Relationships

Dear Jealous, Needy, Crazy Wife

I have felt like such a loser lately. Each time I sit down to write a post, all I see is the blank screen staring back at me.

I’ve got nothing.

I want to encourage wives. I feel so burdened for women who might be feeling alone and isolated. I want to tell them to keep going. I want them to continue the battle because I know it’s worth it. No amount of green grass on the other side is going to satisfy them or fix their current problems. Running away won’t solve anything.

The thing is, I feel like I just keep going backward in my marriage, so how can I point anyone forward? I have so many insecurities and fears, I feel unable to chase away anyone else’s monsters. I’m no expert, but after over twenty years, one would think I would be better at this whole wife thing. Instead, I feel like we are spinning our wheels and I am pretty sure everyone else is way ahead of us. I mean, Facebook tells me this nonstop. We certainly don’t look as amazing as all of those kissy couples who still look starry-eyed for each other. While I know we only see the window dressing of people’s real lives, it’s hard to keep comparison away.

Our marriage feels like an episode of Groundhog’s Day lately. We keep having the same argument over and over. Seriously. It’s the same stupid hurdle and we jump it every single day. I hear myself talk and think, “Surely, I am not saying these same words again, am I?”

It goes something like this:

Me: I feel really insecure lately. I feel like it’s impossible to stay married in this crazy, insane culture we live in. How can we withstand it? You travel a lot, and I am sure you love being away from me. It’s only a matter of time before the bottom drops out. What if you meet someone who wears heels and thinks you are so funny? I’m just here homeschooling each day, lucky if I have time to fix my hair. How can I compete with whatever is out there?

Scott: I feel like you don’t trust me when you say that. I think you need to lean on God more and make Him your main focus. And I don’t like to travel so I can escape home. It’s my job, but I get sick of being gone. I would choose to be with our kids all day, so be grateful. And I don’t want to hurt our marriage. I am just tired lately. I have so much on my plate. We aren’t as bad off as you think. You are just comparing us to others. Everyone is struggling, they just don’t show it!

Me: I adore being a mom, but it isn’t very glamorous… And it just seems like you are on another planet lately, and I feel like you might prefer being on the road and away from the chaos. I sure would . . .

Scott: I would rather be home. And I’m just tired. I don’t think I am sleeping well.  You are being overly emotional. When you are emotional all logic goes out the window.

Me: You could stand to be a little more emotional. And we need more dates. 

Scott: We just went on a date last night. And I have a paper due, can we chat later about this?

Me: I guess we need a date like every day. Maybe more. 

So, how can I blog about marriage and encourage anyone when I am clearly so immature and lacking faith? I am no help at all! Well, I decided that maybe I am not alone. And maybe my words really don’t matter unless I am shouting out the only real answer. I am certain other wives feel like jealous, insecure, needy crazies. Maybe we all just need sleep, but mostly we need the Gospel. Whatever it is, a blog or a book, or Oprah, can’t give the hope and peace that we are all clamoring after. So I can let myself off the hook a little because we are all in the same boat. We all have the same fears and are all searching for the same deep abiding love. And we are all tired of being lonely.

I recently sought advice from Jessica Thompson, co-author of Give Them Grace. I wanted to know what she tells women when they feel like they are going over the edge. What am I supposed to say to people when I hear how lonely women are in this society? What are women supposed to do when they feel at their wit’s end? I guess without knowing it, I was also asking her for myself. This is what she said in a nutshell:

Jesus is better. He is better than the most attentive husband. He is better than a perfect family. He is better than being romanced. HE IS BETTER.

Um, wow.

So even on Scott’s best day, Jesus is better. Even when Scott is ignoring me and reading football stats on his iPhone, Jesus is better. When my kids are obeying, or being bratty, Jesus is better. When I feel mature and like I have it all together, and when I am ranting like a lunatic, Jesus is better. Whether I feel secure in my marriage or I am worried it will fail, He is still on the throne, and I am safe and sound.

It’s the only answer in the middle of all the chaos. While lists of marriage tips are fun to read and might help you out here and there, I only have one true thing to tell you to do when you feel like screaming your head off or jabbing your husband in the eye.

Run to Jesus.

Why?

Because He is better.

I empathize with you when you describe the heartache that comes from being ignored, looked over, taken for granted and even abused. Women need more than what they are getting. They need to feel loved. They need hope. They want their husbands to cherish them. They want to be enough. It would be amazing if we could force our spouses to be all the things we need them to be. Instead, we must place our trust in Jesus, because He loves us perfectly and everyone and everything else will just come up short.

If you force people to love you fully and completely, you are are going to feel really bummed out. Because nobody has the capacity to love that way. We all have broken places, cracked hearts, and damaged perspectives. Scott can’t be the guy on the white horse. He’s needing love just like I am. Jesus is also better than anything I can offer my husband.

What do I do when I feel like everything is going to crash and burn? I run to Jesus because even if it did all fall apart, I still have Him and He isn’t going to bail on me. This sounds a bit idealistic, I know. But I have tried to make others love me enough and it hasn’t worked out so far.

Jesus offers the only kind of love that doesn’t leave you feeling crazy and needy. He’s the Prince.

Look to the Cross, where everything has been accomplished and fulfilled. Where sin has been crushed, and where your fickle heart can be washed clean. Unbelief and fear will be put in their proper place, as you are picked up, brushed off, and set on your way again. When you feel crazy and needy and close to the edge, set your eyes on the truest of true love, our Lord.

I will keep praying for you. And me. We are in this together.

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Michelle Lindsey
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Michelle Lindsey is a Jesus-loving wife of more than two decades and a homeschooling mom of four who blogs about what happens when romance meets reality (with her adult daughter!) at Nitty Gritty Love. You can find more Nitty Gritty Love on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

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