Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Way To A Man's Heart Is Through His Stomach

Hello Ladies! I am so excited to write tonight's post. I feel the Lord working in so many marriages already & that excites me. With that being said, I do need everyone's help. I have noticed that it is very easy for me to get down during the day. I am reading all of these emails from wives that are in very troubled situations & it deeply saddens me. When a positive & uplifting comment comes in from someone that has completed the challenge from the night before, it completely rejuvenates me. Please keep those comments coming. I need the troubled wives to stay focused and motivated. It gives me a strength that I can't describe. I am sure that those positive comments are keeping each & every one of us motivated. I am so proud of each of you for taking this challenge. For some it is easy & for some it is very difficult. You are all going to make a difference, not only in your lives but your husband's life & your children's lives. Be proud of yourself!

I also want to let you all know that I am going to do my very best to have the post up by 9pm EST each night. That way you will all be able to expect when it is coming. It will give you time to make any preparations for the next day. Not all of you are night owls like me, so I apologize that the first few days have come late at night.

I haven't mentioned this before but I would like for you to keep the fact that you are doing this challenge a secret from your husband. We want him to see that you are changing & not just doing a lesson as a one time thing. We don't want him to feel like an experiment. I am not one to keep secrets from Adam & it is impossible for me to lie, which I am thankful for. If he asked me what color socks I had on & I realized later that I had a different color on, I would tell him. :)This is a good secret, like buying a present for someone. You hide it until the right time. I would never suggest keeping any other kind of secret.

Last night I revealed the book series that I am working from & tonight I want to explain a little the basis of what Dr. Eggerich's is teaching. If I asked you what the most important thing in the world is to you I would expect that most of you would say....


As a woman that is our greatest need. We need love like we need air to breathe. There was a comment posted today from Coach's Wife. She hit the nail on the head & Dr. Eggerich's teaches this. As women we want to keep our relationships up to date. Meaning that we feel like we need to talk about our problems in our marriage daily. Men look at it this way; If we are talking daily about our marriage problems, we have a major problem. Worse, if there is an argument, most of us run around the house chasing them to "clear things up". We are working out of love, but it doesn't come across that way because it seems nagging which makes us feel they are avoiding us & being even more unloving to us. Would you believe that when our husbands turn away from us, they are trying to do the honorable thing? Men do not like confrontation. When we chase after them to get them to "talk" they are worried that they will say something that will upset us & even make the argument worse. They know that they get angry & they honestly just want to calm down to save our feelings. We, as wives take this as they don't care & are being rude to us. Am I right ladies?

This was a major issue in our marriage. It is almost as if Dr. Eggerichs was using Adam & I as the example. Adam would always tell me that he needed to get away but I was very hurt by that. I didn't want to be fighting so I would literally follow him throughout the entire house trying to make things right. This would only anger him more because he felt like I was trying to control him. I couldn't understand that. Now I do. He isn't wrong for acting the way that he does & I am not wrong for wanting to fix things. This is how God wired us. Not wrong, just different. Once we started to understand that, we have been able to make the much needed adjustments.

So, if love is the most important thing to us as women....what do you think it the most important thing to our husbands? How many of you said love? I would have said the same thing 3 months ago. Of course men want us to love them but that is not what they NEED. What a man needs just like he needs air to breathe is....


God actually has commanded us to respect our husbands. In Ephesians 5:33 - "However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband". God has wired us to love automatically. This is why he commands us to respect our husbands. Not doing this is a clear disobedience of His word. That was huge to me & it is now one of my favorite scriptures. I believe that the application of this verse can change marriages significantly. In turn, God commands our husbands to love us because he did not wire him to do it automatically.

God created our husbands with the need to take care of his family and to be the leader. If you ask most men if they would die for their families, they would say yes. They are our protectors. If you ask a man if he wants his co-workers to like him or to respect him, he will say respect. Men have this unspoken rule to respect other men. If they spoke to each other the way that we speak often speak to them, there would be a lot of trouble in the world. That is why their spirit is so damaged when we disrespect them. They can't imagine why we would speak to them in a way that other men wouldn't even speak to them. We are supposed to hold our husbands in the highest position in our homes. God commands us to respect our husbands unconditionally. Are you disobeying God? I was.

Entertain this thought for a second. If I asked you right now if you love your husband, what would you say? If I asked you if you respected him, what would you say? Unconditionally means that your husband does NOT have to earn your respect. You are to give it to him without question. How would you feel if you asked your husband if he loved you & he said not today. You don't deserve it. I personally would be devastated.

