Every marriage has it's ups and downs. We tend to have more downs than ups around here.
I have spent a great deal of time talking to friends, reading books, and searching out God's answers for what I can do to make our marriage better.
I started revisiting a book this week that I have never gotten all the way through. Seems I get a chapter or two in and apply the principles and things get better. I forget to keep working at it. Then goes the cycle of things going back to bad and sometimes worse than what they were before I put in the effort.
OK..back on track here.... The book is called "Light His Fire" by Ellen Kreidman. It is both humorous and helpful. Chapter 1 discusses WHO you should trust for relationship advice. Like you would not go to a chain smoker for help quiting smoking, so don't go to divorced or badly damaged married people to seek advice either. I don't completely agree with that, as I feel I have learned alot of things I SHOULD be doing and think others know things as well. I think that just because a marriage is kinda sucky doesn't always mean that you don't KNOW the answers...just that you don't apply them! I think it is important to note that she does say that you don't have to have a PHD to have valuable knowledge to offer.
Well, what I am mostly trying to get to is chapter 2 and 3 as that is ever as far as I am able to get through before life around here starts to get better and I stop reading! So, there must be some good information in there right? This time around I got out my highlighter when reading....in an effort that maybe, just maybe, get farther along in the book the next time I pick it up. If all I do is go back and read over my highlights.
OK OK I am getting there..just be patient. It is about the journey, not the destination after all right?
So, highlighted item number one that needs noted, "I get really annoyed with myself and will actually argue with myself for saying or doing something without thinking. So if it's so easy to get upset at yourself, how can you not get upset with someone else?"
WOW! Right? I often stew over, "How can he make me sooo mad?" Well this was a HELLO HEATHER moment... why can't I allow him to make mistakes too! Duh! I know elementary thinking here...but I ALWAYS need reminded of this! So deal with it!
Another book quote, "A couple who never argues is unlikely to stay together, and if they should, their energy will be spent on resentment and hostility rather than on growth." Just let that sink in how ever it applies to your relationship : ) Read it again if you need to. I agree that conflict leads to growth. I just wish that God was not ALWAYS growing us!!! I need a chance to catch my breath. To enjoy the growth we experience.
"If one partner feels he has to sacrifice his identity in a relationship, he doesn't feel loved anymore-he feels used." SOOO TRUE! "If you allow a person the freedom to be himself without labeling his behavior good or bad, right or wrong, he'll want to be the best person possible and give you what you need to make you happy." Well duh! Then, why don't I do it!?!
"Establishing new habits requires action." It takes work to make things WORK.
Then there are some action assignments that I sort of did half heartedly a time or two... I took some time to think about what I do when things ARE working for us.
As much as I hate this next statement it is true and I can't change that! It is just the difference between men and women. Men WANT to be sex objects. "Yet our society fails to recognize how much the male of the species needs approval of his physical appearance."
I am very neglectful of my husbands (and my own) need to connect physically. SO, in an effort to make him feel sexy and wanted and to connect with him I have been kissing him everyday. Which is quite a feat for me, since we rarely even touch.
Tuesday I attacked him in the kitchen when he came home from work and did not let him come up for air until he kissed me like he would never stop kissing me. Elaine attached to my right leg, Collin my left. After about 5 minutes I felt my husband understood I think he is one heck of a kisser. I released him from my death grip of a lip lock. Then Collin announced, "Well that was ackward!"
Things should be a little more ackward around here! If that's what you want to call it. Thinking back to what life was like when I felt IN love and felt special to my husband. I would show him TONS of affection trying to win him over. Why, now that we are married, should I stop doing that? IF I deserve to be his Queen and nothing short of his everything. Doesn't he deserve to be my object of obsession?
Revelations 2:4-5 "But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first;" To be a Christian is to love Jesus with all my heart. The Ephesians passion for Christ had become cold and mechanical. Just as my passion for my husband has.
After connecting with him like this for several days, he has prayed with me twice thanking God for our time to connect physically. Even exclaiming afterwards, "I must have done something right! Thank you God." He has been more available for the things I need.
Forgive me, God, for not being the wife my husband needs. For not making him my everything. For being scared to love him so much that it would hurt if I no longer had him. Help me make him feel how special he truly is to me. Help me to love him just as he is. Help me to notice the wonderful things he does do, and minimize the petty things that he does not do. Thank you God for friends that help hold me accountable to Your Word. Help me Lord to increase the ackwardness in our home. Amen.