The Love Dare

January 1st, 2011 Comments

Several months ago The Wife and I watched Fireproof – a great story about a firefighter and his disintegrating marriage.  Like most men, he is slow to recognize the damage that is happening to his marriage, and once he does, it is nearly too late to “fix” it.

Since watching that film, I’ve been convinced that I need to do more to enhance my marriage – and to build up my wife.  But, like most, life gets busy and the tyranny of the urgent overpowers the more important issues of life.  However, several issues in my own life have convinced me that I need to be a better husband.

As regular readers of this blog know, this past few years have been hard.  Discouragement, anger, depression, and resentment have overtaken my life.  Unfortunately, my wife and family often bore the brunt of me falling into the pit of despair.  I have some work to do.

Last year I bought a copy of The Love Dare, a book that chronicles a 40-day challenge that promises to teach me how to love – truly love.  Unfortunately, the UPS person left the package on the front porch and the dog chewed it up – seriously!  And I couldn’t afford to replace it then, but now that I’m employed, I bought a new copy.  For the next 40 days I plan to document my journey here.  Due to work commitments and other challenges, I may miss some days of writing, but I plan to continue the journey – and as always, I will be as transparent as possible.


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As I read today’s challenge on patience, I suddenly realized my real error

Last night when I got home, I was greeted by two very animated children and a very tired wife.  I too am usually quite tired after a 12-hour shift and a three-hour round-trip commute.  Unfortunately, these are very real realities in most American families.  The boredom, stress, and challenges of life can certainly take their toll on our families – as well as ourselves.

My Darling Daughter suddenly realized she’d left her Teddy Bear in the car and began to whine.  The Wife reacted with impatience and then I reacted to her reaction.  She looked at me with disgust and I immediately knew I’d crossed the line.  Oops.  I blew it.

I love my father as the stars - he´s a bright shining example and a happy twinkling in my heart.As I read today’s challenge on patience, I suddenly realized my real error.  I suddenly realized my desire to protect my kids, is actually creating more harm than good.

By me not demonstrating unconditional love of their mother; a lack of patience and understanding; and a lack of true love – what message am I sending?  I’ll tell you what I figured out.  I figured out that I’m not just hurting my wife, but I’m establishing a very poor role model for my kids.

I want to be a great Dad.  I want to be a great Husband.  But the fact is, I have much to learn. Indeed, I am more mediocre than I would care to admit most times.  I want to be the husband my wife dreams of having.  I want to be the father that my children deserve.

So, for the next 40 days, I’ll bravely dive into this challenge and see what happens.  I truly want to learn to love my wife unconditionally.  I truly want to be a better husband and father.

Comments

  1. Lvixie says:

    Bob would make no points calling me “the wife.” Sounds impersonal, almost passive-aggressively resentful. Maybe other women are different (but in my case, that wouldn’t be unusual). 🙂

    1. gwalter says:

      ‎@Linda, I don’t call her that in real life – that moniker, like “Darling Daughter” and “Smiling Son” (and yet not as flattering) are inept attempts at protecting some privacy and anonymity.

    2. gwalter says:

      Ok, I’ve changed to Wonderful Wife – is that better?

  2. Lvixie says:

    Bob would make no points calling me “the wife.” Sounds impersonal, almost passive-aggressively resentful. Maybe other women are different (but in my case, that wouldn’t be unusual). 🙂

    1. gwalter says:

      ‎@Linda, I don’t call her that in real life – that moniker, like “Darling Daughter” and “Smiling Son” (and yet not as flattering) are inept attempts at protecting some privacy and anonymity.

    2. gwalter says:

      Ok, I’ve changed to Wonderful Wife – is that better?

  3. Looking forward to reading about your journey – yours and “the wife’s.” 🙂

  4. Looking forward to reading about your journey – yours and “the wife’s.” 🙂

  5. Sam7life says:

    You hit the bull’s eye here Gary, especially the way you described that interaction with your wife and kids. I’ve been there and made the same mistake!

  6. Sam7life says:

    You hit the bull’s eye here Gary, especially the way you described that interaction with your wife and kids. I’ve been there and made the same mistake!

  7. Theinadvertentfarmer says:

    Its interesting how men react differently…my hubby will come and if I’m growling at the kids he will growl at them louder in protection of me. The only problem is that then I jump to the kids defense (how dare he yell at them when he hasn’t seen them all day) and am no longer annoyed at them completely irritated with him.

    All we moms really want is a warm hug and maybe dad to take the kids for 5 minutes while we regroup… I can face a whole evening of rowdy kids when I’ve had just 5 minutes of peace!

    Give me 10 minutes of peace and there might even be something in it for him later! Kim

    1. gwalter says:

      Actually Kim, I have no problem being the enforcer, but this particular time it was over something that shouldn’t have been happening – my epiphany, was that I shouldn’t react.

      Good advice about the 5 (or 10!!) minutes to take a break!

  8. Theinadvertentfarmer says:

    Its interesting how men react differently…my hubby will come and if I’m growling at the kids he will growl at them louder in protection of me. The only problem is that then I jump to the kids defense (how dare he yell at them when he hasn’t seen them all day) and am no longer annoyed at them completely irritated with him.

    All we moms really want is a warm hug and maybe dad to take the kids for 5 minutes while we regroup… I can face a whole evening of rowdy kids when I’ve had just 5 minutes of peace!

    Give me 10 minutes of peace and there might even be something in it for him later! Kim

    1. gwalter says:

      Actually Kim, I have no problem being the enforcer, but this particular time it was over something that shouldn’t have been happening – my epiphany, was that I shouldn’t react.

      Good advice about the 5 (or 10!!) minutes to take a break!

  9. […] chapter in the Love Dare book deals with this issue.  Once people get married, they tend to become less thoughtful and more […]

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