How “Go along with the decisions that he makes” and “Give thanks to God and your husband” went:
Yesterday was a busy day for both of us. My husband forgot to take the checkbook with him to work, and we live REALLY FAR from the place where we needed to pay the bill. Instead of getting angry, I thanked my husband for getting up and going to work, and when he got home, I went out with one of the boys to pay the bill. It was really no big deal, when weeks ago, this would have been a hug hairy deal. Thankfully we were able to simply move on. Furthermore, I was actually thankful that my husband got up and went to work. He has a great work ethic, so it makes our lives much easier in that I don’t have to try to force him to go to work on a regular basis. So I got to find something to be thankful for. As far as the decisions he makes, yes he requested certain clothes which I went along with, but yesterday was hard for me because I still am not feeling well. I was laying in bed, and my husband said “babe, you really need to get going on dinner, it’s getting late”. I know that I could have easily said “I really don’t feel up to cooking” and he would have been fine with that and made himself a sandwich, but instead, I got up and cooked. He was extremely happy with his dinner, and we had a peaceful evening together. I love it when the household is peaceful!
H: Hold Him First and the Children Second:
This one is really hard for me, I’ve always wanted children, every since I was little I wanted to have children. Before we had kids, my husband and I lived a very quiet life. We used to go to this little second hand bookstore and buy books by the box. We’d come home to our dog, and our quiet little apartment and sit and read. We would read in silence for HOURS. When we started to get hungry, we would fight over who had to run to a drive-through and get us food and who had to walk the dog. The person who got to walk the dog got to keep reading, so that was the chore that we always wanted. Eventually we kept track and took turns. If I decided to cook, we would both stop reading and while I was cooking we would stop and tell each other about our books. Neither of us was particularly interested in the other’s book but it was fun to talk about. We would stay up late playing gin rummy (he ROCKS at that game), monopoly, and trivial pursuit. We would watch movies before bed. This was our life. We loved it, but I still wanted kids. When we had the twins, our whole lives changed. Our lives became ruled by two other lives. Two people that needed us for EVERYTHING. Forget reading, we couldn’t even EAT or use the bathroom in peace! Our quiet little home turned into a place where the noise level rivaled that of a rave. Yet and still, we loved these little people. Somewhere along the line though, our relationship began to suffer, because my whole world became about them. It wasn’t just that they needed me, it was that I fell in love with them, I was completely enamored by everything that they did. I was so focused on them, that I allowed my relationship with my husband to falter. We spent less time together. We stopped talking to each other about anything other than the children. We stopped telling each other how much we loved each other, and in a short amount of time, we became strangers. Strangers that couldn’t even look at each other without bitterness.
My husband always wanted our old relationship back. That’s not to say that he didn’t want the kids and didn’t want to keep the kids, but he wanted a balance. It took me a while to realize it, but I fell so much in love with the kids and put them first in so much that I was making my husband feel as though I didn’t love him at all. What he doesn’t know is that I yearned for that relationship back with him. I felt like he regretted having children at all, and I felt like maybe he regretted being married to me. This is obviously not the way that a marriage should be. For some reason, we both felt trapped. What changed? Don’t think that I’m an awesome wife yet. A while back, I started to become overwhelmed with the kids. I still loved them, I just realized that yet again I was feeling empty, and this emptiness is because I was missing some other kind of love. The kind of love that you get from a husband not from kids. I’m not talking about sex, I just mean that kind of love. That relationship that you have with your spouse. Our pastor was on this kick about families during that time. God had laid on his heart exactly what I needed to hear. It seemed like every message was about family and how God wants our family to be etc. He kept talking about how children need to be second to your spouse. They are important, but you need to put your spouse before them, because it’s important that your marriage be first. If you put your marriage first, the rest will fall into line. You aren’t doing your kids any favors by putting them first, because eventually that either leads to a bad marriage or it leads to divorce. How does that help your kids exactly? It doesn’t.
