I am so sorry that I have been MIA for the last several days. To be perfectly honest, the devil has been working very hard on me & on my family the last few weeks. I could not bring myself to write because I feared that if I tried to do anymore good, the devil would attack me even harder. I did not feel that I would be able to handle that. I became weak & I apologize. We are still under attack, but at least now, I am recognizing where he is hurting us & how he got in. I have been reminded by dear friends that we have the tools to fight him & with God by our side, we WILL win. Please pray for our family that we will become as strong as we were just a few short weeks ago. Please pray that we will be able to recognize what he is doing & that we will remember the truth & not fall weak to his lies.
Thank you all for being patient with me & still visiting the site on a daily basis, even though there wasn't any new content. Your support has been amazing! By the way, there are way too many photos of "cute" devils online. He is not cute & I hate that he is portrayed that way. So, I apologize for the photo of this mean & ugly devil but it seems to fit him perfectly.
So, I took a poll to see what you all would like to study next. It looks like the response most received was The Love Dare. However, since there were MANY of you that also voted for the 14 day Love & Respect challenge, we will start with that one, taking us up to Valentine's Day & then we will do The Love Dare. I couldn't ignore the response that we received about doing this challenge a second time. To make the 14 day challenge just as exciting the second time around, we have added a feature. Some of you may have seen it on other blogs or even used it before. It is the MckLinky.
What is MckLinky? Well, basically you will be able to post a link to your blog on my blog. Now, the rules are that in order to submit your link, you need to write a post on your blog about the challenge, our blog, your insecurities about the challenge, little extras that you are planning, or your success story with that particular challenge. Whatever you think will help other wives to know. So, since today is day 1, you would just post about what you are doing tonight, how you are planning, etc. You will also need to direct people here so that they can read the full challenge themselves. On day two, you would post your results from day 1 & how you are planning for day 2. If you have previously completed these challenges, please feel free to share those results as well. Make sense?
The point of this is to get others excited & so you aren't all hearing about only my success. We want to let wives know that this information really works & how it is working for all of you! All of the links are listed at the bottom so our readers can visit all of your blogs as well! Very cool stuff.
Day 1 - The Love & Respect Challenge - REPOST
So, what I would like to do is share my journey as a wife with the sole purpose of helping others who may be troubled in their own relationships. To start with a little bit of history on us, Adam & I started dating five years ago & we have been married for three. Our relationship was beautiful right from the start. We had the perfect love story on how we met, the most romantic first kiss, and our lives could not have been any happier. The next five years were spent with us together, every single hour, practically 99% of each day...literally.
As much as Adam & I love spending time together, looking back we feel that spending so much time together could have been one of our problem areas. Funny thing is, we would hate when people would mention it to us. We figured that they just didn't understand. Just because they couldn't handle their spouse 14-18 hours each day didn't mean that we couldn't. We didn't argue more than most couples & considering we were together so much we figured that was pretty good. We often joke that we have been married for three years but if you consider how much time we spent together compared to other couples, we have been married for twenty!
So what did we fight about? The normal. You know....money, work, & petty things that don't even matter in the grand scheme of things. I would argue because Adam felt that just because we were in the same house, we were "together". I would argue that I wanted face to face quality time. We would talk about our issues & then we would be fine. However, sometimes I wanted to talk right that second & Adam would want to calm his anger & briefly talk later. However, we would eventually move on from our petty arguments...or so I thought.
If you asked Adam, he would tell you that I was his beautiful, the most important thing in the world to him. He would say that he couldn't live without me. I am sure that most of you felt that when you would read his posts. Our year through Kayleigh's journey was a tough one, but one that I thought we handled pretty well. But what I didn't know was that all of those petty little arguments were building up like a raging volcano, packed deep inside "Adam's earth's crust," waiting to explode.
After our princess went to Heaven in May, we had made plans to get away. Just the two of us alone so that we could reconnect from all the heartache, even though we honestly felt as if we were doing okay on the outside. We went to the beach for the weekend and within the first ten minutes of the car ride, we started to argue. By the time I got rid of my stubborn attitude, we fought again. This actually became the theme of the weekend. Adam stormed off to be alone because his anger was way out of control & I stayed in the hotel room, crying. Before the trip ended, we reached a very heated point in our arguing & Adam told me that he was tired of this & he wanted a divorce. As most fights go, we got really nasty. I spent the next 2-3 weeks hoping that Adam would calm down, but he spent them planning his exit. I was in complete disbelief.
