Harboring Bitterness in Marriage

Oftentimes moms become resentful of the life their husband leads after kids enter the picture. While the traditional dynamic of dad going off to work in the morning and mom staying at home has shifted significantly, the truth of the matter is that managing family life is, for the most part, still mom's domain - whether she also works outside of the home or not. Whether your husband has a glamorous job like Greg did (flying fighter jets for the Navy) or has more freedom in his schedule (lunch out with colleagues or friends) or doesn't seem share the load at home equally with you, countless aspects of our own lives can cause us to grow bitter when we compare our lives to our husband's.  

You may have a longer work day than your husband, you may do more of the housework and carry more of the mental load when it comes to remembering to re-stock toilet paper, that your son need new cleats for baseball next week and that your daughter is overdue for her annual eye exam. But all I can say about that is - life is not fair! And moms, when we constantly focus on how bad we think we have it, we turn inward and grow bitter. 

If you're ready to address the resentment that has built up inside of you, here's a practical process to walk through. 

  1. Confess - we like to justify our feelings of resentment, but Scripture teaches that bitterness is a sin. "Work at getting along with each other and with God...Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time." (Heb 12:14-15, MSG) Confess your bitterness to God and ask for forgiveness. 

  2. Pray - make a list of any areas of resentment and ask God, which need to be let go, and which need to be resolved. Ask that YOUR eyes would be opened to the truth of the situation. Physically cross off what God has told you to let go of. Ask for help in forgiving your spouse if there are areas where your spouse has truly wronged you.  

  3. Talk - after confessing your bitterness and inviting God into the process, find a good time to have a conversation with your spouse about anything that remains. Start by owning your part of feeling resentment.

  4. Focus on YOU - now that you've done some heart work, you need to put your big girl panties on and get on with life. You can't change your spouse, only God can. What you can do is continue working on your heart. 

The job of a mom is not glamorous on any level, it is REALLY hard, but with God’s help, you have the incredible privilege of shaping the souls of the next generation. Stop harboring bitterness toward your spouse, take your heart to God, and realize your attitude makes all the difference in the world.