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“I Don’t Know How to React…..”

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From my wonderful friend, Kayla (at www.lessonsofmercy.wordpress.com),  who has been on this journey with me now since Sept of 2012.  She is the one who wrote the now-famous post on my site, “My Demon.”  

Today’s post is amazing.  

But for the wives who are struggling – this may be hard to read. Please keep in mind that this is over a year into this wife’s journey.  But each wife has her own unique story – each husband does, too.  The timing and results we must leave to God.  Our job is to keep Christ on the throne and seek to please and obey Him no matter what the cost and no matter what the results we see at the moment.

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You might have noticed, my posts are a little farther apart than normal. Let me tell you, NOTHING is normal in my house right now. First of all, it’s that time of year where I’m going crochet crazy (actually offering a deal right now Nov 1 – 15 ALL HATS are only $8.00 – click here to view.) So I have less free time the months of November and December BUT that’s not the major change.

I’m unsure how to write this post. It’s hard to gather all my thoughts because there are so many and in all my best efforts to start the rough draft for this in my head, like I normally do, I can’t seem to get it all to come together.

Something happened in my husband, and it’s throwing my world upside down. You all know how I feel about this man. I write on here often that he’s a good man, a great provider, an awesome Dad, a faithful husband, and he loves God. So, please don’t read this post as if some dead beat man is no longer acting like a loser. That couldn’t be father from the truth. But – he certainly is acting, different.

I’ve mentioned before that my love language is gifts. That can be in the form of unexpected, kind words, (especially in front of others) completing a project or task I would like done with excitement instead of reluctantly, cards or love letters, my favorite candy, or of course – presents both small and big.

My husband’s love language is touch. And no, not simply sexual touch. Things like me leaning up against him, reaching for his hand, touching his chest in front of others to show my admiration and affection for him, and joyfully wanting to be close to him.

You might think these things naturally compliment each other. Let me tell you, for twelve years, they have not. It’s been intentional work to try to learn to speak the other person’s love language.

When I feel loving toward him, I naturally write him an email or text with loving words or run to the store to buy him something special. When he feels loving toward me, he asks me to sit with him in his chair.

Neither of those is bad or wrong, but it’s nothing more than a kind, appreciated gesture instead of an intense rush of love for the other person.

In the last week, my husband is like a new man. I almost feel like I don’t know him at all!! He keeps surprising me left and right and I’m so unsure what to do with that.

Of course, I’m trying to be so thankful and express my abundant gratitude, however, I’m flooded with so many emotions, I’m struggling to power through.

For example, every night, the computer gets put down at 8:00 because he wants me to sit with him. Instead of being zoned into a television show, he will watch something with me, but only while talking through most of it anyway. Talking — yes, LOTS AND LOTS of talking. And good talking, not just “Everything go OK with the kids today? Yea, how was work? Fine. Good.” I’m talking, real, relevant, honest talks that brings us closer together and help us understand each other better.

He has been helping me every night in the kitchen. He turns on music from the 90’s, we both sing along and laugh, and we work together to clean up the kitchen so it’s done in half the time and then can both go relax on the couch. We actually danced in the kitchen at one point and instead of being so cheesy, it was seriously the most romantic thing EVER!!!

He keeps saying multiple times a day, “You’re so beautiful“, even when all my make up is off and my eyes are puffy from crying, BUT it’s not put on… if you could see his face when he says it, he somehow really means it even though I know I look like a wreck!

He came home yesterday with a box of Mike and Ike’s … oh how I love that candy! Why? I don’t know. Just because he wanted to.

And most shocking of all – in fact, I was slightly afraid I was going to have a heart attack, I got a Facebook notification that said “Josh tagged you in a status.” Now… before I tell you what it said, you should know a couple of things. First of all, my husband is NOT mushy, gushy. He laughs at some romantic love lines from the movies because they’re so… you know what I mean. Secondly, he updates his Facebook status about three times a year, and one of those is to post a picture of a deer he shoots every winter. He reads other people’s posts, but he just doesn’t post updates. And third, when he is at work, he’s at work. I can always call and text him…. but usually, he is crazy busy and really needs to get his work done. So, when this notification came through WHILE he was at work…. it like paralyzed me for a minute. It took some time before I could open the computer. And when I did, this is what I read “My wall paper on my cell phone is a picture of my wife and I am amazed every time I look at it how beautiful she is. I love you Kayla Jill.”

Before I even replied to him, I shot an email off to my best friend with the subject line “HOLY CRAP!!!!!” To be honest, I probably wanted to type something even a little more shocking, but thankfully it came out “crap.”

I asked him what is going on — and he doesn’t really know. He said he looked at a picture of me and thought “She is so Beautiful, what are you doing?” As in, he could do better as a husband.

WOW.

