I’ve been blogging about Danny and me, and our journey to a healthy marriage. If you haven’t read my previous posts it would help this one make more sense if you did. Click here to read them.
So, Danny and I were in a rut – a frustrating, maddening rut. We had tried to save our relationship for so long that we’d almost given up. We were exhausted.
Terry (God Junior), our counselor, was convinced that we could have a wonderful, fulfilling marriage. He constantly encouraged us that we could work through this – but he was always honest and forthcoming on what it would take to succeed. He didn’t sugarcoat anything…..and I mean ANYTHING.
Danny and I were relating to each other based on how we felt – our feelings. If Danny felt disrespected, it was my fault. I needed to do something to make him feel differently. However, I couldn’t seem to fit the bill. The more I failed at making him happy, the more withdrawn I got and the more hopeless I became. The cycle.
Terry taught us to break the cycle. He gave us homework.
Danny was supposed to talk over his feelings with me every single day. The plan was for him to tell me how he felt (disrespected, angry, rejected, etc.) Then he would tell me what the truth was (that he was a good man, worthy of respect, and that God loved him). Then he would say what he normally did when he felt this way (blame me, attack me, and get angry) and what he was going to do based on the truth (serve me, bless me, and put his confidence in who God said he was.)
Me? Well, I had to say when I was feeling hopeless and angry. Then I would say that what I normally did when I felt that way was to shut off and pull away. But the truth was that things weren’t hopeless, I was pleasing to God and a good woman. I could choose to be happy and content. Based on that truth, I was going to talk about my feelings and not pull away or ignore the issue. I was not going to go back to the way things were.
I cannot tell you how difficult this was. Danny told me several times that it was like learning a new language. There were countless times that I wanted to leave, to call it quits, to give up. I guarantee you that he felt the same way. We practiced our homework some, but not consistently – not daily. Those couple of years were the hardest I’ve ever experienced. I can’t think of words to say how hard, just HARD. It was like we were teetering on the edge of victory, yet kept sliding back down the wrong way.
On one particular day, we once again came to a stalemate. Danny called Terry and told him this was not working. He was furiously frustrated and so was I. Terry challenged him that day. He challenged Danny to work the “process” every day for 90 days before giving up. Every single day for 3 months.
My Husband is My Hero.
He did it for me.
He did it for himself too, but it was amazing to realize that he would do that for me. We had gotten to the place where we did not love each other anymore. We had very few “happy” feelings toward each other. But it is IMPOSSIBLE not to love a man who would go to such great lengths to change for you. I grew to respect and love my husband again and it felt awesome!
As for me, I stayed “in”. I didn’t walk away, I didn’t shut off . . . even when I wanted to. I did it. We did it. Together.
Here’s the key:
- Admit your feelings. Take responsibility for them; don’t blame them on others.
- Say what you normally do based on these feelings.
- State what the truth is. Go to God’s word if you’re unsure. The truth is true no matter what anyone says or feels about you. It is not based on anyone else.
- Then say what you will choose to do based on the truth. Then do it.
This works! Try it. I challenge you to work this process for 90 days – see if it changes you!