Marriage

When I realized my husband wasn’t enough

I hear our heavy back door thud shut. Husband is home. Thank God. I’m upstairs chasing a naked Bubby, trying to convince him that a bath is a good idea. I’ve got Sister squirming on the floor, waiting for me to nurse her so she can go to bed. Bedtime is pretty traditional around here: running, screaming, squealing, laughing, crying, bribery. Big emotions play out as we round up our day and our little family.

When I hear Husband trot up stairs, I look for him to enter the hallway. I see the subtle sag in his shoulders; he’s had a long day and is stressed. My eyes take in his demeanor and I think about how eight years ago our evenings were quiet, filled with uneventful TV and adult conversation. His shoulders didn’t sag quite so much.

The Present slams into my legs as I’m brought back to reality. Bubby grabs at my knees and sits on my foot, waiting for me to drag him around like he’s on some kind of circus ride.

And in that swift moment the resentment sparks; Husband comments about a dirty diaper that is still sitting on the kids’ bathroom counter from the night before. Something along the lines of “Why is this diaper still sitting here?”

A simple and justified question really. Why did I leave the diaper there? Because I was busy being a mom, duh. I forgot about it and when I remembered I didn’t want to mess with walking it out to the trash, so I kept putting it off.

But what my heart heard was him accusing me of not being enough. Why did my heart hear this? Because I was holding on to past resentment from all the previous fights about diapers and dishes and dinner.

I did what many of us do when we feel like we’re being accused of not being enough by our spouse. I went into defensive mode.

I quickly tapped into my “all-the-things-that-you-don’t-do-for-me” file and spouted off to my husband. I reminded him of all the things he’s left undone: making a date night, not being romantic when I wanted him to be, working outside in the yard instead of connecting with me inside my heart.

See how quickly I got there? I went from diaper to date nights.

And that’s when I realized my husband isn’t enough.

My husband isn’t enough.

He’s not supposed to be.

I come to him with my anger and my “not meeting my needs” or “not making me happy” list:
I want to feel more loved so why aren’t you speaking my love language all the time?

I feel lonely so why aren’t you making more date nights?

All I talk to are little humans who can’t really talk back, so why aren’t you talking with me in the evenings?

I unload on him with all that he’s not doing for me (and sure there’s some truth in what I’m saying) but I’ve put pressure on him to fix me at my core.

And while I know he can’t fix me, there’s this constant nagging in my heart I ignore about what it is I really need in its simplest form: I want to feel loved and I’m expecting him to fill that entire void.

It’s an ungodly cycle I get stuck in running circles.

 

 

When I take a hard look at my heart I have to ask myself, “how do I get rid of this void? How do I stop expecting my husband to fill this hole?”

The answer I receive is not simple. It’s not a five step process. It’s not a simple formula.

I hear the Lord say time. It takes time, Gloryanna, to break chains from the past that have held you all these years.

It takes surrender. Daily surrender to give up myself and embrace the abundance the Lord has to give me in return.

Forgiveness. Lots of forgiveness towards him and towards myself. Forgiveness is such a loaded word and principle. But for now, it’s a step I take so I can move forward.

I have to trust Him. I have to choose to trust Him. I have to trust Him during the time it will take me to heal. When it doesn’t look like I want it to, I have to trust that His way is better than my way. Clearly my way doesn’t work anyways.

To wait with time, to surrender myself, and to trust Him is going to require prayer. Not some legalistic prayer that says if I get up and spend 30 minutes every day then God will help me. No, a prayer walk that says if I don’t get up early, then I won’t pray like I need to for God to fill this void. If I don’t get up early, I will live as a slave to myself and to my fear. It’s not about legalism. It’s about freedom.

And grace. Lots and lots of grace. Grace for myself and for my husband. Grace for when he comments about the diapers and I want to argue with him about how he isn’t enough either. Grace for myself when I feel guilty after said argument.

Grace to know that my husband, a man whom I believe with all my heart was handpicked by God just for me, is not enough. There’s only One who is enough. And to live that truth and believe it daily, to believe it sometimes hourly, can be one of the hardest truths fully understand.

When I realized my husband was not enough I had to face challenged in my marriage that I was responsible for. I realized what God had planned for my marriage. I found grace in my marriage.

There’s so much in our world that clouds this truth from our hearts.

I allow the demands of the world to etch away the truth and promises from the Lord that I keep hidden in my heart.

And it takes an argument about diapers to bring me back. To scream “Gloryanna, you’re running in circles! You’re stuck in the cycle!”

It’s a cycle I fall into when I pull away from seeing what the Lord wants to reveal to me about my heart and focus on what the Lord needs to do in my husband’s heart instead.

I’m not saying we don’t have conflicts to work out. I’m not saying it’s OK for my husband to just ignore my needs. I’m saying that he is a flawed human just like I am.

But he is also a child of the King like I am. And he is loved more by God than I could ever love him. And when I come to the Lord on my knees with all my mess, I see the mess in my husband too but with grace eyes.

This new lens makes all the difference. It really is what it means to be broken together.

To not be enough together.

Because when we can come alongside one another before the Lord, then we become full.

