Today's Love Dare
was accomplished with a skillet of Hamburger Helper, which my husband loves, but which I find barely palatable. I consider myself an above average cook and am always trying out new recipes or creating new dishes, and while Steve enjoys most of my creations, I get the most satisfied reaction from him when I stick with the basics.
Today I made an effort to stick with the basics of love--patience and kindness.
I have to provide a little background. I was in an abusive relationship for several years while in college. After escaping that, I found myself bouncing from one bad relationship to another wondering why I couldn't maintain one that was decent and loving. The reason (which I discovered after years of therapy) was that I didn't love myself.
I would make such an effort to please my partner that I became a doormat--never wanting to complain or give any reason to rock the boat. When my partners became bored with Little Miss Perfection (and it's inevitable when you don't allow someone to get to know the real you), they started to take advantage of me. Rather than sticking up for myself, I set about to be even more perfect--my rationale being they couldn't possibly leave me because I'm so nice and I do so much for them.
So after therapy, I began asserting myself, loving myself. I was looking out for number one. That's when I met Steve. He got the real me. But as our relationship progressed, I still was looking out for number one. More so after we got married and had the kids. I began keeping score, comparing everything I did for him as opposed to what he did for me. Why should I do his laundry when I have to do not only mine, but all of the kids' laundry, as well? Why should I have to do most of the cleaning when he contributes to the mess as well? But that is not an accurate depiction of our relationship, because it only takes into account the physical acts that we perform for each other, not the emotional ones.
Steve is a good man and an excellent father. He always has treated me with love and respect. He is rarely in a bad mood and he often times has reason to be. He is kind
to me. I realize I am the one who needs to even up the score emotionally.
In "The Love Dare,"
the authors quote a passage from the Bible describing a woman whose husband and children praise her. "She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindess is on her tongue." (Proverbs 31:26) I want to be that
woman to my husband and children.
And so, today, kindness was on my tongue, along with a little overly-salted Hamburger Helper.