There are 25 days left until Thanksgiving (I’m in the Eastern time zone). So every day I will post something I am thankful for.
Today, I am thankful for my husband. He is the most patient man I know. When I look back at how I almost lost him because of my contant compaining and negative attitude, it is scary to think what my life would be like today if I had not asked the Lord to help me change and become the wife he needed me to be. Our kids were small (the oldest in second grade) when my husband told me he didn’t love me anymore.
I was devastated. How could this be? I thought we had a near-perfect relationship. What I didn’t realize was that he had been holding his feelings in, trying not to hurt me. But one day he just couldn’t take it any more.
What could I do? I knew he didn’t just wake up one morning and decide he didn’t want to love me any more. Something had to have happened. What could have caused this?
I had only been a Christian for a couple of years and had recently finished a women’s study on the book, Lord Change Me by Evelyn Christiansen. I had been through so many Bible studies that it really didn’t sink in, but I dove into that book with a new purpose. I also dove into my Bible and prayer, asking the Lord to show me what I had done to cause such a drastic change in my husband. As I began to study anew, God had a long list of things to show me.
I also found a Christian counselor to help me understand what I was studying, and to help me implement the change necessary to become a happy person. (Dave Peterson, if you’re reading this, God bless you. We’re still together and happier than ever. Thank you from the depths of both of our hearts. We still pray for you and your family.)
One of the things I had done was expect my husband to make me happy. You know, all of the fairytales we grow up with show the prince or knight rescuing the damsel and (the older ones from the 50’s) never show the woman contributing anything to the relationship. Through Biblical counseling and reading a book called Happiness Is A Choice by Drs. Frank Minirth and Paul Meier, I realized that I am responsible for my emotions, not someone else. No one can make me feel anything because my emotions are mine. The Bible has a lot to say about self-control. Happiness had to come from within.
I had to learn to respect my husband. Love and respect are not synonomous. I loved my husband, but it never occurred to me that he needed to see and hear me being proud of him, and to be willing to accept his point of view without always feeling as if I had to prove I was right (my insecurities were not his fault; they had been there since childhood).
I also started learning (still working on this one) to discuss things calmly and not get into a poor-little-me attitude every time something didn’t go my way.
Lastly, I had to help him understand that every time I mentioned I liked a house we passed by, or commented on a pretty yard, it didn’t mean that I wasn’t happy with what he had. He had been thinking that those comments meant that I didn’t think he was a good enough provider. He had insecurities of his own that I never considered because I was too wrapped up in myself.
It took months for him to realize that the changes taking place in me were not a means of manipulating him, but were genuine.
I’m so thankful God didn’t let me give up on my marriage, but my husband couldn’t see any hope for it. But he didn’t kick me out either.
I am so thankful for our lifestyle and our relationship. GOD IS AWESOME. HE KEPT US TOGETHER. TO GOD BE THE GLORY.