It’s Day Three of the Respect Dare here at Affaircare, and we are joining with Jennifer at Unbroken Woman as she leads us through Nina Roesner’s “The Respect Dare: 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband.” Jennifer is over half way through her Respect Dare, but here at Affaircare we are looking at this Dare with just a little twist: how do our childhood scars relate to infidelity? What can we learn to keep our marriages affair-free OR bring them back from the brink of unfaithfulness? Or if that has been an affair, can learning about our pasts free a couple to help them rebuild?
To join us on our Affaircare Respect Dare journey, please get Nina’s book (or e-book) and all the info by CLICKING HERE.
On Day 3 for the Respect Dare, Nina Roesner asks us to assess ourselves by asking some poignant questions to identify areas where we might grow. The assessment focuses on areas that the Bible has identified as virtues of a godly wife, and so she asks us to give ourselves a “report card” in the areas of : Discipleship, Household Manager, Communicator, and Confident and Assured Woman.
Yesterday, I wrote about the concept that often, when a marriage has been damaged by an affair, that one very typical response is for both spouses to say “HE DID THIS!” or “SHE DID THAT!” each one point the blame at the other. Another very typical response is to want to know WHY a spouse would be unfaithful, and in striving to explain it, the Loyal Spouse might say “Well s/he had an abusive childhood and they were scarred forever by their parent’s divorce….” or the Disloyal Spouse might say “I couldn’t help myself! I was sexually abused by a neighbor when I was a child so I had an affair now.”
In reality, in order to recover after an affair, both spouses need to stop looking at ‘the other guy’ and start looking at the person in the mirror. And this assessment helps us to do exactly that. Where do *I* need to grow?
Discipleship — I have been really struggling in this area lately. My Dear Hubby is ill, and I have been focusing my thoughts and time and worries on caring for him, but it has thrown me off and I haven’t been having regular bible time, study, prayer or even church attendance. My Dear Hubby can not go to church very often, but the dwindling fellowship with other Believers and dwindling fellowship time with God has left me feeling sucked dry. I need to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be added unto (me).” Grade: D
Household Management — I am sort of struggling with this as well, because I am not an utter neat freak, but Dear Hubby’s illness has been long and chronic. We had our arrangement that I was the one who “earned the family money” and he was the one who “cared for the house” to give him the flexibility to rest when needed, but as he got more and more ill, I had to pick up the slack and do most of the household chores. Now don’t get me wrong: I *LOVE* to clean the house, make it pretty, make it smell fresh, clean the laundry, hang it out on the line, and make our house a haven. I love everything but doing dishes, really, and on dishes well it’s a chore I need to do and so I do. But many of the chores have fallen by the wayside (like our flowerbeds and backyard this year are untended), and many … well I feel like if the ladies from the church came over, they would judge me for not being a very good housekeeper! Now, I have partially put aside some cleaning purposefully–choosing instead to go on picnics with Dear Hubby and go to every one of his doctor appointments. For those, I realize it’s a choice I’ve made consciously and I’m at peace that it’s not going to be perfect. But I wish I did better at this one. I have the skills to do better and the knowledge to run a house like a tight ship! But I just don’t have 26 hours a day! *sigh* Grade: C+
Communicator — You know, some of this is kind of hard to grade your own self on, but for this area I believe I do pretty well. I do not tend to be disrespectful in my speech nor demanding. I can admit I’m wrong; I’m not easily angered or defensive; and I fight fairly. I’m not sarcastic or easily provoked, I don’t all names or scream. And when I do need to say something (like if something is not okay with me) I do speak up and say something, sometimes even if I’m a little afraid it will cause a disagreement or hurt him to hear the truth. Hey…the truth can be painful sometimes! Also we have been through a LOT of major changes as a couple, and we got through them by communicating with each other and adjusting. If anything I think I like to “chit chat” talk and Dear Hubby likes quietness more, so I could learn to just enjoy his presence and not talk so much. I do have one funny thing: Dear Hubby says I’m a good listener…when I hear it. LOL! Grade: B+
Confident and Assured Woman — Dear Hubby joke: “You are actually fairly confident, unless you’re not sure of what you’re doing in which case you lose confidence. And you’re pretty sure of yourself unless you’re not sure what you’re doing in which case…” LOL. Gotta love a man with that kind of sense of humor! Do I handle life’s challenges and problems gracefully? Well I do in a way. I’m not great with change. It throws me for a loop! But what I do is stop–stop what I’m doing, stop the running in circles in my head–wait until I’ve had a chance to settle. It also took me FOR-EV-ER to get here, but I’m also fairly confident with my body and assured that it’s something my Dear Hubby enjoys and loves to see. And I’m confident in “who I am”–a dearly beloved daughter of the Most High God. Grade: B+
I have copied this quiz from PeacefulWife’s Day 3 post, because it was just so good, I wanted to share it with you. If you agree that it is awesome, please go to her blog and let her know!
