Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Love Letter

A while back I was looking for an old photo of my husband and instead, I found an old love letter.

And it changed our marriage.

We had been married for six years, and we had been through several difficult trials together.  He had always been a support to me, and loved me through every difficult thing we had been through together.

But now he was going through something tough, and it was my turn.  He was under a lot of stress at work, (Who knew being a rookie Firefighter would be so difficult?) and he would come home grumpy a lot.

All I could think about was how he must not love me because he was always so grumpy around me.  And I could tell that he was trying not to be, but it was really difficult for him.

So I prayed for help, and the impression that I got was to just keep working as hard as I could to be a good wife, and that things would get better.  So I tried. I tried to make myself a cleaning schedule, I tried to cook dinner more often. This was not easy to do, because you have to understand that I hate to clean (with a fiery passion), and I certainly don't love to cook, but I still kept working at it, as much as I possibly could, trying to get there.

I even made this plaque for myself at a conference, and hung it up in our room to remind myself to be the change that I wished to see in our marriage.

(Apparently not an actual quote by Ghandi, but still pretty awesome words.)

But cooking and cleaning weren't enough to make much of a difference.

And then one day, I found an old love letter that he had written me, nine years ago, when we were first dating.  In the letter he told me how being around me made him feel.  And something in my mind clicked.   

I wanted to make him feel like that again.

So I changed things.  I started trying to be as supportive as I could to him.  Even when he was grumpy.  I did things to show him how much I loved him.  When he was argumentative, instead of fighting back, I showed him patience, love, and compassion. 

I worked hard to make our home a refuge for him, a place where he could come to feel peace, and be loved.  I thanked him often, for how hard he worked for our family.  And I worked harder to take care of everything else at home, so that he could focus on work, and not have any added stress when he came home.   

What I noticed was, that each effort I made to make his life easier actually made him a little happier.  And that made me happier.  Then I would try something more, and it would work, and then we would both be happier.  

Pretty soon I noticed that we were arguing less, and that he was no longer grumpy at all. I mean not at all. Even though his job was still just as stressful.

The biggest change though, was in me.  Each little effort I made to support him, or love him, or look good for him, or cook for him, made me love him just a little bit more.  I started to catch his eye from across the room and to flirt with him, and I started to miss him while he was at work, and to look forward to him coming home.  

I was happy, not only with him, but with my role as a homemaker.  Because I realized the great power I had in making a home for us.  Making a comfortable, happy, love filled home.  And I started to feel like I had when we were dating.  All giddy, and excited, and ridiculously attracted to him.

The way he had described his feelings for me in that old love letter.

I bought this here and put it where I can see it often.
I still have to work on this each day, and to recommit myself to it often, it is still really not easy to do the cooking and cleaning. Especially now in the throngs of pregnancy.  And most of the time now, matter how hard I try, my house is only clean for a half hour before it becomes a shambles again.  

But I keep trying, I don't give up, and my husband can sense that.  I keep working hard in the other areas to show him how much I love and appreciate him.  To welcome him home when he comes in the door.  To ask about his shift, and genuinely care about how he is feeling, no matter how exhausted I am by the time he comes home.

And that makes him happy to come home.

Even sometimes to a messy home, with a wild toddler, and a tired, pregnant wife. 

And that makes me happy to have him home.


  1. Awww! This is awesome, how you were able to change your attitude and what you were doing for your marriage--that letter was a great reminder about what is important for you two to keep alive in your relationship.

    1. Thank you! I am so grateful I found that letter. It was exactly what I needed to help me figure things out. And trust me, I needed help.

  2. This is a great post. I love that it shows the value of homemaking. My mother is a homemaker, and as soon as my future can arrange for it to happen, I intend to be a homemaker as well. It's encouraging to see someone write about how it really has made a difference in their home.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. It made me feel so validated. You are awesome.

  3. This is such a great story. I love that you found that letter at just the right time to help you make a change and bless your marriage. And I love that you are so genuine about it.

    1. Thank you Elise! It was seriously just in time. And going back and reading this post still helps me when I need to remember.

  4. I love love LOOOOOVE this post so much!! This was such an incredible reminder for me. I know that when we are going through tough times in our marriage that I need to look at myself instead of blaming my husband, cause it takes two to make it work. Thank you so much for writing such a great post and sharing your heart!

    And thank you for linking up for Marriage Week :)

  5. Megan, I loved linking up for marriage week. That was such an inspiring link up. I am so glad that you loved this post. It totally takes two, which is so hard. But can be so rad.