Here is a really fascinating email I received last week from a wife. I know you are going to love hearing her story. Be prayerful and alert for anything God may want to speak to YOUR heart as you read her message.
I want to start with a huge thank you for your ministry. I stumbled onto
your blog about six weeks ago and it truly has changed my/our marriage. I saw your Facebook request for comments from a wife who has learned to respect a husband that has more defined standards and desires control of home decisions. I have to smile because my husband and I were just discussing this last night…I think I just might qualify:)
A LITTLE HISTORY
I have been on this journey now for almost two years…my journey to being a peaceful wife began a little differently than yours. My husband and I went through a very difficult time about four years ago. He is a small business owner and the recession hit us very hard. We were newly married (three years in ) and had just had our second child. It was rough…our marriage remained intact but I think, or I should say now I know we both retreated to our own corners instead of growing closer together.
I adore my husband, he is an incredible man – but when it came to family issues I really did think I was more qualified than he to direct. So at this time not only was my husbands professional life spinning out of control but so was his personal life due to my sudden pressure to take control of our household and new family. I am a cradle Catholic that had very little understanding of my faith and even littler understanding of the Bible. We stopped going to church and forged forward. I convinced my husband to have a vasectomy in the Fall of 2009, I remember telling him and others that there was no way I could ever handle another baby, I basically had three already, having to take care of him also. It makes me physically ill to even think of saying this of him now.
MY FAITH JOURNEY
Ok so to make a long story short, two years ago I found my way back to the Catholic church and have embraced my faith like never before. I am in awe of the churches teaching on sexuality, marriage and families. However with this new found understanding has come pain and suffering. Yes I know I am forgiven, I went to confession and confessed our
decision of the vasectomy but is this what it is really all about. My own forgiveness. What about the grace our love making will never again experience? What about the loss of the souls that we might have conceived? What about the potential of our family and love that
will never be achieved?
A STICKING POINT
So this is where I was six weeks ago before finding your blog….our marriage was back on track to a point. However what I did not realize is that the devil was still lurking in the shadows. I had taken on a new role….to convince/pressure my husband with all my being to have his vasectomy reversed. I want to fix the evil we committed and since I had God on my side I have been badgering him like no other. God had tried in the past 18 months to show me how wrong I was…our priest told me, “(Your husband) will not tolerate your nagging, it will just push him further away.” My husband had actually said to me, “The more you push me the more I close my heart to all of it.” (all of it being not just the vasectomy reversal but his own faith journey.) Oh, but I had God on my side so watch out there was no stopping me….
And then I found your blog…it was like a cold slap in the face. The way you have presented the husband’s role as the role of Christ and the (wife’s role as the role of the) Church is almost blinding. I get it!!
I was a road block for my husband for the past 18 months instead of his helpmate. I now understand why when he considers possibly having another baby with me it makes him shudder…why would he want that (old me) back? My husband is very aware of his shortcomings, he knows that things were rough four years ago but until recently he truly put most of the blame on himself. I was the strong one that kept everything together, the perfect mom and wife supposedly helping his sorry self stumble along. I have apologized to him multiple times in the past six weeks for the role that I played in his despair four years ago. We are still new at this though. My husband is a believer but an independent one of sorts. I so want him to prayer with me daily but am scared to even ask….I just do not know if he is ready yet.
He takes he role as a father, husband and provider of our family very seriously and always has. He is a man’s man. We have both often questioned in the past few years where have all the men gone in this fallen world or ours. I fills my heart with great hope and joy to think of what God may have planned for my husband…I just pray that I am able to be his helpmate on he faith journey and not a road block.