While Adam & I were separated, I emailed him at least 10 times letting him know how much I loved him. He didn't respond to a single one of those emails. He never doubted that from me. That was not our problem. He felt that I had disrespected him, time & time again. He was right. Once Lisa brought this to my attention, I sent him a short email apologizing for being disrespectful to him which she wrote for me. She ordered me to send that email the way that it was. Do not add additional words or feelings. This was unnatural & completely uncomfortable for me. I trusted her as I had no other options at that point. Would you believe that he emailed me back? It was at that moment that his feelings for me started to change. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't over yet, but the door was cracked just enough for Adam to begin seeing my changes & believing that they were not temporary & they were real.

In my efforts to show you how "normal" & "real" we are, I want to let you know that we fell victim to the crazy cycle just last week. Adam & I used to fight or at least pick at each other several times a week. We have been back together for 2 1/2 months & we have had one fight. Adam came home from work & he was unusually grouchy. I felt like he picked on the kids, he picked on me, he made a comment that made me feel like I was not keeping up with the house, etc. I had made a nice dinner that night & I hate when I go out of my way to do something & an argument or negativity takes away from my nice thing. So, my feelings got hurt. We started to argue. Adam asked me to go away & I did. I was proud of myself for taking my new knowledge & actually applying it. I played with the kids, put them to bed, & had time to myself before bed time. All the while I was getting more & more hurt & angry that Adam wasn't moving forward to speak to me. We have agreed since our separation that we would not go to bed angry & it was getting near that time. I went to bed & laid there as long as I could so that he had every opportunity to make a move. It never happened. I tried to once again practice what I had learned & I went to him. Dr. Eggerichs says that, "The person who feels that they are the most mature is the one that should move forward first." Well, of course I thought this was me so I did it. I knew that I was about to walk into a danger zone because Adam still seemed very angry. I tried talking to him in a way that I thought was right. When I saw that it wasn't working, I did everything that I shouldn't have. I told him how HE should be acting & basically disrespected him by telling him that he wasn't living up to his end of the bargain. I told him I would tell our counselor. He immediately jumped up & told me that I haven't changed at all. Obviously, this is not true & he will admit that today. He was angry & was reacting from his feelings just as I was. We got on what is called, "The Crazy Cycle." Without love, a woman reacts without respect, but without respect, a man will react without love. So who again is the one that will break the cycle? The one who feels that they are the most mature!


I left the room & emailed my counselor/accountability partner. He revealed to me what I had done wrong & how to repair it. I can see how clearly what I could have done differently. Again, it is very unnatural, so you have to train yourself to be this way. What I should have done as a good wife would have been to find out what was troubling my husband. Why did he come home so grouchy when he hadn't been lately? Why was he "picking" on us for silly reasons? Why was he quick to temper & take things personally? My partner suggested that I go into the other room & offer Adam a snack & a back rub. Of course, it is much easier to respond back in a negative way because of hurt feelings. The feelings follow choices lesson is one that will be used over & over. Unfortunately, I had gone to bed before I received his advice, so I wasn't able to practice it. However, I wanted to know how Adam would have received that gesture, so I asked him. As angry as he was, he told me that would have helped tremendously & would have made him feel like I cared about what was bothering him. It turns out that he was just in a crabby mood for no reason at all. Nothing happened. We just get in a funk sometimes. He felt as though we were not interested in him that night or what he wanted to say. Perhaps meeting him at the door would have avoided this entire situation. ??

Learning this information from this book series will not prevent you from getting involved in the crazy cycle. In fact, Dr. Eggerichs admits that he & Sarah still get on the cycle too. Training yourself to think differently will just teach you how to get on the cycle less & how to get off sooner.

Lesson #3 - Tonight make his favorite meal or dessert. (Or both!) Proverbs 31:15 says, "She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls".
You are making deposits into your marriage. During this two week period be prepared for your husband to do something unloving. You have greeted him, hugged him, & made his favorite meal, but later he yells at you for moving his keys. Ignore it. Don't throw your hands up saying, "Respecting you doesn't work. You are as unloving as ever." You are fasting from complaining for two weeks. Lower your expectations. You can't expect him to change in every area of his life because you did three nice things. Do this for God & not for your husband. God commands you to do this.


