When Adam & I were separated, the hardest thing for me to wrap my brain around was how I was going to "show" him that I was changing if he was never around me. I mean, 3 1/2 hours away is pretty far! I was fortunate enough to have two weekends in the 2 1/2 months that Adam was gone. That's it though. Everything else that I did had to be over the phone, text, or in an email. Since we only spoke on the phone a small handful of times, it was pretty much email. I had to be resourceful. I couldn't do many of the tasks that these books were telling me in the exact way that they expected me to do them. I had to modify them. I REALLY wanted my marriage to work, so I was motivated & nothing was going to get in my way.
So, many of you have emailed me over the past few days asking me how you can do these challenges if you husband is already moved out, if your work schedules don't match up, etc. I encourage you to really think about each daily lesson. How can you make an adjustment to suit your situation? How can you begin to prove to your husband that he IS the most important person to you & that you will NOT let a little distance get in your way of making him happy again? What is 14 days? Dedicate yourself to giving this challenge your whole heart for 2 measly weeks. Is that too long to know that you have truly tried your hardest? That you have given this marriage all that you've got.
I will give you a few examples to get you started & I will try to give one along with each day in the future. If you come up with some great ideas, please post them in the comments section. There are a lot of women with this road block that could use your advice.
Day 3 - Tell him that you can't wait for him to be home when you are so that you can make his favorite meal for him. If it is going to be a few days, he will get excited thinking about it. If you have already separated, make his favorite meal & deliver it to him. Give him the dish with a note saying that you just wanted to do something nice for him, & then leave. No getting into conversations that could lead to arguments. Have no expectations. (I realize this will be hard)
Day 4 - If you can't say something nice about him to someone in front of him, send him a text or email saying something like this, "I ran into Susie at the store today. I was telling her how great you are doing at your job & I respected how many hours you are putting in." Or, something along those lines. Be creative. If you can't think of anything, I will help you. Just ask.
Day 5 - If you haven't seen him in a few days it should be fairly easy to dig up some kind of compliment. His shirt, his tan, his weight, or something.
Day 6 - This one can be tricky if you are separated. You don't want to be pushy. This is where I told Adam that I was sorry that I never treated "his things" as important to me. That left an imprint on him. After you say that though, you better mean it. Otherwise, you will lose all credibility & he won't trust your so called changes.
Day 7 - If you can't leave a note, leave a text or email. Take it one step further & send him a card. We love to send cards, don't we ladies? I have been doing this in the mornings several times a week. Adam gets up at 5am & I am NOT a morning person. He gives me a kiss goodbye which sometimes wakes me up enough to go use the bathroom & peek through my crusty eyes enough to leave him a text. I will say something like, "I hope that you have a great day today. Thank you for working so hard for our family. I respect you for waking up early every day without complaining. I love you." He has commented several times that this starts his day off on the right foot.
Day 8 - Can be done in text, email, or over the phone. Doesn't really need modification.
I hope that these ideas help. Just do me a favor. Think to yourself, is it really a challenge to do these lessons, or am I making excuses? Be honest with yourself.
I want to take a moment to say how very proud I am of all of you that have been doing these daily changes. I know that for some, each day has been extremely difficult but you have done it. That is something to celebrate. To show how much I appreciate you all, I wanted to send you some flowers. Well, virtual flowers that is. Enjoy!
I also want to let you know that as you begin making your life better & your marriage better, the devil will be watching out for you. He will try to get in the way of progress. I believe that is what happened to Adam & I. We were reaching so many people through Kayleigh's story that he tried to break us up. He knew how powerful we could be together. Don't let the devil in. Try to recognize when he is getting in the middle & regroup. Take a second to think, make a better plan, & apply your changes. You can do it & we are here to help you!
Ask his opinion on some issue related to his expertise or interests. Phillipians 2:4 says, "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." If he is a political junkie, ask a political question. If he is a sports enthusiast, ask a sports question. Ask a question in an area that interests him. You are also letting him know that you respect his insights.
If you can get him to really get excited & you have several questions prepared, look out. He will be more than happy to talk about his interests with you. Go for it!
"Lord, thank you so much for guiding me each day so that I may make the right decisions for my family. Thank you for allowing me to have this chance. I have realized some of my previous errors & I ask for your forgiveness. Lord, I am trying so hard to right my wrongs, but I need your help. I have tried this on my own & it hasn't worked. Please continue to show me how I can be a better wife. Show me how to make my husband feel loved & respected. Father, thank you for having the faith in me that I can do this. Amen."