Celebrate Recovery, Encouragement, Family, My Story

Making others change?



What is wrong with people???  I mean really, people just seemed to be imperfect, sheesh, what is their problem?  Why can’t they just do what I see is right and good?  Why are people always hurting others, including myself?  Why doesn’t anyone see ME over here??  Why doesn’t my husband just change?  He admits his faults but then he just keeps on staying the same.  I am always here for everyone and no one is ever here for me………

That may have been my thought process (and don’t get me wrong, I can find myself caught up in that thought process again sometimes).  Admitting how ridiculous I sounded is hard, but its the truth.  I really was constantly frustrated with everyone.  So, again, this is a CR plug, but once I started CR I realized I was in some major denial.  First of all, as badly as I wanted to control everyone else and make others see they needed change, I couldn’t do that and in fact realized how much I really did need change myself.  Secondly, I have crazy high expectations for myself, which in turn make my expectations of everyone else extremely high too.

I am reading a book right now called Marriage Minute by Dave & Ashley Willis.  I read this quote “Don’t focus on improving your marriage.  Focus on improving yourself, serving your spouse and growing daily in your relationship with God and your marriage will start improving on its own.”  Today reading that I smile and nod, because I know it to be so true!  But back a few months ago, I would not have agreed.  I would have rolled my eyes and said “Whatever!  That is dumb, the only way MY marriage will be better is if HE chooses to do things different.”

I finally saw that I was actually causing a lot of problems by trying to “fix” everything. all the time. everyday. every hour.  I would say the same things over and over.  Complain about the same things over and over.  I always thought I was helping, communicating my feelings, telling him what I needed.  This all seemed so healthy.

I did slowly start seeing things that I needed to change about the way I handled issues, but what really changed is that I finally decided that even though it didn’t make sense to me and my very misguided view of things, I was going to just stop being the way I was.  What I had been doing hadn’t worked in the past. Ever.  So, I stopped.  I stopped spewing every thought I had at Joel.  I stopped telling him every.single.time. I thought he was messing up.  I stopped trying to make him do everything MY way.  I stopped being a bitter, over reactive, controlling wife.

I started praying about all of it.  I started praying when I was upset with Joel instead of immediately telling him.  I started journaling my thoughts, sometimes in letter form to Joel, but I never showed him.  I would type it out, then I would pray and ask God to help direct me.  Sometimes it meant I didn’t say anything about it but other times it meant that I would have a discussion with him much later about what had happened.

Guess what happened???  Our marriage started drastically changing.  The more I focused on myself in my recovery, and my relationship with God, the more things started changing.  Suddenly I felt so differently about my husband.  I felt like he was willing to listen to me and I actually saw him start making a lot of really positive change and I wasn’t asking him to do it.  I was so proud of the new turn our lives were taking!

No, things aren’t perfect.  My husband didn’t magically stop making mistakes and neither did I.  Our life isn’t all sunshine and we still have so much to work on, individually and as a couple, but we see positive change!  Recovery is a process.  There are days and weeks where things are right on track.  Then there are days and weeks where we have to stop and refocus.  We like to call it imperfect progress at CR.

I am choosing to be different.  Choosing to turn my will over to God daily.  We all have a choice and no one said it would be easy but I will tell you, it is amazingly rewarding!  I love what God is doing in my life!  God is doing something BIG in my life- does that make me special?  Well of course, but anyone can experience God moving in their life too.  We just have to choose to let him work in our lives, rather then trying to make our lives work for us.

Celebrate Recovery- For ANYONE with hurts, habits, or hangups.  It is a choice you won’t regret!