Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Respect Test

Good afternoon ladies. I am feeling as though there are a lot of smiling hubbies out in the world today. Maybe not all of them, but more than usual. Am I right? I have enjoyed reading all of the comments & emails on the successes that many of you had last night. Keep them coming. I was fortunate enough to meet a new friend & blog follower for coffee this morning. She is a day behind, so she just read challenge #13 this morning. She decided not to wait until tonight to move forward. She went into the bedroom & took action! Go her!

Think about how your husband's day might be different today than it normally would be. Not only does your "new" behavior affect you & your marriage, but his co-workers might be positively affected, his boss, his employees, fellow drivers on the road (no road rage today), & everyone that he comes in contact with. I am so proud of all of you for embracing what could have been one of the most difficult challenges. Praise God!

Over the past week or two I have been compiling great quotes from friends on Facebook or Twitter whenever I come across one. I would also like to invite you to email me over a quote that may have been powerful in your life. I will be sharing them over time as they are appropriate to the message. There are some REALLY good ones so far. Since today is our last challenge for this series I want to share one that grabbed me the other day. While many of you have succeed each day & made drastic improvements in your marriages, there have been many women coming up with every & any excuse to fail.

"Quit making excuses for the way you are & let God transform you into the person He created you to be!!" - Thank you Larry Brey for your amazing words. Your Twitter posts often stop me in my tracks!

Doesn't that make you think? What are you making excuses for? Not just in your marriage, but in your personal life. Often what runs us down personally interferes in our marriages. What can you change today that will give you the courage to work on your marriage a little harder than you were before?

We seem to think that we can work on our marriages only when we want to, or in my case, when it fell apart. Unfortunately, there is so much more damage to be undone by looking at things from this perspective. It needs to be a priority, a requirement, to work on your marriage EVERY SINGLE DAY. You have to make a decision that you marriage is important to you. Remember, feelings follow choices? Most of you don't have the luxury of only going to work when you feel like it. Right? If you behaved that way you would most likely lose your job, right? Well, making a conscious decision to NOT work on your marriage can cause you to lose your spouse. I am sure that most of you can agree that it is easier to find another job (even in this economy), than finding another suitable husband. Why is it then, that we give our jobs more attention than we give our husbands?

I am extremely proud of all of you for taking this 14 day challenge. I can't praise you enough. Based on the poll question on the left sidebar, it looks like 96% of you have found this information helpful in your marriages. That is amazing! Adam & I are so excited for what is to come for each & every one of you. My biggest fear is that you will feel that tonight is the end, the last day. My prayer is that you will look at today as the beginning of a journey that will strengthen your marriage in a way that you never thought possible, but have always dreamed of.

Today's lesson is the lesson that changed everything in my marriage. It is the day that spoke to Adam in a way that I had not been speaking to him before. It was not a miracle pill that caused him to come home the next day, but it opened a door. I did this challenge at a time when I didn't like 90% of what Adam was doing. He had moved 3 1/2 hours away & was creating a life that clearly didn't include us. However, when I sat & thought about it, I came up with about 15 things that I appreciated about him. Things that I respected, regardless of his behavior at that exact moment.

Lesson #14


Say to him, "I was thinking today about all of the things about you that I respect, & I want you to know that I really respect you." Exit the room. When he asks, if he asks, be prepared to give him at least three things.


Note - Since Adam was not "home" with me, my options were over the phone, text, or email. Telling him on the phone didn't seem workable to me, email could take days, so I figured that a text was as close to the challenge as I could get. I sent him a text asking if he was busy. He told me that he wasn't & he asked what was up. I did the challenge. It worked exactly as Dr. Eggerichs said that it would. Adam wanted to know what I respected about him, especially since I seemed to disagree with everything that he was doing at the time. (his words) I text him, yes I text, 15 things. It took a while, LOL. He thanked me for saying those things but he let me know that it hurt him that it took me until he left me for me to acknowledge them. It hurt me too. Why did I let it happen this way?


Here I had this list of 15 things, but I wasn't really showing him that I meant or even noticed any of them. What a wake up call that was. I made that list in about 10 minutes. I felt at that moment that I had taken advantage of my husband. I took him for granted, assuming that he would always be there. Of course, this was not intentional, but that didn't matter. Ignorance is not bliss. Much damage had been done. Ladies PLEASE, don't let this happen to your marriage. Don't lose a man that you love & respect simply because you aren't showing him what he means to you. You might be thinking that he is taking advantage of you as well, & you might be right. Remember, this is about changing YOU.

Tonight I am begging for a favor. I have asked before but tonight I will resort to begging. Please send in your comments & testimonials. Let us know how this whole process has made a positive impact in your marriage, tell us about the success of a single challenge, or tell us which day you resisted the most & how it went past your expectations. I will be sharing your stories over the next few days. (I will leave out names, of course) Let's give back & get some of these other wives excited that are on the fence about if this can REALLY help them. Let's encourage other wives to try a little harder. Let's show them that this CAN work. It certainly can't hurt. Right?

"Lord, please give us the encouragement to complete tonight's challenge with sincerity. Please soften our husband's hearts & open their eyes to the work that we have been doing for 2 weeks. Please speak through us & help us to chose the correct words. We can't do this without you Lord, we need your help. Please hold our hands as we begin our journey into the rest of our lives. May our marriages be as great as you intended. Thank you Father for my husband. I am blessed that you chose him for me. Amen!"



