May 24, 2009

Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better

I'm not quite as bad as Monica from "Friends", but I am pretty bad. This year I've been seeing it a lot in my marriage. Not only am I always right, but I always have to win. I have to be better. Than my husband? How did I get this bad? He's the person I should be equal with, and the one who clearly loves me unconditionally. I guess I don't know what that is. It's incredibly embarrassing.

Dominic and I got together in high school, and I became pregnant my senior year. He had already been out of school for a year, and wasn't working or going to college. He was doing nothing. I was pregnant, so I was better. Then he joined the Air Force to support Julian and I, so that I could stay at home and do nothing. But he had a hard time adjusting, and was very flaky with his work responsibilities, and we fought a lot. I was ready to accept that we had to grow up, and he was not. So I was better. I struggled a lot over the next 3 years, but I was always more mature than Dominic and more concerned with the kids, more concerned with the house. He was still interested in playing World of Warcraft and other video and computer games, so I was better. Girls mature faster than boys, so I knew I was better. I was raised in an environment to believe that there was only one right way to do everything: one right way to do the dishes, fold the clothes, clean a sink. Since Dominic wasn't raised to think that way (and ironically was raised in the exact opposite fashion), I was better. At everything. Poor guy. I was so awful. My thought process was so messed up. I have not always loved Dominic the way I should, because I now understood the concept that love is an action, not a feeling.

Now I'm realizing all of this, because I am not better. He is growing, and has officially surpassed me in...everything. He is a better cook than me. He cleans more often and more efficiently. He plays with our children when I don't know how to or even want to. And he wakes up every day at 5:30 to go to work. He has stopped fighting with me. He doesn't beat me down for doing things wrong, or not doing them at all. On the weekends he lets me sleep in until 11 or 12. He is better than me, and also better to me. And I don't know how to handle it, or what to do. Not that I need to be better than him again. For a long time I've been praying, asking God to make Dominic into a strong leader for our family, as God intends. Generally, I've wanted Dominic to be "better". But now that he's there, I don't know how to let him be, and I don't know how to be okay with myself being "less than". I feel like such a failure. The goal is to get to an equal place with him in our separate roles. But I'm always so tired. And I worry that he is noticing it, and won't be okay with it soon.

I owe you an apology, Dominic, for how I've treated you all these years. And I am so lucky, so blessed that you are mine. Please be patient with me, even though I have regrettably always been impatient with you.


  1. -applause- you are a strong and a brave woman. Believe it or not, this is evidence that you ARE growing into that 'equal place'. You noticed the disparity and are trying to improve on it. Good for you! If only everyone could see as clearly as you.

  2. Dearest sister of mine, it takes times . . .everything takes time when it comes to life. You are barely 21 but are growing by leaps and bounds. I am 31 and still haven't a clue about many things. You totally blow my mind with your knowledge of raising children, even though you feel you are a failure... you certainly are NOT. Relationships are work, LOTS OF HARD WORK. You and Dominic are still learning, growing, and trying to figure who you are as individuals, as a couple, and as a family. Let your faith in God carry you through as you always have. You will be okay, and Dominic is the rock that your family needs. Just go with the flow, don't worry so much.
    Your loving sister,