An open letter to shitty wives. A response to Matt’s letter.

Nagging Wife Cartoon

If you haven’t read Matt’s Blog, I highly suggest you do.  He’s written a few posts titled “An open letter to a shitty husband, vol XYZ”.  I’ve read through them, and most of what he has on his blog.  It’s been a friend to me in the last 2 years, as I’ve gone through my own divorce and “recovery”.  In that two years, I’ve learned a lot about myself.  I’ve reflected and been honest with myself about what I did right, and what I did wrong.  Matt, this post comes from the opposite perspective of yours.  I hope that mine can do yours justice.

Dear Wife,

You my dear, are positively a pain in the ass shitty wife.  I’m sorry to be so blunt, but there it is.  You can protest and argue and pout all you like, but what I speak is the truth. We wives forget how much control we really have in a relationship.  Funny, how at a young age, we’re taught to look for strong men, riding horses in suits of armor who will take down a dragon, or climb a tall tower in our honor.  We look for men that remind us of our fathers, strong, honorable, loving men.  We’re encouraged to be doting and feminine, to be good with kids, or handy with cooking and cleaning.  And then we’re also taught to be strong and independent, intelligent females.  Perhaps this has left us spinning a bit, but you, my dear, need to understand and take the responsibility for what you bring to the table and how and what you influence in the world around you.

How do I know this?  Perhaps it is because I was one myself.

I loved him.  I stepped up when our family needed me to.  When he wanted the career, I played the housemaker.  I baked, I cleaned, I did everything my grandmother would expect me to do.  Dinner was ready when he walked in the door, a cold beer in the fridge.  When he lost a job, I jumped in and got work, found a career, climbed the ranks.  Paid the bills.

By all outside views, I was a great wife.  And in some ways, yes, I was.  But here’s the thing.  I also wasn’t.  I lost myself when I married him.  I grew to become someone different.  I didn’t go and hang out with friends as often, I didn’t go to a movie or walk the park without expecting him to be there with me.  And when kids were involved, that too became an inner expectation that I had, but failed to communicate to him.  Every let down, every disappointment, I wouldn’t speak up.  And when I did, I was past frustration, to where I’d nag, or pick a fight.  I’d hold high expectations that he would consistently fail at, but I never laid out the requirements.

We, as women, tend to be good at juggling our worlds.  Soccer practice, potty training, pay a bill, doctor visit, make a meal, work a job… we’re superwomen.  But we suck at being wives.  We know the things that make our men light up, and yet, we don’t let them have it.  If our man loves a sport or hobby, why not add it to your schedule to remember to plan around those special games or events that come with them.  Likely, when you met your husband, you had interests.  You had a life outside of him.  I’m betting that the mystery of some of that life is what caught his eye.  Your husband is the same.  He had that interest before he met you, and yet now you expect him to drop it.  To “want” to spend time with you and the kids.  But what is the quality of life like when you ARE spending time together?  Is it nagging?  Doing chores?  The monotonous day to day stuff that can be such a grind?  If you are doing chores, do you make it fun?  I’m betting you forgot.  I’m betting that you got wrapped up in the grind and forgot that that man, he IS trying in his own ways.  They just aren’t YOUR ways.

Of course – I’m not saying that ALL marriages are this way, or that ALL wives are this way.  There are exceptions of COURSE.  If you are in a relationship that has abuse or neglect or infidelity or addiction – Get help and get out.  The end.  No discussion, no argument.  They can’t and won’t change for you.  They have to do it for themselves.  Period.

Can we be honest about double standards?  We expect a lot from our men, whether we communicate it or not, and yet, there are many times, when we break our own rules and standards?  Allow me to give you an example.  We have our routines.  The things we love to get away and do, whether it’s going for a massage, getting our hair done, or doing our nails.  We could be more of an introvert and enjoy writing or reading or painting.  These are things we do to recharge and reboot.  We may not even ask or mention it to our spouses.  But do we remember to work these same kinds of treats into our husband’s world?  I’m betting not. And if they do get a treat, I’m betting it’s not at the same level of consistency that we do for ourselves.

Communication, compromise and equality is what we should be considering.  I’d tell my husband everything, except when I was feeling a bit depressed or sick because I didn’t want him to worry about me.  I spent the last 3 years of my marriage in a strange rut and routine.  I didn’t speak up.  I went silent.  And then I walked away.  I broke him when I did.  I’ve watched him go through his own recovery.  He made a lot of mistakes in our marriage, and he has a lot of responsibility and accountability to take for it all, but I can take accountability for mine.

