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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: Wifey Wednesday-Tough Stuff

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

December 16, 2009

Wifey Wednesday-Tough Stuff

Today is Wednesday. Time for my favorite Meme of the week, "Wifey Wednesday's" hosted by Sheila over at "To Love, Honor, and Vaccum. Today's topic is intense and very thought provoking. She receieved a letter from a young wife who is having a hard time finding balance between being a submissive wife the way that God called and being a doormat to her seemingly uninterested in marriage husband. I encourage you to go read Sheila's blog for the specifics on her situation and then come back and read what I have to say. This poor woman is in a painful situation and really needs some encouragement.

Learning to be "submissive" to my husband was hard. I grew up in a home where my dad worked all of the time and my mom pretty much ran our household. She was a far cry from submissive. So those habits were instilled and ground into me from a very young age. But even back then, when my parents would argue and fight, I KNEW that I didn't want a marriage like that. I wanted something more and I wanted something great. So when I actually got married, I {and my husband} had a lot to learn about the balances in a relationship and how to make a marriage work.

For a lot of women, they think being submissive means doing everything that their husband says to do. Being at their beck and call like they are a slave or a servant. Not in this household. Marriage is a partnership. God called us to be one another's HELPMATE. He didn't create Eve and say, "Ok girly. Here is your husband. Bow down and do what he says." Being submissive means doing things to help your husband with a willing and eager heart because you want to. It's helping your husband and being there for him as his biggest fan and biggest supporter.

But it isn't being a doormat. It isn't letting a man run over you because he is hyped up on his masculinity and aggressiveness. And when a marriage gets to this point it is in danger. You have to set up some boundaries and "rules" for your marriage if you think that it's going to work. For us, setting up and establishing these took about a year. We had to work the kinks out, adjust to being parents, and really get accustomed to living and functioning properly together. There are still a few things that we are working on, but for the most part we have beat out the wrinkles.

We have set up very specific boundaries to ward off dangerous temptations in our home. The computer stays in a public place, we know one anothers email/facebook passwords, and we have accountability software installed and in use on our computer {If you are interested in this, check out Covenant Eyes.} We don't spend time building up and nurturing relationships with others over our relationship with one another. We spend time talking about things that bother us and things that we want to accomplish. Hubby's thoughts on communication are different from mine, and we are still working somewhat to find the perfect middle ground here, but we have excellent communication. Hubby tends to think about things to himself until he is ready to talk about them, while I would rather talk immediately when something is on my mind. I don't like to really mull it over in my head like he does. But when it comes down to it, he always comes to me when he needs something or needs to talk.

Coming up with something that worked for our household maintenance was the toughest part of our marriage; especially coming up with something that worked when Noah was born. Those of you who have children know how exhausting it can be when you have a little one. There are those days when you just HAVE to have a break. In the beginning, I think we were like everyone else. We were new parents and we were overwhelmed. We were still adjusting to living together and actually being married, we were dealing with the financial strains of having a newborn, and and we were running off of very little sleep. It took a while to find the middle ground. Now that we are there, it's heaven.

Josh works 4 or 5 days a week for atleast 8 or 9 hours a day if not more. I stay at home with Noah. Which means that I take most of the responsibility for cleaning the house. I do all of the major housework and childcare during the day time. But it's because I want to and it's the only way that I feel I am being fair to my husband. Am I being a doormat to Josh because I keep a clean house? No. I am submitting the way that God calls me to submit because I am making life easier and more enjoyable on him by ensuring that he doesn't  have to come home from a long day at work and scrub a toilet or wash dishes. But he isn't completely devoid of any responsibilities around here. It's not like he comes in, kicks back, and I throw on an apron and wait on him hand and food. He does his share. He helps me cook and clean up after supper, he entertains little man in the afternoons sometimes so that I can go have "me" time, he keeps his laundry picked up {most of the time} and he helps me clean.

