love

On Being a Better Wife

Before meeting Ben, I had already fallen in love on more than one occasion.
I believe it is fully possible and even highly likely that people will fall in love with more than one person throughout their life.
But it is one thing to fall in love,
and quite another all together to stay in love.

Immature.
Sensitive. Emotional.
Stubborn. Argumentative.
Perhaps even a little dramatic.
These are qualities I could easily use to describe my disposition in past relationships.
And these are hardly qualities that equate to a successful healthy partnership.

But at the time, I thought that was how relationships worked.
They were hard. Volatile. Fragile.
I chalked up all the fighting to “passion”,
as I continued digging my heels into the ground to make my point time and time again.

The day I met Ben, something inside of me changed.
I remember the exact moment it happened.
I remember the look on his face from across the room, when our eyes met
and I could literally feel a part of my heart soften.
I wanted to be different for him.
Kinder.
Gentler.
More patient.

He became my exception.
The guy who allowed me to change,
without ever making me feel like I had to in order for him to love me.

Loving Ben has taught me to set aside my pride.
I’m not perfect. Far from it.
I still like to be right all the time,
but I no longer need to be right all.the.time.

We just celebrated our 6th anniversary while I was in the hospital after delivering Sawyer.
Still, every day I have to work at being the kind of wife he deserves.
I have to work at creating the kind of marriage we promised each other we would have.

The little things are the most important.
Because they add up to the big things.
Ben has mastered the art of the little things.
I, however, am a work in progress.
But I’m working on it.

I’m working on being grateful for the opportunity to run a few impromptu errands for him,
even when it doesn’t fit into the schedule I’ve laid out for the day.
I’m working on being supportive and encouraging when he needs a guys night out.
On taking a deep breath and taking out the overflowing trash myself.
On letting him be stressed out for an evening without me asking him what’s wrong a thousand times.
On getting the oil and filter changed on the car so he doesn’t have to do it on his day off.
On kisses the moment he walks in the door, and long hugs before he heads off to work.
On reminding him what an amazing father he is to our boys.
On saying thank you every chance I get.

Because it’s the least I can do,
after all the things he does for me…
with a smile on his face,
no questions asked,
no eye rolls,
no deep sighs.
He just does it…all the big and small things.
Because it makes me happy.
And my happiness makes him happy.

And learning to put the other’s happiness before our own,
is how we stay in love.

How do you stay in love?

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31 Comments

  • Reply
    Amanda @ The Little Giggler
    September 11, 2012 at 5:53 am

    Those pictures are so sweet! I’m sure you’re and awesome wife! I love reading everything you write. You capture emotional so well.
    HUGS!
    Amanda

  • Reply
    Anna
    September 11, 2012 at 6:21 am

    This is so relevant! I remember once in a (rare) confrontation when my husband said he had no time to himself I asked “what about the hour on your own in the car on your way to and way home from work? I don’t get 2 hours a day!”… Ooops!

    I find the key sometimes is just not going there. When I’m frustrated he leaves work late every night that week or he’s left dirty washing all over the bathroom floor, I take a deep breath, bite my tongue and think about all the times he must do the same with me. As soon as he comes in from work with a smile after a long, hard frustrating day I know it’s my job as a wife to do that for him.

    (p.s it’s hard though when, as a bit of a fiesty girl you’ve deliberately chosen an easy going, laid back husband – if I’d chosen someone more like myselfI doubt we’d even have got past a week! D and I are 9 years and counting!) x

  • Reply
    Susan
    September 11, 2012 at 6:40 am

    This morning has been one of those morning where I allowed a disagreement to continue on my mind to the next day! Something I always try and avoid! What great timing for you to post a blog like this! I can honestly say I really needed this. It’s reminded me to be patient and supportive!
    Thanks for your timing! 😉
    xoxo

