Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wifey Wednesday: How Do You Respect Your Husband if You Can’t Trust Him?


Today, I'll start a series called Wifey Wednesday. Every Wednesday, I'll share a blogpost related to being a wife.

This topic is very timely. I admit, I have trust issues with Duz.

On another note, he mentioned in one of our arguments that he doesn't feel respected.

Again, I admit I don't show respect at all times. I usually show disrespectful actions and say disrespectful words to him.

***Italicized sentences are from the article.***
To view the full article, click here.
How Do You Respect Your Husband if You Can’t Trust Him?

It’s something we hear a lot: women need unconditional love, and men need unconditional respect, and we wives ARE to respect our husbands.

while love can be freely given, respect as a whole is something that is earned.

we are told in books like Love and Respect that men really need–to respect their position as husband, regardless of how he’s acting.

But what does respecting your husband mean practically?
Boundaries in Marriage 
I actually think respect is part of healthy boundaries, as Henry Cloud and John Townsend talk about in their book Boundaries in Marriage  and I’m personally more comfortable with their way of framing the issue. They ask us to do this: imagine everybody as a farmer’s field, with fences around what is their responsibility and under their ownership.  In your field is your own actions; your own feelings; your own opinions. You have control over these things. You should not let others trespass. So no one, for instance, can “make you angry”. Anger is a choice that you make.
At the same time, other people have their own feelings and opinions and actions, and you need to not trespass on their field. So your husband is allowed to act his own way. Your children are allowed their feelings (even if you don’t like them). Your mother is allowed to rant at you if she wants. But you are then free to respond to that rant as you want. You can’t control the rant; you can control your response.
So to respect someone is to say: I recognize where the fences are. I recognize and honour your fence, and I will not trespass it.

Oh, I want to buy that book. It's only P425 at National Bookstore.

In the case of marriage this is super important, because, as I’ve said before, most women do have control freak tendencies simply because we feel responsible for everyone, so we want to make sure they act the right way.
We need to not try to control our husbands, but let them be free to act. And to defer and respect also means that we acknowledge that their dreams and ideas for the family matter, and that we will get behind those dreams and pursue them with our husband, even if they aren’t always our dreams.
To respect your husband, then, does not mean that you approve of what he does. To respect him means that you acknowledge and support his right to choose what he does.
That’s a big difference. You aren’t trying to control him.

So if you have a husband who isn’t trustworthy, what does respect look like?
I think it’s like this:
I will not try to control you or prevent you from using porn. I acknowledge that you have the right to freely choose whether to seek accountability or not; whether to watch porn or not; whether to rebuild the marriage or not. I am not free to try to manipulate you, guilt you, or cajole you in any way.
However, just as you are free to choose, I am also free to choose. And if you do choose to continue to watch porn, know that I will be taking these actions (and you can figure out what those are). I am not trying to control you by doing this; I am simply doing what I believe is best for me and our children based on prayer and on the godly counsel that I have received.
I hope and pray that our marriage can be restored, and I will do everything I can to build that marriage. I want to find things to do to build our friendship. I want to spend time laughing together. I want to enjoy meals together. And I know that you are free to make that choice as well, or to not make that choice. Regardless of what you choose, I will treat you with love, and I will treat you with grace.
What I really want, however, is for both of us to look more and more like Christ, and going down a really bad path isn’t going to help that. So if you do go there, I will have to take action. But in the meantime, I will not nag you. I will not manipulate. I will not look over your shoulder. I will not blame you or yell at you for my own feelings. I will take my sadness and process it with friends and with a counselor. I will work towards building up our marriage. And I will pray that you will do the same.
Building trust is hard. Regaining it is more difficult, isn't it? But again, accordng to the article, we still need to show respect to our husbands regardless of his actions. I have to keep that in mind and start recognising where the fences are. 
Duz and I had our first "marriage counselling" last Sunday. It took us 3 hours. Tonight, we'll be attending the Marriage Upgrade seminar. It's a 6-week series. If you are interested, come visit CCF Commonwealth. Seminar starts at 7pm.


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