Early on in our marriage my husband noticed a pattern in my behavior. He saw it and then he called me out on it.
I would be in a great mood while we were hanging out with friends, I would smile and be cheerful, I was extremely pleasant to be around. Then the moment we get into the car or get back home, my mood would suddenly switch to irritation, frustration, or even anger. My face would turn sour as I complained about this or that, morphing into a completely different person.
My husband gently asked me one time,
Why do our friends and family get your best and I don’t?
I had to consider his comment. I wanted to fight back with words that would prove him wrong…except I couldn’t because he was right. I gave my best to everyone else and not him.
Perhaps I believed I was safe with him to be the real me, as if my attitude or behavior could never make him leave me. He was stuck and I was safe. Although my husband wanted me to have the freedom to be the real me, he also wanted to enjoy being around me. He desired my best for the sake of our relationship. And I don’t think he liked seeing me switch to an irritated version of myself so quickly and often times wondered what he did to offend me, when it wasn’t necessarily him at all.
I admitted to him that I do want people to like me, so even if I don’t feel good or am wrestling with something, I tend to hide it. I don’t want to push anyone way with being annoying or overly dramatic. But I was also listening to him as he called out my behavior and explained how it hurt him and how what I was doing was actually making me less attractive to him, my best friend, my husband.
Have you ever realized that you give everyone else but your spouse the best of you?
Maybe you dress up for others and not your spouse, perhaps you talk sweeter and more kind to others, or maybe your overall level of happiness changes once you are alone with your spouse.
I didn’t know I was doing this until my husband mentioned it. Since then I have been more intentional about making sure my husband gets my best. That he gets to hear me speak kindly to him, that he gets the pleasure of seeing me dress up for a date with him, that he knows he makes me happy.
May this challenge you to evaluate if you give your spouse your best or if you rely on the commitment of marriage as a safety net to let loose so much that you have no regard for your spouse’s feelings at all. I believe this is important to address and I know I am not the only one who has struggled with it!
– Jennifer Smith Unveiledwife.com