The One Thing I Stopped Doing to Improve My Marriage

You might be surprised what this wife quit doing.

ByABC News
February 24, 2015, 11:47 AM
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In all likelihood, if you’re a woman with a husband, you do this. If you don’t, congrats. You’re a more evolved human than I am. It’s no one’s fault, I daresay.

I would even go so far as to purport that it is in our genetic makeup, this annoying little thing that we do as women, to our men … which is to annoy the ever-loving crap out of them.

Sometimes we realize when we’re doing it. Sometimes we don’t. What I do know is that we often do it when we’re annoyed with them, too.

Whether they’ve done the laundry incorrectly (hello, shrunken wool sweaters), loaded the dishwasher all wrong, didn’t give the kids a bath or let them stay up an hour past bedtime, it’s usually something. (Clearly, this is not everyone’s scenario, lots of dads stay home while mom goes out to work, or both parents work outside of the home. But it’s usually something.)

I could go on with a litany of reasons in which many a woman proclaims to be annoyed with her husband, and there are a ton of ridiculous things that we do, too.

More on Babble:

14 Things I Learned in a Decade of Marriage

My Husband is a Better Spouse Than I Am

Some Days, I Suck at Marriage

There’s lots of advice out there on how to improve your marriage. Some shouldering the blame (10 Things a Wife Can Do to Stop Annoying Their Husband) and some dividing it more equally (10 Things We Did to Improve Our Marriage). I’m not fussed either way. Sometimes it comes down to one person in a relationship taking responsibility and making a change, and this one was all for me. (And it’s just one thing, I promise.)

So when I recognized this one mistake and changed it (the suspense must be killing you!), the results have really been quite miraculous. All of a sudden my husband stopped doing things to annoy me or make my life more difficult and we got off the merry-go-round.

And, in actuality, I’ve learned to ease up a bit. I’ve let go of how I expect him to be, or what I expect him to do (and how to do it) and re-established how much I love and appreciate him for the way he is. It can be a slippery slope to Resentmentville when a husband and wife start trying to change each other, constantly not living up to one another’s expectations. You lose sight of each other, and you stop appreciating your differences.

I’m not saying it’s been easy, the stopping of this one little thing. Oh, it’s hard. So hard to bite my tongue with (not so) subtle reminders like, “fold all the laundry together in individual little piles, it’ll be so much easier to put away!”

Or, “please remember to sort the laundry!” Or, directions on how to brush our daughters wild mane of tight little ringlets and wayward curls, or how to dress our kids appropriately for the weather, or how to console them better, etc.

Basically? I stopped treating my husband like a child.