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It’s Day One of the Respect Dare here at Affaircare, and we are joining with Jennifer at Unbroken Woman as she leads us through Nina Roesner’s  “The Respect Dare: 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband.”  Jennifer is a little over half way through her Respect Dare, but here at Affaircare we are looking at this Dare with just a little twist: how does respect (or lack thereof) relate to infidelity?  What can we learn to keep our marriages affair-free OR bring them back from the brink of unfaithfulness?  Or if that has been an affair, can learning about respect help a couple rebuild?

To join us on our Affaircare Respect Dare journey, please get Nina’s book (or e-book) and all the info by  CLICKING HERE.

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Today’s Respect Dare topic is about Expectations.

Expectations (according to the dictionary) are “something looked forward to, whether feared or hoped for”; “a prospect of future benefit or fortune” or “the degree of probability that something will occur.”  An expectation of myself might be that I anticipate that if I do X…I expect Y will occur, and either I HOPE that happens or I am AFRAID that it will.  It’s putting my eyes on the future, and kind of gambling that this or that will occur !

In marriages, I see expectations do the most damage when one spouse EXPECTS the other to do something or respond in some way, and when the spouse doesn’t do it, they are disappointed and allow the unfulfilled expectation to turn to bitterness or resentment  Let me give you an example from my own life:

When I was a younger married person, I expected my husband to help me with household chores.  I would ask him to load the dishwasher sometimes, and he would do it but he always would grumble and put it off and procrastinate.  Plus he always loaded it WRONG!  “God how many times do I have to tell you to load pans on the TOP?” I’d moan.  Well no wonder he hated to load dishes!  A) He already worked all day and was tired, and B) When he did do it, he’d get yelled at for doing it!.  Finally one day, he loaded it wrong again, and I yelled at him again, and he said a life-changing thing to me: “Who cares if the pans are on the top or bottom?  Either way they get washed don’t they?”

Oh my goodness!!  

He was so right!!!!  I felt so embarrassed because in that moment I realized that there are more than one ways to load a dishwasher, and here he was actually doing what I asked and getting punished for it!  Somehow I had learned that my way was the “right” way and any other way was the “wrong” way….and that I didn’t have to ask people to do it my way…they should “just know” that it’s right.

I had a major case of “EXPECTATIONS.”

What’s worse, is that over the years, my expectations had chipped and chiseled and whittled away at the foundation of my marriage, doing great harm.  This damage was a little opening that left my spouse vulnerable to sin when another woman came along who showed him some admiration and interest instead of always showing him how “wrong” he was!  Now he still did have a responsibility to say “no” to that temptation–so don’t get me wrong–but why put our spouses into the position of being vulnerable to attack, when we can put up DEFENSES and shield our marriages by letting go of unreasonable expectations?  By looking at the woman in the mirror and realizing that *I* was the one who had to change, I was protecting my spouse and my family from enemy attack!

So for this Respect Dare Day 1, our assignments are:

  1. In your journal, under the heading “Expectations for My Progress ,” write out three tangible, measurable statements that would indicate progress is being made for you.
  2. On a separate piece of paper, under the heading “Expectations of My Husband That I Release,” write three tangible, measurable statements that are expectations you have held for your husband

I personally have not purchased a notebook or pretty journal for this Respect Dare because I’m going to be using this blog as my journal, right out in the open.  You may want to buy a journal (Walmart has school notebooks for 17 cents right now) or you may want to start an online journal (My-Diary.org or Diary.com).

So here are my personal entries for Respect Dare Day 1:

1.  In your journal, under the heading “Expectations for My Progress ,” write out three tangible, measurable statements that would indicate progress is being made for you.  I am going to take this to mean that I should think of three things like goals that would be one way for me to tell I’ve grown in respect for my husband.  Wow.  This is hard! PeacefulWife has an AMAZING list on her Dare Day 1 blog, and it got me started thinking.  I am very blessed, personally, to have a pretty solid, respectful relationship with my Dear Hubby.  The fact is, in real life, I do respect him!  LOL  But I think I learned respect more like “this is a healthy relationship technique” (psychology) rather than learning how to express respect because it’s God-pleasing.  So my “Expectations for Progress” are going to focus on growing in pleasing God.  Soooo…here are my three tangible, measureable expectations:

  • I will spend 15 minutes or more in the bible with my husband (if he’ll join me) every single day
  • I will release my worries about my Dear Hubby’s health every day
  • I will spend 2 hours every night with my Dear Hubby doing things with him instead of doing “work”

2. Under the heading “Expectations of My Husband That I Release,” write three tangible, measurable statements that are expectations you have held for your husband.  Okay I have to confess, this one makes me laugh.  I did not think I really held many expectations of my Dear Hubby, because he is who he is and I like him for who he is.  But after reading PeacefulWife’s list I do see I few I can release:

  • be romantic by my definition every day
  • lead me spiritually in the ways I think he should
  • go to the church I want to go to and go when I want to go

Now to see what other’s have written about Respect Dare Day 1, here are some links:

The Respect Dare, Day 1 – Expectations by PeacefulWife (I love her!)
The Respect Dare – Day 1 by Tiffani at My Beloved is Mine
Dare 1 ~ Expectations by Jennifer at Unbroken Woman (our “Fearless Leader”)
The Respect Dare by Orenda at Broken But Not Forgotten
Day 1 ~ Expectations by Kamila at Your Marriage Is Your First Ministry
Respect Dare 1: Already a Challenge by Forgiven Wife

The RESPECT DARE blog … with Nina Roesner

In the comments below, please share thoughts and where we can pray for you. If it is private, please email us at affaircare@gmail.com or share your prayer requestwith us anonymously.

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