Monday, November 16, 2009

Dreams & Desires

Happy Monday ladies! I am so excited to be back writing today. I know that I was "supposed" to be taking the weekend off, but I couldn't stop thinking about all of you! Adam & I had a fantastic weekend & we hope that all of you did as well. 

On Saturday night we went to our first marriage ministry small group meeting at church. It was awesome! We met some amazing people, shared our story, praised God, introduced Love & Respect, & made many future friends. We had an unbelievable time. Both of us were so jazzed up after meeting everyone that we could hardly contain ourselves.

That excitement rolled right into Sunday. Adam & I attended the 11am service at Lifepoint Church. Adam volunteered on the parking lot team, & I was stationed at the first time guests table. We are now official volunteers! We were able to meet a ton of new people & we had the honor of meeting Pastor Jeff Kapusta & his wife, Michelle for the first time. We are so blessed to be a part of this church & the marriage ministry. We look forward to growing with Lifepoint & helping in any way that we can. I can't explain to you in words how Adam & I felt this weekend. Being more involved in church has ignited a fire in us. Lookout world, lookout Wilmington, here come the Freemans.

Thank you all so much for voting on the website. If you haven't done so yet, just click on the button on the top left of our blog. Or, you can click HERE. There are 319 total blogs & at the time that I am writing this we are already #22. The exposure that this website will bring will allow for many others wives to follow along with us & bring even more support to improving our marriages. Praise God!

I added a poll question last night to touch base & get an idea of how this blog is working for all of you & in your marriages. I understand that not everyone is comfortable emailing me or posting a comment, so I figured this would be an outlet for you to let us know if this is helping you or not. I also want to say that I am VERY open & I welcome any ideas or topics that you all would like to cover. As I said before, my hope for this blog is that it will be the world's largest marriage small group. I want it to be as interactive as possible so that we can all learn from each other. This is OUR blog.

For someone who thought that she was perfect, I feel as though I am writing 14 days of things that were wrong with me. Thank God that He opened my eyes & gave the me courage & strength to make a significant change in myself. The crazy thing is that I always thought that I would be much more uncomfortable about sharing my faults with anyone, much less the world. If my problems, issues, insecurities, or flaws can help you all, then it is worth it. I am willing to peel back my skin & expose myself. WARNING - it may not always be pretty.

As some of you already know from following Kayleigh's blog, Adam is interested in Mixed Martial Arts aka MMA. He started going to classes about two years ago, has completed in a couple of tournaments, & even had been writing a blog for a short time. See - Adam's Journey To The Cage. Adam has incredible skill  & go can really far in this sport with the right training & support. Unfortunately, for a while, he didn't have support from me. To be honest, this was actually a complete misunderstanding that we have since worked out but what is important is how my behavior came across to Adam.

My first sign of negativity was the time that his "hobby" was taking away from our family. Fighting really isn't just a hobby to him, but that is how I was treating it. I wasn't very eager for him to get started in the first place & it certainly showed on my face & came across in my actions. After I saw how much it meant to him & that his fellow classmates praised him, I was accepting of him going to class & I supported him. Then one day he revealed to me that he wanted to get in the cage. Up until this point he was more interested in grappling, which is very close to wrestling. Basically, there isn't any striking. If he were to get in the cage, this would mean that there is a greater likelihood of injury, blood, facial transformation, etc. LOL Of course, my concern was only that I didn't want to watch my husband getting beat up. Please understand that I am not doubting my husband's ability or skill at all. Even the greatest fighters get caught the wrong way, get busted up, or even knocked out. I want to protect my husband as best as I can by being his wife.

What I didn't realize until Adam had made the decision to leave this past summer, was that he didn't feel that I was supporting his dreams & desires. My "concern" was coming off as negativity. I could not understand this because I had gone to see him at class, I sat front row at the tournaments, & I cheered him on endlessly. I was SO proud of him! I couldn't even believe that I was making him feel this way. What was worse, was that me "explaining" that this wasn't the case came across as convenient because he was leaving me. He thought that I was just saying anything to "keep" him. This couldn't have been further from the truth, but I could see why it appeared that way to him.

Since Adam & I have found our way back to each other I have been able to show him on several occassions that I fully support what he wants to achieve in MMA. I have taken more of an interest & I listen to his stories with a different ear. I actually look forward to hearing how class went & what he learned. Instead of wishing that he wouldn't go to class, I understand that he needs more classes to grow his skill even more. I am genuinely proud of his accomplishments & I want him to be the best that he can be.

I am excited to say that Adam is going to be in his first cage match in February! While I am nervous that he will spew blood everywhere or get a black eye, I have also learned that men treat injuries like trophies. Weird, I know. Who knew that I should consider that shaving scar on my leg from when I was 15 to be a first place prize? LOL I have absolute confidence in my husband & I can't wait to be right there for his first big win. I have grown to love this sport simply because he loves it. That shows him that I respect him & that I love him. I should never give anyone else the opportunity to be his #1 fan. That is my job. Now that I have learned from my mistakes, I don't plan to slack on the job again.

Why is this story important you ask? Well, here is today's challenge...

Lesson #11

Ask him about his dreams & desires. Say, "Honey, if you could do anything, what would you dream of doing? More than anything else, what would energize you?" Let him joke about sex, but say, "Apart from that, what would you most love to do & why?" He may ask you why you are asking him this. Just tell him that you were just curious & you wanted to know. After all, these are the kinds of questions that you might ask someone when you are dating to get to know them better. Don't be afraid of this. By asking these questions you are not committing to help him experience this dream. This is just a fun discussion. He isn't going to act on it just because you brought it up. Since God is at work in all of us to will his good pleasure, your husband might share things with you deep from his spirit. It will honor him that you will listen. 

