Collaborate without boundaries

Day 18 - Is he cracking?

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Funny how God works sometimes. I knew this day was coming because I had seen the movie countless times, just didn't know when exactly it would be. Lo and behold, this dare would land on the day I was off from work. I had the day to prepare mentally and spiritually. I had my mind set on making salmon but my daughter and I took a very long nap together. I opted for an Italian bell pepper chicken and pasta with cheese and water. I had a bottle of Prosecco I was chilling from the event I had last night but was advised that maybe alcohol should be left out. I cooked, tried to clean, got our daughter dressed up, and then I got myself ready. I decided to go all out: hair curled, makeup, dress, and heels. The table was set with candlesticks, the Christmas lights and decorations were in place, jazz music playing in the background but softly competing with Barbie Dream house, places set complete with plates, silverware and glasses. I fed our daughter first, hoping she would watch her movies quietly or play after she was done so she could be somewhat out of the way. I told him that he had mail that needed picking up and he agreed to stop by. I was surprised he did given that the last time he came by was to discuss the three things about me that I needed to work on. As soon as he knocked, I instantly got nervous and shaky. I had been praying beforehand but seemed like it just made me even more nervous. I welcomed him in as warmly as I could and mustered up a small smile as our daughter attacked him with hugs and kisses. He saw the setup, how we were dressed, and agreed to sit down for a bite. I kept the conversation light as he caught me up to speed on things like work, a recent Christmas party, winning Employee of the Year, and other things. I started to slip the  personal questions here and there where it deemed appropriate. In the middle of our conversation however, our daughter wanted to play so he sat down with her and played. It warmed and melted my heart to see that. It felt like it had been so long. We carried on into the living room as our daughter laid down to watch her show. I avoided questions I felt might be too triggering, especially those I already knew the answers to. I started into the marital questions: 3 things I do that he likes, what have I done to make him feel loved,  and what words he would like to hear from me more often. He didn't have any answers for them. He went on to tell me that, while what I've been doing lately he appreciates, he doesn't see himself forgiving me anytime soon. That he can't think of anything that I've done to make him feel loved or appreciated. He has the same mindset as before, it made me feel a little sad but also made me want to pray even harder that he'll find forgiveness. I don't think he realizes that he's in the wrong just as much as I but this was about him, not me. As much as I wanted to interject, I swallowed my pride (literally), and let him speak. He told me not to focus on him but to focus on myself. I wish I could tell him everything but felt it was better not to. I again reassured him to give it time and that I was working on myself in ways he could not see. He feels I'm working solely to win him over and nothing I do or say will change his mind about how he feels. I mustered up a small smile and told him I understood. It was time for him to go so I walked him to the door with our daughter in my arms. She was restless at this time so I was trying to calm her down. As he turned to open the door and leave, I said to him that I appreciated him taking the time to come out and, again, small smile. He looked at me, flustered, and stuttered out as quickly as he could "no worries, thanks, 's good" and slammed the door as fast as ever. I was left shocked and confused. Both times we've talked he's held his composure and would not show any signs of weakness or emotion. But today, what was that at the end? Did something strike a chord? As I started getting our daughter ready for a bath, he texted me. "Yes there was times you did thank me for something I would do for you. And a simple thank you I appreciate. I couldn't think of anything off the top of my head." I was in shock and more hopeful than I've ever been since starting this. Recollecting my thoughts I realized he responds better to actions and signs of appreciation than any other fancy gift I've ever bought him, any long text that spilled my love for him, or anything like that. Combining the conversations it finally clicked in my head what it means when he shows love the way he wants to receive it. He's a very affectionate person and that was something I struggled hard with and something he mentioned I needed to work on. He loves the homemade dinners or anything that requires thought and creativity. How I've been so blind I don't even know. But I now know why it meant so much to him that we opted for a handmade birthday gift and that I actually cooked (which is rare). I'm not giving up, I'm not going to lose hope. God perfected the timing in all of this for a reason. I want Him to work hard in my heart more than ever. 

  • Don't take this as a negative....Yes that's great he texted you that at the end of the evening together. But be ready to stay in this journey if things do get worse before it gets better. That often happens.  

    Yes, it does sound like he let his wall down last night. But, often our spouses will then realize that and will become hardened even more so for a short period of time to try to show us  and themselves they haven't caved in.

    Continue to have no expectations.  If he's softening it will happen.

    I have heard the dares have changed some since I did them.

  • Were the marital questions part of what the dare said to do?

  • The stubbornness that our spouses display is mesmerizing. But their wall is so thick right now that it is  going to take tremendous effort on our parts to break it down. That's going to  be through our actions and God working on them. They DO NOT think they are doing anything wrong. Their minds are broken (for lack of a better word.) That's why I believe it is up to US to carry this burden right now and help them through it. I came up with something a few days after my wife left eight months ago that goes like this:

    In a relationship each person gives 100% of their love. If my spouse has decided not to love me then I will give 200% and that is a burden that I am willing to bear.

    If everything went as well as you says it did and you were calm and collect I'm sure he was very flustered and confused. His mind was asking him questions that he could not answer.

    Maybe his love language is Words of Affirmation or Acts of Service or a combination of both. If you haven't read "The Five Love Lanquages" definitely pick that up.

    "Clearly, you are a God who works behind the scenes, God of Israel, Savior God."

    Isaiah 45:15

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