about being a wife.


We were riding in the blown out bright light of an afternoon filtered through the dashboard on Sunday when my husband reached over to squeeze my hand. He spoke five words just for me; to be kept close to my heart. There I was being lulled to dreaminess by the humming of tires on interstate (I always call it a highway and he hates that). The sun was warm on my summer-tinted knees. Our three small people were preoccupied and quiet(ish). We were on our way to the beach.

We are a few months shy celebrating thirteen years together. I remember when we were still newlyweds and I used to look in awe and wonder at women who were right here. I thought about how wise I would be. How seasoned. How much more I would have all of my stuff together.

The truth is I don’t feel any wiser. I might have gained a smidge of wisdom. There’s been a lot of life, yes, but I still flub and fudge and generally drop every ball I’m juggling on a regular basis.  I don’t get much right. Ever.

Here’s another truth. Marriage is straight up hard. I don’t say this to dishonor my husband. My part in how hard it is is mostly bigger than his. I say this because I’m hungry for voices that are honest about the battlefield that is the existence of being a present wife.

There will be days–seasons sometimes–when you think you might not be able to find middle to meet there. That’s ok. You show up anyway. There will be days when you fight about the same thing you fought about yesterday. That’s ok. You show up anyway.  There will be days when you want to go down knuckle-baring about your way. That’s ok. You show up anyway.

There will also be Sundays filled with sweet words and sunshine. There will be afternoons spent sitting together and dreaming. You will see years-long tearful prayers be answered in sweet ways. There will be evenings at dinner when you can’t think of anything you’d want more than a man who makes you laugh, who delights your children. You’ll fall in love all over again over games of tag and tearful surrenders and tickle fights and stubborn apologies.

It isn’t supposed to be easy. Easy is cheap. And if today is full of sweetness or full of just showing up, I’m reaching out my hand to you. It’s the hardest and best fight you’ll ever sign up for.


18 thoughts on “about being a wife.

  1. Friend, this is beautiful.
    “There will be days–seasons sometimes–when you think you might not be able to find middle to meet there. That’s ok. You show up anyway.”
    This. I never could have imagined that I’d be 7 years in & with a baby on the way, and yet we’re here, by God’s grace, and it has been the most complicated, difficult, beautiful adventure ever.

    P.S. I am so hugging you in three weeks! ;)

  2. Absolutely you absolutely right. Marriage is not easy street. The odds feel against it sometimes, the whole idea of life long commitment. I adore your words of ‘showing up anyway’. That’s it at the end of every wonderful day we have in the long haul of it.

  3. My husband and I just celebrated 13 years of marriage a week ago, and we are currently in one of those seasons where it feels like there is no ground to meet in the middle. Every day feels like a choice: will we create a stronger marriage or become polite roommates? One thing I know for sure, there is always HOPE.

    Thanks for being a person who is willing to say that marriage is hard.

  4. Where do I even begin…..Ellen, I don’t have the writing skills like you and so many others but your words speak so much truth to the feelings welled up in me! YES, marriage is hard! It is a battlefield daily! BUT there are sweet moments that out weigh the hard times.
    “You show up anyway” just amazing words!!! On the most difficult days I still show up because there is always hope! There is always a promise of a new day! There is always the sweetest touch or embrace that makes everything ok!
    Thank you for your words…they are a HUGE encouragement to me!! I love you sweet friend!!!

  5. Keep showing up! Marriage is worth the effort! Keep loving your man and allowing him to be the leader of your home! Love your words of encouragement! Pray for you and your family often!

  6. I clicked over from Lisa Jo’s blog and hit that paragraph about finding the middle (or not) with tears I did NOT see coming. So grateful to have read this today, in that season with a man I adore but against whom I am digging in my heels lately. What a comfort and simple reminder that the showing up matters, even in this place. And maybe it’s okay to relax those heels just a little bit. Thank you.

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