So, in an effort to be a better wife, I’ve started putting my husband first, and I realize that I don’t have to neglect my kids to do so. As a matter of fact, I can incorporate them into it, and the funny thing is, other people start to notice. My husband has been hinting around for weeks that he wants me to make him some pies, cakes, cookies, something. He gets that way now and then, especially as it gets close to the holidays, he gets this sweet tooth. Well, we just recently found my pie pans. I took the twins to the store a couple of days ago, and to keep them interested, I try to talk to them. I started saying “we are going to make daddy a pie this week! Daddy wants pie! Are you guys going to help me make daddy a pie?” Several ladies stopped me in the store commenting that they wanted to come over, and that it was so sweet that we were making my husband a pie. I also knew that I was planning to make lasagna that day. My husband loves Texas Toast, I on the other hand think toast is pretty disgusting. Every once in a great while I will eat a piece of toast, but I just think it’s gross. Texas Toast is even worse because it’s really THICK toast. They have this Texas Toast that is a garlic bread. I also think that garlic bread is nasty. So they put two nasty things together and people actually buy it! Well my husband is a big fan. I like breadsticks. I stood at the freezer section debating, and then I decided that we would get what my husband likes, and then I told my kids: “we get Texas Toast because daddy likes Texas Toast. Daddy loves us, and to show him that we love him, we get him the things that he likes”. I did that with several things throughout the store, until one of the boys started saying “daddy likes this?”. Another thing I’ve tried to do is put my husband first when making plans. If we are invited somewhere, or even if I’m invited somewhere, I don’t just say “sure”, I say “well let me talk to my husband”. It’s easier that way, so that I don’t end up scheduling things that end up inconveniencing him. Another thing I’ve tried to do is have conversations about subjects besides the children and finances. We don’t really agree on politics, but it’s still something that we can talk about. We also talk about current events, we plan for the future, we have a lot that we can talk about. It allows us to get closer to each other. We also watch movies together at night, and to be perfectly honest with you, I yearn to spend time with him now. I can’t wait to put the boys to bed so that I can spend time with him and focus my energy on him. We also try to have occasional date nights. Unfortunately it’s too expensive to have someone watch our kids for us, so what we do is put them to bed, eat something nice and play games. I love it when my husband plans these things because it makes me feel like he wants to spend time with me.
H: Honesty is Key:
One of the biggest issues in relationships is that of honesty. We have become a society that is ok with “white lies”. I hear people say “a little white lie never hurt anybody”, but it really does. When you lie about small things and your spouse finds out, it causes them to not believe you in the big things. Women in general amaze me, they ask their spouse if they look fat in an outfit, and if their spouse says “yes” they are in huge trouble, if the spouse says no, and later someone says “wow that doesn’t look good on you!” they get angry at their spouse for lying. It’s almost like people WANT to be lied to. I am not a fan of lying, for ANY reason. I think that when people lie it’s because they are too cowardly to tell the truth. I also have serious trust issues, so when I am lied to, it makes it very hard to trust a person again. When I ask my husband if I look fat in an outfit, he will tell me the truth (yes, he has in the past told me “yeah…it does kind of make you look fat”). Does the truth always make me feel warm and fuzzy inside? No. It does make me feel safe though.
What I struggle with is being honest to a fault. I can be brutal in my honesty which really hurts people’s feelings. I defiantly am not one who is good at speaking the truth in love. This is something that can tear a marriage apart. If I don’t know how to tell my husband in a loving way that I feel that he’s being selfish, all I end up doing is hurting his feelings and he shuts me out. There has to be a better way to say how I’m feeling. That’s the balance that I’m working on finding. I don’t want to be any less honest, just more kind and tactful.
In your relationships, I encourage you to work on honesty in everything. Little white lies turn into big lies. It will break down the trust in your relationship. When your spouse looks and you and says “I can’t trust you” it’s because you’ve lied so much, even if it’s just little things, that they don’t know when you are telling the truth. You have to make a change. You have to be honest with one another. Take the first step by being honest. One of the things that my husband will tell you is that he never has to be concerned about where I am, because I’m very honest with him. He can trust me. If I say, “I was here at this time” he never has to think “was she really?” he can simply trust me. If your spouse can’t trust you, you must make a change because a relationship can’t make it without trust. So remember, be honest, but be honest in a way that doesn’t hurt the other person’s feelings. Instead of saying “you look enormous in that outfit” something like “that outfit doesn’t flatter your figure” is just as honest and a lot more kind. I pray that all of you who are working to make a change are finding that your marriage is improving greatly. Remember to put your trust in the Lord!