Past Hurt From My Wife Has Become A Root of Bitterness
Today I had an argument with my wife…let me explain.
My wife has a cloth back support and she had washed this item for an upcoming medical procedure.
This morning I got into the shower (where she had hanged said back support hanging on the wand), placed the hanger with the support on the shower rod, showered, and placed the hanger back on the wand.
After I’m done, she quickly goes in and tells me that I have dirtied the support. o_O
I shared with her that I put it back like she had it (relying on husband memory) and this was not good enough.
Later in the day, I had the goal to open up a few boxes in our closets as part of my to-do items. I open the boxes, labeled them, and put them back up in the top portion of the closet.
Strike 2 and 3 combined…
I forgot that the boxes were dusty and she had moved the back support from the bathroom to the closet. I didn’t even notice as well as some dust may have gotten on her clothes that she hung. I was so focused on the “mission” I didn’t notice.
She went off on me. She threw the support on the carpet as well as the clothes. She shouted that she is not cleaning this again. I offered to clean the support and she said that she would do it. I insisted (Strike 4) and proceeded to clean in the bathroom sink (after I properly scrubbed and cleaned the sink).
She tells me that she would still do it even after I cleaned it. I finish up, she grabs the support, wacks it on the sink causing a spray of water to hit the bathroom mirror.
She storms out and calls me a scoundrel.
I point my finger at her and stated that this was hurtful. She apologized and I tried to do something in the kitchen yet I touched her clean clothes in the basket. She flies off the handle again.
I share with her that I will lock myself in our daughter’s room since I keep “dirtying up” the place that she is at. She comes into the room and I start to feel emotionally flooded. I ask for a time out and walk outside for 20 minutes.
In the evening, I ask for us to discuss what happened. I apologize to her what I did and I asked her not to say hurtful words to me like a scoundrel. She then reaches into the past to where she said I called her “dumb” when we lived in another state many years ago.
I was incredulous that she brought this up and I apologized to her stating that I don’t recall saying this and I could have been in the flesh or upset from an argument we had.
Yet she stated that because she stays at home (she is a stay at home Mom and we homeschool), this keeps coming back to her mind.
I shared with her that I will pray that the Lord will help her through this and that just as God forgives us of our sins, we need to forgive each other.
I ask for your prayers because I have done my part to reconcile…now the Lord will have to remove that root of bitterness which she had fertilized for years and may now be a tree.
Please place my wife on your daily prayer list that the Lord will convict her of her unforgiveness and bitterness and that she would let this completely go and forgive as God forgives.
TLDR: Pray for my wife to give up her root of bitterness toward me that has built up for years and only now am I being told she has it.
Sometimes it helps to just simply say, “I’m sorry I called you dumb. I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.” Even if you don’t remember it, it’s a part of her ongoing reality. When you apologize for it, you are doing what you can to mend it and the ball is in her court. You can follow up by asking questions like, “I know that must have hurt and felt demeaning. I don’t want to do that to you. What can I say that will be encouraging to you? What do you need to hear from me?”
Another time, you might invite her to talk about when you bring dirt in the house. Let her know it’s impossible for you not to (dirt happens). That said, what would make it easier for her? Are there better areas to enter the home (a mud room)? Is there something you can do to clean up after yourself? That sort of thing. Let her know you want to solve the problem practically.
(As an aside, sometimes people get angry over problem A when they are really angry about problem B. When you can’t get them to discuss or solve problem A it’s a very real probability that they are building a wall with problem A so they don’t have to discuss problem B. Problem B might be something too painful or they may know their attitude is not really reasonable.)
It is difficult to be a SAHM. It’s an under appreciated 24/7 job that society fails to value. I don’t know if you are seeking advice, but maybe ask your wife what you can do to show her that you respect and value her role in your family’s life.