I invite you to take this one step further. As I sit here & type this I realize that I am guilty of something that I could do a little better. I am sitting in sweatpants, a tee shirt, no makeup, & messy hair. We would never have been seen this when we were dating. Thank God our husbands still think that we are beautiful when we are a mess. However, from time to time we should put a little extra effort into looking our best for him. I am going to be doing this challenge & all of the others along with you because I need to work on my marriage at the same time. I need to continue to strive to be the very best wife that I can be. I invite you to not only make his favorite meal or dessert but to also take a shower, put on a little makeup, set the table nice, & show him that you have gone out of your way to make him feel special.

"Lord, thank you so much for working in so many marriages so quickly. These stories are an inspiration to all of us. As we see you working in these families we are encouraged to try harder in our own lives. Thank you for all of the women that are following this blog. We are building an unbelievable support system for each other. Lord, please give each of these women the strength to push through each lesson. Give them a few extra minutes out of their day to be able to comment to all of us on their experiences. Lord, please allow us all to make a beautiful dinner for our well deserving husbands & please prevent any major kitchen nightmares. We ask that you please help us to wrap our brains around the principles of love & respect so that we can begin to apply them. Our culture has not always shown us that this is the true way to live. Lord, we want to honor Your word & not be disobedient to You. Please forgive us for not following Your commands in the past. Now that we are aware of what You want from us, we will be better. Thank you Lord for giving us this chance. Amen."

Aimee

27 comments:

Bridie said...

Aimee - I love your solution the the fight. I don't think my husband and I have problems - but we can always be better right? Just this weekend my feelings were hurt by a comment that sounded like I wasn't doing a good enough job around the house, and I reacted instead of trying to find out what prompted his grouchiness. This is such a great blog you have started, may all the great things you are doing be returned to you all the more.

Jennifer said...

Through my reading I too have realized how important Respect is for a man. I am a pretty strong willed, independent woman so this doesn't come naturally for me nor did I see it demonstrated in the marriage of my parents (isn't it crazy how much we realize is not working in our parents' marriage yet we continue to do it?)
I am excited for this challenge. I love to cook and besides work I rarely get "done up". We are heading to a local casino in a few weeks to celebrate our anniversary and I think I am going to go out of my way to dress up!!! This is fun!
Dinner will happen too. I love to cook.

Cristi said...

Looks like I will be making chicken and Dumplings. Thats what will make him happy.

Seraphim said...

I'm loving this challenge Aimee. You've got a worldwide movement happening (I'm from Perth, Australia) I think its vital not to get complacent in a marriage. We've been married for 13 years now and I try not to take it for granted.
Just to let you know I phoned my husband at work a while ago and asked what he would like for dinner and I think he's really looking forward to coming home tonight! And last night when he got home I went and gave him a great big cuddle and I could tell he loved it.
Thanks for sharing your story. xxxx

Terri said...

Hey, ladies... PLEASE pary for me: I am really struggling today~

I also wanted to share another resource if you're interested. My church is doing a series titled "How to Wreck a Marriage." It is a 4 week series and the 1st message was posted today. The link is www.truenorthchurch.com

Terri said...

From Nehemiah 4: “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!”

l♥ving life as mommy and wife! said...

I am loving this Aimee and am following every step of the way. Our marriage is not in trouble, but there is always room for improvement!! Thanks so much for your encouraging and truth filled posts!!

RyderMakes3 said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this, Aimee, it is amazing! While our marriage is not in trouble, I know this is going to strengthen it! I really enjoyed reading about the "Crazy Cycle", I just sat here nodding, it just makes so much sense to me, and now I feel I am better equipped to handle the "Crazy Cycle" next time it starts turning, or better yet, how I can avoid it altogether!

Anonymous said...

Aimee ~ I'm a complete stranger to you but I followed your journey with Kayleigh. I never stopped checking on how ya'll were doing and it brought me here. God bless you for continuing to share your intimate struggles...you have no idea how you are blessing others through your pain. My marriage was in severe trouble a year ago and God brought us through it, but I can sometimes see us slipping back into those old "cycles" again. I am committing to this adventure and just want you to know that even though we don't "know" each other...you have a very special place in my heart. Be strong...we are here for you as you are here for us.

Becky said...

Hi Aimee, well I said yesterday that I don't see my partner every day, but I will see him tonight so I'm going to try and catch up with the things you said. When he gets back I will greet him at the door (usually I run outside as it is lol but I'll do that as I always do!) and I'm going to make his favourite desert for after the dinner I had planned (my favourite, if i'm being honest...lol though i did ask him first!)
I never really thought about respect before. I guess it comes across that I don't have much respect for him. I feel that as an independant woman I don't have to respect him, how wrong was I... it totally makes sense. We got into a terrible arguement on the phone yesterday and I definatly wasn't respectful. Neither was he loving. Interesting.... We resolved things though, for the time being. Though it is an ongoing bone of contention.
Hopefully I have a more positive post tomorrow after this evening. These things (hugs and dinner) are not at all out of the ordinary for us, but maybe my attitude of respect along with it will make it better for him in some way.
Becky

Anonymous said...

