When Brandon and I were newlyweds, I tried my hardest to be the perfect wife. I now know that’s an unattainable standard, but only months after the wedding I was spinning my wheels to be everything and then some. We both worked full time jobs, I was attending law school, he was teaching a Sunday school class, and we had a passion for photography that used up any spare time we actually found. It was utterly exhausting, and it wasn’t because Brandon wasn’t putting in his fair share, it was simply because I was trying to do and be everything…perfectly!
I thought I could create delicious dinners each night (without any prior knowledge of how to cook). The meals were my weak area, but it was a non-negotiable for me. Any good wife surely could at minimum cook a nice dinner, right? Well, as the months and years passed and I continually failed recipes and became discouraged with my efforts, what we began learning is how great of a cook Brandon was. Time after time of him swooping in to save my disastrous meals, we found out that it was something his brain was wired for: creating meals with no recipe, inventing new ways of preparing delicious foods. And he made it look effortless. I hated it and loved it all at the same time. Still do.
But I’m finally beginning to accept that he’s just going to be the cook in the family. It hurts my wife heart to know that I’m ill-equipped for such a task, but we have decided to quit the fight and let us each do what we are best at instead of struggling to be what we are not. Cooking just isn’t a strength of mine. I can bake without much trouble and my sweets are delicious, but something about that stove top – sautéing meat with garlic and onions, the sizzling olive oil, causes me a mini panic attack.
My point? In a marriage, in anything, you’ll have strengths and weaknesses. And though I’m not at all saying you should give up trying to learn new things or better yourself in certain areas, I do think that constantly suppressing your partner’s gifts will eventually result in exhaustion. If your spouse is great at something, you might want to give them room to shine. If we are too prideful to let our partner show us a better way of doing things, it can lead to resentment.
Sometimes it’s ok to humble ourselves and admit that certain roles might not be for us.
So, while Brandon cooks, I’ll clean. We finally found that rhythm and it’s working much more beautifully than my nightly crying fits in the kitchen. So when it’s dinner time, we venture into the kitchen together. I help him gather the ingredients and then I’ll unload the dishwasher while he heats up the stove top and gets that pan sizzling. After dinner, he puts away leftovers while I finish up dishes. It has been a saving grace to our marriage. It keeps the peace. There are still times I’ll make my grandmother’s meatloaf or I’ll whip up some dessert, but I’ll usually leave the pots and pans to him while I just clean up the mess.
It’s helpful to change those roles up every once in awhile. It’s also helpful to encourage or help your partner along the way. But my point is, find your rhythm by using your skills to the advantage of you both, and even as you try to better your own skills, don’t fight what’s clearly not working. Love each other by humbling yourself and letting your significant other do what they enjoy, maybe even teach you a better way than your way. What areas are you fighting to make something work that simply isn’t worth it? Love each other by finding your peace.
P.S. Isn’t this tea towel the cutest? Brandon and I ordered several as Christmas gifts to each other and this one’s my fav because it’s so fitting. We are adoring all the new stuff Paris Chic Boutique lately! Follow them on instagram if you are interested!