Before I was Mrs McCarty, I was Allie Corley. I was a Drafting Major. I was a waitress at a favorite local restaurant, paying my own way through college. I was a marching band member, as I had been for 6 previous years. I had all of these different titles, and had a very strong sense of self-worth based on my own accomplishments. I was very proud of what I had accomplished in a few years time, I was putting myself through college, I was paying my own bills, I was supporting myself and didn’t need to depend on anyone.
When I got married, I moved away from my friends, family, and college. I moved to a place no one knew who I was, and I didn’t know them. I gave up the only life I’d ever known for the man I vowed before God and family to love and submit my life to. I became known by one title: Tyler’s wife. No one knew about all the things I had done before I got married. No one knew that I was a self-sufficient woman who had taken care of herself for years before getting married. They only knew me as “Tyler’s wife”….and I didn’t like it.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love being married to Tyler. It’s not all fun and games, but I love my husband. But, I loved being my own person too. After a few months of being called Tyler’s Wife, I snapped at one person who had simply said “Ask Tyler’s wife…..” (I don’t remember what they were asking me) and said “I DO have a name you know…I’m not JUST his wife.” It took not only him by surprise, but me as well. I didn’t mean to be so harsh, but I was kind of hurt by these people who didn’t know me from Adam not knowing my name. I wanted people to know I wasn’t just a wife. I was a partner. I was equal to my husband. I worked just as hard as he did, but he wasn’t called “Allie’s husband.” He was Tyler, he had a name, he was known for his accomplishments….
In short…I was jealous.
I didn’t like being known only as a wife. I wanted to be known by my career or my scholastic achievements or something that I had done on my own. I slowly spiraled into an exhausting pattern of work, home, angry outburst, insomnia, and repeat. I hardly left my house, because I had no motivation to do anything. My husband was hunting every weekend, so most days I sat at home alone, and I don’t blame him for being gone because I was miserable to be around. Months went by with me in this rut, miserable with this “married life.” In my mind, I was nothing more than a maid, working all day and spent my nights trying to make up for lost time cleaning house. I didn’t care to try and figure out what I needed to do about the anger I had built up. I was stubborn, and hardheaded, and caused many fights with my husband all because I wanted to be right and I knew what we needed to do, and the word “submit” rang in my ears and made me even more furious. “SUBMIT” to me meant give up everything I was before and everything I had worked towards, all to be knocked down and told what to do by a man. My husband never once told me I couldn’t do something, but I refused to see that at the time. I was just concerned with proving to the world I wasn’t just a wife. I wasn’t a housewife, (not that there is anything wrong with being a housewife, I just wasn’t one) and I didn’t want to be thought of as such. (This was stubborn immature Allie…I do apologize to all SAH Moms and wives, I’d kill to have the opportunity NOW…) To me, the connotation being “just a wife” held for me was almost dismissive, like “oh she’s just his wife.” To me, it felt like a jail sentence, and I wanted so much more that that….
After about a year of struggling with this, I finally decided to crawl out of the rut I was in and start trying to figure out what I needed to do to be happier. It was like something finally clicked, and I realized the successful college student/worker/independent Allie from before marriage was no longer my only title. I was still successful: I had a great career thanks to my degree. I was still a hard worker: I took care of not only the responsibilities my job held for me, but also everything my home required. I was still independent: in the fact that I had stepped out of my parents’ house, into a completely empty house with my husband gone working and somehow made that empty house a home. I helped my husband pay our bills by landing a job based solely on my own skill set.
I slowly figured out my “niche” in this wifely role I took on. I still argue that I know better than my husband does, and he argues right back. That’s going to happen. But, I’ve learned how to better handle these issues. I’ve learned that there is an AWESOME power in being able to say “Yes, I work full time but I maintain a well-kept home.” “Yes, I am gone 12 hours a day, but my husband has home-cooking every evening and clean clothes and my dogs are happy.” One day, I’ll be able to say “Yes, I work full time, but my children are happy and healthy and see their parents as much as possible.”
“Yes, I can be my own person AND be married.”
It was a serious adjustment becoming a wife. I am, by no fault of my own (please read with as much sarcasm as you can muster there) a very stubborn and proud person. I was so used to making decisions on my own that me and Tyler still argue over trivial things simply because we neither one want to back down. I still struggle with finding a happy medium some days, like when it’s been a hectic day at work and all I want to do is crawl in bed but I have supper to cook, laundry to do, and puppies to play with who haven’t seen their mama all day. Days where I’m so mentally and physically exhausted are the hardest, but I’m blessed to have a job that demands that much from me. I’m blessed to have a home that needs cleaning. I’m blessed with a husband who COULD pick up his own laundry once in a while, but I wouldn’t trade him for anything. He works so hard to provide for us, and appreciates everything I do for him, even if he doesn’t tell me all the time. We are still a young married couple, and will probably be known as “newlyweds” until we have a baby. We are STILL, after 2 years, learning from each other. Everyone struggles, and everyone has their own weaknesses. Mine has been giving up the part of me that has no place in a healthy marriage: my selfish Me.
Would I still like to be known for all that I DID accomplish? Sure. Would those titles I earned still be nice? Absolutely. But I’ve learned there are better things in life that worldly titles and “accomplishments.” I have my eyes on a different set of goals for my life. What are they you might ask? There are two that are stuck in the forefront of my mind lately: Godly wife, Godly mother.
My name used to be Allie Corley. Now, my name is Allie McCarty: wife, partner, home-maker, all of the above….and I’m happy with that.
My featured Image is from the bible study by Angie Smith that my women’s group is doing on Wednesday nights. It’s awesome and if you’d like to check it out, the link is below!
>>>> Seamless Bible Study <<<<