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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How I've Been a Hypocrite

My dear readers, I have a confession to make.

I've been quite a hypocrite this summer.

Here I've been writing all these posts about how to be a good, godly wife, what I've been learning about marriage, how to love my husband, the importance of really listening to him...

and I've messed up.  Big-time.

Let me set up the scenario for you:
Joshua and I have started reading The Lord of the Rings together.  He had already read The Fellowship of the Ring, and I read that and half of The Two Towers, but a long time ago.  So we read some chapters together, and I was reading a few on my own, to catch up and because bibliophile me can't really put a book down once I start reading it (and getting into it, which I definitely am with Lord of the Rings!).

Sunday night, my husband asked that I not start reading The Two Towers because he wanted us to read it entirely together.
By Monday morning, that request had slipped my mind, and yesterday I read the first two chapters.
Last night, my husband discovered this and was not happy.

You need to know a couple things about my Joshua:
1) He is an introvert.
2) His primary love-language is quality time.

I did not realize how much reading this book together meant to him.  I thought (forgetting that he asked me not to) that he wouldn't mind if I read a couple chapters.
It means a LOT to him, and he minded quite a bit.

Looong story short, we're all good now, I'm forgiven, I understand where I went wrong, everything is okay.

But I have some work to do.  Because my blunder led me to discover several very important things that I've been blind to all summer.

1) Neither my husband, nor I, have been content with the routine we've gotten into this summer:  Joshua comes home from work, he relaxes with some TV or computer time, I make supper, we eat, we watch a movie or both do things on the computer, we go to bed.
I realized why neither of us has been content with this routine.  Very little of it is about us being together.  Neither of us has liked this...but both of us assumed, wrongly, that the other one was content and/or not interested in doing anything together.  We both messed up on this...but now that we've realized it, we can work to right it.

2) I cannot assume things about my husband; I need to talk to him if I can't figure things out on my own.  (Because we all know what it means to assume...the person who pointed that out to me shall remain nameless.)

3) Sometimes the solution is staring me in the face, and is a lot simpler than I realize.
Togetherness.  That's all my husband wanted.  He doesn't want me to think up elaborate ideas for date nights.  He doesn't need me to write a list of twenty-five things we can do together.  He just wants me.  He wants my attention, my time, and my presence.

4) The things I think my husband wants and needs are not necessarily the things he really does want and need.
I figured that if I kept the house in order, fed him a nice supper, let him do his thing on the computer and TV, watched a movie with him, and had sex before we went to bed, that my husband would be happy.
Eating, rest, alone time and sex are all necessary...but they don't replace actually being together and giving my husband my full attention and self.  It doesn't work if I'm constantly thinking of other things I need to/should be doing, or if I spend the entire evening in the kitchen after he gets home.  He wants ME.  That's it.

5) This problem is fairly easy to fix if I a) get DONE with housework before Joshua gets home each day, b) keep chore-doing to a minimum in the evenings when he is home and c) be intentional and put time together in our schedule.  As soon as this post is written I'm going to write, in ink, on the calendar, "DATE NIGHT" at least every three weeks.  And nothing, absolutely nothing, will mess with those nights.

6) I realized last night how much I really mean to my husband.  That was huge.  It's good to know how much he appreciates the meals I make or that I keep the house in order...but knowing he just wants me??  That made me feel so treasured and loved.  And it made me resolve to make HIM feel the same way, by focusing more on him.

It's horrible when it takes a bad thing to wake me up to more bad things I've been doing...but the result of all this is that I think things in our marriage are really going to change for the better.  I can't believe how blind and stupid I've been all summer....but THANK GOD for the forgiveness which he has given me and which he has enabled my husband to give me.

Once again, it's Romans 8:28 in action.  God uses ALL things, even our silly, selfish sins, to work for our good.  I'm praying that he will enable me to be a much more selfless, loving, and attentive wife, and that our marriage will continue to grow, mature, and become more joy-filled every day.

And I'm sorry for being such a hypocrite!


Linking up today...
Cornerstone Confessions; Far Above Rubies; Growing Home; Thankful Homemaker; Time-Warp Wife; Lessons from Ivy

8 comments:

  1. Jaimie, I found your blog through Modern Mrs. Darcy and I love it! Sometimes it's hard to talk about these things with other people (especially those who aren't married) because it seems like "small beans" - a tiny tiff in a marriage. But it's these little events that make a marriage and that can cause problems! Thanks for being so honest!

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    1. Thanks, Mandi! I'm glad you found me. :)

      I've found that it's important, in any relationship but especially marriage, to not let "the little things" slide by because they can turn into big things pretty quickly. That's why I'm so thankful I caught this when I did, so Joshua and I can work on making our great marriage even better.

      I was glad for the opportunity to be honest and open with my readers. I always want to be sincere! :)

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  2. Yes, my dear, you will continue to discover these things throughout your marriage. Bob and I have been married 26 years, and this morning I just discovered how truly disrespectful I can be in subtle quiet ways, thanks to the Bible Study "Love and Respect". It is amazing that after all this time God is continuously showing us ways to improve our marriage in and through Him. I am so thankful that our God is wise, loving, and continually stretching us! Thanks for your post!

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    1. Toni, you're awesome. "Love and Respect" is a book that's been a real eye-opener for me, too. :)

      You are so right! If God didn't keep stretching us, we would never grow or mature or learn much of anything. In his loving wisdom, he lets us mess up sometimes so he can teach us through that messiness. :)

      People like you and Bob, and my parents who just celebrated 25 years, are my heroes. Thanks for being amazing examples to people like me, and Michael and Kayla--we want to be like you! :)

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  3. The good news is...your normal! It happens to all of us at some point or another. The good thing is you realized something was wrong and are taking the steps to fix it. I'm also glad you shared this on your blog. All too often bloggers make it seem as though they are in perfect relationships when they aren't!

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    1. I know. Everybody goes through this. :) Yes, I'm very glad we realized what was going on soon enough to fix things!

      And thank you. I want to be open and real, without sharing TOO much information. Because how can readers relate to someone who has it all together, whose marriage is ideal, whose walk with God is smooth all the time? I have an AMAZING marriage but it's not perfect...and I definitely do not have it all together. :) My goal is to use my own shortcomings to encourage my readers--we're all in this together, and God's grace is always more than enough to cover our failures!

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  4. I have really enjoyed reading your posts about marriage, even though I'm not married. And even though you are still learning and realizing your mistakes, it is great that you were sharing with us what you already learned. I suspect that the learning never stops in a marriage, and you were sharing everything you learned with a good attitude. You weren't coming across as a know-it-all, and you also made it pretty clear that you mess up and your marriage isn't perfect all the time. And as long as you present it with that attitude, I think it's fine to share the lessons you learned, because you've acknowledged that you're still learning and you're not painting a pie-in-the-sky picture. I have really been encouraged by what you've written on marriage.

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad that I've been able to be an encouragement to you, and I hope you can put into practice things you've learned here in your own marriage one day. :)

      Also, thank you for your encouragement. The last thing I want to do is come across as either someone who knows everything about marriage or as a complete pessimist who only talks about the bad stuff. Life is such a mixture of good and bad. And you're so right: I have a TON to learn still, and I certainly don't claim to be an expert on anything. :) But I do share what I am learning, in the hopes that it can be helpful for someone else. :)

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