My husband and I have been together for nearing 8 years, almost 5 of which we've been married. So, we have a history. Most of our history is awesome, but some of it is not. I will not go into too much detail about what we've been through, though most of you reading this probably know.
I've recently started reading a book called, Wild At Heart - Discovering a Man's Soul. I've been meaning to read this book for some time, but have been "too busy" to read it, though many have told me I should. Tonight, the book opened a new door in my marriage - my husband and I just had one of the most important discussions of our marriage - most of which I cried through.
I've had a rough life - lots of wounding. I learned early on that I needed to take care of myself, because the people I've trusted with my heart, including my husband, have let me down and hurt me. I've taken on a role of being "in charge", "domineering" and "emasculating" in my marriage and my life. I take care of myself and need no one, after all, they fail me.
Many of my wounding has been surrounded around men. All I wanted in my marriage was for my husband to "want me", "see me", "pursue me". However, I see now that my protective "strong-willed" way of being, has actually closed that door for my husband. How can he pursue someone who doesn't necessarily need him - she can take care of herself. Don't get me wrong - he has been the cause at times for me to feel that I needed to guard my heart. However, all he wants in our marriage is to be needed. He can't fight for me, when I'm fighting for myself. I voice what I need, but never let myself be vulnerable enough for him to take on that challenge. And when he doesn't take on the challenge, I get frustrated and lecture - he feels like a failure as a husband. He feels like he doesn't have what it takes to give me what I need. It's a vicious cycle - the one we've been stuck in for years.
So, how do we fix it? I've learned, through reading this book and through talking with husband tonight...I must stop fighting for myself...I must let him fight for me. In order for him to see me, to be attracted to me, I must stop this "strong-willed" behavior. I must be vulnerable. I must be playful. I must need him. I must let him be a MAN...the man I need and that man he wants to be.
I feel what I must do now is an impossible task. Can I really be what I need to be? I don't know that I know how to be that. It will be one of the hardest things I've ever done - letting go of my exterior protective shell. I will no doubt need reminding and the grace of God and my husband. But in the end, our marriage will be more than I could ever hoped it could be. And the pain surrounding the past can finally be put to rest. We can experience the fullness of a marriage that God intended way back in Eden.