Sunday, June 30, 2013

When Your Husband Won't Pick Up After Himself (Make It A Battle Or A Blessing)


Making your home sing Mondays

Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday linky party! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). 

My point with each Monday post is, what are YOU doing or going to do today to make your home sing?  It can be an attitude or an action. So have fun, do some blog hopping, link up and don't forget to give a link back to this post!  Thanks!


Topics can include marriage, parenting, encouraging women, organization, cleaning, saving money, our behavior and attitudes, homemaking, homeschooling, recipes....the opportunities are endless.


Note:  We had 112 linkups last week which is awesome!  Don't forget to visit one another and try to leave a comment on at least one blog to encourage someone today!  :)



Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Does your husband have an annoying habit?  Does he leave things lying around the house?  Do you beg him, over and over, to pick up after himself?  Is it falling on deaf ears?  What can we do about it?

Why can't we get our husbands to do what we want them to do?  After all, it's not our responsibility to train our husbands. Why should WE have to pick up the socks of a grown man?  It's not fair!

Why should we have to load his dishes into the dishwasher when we can just keep bugging him to do it?  Why should we have to live with his pigsty of a home office when, if we nag him long enough, he might actually clean it up?

Why can't he just keep the garage clean??????  After all, WE can keep the kitchen clean and we use it a lot more often than he uses that messy garage.  Why can't he just "grow up?"

We never want to forget that our husbands do NOT need to obey us, they are not our children and should not be treated as such.

If I am a wife whose husband leaves his socks lying around, I have two choices.  I can pick them up, or I can leave them there.

I can choose to be happy or I can dwell on the fact that I have asked him over and over to do something about them.  I can choose a happy marriage and choose to ignore those socks, or I can continue to nag at him.

I can choose to be miserable and ruin our evening by having a knock down drag out fight, yet again, about his "refusal" to pick up those socks.  Or I can choose to say nothing, pick up the socks for him and enjoy my evening with my hubby.

So can you.  Of course, you can also choose ( and in my opinion really SHOULD choose), at some point, to tell hubby how important it is to you that he picks up those socks daily.  But, you've probably already told him about it.  Over and over.


But if he doesn't do ityou can make it a battle or a blessing .  



Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Some things just aren't worth fighting over and bringing tension to a marriage.


You can make it a battle and fight with him and nag him and refuse to speak with him until he does it, or you can make it a blessing and pick it up for him, and PRAY for him and his needs while you do it.  You can turn it into an opportunity to bless him or curse him.  It's your choice.

It seems reasonable to have the expectation that your husband would pick up after himself.  He's a big boy, right?  I mean, it's not like he changed diapers, chased toddlers, wiped noses or did laundry all day.  He got to leave the house and hang out with grownups all day, that's almost like "play time," right?

He ought to be able to pick up those socks, put away the newspaper, throw away the dental floss, load his own dishes into the dishwasher, right?

When he DOESN'T do it, it can be frustrating.  It can feel like he doesn't care about your home.  He doesn't care about YOU.

He doesn't care about what's important to you.  If he did, he'd do what you asked, right?  He doesn't care that you've worked hard all day.  He's doing it on purpose just to annoy you because he KNOWS that it does.  If he really loved you, he would do it, right?

Is that what it feels like to you sometimes?  Like hubby just gets to "play" all day at work?  Like he doesn't love you enough to pick up his socks?

Is it possible that it's just not as big an issue to him as it is to you?  Is it possible he has good intentions but then forgets because he hasn't developed the good habits that YOU have?


Did you ever think that maybe it has nothing to do with love and everything to do with self-discipline and poor organizational habits?


Did you ever think that maybe, he keeps forgetting because he doesn't see is as a problem so he's not seeking a solution?

My husband and I used to fight over the fact that he did not keep his home study as clean as I felt it should be.  I wanted it as clean as the rest of the house.

I felt that his office was a reflection of ME.  I saw it as a place of order, organization, and a tribute to my ability to manage my home effectively.  My husband saw it as a place where he paid bills and occasionally worked from home.

