Does Your Marriage Need a Boost? Keeping This Little Secret Is the Key.
I didn’t start out trying to improve my marriage. I’ll admit we had been living in what I call “cruise control” for a season. If you asked me on a difficult day, I would have told you we had transitioned to a place of compatible housemates. Unless we hit stressful circumstances, we rarely fought. We worked together on yard work, budgeting, and scheduling. Still, much of the spark and connection between us had dwindled like embers in a fire. We shared a warm, mellow heat.
How I Got Tricked into Keeping A Secret
Then this past February, I signed up for a writer’s conference in Northern California with the bonus option of a mastermind day with Kathi Lipp, a well-known writer and speaker. As I didn’t want to go into the six-student session completely oblivious, I decided I better brush up on Kathi’s writing before I went.
Logging onto Amazon, I scanned the options. I knew of her book, Clutter Free, and was ready to pop a copy in my shopping cart when I saw The Husband Project: 21 Days of Loving Your Man on Purpose and with a Plan. I read the description and a few reviews and decided to get the book.
Later that month, I went on a private retreat with one of my dearest friends. I brought the book to show her. In the introductory chapters, Kathi suggests getting an accountability partner to go through the project with together. My friend said she was all in. Before I knew it, I wasn’t only reading this book to become familiar with Kathi. I was actually planning to go through with the 21-day project. I picked up The Husband Project and had a brainstorm. And then I figured if I needed this book (and I did), maybe some other women could use it too. I thought, “I’m going to invite others to join me in this project – and not just my dear friend who wanted to earlier this year.”
Crafting Our Secret Game Plan
If you ever want to be all in, lead. I wasn’t only putting together plans to bless my husband for 21-days straight, I was coordinating resources and posts to encourage other women to do the same in their marriages. My commitment was through the roof. I started aiming at my marriage with purpose for the first time in years.
As we spent the first ten days in August reading the introduction and sharing ideas in the group, my resolve to make Jon feel special and honored started to increase. I became more aware of my tone of voice towards him. I noticed when I didn’t quite listen to what he was saying. I realized how I had been taking him for granted. This project hadn’t even started, and I was already reaping the benefits.
How Keeping This Secret Becomes A Blessing
One of the keys Kathi shares in the early section of the book is that this project must be kept secret. Now, I don’t know about you, but we don’t keep secrets in our marriage. Unless it’s a surprise party (which my husband is not fond of anyway) we share everything with one another. I have long been a believer that significant secrets can harm an intimate relationship. I had to really figure out what Kathi was getting at when she encouraged us to keep the project a secret. After reading her thoughts, it made total sense.
This series of good deeds was a blessing to be given quietly. If my husband knew about it, the expectation might be high, or he might start to interfere with me carrying out what I had planned. I saw how critical it was to keep this whole thing hush-hush. Planning an entire three-week strategy, including leading a group of women to do the same, while keeping everything clandestine was a challenge, believe me. Amazingly, I pulled it off.
How We Made The Husband Project Work For Us
All the project ideas for The Husband Project are flexible. They are couple-tested, and husband approved. Some are very simple and easy. Others require a bit more effort, time, or investment, but they all can be modified to fit any marriage.
The first day of the project the focus was on making his return home peaceful and relaxing. I had to move a few mountains to make this happen. I started training my older son to do trash duty (a thing I should have done years ago!). I taught my younger son to do the evening pet care. We spent about ten days getting those habits in place, and as we did, I encouraged my husband to come home and rest. He relished this time of refreshment. I felt so good watching him respond to the shift in how we did evenings.
Reaping What We Sow
The most amazing things started to happen between my husband and me as I continued to sprinkle blessings into his life on a daily basis. I felt more connected to him. Our romance increased. He seemed more confident and relaxed.
I hadn’t anticipated these benefits, as I knew better than to go into an endeavor like this with a boatload of expectations. I was so pleasantly surprised at the way small acts of kindness caused us to turn toward one another.
Honor Your Husband Without Expectations
Men need honor and they need us, their wives to be their biggest cheerleaders. In the day-to-day grind of life, we can sometimes forget the importance of investing in our marriage. We can feel he owes us extra attention. We don’t want to be the one putting out effort. I’m telling you, all of these thoughts are normal, but if you hold onto them, they aren’t going to help your marriage.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve been through some lifequakes in the 22 years we have been married. My husband and I have had ugly fights. We’ve been stretched beyond what we thought was our capacity to endure. Still, we hung on, stuck it out, and believed in the foundation on which our marriage is built. We committed to God and one another for life. As our vows confirm, we weather sickness, health, ups and downs in finances, good days, and bad days – even hard years.
Why Not Keep A Secret Yourself?
If you are in a wonderful season in your marriage, I encourage you to solidify the strength by completing the 21-day husband project. If you feel like I did, sort-of neutral and on autopilot, this project could be just the thing you need. If your marriage is hurting and you have almost given up hope, I implore you to set aside expectations and do this project anyway. Commit your way to God and trust Him as you do. He will bless you as you faithfully walk with Him in attempting to bless your husband and build your marriage stronger.
If you want to join a group of women committed to strengthening our marriages, you can join us at HERE.
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Patty writes and speaks to encourage your heart, to share effective and transparent parenting tips, and to equip you with time management solutions tailored for you as a mom. Her writing is conversational and approachable. She shares from the heart to the heart. Patty and her husband have two boys aged 10 and 17. Patty loves coffee dates with friends, ministering to women, escaping into a good book, kayaking on the ocean, and taking spontaneous road trips. Her home and table are an intentional place of welcome.
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