It's Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you follow up either by commenting or by writing your own post and then linking up!
Are you part of our six week challenge? We're into week two now when we're committing to loving our husbands more and meeting their needs--to see what happens! Often we're so engrossed in him not meeting our needs that we forget to reach out to them. And when we do, we'll find our whole marriage is transformed!
Here are the things I've encouraged you to do:
1. Thank your husband once a day for something (try to make it something different each time)
2. Compliment your husband to your mother, your children, your friends, whatever, within earshot of your husband, every chance you get.
3. Do not nag.
4. Do not give the silent treatment.
5. Make love with relative frequency (say at least 2-3 times a week).
Now, I want to talk about how to make sure that we feel even closer to our husbands, so that we're more likely to want to do these things (and more likely to have a great relationship). Let's face it: with today's busy lifestyles, it's all too easy for spouses to live very different lives. He's busy at work where he has a bunch of friends, a bunch of responsibilities, and you know very little about this. You're home with the kids where you do all kinds of things he knows nothing about. When you're together, you're often so busy you don't really share what happened in your day.
That's how marriages grow apart, without us even realizing it.
A few years ago a woman I knew went through a devastating separation. Out of the blue, her husband announced that he was leaving her and their children for another woman. Their marriage has lasted through many awful things, including a bout with cancer (she's now fine). He has been in praise teams and has led worship.
And now he's gone and done this.
My heart broke for his family.
Are there ways to reduce the chance of this happening and create a happier marriage? Yep. That doesn't mean that she is to blame for what happened; that if she had done x and y he wouldn't have left. If a man has an affair, it is his choice. It is his sin. Period. End of story.
But I want us wives to be aware of the dangers, and see how we can take steps so that we may see the early warning signs earlier.
First, affairs tend to happen when men live two lives; when their work lives are completely separate from their home lives. Sometimes, even psychologically, they feel as if they are leaving one world and entering another, where the rules from the first world of church and family don't apply.
So it's important, as much as possible, to become part of his work world. When it's barbecueing season, for example, that's a perfect opportunity to get to know his workmates. Why not have a barbecue some Sunday afternoon for those he works for?
Every now and then, stop by and take your husband to lunch. This lets you drop in where he works, so everybody sees you. Say hi, especially to the women, and get to know personal details about that them. I don't mean pry; I just mean be a friend. Make an honest effort to care about the people that he spends time with. Get to know their wives, and try to do things socially together, especially if they're not Christian. It's a good opportunity for outreach, and it helps you to become part of his world.
If he has a secretary, or a receptionist that usually answers the phone, get to know her on a personal level. Ask about her life so you can chat when you call your husband at work. Don't be a stranger.
If he works entirely in a male environment, every now and then send some baking to work with him. It sounds corny, but it keeps the guys there thinking about you and thinking that he is a lucky man. Find out when the guys' birthdays are and send cakes for each birthday. You'll become known as the birthday lady, and everybody will love you.
Find out who he is especially close with, and double date with that man and his wife. Do things socially together, and you become part of the work environment.
It's also a good idea to talk to your husband about boundaries. For instance, is it okay for him to go to lunch alone with a female coworker? If you don't think it is, you need to make this clear before anything starts.
The main thing, though, is to become a part of his world. If people start to think of him as "married", and not just married, but "happily married", that will stick. He's more likely to talk about you at work if other people know you. If they are more likely to ask how you're doing, then he's more likely to think about you during the workday, too. I don't mean that you should call all the time, or start pestering anybody. All I mean is that you should treat his coworkers with respect and friendship, and they will likely appreciate that.
All of these things may sound like a lot of work, but I don't think they are. And as you reach out, you become a real person to the people your husband works with. That way he can no longer easily separate his worklife from his homelife. And if his coworkers like you, he's less likely to develop a relationship at work. Besides, if anything were to start, his coworkers are also more likely to yell at him for it!
Often we talk about setting boundaries in marriage, but this is one area where I think too many boundaries are dangerous. Neither of you should live a life completely cordoned off from the other. You should both be able to step comfortably into each other's world. When you do that, you lessen the chance that either of you will develop inappropriate friendships.
What do you think? Do you know the people your husband works with? Does he know the people you hang out with? Or do you live separate lives?
If you liked this post, you'll love Sheila's audio download: "Protect Your Marriage". We all want strong marriages, but if we don't tend them and protect them, outside influences can easily steal our joy and intimacy. Download it now
Now, what advice do you have for us today? Have you ever had to confront your fantasies and throw them aside? How did you do it? Or do you have something else to tell us? Write your own Wifey Wednesday post that links back to here, and then leave the link of THAT POST in the Mcklinky below. Thanks!
Labels: divorce, intimacy, marriage, wifey wednesdays