  • Reply
    Rachel
    September 11, 2012 at 6:43 am

    You are awesome Momma! I love how its the little day to day things that build a marriage and keep it strong. Putting eachother first is what we try to do too to stay in love and keep it fresh! Love you! I hope you and your boys are well! Congrats! Muah! Rach

  • Reply
    Megan Robinson
    September 11, 2012 at 7:20 am

    such a great and much needed post. thank you for being so open and honest!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    September 11, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Gosh darn it, why did you have to post this today? I’m not ready to stop being mad at my husband after a HUGE fight this weekend. ;P

  • Reply
    veronica
    September 11, 2012 at 11:52 am

    What great words of wisdom 🙂 I just posted today a list of 10 ways to encourage your husband and have been challenging myself to do one of them each day (or more if I can). Doing the little things is how we stay in love!

  • Reply
    Carmen
    September 11, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I’m not married yet (only engaged), but it’s posts like these that make me REALLY excited to be married!! Thank you for sharing this!! I love learning about how I can be a better wife one day!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashlee @ laugh with ash
    September 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I loved this!! I can relate so much it was almost scary reading it!

  • Reply
    Cyndi
    September 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I know just what you mean about a change, I felt something similar when I met Anthony. I felt different about myself, about my worth.
    And now as a wife, sometimes I think I forget that I need to be actively trying to be better. Sometimes it’s just so darn busy. And before I realize it, I’m stuck doing the same things over and over, the minimum. But that’s not how you stay in love, you need to keep working, keep doing the little things.

  • Reply
    Natalie
    September 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    This is a great post! I was hoping for the next installment of your love story though. hehe!!

    It really is big when you find the person who fits you right. I remember always thinking that I was the one messing up relationships…but it took me finding someone I could do my stupid little “mistakes” that came from insecurity and him still want to be with me…to know that he was the right person for me. He let me push him away even when I didn’t want him to go anywhere and he stuck it out. I trust him more than anyone, which is why I can love him fully. I know we both have tempers and we say or do stupid stuff but even when we do there is still love.

  • Reply
    Misty
    September 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Wonderful reminder! Life often gets in the way and I forget this!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    September 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    such a good reminder that little things do make a difference and sometimes it can mean a lot to our husbands when we take a deep breath and just take out the trash. love this post…always love your posts.

  • Reply
    Monkey
    September 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Boy… I needed this message today! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kate
    September 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Is it possible that I love this post the most? You captured everything I’ve been learning about marriage lately. Daniel and I just had our 3 year anniversary. 3 of the most challenging years of my life. I’m learning everyday what marriage means. What the vows we said to each other mean. To me, staying in love is a choice, not a feeling. Everyday, I wake up and make the choice to love my husband. Somedays it’s easy. Somedays, not so much. But every single day, it’s the choice we make! 🙂

  • Reply
    Wendy Orme
    September 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I really needed to hear this today! We’ve been married 32 years and we’re still working on all the things you’ve mentioned in this post (especially me). My motto is “Just keep getting up in the morning and do your best”…today has not been my best, but thankfully there’s time to improve and change.

  • Reply
    Rena
    September 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    loved this, great reminder!

  • Reply
    Melanie
    September 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Hey Ashley – before I got married I read a quote that has stuck by me to this day:

    “A great marriage begins when both sides believe they got better than they deserved”

    I try to keep that in mind, when the little things start to slide. That I used to be in awe I was marrying such a wonderful man – that it was too good to be true! Now we are a week away from celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary, and I still feel that I got better than I deserved.

    The little things make the biggest differences. My husband’s love language is touch. So each day, it’s remembering to make sure we are touching, even in our crazy busy hectic lives. Maybe like you said, it’s a long hug on the way out the door, maybe it’s just running my fingers throug his hair while we watch tv and unwind at night. But I know that to him, that’s what makes his day better and re-connect our love to one another.

    A great post – Ben is just the cutest too…love those dimples!!!