Hi Aimee,

We as a family are stressed with money and changes in my schedule trying to make ends meet. So, I thought maybe this would help us all. Although I have always said hi when he came home and same with the kids, I didn't always stop what I was doing and really mean it. So, I have stopped and really said hi and gave a hug and kiss to them all and looked them in the eyes...it has mattered : )

The past 2 night without me even asking he has taken the baby and given him a bath and put him to bed while I was working with the other kids with their homework. And he even helped our daughter then with her math last night. We are so straped for time in the evenings it was getting so hard for me to get everything done alone.

Also, loved the cycle I totally see that...in our relationship I have a greater salary(although a bit lower now) and I take care of the bills, house and kids, so I often don't give him respect. So, I will work on that.

Thanks

yolonda said...

I am really enjoying your blog Aimee!! Thank you so much for doing this and for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

Aimee,
God bless you for this. My husband and I have had some troubles lately and I appreciate this more than you could know. Just the last 2 days have been better because of what you have taught me and this entry really hit me hard, excellent job and excellent advice. I am following this blog and will continue to, thank you so much.

Rita said...

Aimee... What great ideas! Like many others, our marriage is not in trouble at all going on 7 years but keeping it that way is definitely worth the extra effort! I too found you after following little Kayleigh, who I still think of every day and who also causes me to snuggle my beautiful kids that much tighter. You are so giving of yourself and that is so precious to so many of us. God bless.

TJsMommy said...

I'm starting this tonight. My husband and I have been married for 5 years and have had many rough times. We have 2 kids (5yrs and 8 months) and barely ever see each other b/c our work schedules are opposite. I'm usually asleep when he gets home - but I will be sure to hug him as he rolls into bed and tell him how much I missed him. And we don't have dinner together 4 nights out of the week - but I will make him his favorite dinner tonight and pack it for him tomorrow :) I'm excited to do this!

My accountability partner brought up a good point...as much as we will enjoy doing these things for our husbands to change ourselves from the inside - is there anything out there like this for guys??? Maybe your husband can start a guy blog - so us wives can feel loved more often then not?! Just a suggestion ;)

n-barbour said...

Thank you Aimee for your honesty about the fight. It makes all the advice you give seem like its coming from a "normal" married couple. Its much easier to follow advice when its seems I can relate. I've completed the first 2 challenges and I've gotten a positive response from my husband as well as I've felt good about doing it within myself. I'm 30 years old and have been married for 8 years. The last 2 have been a struggle. Although the past couple months have been going well, I want to strive to make the rest better than ever. Thanks for your blog....its appreciated more than you know.

Autumn said...

Aimee, this is a wonderful blog, and I just did the first challenges last night. Our marriage is good, but we hit a few rough parts every now and then, and marriages can always use strengthening, even before things get bad.

I greeted my husband last night when he came home and hugged him and kissed him and told him how much I missed him. He was happy to see me as well, which was a great feeling.

We are both also doing The Love Dare, and I think this blog and the challenges you present to us each day are an awesome combination to make things even better. Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks you so much for your Marriage Ministiry. I am also working on reparing my marriage. We were seperated for 3 months and have only been back together since mid August. My husband moved back in September. It's a daily challange for me to retrain myself and my Pastor gave a great example. It's like learning to drive a stick shift. There is going to be a lot of bumps and stalls at first but it will get earier everytime I practice. I choose to practice daily and be obediant to God. Thanks again and I look forward to this walk and allowing God to lead all of us.

Anonymous said...

Wow - thanks for all of your time preparing, for your realness, for sharing your marriage with us, for encouraging, for having a compassionate heart, and the list goes on. God knows what we need when and it was no accident that I came across this blog this week.

Anonymous said...

LIGHTBULB MOMENT!

Respect.

NEVER heard it explained in this way and I admit... I am a habitual offender.

I tend to always think "I'm right" where the kids are concerned and as a result, I now see how I 'disrespect' my husband when these issues arise.

As far as the challenges... I have completed the two nights of meeting my husband at the door... while not completely out of the ordinary... it was appreciated by him and starts off our time together in a nice way.

