We've been married almost 8 years.
And here we are.
I love him, I do. I am thankful for him, really, I am.
But he's been home for 4 months...unemployed. I suppose it would be different had he been home for 4 months on a vacation and we were independently wealthy. But add the stress of looking for a job, and waning finances - the last four months have seemed like 120 days.
Anyway, he finally got a job and it provides for our needs. It in no way is his dream job - but it provides for our needs. He, quite randomly, was also in the final three to get another job that would have fallen in that "dream job" category and he found out last night that he didn't get it.
He is rather unhappy about this.
I get it.
So there he is, in all his manly frustration - and instead of having words to encourage him or feeling sympathetic for him, I find myself being frustrated with him being, well, frustrated.
When I have said anything he snaps at me. So, that adds a bit to my frustration.
But really, even in this, I know that there is a plan. Right? The economy sucks. The job market sucks. His career field really sucks. But there is a season for everything...and this is the season for us to lean into God and rely on Him to provide above and beyond our wildest dreams - which He has...just not in ways that are comfortable or desirable...but He has provided.
I don't know. I've always been the "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" kind of person. And Dave, well, he gets a little more angry at himself and can find himself staying there for a bit longer than I would personally like him to stay. Darn it, why can't it always be about me?
Anyway, so tonight I googled, because that's what I do when I have deep intense relational questions (ok, not really, ok...nevermind, I actually do...ya, that's pathetic), on encouraging my husband.
I was surprised. I found site after site after site on how to encourage my husband to do x,y and z for me. I found sites on how to encourage my husband to be a certain way for me. I found sites on how to manipulate my husband to get the results I wanted - just in the form of encouragement.
Ok, let's be honest. There are definitely things I would like Dave to do for me...like dishes or the laundry or changing a dirty diaper. But come on now, really, do I have to manipulate him to get er' done? Can't I just ask?
And as for being a certain way for me? Well, romantic would be fabulous. But he is who he is...and I married him knowing he's not a romantic, and he has stayed true to form. Now I tell him what I want, and if I get it, he gets points in the romantic category. No manipulation needed...it doesn't work anyway.
And results? I think the only way to get results in a marriage is by effectively and honestly communicating. If I try to glean results from my manipulation - then are they even real? Will they even really last?
I didn't want to know how to encourage my hubby for selfish reasons - I just want to know how to best encourage my man when he's in a slump. And I came across this:
30 Day Husband Challenge
So, I think I'll do it. I think for 30 days, I will get over him not being exactly like me (thank God, really) and encourage him. Our lives can look drastically different in 30 days than they do today, but in 30 days I will still be his wife, he will still be my hubby and I will still want to spend every single day of my life with him. So, I think I can encourage him.
Here's how day 1 starts:
To refresh your memory, here's the 30-Day Encouragement Challenge for the next 30
You can't say anything negative about your husband . . . to your husband . . . or to anyone else, about your husband.
Say something that you admire or appreciate about your husband . . . to your
husband . . . and to someone else, about your husband!
To help you get started, have you ever thanked your husband for choosing you above
all other women? He found you attractive as a person, and appreciated you. Though
many circumstances in your marriage may have changed, let your husband know that
you are glad God led you together, and that you want to be a blessing to him for the rest
of your marriage. Let him know that he can trust you to be in his corner.
One of the best opportunities to express your gratitude is first thing in the morning. How
do you greet your husband each morning? Is he confident in your love? Give him a
"wake up call" that he'll never forget—a big "I love you" and an "I'm so glad I'm your wife!"
Wowsahs! So, quite honestly I do not regularly let him know that I'm so glad I'm his wife. I am though. Really, I am. But I don't let him know it, because, I guess I assume he knows it. And not saying anything negative too him or about him - I suppose normally, this wouldn't be so hard, but when tensions are so high it's way easier to spout off negativity and frustration than thank you's and you're amazing's.
So tomorrow, I shall start this challenge.
Want to join me?