I work daily now, on always communicating with the people I love.  Even when I’d rather stick my head in the sand.  I work hard now at ensuring that I consider both sides of all of my relationships, not just mine.  It’s amazing how rich my relationships have become because of it.  I give.  I don’t expect in return.  I plan my life, and live my life, looking for and finding my own sense of self and happiness.  I share that with others.  And my influence on my world has grown.  I’ve grown from my divorce, and I wouldn’t take back what I did.  I can now see the impact my influence has on my daughter, on my son.  On my friends and coworkers. Now that I’ve experienced what a healthy relationship is… I also now can see the differences, I know a bit more about what to do moving forward.  I don’t have all the answers.  Hell, I may not have any of the answers.

All I can do is pass on the experience, the knowledge to you, dear wife.  And hope that I can do it in time to really make a difference.

Goodnight Neverland! XXO!


20 thoughts on “An open letter to shitty wives. A response to Matt’s letter.

    • I think we all do. But perhaps it’s good to put a reminder out there for others. 🙂 Thank you for your comment!

  1. Very thought provoking, both yours and the posts that prompted it. I, too, have given a lot of thought to what I could have done better with in my ended marriage, especially when I think about the possibility of being in another marriage someday.

  2. I’m in no way a perfect wife but I am a much better wife than my spouse is a husband. I am basically a single parent with 3 kids him being one of them. I’ve talked to him till I’m blue in the face. He likes what he likes and isn’t prepared to put himself out in any way shape or form for me or my kids. When I eventually leave and i will, at
    no point will I look back and think that I could have tried harder…He definitely will.

    • Don’t misunderstand. I have been in your shoes.. or at least ones that can relate to where you are at. But it’s only when we get out of bad situations that we can really see the areas where we could have improved as well. Doesn’t mean we should stay in crappy situations – but there’s always a few extra lessons we can learn that help us understand and improve for future relationships.

    • I’m in the same boat as Tracyvowles but my marriage is a little more complicated because I have to acknowledged and accept the disease that is trying to kill my marriage which is fibromyalgia. I’ve tried and tried again and now I have to be a selfish wife for a bit because I’ve neglected me and have burned myself out.

  3. Both parties have a responsibility for the health and nurturing in a marriage, but to varying degrees. In Matt’s case, he clearly recognized and admitted that he felt he made huge mistakes, and is trying to make husbands not make the same mistakes. Sure, women need to also take a close look at themselves and their actions, but many husbands are guilty of neglect and taking their wives for granted, not recognizing the need for making their marriage a priority, and need to hear that.

    • No. Sometime just sometime, wives are really shitty.

      In my case, my children adore me, and to me they are EVERYTHING.

      They’re 19 and 22 now.

      My wife has always hated that the three of us had this beautiful love/closeness, and has found it necessary to embarrass me in front of them – whether what she says is true or not.

      Unwittingly, this has backfired on her, and actually doesn’t understand why she is not close with my children and me. I wonder…

      My daughter cries often, “I don’t even know my mother.” Isn’t that sad? A mother and her daughter strangers. My son is at a loss trying to understand the dynamic taking place in our family.

      Meanwhile, I’m planning my exit route…

  4. Most men are shitty husbands, it’s just a fact. I think your article is stupid. There aren’t any excuses for these dumb apes. We work and do everything including wiping their asses and they wouldn’t be able to survive without a woman because that’s how they’re wired. They need us, they are not strong anywhere else but in their physicality, and that’s it.
    These stupid asses need to go to relationship, girlfriend and marriage school before they ever pop the question, because most of these jack-asses don’t have a clue.
    Just the facts, Jackie’s. Just the facts.

    • Thank you for your comments and feedback. Personally, I think that for every asshole male that is out there, there’s equally a pain in the ass female out there. Male or female.. we are human.

    • You’re toxic/angry and quite possibly dangerous.

      It sounds like you do things out of necessity rather for the right reasons. All this means is that your destiny is to be alone. You can’t cut in in a relationship.

      Yes, agreed, men aren’t “naturals” at wiping, cleaning, but we do what you simply can not.
      We “set the table”, the course, if you will, for the family unit to function.

