I remember when Casey and I had first moved into our home and out of our dingy, apartment. I was in the process of kickstarting my photography business and I was working around 65 hours a week. However, it was all from home. Casey would come home from his 9-5 job and expect me to do everything. He’d be upset that the house wasn’t perfect. If I asked him for help, it would turn into a huge argument that ended with him saying something along the lines of, “You don’t work all day like I do. You just sit at home and do nothing. Taking care of the house is YOUR job.”
Oh, no he didn’t!
Casey got a lot of my death stares the first 5 years.
I stayed up late that night and drafted out my day, hour by hour, everything that I had done the prior week. I calculated my hours and separated everything into two categories, Working from home for photography and doing housework since it’s MY job. Then, I tallied up how much I was making per hour at the time for photography. Times’d it by the hours of household chores I did that week and then times’d that by how many weeks I had been doing it before leaving an invoice for Casey.
Needless to say, he never told me I didn’t do anything all day again.
But the struggle didn’t stop there. I’d ask him for help and he’d do it but he’d never just offer it to me. I’d get so frustrated because he would go help a friend of a friend at the drop of a hat but refused to step in and help when I was obviously drained as hell. I was pregnant, trying to start my own business and being mom to two kids under 3. I needed the help.
We fought so many times over it that I couldn’t even tell you one specific time. One day it just clicked. A few Thanksgivings ago, he did all of the dishes. I didn’t have to ask, I didn’t have to beg. I was able to sit and relax after cooking all day.
Here’s the thing about marriage… it’s not a 50/50 thing. Sometimes, the other half will be tired, overworked, stressed and won’t be able to give their full 100%. That’s when the other has to step up and help.
Casey broke his knee, tore all of his cartilage and needed surgery back in 2018. He was out of work for 6 months and our beautiful couch is well worn in because the first couple of months, he wasn’t allowed to walk unless it was absolutely necessary. That was a very stressful time in our marriage. I became the sole bread winner. I was his chauffeur. Doctor appointments and physical therapy multiple times a week (and we live 35 minutes out of town). I was drained physically and mentally and it led to some arguments.
But what was I supposed to do? I couldn’t throw the towel in when things got tough. That’s not what marriage is about. I sucked it up and gave the extra he couldn’t do for awhile. And if he got on my nerves with his backseat driving, I’d take a speed bump a little too fast and laugh on the inside when he’d cuss that it hurt. (Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m terrible. But he’s a grump butt when he’s sick or injured. I needed something to help get me through. lol )
There’s marriage wrapped up for you though. You give AND take. One side can’t always be giving while the other takes. You have to be willing to help each other. I don’t care who works more, who has a harder job, who raises the kids, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you love each other and if your spouse asks you for help or you see them stressed, exhausted or just needing a mental break, step in, step up and help them.
Casey and I have a rule about Sundays. All of our work has to be done during the week or on Saturday so that we can just relax on Sundays. We both deserve a complete day off. 🙂