Adam moved out of the house a few weeks after Kayleigh's memorial. I was completely devastated & most days, unable to function. Just my luck, it was summer & the kids were home with me Monday-Friday. Sadly, I could have spent every day in bed without any food or water. For the first two weeks or so I did a lot of begging, telling Adam over & over how much I loved him. He was trying his best to be polite, but he didn't want to hear it.
I was already going to counseling because I had started that before Kayleigh passed away. I then ordered about 13 books from the Christian bookstore on saving my marriage, divorce, you name it. I had to gather as much information as I could "to change Adam's mind." Honestly, that is how it started. I was a nut. But, it was in the name of love so that made it ok. Right?
While I was waiting on my shipment I decided to utilize what I had at home already. The first book that I went to was the Love Dare. I wasn't sure if I would be successful with this because Adam was three & a half hours away. I had to try. I took the kids outside which was an amazing feat in itself & I read. As I looked over the first lesson I found that I had a few faults. Things that I could have been better at personally. I was shocked because of course I had never been wrong in my entire existence. I read the second chapter & again, more soul searching, more honesty with myself, & more work to do to make ME a better person. My goal had shifted. I was absolutely trying to get Adam to come home, every minute of every day, but I was doing it through my own changes. I started a daily prayer journal where I would write about what I had learned for the day, how my faults affected my marriage, how I needed to make adjustments, & then I would type out a prayer. This was very therapeutic.
It was during this time that I became closer to God than I ever have. I had just lost my daughter, my home, my job was in the toilet, & now my husband had left. Thank God I still had the kids but I couldn't turn to them for help. I HAD to turn to the only one that would always be there for me. God. My days were spent crying, reading, praying, & reading some more. I felt that if I wasn't learning, I was wasting time. Time that would surely run out before my husband would fall into the arms of someone else. I did warn you that I wasn't patient. I felt like every day was a ticking clock.
As I would apply the things that I was learning from reading, my counselor, friends, etc. I would find that they weren't working. I became more & more depressed & ended up on anti-depressants. I probably should have started them following Kayleigh's passing, but I am not the type to take medicine if I don't need it. I finally learned that worry was sin. Now things would get interesting.
I had finally reached a point where I knew that I was changing. I believed that I wasn't just saying what Adam wanted to hear. I knew how I felt about him & I continued to believe in how he once felt about me. I reminded myself daily that we entered into marriage & God would never want us to get divorced. I became numb to Adam's rejection & in those times I gave it all to God. You might think that this was the hardest thing that I would do but it actually was the ONLY thing that gave me true peace. Now, I am human & I did freak out occasionally. Don't get me wrong. However, after my initial weakness I would remind myself of how God wants me to be. God wanted me to continue loving & respecting my husband even though he didn't deserve it. He wanted me to honor my commitment even if Adam wasn't. I am not one to enjoy or even tolerate rejection so I knew from the beginning that I couldn't do it without God's help. Most people think or say that God won't give you anything you can't handle, but actually that means...God won't give you anything you can't handle, without His help.
I met someone through Elevation Church that became an amazing friend to me & the biggest reason that I made the changes in my life that I did. She was there through countless emails & calls & pointed me in the direction of the very book that would change my marriage. She did this because it saved her marriage & the marriages of many others. It is the book that Adam & I practice from every day & what inspired me to move forward with this blog. I will discuss this book more in my next post, I Promise. Thank you Lisa Shea for everything.
There were a mix of things that happened in our lives for Adam to come home. I had reached out to everyone that was close to us that was a Christian. My last hope was Brent Riggs. As most of you know Brent has been a dear friend to us over the last year. I knew that Adam respected him tremendously & he is without a doubt, one of the wisest Christian that we know. Brent had tried to contact Adam unsuccessfully a few times but finally he got through. It was that phone call along with my changes, Adam's faith, & God's intervention that brought us back together again.
Adam & I have honestly never been happier than we are right now. Our separation was not the end for our marriage. It was the beginning. As hard as that time was, I am SO thankful that it happened. We always believed that Kayleigh's purpose was to help others. Now we believe that she was also sent to us to save our marriage. Kayleigh's passing was not what caused us to separate but the extra pain that came along with losing her amplified the problems that we already had. I never imagined that one little life could impact so much.
