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Is Your Marriage Unfair?

So many marriages go down the tubes because one spouse or the other feels taken advantage of. Sometimes, a spouse will keep quiet about it until he or she suddenly erupts. The rage that follows overwhelms any feelings or acts of love.

Other spouses, often the children of who watched the spontaneous combustion of a doormat, attempt to even the score daily or hourly. They give orders or exact their pound of flesh with mocking criticism.

As you may have discovered through trial and error, none of these approaches help you enjoy being married, even when one temporarily reduces the bedroom floor's sock or dust bunny population.

What will help you enjoy being married? Getting your needs met.

Get Your Needs Met

When my first husband refused to handle the local chores—pharmacy pickups, landscaper quotes, cable installer appointments, and the like—it felt so unfair to me. We lived close to his office. Mine was in another part of the state.

It felt unfair to him, too. He had all the chores he could fit in his week. When he promised to take care of any of these, he never could get around to them. He did not like being asked to do the impossible.

Only after he died did it occur to me that an office closer to home would free me to take care of those chores. Tell me why your mate should do any chore. Now you know what needs fixing in your life to enjoy being married. You will find it right after the word "because."


  • "He should wash the dishes, because I cook the dinners." If someone else cooked the dinners (Stouffers or Lean Cuisine, a neighbor looking to pick up some cash while working from home, your husband), you might enjoy your marriage a lot more.
  • "She should go back to work full time, because I might lose my job soon." Something keeps her from finding the time or will. How about looking for a more secure job or doing something at work to secure this one, so you can enjoy your marriage again?
  • "He should weed the rock garden, because he's the one who wanted it." Perhaps he wanted it weeds and all. Stop weeding. Start planning how you will use the space after his weeds kill his garden. Get back to enjoying your guy.
  • "She should help me wallpaper, because I do not have enough time to finish it myself." People who hate wallpapering (or have exams to grade or a report to write) do not speed up the job. Who else do you know that might help? What can you buy at the wallpaper store to make the job easier? How could you free up more of your time?
Doormats, bossies, mockingbirds, and judges, why wait for your spouse to change when you can enjoy being married without the wait?

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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