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Where thoughts can be funny, can race at all hours of the day and night and can sometimes not make any sense!

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Love Dare-Day Five

Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you.  You must do so without attacking them or justifying your behavior.  This is from their perspective only.

Love is not rude.  When a man is driven by love, he intentionally behaves in a way that's more pleasant for his wife to be around.  If she desires to love him, she purposefully avoids things that frustrate him or cause him discomfort.  The bottom line is genuine love minds it's manners.  Good manners expresses to your spouse "I value you enough to exercise some self-control around you.  I want to be a person who's a pleasure to be with."  There are two main reasons why people are rude: ignorance and selfishness.  Neither, of course, is a good thing.  You know the rules as an adult but you can be blind to how your break them or be too self-centered to care.  In fact, you may not realize how unpleasant you can be to live with.  If you're thinking that your spouse-not you-is the one who needs to work in this area, you're likely suffering from a bad case of ignorance, with a secondary condition of selfishness. Will you be thoughtful and loving enough to discover and avoid the behavior that causes life to be unpleasant for your spouse?  

Test yourself with these questions (YOU, not your spouse)
  •  How does your spouse feel about the way you speak and act around them?
  • How does your behavior affect your spouse's sense of worth and self-esteem?
  • Would your spouse say you're a blessing or that you're condescending and embarrassing? 
Here are three guiding principles when it comes to practicing etiquette in your marriage:
  • Guard the Golden Rule.  Treat your spouse the same way you want to be treated. (see Luke 6:31)
  • No double standards.  Be as considerate to your spouse as you are to strangers and coworkers.
  • Honor requests.  Consider what your spouse already asked you to do or not to do. If in doubt, then ask.
It is funny, this chapter is a hard one for my hubby and I to deal with.  Neither of us have sent our list to each other of the three things that make us uncomfortable or irritated.  As I was doing my hair I was trying to understand why he would not be willing to just send me the list.  Then something came to me.

We have been married for ten years.  We have seen each other through some tough times personally and together.  We have had a few sleepless nights, we have had many tears shared and even more laughs.  We are so tangled up in each other even when we once separated we were still together.

I don't need a list from my hubby pointing out my flaws, I know what I have to do in my marriage and he knows what he has to do.  We really do not need to send each other a list at this time to know if we are honoring each other or if we are fulfilling the others sense of worth.  We know each other.  We know how we tick.  We know how to love each other.  We know how to hurt each other.  We just need to make the choice in our own minds to move forward and start practicing more kindness towards each other.  By being able to be positive and focus on the positive rather than the negative I think this honors our marriage and each other better than sending each other a list of flaws.

I am going to honor the Golden Rule, I am not going to point out his flaws-he knows what they are and he does not need me to remind him.  I will not have double standards with him.  I will go out of my way to treat him better than I treat others and continue to show the honor I have with him by not doing the things that would dishonor him.  I will honor his requests and continue to remind myself of the things that I need to work on in my marriage so that he feels secure, honored and respected.



Every hour on the hour, I checked my text messages. Then my e-mail. Then, God forbid, by Facebook wall. Nothing. Nothing to improve on. No flaws. No wish list. No things that irritate her.

I knew I was perfect. All I needed was her validation.  I waited 10 years, and today...finally...I got it.

Then I read her blog.

Apparently I am NOT quite perfect, but there is no point in pointing out my imperfections, as it is obvious to her and me, so I read.

Seems brazen of my wife to suggest such witchcraft. Is this one of those reverse psychology things? I googled it....apparently it is not.

But, as usual, she is right. I have known her for a long time. She has known me for a long time. I know what sets her off. She knows what bothers me. Why point it out? We are both working on it.

The funny thing is, I  KNEW this was what she was going to suggest--that we not partake in this exercise, and rather just recommit to continuing to improve. Sometimes, you have to break the rules. While I have tried to convince my wife that this applies to marriage (breaking a few rules), in this instance I think I am finally right...today's rules needed to be broken.

I will say this: I was perfect, if only for a few hours.



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