by Sabrina Beasley
Direct Link to FamilyLife Article: Confessions of a Young Widow: The Little Things I Miss About Being Married
Not long ago, I was in a discussion group of singles, but there happened to
be one young married couple in the mix. Having been widowed for a couple of
years now, I love to watch how husbands and wives interact. Their behaviors are
slight, yet they speak a thousand words.
For example, as the young man shared his stories he would look to his wife
regularly to seek her approval about the details. She smiled at him and nodded.
They made eye contact in a deeper way. They sat a little closer to each other
than the rest of us. It’s those little gestures that say, “Our lives are one.
The togetherness is so special, so safe.”
You would think romantic dinner dates and kissing scenes in the movies were
fodder for sadness to a young widow. Although I miss those aspects, too, it’s
the subtle things that bring me to tears. How many times have I been fuzzy on
the details of a story or forgotten the name of a movie or restaurant or
company, and there was no one to ask? I knew David would have known.
When I saw the way this couple interacted like a well-played duet, I couldn’t
help but long for what I had lost. I started thinking of all the things I
miss—the little things that most people probably take for granted and don’t
realize are blessings—and came up with a quick list.
I miss “man clutter.” A dirty sock here or there, the toilet
seat up, dishes on the counter—all of the little things that can frustrate a
wife until she is fuming. But each of these annoying habits is also a symbol of
life. A living breathing human is moving and giving and taking, leaving
“laughter in the walls.” The man clutter means there is masculinity added to the
home, giving balance to the femininity. Like too much sugar, a house that is
devoid of masculinity can be almost too sweet. As much as it annoyed me at the
time, now I see that housekeeping is a small price to pay for what you gain.
I miss having someone to cook for and eat with. My children
are so small that they aren’t interested in roasted meats or casseroles. And
even if they were, their combined consumed portion would hardly justify making
any. Most of it would just end up in the freezer (or attached to my hips). So we
eat a lot of small easy meals, like sandwiches, hot dogs, fresh fruits and
vegetables, anything that can be thrown together quickly.
You might wonder, Why are you complaining about that? I hate
cooking! I’m not much of a chef myself, honestly. But I do miss the sense
of accomplishment that I felt when David complimented a dish and asked to have
it again soon. Or when he insisted that I make a certain casserole once a week,
even volunteering to cut up the onions for me so he could eat it more often.
Cooking a meal gave me a sense of accomplishment and instant positive feedback.
I don’t get that a lot from my kids.
Along with that comes the family dinner time. I attempt to sit my two kids
and me at the table for our meals, but preschoolers don’t do mealtime very well.
Their sole purpose for food is energy, and when they are done refueling they are
ready to get up and go! So I end up sitting alone to eat while they play
I miss a man’s juvenile behavior. The other day a friend was
telling me how she bought an outdoor waterslide for her kids so they would be
occupied while she worked on some preparations for a big party. She thought her
husband would set it up and then come inside to help her while the kids played,
but instead, he spent the entire day playing on the slide with the kids.
It used to bother me when I felt like I was doing all the work, and David was
just playing. Now, I wish I had someone to lighten me up! I’m still doing all
the work, and there is no one to encourage me to stop.
Even the kids suffer. If their dad’s juvenile behavior was still here, they
would have someone to go down the tall slides with, jump in the cold swimming
pool with, take them out in the backyard while I cook, wrestle on the floor, and
teach them how to take risks. I do it out of obligation, trying to be a good
mother, but he would have done it because it was fun.
I miss having someone to disagree with me. I think I make
better decisions when I have someone to talk things over with. When there is an
opposing opinion, it makes me think about why I feel the way I do about an
issue. It either strengthens my resolve or helps me see the way to a better
solution. Either way, someone to disagree with is a valuable commodity,
especially when it’s a person who also cares about my children, finances, and
spiritual life as a family as much as I do.
I miss the molding that comes from the give and take of life with a
husband. We humans are like lumps of clay. We require constant
kneading to make us pliable and fit for the potter’s wheel, because without it
we can dry up and harden and become useless. It makes our edges smooth and our
As a married woman, I had someone there in my life providing that service
daily, and now I must seek it out like seeking a dentist to pull a bad tooth.
It’s hard. Even with as much support as I have received (and it has been
amazing), it’s still difficult to be vulnerable and share my burdens with
someone other than a spouse.
Just this week I felt there was an area in my life where I really needed some
loving criticism and feedback. In the past, I could sit on the couch with David
at the end of a hard day or week and talk it over with him. When I was wrong, he
would call me out, encourage me to change, and remind me that I needed to do
better next time. But then he would help me realize that it wasn’t the end of
the world. “It will be okay,” he would say, and I believed him. And when I was
right, he would take my side and become my cheerleader, encouraging me not to
back down from the truth that was worth fighting for. But no matter if I was
right or wrong, he was there to love me. He would always love me.
Those are just a few examples of the overlooked blessings of marriage. There
are so many more! But this isn’t meant to be a weeping letter of self-pity.
Rather it’s meant to be an encouragement to all of you wives out there who are
having a hard time seeing past the little annoying things your husband might be
doing. There is a reason that God made men and women different. The attraction
can turn into disdain so easily. But take it from someone who no longer faces
these annoyances: Don’t let yourself forget what’s good in your husband and your
And if you are dealing with any pent up anger or vindictiveness, let me
encourage you, if at all possible, to let it go. Not only will it destroy your
marriage, it will also poison your heart. Bitterness is like a knife meant for
another that slices the one who is carrying it. Look for the good in your
spouse—you cannot expect perfection, no matter who you are married to.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what a husband “always” does wrong. I
remember how many times I did. And, oh, how I wish I had it all back. It
wouldn’t be a burden for me at all the second time.
Copyright ©2012 by Sabrina Beasley. All rights reserved. Used by