Please get out a piece of paper and mark a tally for any of these items on Part 1 that apply in your heart about your marriage on a daily or weekly basis:
- I think about divorce sometimes, or fantasize about leaving my husband. I think marrying this man was a mistake.
- I imagine being with a better man, thinking that my problems would be solved if I just had a great husband.
- I drown my disappointment and pain in alcohol/drugs/workaholism/perfectionism/control/spending money/addictions.
- I set my heart on things that I just KNOW will make me happy. If I could just have X, I would be content and everything would be great.
- I have a lot of anger, resentment, unforgiveness and bitterness towards my husband and maybe towards other people, too. I hold grudges.
- I want to forgive sometimes, but it just seems impossible to really forgive. I have been hurt too much.
- I talk about my husband in a negative way to other people. I feel like I am trapped and powerless to do anything to change my situation – and I just have to get the weight of all of this off of my chest by venting to my friends, family and coworkers. Then they’ll see how wrong my husband is and they will understand why I have to act the way I do.
- I encourage other wives to talk negatively about their husbands.
- I am primarily concerned with my rights, my desires, my wants and getting my way. If I don’t get what I want, I am going to explain why I should get what I want until my husband until he gives me what I want. I am pretty insistent on doing things my way.
- If I am provoked, I will scream, cuss, throw things, call names or say hateful things to my husband and maybe even to other people in my life. If people would just treat me right, I would be able to be more respectful.
- I compare my husband to other men a lot, and I compare my life to the lives of others and feel like I have gotten a rotten deal in life. I deserve so much more than this.
- I look at porn or flirt with other men or message/email/text/call/visit with other men. I like the attention other men give me. My husband never compliments me anymore. I need some male attention. Flirting never hurt anyone. I know I would never have an affair, so it’s no big deal.
- I like to dress to turn other men’s heads.
- I like to use sarcasm and am pretty skilled at making my husband the target of my jokes and criticism.
- I often point out the things my husband does wrong to others.
- I complain when I don’t like something.
- I have a lot of regrets about how I treat people.
- I want things to be perfect, and tend to focus on things that aren’t right in others and in our home so I can fix them and make things as perfect as possible.
- I tell God that my husband needs to change and needs to change NOW. He is impossible to live with. He’s unloving and unplugged or, he’s unloving and mean.
- My husband is not a good spiritual leader. I tell him all the things he needs to do to be more godly, but he won’t listen to me. Nothing seems to change.
- If I want something, I am going to do whatever it takes to have it.
- I withhold myself sexually from my husband to teach him a lesson many times, to show him he can’t treat me the way he does.
- I only give myself sexually to my husband when I am in the mood or if I want something from him.
- I believe that I am always right and my husband is always wrong. If he would just do what I say, everything would be fine!
- When I am hormonal, I feel totally out of control and I think, say and do the most awful things.
- If my husband doesn’t like my best friend, I continue to visit and talk with her as much as I want to. After all, she and I have been BFFs longer than my husband and I have been married.
- I expect my husband to make me happy and be responsible for my emotions. If I am upset, it is his job to fix it.
- My mind is always swirling with worry and fear about the future and how I am going to make things work out right.
- I only have peace for a few moments, and then my mind uncontrollably keeps playing the same “videos” over and over again of things people have done to hurt me or things that I am worried and afraid about. I feel very anxious a lot of times.
- I expect to be treated like the heroine in a romantic movie or like a Disney princess by my husband. I wish he would be as romantic as the men in romance novels and movies.
- If I don’t make things work out right, everything will be a disaster.
- I am very concerned about what my parents and my husband’s parents, our siblings and friends think. I try to make everyone around me happy. It is exhausting! I hate for other people to be upset with me.
- If I don’t tell my husband what to do and how to do it, everything will fall apart!
Please start a new section or column and make a tally mark beside all of these items in Part 2 that generally apply on a frequent (weekly or daily) basis in your life:
- I am able to respond gently with love and respect even when my husband is unloving or unkind to me.
- I have joy and peace in Christ no matter what my husband does or does not do.
- It is really important to me to spend significant amounts of time in prayer and in God’s Word every day. I can’t make it without that time!
- I have my heart completely set on Jesus – I want HIM, His will and His glory more than anything else in my life by a long shot.
- I rarely lose my temper with my husband.
- I understand how to treat my husband with respect and seek to show him unconditional respect out of reverence for God and His Word.
- I set an atmosphere of peace in our home. Our home is emotionally and spiritually an oasis and sanctuary for my husband and family.