      I, for one, couldn’t imagine spending another minute with you…

  5. Dear Madamexwebe and chicks that may apply,
    I am a single male. I love and adore nice Women. I am not attracted to any gender except females . I own my own business , I own my own home , I make my own dinners, I wash my own laundry, I have lots of friends and we have a great time , I have dinner party’s at my home. I travel a lot abroad. I am free of any drama . I am very happy . When I want a woman’s company I can get it. I do not and repeat do not need or feel I must have uncontrollably have a woman at all. So a response to the statement you made about men are mentally and emotionally incapable of Surviving without a female is so naive . There are many men that can get along without spending every waking moment with a female …….!!

    • Congratulations Tom Pruitt. You will notice that this article was pointed towards women (I, a woman found it very helpful, thanks to the author), but you sure told her. I bet you feel like more of a man now, don’t you. Keep you misogyny to yourself, please.

      • Jewel. The truth DOES sometime hurt.

        My daughter, now 22, is making her way through this world successfully, and one of her missions is to stay away from women like YOU.

  6. Try having a wife who has spent most of your financial estate (which you built on your own before getting married), wrecked you emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually, and at the same time thinks that she is being a martyr. Try a wife who insists you do housework while you are working 60-70 hours a week on the job, and on top of that expects you to take equal responsibility with putting the kids to sleep, getting them up, fed, and dressed…do I need to continue? There are so many wives out there like that, and the issue is that most of them think they are owed something in life. I say don’t get married in the first place. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians sums it up quite well:
    An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided…Do not look for a wife…Those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.
    I, like the Apostle Paul, would also like to spare you this, my friends. It’s not worth it. Trust me.

  7. I wouldn’t like to propose another angle to the idea of the shitty wife because I am one, I am angry, I nag, I even yell, however, and this is important, I don’t want to be this way. I have tried to ask once for my husband to load the dishwasher before coming to bed, that gives him hours to decide to do it, but when I wake up in the morning and the dinner dishes are still piled up In the sink I could say nothing and seethe all day because once again my husband sat on his ass playing video games instead of doing the one thing I asked him to do but that isn’t good for me because then when he gets home from work I am still pissed about the dishes. You suggest that wives don’t make sure their husbands have down time to do the male equivalent of getting their nails done or reading a book, and to that i say bullshit, I don’t have to make sure he has time, he makes sure he has time, hours, everyday. I, on the other hand, have not had a haircut in nine months because whenever I try to schedule one he makes some excuse about why he can’t handle the kids for an afternoon. I take my seven month old baby with me to get a pedicure once every few months, not once a week or even once a month, and not super relaxing, because I do it on one of the two days when all three of my older kids are in school but do you think my husband ever misses a football game? The answer is no, he doesn’t. I don’t want to remind my husband to take out the trash every damn week, I don’t want to have to tell my husband every damn day to not leave his shoes in the middle of the living room floor, or his coffee mug in the table, or his towel on the bed, or his clothes in a pile next to the hamper, none of these things bring me pleasure or enjoyment. I have tried just saying nothing and letting the laundry pile grow and letting the towel dampen the bed and letting him trip over his own damn shoes and you know what? He doesn’t care. So, yeah, I am sure that in his mind, and according to you, I am a shitty wife, but I have been driven to this, I don’t want to say or do any of these things but the alternative is me picking up after him like he is my fifth child or our house turning into a disaster. I am sure there are wives that are never happy, never satisfied, I am sure there are wives that have great, kind, thoughtful, helpful husbands and the wives still pick and nag. But I am a shitty wife because my husband is a lazy, selfish, shitty husband, because I plan his birthday months in advance and try to do something special that I know he will enjoy and he asks me two days before my birthday what I want from the kids, because for Father’s Day he got to race cars and On Mother’s Day I was told that I am not his mother so why should he do anything for me, because I take my kids to visit family by myself to make the last week of tax season (he is an accountant) as easy and conflict free as possible for him and he has never, and I mean literally not once, taken all four kids anywhere to do anything for any period of time so that I can get a break, relax, or catch up on laundry, because last sunday he spent four hours sitting on the couch watching football while I made dinner with a teething baby on my hip, checked the two older kids book reports, ran two loads of laundry, and dealt with my four year olds meltdown, and then he yelled at me for not keeping the kids quiet during the game.

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