Hope Wissel

Selfishness in Marriage

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV)

Have you ever been told something by the love of your life that you never knew despite the fact that you have known each other for forever?  This happened to me as hubby and I prepared for Belinda‘s wedding.  I sat across from him and thought “how did I not know this?”.  I actually knew it but never really think about it.  Hubby‘s big thing is communication especially when it is about family – no matter how small.  Since he isn’t on any social media, I forget.  I zone out and don’t think to tell him things.

Life has been crazy for us – him working full-time, me working part-time & running my business, preparing for the wedding, doctor’s appointments, family health issues and just life.  We have been meaning for weeks to spend some time alone, or maybe even go on a real date. To say the least, it wasn’t until we headed to North Carolina and we “unplugged” that it happened.

We have spent so much time getting life done. Keeping up the house. Making appointments. Working. Paying bills. And I had stopped noticing the little things about hubby — the stuff I used to notice all the time when we were dating.  How did that happen?  I used to pick up on things all the time and we weren’t even living in the same house.

Back then it seemed easy to put him first, to always be on the lookout for his interests and likes. Selfishness on my part didn’t really exist in our relationship. I was head-over-heels in love with him and intent on noticing his preferences and pleasing him.

Sadly, it’s easy for noticing to decrease and selfishness to creep in. Instead of longing to please our spouses, even in the little things, we often look to get our own way. i know it isn’t just me, right?  We have an list or agenda for what needs to get done and we are on a mission. This verse seems to be the perfect prescription for this. We are encouraged to look not just to our own interests, but also in humility to look at the interests of others. There are so many ways to apply this verse in marriage!

It may mean spending a weekend doing activities that your spouse prefers. In my case, it would mean watching endless hours of CNN or talking politics or maybe even attending a rally to support his favorite cause or going to a classic rock concert, rather than checking out a craft show or going to a vendor event or going to a country music/ christian rock concert, which would bore him to death.  Sometimes it might be a big thing, and other times it could be something that I consider a trivial.

In today’s world of selfies and selfishness, let’s practice taking notice of our spouse’s interests and show them love in even the smallest of ways. For me, it is being intentional and sharing things from social media about family and friends.  It is making sure that I have his favorite jam – blueberry – and his favorite fruits – any kind of melon – in the frig.

I am going to be on the lookout for ways to bless my spouse — both in the little interests of life and in the major issues of marriage.

 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2, (NIV)

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Making Decisions Together

“The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice” Proverbs 12:15

I read this story and thought, they are talking about me:

When John Benson decided to make some financial investments in a new business venture, he was very excited about the possibilities for a handsome financial return. His business and financial background had served him well. John felt strongly that his wife Jenny would not understand the complexity of his investment, so he casually mentioned it to her. When she asked a few simple questions, John became defensive and justified his plans for investing in the venture.

A year later, after investing a large sum of money, John received a phone call from the investment company. All the investors who had put money in the company were going to lose their investment with no ability to recoup it.

This story could be retold repeatedly across the world. God’s principles for making decisions require input from both spouses, regardless of their level of expertise. If you are not married, make sure you seek wisdom from a few close associates you know and trust.

As many of you know, when Hubby and I got married a little over 4 years ago that independent, make my own decisions girl came along too.  Hubby knew what he was getting into, he loved my independence BUT his vision of marriage was that we were a team in ALL decisions.  I mean, God calls married couples to be one, right?  I may have said the words but my actions didn’t show it.  Don’t we always tell our kids “actions speak louder than words”?

I was okay with being “one” on to some decisions; BUT when it came to my business I made decisions independently.  Why?  Because I had pre-judged his response.  I didn’t want to defend my decisions.  I wasn’t confident in being able to make a solid case for the decision. Most of all I just didn’t want him to challenge me. Over the last week, God has been working on my heart.  The other day, Hubby’s said “sometimes I feel like I am not part of your life”.  SMACK!!! My prayers for God to change him should have been for me to change.

By making decisions independently, as a couple, we were only benefiting from 50% of God’s intended blessings for us.  As I look for an accountability partner, I had to admit that I had one.  Someone who supported me in all that I do.  Someone who lived by the numbers and the facts.  Someone who would challenge me to grow my business to the next level.  That person was hubby.  It wasn’t that he didn’t support my business or that he wasn’t interested.  The truth was, I wasn’t letting him in because I had already decided how he would respond.

My marriage is a stewardship of decisions that requires two people.  It was time that I looked at my business and how it affects my marriage.  When I make business decisions that have a ripple effect, it is important to talk to hubby.  For some, this may seem so easy.  For others, our pride and independence gets in the way.

So before I make a major business decision, I will get confirmation for that decision from him.  He wants to be part of the “pink bubble” in his own way.  He wants to help in making sensible decisions.  It is time to be a team in marriage and in business.

I would love to hear from YOU on your best suggestions for being a team in your business with your spouse/partner.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

The Facts of Life

What a week!  I feel like I should be singing the song from “The Facts of Life” – okay so I am showing my age!  You know the one –  “you take the good, you take the bad and there you have the facts of life”.  Now, that you have that song stuck in your head, it has been that kind of week for me.

I read a post on Crosswalk by Liz Curtis Higgs that made me really reflect on life lately and my marriage.  Don’t panic, all is well. As Rob would say, the girl he fell in love with returned this week.  I thought it was odd but then I realized over the last few months, Independent Irene had crept back into our lives.    As a single woman/ mom, I’d grown accustomed to doing things on my own, on my schedule, buying whatever I wanted, even if that meant pulling out my credit card.  I thought I had banished Irene from our lives awhile ago but according to hubby, she made an appearance and decided to stay.

By letting go of WaWa, I felt relief.  I loved the people connection but the toll that it took on my body affected ALL aspects of my life.  As the pain got worse, I slipped into the survival mode that I had used some many times as a single mom.  Not a very good mix for a marriage that is a partnership.  Over the last week, Rob and I actually talked about it without me getting an attitude or defensive or letting guilt take over.

As I began planning out my business strategy and a schedule to move my business forward, I found myself consulting Rob on things.  Independent Irene wanted to take charge, doing things on her own BUT I realized that this was a partnership.  Okay, so I can be a little slow on the uptake but it was a total change in my thinking about things.  When I started to loose patience because he wanted more information or couldn’t follow my every changing thoughts – I STOPPED, took a breath BEFORE I spoke and then responded as I would to a business partner at work.  WOW!  That was huge and as a result, not only did he offer to take the day off and help me with my next Celebrate and Connect but he also had some good ideas for moving my business forward.  I was shocked!  I wasn’t shocked he has ideas, I was more surprised that I was willing to listen and when I did, he saws AMAZINGLY supportive.  He even spotted a Thirty One bag when we were out to lunch one day this week.

“Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.” Proverbs 31:11 (NIV)

I have flaws and sometimes I don’t notice them. Rob has them too.  We all do but I find when I focus on the blessings God has given me, life is so much better.  I’m too busy offering a prayer of thanks for a grace-giving God who overlooks my flaws and polishes me clean every morning.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!