I don’t know what to do with that. I have cried so much in the last seven days, that I’m starting to get annoyed with myself. He isn’t annoyed at all, he says it’s fine if I cry — but it’s making me nuts! Stop it already, hold it together, kiss him without tears pouring down your face!!!!

There is so much more to say, that I simply can’t say. They are secret and private words for just my heart to savor — but there is even MORE than I posted here.

I have spent thirty years longing for and wanting a love where I felt so caught up, so helplessly smitten, like I was someone’s whole world, and I was deeply loved — but honestly reached a place where I let that die because I thought it was “fairy tale” material. And maybe even, “un” Christ like. Like I wanted to be someone’s idol.

And then, this week happened. And all I can do is weep. From tears of joy and hope, restoration and completeness, and maybe even a little fear.

What if I wake up tomorrow and it all leaves as quickly and unexpectedly as it came? I know I would still love him as much as I do today. And I know we’d be OK. But I’ve never felt this way before… and I think it’s changing everything. And maybe for the first time, this change is one I won’t walk into reluctantly.

Practical Application –

Time for a self evaluation.

How am I doing as a spouse?

Am I speaking his/her love language?

What changes can I make to do better?

How would I feel if she/he wrote a post just like this one?

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FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Wasn’t that incredible?!?!?

Every couple’s story is different.

My husband hasn’t done a lot of the things that Kayla’s husband is doing right now.  That’s totally ok. 🙂  My hope is that you will see that God is able to do things in our marriages that we could never do on our own.  We aren’t guaranteed our husbands will change if we submit fully to Christ and live in obedience to Him, desiring Him far above everything.  But we are guaranteed He will change US.  

My prayer is for God’s greatest glory in your life and in your marriage.

26 thoughts on ““I Don’t Know How to React…..”

  1. How awesome and inspirational! It gives me hope that my marriage with change for the better! God is a miracle worker. I love him more and more each day!!

    1. Miracle is right!! I didn’t articulate well in the article that I NEVER believer my husband could or would do anything like what he has done in the last 1-2 weeks. Even one month ago I would have told you that you were delusional to think that *my* husband has a romantic bone in his body! And then — God did a work in him like I have never seen before! Unbelievable!!!

  2. Kayla,
    This is a wonderful post! One of the things I like best about it is your attitude of receiving it with an open palm, content to have it taken back again and things to return to the way they were. There are times I want to gear up and go all out for my husband but I know ( at least I think I know) that I can’t sustain that level of intensity and I presume he will not take that week so I do not act at all. Definitely not a good enough excuse, but that is where I am right now. I am thrilled for this wonderful ‘new’ husband you have… it is also God showing you how much He loves you and knows you which makes it doubly wonderful!!
    Thank you for sharing!!
    kk

    1. Yes KK — My hearts prayer right now is that if things should slow, change or end completely that I will still take my roles as to submit, respect and love my husband just as I did before the last two weeks, just as I am now, and just as I should in the future no matter what he is or isn’t doing. I’m just joyfully enjoying the new changes and thanking him for stepping out of his comfort zone and normal routines to try something new for me!

  3. Although I agree with this message, I want to point out that we, as wives, need to be careful regarding knowing our own “love language”. It can create an expectation for our husband to fulfill our unique way of feeling loved….something he may not know how to do, or is reluctant to do because it doesn’t come naturally to him so is too much work for him to implement. It also tends to cause us to focus on ourselves more, making us feel that we have “right” to be shown love a certain way and feeling unloved when that doesn’t occur.

    Since women are more relational than men, we’re more inclined to implement loving them in their language as a means to show them how much we care about them. That part is awesome! And we aren’t doing it because he expects it or longs for it, but because we know that it blesses him.

    All this to say, don’t allow your mind to convince you that he needs to be reciprocating by showing you love via your love language. Look for other ways that he shows you, even if it isn’t in a way that you “feel” loved. It doesn’t make his effort any less valuable.

    1. I agree completely. I have wrote a lengthy post on this exact topic on my blog and have been practicing this for the last 12 years. It’s just an incredible blessing for him to recognize that my love tank fills differently than his, and WANT to bless me….not because I expect or demand it, or refuse to feel loved unless he performs a certain way. He is giving me a wonderful gift – and I am grateful beyond belief.

  4. This is an awesome change in your husband, in how he meets all your needs now. Congratulations ! Husbands reading this post ask how you are reacting to him now: Do you respect him and submit to his leadership in the marriage and family, and fulfill his needs willingly and enthusiastically, without automatically refusing ?

    1. Thanks for the comment Jim!

      Yes – I’ve been working on being a completely respectful wife, joyful partner and quick to submit to his leadership and wisdom since September 2012. I am not perfect. I still mess up. But there has been a lot of change in me – and my husband shared some of what he has seen in me this last week which confirms that I am actually changing and not just “thinking” I’m doing better in my own mind. I think we both feel inspired to do even better, not just because of our growth in Christ, but because when your own love tank feels full, you can’t wait to give your absolute best back!

