Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Raise your hand if you're a control freak!!! OK, I wouldn't really call myself a control FREAK, but maybe a control fool. I think every woman has a teensy weensy bit of control something in their blood.

I have been realizing how this affects my daily life with Steven.  Of course it can affect my relationship with others as well, but I'm speaking of specific situations in the home.

I'm about to divulge the biggest battle I've faced since getting married, and how my trying to control it exploded in my face. Several times.

Ok. So I really don't like the computer in the bed. I think the bed should be where you sleep. And do other things...besides watching shows or checking facebook. I dunno, I might want to lie (or lay?) in bed on occasion to surf the web, or maybe watch a movie, but bottom line: I don't want my man staring at a screen every night when I'M right there beside him! This was a HUGE and I mean MONSTROUS issue in my head as a new-new-newly-wed. There's not a big enough angry word for me to describe how I felt about this.

This question played in my head over and over : "Why in the world would he want to be looking at a computer screen when I'M right here?! What could be more interesting to him than a new bride?!"

Some women in my position might have thought to begin discussing this issue like a rational person, but not I. Nooooo siree.  In my mind, it made much more sense to completely FA-REAK out on him. Big time. Several times. Some of you might be thinking (as I did), "Well why didn't he just stop when he saw how upset you were about it?"  There are several answers to that question. But let's do a for instance.

For instance: You loooooove donuts. You love them so much that every single night before bed, no matter the hour, you divulge in the doughy deliciousness.  You take your time to savor each bite, each one tasting even better than the last.  You do this for about 5 years straight. Then one day, someone walks into your life and says (well...screams), "You are NOT eating ANY more donuts before bed! You  can have them any other time of the day, but not past 11 o'clock!!!"
How would you feel? Kinda annoyed, right? And wondering, "Why not? Am I hurting anyone with my donut? What's wrong with eating one before bed every night (besides the fattening reason)?"

Steven's internet sesh before bed is his donut. It's relaxing to him after work. It's a habit.
And I HATED it.

So naturally, since I was miserable, I needed to make some rules to ensure that his "donut" ritual would cease. Immediately.

Rule (attempt) #1: No internet in the house. We're canceling it. Go to the library if you want it.
Rule (attempt) #2: No internet after 12 o'clock. (Then at least I KNOW when the misery will be over!)
Rule #3: No internet in the bed. This one worked.

And then Steven fell asleep on the couch for 2 nights in a row.  Rule #3 revoked immediately.

Just the other night I finally made my peace with his habit. Here's what I finally learned (after 6 months of fighting it tooth and nail):

1. START SOFTLY: If you want need something to change, please, PLEASE start with a calm, gentle suggestion. This is soooo hard, but really...would you be open to changing your habits after someone reams you out? I don't think I would.

2. DO NOT MAKE RULES: Or should I say DONUT make rules! Please remember that.
The man is the leader. Not the woman (fortunately!). If we want something to change we must appeal to the leader in a calm, sincere, humble manner. Rules (set by you alone) will only frustrate him, strip from him the leadership position, and drive him away from you (to the couch).

3. CHRIST & THE CHURCH: My man has my best interests in mind. Just like the church should trust Christ, I need to trust him.  He may not always be perfect, but if I position myself as the church should be towards Christ, how much easier will it be for him fall right into Christ's role towards the church? Boo yah.

4. HABITS: Steven has had this habit for years. Did I expect his daily routines to completely change when he married me? Yes, yes I did. So I had to deal with the consequences of that.

5. Steven is much more willing to give up his donut when I'm happy to let him eat it. :)

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this! How would you have handled this situation?  Have you had similar challenges in your marriage? What worked/didn't for you?

Love. ♥ 


  1. Stephanie, your blog brings back many many memories. Bottom line: Maturity. Another bottom line: You want him to want to "stare" at you rather than his computer. Your ranting and raving about it got you nowhere. But, let me say "it should have." I'm not condoning screaming and yelling and demanding rules. But, he should understand you are hurting and he should understand that this is a "small" thing to give up. Habit or no habit... he's married now and shares his life with a person not a computer. Unfortunately, you cannot MAKE your husband or your wife want to want you. You have to wait. and sometimes wait. Let me say, alot of women "raise their husbands"... but let me quickly say that doesn't mean the woman is always "grown up". Women WANT to have a meaningful relationship with their husband at all times. Uh, that's why we got married. Men, generally speaking want sex. Sorry... but that is actually true. It takes a long long time for alot of men to be EMOTIONALLY attached to his woman after marriage. A woman needs to be very careful to help him get to this point. Which is another ... hah... book to write.
    So... these are my thoughts to your thoughts my dear sweet Stephanie. You're already a wonderful wife.. because you are "looking up" and not at yourself. beckie

  2. Steve and I had many similar battles when we were first married. You are right, there are many habits that we come into a relationship with that are not easy to change. I found that the best strategy is to serve him and pray about what you want, it will all work out in the end! Another tip, give him something more exciting to do than surf the web in bed! Steve and I have found that by doing only two things in bed: sleep and...... It's so much easier to fall asleep and sleep well!

  3. I think making demands is a set up for failure. If not immediately, certainly in the total scheme of the relationship. So, imho, demands never work. Appeals sometimes work. Sometimes not. Because, as Beckie pointed out, sometimes immaturity or insecurity or selfishness interferes. (This goes both ways.) In our marriage, I have found that what works best for me is to make the appeal and then I give it to God to work on his heart. At which point I give up, accept the status quo, and wait. Sometimes for years. In the meantime I focus on the postive things...the things for which I'm grateful and I keep praying for MYSELF and for the Spirit to work on his heart. I try to wait at least a year before I make a repeat appeal. Sometimes I have just stopped altogether. This is probably not the best way for me to get my way, but I think it has made for a happy marriage, despite the donuts. :) After 25 years, Randy recently suggested we do one of the things that I had asked for in the early years and then set aside. Should he have been mature enough many years ago to realize this was a good thing to do? Maybe, but that's not my business. That's between him and God. Again, what I'm suggesting isn't the way to get your way - or even to compromise. It's the way of a surrendered heart. It may not be the best way, but it's what I felt led to do and I think it allowed my husband to become the leader I always wanted him to be. :) Love you, Wendy