It’s shocking to me how prevalent divorce is in the United States today. At the young age of 24 I should not have 5 friends who are divorced, most of whom are Christians and all of whom are within 3 years of my age either direction, but I do. I think Debi’s statement: “Divorce is never planned, but is almost always preceded by certain avoidable reactive behaviors and events.” is all too true. No one goes into marriage thinking they’ll end up a single mother in just a few years. But it’s happening left and right around us and we need to wake up and realize that in just a few short years the tiny steps and daily reactions we’re having might lead us to that!!! I think a huge problem for many women is the one pointed out in the chapter, they just assume that their husband would not ever leave them. May this never be our assumption!!! Just because you’re married you do not have the right to respond however you want and say whatever you will because “we’re married, he’s not going anywhere.”
Every time I read this book the “when” list complied by a woman who’s marriage ended is definitely a wake up call. It’s scary to me to see how many of the responses she had that I am often guilty of myself. Do you catch yourself responding the same? In and of themselves you wouldn’t really think they were bad…they might seem right or “deserved” in fact, but put together you can easily see how they could devastate and ruin a marriage…all without the wife even realizing what was happening and why.
As I’m sure all of you are aware, today is Valentine’s Day. Now some of you are blessed with the true romantics for hubbies, the ones who buy you mushy cards, a dozen roses, and maybe even diamond jewelry today.
However I have a sneaking suspicion that those of you who’ve been married for 5 years have hubbies that are more like mine and think the holiday is pretty much just a silly man-made excuse to sell chocolates and cards. My hubby hates being in any situation where he feels like he’s being pressed into an awkward situation where he’s forced to show his feelings or devotion. He’s the kind of guy who’d like to show up on March 24th (a day of no significance to the Elliott family) with a sweet, thoughtful gift for me and take me out to dinner.
On days like today it would be easy to get jealous and bitter when I see posts on Facebook about friend’s receiving flowers and jewelry and candle lit surprise dinners. Although we are going out to Outback tomorrow (at my suggestion so we can celebrate V-day and Amber’s birthday together and miss the crowd since we don’t have a babysitter here anyways) It’s easy to forget and let all the seemingly “bigger and better gifts” turn me a bit green.
In a different part of the book is a quote that has always stuck with me,
“A wise woman expects nothing.”
And since she expects nothing, she isn’t disappointed when it doesn’t materialize, and thrilled and surprised when it does. After all, a nice dinner out, gifts when he feels like showing his love spontaneously, and his love and devotion 365 days of the year are how Bob prefers to share his love with me, and that should be and is more than I could ever ask for.
It’s all just a matter of perspective, realizing what you have, and learning not to compare yourself to others. One of my friends who got divorced always gushed about what a wonderful marriage she had, how her hubby did this and that and on and on and on. Turns out her marriage was always awful and she was just putting up a good front for everyone’s benefit. How foolish I feel now about ever being jealous that her hubby did so many “sweet” things when I had a wonderful relationship. I’m slowly learning to be happy for my friends when they tell me about the sweet things their hubby does, and also realize that no one knows what goes on behind closed doors.
Today especially, what is your perspective? Hopefully you are blessed with a beyond romantic man and right now you’re basking in the after glow. But if not, stop and think about all there is to admire about the man you married, and the ways he shows you that he loves you, even if it’s simply providing for you!
Be sure to tune in next week for my favorite chapter in the entire book!!!! I’ve always gained so much each time I’ve read this book but this is the chapter I’ve gone over and over and have huge sections of highlighted. When I read it the first time it was like a huge light bulb went off over my head and I was shocked as if each word could have been written specifically about my husband. It helped me to understand things I never had before and better realize how I can be the kind of wife specifically designed to help him! Exciting stuff!!
If you’re following along I’d love any comments, suggestions, questions, or anything else you might have! I had such a good number of girls say they’d be interested in me doing this study but have gotten very little feedback on the actual posts themselves. If you could tell me what you like, what you dislike, or what would make you more interested in the way I’m doing this study I’d really appreciate it!! Although I’m getting lots out of the study I want you to be as well, and if no one is then I probably won’t do book studies on here anymore and move on to something else people would rather me write about instead 🙂
If you are blogging about this on your own blog be sure to leave the link in the comments so I can come see your insights for the week!