The Unbroken Woman blog is hosting The Respect Dare. Starting July 10, participants will be using Nina Roesner’s The Respect Dare: 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband as a guide, posting about their journey. And I will be doing it with you!

Here was today’s assignment:

“Today, pray and ask for wisdom in understanding a key experience that has impacted the way you currently walk through marriage . After praying , wait for an incident to come to mind and work with it to answer the questions.”

I didn’t even get all the way through the instructions when an incident came into my mind. My heart hurts with this one. I will not say what the incident is out of respect for relatives who I love and who still live. It is a painful memory–one that is seared into my my mind forever and that shaped all important decisions in my life.

I will share the answers to a couple of the questions from my journal, however.

3. What was revealed to you about how you interact in marriage as a result of this incident?

I resist any hint of my husband controlling me. And I feel anxiety when he yells.’

4. What possible interpretations exist of that one event?

  • Yelling hurts.
  • Men hurt.
  • Women who don’t stand up for themselves get hurt.
  • Women need choices and options in life.
  • Anger and hitting happen for no predictable or discernable reason.
  • Mothers and children are on one side, and fathers are on the other.

Write out a prayer of release from any unhealthy habits of thinking you’ve developed as a result of that incident.

God, help me remember that my husband is not [relative’s name]. Please help me understand that his yelling is akin to me crying when I’m emotional; it is not a precursor to violence. God, help me remember that you are not [relative’s name], either.

That one hurt. A lot. This is Dare 2, and my heart feels like it has been shredded. How can I possibly survive 38 more of these? Help me, God. I can’t do this without you. I just can’t.

22 Thoughts on “Respect Dare 2: This One Hurt

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  2. I’m so here with you on this one, this dare cut me open like a knife again. Praying for you. God Bless

  3. Jana Jonasen on July 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm said:

    This really hit home for me. My Dad is an alcholhic and when he drank he was not kind and in most cases I had to be the adult. I have always felt like I was not good enough. He once told me I was an F-stick and I was never going to amount to anything. He always promised things and then never followed thru. To be honest I have not had much luck with men in my life. So I am always afraid that I am going to fail my husband in some way and he is going to leave like ever other man in my life. I love him but live in fear of what of. After reading this I realize that I live in fear all the time and I have only failed myself. The minute my husband does not pay attention to me I begin to worry the worst going to happen. This so something I am turning over to God. God please take the fear away.

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  7. FOr me, I know the way I walk has been a mirror of my parents.. whose marriage DID fail..I try to control every aspect of my husband’s life like he was a child. My mother tried the same with my dad. FOr a while they tolerate you, then they get to feeling SO disrepected they can’t see straight. I still get fearful when my spouse does something or goes somewhere I am not aware of.. He is getting better at communication to aleviate my fears so that is nice! But I lack trust in him.. so I have to place my trust and faith in the onwe who never fails. I trust that GOd will take care of me and my marriage.

    • Trust is a good thing, As I look back at the Respect Dare, I can see that what I gained most was my ability to trust God–including trusting God with my husband.

      • tiffanie2014 on August 7, 2014 at 2:48 pm said:

        I’m still working on the whole trust issue.. it doesn’t help that when I show a lack of trust in my husband and revert to my old ways, he does something on purpose to antagonize me… which then makes me trust him less… and then the cycle rolls… I am working on me, and he has said he will try to not antagonize me… PRAYING FOR BOTH OF OUR SUCCESS

        • Trust was a struggle for me for a long time. I did find that improved intimacy in our marriage created an environment in which trust could more easily grow.

          I want to ask you about your husband’s response when you show a lack of trust. What makes you think that he does something with the intent to antagonize you? It is important to our husbands to have our trust and respect. When they see that we don’t have that, they hurt. I wonder if this is a response on your husband’s part that developed over a long time of feeling that hurt. He may not realize that he’s doing it. I encourage you to extend grace to him as much as you can. Just as you have new things to learn, so does he. He will try not to antagonize you . . . but that doesn’t mean he will always be successful in his efforts–just as you aren’t always successful in your efforts to trust.

          Two people growing and stumbling together make an interesting journey–but definitely not an easy one!

        • tiffanie2014 on August 7, 2014 at 3:05 pm said:

          He has told me flat out when I ask about something I find he has done that he did it on purpose hoping I would find out so I would be upset when I violate his privacy… Essentially trying to force me to NOT check up on him… I don’t know if I am ina place where I am ready to not check up on him.. texting and computer messaging is how I caught him cheating on me.. SO I feel like I need to keep it up in order to quiet my mind and have evidence that all is well… Unfortunately, when I see something upsetting I call him out on it angerly.. So then he knows I have disrespected his wishes and violated his privacy again… so then he does it again “just to make me mad”. Honestly, I am not buying that excuse though.. it feels like he is blaming me for his actions, it feels like he is still in the cheating mind set.

        • It sounds to me like he wants blind trust, and you want to trust but verify. It would take me a long time to rebuild trust after infidelity as well. What is your husband doing toward rebuilding your relationship and trust?

          You can’t change his mind set or how he responds–but you can work on how you deal with the situation. One decision is whether to continue checking his messages. Another decision is how to respond when you do suspect something (whether it’s something you see on his message log or maybe a hunch that there is a concern). For instance, you could decide that after finding something suspicious, you fast and pray for a day before confronting your husband.