I wanted his home office clean, orderly and organized and I wanted it to STAY that way.  My husband just wanted to be able to have his papers on the desk where he could SEE them, as he is a very visual person that way.  Out of sight is out of mind with him.  If he can SEE it, he can do it.  If he doesn't see it, he will forget. So he likes to leave things out as a reminder.

So at LEAST once a month we would argue about his messy study, with me trying to impress upon him my desire to have it clean so that we could leave the door open when guests were over.  My husband would try to say that it was o.k. to have ONE messy room in the house, it wasn't hurting anything.  Everything didn't have to be perfect.  I didn't agree.

It became a big issue with me and one in which I had to take it to the Lord in prayer quite often, as my frustration would spill over into anger and nagging and resentment toward my husband.

When I let it go, I let go of the annoyance and anger that steals my peace.

I let go of the issue that steals my joy and causes me to focus on the annoyance instead of on my marriage.  


I let go of the mountain that I had made out of a molehill.

Is it possible that you have your own annoying habits that you forget about?  Absolutely! (At least, I know that I do) ;)

Should your husband pick up his socks?  Absolutely, in MY mind.  Is it worth making a battle out of it and causing undue stress on your marriage?  Absolutely not, in my mind.

You can't change your husband.  But you can change you.  GOD can change you.  

You can't MAKE him pick up his socks.  But you can choose to ignore it and hope that they find their way into the laundry "magically" by themselves. Or you can pick them up FOR him and see it as an act of love and service.

The choices is yours.  The battle is yours.  Who are you fighting against?  Your husband or your own desires?

Is it fair?  No, maybe not, but does that really matter?  Life is not fair, so let's stop keeping score.  What matters is that sometimes we have to compromise in marriage. Sometimes you compromise, and sometimes he does.  What matters is the marriage, not who picks up the socks.

When we serve our families, we are serving the Lord.  If you are struggling with your feelings about your husband this morning and can't quite get yourself to do anything for him, can you do it for the Lord?  Can you take your feelings in prayer to the Lord, and ask Him to change YOUR heart?

What act of service can you do for your husband today to make your home sing?

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own "Making Your Home Sing Monday" Linky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post so that others can join the fun! 

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61 comments:

  1. Nan,
    My hubby has some idiosyncrasies, but I just try to think to myself, "Will it make any difference in a week, or a month, or a year?" Usually the answer is no, it won't, let it go.
    We do always try to think the BEST of each other, and know that what makes our marriage so wonderful is that God daily gives us enough grace.

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    1. Such a good point, Carol! I know that I have my own idiosyncrasies too! ;) And thank the Lord for His daily grace.

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  2. My kind of post!

    Thanks for the reminder. I will link back later when I am at my computer.

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    1. Yay! Always so happy to have you link up, Lori!

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  3. Wise words. Thanks for sharing! :)

    I'm sorry I've been out of the blog-world for the last few weeks. I've missed many of your great posts. Summer came and out the door went routine! haha. I have only written once in the last few weeks and haven't been to anyone's blog to read either. It was nice to come visit you tonight and read this encouraging blog on how to serve my husband and choose to have joy.

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    1. Good for you, girl. It just means you're enjoying those precious babies of yours!

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  4. Nan,

    It was quite a few years (and many battles) before I realized that it only took me 10 seconds to pick up my husband's socks and put them in the laundry room, but sometimes the fight that would ensue when I confronted him about them would last for hours. Once I decided that instead of focusing on the aggrivating socks and instead think thankful thoughts ("I'm thankful he works every day so he can come home and take his socks off." or "I'm thankful he comes HOME at the end of the day." or "I'm thankful I have a husband to pick up after." It wasn't long before I could pick up his socks with JOY and gratitude.

    Funny,I don't know when this happened, but I almost never have to pick up his socks anymore. Hm. . . ???

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    1. So true, Lori. Such a simple thing can build into a BIG thing! And yes, we need to always remind ourselves how much we have to be thankful for.