Aimee Freeman

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aimee,

Thank you so much for starting this blog. My husband was gone for 14 months (Afghanistan). I was thrilled that he was home and we were getting along great. But, little things were starting to get on my nerves - as much as I had promised myself that they wouldn't. (You know, messes, loud TV, etc.) It was hard to go from being entirely in charge to sharing responsibility and allowing him to be the man again. (I won't even tell you how long it took or how hard it was for me to get that to begin with!) Also, I know that I was getting on my husband's nerves even though he was being perfeclty nice to me. I have very much enjoyed the daily lessons. The results have been awesome. We are both happier and more loving. I can't help but laugh at the results I poined out his muscles! Too adorable. I wanted to pinch his cheeks like I would our kids, but I held back! My stuggle to deal with the little things is gone. I appreciate him more than ever. Thank Aimee. I am grateful.

Roni said...

Hello. Just wanted to comment, I have been reading this blog. My husband works a second shift job, and during the day I watch our 2 1/2 year old God daughter. He is laid off work for the next 2 weeks, and am going to use that time in order to start this. I can't wait to start. I am also unemployed right now, so there will be plenty of time. Thank you for writing this and helping many other couples.

Tinika said...

This is a good one! But I tough one. Your doing a great job with this! ;)

Inside the mind of BB said...

well I can say it has helped a little but we were unable to complete last nights task. I am under so much stress and pressure that being in the mood for me is a very hard thing to do and I also have a lot of family issues going on that just make it to hard for us (well me). I am hoping to start again tomorrow from day 13 and then 14 and then start all over from day 1 again. I am hoping this will help strengthen us even more. Thanks again for all of your support and words of wisdom and support.

Nicole said...

Aimee,
Thank you so much for starting this blog. My husband is currently deployed but he will be returning next month!! Before he left we were having difficulties in our marriage. We had our first child and the stress and changes that came with it were hard for us to handle. We grew very far apart. I have been trying to incorporate some of the tasks in my emails to him but I can't wait for him to return so I can start the challenge and show him how much he means to me. Your words have allowed me to do A LOT of soul searching and I REALLY appreciate you taking the time to share this with all of us.

TJsMommy said...

These last 2 weeks have been so much fun!!! My husband and I weren't having any major problems - just minor ones. But every little bit adds up, right?

I can tell you that for us, he started noticing from day 1 of the challenges, that I was changing. I'm in bed by the time he gets home from work at night - so meeting him at the door wasn't going to happen. I decided to change it around a bit, and when he got into bed that night, I gave him a big hug and a kiss and told him I was so glad he's home b/c I missed him. His response was - "Are you Okay?" LOL!!!!!!

From there on out, each challenge brought a different response. By the time we got to the 8th challenge I think it was - where you ask him about something that interests him - my husband was asking me to explain what has happened to me over the past week or so ;) He mentioned how he noticed me doing things I'd never done before (or since we've been married). And he certainly wasn't complaining. He even said that maybe he could learn a thing of two from me and become a better husband and father!!!!! His response was nothing less the perfect!!!!

At that point I emailed Aimee personally, and she suggested I tell hubby about the blog and challenges. She also said that Adam was available for my husband to email, should he want to do some challenges. So...I told hubby all about it! I'm pretty sure he's been emailing Adam, but I told him not to tell me. However - he has been donig some little things that I've noticed he'd never done before...whether that's help from Adam, or just hubby doing his own thing - it doesn't matter. My change helped hubby to change, and for that we are both the happiest we've been in a very long time. :)

Thank you Aimee for this blog! You and Adam are such an inspiration to me and my husband!!! I only hope my story can help others as your story has helped many already!!!!!

Now...off to make a list of the many things I respect about my hubby :)

Toni :O) said...

Thank you for doing this...we've been married 16 and a half years and these last two weeks I've been trying to be more attentive to him and loving and boy has it worked. Last night was the icing on the cake! You are so right when you say s.ex is like breathing for the male species, my man slept better than he has in days...SO true and even Dr. Oz has said so. Making more of an effort each day to appreciate him and I'll keep checking in on your blog for more ideas. Thanks again for your insight and ideas...it's been fun!

Anonymous said...

Aimee

Thanks for this blog. With many of the lessons it was like you knew me and were telling my story. At times I have "tried" to do something nice in hopes of a miracle but truly not changing MYSELF!

Like you mentioned the changes have spilled over into my children and they too are noticing the kiss or hug at the door and the compliments. Everyone does like to be greeted.

I use to do everything around the house and for the kids and never asked for help, even if I was totally overwhelmed. I would then blow up and lash out at my husband for not doing his fair share. If I asked for help, he would help out but always give me a limit to what he would do or ask what he was going to get in return. This would only make me mad and wish he would be a better husband. I would tell myself that I didn't even need him and would totally give him the cold shoulder.

Since the challenge has started he has been much more helpful and steps in to help without me even asking. Now, if he asked what he gets for it I laugh and give him a "flirty" kiss.

Since, we had a nice "night", HE suggested a lunch date and it was very enjoyable.

He knew that I needed to stop at the store so he offer to pick up the kids and they were working on homework when I got home.

It is like the tension of he said, she said has lifted and we are a team again, working together.

I have made my list and I am eager to share it with him. Thanks again.

Jennifer

 

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