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Do You Let Your Husband Love You?

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Ever try to “help” a two-year old when he is determined to tie his shoe (as you wait, impatiently to leave)?
We all don’t want to acknowledge we need help.
But sometimes we do.
Rather than ask, we go without, do without, or fail at what we are doing. 
Know what God calls that?
Pride.

I am the worst at asking.
I can tell my younger boys to do something (because they are still in “training.”) But what if I need something bigger?
Recently due to health issues, by the time I lug the laundry basket from the mudroom to my bedroom, I’m panting, yet I don’t ask for help. Why? I can still do it.
Sometimes my boys offer to help.
In spite of my difficulty and their willingness, I still hesitate to allow them to help me. Why?
Because I CAN DO IT.
Pride.

My husband recently realized that my second love gift is service. He has been doing the dishes regularly now, especially on Sundays when it’s “nobody’s” day. Everyone is suppose to do their own. Sometimes that doesn’t happen. And then there’s always the pans.
He cleans the entire kitchen. Sinks, countertops, …things that don’t get done regularly.
I’d say, “Leave them. There’s always tomorrow.”
As I know if he didn’t do them, I would face them on Monday. (What a mountain of dishes!)
But he persistently continues, saying, “It’s something I can do.”
I didn’t understand. If he needed something to do, I could give him a list of things that I couldn’t do.
Instead, I let him.
You see, when your husband helps you, he is showing you his love.

When my husband does the dishes, there’s always, always, always a dish I can’t find later. I know it didn’t disappear, but where could….Oh, yeah, my husband did the dishes. Where would he put it?
Later, he may ask (if he thinks about it) where he should put this or that, but in the meantime, I must find it. 
Which brings me to my next point.

Let him help you HIS WAY.
That may mean that your organized kitchen isn’t quite as organized. Or your cleaning job isn’t quite as clean as you would want. Allow him to show his love without correction.
By correcting him, he is disrespected. 
Some day, he may ask how you do it. (Or maybe he won’t.) My pans are cleaned, especially the outside bottom, so much better by him than what I could do. 
You say, “I wish my husband would help me.”
Remember, I went twenty years before he started to clean the kitchen (except for once or twice a year). We were both busy raising the boys. I barely stayed ahead of dishes, let alone cleaned the bottom of the pans! He was busy then too.
Which brings me to my next point.

Allow him to help on his time.
By demanding help NOW, he feels controlled. 
Where is the love there? He has no option but to drop everything he is doing to help you.
That isn’t love. That is obligation.
I have yelled from a room when a shelf is falling on my head, I think that might not be too controlling, more like the “damsel in distress” that he must rescue (AGAIN.)

Which lead to my next illustration: 
When you are vulnerable with something he can’t fix, he feels helpless.
By helping me even with something I can do, or is my “job,” he feels like he can DO something for me.
That is important for a man. He must DO something to feel worth.
When I’m sick, especially when pregnant, my husband can’t be sick with me. My vulnerability, becomes his. He can't help me feel better.
But he can bring home Subway. That was one thing while pregnant I could eat. I couldn’t smell it, didn’t have to fix it and he could help me. Every time he went to Subway, the owner would say, “Your wife is pregnant?” That was something wonderful he could do.

What if his help isn’t help?
When your toddler makes his own bed, there’s lumps, wrinkles, and bumps. 
Resist the temptation to fix it. When you go behind them and fix their “poor” job, they stop trying. Why? Mom will fix it anyway.
Praise their efforts. Praise their job completed.
Instruct how to do it better. But Praise them again. (They will get better. My boys clean so much better than I can now.)

What do you do with your husband’s attempts?
He’s not the toddler who is doing his best.
His ego is more fragile. 
Accept what he does (without complaint) with genuine thankfulness.
Remind yourself: If you had to do the job, maybe it would have been better, but you wouldn’t have been able to…Rest? work on dinner? do something else….
His efforts did help you someway. Tell him how. Appreciate him.
Praise him. Thank him. And look the other way at the dirt.
His confidence to love you will be bolstered.
You can always fix dirt. Or maybe learn to look somewhere else that isn’t dirty. Or find that hidden pan.
But you can’t call back the love that is lost.
(And you will learn to see the love, so much better, and the dirt so much less.)

It’s pride that kept us from asking for help. 
It’s pride that hinders us from accepting his way of help.
And it’s pride that wants to condemn what he has done with “I can do it better” attitude.

When we don’t allow our husbands to help us, we do them a disservice and disrespect them. They want to show their love.
By our declining their service, we shun their love. 
Know what that does to a man?
Why help? She’ll only do it over. Or correct me. Or complain. Or…
Disrespect. 

It doesn’t take too many times of that before he decides it’s not worth it. He quits trying.
Then when you actually do break down and ask, “Help!”
He won’t. He’s already done that. He won’t do it again. That rejection wasn’t just over a dirty counter or a misplaced dish, that was his respect and his love and his service that you did not accept.

Feeling unloved as you do it all?
Maybe your husband tried but it wasn’t worth it. He’s given up.
It’s easier to let you then love you.
Your pride has kept him out.
Repent to God and your husband. Allow your husband to do things his way on his time. Give up control. Allow your husband love you.

When I swallow my pride, or maybe crush it by dire need, My husband tells me, “Thanks for letting me love you.”
And I feel loved by what he does. (With or without the lost pan).

How has pride hindered your relationship?
 

I write about what matters...to you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what matters...to Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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