Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Simply Selfless - Day Six - Repost

Remember ladies, post your MckLinky everyday so that everyone could find your website easily.

Day Six - Repost

When this 14 day challenge first started, I am sure that many of you felt like the lessons were "tasks". I am hoping that as we go along, you will feel a change in yourself, & in your husband that will allow the lessons to feel fun & rewarding instead of a job. That is what has happened to me.

Meeting Adam at the door has become one of the most exciting things that happens during the day. I have taken this challenge very seriously. I feel that it is not only important to my marriage, but I need to give it my all for all of you as well. I want to show you things that actually work & will make a difference. I make sure that if it is almost time for Adam to come home, that I am listening out for him. If I can help it, I won't be in the middle of something when he gets here. A bathroom trip can wait, that extra few dishes in the dishwasher can wait, & checking Facebook one last time can wait. Adam is the most important person/thing & he needs to come first. I came home the other day after helping to set up for the March of Dimes fundraiser & everyone else was home. Allyson met me at the door, Adam was working on his computer, & Brandon was playing Playstation. The boys didn't get up to greet me. Adam caught himself & has since apologized, which I thought was an awesome improvement. I saw firsthand what a difference it makes to be greeted. I felt as if the boys could have cared less if I were here or not. I didn't feel "missed", & that was upsetting. Doesn't everyone like to feel wanted, needed, & missed? Well, so do our husbands.

With that being said, I want to address an issue that has been emailed to me or posted a few times in the comments section. I want to be very clear about why I am personally doing the 14 day challenge. I am doing this along with all of you because I should have been doing these lessons all along. The Bible commands us to be respectful to our husbands, & I was not. I am doing this to be a better wife, a better friend, a better lover, a better mother, & to obey God. Someone posted & said that they hope I didn't feel so desperate that I am killing myself to do nice things for Adam. They suggested that I might be feeling as though another man wouldn't want me because I have two kids from another man. They suggested that I am only doing these lessons to "keep him". To this I say, you are right! I am doing all of this to keep him. But, not because I am some big loser that should be ashamed of my behavior or because I have low self esteem. I am doing this because I want to keep my husband, the man that God chose for me, the man that I should have been treating this way from the beginning, the man who admitted to the world (not just me) that he made a mistake, a man who treats me with love (which he has also shared with the world), & a man who feels that working to make our marriage the very best that it can be is important. So, while I appreciate your concern for me, & you feel as though you are looking out for me, I think that you are the one that is losing out. The changes that we have made in ourselves & in our marriage have brought us to a level of intimacy that many couples dream of. I feel extremely lucky & blessed to be Mrs. Adam Freeman. I wouldn't want to be anyone else. For that, I WILL kill myself to make this man happy & feel respected. But in turn, he is doing the same for me. Praise God!

My hope is that those of you that have posted about being worried about being submissive to your husbands will give this a chance. If you feel that you are being less of a woman or you feel like this change is unfair, give this a chance. If you feel like you are being a door mat or you feel that acting with love & respect is teaching your husband that the unloving behavior is okay, give this a chance. I would be happy to speak with those of you that feel this way, one on one. Just please email me. I am willing to put my time into your marriage. Your marriage is important to both Adam & I so please, let your marriage be that important to you. If your husband is willing to speak with Adam, Adam will take his time to speak with him. We can't tell you how much helping you means to us. Do this challenge with an open mind, & an open heart. Do it for yourself, do it for your kids, do it for your husband, do it for your extended family, for the kid's cousins, & do it because God commands you to do it. If that doesn't motivate you, do it as practice for your next marriage. Seriously. I am not saying that I will ever agree with you getting divorced but, if you aren't respecting now, you won't respect your next husband either. You will just find yourself in the same place again but with even more baggage for your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th husband. How deep does the pain have to go to make a change? For now, don't worry about what your husband is doing. Worry about what YOU are doing to improve YOUR marriage & YOUR family.