- I do not raise my voice at my husband or roll my eyes or sigh when I disagree with him. I know I am responsible to God for my response to my husband no matter what my husband has done to me.
- I appreciate my husband and am thankful for him on a daily basis.
- I practice gratitude towards God daily for the countless number of blessings He has given me.
- If my husband has concerns, I listen to him carefully and try to cooperate with his wisdom.
- I view suffering as an opportunity to grow in my faith and to draw nearer to Christ and shine for Him.
- When my husband is having a bad day, I try to think of something I can do to cheer him up, surprise him or take some stress off of his shoulders. Or, I know when I need to leave him alone and give him the gift of space and quiet so he can think and process. I am gracious about this gift. I don’t resent him needing some time to himself.
- I like serving my husband. It’s an honor. I’m glad to do it.
- My goal is to please Christ, and after that, to please my husband – the opinions of other people don’t really matter much to me compared to seeking praise from God. If other family or friends or coworkers disapprove of me or my husband or are upset with me, I am able to seek to love them and treat them with respect but I am not devastated if I don’t have others’ approval.
- I see the good in other people, including my husband, and use my words to praise, encourage and affirm others.
- I am thankful for the chance to make our house a home and to take care of it. It is a way I show love and respect for my husband and family.
- I don’t freak out about small things, but am able to roll with the punches and be flexible when unexpected problems crop up.
- I don’t get upset if my husband leaves a mess sometimes. I’m so glad he’s in my life and we get to live together.
- If I want something, I ask for what I want politely and respectfully with a pleasant tone of voice and a smile.
- If I don’t get what I want, I am gracious and accepting of “no” and “wait.” I am more concerned with God’s will than my will.
- If things go wrong, I am generally able to respond with grace, peace and joy and keep things in proper perspective.
- I am careful not to develop close friendships with other men. I guard and protect my heart and my marriage.
- If my husband responds to me harshly, I answer gently.
- I understand that Hollywood and romantic novels do not portray real life. I avoid those things if they create a spirit of discontentment in my heart.
- I speak highly of my husband to other people.
- I very rarely argue with or complain to my husband.
- I have faith in my husband. I know I can trust him. (Or, I am working to rebuild lost trust and I want to learn to trust him again.)
- I have faith that God will lead me through my husband, even if my husband sometimes makes mistakes.
- I trust God to speak to my husband and grow him spiritually without me having to verbally prod him or lecture my husband about spiritual things. If my husband is far from God right now, I don’t talk about spiritual things, the Bible or church. I allow my glowing joy in Christ, my spirit of willing cooperation with my husband’s leadership and my genuine respect for the good in my husband to draw him to Christ. I trust God to open my husband’s spiritual eyes. I know that only God can change people and waken them to His truth.
- I trust most of my husband’s decisions and cooperate with him often.
- I try to have a spirit of saying, “yes!” to things that are important to my husband.
- I give myself freely and joyfully to my husband sexually. I don’t withhold myself.
- I am trustworthy.
- I am responsible with money, time, our children, my husband’s feelings, our home and the resources God has given to us.
- I consciously work to do good to my husband no matter what happens.
- I watch my words, my tone of voice, my facial expressions and my actions to be sure that I bless my husband and don’t become nasty, hateful, unkind or negative.
- I trust God in His sovereignty to work everything out ultimately for my good (by His definition) and for His glory, so I don’t freak out when bad things happen. I know that God is in control and I can’t lose. I might have to suffer or go through pain, but as long as I have God’s Spirit, I know I will be ok.
- I don’t worry about the future. I take my needs and concerns to God and my husband and I leave the weight of the problems there and trust God and my husband to figure things out. I say what I want and what I believe is best. I share my perspective with God and my husband. Then I rest in God’s love and peace, trusting His wisdom. And I rest in my husband’s love – trusting God to lead me through him.
This test comes from Galatians 5:19-23. It reveals whether my sinful nature or God’s Spirit is in control of my life.
- Part 1 shows what I am like when my sinful nature has control.
- Part 2 is what I am like when God’s Spirit has control.
How did you do on the quiz?
Now to see what other’s have written about Respect Dare Day 2, here are some links:
The Respect Dare, Day 3 – My Godly Wife Report Card by PeacefulWife
The Respect Dare – Day 3 by Tiffani at My Beloved is Mine
Dare 3 ~ Biblical Wife – by Jennifer at Unbroken Woman (our “Fearless Leader”)
Day 3 – The Respect Dare by Nina Roesner by Kamila at Your Marriage Is Your First Ministry
Respect Dare 3: Inside My Comfort Zone by Forgiven Wife
In the comments below, please share thoughts and where we can pray for you. If it is private, please email us at email@example.com or share your prayer request with us anonymously.