, 2009

An Instruction Manual for My Husband

My cousin Teresa wrote on her blog a couple of weeks ago about a book she was reading on marriage and being a wife. I decided to order it from Amazon and read it myself. I love my marriage and the relationship Jeff and I have, but I always feel like I could do better at being a wife, especially with three kids running around. Sometimes I feel like I am so focused on them, and work that I leave poor Jeff out of the equation.

After reading the last two nights, I feel like the author has been sitting in a corner of my house for the last three years observing me, and then wrote this book about me as a way to bang me over the head with a frying pan and say, "Get a clue girlfriend!"

The things she says to describe pitfalls many wives fall into are me to a T. She says that husbands usually fall into one of three personality types, and my darling Jeff is Mr. Steady (her term) to a T. It's as if she were writing the chapter about him specifically. In fact, last night I read him some of the chapter, and he said "That's EXACTLY what I have been trying to explain to you about how I am and how I feel! FOR THREE AND A HALF YEARS!" Poor man!

The biggest thing I am learning about myself is my problem with having a negative attitude. My personality type could be labeled Mrs. Bossy. Top that off with being a first born and you have MRS. BOSSY PANTS WITH A BAD ATTITUDE. I have a strong need for control, and when that doesn't happen, I get grumpy and negative. Funny thing about marriage-you are not in control of everything anymore! To continue my downward spiral, when I cause tension in this way because I don't get my way, I react in bad ways by trying to punish those around me by being cold and unfriendly. I know this may sound stupid, but the book helped me to realize that this doesn't help at all to change anyone's behavior around me. It's probably things that I should be able to see on my own, but I didn't. And it's great to feel like I have a new insight into myself, and my Jeff, who God Bless him has been so patient with me acting like a doofus.

So, the past few days, I have been praying for wisdom. Wisdom to be cognizant of my behavior and reactions. I have been making a huge effort to have joy in my heart, and to be thankful. And you know what? It hasn't just helped my marriage, but also my job. Being a teacher can cause a lot of burn out. It's a hard job a lot of the time. But when I focus on what I can change, and being thankful, it makes a huge difference. I have loved being with my class this week. I feel renewed in ways that make me feel like I am back to the excitement I had as a first year teacher.

I am also thankful for Teresa and her blog, and for sharing such a great nugget of information with me. Isn't the wide wonderful world of blogging amazing? It's a gift the way that people can touch others' lives in ways that weren't possible just a short time ago.


John & Teresa said...

Awww, Christy! I'm so GLAD you are enjoying the book and benefiting from it. Now I need to get my butt in gear and finish it ... I'm only about half way through. Thanks for the encouragement!

Christy M. said...

Sounds like a book I need to read as well. I'm going to Amazon right now to check it out.

I admire you so much for writing this post. It's alwasy so hard to admit our shortcomings (at least for me!) and you did it in such a raw manner.

I hope you learn more about yourself and your marriage (and other relationships) through reading this book. And I hope your days keep getting better and better!

Mommy Mo said...

Hi Christy! I'm a friend of Christy M.'s and she told me about this book this morning. This sounds like one I need to pick up and read : ). I, too, have three kids, but mine are younger (Sophie, 5; Sam, 2.5, and Little Anthony 3 months).

I have seen your screeen name around on different blogs- now I know who you are!

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