          Now, I say all that from the comfort of my computer. I know that if I were suspicious, I would not be able to respond with much respect, love, or compassion. However, deciding how you should act in a situation sometimes makes it easier to at least respond rather than simply react.

          You’re in my prayers.

        • tiffanie2014 on August 7, 2014 at 3:26 pm said:

          The fact that I have full access to his on-line world is HUGE. When I first was suspicious, he had stopped talking to me when I was at work.. wouldn’t take my calls.. and then BLOCKED ME from viewing his stuff.. now, not only can I see his stuff, but I have the passwords too so I can look more than if say, you were to friend him on Facebook and see his profile.. I can actually go into his details and activity log. Also, he used to ALWAYS carry his phone with him.. if he left a room I was in, he would not leave it for even a minute to go to the bathroom.. now he doesn’t do that and has given me his phone security code too so if I feel the need I can look.. Problem is that he knows I look, hates it and claims that he is doing stuff on purpose to “see if I’m still being snoopy”. Well, I don’t call telling a random person you are single cause you have a bad wife, or “liking” a picture of the woman you had an affair with “just doing things to see if I am looking”.. I call them betrayal of promises

        • It sounds like your husband has made a lot of progress, even as he clearly has some things he still needs to work on. Perhaps he hates that you look because it reminds him of his past sin. In other words, his true anger is for himself and not for you.

          I would see those things as betrayals as well. Perhaps he is testing you as well as testing himself. Have you two been in counseling for this issue?

        • tiffanie2014 on August 7, 2014 at 3:43 pm said:

          We were in counseling.. have since stopped, but the progress is still moving forward for the most part.. Honestly, we live in a VERY rural community. There are several counselors. We went to 2 as a couple and we both had private therapists also.. Though my husband is the one with a drinking issue, one of the counselors labeled ME as the alcoholic.. this upset my husband as much as it did me.. the other one didn’t seem to grasp our real issues.. We both decided that we know what we are supposed to do, and going to a counselor any further would only be to complain and air more of our dirty laundry in public.. We are typically very close and before this I NEVER doubted him.. Now I must confess, I am guilty too.. I knew he was up to no good.. I lost control of myself, did not seek God, instead went to alcohol.. (which is where the counselor got the idea that I was the one with a problem).. So one night when he was out of town, I went out with some friends and a man hit on me.. I liked the positive attention because I wasn’t getting any at home anymore and hadn’t for months.. I was intoxicated beyond anything in my normal.. I slept with him, and lied to my husband about it for 2 months.. He tries to claim that his affair didn’t start until after I lied to him.. I know that is a lie because I know when he met her and the amount of time they were spending on the phone… Shortly after he met her, he told me he wasn’t sure if he loved me anymore… I was crushed! I did not know at the time WHY he would say this or feel this way.. My family and friends knew right away and tried to tell me.. I would not hear it… I found out later the real truth. SO he also lacks trust in me… We have an UGLY mess to clean up! But (now I am serious here.) One night I was struggling while we were separated after the truths came out.. It was between 2-3 AM and I was sobbing and praying for an answers as to what to do because I wanted my marriage back.. I actually HEARD the voice of God.. He told me that my husband will change AFTER I do… That was a smack in the face! Thus began my Respect Dare journey… Another book called “Love and Respect” was a great help too..

        • Oh, sweetie, I just wish I could wrap my arms around you and let you cry yourself out. You are carrying so much. I, too, have heard God. You are being obedient by working on yourself. Change yourself, and hold in your heart that God has said your husband will change. You have heard His voice. Even if you aren’t ready to trust your husband, trust God that change will come to pass. Just keep doing what you’re doing.

        • tiffanie2014 on August 7, 2014 at 4:48 pm said:

          Thank you for talking with me.. It is VERY hard, but I keep telling myself that God made me a promise.. but I have to keep my end of the deal! Ive cried over and over about it.. I have a lovely friend who is an older woman that my pastor asked me to reach out to so I would have a wise mentor and person to pray with. She is so great! I called her the other day just to pray over the phone because I was about to have a panic attack! She listened me and then said her prayer.. The best was that she thought to pray for me to have peace.. and boy it worked! My breath was caught and my heart slowed.. the anxiety vanished! I believe all of us need eachother (women of God) to steer us to Him and not in the ways of the world.. I think that was the biggest part of why I felt so lost for so long.. Though my other friends and family all claim Christianity, I don’t know think they truly understand what it means to be a biblical wife.. so I was being counceled in the ways of the world and it was all making things worse.. One day I woke up and decided I need to return to my roots ( God ). My marriage WAS over.. God picked it up, dusted it off and has said to me, he will foster it. I know that I have to keep my end of the deal though.. If I dont learn and change, then God doesn’t have room to influence my husband on those issues he has..

        • I am so glad you have that woman in your life. Just keep doing what you’re doing, and feel free to check in with me as you work through the Respect Dare.

        • tiffanie2014 on August 7, 2014 at 4:53 pm said:

          I will! This is my second time going through it.. Things have changed s ton since my first time… and I know Nina has said that it is good to refresh.. I know it is for me.. I get complacent and slip into old habits.

        • I intend to go through it again–but I’m still processing some things from the first time (a year ago!) and am not yet ready.

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