It's a partnership. And it's work. Each and every day. But as I've said over and over again, it's a conscious decision that we have made. We have CHOSEN to keep on keeping on. We aren't going to become a statistic. We aren't going to give up. And the hard times, are hard. We have had our share. I remember one particularly difficult time in our marriage [the time I tend to refer to in my mind as the 'dark ages'] where I honestly was hurting so bad that I thought that it wasn't worth it. I was depressed and miserable. I wanted to quit. I wanted to give up and walk away because I didn't feel like it was worth it. I didn't feel loved. I didn't feel special. I felt like we had made a mistake because we just weren't right together. There was no passion in our marriage. I prayed and prayed and cried and studied my Bible and begged God to heal what was broken. I begged him to change my husband and "fix" what was wrong with him. It wasn't until I opened my heart to God that I realized that I needed as much fixing as he did.

No marriage is perfect. No husband is perfect. No wife is perfect. There are bumps and rocks roads. We have had our share and I'm sure that there will be more to come. But we don't give up.

Sheila asked what advice we would give this woman. Aside from the normal Christian answers and advice {Trust God. Pray. Let God handle it. Keep doing what you are doing with a whole heart, etc.] what would we tell her to do.

-First and foremost, I would sit my husband down and have a long talk. Get to the bottom of why he is pulling away and not communicating. Is there a deeper issue? Is there something going on that he isn't talking about? What can you do to help fix it? 

-Seek out marriage mentors, accountability partners, and possibly consider counseling. I know alot of folks are embarrassed to go talk to someone and tell them they are having trouble within their relationship. But, I would rather subject myself to a little humility than to throw away my marriage. Counselors provide a neutral third party and can give very helpful resources and advice that can turn things around.

-Seek out prayer partners. Talk to those who are closest to you about what is going on and ask if they would be willing to consistently and fervently pray over your marriage. You don't have to go into real indepth discussions if you don't want to, but it always feels better to have someone to talk to. It makes you feel like you aren't alone and that there are people to turn to.

-Set some boundaries. Some very clear and defined boundaries. And an online female "friend" would not be justifiable in our home {Nor would an online male friend, if I was speaking from my husbands perspective.}

-Find some time for the two of you. ALONE. Ideally, I would try to get away for a few days. Take a mini-vacation somewhere close by, rent a hotel and spend time falling in love and getting to know one another again. Turn the cell phones off, leave the computer at home, go for walks, go out to eat. Get back to the roots of your relationship and remind yourselves why you got married in the first place. There was something there, you just need to take the time to rediscover it.

-Try "The Love Dare." I have heard unending success stories by men and women who say that this book turned their marriage around. Go out of the way to do things for your husband, even when you feel like you are getting trampled on.

-Learn to have fun together. Take up new hobbies together. Go to the park. Cook supper together. Exercise with each other. Veg out on the couch, without the computer, and watch movies. Sleep late together. Kiss. Hug. Hold hands. Read your bible's together. Join a couples Bible Study class. Find anything and everything that you can to do together. Build a relationship again. Fall in love again. Become best friends again.

Marriage is an every day thing. It takes work. It's not saying "I-do" and then just assuming that everything is going to be ok from that point on. It takes a lot of effort. It is a conscious choice day in and day out to love the man/woman that you married with everything that you have. It's giving when you don't receive. It's not giving up. You can do it. You can make your marriage work. And know that there are lots of us out there encouraging and praying for you. People that are here to talk if you ever you should need it.

Happy Wednesday Everyone!
Head on over to Sheila's to join in and share your marital opinions!
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At December 16, 2009 at 4:24 PM , Blogger ModernMom said...

You said it all my marriage is perfect. You must work at it every day and be thankful for a the little things:) Great post!

At December 17, 2009 at 8:05 AM , Anonymous Luke said...

Glad to hear Covenant Eyes is working out for you! It can be a real help for married couples who want to set good boundaries in their marriage.


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