Confessions of a Recovering Doormat
Have you ever felt like a doormat? Like you are constantly being stepped on, walked all over, and taken advantage of? Does it feel like you have become more of a servant than a wife and mom?
Sometimes I ask myself, “Does anyone even appreciate or acknowledge what I do for them?” This can quickly escalate my emotions and before I know it, a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde transformation is underway and soon I’m feeling like a doormat. Cue immature behavior.
Can you relate?
I serve, and serve, and serve…give, and give, and give…and then some little thing tips the scale and I erupt like a volcano. The bitterness of being “stepped on” has led to an angry bark, often followed by an attack.
The usual victim of these attacks? My husband.
I don’t want to be this way.
So I’ve asked God to show me why this keeps happening, and how can I break this cycle.
You know what He showed me?
That somewhere along the way, my motives shifted.
The motive behind true servanthood is love, not recognition. We shouldn’t serve to be noticed, thanked, or praised. This is the kind of service Jesus modeled.
“Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,” (Matthew 20:26-28).
I’ve been serving with a bitter heart.
Questions that have helped me redirect my heart toward aligning with the Father are: Who am I actually serving? Is my heart to help my family? To show them love? Or is it to accomplish my own personal agenda? To gain praise? Why is their lack of acknowledgement or appreciation so upsetting? Is this frustration revealing pride in my heart that wants people to praise me for all the things I do for them?
If we are motivated by love and not selfish ambition, it’s impossible to feel like a doormat. And the sooner we quit feeling like a doormat, the sooner our husband will stop being on the receiving end of our bulldog attacks. *Please note, this does not apply to anyone in an abusive relationship. If you are experiencing any type of abuse in your marriage, please read this.
So, friends, I’m a recovering doormat. I’m learning to love well, stay grateful, and keep that inner bulldog on a leash. Because serving with bitterness is not really serving.
Wife Step: Examine your motives in serving your husband- are you expecting anything in return? 2 Corinthians 5:14 says “Christ’s love compels us…” Determine to let His love compel you to serve and be amazed at how quickly you stop feeling like a doormat!
Elizabeth Oschwald is a freelance writer, blogger, and joy-seeker. She lives in central Illinois in an ever-improving rustic farmhouse with her husband and seven children. They are a blended family, which means the journey she pictured for her life and the one she’s found herself on are definitely different. But it also means she knows firsthand how God takes broken things and makes them beautiful. She loves to write transparently about their raw and real family life, her experiences in single motherhood, and how Jesus can add joy in every season. You can connect with her at www.addingjoy.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.