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  5. What a great post! & what is it about socks? This must be a universal phenomenon!!

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    1. Thanks, Amy! Lol! My sons tend to leave their shoes lying around by the door. At least they're by the DOOR though, lol!

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  6. So true! Socks or...wiping those "whiskers" that stick in the sink after he shaves. Or blobs of blue toothpaste! Yes, I will wipe the sink out tomorrow morning with joy!!

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    1. Good for you, Ashley! Yes, they all have their different "things" that they do, but I know that I have my own little habits that my husband has to love me in spite of too, lol! ;)

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  7. We can choose to ladle out grace on our husbands or we can judge him by every sock. I read Matthew again recently and I was struck by the judgement passage. Often abused, I think it must reflect most on our willingness to be harsh with the people we love the most, while expecting them to overlook our foibles!

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    1. Exactly. I always try to remember my own annoying habits and think how gracious my husband is with me. I am certainly not perfect so why do I expect HIM to be? ;)

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  8. Love your post. You are so right about what's important and when and how to try to handle it. We do get to choose. Thanks for the reminder. I like the idea of turning it into a blessing and realizing it may not be personal. Thanks for hosting the link party as well.

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    1. Thank YOU for linking up, my friend. Can't wait to read it. Yes, we get to choose. I don't always make the right choice, of course, but thankfully I can make the choice to make the right choice over again! ;)

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  9. Thanks Nan for this wisdom and for the linkup!

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    1. So happy to have you join us again this week, Melinda! Looking forward to reading it!

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  10. So many times it's all in the perspective and the choice we want to make! Another great thing to remember is that "I'm glad he's here." The out of place items mean my husband is alive and is part of my home and I'm very glad about that. :)

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    1. I love how you look at it, Deborah, and that's so true. I have a few friends who are widows and they help me to keep a perspective and be thankful. I also know that I do annoying things too that my husband graciously overlooks!

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  11. My father always said to pick the hill you want to die on-I think he mainly meant that during my teenage years :)

    I linked up again this week- and I made sure I was linked up properly to you this time. Sorry for the inadvertent mistake last week...

    Many blessings!

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    1. Lol! Never heard that one before but I like it. No problem and I'm so happy to have you join us again! Can't wait to read it!

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  12. Thanks so much for hosting! I look forward to this all week!
    May you be magnificently blessed today!
    Tina @ Mommynificent

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    1. I look forward to have you join us each week, Tina! God bless you too, my friend.

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  13. I'm so glad you've not made this into a "black and white" issue, Nan. It really is a hard thing to grapple with when you're a young wife. I've been in your shoes, hounding my husband to do certain things my way. Now, one of my sons is the "messy one" in our household. He should know better by now, but he doesn't. I've learned to just be gracious and do it or remind with a kind voice. I've also loosened up my expectation that my house look perfect at all times. It's a tough balance, but I'm so glad you're encouraging us in a way that leads to "grace." :) Thanks for this wise advice and for hosting, my friend!

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    1. My marriage is just much happier when I'm not obsessing over things like that. My husband is NOT my child and shouldn't be treated like one! ;) I should not expect my priorities to be his priorities either. He does so many wonderful things and I find it's much better to dwell on what he does do than on what he doesn't.

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  14. Nan....I enjoyed your post today. Good reminder of what is really important and choosing our battles. Thank you for the link up friend. Blessings.

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    1. Thank you, Naomi! Thanks for stopping by and joining us today!

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  15. You know what? I have this really irritating habit. It's called "spending money that I didn't make." I do it all. the. time. Just when my husband finally gets his paycheck, I go and spend it. Then, on top of that, I actually EAT the food that I bought with that money to put in his cupboards and...to top it all off, I make myself comfortable in the house that has HIS name on the rental agreement and is paid for with the money that he leaves his home for 10 hours every day to earn. To help myself not feel so bad about that, I do menial chores like picking up his socks. Sometimes I feel sort of bad---like maybe I'm getting a bargain or something out of this deal.

