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If You Have to Do it in Perpetuity...

If You Have to Do it in Perpetuity...

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  • Hello everyone, married over 20 years, I need advice and this is a tough one.  I first tried the dare 15 months ago, and I've been through it three times without telling my spouse.  The good news is at the end of the 2nd cycle, things were going really well in marriage for the first time in about 15 years.  When things became stressed, tense, difficult again, and communication started to fall apart, again, I went through it a third time with decent results.  Now almost a year later, I have started looking at the day of the calendar month when I think of it and try to implement that day's dare (example the 4th, day 4 and day 35).  Problem is, my spouse only seems to have positive reactions when I am constantly sticking to the dare.  It is like I am incapable on my own to pray, act kindly and thoughtfully, and see positive results without following the blueprint.  At the end of the 2nd cycle, we had a period of about 3 months of contentment that I've never seen before or since.  I don't want to judge my spouse, but it seems I have to exhaust myself to get us to a good place.  I feel like my spouse becomes more connected with me, but seems to be taking advantage.  I would classify my spouse as happier overall, but with me letting go, the results seem to be a more active social life, less time with the kids, and more time away from the family for my spouse.  In other words, my daily dare practices have resulted in a spouse who has put a heck of a lot more responsibility on my shoulders and is having a blast away from the family.  Will I have to follow the dare every day for the rest of  my life?  Should I just look for joy elsewhere?  I don't believe in divorce and that is the main reason I started this in the first place, but I wonder if the person I'm with, who has in all fairness made little sacrifices for the family for years, is capable of giving me the affection I need without me always performing herculean tasks.  Even when it works, the love dare can be exhausting.  Maybe we both suffer from being conditional with our love.  As this is day 35 for me, I'm looking for the mentor.  Any advice would be appreciated.  As I am asking about perpetuity, I thought posting on day 40 forum would be best.     

  • Welcome.  You need to look at this as a journey, one between you and Christ, not you and your wife.  She will be used as a tool to mold you.  Do a dare a day, no more no less.  Have no expectations from her doing the dares.  It often gets worse before it gets better.  If you haven't, read the appendix, especially about leading the heart.  

    It appears you are looking at this as a 40 day step by step guide.  It is not the blue print as you mentioned.  It is a way to learn to love as Christ loves.  If you allow the dares to mold you, you will build a testimony that she will believe in vs wondering, ok, he has changed, but when will he revert back?  

    This is a perpetual thing,that is, to learn to live by being kind and patient.  That is the foundation of unconditional love.

    If you are like the rest of us, you sin.  Now, consider how Jesus feels.  Can you imagine Him saying, Man, this is exhausting.  I gave my life, let them beat me and whip me, and this is how they treat me afterward, by sinning.  

    No, He continues to love us.  Now you do the same with her.

    For now, stop looking for her to change.  You were called first to do the Love Dare for a reason.  Post often for accountability.

    It would be more beneficial to post in the love dare journal section, it is under the community tab.  Try clicking on the dashboard bubble after you sign in, then look for the red bubble and click on that.  More people read the journal section thanthis section. If youcan't find it, come back here.

  • Thanks.  I acknowledge the process will bring you closer to Christ, but didn't understand that a transformation and permanent change will take place.  If you are made new, I guess your new way of loving will be perpetual and will stop feeling like "too much work".  

  • Yes, it becomes more natural to show kindness and patience.  But we have been conditioned by the world's ways so our flesh will always be there getting us to think selfishly.

    I use to never do things like pick things up off the floor.  Now I always do.  My flesh wants to say cleaning is her job since I work at my job and at home way more than her, but now it isn't as big a deal to help around the house.

    Just do the dares and you will be molded for a new you.  She will need to see the changes long term before she believes the changes are real.

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