Marriage Letters: My Job – Your Job

from weheartit

Dear Seth,

The transition you get from counting minutes and outlining lives into a billion technical documents to our home, where by the evening our boys are on the emotional ferris wheel of mania meltdown, that transition is minimal. Often you walk in still on the phone. You barrel through to a quiet closet, loosening your tie on the way. Since we’ve had our 4th, we haven’t found much balance at all. You never know if I’ll have dinner made. I feel successful to simply still be able to stand upright.

The other day I looked up “What Tarzan swings on” because I couldn’t remember the word “vine.” I guess it’s the tired thirties.

I just know that I could start going to bed as soon as you get home, and maybe then I’d feel like I’ve had enough rest. You’re letting this brown-eyed boy stay in the bed with us, and I will always be grateful for it. All night I am aware of him, when he needs to eat, when I should hold him closer. Last night he drank and drank me empty, and I was awake the whole time, and his arm would go up in the air and gently run along on my shoulder to my elbow. I lay awake and relish, and by morning I ache all over.

I realize, I do, that you used to be fed in more ways, used to be held closer, close enough to run your hand along my arm. The longer we’re married, the more perspective I have on phases, how there’s another side to this.

You wake at 5:15 every morning to sit in the quiet, to read and write. Our quiet moments, when all we hear is the cup hit the coaster, those are ours. Then you shave and iron, and you put on your heavy shoes and go where men speak in roman numerals, where what you do is put on the scales. Entire accounts with egos and files and homes and families are in your care. You know how to smile and tell people that everything they’ve said is wrong. In fact, often it’s your job to find the things that are wrong. A judge slams down the gavel, worlds on your shoulders.

Not even a hair of me has ever even thought a millisecond about going to law school. Sometimes when we argue, you outline your points: A, B, C. You have a lawyer face that’s hard to take off before getting home. We’re certainly a match. I give you a run for your money.

We’re still learning, but we know to not to make comparisons about whose job is harder. Every single time we both lose. My job is harder than yours, and I know it. You believe the same about yours. We both feel the weight of 4 souls. I know you feel the weight 5. I also know that when I leave for three hours to buy groceries that your eyes are way more googly when I get home. My eyes would roll right out of my head if I tried your load. So we leave it at that.

Thanks for being okay that I don’t wear makeup every day and keep the crockpot hot. Thanks for being the kind of man that makes us happy to see him. Thanks for being happy to see us.

I do love your arms.




Please do join Seth, Joy, Scott, and me as we hold our marriages up to the light. Call your marriage what it really is. Every Monday we’re writing letters because we believe that when we bless our own marriage, we bless the marriages of others. When you go hard after your marriage, I’m encouraged to go after mine. Thank you for joining us. Next week we’ll write on “I Know You Love Me When.”

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About me


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Addie Zierman
Reply February 20, 2012

I've loved all these letters, but this is my favorite so far. So often I get caught in that "my job is harder than yours" trap, and it's a dangerous mindset. I love how you put it; I love how you took the fight right out of it, put it in stories. So thank you.

erika @ the life artist
Reply February 20, 2012

I do smile so big every time I read these Monday letters - and today, just a little mist across my eyes. Amen to every word, here and at Seth's.


Kelly @ Love Well
Reply February 20, 2012

Yes. How do we compare sweat and muscle aches, worry and burden? Sometimes, I think: What I wouldn't give to be on a business trip right now, having dinner at an elegant restaurant with grown-ups, then off to a hotel room where I would sleep without wearing a child as a scarf. But then the Holy Spirit whispers my Companion's thoughts: What he wouldn't give to be home right now, wrapped in the love of four little bodies, listening to laughter and playing Lego war and going to bed with his own pillow and his best friend.

We each walk our own road, and the best we can do is offer grace to our closest sojourners.

    Reply February 20, 2012

    I often think the second part of your comment.

    What I wouldn't give...

Shelly Miller
Reply February 20, 2012

I am past those days you are in, the ones that made me cry at the question, "how are you" and thought would devour me. But here I am, past the thirties and saying what "they" say is true, it does get easier. Easy is born in time. And when I told my husband that I would go speak to the thousands he would address one morning at church, if he would stay home to be with a crabby four year old and a baby, he said, "I would if I could" and I believed him. Love this letter, the way you two do life, love each other. Thank you for being so honest.

Reply February 20, 2012

It's like you crawled into our own home these past few months, prophet.

Audrey @ Q and A
Reply February 20, 2012

Amber, Thanks for starting this. I have really enjoyed reading your post each Monday...well, really every post...but especially Mondays. I really have enjoyed writing letters to my husband each week. I probably should write more on paper for him also....for only him. I let the girls take an extra long bath today as I sat on the closed toilet seat and wrote my letter to Q. I just couldn't wait. :) Thanks Amber!

Amanda @Wandering
Reply February 20, 2012

Oh we do the "my job is harder" thing more than I'd care to admit. Such a draining, pointless argument. Thankful for this series reminding me to value my man and our marriage.

