I am going out of order here to fit our schedule…
Dare 3: Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him/her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you. You must do so without attacking them or justifying your behavior. This is from their perspective only.
Background: How often do we fight with our spouse in the car and then step out at a gathering seconds later with smile on our faces like nothing just happened? We, as people, tend to be short with our husbands/wives, yet act like everything is perfect around others. We should treat our spouse like we treat others, because they should matter the most to us. Having good manners around our spouse should be the norm, even when no one else is around. Kendrick lays out three principles to put into place. The first is “Guard the Golden Rule.” We all remember this from elementary, when we were told we should treat others the way we would like to be treated. We should treat our spouses the same way we want them to treat us. This does not mean you will see an immediate difference in their response to you, but keep at it. The second is “No Double Standards.” Kendrick says we should “be as considerate to your spouse as you are to strangers and coworkers.” The third is “Honor Requests.” If your husband/wife has asked you to do something and it is within reason to do, than do it! They will notice that you start doing what they ask, and they will begin to respect that.
My Experience: As we were driving yesterday, I asked my husband to tell me what I do to irritate him. He did not want to talk about it at all. He was not rude about it, and neither was I, but he said he really just didn’t want to think about it. Although his response may have been a small roadblock, I know what I do that irritates him. We have had arguments over it before, so I am well-aware of what I do that he dislikes. I always think I am right (and I still think I am MOST of the time), I am bossy, and I can interrupt when I am excited about something. These qualities are not attractive, and I am working on changing them. I also struggle with all three rules Kendrick challenges us with. This change will come very slowly, and it was one I have to do on my own. None of us are perfect, and I hope that by sharing my weaknesses/imperfections with you, you would be willing to assess yourself and accept the imperfectness in you. It is OK to have faults, and now is the time to assess ourselves and try to fix what we can.
Do you struggle with the three principles? Was your spouse quick to point out your weaknesses or did it take awhile to get them to open up?