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Welcome to the third and final installment of the reader survey results. This might be my favorite. The question over 250 readers responded to was, “What is your biggest struggle as a wife?”
Once again, a big thank you to all the women that responded. Your answers were deep, vulnerable and honest. And, I could relate to each and every response. So, without further ado, here are the results from the survey:
#1 Prioritizing Marriage
Nearly 50% of all those that responded commented that the biggest struggle in their marriage is prioritizing their relationship with their husband. Respondents sited this struggle in a variety of ways. Many wrote about a simple failure to set aside time for dates and time alone with their husbands. Much of this was tied to the work of raising small children. One women wrote, “Giving my husband the time and uninterrupted attention that he deserves! I always feel like the minute he arrives home from work I need his help and I dump a bunch of things on his plate for the evening. I would much rather enjoy some time together as a couple instead of the divide and conquer method.”
Are you nodding along with me? Sometimes I have to hold myself back from actually throwing children at my husband the moment he works through the door.
Other responses spoke about how they fall into a pattern of putting everything BEFORE their marriage and husband. “My biggest struggle as a wife is having the energy at the end of the day to focus on my husband. All day long the kids come first, the house comes first, school comes first- I’m busy and things get done, but then he comes home and I’ve run out of energy and/or am impatient. I feel like he only sees me at my worst.”
Wrapped up in all of this is the exhaustion of raising small children. This comment sums it up pretty well, “Trying to be a good wife when I’m tired from being a mom all day”
Can I get an amen?!?
63 women wrote about struggles with communication. Once again, I bundled a lot of communication issues in this point. The “typical” wife communication issues came up–nagging (guilty), guilting, inability to hold your tongue (very guilty). There was also some general communication difficulties, “Helping him know my unmet needs without offending him or making him feel deflated,” and “Remembering and accepting that men don’t think like women.” Boy, do they ever.
Some communication issues fell long the same lines of the first struggle, prioritizing marriage, “Making sure I take time to really listen to my husband.”
And finally, a communication struggle I can really relate to. I married a very open man, willing to share everything with me. I, however, have really struggled at times to be open and honest with my husband. One women wrote about this saying, “Being vulnerable and allowing myself to feel real around my husband.”
Coming in 3rd is the broad topic of respect. Grouped in this point are issues of not feeling respected, and not giving a spouse enough respect. Also, I included comments about support–not feeling supported and failing to support. Finally, I also included comments about accepting a spouse’s faults.
#4 Physical Romance
The last three categories are each pretty small, and also pretty equal. Sneaking in at #4 is physical romance. This category is very similar to the first category, making marriage a priority. I thought this comment was pretty insightful about how marriage can change once all the kids start showing up. “We make a great team but I worry we aren’t romantic enough with each other. We’re not just a team, we are husband & wife, man & woman. Feels like those aspects get lost amidst the team approach we use to care for 4 kids aged under 7.”
#5 Housework and #6 Faith
The fifth and sixth categories were pretty small and I don’t have a lot of insight to offer here. A handful of responses spoke about struggles with housework and the different expectations a husband and wife might have in regard to how one should clean and keep house. Finally, a small minority of women wrote about being in a different place in their faith than their husbands and how hard that is.
And there you have it. The results from all three questions. If you missed it, you can read about the biggest struggle as a HOMEMAKER and as a MOTHER.
I learned so much going through these results and I am terribly grateful to everyone that took a minute to fill out the survey.
I’m not quite sure why, but I feel motivated to do better in all 3 of these roles–to be more present with my kids, my husband and to take a bit more time to make our house a home. Anyone else feel the same way? I would love for you to share any and all of your thoughts having read through these survey responses.
All the best, friends