Brandee Shafer
Reply February 20, 2012

I love this project and am so excited to link up for the first time. I just now read back, and I think I was supposed to write about nightly rituals. I didn't. Still, it's a start.

Thank you for your and Seth's example.

Reply February 21, 2012

the paragraph on what he does all day? yes, ma'am. you've made a study of him, sister. i love reading how you both really see each other. that's no small thing.

Reply February 21, 2012

"how there's another side to this." yes, both in stages and loving and parenting and perspective. love this! what a great reminder throughout marriage, even though you had a specific reason in stating it.
yes, indeed, there is always another side to whatever experience we find ourselves traveling through.
i just love it when i find one little phrase to chew on for a few days, and this is the one for me. may God continue to bring it to mind when i most need to remember it.

Michelle Bentham
Reply February 21, 2012

I enjoy these weekly posts. I don't always get to comment on all of them, but it is so inspiring to see so many people stepping out and writing letters to their spouses in meaningful ways. Be blessed, Amber and know that you are blessings many by encouraging others with their stories to tell through the lost art of letter writing.


Reply February 21, 2012

Oh how I love this. Will I come across too much like a giddy fan-girl if I say how much I look forward to Mondays on your blog? You have such a gift for weaving honesty and beauty, and these posts on marriage are like breaths of fresh air to my own.

P.S. - The job topic? It's a doozy, but a doozy worth honoring. Thanks.

diana trautwein
Reply February 21, 2012

Sigh. I know this dilemma oh-so-well. When overwhelmed by the needs of little ones, it is so tempting to daydream about another life, another job. But there is none better. Truly. You and Seth are each doing what is yours to do just now. It will not always look and feel like it does today. There will be good shifts and hard shifts, but you've made such a strong, strong foundation here - you talk to each other well. You empathize. You see the good stuff as well as the tough stuff. You will see your sons grow into fine adults. Yes, you will. And you will devour those grandkids - hard to believe when you live with little ones 24/7 - but it will happen. Faster than you might imagine. In the meantime, keep on liking those good, strong arms. And keep on writing it all down. Oh yes, that.

Darcy Wiley
Reply February 21, 2012

I'm married to a lawyer, too, so I know the kind that makes a case, convinces with points that outline themselves lightning-fast in his mind. There's no doubt he's a J on the Myers-Briggs scale. Thank the Lord He put me with someone to make a little more black and white out of my grey!

Reply February 22, 2012

Amber, You have an incredible gift for sharing deepest truths through story. I'm linking this one today from

- Jennifer Dukes Lee
Contributing Editor (Family) @ The High Calling

Reply February 22, 2012

This is beautifully written, so honest and raw! Love it! thanks for sharing!

Reply February 23, 2012

Such a love story. It's really heart warming reading those kind of story, that they still manage to love each other after all. :)

Reply February 23, 2012

I love these letters, Amber. Since John and I have switched roles (it's been almost a year now), with him and home and me at work, we see the hardness of our jobs even clearer.

I love Seth's descriptions of your boys playing. It is so, so familiar to me. And it makes me miss being home with them, in all it's harder-in-some-ways-ness.

Thank for making yourselves vulnerable through these letters in order to encourage the rest of us in our marriages. I say that with absolute sincerity. You are a beautiful woman, and I sense that Seth is a pretty incredible guy himself.

imperfect prose
Reply February 24, 2012

you love so deeply, so tenderly...

Robin ~ Pensieve
Reply February 27, 2012

When I read these letters written by soul, spirit, heart and body, I feel like a voyeur. Your lovewords are beautiful, evidences of covenant held close, and it makes me a little sad knowing I "can't" take part in this lovely exchange.

And, yet, I'm happy for those who celebrate hard love, lasting love, overcoming love. Three cheers, yes?


Reply February 28, 2012

Thank you for this line: "Thanks for being okay that I don’t wear makeup every day and keep the crockpot hot." Nearly 3 years later (this upcoming July), I have trouble being "allowed" to say yes and keeping or even trying to warm the crockpot.
Also, I *REALLY* wish you and Seth would write a marriage book. I'd much rather read something by you both than Mark Driscoll and his wife (which I refuse to read).
Although we only know of each other through a computer screen, I consider you my internet sister (when you were pregnant with Titus, I exclaimed to my husband about it and then had to explain who I was talking about--he was so confused--so I just referred to you as my internet sister and about our love for that Kerouac quote . Thanks for being the big sister that I never had. <3
PS--Thank you for making me feel less alone in this world. :)
Sorry, PPS--Got any good books you'd recommend (like the beats, Dorothy Parker, Sylvia Plath, etc, I'm pretty much into anything, EXCEPT trashy romance novels that have Fabio wannabes on the cover *hehe*)

    Reply February 28, 2012

    Um, sorry if that sounded creepy or stalker-like. I really didn't mean it to. I'm a book worm and back when I was looking for Kerouac pictures, I somehow ended up here and have been hooked ever since. :)

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