Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Are You Getting The Most Out Of This? - Repost

Day Ten - Repost

Several days ago I mentioned how I started my personal transformation. Honestly, it didn't start out innocent. It started because I thought that I would find books, scriptures, & anything else that I could find that would "prove" my case that our marriage problems weren't me. I thought that I could show that they were all Adam's fault. Of course, this is because I am an angel & I could do no wrong. I even started going to counseling because I was sure that the counselor would back me up & then, HA....I would be declared "right".

I had already wasted 5 years of being "right" or should I say wrong? I thought of myself as a strong, independent woman. I fought for what I believed to be true & you couldn't convince me otherwise. Well, where did this get me really? Sure, it made me pretty successful in my business, but the recession has pretty much killed that. I was left with a broken marriage on the fast track to a divorce. The need to be strong, independent, or "right" is to get all of the things that we want. However, I was left with the one thing that I would NEVER want to be without, my husband. Why can't we learn to fight for our marriages like we fight when we want to prove our point? Do you want to be "right" at the cost of being divorced & having your children divided up like a bill or an asset?

Thankfully God was looking out for me. I told you that I had something like 13 books on self help, saving your marriage, separation, & how to pray. I felt like God led me in many different ways during those trying months & He led me to the right books at the right time. He knew what I needed to hear & when I needed to hear it. He also allowed me to really hear what those books were saying, to look deeply into myself, take ownerships of MY issues, & apply them. Praise God! I wasn't successful with this plan every single day & I don't expect that will happen in the future either. I am teaching myself how to be better, but I realize that I will never be perfect.

Last night I opened up, "The Language of Love & Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I have been spending so much time on, "Motivating Your Man God's Way" that I haven't been able to dig into this book as much as I have wanted to. I feel that God once again led me to what He wanted me to read & when He wanted me to read it. What I found on the very first few pages is something that I think most of us could benefit from based on the emails that I have received this week.

I am titling this, "How to get the most out of this blog, series, book, & journey". I challenge you & encourage you to implement these principles with an open heart & an open mind. I wish that I had this information when I was in the pits of my separation. I believe that it would have saved me a lot of time, pain, sorrow, & it probably would have gotten my marriage back together a lot sooner.

1. Read to understand how to respond to your spouse's negative behavior. Don't read to put your spouse on a guilt trip by saying, "See, this is you! This is what you do!" As you go through this journey & life transformation, it may will be easy to find examples of mistakes that your spouse is making. Please don't use what you find to attack your husband. Instead, use what God has so graciously revealed to you to learn how to respond to your husband with unconditional love & respect.

2. Read to understand your spouse. Learn why your husand reacts to you the way that he does. The goal is to have empathy for him so that you can respond in a loving & respectful manner. Remember, I told you about how I could have reacted much better to Adam when we had our most recent argument? I could have acted MUCH more loving & respectful by digging deeper to see what was "really" bothering him. I could have made him feel better with a simple gesture or by showing him that I cared that he was upset or hurting. I could have asked him what he needed from me to make him feel better. I would have wanted those things, so why am I not giving them?

3. Read to understand yourself, but be careful. Don't seek points that help you understand why you are saying or doing things & then use what you learn to justify your behavior. Also, don't seek to understand yourself just so that you can blame your husband by saying, "See? You made me act this way. It is really all your fault!" Your goal is to gain a better understanding so you can respond to your husband more loving or respectfully. Boy, I have been guilty of this. I am sure most of us have if we are being honest. Adam does it too. You could say, "Well, if you didn't do this then I wouldn't have done that." But, where does that really get us? We both end up hurting each other. If one of us (the more mature one) can turn the situation around, then only one of us got hurt. I promise you, it feels awesome when you are able to do this! It doesn't go unnoticed, even if they don't say it to you at that exact moment. In time, your behavior will be rewarded by your husband repaying the favor. You will undoubtedly one day hurt his feelings & he will show you love when you don't deserve it. Unconditional love. Can you show unconditional respect?

4. Read to help your spouse understand you, but be cautious here as well. Many spouses want to make this goal the first one instead of the last. If you start out by wanting to be understood instead of trying to understand your husband, you are approaching the entire topic of communication in a marriage in a very self-centered way. Self-centeredness does NOT lead to mutual understanding. Tell your husband that you are trying to make changes & THEN appeal to your husband to understand you.

I do not believe that we have to give up ourselves completely to make these changes. All we have to do is open our minds to accept that we aren't perfect, we make mistakes, we sometimes say hurtful things even though we didn't mean it, & that our husbands are good willed & battling demons just like we are. If we can believe that & do these challenges, we WILL make a difference in our marriages.

The testimonies are rolling in & it has only been a week. If you haven't been reading the comments each day, I invite you to do so. Don't just take it from me. Take it from all of the other wives that are doing this right along with you. Some of them are in a better place in their marriage but some of them are much worse than your own. Let that be your inspiration. If that doesn't work, use your need to be strong  & "right" to a good cause. Prove to all of us that you really can do this! I dare triple dog dare you!

Lesson #10

Apologize. Think back over the last couple of days (or weeks) when you should have apologized for something. Say, "I was reflecting on something that I said the other day. I said that disrespectfully. What I said was wrong. I am sorry. Will you forgive me?" He may have been 90% to blame. This is not done to re-open the subject.  You are apologizing for YOUR disrespectful part. If he starts justifying himself just say, "Honey, You don't have to get into that. I am apologizing for acting disrepectfully. Will you forgive me?" When he says, "Yes," respectfully say, "Thank you," & go do something else. Walk away. Please do not use this as an occasion to rehash the conflict. The showing of respect during this two weeks is not done for the purpose of getting him to look at his failure to love. You are showing respect in obedience to God's Word.

I know that this isn't going to be easy. I can say that because I have been there. I can't remind you enough that I am here for all of you. Please email me if you need me to help you. I will help teach you how to respond to a certain situation, I will help calm you down, I will be there for whatever you need. I will dedicate my time to help you if you want the help. Aimee@TeamFreemanProperties.com.

"Lord, please open my mind to the lesson today. Allow me to put my pride aside & complete this task. Allow me to act in a way that I desire to be treated by my husband. Help me to be the more mature one & work on myself & my marriage without the expectation of instant results from my husband. Lord, please give me a sign to let me know that my efforts are being noticed. Speak to me & show me even more that I can do to make a positive change. Father, I beg you to bless me with your forgiveness for not always treating my marriage as a priority. With your help, I am slowly recognizing my faults. Thank you, Lord. Amen."

Aimee Freeman

1 comment:

UrbanIdeas said...

Gosh Aimee, you are so very right on this post. So often I find myself opening my mouth prior to think, then feel extremely guilty and thankfully reckognize it and apologize. It is so sad to see so many divorces happening when they could have been saved. Thanks for such great inspiration and dedication to a much needed subject!


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