From Proverbs 31 Ministries:
My efforts to change my husband weren’t working, so I asked God to change him for me!
God didn’t answer my prayers. Instead, He showed me my criticism towards my husband only made him feel inadequate as he started shutting down and becoming indifferent. I realized I was part of problem.
My husband needed me to be supportive and encouraging. He needed my prayers to build him up not tear him down. So, I started asking God to change me. And He did!
First, God helped me notice things I appreciate about my man. God also helped me hold my tongue when he did something I didn’t like or led in a way I didn’t want to follow.
Yep, my marriage-changing prayers became me-changing prayers, instead!
– Renee Swope
When my first marriage was failing, I turned to Proverbs 31. I kept hearing about being a Proverbs 31 wife and didn’t know what that meant exactly. This piece here really resonated with me. So I tried it. And God did change me! I have applied this to so many situations in my life outside of marriage and the results have been phenomenal for me. So I do encourage you to try that prayer. But this post is a lovers post so let’s get back to that.
When my first marriage failed, my complaint was you don’t show me affection, you don’t date me, you don’t spend time with me. And I honestly did try to change all of that. It didn’t work out for us and that is unfortunate. I left that marriage convinced this is what happens. You sign the papers and it all falls apart. You’re roommates. I was totally against ever getting married again. Then Brett swooped into my life and rocked it like a hurricane. He was eager to marry. Eager to settle down. Eager to build a life together. I was TERRIFIED and fought him tooth and nail. I’d seen what marriage does to people and it was misery. Terribly lonely, loveless, boring, and miserable. No way was I signing up for that again. We were hot and heavy and life was exciting and I knew that piece of paper would end it all. I drug my feet filing for divorce because I knew I could say sure we can get married and not really commit.
But he wanted more and I couldn’t keep dragging him along. He wanted me. All of me. And he wanted my last name to match his. So reluctantly I said yes. And it’s funny, because never once have I pictured my future without him in it. We’ve gone through some insanely tough battles amazingly well. It’s been incredibly easy even when life sucker punched us every time we’d get back up. So why was I so afraid??? I was afraid because I didn’t want the effort to stop. And I stressed that numerous times. Then it occurred to me….the effort doesn’t just fall on him. It’s my responsibility too. This is a union of two souls into one…we BOTH have to work.
The effort to keep us in “new love” is great. It’s worth it, but it has to be a conscious decision every single day. I thought I’d share some tips to help you ladies out. I promise you it is reciprocated. It may take a brief moment for him to catch on, but he will get it and before you know it, he will change right before your eyes.
- Take him on a date….there’s nothing better than scheduling out some one on one time. And it doesn’t even have to be expensive. Call grandma to babysit, hit a drive through and drive up to watch the sunset on bald rock. On your way back down, turn off into a secluded place and make out like teenagers. He will LOVE it.
- Compliment him…he needs to hear it just as much as we do. And mean it. When my husband really gets into something and is concentrating, I find him INSANELY SEXY. And I tell him so while I kiss his neck. Or when he’s telling me about his day I like to interrupt and say “gah you are the hottest thing I’ve ever seen!” And he is! Notice him and all his sexiness. Remember to see the things that made you fall for him and tell him about it.
- Seduce him….you don’t even have to be comfortable with sex and seduction for this one. It’s simple. My husband loves Star Wars. It’s no secret that I DESPISE it. But it’s a big thing right now and I stumbled upon some Star Wars panties with sexy black lace lining them. I picked them up and wore them with a black bra while I got ready. Just walking around the room did the trick. He pulled me in closer to see what was on the underwear and bam. Mission accomplished.
- Pick his brain…get to know him again. Ask him about his hopes and dreams. Where does he see himself in ten years? What did he want to be when he grew up? Did he picture the life your living as to how married life would or should be? What would he do to change it if he could? What are his greatest strengths? What are his greatest weaknesses? What does he love most about being your husband? These kinds of questions open up a great conversation as well as teach you how to love him better. Asking how was your day is always met with short responses and eventually distance is created.
- Give him the sexy “I want you” look often….remember when you were trying to win him and you gave him “that look”? He misses that just as much as you miss getting it. It’s a look that makes him feel like the greatest man in the world and it’s needed.
- Take care of yourself…give him a reason to want to pursue you. We all get lazy. With leggings and active wear on the fashion trend rise, it’s getting worse. There was a time when he likely never saw you without makeup. There was a time when all of your lady bits were perfectly groomed in case he saw you naked. We’d never in a million years left the house in our mom clothes to meet him for drinks when we were dating. So do those things again. He’s gotten lazy because you have. There’s nothing better than wearing a pair of jeans that shapes your booty perfectly and then he’s grabbing it or popping it all night. He can’t keep his hands off.
- Forgive him…he’s made mistakes. You both have. Maybe your heart was shattered into a million pieces at some point. Maybe he made you cry so deeply that you wanted to die. For some reason you didn’t and you stayed by his side. Let go of what hurt you and wipe his slate clean. Holding onto the bitterness and pain will ultimately destroy you. It robs him of the opportunity to make it right if you don’t start fresh. So forgive him and start over together. Figure out how you BOTH messed up, how you BOTH can mend the broken hearts, and how you BOTH can love again.
- Make sure he is FIRST…life is busy and crazy. We get so wrapped up in getting our lists done that we seldom have time left to be his sexy wife. I was guilty of putting my kids first in my first marriage. I will never do that again. Don’t mistake what I’m saying here…my kids are taken care of. But I have no problem stealing away 10 minutes to lock the door for a juicy make out sesh. Letting the baby cry it out for a minute so I can tend to my husband. Pausing a conversation amongst friends to kiss my husband and tell him how much I love him. Scheduling just us time during the week. Making love as often as humanly possible. These things are imperative.
Brett and I are working on three years together. I know that’s nothing to you seasoned veterans and I admire your ability to be together for so long. I think we are on the right track to being seasoned veterans someday. I can tell you that my love for him goes beyond anything I could’ve ever imagined. Our connection is so strong that we physically need each other. And I truly believe it’s because we do the work. Happy loving friends.