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    1. Such a very good point, Sarah! It is so very easy for we wives to overlook that and be ungrateful and "expect" other husband to OBEY us!

      We expect that our priorities should be their priorities and that they should obey and do everything we want them to because we asked them to. We expect them to think like US.

      All the while conveniently forgetting our OWN annoying behaviors!

      I try and remember how tired my husband is when he comes home and if he wants to leave the newspaper out, I am perfectly capable of putting it back where it belongs.

      I am not his slave but I am called by God to be his helper! :)

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  16. I say all the time that my husband is messier than the kids!!!

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    1. I just believe that men don't seem to "see" things the way that we do. At least, mine doesn't.

      He will leave something out meaning to go back later and put it away but will usually forget.

      If something is broken he will drop everything and go to the store and get the parts needed to fix it. If my kids needed a ride somewhere (before they drove) he would drop everything and take them or go pick them up.

      He does so many amazing things around here to help that who cares if he leaves his socks out?

      We want to focus on the things they do and remember THAT instead! ;)

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    2. I should add that he is very good about bringing his dishes to the sink and putting other things away. He picks up after himself pretty well but there are a few things that he forgets about. But then so do I!

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  17. There are several things that my hubby does that drives me nuts ... but ovrall, I look at it and realize that it could be a LOT worse! So I deal :)

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. :)

    ¤´¨)
    ¸.•*´
    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    Raising-Reagan.com

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    1. Amen, Lanaya! I always try to keep a perspective and think about all the stuff I do that probably drives him nuts. So I try and watch out for my own stuff, lol!

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  18. I used to continually pick up after my husband, until a Christian friend explained to me that if we ever had children (we had been desperately trying for a couple of years), that they would develop the same bad habits, and how could I then confront them, and basically tell them there were two sets of rules. And that is exactly what happened. So now my husband is trying harder to remember to pick up after himself. First, out of respect for me. And second, to be a good example to our daughter of how she should be treated by a future husband.

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    1. When my kids were little I trained them on all sorts of chores. One of the things I trained them on was to load their dishes into the dishwasher.

      One day I noticed that as my kids were loading their dishes into the dishwasher, my husband did exactly the same thing (and has ever since). He too was trying to be a good example to the kids, just as I was!

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  19. Wow - great post. I don't have this specific issue with my husband, but I definitely need a daily reminder to let go of the mountains I make of his molehills. Visiting from MM. Glad I found you! :)

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    1. I'm so happy that you dropped by and left a comment, Stacey! It's always fun to meet new people and make new friends.

      Those mountains out of molehills take a lot of work to maintain, don't they? Much easier to just let it be a molehill! ;)

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  20. All I know is, I have a little boy who I am hoping and praying will turn out to be one that can do take care of his things {put his socks in the hamper, put his dirty dishes in the sink, clean up after himself...}. I get what you're saying in the post and I do try to overlook things, choose my battles wisely, etc etc. But, sometimes I'm just... baffled. Why IS it so hard for guys to do something {or see something} that seems so blatantly obvious to us {women}? Anyway... maybe Jesus will humor me and answer that question when I get to heaven. ;) Until then, I will just keep trying to love my hubby well.

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    1. I think it's just the way God made them (and us). They can compartmentalize and not see things. We can see a lot of things.

      But it's part of their wonderful God-given design that enables them to completely focus and not get distracted.

      I remember trying to watch t.v. one time and I had to stop and pick up all the toys in front of the t.v.

      I had been gone and their dad had put them to bed without making them pick up their toys.

      I asked him "How can you watch t.v. with all this stuff in the way?" and he said "What stuff?"

      He just literally didn't notice the toys and yet they were horribly distracting to ME, and I couldn't watch t.v. with them in my frame of vision. I HAD to put them away.

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  21. I know, I know, I KNOW you're right, but part of me still thinks....

    HEY...can't I be happily married AND have him pick up after himself?

