I have been working on the Husband Encouragement Challenge and the Love Dare simultaneously. Both have been quite challenging, especially as they make me see myself through the eyes of my husband and sometimes, what I see is not nice.
One DARE in particular really got me thinking. I think it’s the Dare for Day 5:
Love is not rude… “He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him.” Proverbs 27:14
This one’s tough ya’ll. I’d adivse some serious prayer before hand.
Ask your man to tell u three things that cause them to be irritated or uncomfortable with you. Do so without attacking them or justifying your behavior. Remember that this is from their perspective only.
Were you surprised at the answers? Are you willing to change those things in an effort to better your relationship?
So that night, I cuddled up to dh and told him I wanted to ask a question but he had to think before he answered and be honest about his answers. I said he should not be afraid of upsetting me as I really wanted to know his answer.
Yes, I was a bit surprised by his answers. They were not things I did not know about myself – I have a bit of self awareness – I just did not think they were bothering him. And they were real issues, not things I could afford to sweep under the carpet.
I am a lawyer by profession, so it is in my DNA to always defend and offer explanations and try to justify everything. Even though I knew I could probably justify and try to explain away dh’s concerns in a way that would shut him up for good, I knew it was not going to make things better for our marriage in the future. He would shut up, true. But it would keep festering inside him until a little spark would cause him to explode in the future. So I had to listen and hear him and I did not permit myself to offer any excuses on my behalf – not even in my mind.
Now I am making an effort to watch myself. They are things that manifest themselves in the words I speak, but I know they come from the thoughts in my head. I would share them with you but I’m not sure he would like that so I’m keeping it vague for now. I am willing to make the changes necessary; even though they are stuff that are part of me, they are not good and I acknowledge that.
I guess now that I am married, I am coming face to face with one of my questions on the Marital Bliss series and I am finding out for myself how far I am willing to bend over backwards to make this marriage work. There’s a proverb that says a tree that refuses to bend will be broken by the storm, or something to that tune.
I am treating my marriage as though its success depends solely on God and on me. I know dh has his part to play, but that is between him and God.