SUBMITTING TO AND RESPECTING A MAN WITH EXACTING STANDARDS
Ok so now to actually comment on your Facebook post….for an overachiever like myself meeting my husband’s standards with an open heart has actually been self motivating in sort….prior to understanding my role, my husband’s standards seemed unfair and overbearing. We have been together for 14 years – it seriously has taken my husband 13.5 years to trust me to do his laundry because he likes his shirts/pants folded just a certain way. I have, in the past, just thrown my hands up and said he was being irrational….now I listen to what he is asking and I have come to realize it really is not that much more than I am already doing it is just a little different. My husband is a fanatic about having the kitchen clean….at all times…even in the middle of meal preparation:) I on the other hand am kind of a messy cook…I clean in the end and that is good enough. This was a very sour point in my husband’s day because he would come home from a long day at work and typically find me in the midst of a kitchen full of boiling water, empty cans, and half cut up vegetables. (I also like to consider myself a multitasker so I may be in the middle of three different recipes, have over the entire neighborhood for a play date and be just finishing up cleaning out the pantry!!) In the past I have often just left it with a deal with it…I am getting things done.
A HUGE CHANGE
In the past six weeks, I have taken a different approach. I have moved up my dinner prep time and will typically have the kids fed prior to my husband coming home. The kids are of course thrilled to see Daddy and now will greet him for a few minutes but know that it is Daddy’s quiet time. They have learned to play in their rooms, I have relaxed on the screen time restrictions (actually I have adjusted the screen time allowance…meaning I limit their time during the day more, so in the evening my husband does get a little more quiet time to unwind without the kids jumping all over him) I have candles lit, music on, the fireplace going and the kitchen clean. I am ready to give him my full attention as he discusses his day and will typically sit and massage his feet while he unwinds. (I am a physical therapist by education so I have in the past provided massage to my patients but never even considered it for my husband)
Ok I know some may say…really does he deserve all that prep…he does. He works so hard and we appreciate all he does, it has only been recently that I have come to understand how to show him.
MY HUSBAND’S RESPONSE
He has thanked me repetitively and has said, “You really do not need to do this. I know you have other things to get done.” He has stated numerous times how he feels like pinching himself he can’t believe how happy he is coming home. Now don’t get me wrong this is not a man that dreaded coming home before but now it is just different. He no longer has to worry about what multitasking explosion he may walk into, how long he will have to sit next to our three year old and beg her to eat her dinner as she is trying to dance around the dining room (seriously it can take her 45 minutes to eat dinner at times). I think at this point he is still not sure if this will last.
If you would ask any of our friends/neighbors they would probably
tell you that my husband’s position of the head of our family has never been doubted…which is true to some point. However before I think he felt somewhat guilty about taking this role and still is not sure of my respect/appreciation. I have in the past given it but much more begrudgingly.
I guess this is my recommendation for every wife out there embrace your role has your husband’s helpmate. Take pride in the managing of your home. If you strive to meet the expectations of the workforce/your boss to move up the corporate ladder previously treat your home in the same manner…strive to meet the expectation of your husband. I am humbled and honored to have been blessed with the opportunity to serve my husband and children on this Earth. God knew what he was doing when he led me to this man. But what I have come to realize is it was not as I had previously thought….I am not leading my husband down the right path. He is leading me.
God knew that it would take one strong man to stand up to my self righteousness. If it was anyone but this man- I would have walked all over them without even realizing it. I have never meant to be so controlling. I did not realize I had such a problem with
respecting authority until recently. I was the authority.
Where do I go from here? ….pray pray pray…..this past year has been the first time I can honestly say I have been open to the Holy Spirit working in my life and actually giving the credit due where it is owed. It is hard at times for me to be patient to see the path. I have always run through life at full speed…set a goal and strive for that goal to set another…now to sit back and be led is very difficult. I want to make the plans and set out to complete them…but instead I am praying for my husband and following his lead. My husband is one of the good guys. He is a natural leader and full of charisma that can light up a room if allowed. I want more than anything to be his helpmate and encourage him to reach his
fullest potential…to reach our family’s fullest potential. I pray that I am no longer standing in his way of following our Savior home.
Thank you again for your ministry. I hope that the above helps. Keep us in your prayers.