If I asked you what your most important asset was, most of us would say our home or our cars. Right? Because these items are so important to us, we are constantly doing what we need to do to maintain them. We don't want our air conditioner to go out in the middle of summer, or our heat to go out in January. We don't want to get bugs in the house so we clean up, take out the trash, & do the dishes. We mow the lawn in the summer time once a week because it will look terrible & we will get a letter from the homeowners association. We don't want our cars to break down in the middle of the freeway at rush hour with a car full of kids, do we? To prevent this from happening we get the oil changed, & get our cars serviced every so many miles. If anything went wrong with any of the items that I mentioned, who would you call first? Hmm, I think that I just heard all of your say, "my husband". I agree. That is exactly what I would do.

What are you doing to "maintain" your marriage? Is it on auto-pilot? Do you feel that nothing is ever going to break down & you don't have to get a checkup every so many miles? Why is your husband the first person that you call when there is a "problem" but you aren't taking care of him the way that you need to be to prevent a marital breakdown in the first place? Your house & your car are NOT your most important assets. Your husband is. The Bible says that God is to be the most important to you, then your husband, then your children, & then your job. I encourage you to think about this long & hard today. Are you living this way? Are you going to face a break down that is going to total your relationship, creating damage that can never be repaired?

Ladies, I know how this feels. Not so long ago I was one of the most stubborn people you could meet. I could do no wrong, & nothing was my fault. I didn't want to look at myself this way or go to a counselor because they would see how I was destroying my life & my family's life. I could manipulate Adam but I would not be able to get past a "professional". Where did that get me? Where did "my way" or what I thought was right lead me to? Nearly to a second divorce by age 35. I was approaching a Jerry Springer episode, & fast. I am begging you, please, please give up on "your way" of thinking. Try these principles. If I can do it, be happy about it, not feel submissive, or like a door can too. I promise.

Lesson #6

Think of something that your husband would enjoy doing this evening. Say, "I'd like to watch the football game with you, when is it on"? Or, "I know that you have been talking about cleaning out the garage, I'd like to help". Whatever it is that he would like to do that you may not normally be interested in. If he declines, that is fine. You sent a positive message. If he says ok & the game comes on at 8pm, be there & excited. Maybe even go the extra mile. If he loves the Carolina Panthers, put on some black & blue. Get into it & make it fun!

If while you are spending this time together he says, "You have really changed. What has gotten into you"? Just say, "Thank you. Tell me again about the quarterback. Didn't he just have a run in with the law recently"? Then change the subject. Pull him out on some topic related to the activity. Please do not enter into any relationship discussions or talk about any arguments or negative feelings that you are having. We want you to learn that you can energize your husband simply by being with him.

I know that this is a really long post, but I want to give you two examples of this before I go. One I realized a few months ago & one was just the other day since applying these lessons. Adam has always been fantastic about doing what I like but I haven't always done the same for him. I LOVE the 80's! I mean, I really LOVE the 80s. LOL The music, the B rated movies, everything. Well, they didn't have DVDs back then so when one of my favorites come out, I like to rent it. I know that most of them are terrible & the acting is not so great, but hey, I grew up on these movies. Adam always agrees to watch them & he is genuinely excited. He tells me that he liked the movie when it was over & he always comes back for more. (even though I know he can't possibly like all of them) He enjoys watching those movies for one reason only, because I enjoy them. Now me on the other hand, I am extremely guilty of not offering up the same enthusiasm. I realized this during our separation. Adam would email me videos of tornados, shark attacks, etc. I would literally feel "bothered" if he stopped me from what I was doing for something not important. Well, it was important to him. I would kick & scream if he wanted to watch a movie that I didn't want to watch. You know a man's movie. Like Jaws or the most recent one.....The Last Dragon. I witnessed the joy in Adam's eyes (& his brother's) when they came across the DVD. It is also a B rated, 80's movie. I did start to show that I was not interested in watching this movie as well, but fortunately I caught on to my negative behavior & we enjoyed it together last Sunday afternoon. It wasn't as bad as I built it up in my head & I actually got into it. Since then we have made several referrences to the movie. LOL