  • Reply
    Tara
    September 11, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    This is all so true. I find myself upset at the overflowing trash, or him angry after a long day at work, or even when he has to go out of town for work. But you are so right. He does all these things for me everyday without complaint. He doesn’t pick fights or complain if the laundry took an extra day. He works 12hr days and comes home and cleans the house for ME. He travels back to our home town with me and then spends the majority of our time there hugging my family and having lunches with my friends.
    I have so much to appreciate and I thank you for reminding me just how lucky I am.
    Xo. T

  • Reply
    Heather
    September 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    My husband and I have also been married 6 years, and we truly are best friends. We rarely fight, and if we do, it’s because I’ve made him go to one too many birthday parties on the weekend! LOL. We just always look for ways to help each other out, whether that be tidying up around the house or packing the kids’ lunches. Sometimes I get annoyed by his underwear left on the bathroom floor or the orange peels left on the kitchen counter, but when I look at the big picture, that stuff just isn’t important and it pales in comparison to the wonderful husband and father he is.

  • Reply
    Kassi @ Truly Lovely
    September 11, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Please don’t laugh but that just hit me… Approaching HIM with a kiss when he walks in the door. I just realized that I often expect him to kiss ME. LAME-o right!? Sheesh…. 🙂 Thanks for that!

  • Reply
    Bree
    September 12, 2012 at 3:58 am

    Thanks so much for this, Ashley. (By the way, I’ve followed your blog for awhile but this is my first comment –Hi! :)) I love the quote from President Hinckley that says “True love is not so much a matter of romance as it is a matter of anxious concern for the well-being of one’s companion.” Lately I’ve been expecting to receive the little things more often than I give them. I’m committed to do better! 🙂 I also just saw a great pin (gotta love Pinterest!) that linked to some great ideas for strengthening marriage. Here’s the link: http://www.todaysletters.com/2010/05/10-things-that-have-made-all-difference.html

  • Reply
    Heidi Kjar
    September 12, 2012 at 5:24 am

    I loved your post on being a better wife. Very insightful and such a great reminder.
    ps. the pictures of the two of you are absolutely adorable!

  • Reply
    Mara
    September 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    you are so good at this writing thing. ya know? all the emotion and raw, true, real-life feelings. i love this. i always read your posts and think to myself “man, that’s exactly what i was thinking”. but you can write it out, and that is a true gift. thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Felicita
    September 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Loved this post! I’m a bit of a hot head myself and tend to forget the little things that make my husband happy. I guess I tend to take him for granted since he is SO laid back and forgets about an argument in 2 mins (unlike me!). I always want to be right as well and find it difficult to apologize when I know I’m wrong (working on that). Today, I will show him just how much he means to me.

    I’ve been hoping to read the rest of your love story! 🙂 Hoping for another update soon.

  • Reply
    Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke
    September 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    I love to greet my hubby with a kiss when he gets home, even if I don’t feel like it, because I want him to know he was deeply missed.

  • Reply
    ThinkingWords - Amber Wendover
    September 24, 2012 at 5:06 am

    So true … great read! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Oksana
    March 13, 2013 at 12:12 am

    You and your loved one sound like a lovely couple! I am also married (not quite as long as you) and I love how you meet that special one and you can only give him the best of you. I have started a blog a few days ago and really enjoy it. (working out the kinks still.) A close friend of mine showed me your blog and I am hooked! You are an excellent writer with a lot of talent!
    God bless you, keep it up!
    Love, O

  • Reply
    Pamela M
    December 18, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Stumbled across your blog…. This was such a sweet composition. I really enjoyed reading this such sweet intensions. I feel very much the same way you do! Thank you for this..
    Pamela

  • Reply
    Pamela M
    December 18, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    Stumbled across your blog…. This was such a sweet composition. I really enjoyed reading your sweet intensions. I feel very much the same way you do! Thank you for this..
    Pamela

  • Reply
    harga besi plat
    March 22, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Those pictures are so sweet!

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