Most of you don't know this, but Adam proof reads my message every day before I post it. It never hurts to have a second set of eyes, & he is the blog master after all. We always discuss what we are posting & he usually gives me a minor pointer here & there. Tonight he had some amazing input that we think will make a tremendous difference in the spirit of husbands everywhere.

Lesson #11 - Bonus Material

If you ask your husband about his hopes & dreams & you find that what he wants to do is something that with minor modification can fit into your family schedule......encourage him to do it. Stand by his side & support him. Adam informed me that often times, men want to succeed at a hobby or goal simply to impress their wives or their children. Adam wants to win that fight, not just for himself, but for all of us. He wants us to be proud of him more than the joy that the win itself will bring. Honestly, what does an achievement mean if you don't have anyone to share it with. 

You might also do something as simple as say, "Honey, you usually have to sit & listen to what went on in my day & I appreciate that so much. I know that I could go on & on venting about..... & you always listen to me. I am so sorry that I don't take the time to ask you this more often but, tell me how YOUR day went. What is going on with you?" Listen to him without distraction. You will surely see his spirit inflate. 

Have you been guilty before of not supporting your husband just because you didn't understand why he was interested in something? Did you take away from his joy by being negative? Have you hurt his spirit by dismissing him when he tries to share his stories about things that are important to him? I have. We expect our husbands to listen to us rant & rave about anything & everything that is important to us. Not only that, but we want them to stop what they are doing & make eye contact with us while we go on complaining & complaining. Why can't we stop doing the dishes for two minutes to listen & share in his joy about how many fish he caught? Something that he was doing not only for fun, but to feed his family? He may have felt like a provider & we showed him that we don't even care. He will never tell us this, because remember, he hates confrontation. He just lets it build & build until he can't take it. I challenge you to really open yourself up on this lesson. Ask him these questions with the intent of really caring about what he has to say. If you are doing it half way, he will know it. Most of us show our true feelings a little too well on our faces & in our body language. Don't let this seem like a chore, be genuine.

In having my conversation with Adam tonight, I couldn't help but wonder something. In many cases, when a couple divorces the man will behave in a way that most of us women don't. They seem to go back to all of the things that they did when they were "young". They get more interested in sports, their hobby, drinking & going out, or even looking for younger women. They are going after things that they feel that they "missed out" on because they were a husband & a full time dad. They want to feel young again. If it won't hurt our family, send us to the poor house, or is sinful, maybe we should let our husbands be "boys" occasionally & let them chase their dreams/hobbies. They desire it. They need it. They will love us for it.

"Lord, please give us the strength to complete this challenge tonight. I am sorry that I have not shown my husband the proper respect in this arena before. I see that I may have hurt his spirit even when I had the best intentions. Please show me how to be more genuine, loving, & respectful to my husband's dreams & desires. I would want the same interest from him. Amen."

Aimee Freeman


The Bilslands said...

My husband is in his dream job as a computer engineer(job and hobby = computers- he loves them!); This is something that is totally BOR-ING to me, and often my eyes glaze over when he is trying to explain something to me or tell me about his day =) Tonight I am going to ask him and try my hardest to really listen and maybe ask a few questions. He'll be shocked!! =)

Terri said...

This is SO applicable to my marriage. Instead of Adam and MMA, Sam has a passion for music (singing, drums, he is so talented at everything!) and I, too, have always felt like I have been supportive but have been SOOOOOO guilty of feeling that it took time away from our family. SOOOOO.... in all my "conditional support" I guess he has only seen that I don't support him. It has, admittedly, been VERY difficult to accept since teh birth of our daughter almost a year ago. The more time he is away, practicing, playing, etc. the more resentful I feel that I don't ever get any of that "free time." My question is: we may or may not speak on the phone today. Can you recommend a "modification" if I'm not able to talk to him this evening. Also, it kinda sounds silly because I do already know what his strongest desires are, but I will gladly ask anyway- just to give him the chance to talk.

dawn said...

your blog is now #15 on top mommy blogs!! wooo hooo!!! your blog is rockin'!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Aimee - Ohhhhhhh, this one for me is SPORTS! Watching sports, FANTASY sports (my LEAST favorite), chatting on the phone about sports... SPORTS, SPORTS, SPORTS! The fantasy sports is the one that gets on me the most... going to the "drafts"... spending time online making "trades" and whatnot...I just can't stand it and IT SHOWS!!! I'll try to be more tolerant of it and even ask him "how's he's doing in his league" today. Uy! Ha!

Also, Aimee, when I was food shopping last night...I stopped in the card aisle and got my hubby a card that I'll send to his office. Just telling you this because 2 weeks ago, I probably would NOT have done this. Through your blog (ie: YOU!), I'm much more mindful of everything I do (and don't do) to make positive changes in my relationship. THANK YOU!


Chrissy said...

Oh I am totally guilty of this! My husband is in to IPSC, and that includes making his own tactical gear (in addition to his other hobbies). I work full time and take care of our 1 year old full time, and get resentful that he's doing his hobbies almost every night and at least one full day on the weekend (sometimes he's out of town for days, or even a whole week), while my hobby sits in storage. I used to be more supportive, but since our daughter was born it's gone from twice a month to every weekend. And all he wants to do for weeks after getting back is show me pictures and videos, and talk about it. And I am guilty of shutting him down, due to being annoyed that he was gone in the first place. Last time I tried to be supportive, he jumped on it, and told me the next day he spent our entire tax refund on more equipment and a week long "training" class. I know that he feels that he's being "restricted" in what he can do by marriage and family, and that frustrates him. I've had luck with some of your other challenges, I'll certainly try this one as well. It's one of the largest trouble spots we have! I'm so glad I found this blog, it's really helping immensely, at least I hope so!


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