    But, I loved how you so clearly defined we see it as lack of love, they see it as lack of priority.

    I'm so glad I know you. How did you know I'd been fussing about my husband this week?

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    1. I'm glad I know you too and had so much fun with you last week!

      Yes, they just have a different viewpoint than we do. My husband tries to do a lot of stuff because he loves me and knows it's important to me.

      But if he forgets to do something or doesn't KNOW to do something, it's just because of who he is and is not intentional or a lack of love on his part.

      Sometimes he just has different priorities than I do! :)

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  22. Such an important point to make. I like and appreciate what Sarah Coller said about HIM obeying US! We are in bad shape when we get to that place...it is called feminism! Great article :) Would you share it at Deep Roots today (Link-Up) if you have a chance? Helpful!

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  23. This is such an important point and you put it so well. Thank you for hosting the party today. I always love stopping by your blog and getting a dose of wisdom along with some humor.

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  24. You are so right. First visit to your blog and I love it.
    Blessings to you and yours,
    Gail

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    1. So happy that you stopped by, Gail! Thanks for leaving a comment and hope to see you again!

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  25. Perfect. I read this not five minutes after asking my husband to throw out his own garbage AGAIN. And you are absolutely right. I, too, have learned to measure my words in this. I really liked this: "If I am a wife whose husband leaves his socks lying around, I have two choices. I can pick them up, or I can leave them there." Please note that nagging him is not one of the choices. It isn't. Not because we are being submissive or doormats or martyrs. Because we, like Christ, are being given the chance to be servants to people who may never know or care.
    And sometimes, I don't like it either.

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    1. That's right, we aren't a doormat. It's just a matter of loving them and serving them and doing it for Him, just as you said!

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  26. Yes! Another thing God has dealt with me on before, picking your battles and not letting every little thing bother me!

    Thanks for linking up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday! Join us next Wednesday too!

    Jenifer

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    1. Very true, Jenifer! Yup, we don't have to let everything get to us and put a strain on our marriages. Thanks for hosting!

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  27. LOVE this post! You hit every single nail on the head!!! My husband is exactly how you described....visual and has to have things out to remember...ugh!!! And I know it is my choice to get angry or ignore or do it myself....I am working on it but it is hard! thanks for letting me know there is another sister battling the same thing!!!

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    1. It IS hard! And that doesn't mean that I quit asking him to do things. Just recently I asked him if he would sort through a pile of his stuff as I was cleaning out a closet.

      It just means that I try and not get upset over every little thing! :)

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  28. Great post and so true. I just pick up my husbands socks now, and put down the toilet seat, among a few other things, because after 12 years, he is NOT going to do it, and risking my marriage and sanity over picking up a few things that literally takes me seconds, is not worth it. He does so many other wonderful things around the house, like all the gardening, taking care of the pool and home repairs. I am grateful!

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    1. Amen! Those are things we need to focus on! What they DO instead of focusing on what they're not doing!

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  29. My husband's aunt used to say, "That's the price of having a man!" I try to think of the good things, and choose to dwell on them instead of focusing on the negative. Sometimes that's work!

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    1. Yes. Our attitudes are better and we have more peace when we try and focus on the good instead of on the negative.

      Of course, it doesn't mean that we never speak up or ask for help, etc. It just means that if they don't do it, we just have to either make the choice to let it go or let it bother us and strain our marriages!

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  30. You make an excellent point. But, much as I hate to admit it, *I* am the slob in the family. They're *my* socks that are always on the floor : (

    I try - I really do - but I'm just not tidy . . .

    Am I the ONLY woman who reads this & is in this predicament? : (

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    1. Sometimes I leave my stuff lying around too, because I know that *I* will pick up after myself and put it away.

      But I find that if I "dare" to leave a dish in the sink or set something on the kitchen counter (or something), then suddenly a family member will leave their dishes in the sink or set their stuff on the counter and suddenly we have a big mess, lol1 (And "they" aren't necessarily going to put their stuff away like I will, lol!)

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