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What Does it Mean to be a Good Wife?


As I’m sure most of you have noted, there has been a name change that reflects me going back to being a single lady. I’m not happy about it. More like resigned to it. I didn’t make the choice to move out. But I did make the choice to move on and not wait around for a man that will never truly want me.

The part that hurts is being told that I’m not being a “good Christian wife” since I’m supposed to be submitting to him and that short of adultery, I’m not supposed to be divorcing. So my merciful, kind, generous Father in heaven would rather me live under the thumb of a man, nothing more than his cleaning and cooking lady, subject to his every decision, not having a voice of my own, miserable and unhappy than divorce.

Hmmm…yeah, this doesn’t fly with me. If this is what it takes for me to be considered good Christian and wife material, then I will happily stay single for the rest of my life. And is that what it really takes to be a “good” wife? Give in to your husband no matter what and stay home, have babies (that’s another sore spot that caused our separation last year), cook, clean?

I just can’t do it. I can’t sit by while my husband makes a bad decision just to say I’m being a dutiful and submissive wife. Now, I don’t know my Bible front to back but isn’t there also a clause in there about a man treating his wife as more than just a doormat and domestic slave?

I did the “good” wife thing when I left my post-doctoral fellowship to move here because he just couldn’t STAND living in Denver (I wasn’t crazy about Denver but I am the kind of person that can be happy anywhere). I supported him when he wanted to quit a job six months before the company would have matched his retirement accounts. I also didn’t say a word in complaint when he picked out the house here in Grand Junction (that I hated from day one). I didn’t put my foot down when he quit two jobs in less than two years because, again, he wasn’t happy. But I did finally put my foot down when he wanted to sell our house and go back to renting, thinking we would be better off financially (no idea where this makes any sense). Instead of explaining his reasoning to me, he left. Packed his bags and moved back in with his sister.

And that’s where we are. He’s renting his own place and I’m waiting till the house here sells so I can buy a little place of my own. I can’t wait for the day when I won’t hide my ring finger as though I have something to be embarrassed about, can’t wait to stop feeling like I was nothing more than someone to cook and clean for him for the last ten years, like I didn’t waste the last ten years on someone who never wanted me.

I just have to keep going, keep moving forward, prove to myself (and him too) that I don’t need him, that I can make it on my own. It will be tough but I know I’ll be okay. All of this may be nothing more than a product of his depression and anxiety and that he didn’t mean all those things he said to me, but I can’t fix him. And I can’t stay with a man who expects me to ask for money and expects me to cook and clean and that’s all my worth is. No one should have to do that .

 

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5 Comments on “What Does it Mean to be a Good Wife?”

  1. jlgentry May 4, 2013 at 4:15 am #

    Sounds like he has a history of making bad decisions. Leaving you is the latest in a long line. Best of luck to you. You will feel more alive and empowered with each day now that you have your life under your own control.

  2. lisafender May 6, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    Shay, Even though we only met once and it was a couple of weeks ago, I completely understand where you’re coming from. I have been there in the past myself. And although you feel guilty for the decision of divorce, I just want to tell you that’s the “religion” talking. No, you should not stay with a man who is not making the right decisions and making you happy. You are an educated person, with your own mind, emotions and heart. You were not put on this earth to take care of him. He’s a grown man. Remember the christian teachings are thousands of years old, this is a different time and I believe we need to grow, not only physically and emotionally, but spiritually as well…as a people. This is why I don’t believe in any religion anymore. I am spiritual and have God in my heart, but religion does not run my life anymore. You are energetic and have a lot to offer. You’re talented, and you’re smart. It’s time to pick yourself up and dust yourself off and move onto a life that you want. He is not worth the guilt.

    • shayfabbro May 11, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

      You are such a doll 🙂 Thanks for your words of encouragement. I still feel close to God but feel myself wanting to pull away from the church that I feel has thrown me to the wolves. 🙂

  3. A.M. Donovan May 7, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    Sometimes, even though it is hard, it is better and healthier to admit that a mistake was made (or that the situation became untenable) rather than allow yourself to be destroyed because pride made you try to stick it out. The other way is a form of suicide, which most judeo-christian religions frown upon.

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