Sunday, June 21, 2015

How 'Let Your Husband Love You' Changed my Relationship

I was introduced to the blog When at Home through the post Let Your Husband Love You. I was pregnant with my third baby and cruising Facebook when I noticed many of my girlfriends sharing the same blog post. I was immediately convicted when I read it. I was a mother to 3 and 1 year old daughters with a little boy due any day. Life was insanely busy and the girls were so demanding of my time and energy that there was very little left for my husband. It was so easy to brush him off, leave the kids with him, ignore his acts of affection and breathe in a sigh of relief that I was off the hook from solo baby duty. 

I mentioned the post to him and he agreed with Kristen whole heartedly. I told him I would make an effort to love him more and he was honestly excited about it. And then...our son was born. So now I was a stay at home mom to a 3 and 1 year old and a constantly nursing newborn. I was in over my head, exhausted and insane. Our relationship was no where on my radar. This continued for quite a while.

I read Kristen's posts regularly after Let Your Husband Love You. I never forgot what brought me to her site, but I stopped putting the effort into my marriage, because quite honestly, I didn't have anything left. Jonathan would come home from work and try to hug me while I was rushing to have dinner finished, break up a sister fight and quiet the baby before he nursed for the 100th time that day and I would shrug him off. The girls would go to bed, but Noah would stay downstairs with us, nursing and cuddling into the late night and then he would come to bed with us. I'm not against nursing or co-sleeping, but my husband had NO closeness with me. The baby was ALWAYS between us. I hadn't shown my husband any affection in who knows how long and it had driven a wedge between us. He didn't feel loved. I didn't feel loved. He didn't approach me anymore, so I felt insecure about that. I figured that after three kids, I just wasn't attractive to him anymore. I was old news.  

All of my emotions and insecurities came out in anger. Eventually it turned into a fight and as I expressed my thoughts that Jonathan was no longer attracted to me and obviously didn't love me anymore, he called me out. He told me that I was pushing him away. I never let him hug me or kiss me. I never gave him any affection or attention and he saw that as me being tired of him. Not attracted to him. Kristen's words were echoing in my mind at that very moment. Because he needs to love you. As much as you need to receive the love he has for you, he needs to be received. He needs to be welcomed, embraced, and loved.  The wedge in our relationship wasn't from him pushing me away, not being attracted to me, it was from ME. It was me making him feel like he didn't mean anything to me anymore. It was my own insecurities and busyness with the kids, making him feel unimportant and unloved. I fixed it. Became more intentional about loving him and receiving his love. Took Kristen's advice and stepped out of frantic mom mode long enough to let him love me. 

We went through another period of me pushing him away recently. We just moved and are trying to get the house set up while raising 5, 3, and 1 year olds and he works 55 hours a week and is also in grad school. I stopped giving him affection or attention because I was so busy and he stopped offering it because I was pushing him away, not letting him love me again. I reread Kristin's post and reapplied it to my marriage. We've been going strong for a couple of weeks now. 

It's about being intentional about showing and receiving affection. About remembering why we got married and started this crazy family to begin with. 
It's about all the hats that we wear as women-wife being the most important. Do yourself a favor and listen to Kristen's advice. Apply it to your marriage. Remember it when you go through a dry spell, because trust me, it will happen. 

Comment below and let me know if you've taken Kristen's advice and how it's helped you. Or maybe you need to start taking our advice to improve your relationship? Don't be shy, comment below!

**UPDATE** Thanks to Kristen from When at Home for sharing this post on her Facebook page! Please subscribe to emails from my blog, Our Journey in Love on the sidebar for new posts on family, God, relationships, home decor tips and reveals as well as DIY projects!! Thank you so much for reading!

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