      1. I pray that my husband will eventually see and feel the changes God is making in me and me not just think I’m doing better! I am working to draw myself closer to God and die to self daily! I appreciate Christian women examples to look towards to see where God is shining His light!

        1. prayingwife79 – he probably does see the changes. My husband (when he finally told me) said he has seen the changes for a while, however, didn’t say anything because he wasn’t sure what to do with it, if it would last, and because he had no idea if it would lead to an argument to say I was doing better now because that means I wasn’t doing well before.

          So I just want to encourage you and say that I know how much your heart longs to hear these words from him — but for what it’s worth — YOU ARE CHANGING! You’re doing awesome — Keep working at it, even when it seems hard or unrewarding. Your new heart isn’t going unnoticed.

          1. Kayla,

            I’m so glad you shared what your husband said – I think that his concerns echo many husbands’ concerns – and this is why they don’t say anything for a long time. Thank you for sharing and encouraging so many wives! 🙂

    1. You’re welcome! And I know exactly what you mean. It’s so good for us wives to be able to encourage each other here on April’s blog and FB page when our hearts so long to hear those words!!

  5. This post has me in tears. I’m a faithful follower of peaceful wife but have not visited the site for a couple weeks. Today I just kept feeling the knugde to go to it. Long story short, my husband has been different too. Not to the extent of yours Kayla but praise God for any change. My husband has been very affectionate and wanting to really engage in my heart. Hes also texted several times while away for work, sayings, I can’t wait to just come home and hug you. I literally responded and said ,”me.” thinking it meant one of our girls. And then when he did get home, he purposely hugged me for a long time.

    The thing is I’m not handling it so well, I mean Im enjoying it during the moment, but it’s like I have a shield up guarding my heart. Ive worked so hard to remove him as an idol that this kind of attention from him has me all messed up and truly in disbelief. I spent some time today just asking God for help in this area. I want to believe my husband but have a hard time believing he really feels that way about me. A little crazy I guess. Anyway, thank you for the post. I think I need to believe that God is simply changing him. Yes he’s still a sinner as am I and he will mess up from time to time, but so do I. I need to just let my guard down a little and enjoy the work God is doing!!

    1. Angelique — SORRY! Not sure how I missed this comment but him coming home and hugging you is SO SWEET!!!!!!

      You’re right, neither of you will reach perfection. But hopefully you’ll see the steep falls happen less, and the forgiveness and reconciliation happens quicker.

      Enjoy the change! It’ll just get better and better!

  6. That gives me so much hope! My husband was like that in the beginning but my disrespectful ways quickly changed that. He is becoming more loving and kind. I can’t wait to see what else this journey brings!

  7. I happened across this site, at the perfect time. At first, while I’m struggling in my own marriage, I was feeling a bit uncomfortable reading this message. Then, I stopped and thought of how you were feeling and how I could become a better wife as well. Thank you…from the bottom of my heart

    1. You’re welcome Amanda.

      I remember at times reading these type of things from other women before and being so crushed. I wanted to be happy for them and keep trying but I would get flooded with the thoughts like “that is just great for you — but my husband is never going to change, my marriage is never going to look like that, I am never going to be that good of a wife.”

      And I realize now — I was believing God is small, weak and unconcerned with me.
      And that is a lie.

      God is BIG, STRONG, and CONCERNED with every part of me.
      But that doesn’t mean He will work on my time table or according to my plans.

      If I can encourage you at all — let me say —– Hang in there, keep going, you’re doing awesome!!!!!!!
      God is big enough to change the end of your story in the blink of an eye. He is strong enough to break down any walls/attitudes/blinders that exist. And He cares so much that He holds every tear in the palm of His hand waiting for the perfect moment to wipe them from your eyes permanently.
      Much love to you friend!!!

  8. Really enjoyed this. What a sweet time in her marriage! My husband has days where he shows me extra love and attention. Those are days to savor. I’m truly happy for you, Kayla! God continue to bless you and your marriage! I have to laugh a little at myself because my first thought when I reached the end of the post was “God, it’s a good thing you understand a man, because I really don’t!”

  9. I have no idea how to even begin this process…and I clearly lack faith because I just can’t believe anything I would make things better – but I know that I can do and say things to make my relationship worse.

    1. Julia Smith,

      Sounds like a very painful and frustrating situation you have. 🙁 I am so sorry for your pain!

      Would you like to talk a bit about what is going on?

      How is your walk with Christ?

      What do you believe God desires you to do?

      How are things with your husband?

      Much love to you! You are welcome here. 🙂

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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