When I met Lisa & she gave me this incredibly helpful information, I knew immediately that helping to save marriages was my calling. God had opened that door for me before but I never walked through it. Whenever a friend or family member was having a marriage problem, we always jumped in full force to help. I am not the kind of friend that tells you what you want to hear. I tell you what you NEED to hear. Sadly, this is also why I don't have many true close friends. Not everyone can handle the truth. Now that my marriage is stronger than ever, Adam & I are ready to pay it forward.
I started this blog mainly for wives. I want to teach you what I have learned. The principles are so amazing & easy that you will see results almost immediately. If Adam could go from being 100% completely done with our marriage, there is hope for your marriage too. We were just discussing today how nobody ever teaches this stuff. Maybe that is why 50% of first marriages fail & 70% of second marriages fail. The things that we have learned are the behaviors of men & women. Not wrong, just different.
As I said above, I started this blog mainly for wives. However, if you are a man who reads this and is in need of help, then don't hesitate one bit to email Adam or myself because we want to help anyone and everyone. My email is down below, but Adam's email is: Adam@TeamFreemanProperties.com
Everyone says that communication is the key to every marriage, but what is more important than that is understanding each other so we can communicate properly. Once we understand each other & what the Bible teaches us, we are sure to get on the right track. If we don't make these much needed changes we will have the same outcome with our next spouse, & our next spouse. All the while our children will suffer & we will never end up truly happy anyway.
Please take this journey with us. Every marriage reaches a tough time at some point. This message is good for ALL ears because no one is perfect and we could ALL learn something to strengthen our marriages, relationships and even friendships. Even if you are single, this is a perfect way to prepare yourself for that next step. You can't afford to miss this.
So here are my hopes. I would like to see everyone start a prayer journal. I am a computer junkie so I did mine on Microsoft Word. Feel free to write, type, etc. Whatever will get you to do it. I would also like this blog to be interactive. When I post a challenge, let us all know how it worked for you. Your testimonies will encourage others. Please refrain from being negative. If you don't like what is being said, you don't have to listen and you are not bound to join in what God is doing here. The teachings & ideas are coming straight from the Bible & any negativity will be moderated and deleted so it won't find its way for other eyes to see.
Lisa would tell you that I always wanted more & more info. I didn't like being told that she would teach me that later. Sorry Lisa. In the next few weeks I am going to go into this lesson. However, I know that some of you need to get started right away & you just can't sit back & wait. Here it goes....
Lesson #1 - Tonight or tomorrow when your spouse comes home, greet them at the door. Don't yell from another room. Physically meet them at the door. Let them know that you missed them today. (even if you didn't) I have started doing this with Adam & he absolutely loves it. Honestly, so do I. I feel much more special when I feel that everyone is happy to see me. If this is not possible to do it this way due to your schedules, then be sure to make him feel like you missed him & you are happy to see him when you are face to face.
This will be a 14 day lesson with a simple activity each day. Don't forget that we want to hear how it is working for you. Also keep in mind that your husband probably isn't used to this behavior so he may even say something inappropriate or wonder if you are up to something. Just ignore it. You are going to change your behavior. His will follow. Men are much slower normally & it will probably take a few days for this to kick in. Don't worry. It will.
I want to throw my disclaimer out here. I am in no way claiming to be a professional. What makes me qualified to do this is that I am a Christian & we are learning Biblical principles. Plus, this is what worked for us. If you are skeptical, I understand. So was I. So was Lisa. Just hang with me for the first 14 days. Learn what I have to say with an open mind. I promise you will see a change in yourself & your husband. Please, just give me that amount of time. I will make the commitment into you if you will do the same for me. If you won't do it for me, do it because your troubled situation has nothing to lose.
Please understand that more than anything, we want you to know that we are not a fairy tale family and we are not wanting to share our story to compare who has the better or worse relationship. The big picture here is to point out that if you are having big or small issues in your relationship, there was a time when you loved each other deeply and these problems didn't exist. All we want is to help you find a way back to the happiness you for so long have attempted to achieve. So whether you have been struggling for three years or struggling for ten, look at the positives and be happy that you still have a chance to make things right.
Please check yourself as a follower to the blog & feel free to forward to anyone that you know that may need a change. Help me to help the world.