My second example was one that I just realized last week because of my application to the lessons of Love & Respect. Men are okay with what is referred to as shoulder to shoulder contact. Whereas, we prefer face to face contact. What does this mean? Well, a man is happy just to have us in the house, in the room, or sitting next to him on the couch. For us to feel as though we are getting quality attention, we feel that we need to be "talking". Of course! When Kayleigh was in the hospital, Adam & I would take turns on who's day it was to hold her. I would HATE when it wasn't my day. I loved holding her so much. We would talk, rock, read, or just look at each other. Many times when it was Adam's day, he would close his eyes & fall asleep while she was in his arms. (I would stay awake to be sure that he didn't drop her. LOL) I would get so irritated with him. I felt like he was "wasting" his time with her. He would always tell me that he was fine just having her in his arms. I didn't get it & I never will. I am not wired to have those feelings. He was fine being shoulder to shoulder & just being together. It was when I realized this that I really became bought in to tonight's lesson. Adam completely agreed when I reminded him of his feelings around that time. He has become more aware of what face to face attention means to me as a woman. Just last night I was feeling very unsatisfied. I couldn't lay a finger on what was wrong. He has been really busy this week & so have I with this new blog. We haven't spent much time together, even though we have been in the house at least 5 hours a day, awake. I told him that I think that I am just craving some face to face & he knew exactly how to respond. It is indecribable how communicating this way & understanding each other makes our marriage so much easier!

I bet that your husband could go fishing for 12 hours & hardly speak to their friends at all. Adam could go on his annual guy's trip for an entire weekend without gaining any "new" information. I could say, "How is Mike's job." Or, "How is Julie's pregnancy coming along?" Chances are, Adam couldn't answer. Men don't NEED that kind of relationship. They just enjoy being together, doing what guy's like to do. Could any of us go fishing for 12 hours & stay quiet? I didn't think so. Honestly, I know so. When we go fishing together, my spirit will change if there is too long of a period where Adam doesn't check in with me. I NEED that. Especially if he wants me to keep going fishing with him!

"Lord, thank you so much for giving us some extra time to spend with our families this weekend. I pray that everyone enjoyed themselves. Please give us the courage to complete tonight's lesson. I pray that our efforts are noticed by our husbands & we bring joy into their evening. Lord, please allow us to complete this lesson with an open mind in hopes that we will truly enjoy the very thing that our husband enjoys. Amen."

Aimee Freeman


belliott said...

Okay ladies I have to share my story. I posted the other day that Satan was working very hard on me, and while I was so excited to start the 14 day challenge our daughter had been very sick as had I, and I had not got past day one. Well praise God He heard my cries and in one night provided me the opportunity to play catch up. I have been trying to greet my hubby each day regardless of who gets home first. I was going to fix him his favorite meal this weekend, but last night he calls and ask if I can fix him chili. I was sure we had no meat and no beans, but hopefully scavenging around I was able to find one measley pound of meat and one can of beans! Again praise God! So I fixed chili (at his request) and then made him the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made. He got home a little later than normal, but that gave me time to get our daughter fed and get the kitchen cleaned up, table set,etc. He was very suprised when he got home to find the chili and cookies. So then opportunity provided itself again when he offered to clean the kitchen after his shower. I told him no, he had worked very hard, to go take a long shower. On the way out he asked what the cookies were for, and I said, "Just a thank you for all the hard work you do for our family to take care of us." His face was priceless! Then later another opportunity...we were watching American Idol and he commented on how buff a guy was, and so I squeezed his muscle and told him I thought his muscles were perfect and sexy and he was all I needed! He laughed at me and blushed. I then went on and on about how strong his arms are and how much I love to be held by them. Again he blushed, but I could see his eyes light up. So he did ask me last night what had gotten in to me, that I was never this nice. That kind of stung, but it was also a wake up call. I told him this was the new changed me, get used to it!
And on the flip side, just so you know, he never offers to clean dishes, and last night he did. And the night before he made himself a mug of hot chocolate (wound up giving it to me for my throat), cooked dinner and offered to give our daughter her bath. I know Satan is waiting to throw out a roadblock, but I am ready to take him on! This stuff really works ladies!

Linda said...

To anyone who says they don't want to be "submissive", they simply don't understand the true meaning of submission. If you are not submissive to your husband, you are not submissive to God or His Word. Submission almost always turns into a two way street. Try doing the things that Aimee has blogged about, I can almost guarantee, you ladies, will reap the rewards!!
Don't worry, Aimee, you are right where God wants you,doing His will.
Blessings and Curses


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