Peace,
Glo

 

 

30 Comments

  1. WOW! Heavy and loaded………..worth a slow read or reading again and again and again. I will share, and only WISH that my audience were bigger.

    1. Tammy, you are just so kind and I’m so glad that you took the time to read and connect with me!

  2. Wow Glo, this really spoke to my heart!! There have been so many times my hubby has come home and I go off on him the same way either with my words or in my head. Grace and love have to go hand-in-hand. In marriage, we are two imperfect people coming together. And when you said,”Because when we can come alongside one another before the Lord, then we become full.”, you summed up exactly what coming together in marriage really should mean.

    1. I like how you said “in my head”! I have had so many arguments before in my mind before even gets home! It’s ridiculous! Thanks for stopping by, Ayanna! ❤️

  3. Wow. Love this perspective. Great read!

    1. Thanks, Corey! I love what you’re doing on your site too!!

  4. Girl, I love this! Wow, this speaks right to my heart. I read this and thought I wrote it actually 😉 sounds like we have similar lives with busy husbands always gone and little ones. Thank you for sharing this and speaking to my heart, mama! <3

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Vanessa! I’m so glad this spoke to you. 😊

  5. That’s a great read and perspective. All good things take time.

    ❥ tanvii.com

  6. Wow! This is powerful. I’m not married yet, but it confirms everything my married friend discuss with me. They encourage for me to find myself complete in God and not my husband.

    1. Yep! Great advice! And it can be so hard to do this too!

  7. I love this so very much!! I have totally been through this and God teaching me the same lessons! Thanks for sharing girl! Will share this for sure!

    1. Oh thank you thank you! Isn’t it so good to know that you’re not alone when you have these feelings? Much love, friend ❤️

  8. Awesome write up Glo. My kids are long grown up but I see the same thing you write about in the crazy busyness of their lives as they now raise their boys. Thank you for such sweet insight and truth. Pinning this to one of my mom boards for their encouragement. Hang in there sweetie. One day you will wake up and your babies will be parents! Blessings.
    Rosie Williams
    http://www.nuggetsfromtheheart.com

    1. Thanks, Rosie! I really appreciate your encouragement! And I know–I feel like having two really solidifies how fast it’s all going!!

  9. I have lived the scene many times before. And, yes, I have gone from arguing about diapers to date night rather quickly too! Great piece with a powerful message!

    1. Thanks Sarah! It means a lot when you stop by 😊 and there is a lot of encouragement knowing that we’re not alone in those kind of scenes that replay with our husbands!

  10. this spoke VOLUMES to me! thank you for saying what i didnt realize i was experiencing as well!

    1. I am so glad it encouraged your heart, Jasmine! Sometimes we are afraid of what the response will be when we’re vulnerable so I really appreciate your support!

  11. Wow, I really needed to hear this today. I have been feeling the same void for a while now and I didn’t know how to fill it. I need to let Him in more so that He can fill it, because He is all the love that we really need in the end.

    1. Filling this void can be so incredibly hard too. The daily choice to let Him in more is easier said than done and I know exactly what you’re feeling. Keep moving forward, Kristen. ❤️

  12. I SO needed to read this today as I’m finding myself falling into the ‘no one does as much as me’ mind frame. Gonna spend some time to reorder my thoughts today. Thanks for this.

    1. Hey Deena! My heart is so glad it met you where you’re at. I know exactly what you mean about that feeling too of “no one does as much as me.” It can be hard to balance a needed change verses what is really going on in the big picture too.

  13. So beautiful. Thank you for the vulnerability and for a reminder that I desperately needed today.

    1. Thank YOU, Bailey for reading. I find I need this stuff all the time!

  14. michelle

    Ii clicked on the link because I was curious about the title. I needed to read this so badly….I feel “not enough” so much lately, and I know I treat my husband like he’s not enough. I am SO thankful God is more than enough for me, for my husband, for our marriage. I am a mess, but I am God’s dearly beloved, and that is more than enough…

    1. It can be so hard to see God in it when we see all our mess! Keep remembering that you are His. ❤️

  15. Hey Gloryanna
    I read your post and every part of it resonated with me. I have been in that place so many times and in some ways more so now with my hubby going from Christian to Agnostic. Like you, I’ve had to learn that its ok for my guy to not be enough and that’s the beauty of sacrificial love. Loving him with every fiber of my being regardless of his actions. So I’m writing this comment with my heart aching with yours and loving the reality and honesty of what you have written. Its so true. But together we go to the one who is enough and Jesus steps into those holes in our hearts and lives with such redemption and love.
    Thank you so much for being real and honest.

  16. HM

    Thank you so much for this. I battle with this each and everyday and I am so tired. I know my husband is not enough yet I set myself up for failure each and everyday. I need to refocus because I’m killing my self. It’s just so hard sometimes but I know the Lord will answer with prayer time and dedication. Thanks again for letting me know I’m not the only crazy one that constantly battles with her mind.

  17. So beautiful. So true. Such a good reminder for this newlywed who keeps trying to lift her man up onto a pedestal he shouldn’t occupy. Thank you!

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