D

Dina said...

I am all excited for this challenge myself, but I have to be honest. Reading today made me a little disappointment. So maybe I need a little more guidance from you.

The part where you should have gone up to your husband and given him a snack and a backrub?? What is that doing - it's making HIM feel better. What about you (in general, not YOU personally) - he treats you like crap, picks on you, but it's your job to go and rub his back? I think you need to do another blog with the same exact advice for men. It's kind like you are giving up on everything, throwing in the towel and saying "it was all my fault" even if it wasn't, just to make them happy?

Sorry for the confusion, and I hope that didn't come off the wrong way. I just don't get how me submitting to my husband each and every time is going to help ME.

Thanks Aimee!

Coach's Wife said...

Hi Aimee! Okay so first of all, I was so shocked when I saw the mention in this post! I know it seems trivial but I felt so glad that something I said actually pertained the conversation! Usually I'm so far off base! HA! I have not had the chance to meet my husband at the door because he has been home before me every night this week. Which is amazing because he's a football coach and this is the biggest part of the season! ( GO BOBCATS! HA) But I have made a point to go up to him and smile and say hi and give him a hug. I then go on about my way starting dinner, laundry, getting the girls situated, whatever needs worked on. He has told me to just come sit down with him and leave the laundry until later! I'm struggling with that because I don't want to wait until late at night, I want to do it right then. But that is his way of asking to spend a little time with me and I should take it.

I'm deefinately trying to nag less and respect more. I'm learning to pick my battles and not bring up petty things that could easily escalate. I do love my husband, but with everyone else, there is room for improvement. I don't want things to get past the point of repair. I can't stress enough how much this means to me as an individual, and I can see it's affecting more than just me :) Keep Rockin Aimee! You are doing an awesome job! If you even doubt that, just know it's the devil at work because what you are doing is amazing!

Cristi said...

I am finding that the biblical principal of "Give and it shall be given to you, pressed down, shaken together, and running over" is being applied as I do the things you are instructing us to do. Thanks!

A said...

I followed Kayleigh's story, and was just checking her blog for updates when I saw you were starting this website.

We've been married for 4.5 years, and about 2.5 years ago, we had quite a rough patch for a couple months. We used Eggerich's book "Love and Respect" to get ourselves on the right track, and God has blessed our marriage with an unimaginable amount of grace since then. We are so happy and blessed (even in our current struggle with infertility)!!! It is an amazing, humbling book to read, but the principles are SPOT.ON. Not only do you/your husband start respecting/loving (respectively) each other to break the viscious cycle, but doing so makes you think/behave selflessly which is a huge step in the right direction anyway!

I'm so glad that God has blessed you and Adam's marriage so it will continue in His grace, and that you can share the principles of the Eggerich book with everyone!

Anonymous said...

Aimee,

I wanted to thank you so much for this. My husband and I are not having marital problems but there is always room for improvement. In reading this post about respect it sure hit home for me. I have room for improvement that is for sure. I've done the challenges and I can see that my husband is loving it. He is usually home before me and has always been good about hugging and kissing me but now I'm making more of an attempt to get there first. Thank you again and I can't wait for the next challenge.

Anonymous said...

just had to comment on this:

"Seraphim said...I'm loving this challenge Aimee. You've got a worldwide movement happening (I'm from Perth, Australia)"

i'm in Germany! haven't started the challenge yet, but i sure plan on it! just came across this today and i'm impatient too-i read through day 3, im stopping now though! going to TRY to read one day at a time LOL i really like what i've read so far ... even have a quote from you on my MS and FB ;)

joyful02 said...

Yesterday I made a soup-like meal called "stuff" for my husband. He had mentioned that he wanted it again (it's a meal that my dad makes) with a side of salad. I texted my dad on Tuesday night and asked him to send me the recipe. He emailed it to me. During the day I went and got the stuff I needed. I sent my husband a text telling him that I was going to make a meal for him and that it was gonna be ready as soon as he got home or somewhere soon after. He sent a reply back asking how long I needed. I told him and he said that he couldn't wait to see what it was. I also made some homemade chocolate chip cookies for him. He loves those kind of cookies. I'm not much of a cooker so that's why I chose the "stuff" to make because I figured it was pretty simple. I'm working on broading my horizons when it comes to cooking. While my husband was eating he asked me why I decided to cook for him and I said just because. He said "well thank you, it's very yummy." It was so nice to see his reaction. He truly enjoyed the meal was truly grateful for it and it was so nice to see that.

 

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