Have you ever had a man flirt with you and you've sputtered and turned ten shades of red? Flirting seems innocent right? No harm was done, so what's the big deal! But can flirting steal a woman's heart away from her husband?
I'm forty-nine years old and have five children who are all adults. I'm no Cindy Crawford. Actually, I wish I was, I'd be floating in a pool with a virgin pina colada in my hand, and no wrinkles on my face.
I've been married to my husband Vance, for twenty-nine years. Let me tell you, did we know how to fight…well at least I did. I could fire a long list of insults at him that could make a blockbuster movie look boring. My husband Vance was good at telling me I was beautiful and complimenting me, but he was a workaholic and didn't have time for his lonely wife.
Vance worked as a logger, way up in the middle of nowhere. He would leave Monday morning and return Friday night. We had five kids in seven years so you can imagine how happy I was about my husband's work habits.
Loneliness set in quickly when we were first married, and continued for many years. We would spend our weekends fighting because Vance didn't think he should have to help with the kids or with our oldest son who stayed awake most nights due to autism. He also thought we had a magic cleaning fairy who did all the housework, so he didn't have to help.
Vance would compliment me constantly, but words of praise fall on deaf ears if they aren't followed up with action, and I'm not talking about in the bedroom: the action of serving someone you love is what I'm speaking about.
My heart began to stray from the man I married, and I would longingly dream of someone coming into my life and sweeping me and the kids off our feet. I am ashamed I ever felt this way! But I think it's essential, to be honest about the dangers that can appear when a spouse is vulnerable, due to being neglected.
If a man complimented me, I would soak it up, even though Vance said beautiful words to me constantly. I began to resent his flowery language and wanted him to truly love, and serve the kids and me.
Yesterday I had a moment of reflection:
My friend Sue had texted me asking if I would come to her house for a visit, and I gladly agreed! After eating a delicious lunch she had made that looked like it came out of a Martha Stewart magazine, and lots of laughs and heartfelt talk, it was time to say goodbye.
Just before I left, her phone rang. Sue lives in the house right beside the motel she and her husband manage. A customer had buzzed her from the intercom outside the front door of her motel. I waved goodbye and headed out.
As I came out of the house, I saw a tall, pleasant looking man look up and say to me, “Was that you on the phone?”
“No, that was Sue, she's inside.”
“Oh, I was thinking, man she's fast!”
I laughed, ” Yep I'm like a genie, I just appear out of nowhere.”
“No, you're prettier than a genie!”
I turned about five shades of red at that moment.
“Thank you,” I said as I smiled at him and walked away still blushing.
I thought it was cute and smiled to myself as I drove away. Like any woman, I can appreciate a compliment, and that's all it should be, nothing more. Flattery got the charming man nowhere, and maybe that's all he meant it to be. When I got home, I told my husband about the man who tried to steal his wife, and we chuckled.
Rewind to twenty-five years ago. If that same man had said that compliment to me back then, I might have run away with him, after I grabbed the kids first.
You may be wondering what changed?
I started praying daily, begging God to transform my husband's heart. Mostly because I was lonely and vulnerable, and needed my man to cherish me, so my heart would stay devoted to him and him alone.
God granted me my prayer.
He completely cracked open my husband's heart and gently and lovingly showed him how selfish he was. Over a twenty-year period, Vance went from a selfish husband and absent father: to a doting husband and committed dad.
I remember one of the moments after I had learned to speak gently into Vance's life, instead of using accusing and condemning words. We were alone, and we were talking about people who sacrifice their life for someone else.
Vance turned to me and said, “Cindy I'd take a bullet for you.”
“Really???” I asked.
“Yes!” he said.
“So, you'd get up in the night with Kyle then?” (I'd been doing this myself for twenty-five years, multiple times a night)
Vance was silent.
“Vance I don't need a hero, I need a friend,” I said this in the gentlest tone.
Vance completely understood me at that moment. I had desired to walk through marriage and parenting with my best friend. Instead, for many years I had another mouth to feed and someone else to pick up after.
My husband became my treasured friend and my heroic lifeguard. He began to dive into the deep waters I had been drowning in, and he took over all Kyle's care, and I hoped in the boat and rested. Our son was twenty-three at the time, and Kyle was like caring for a giant two-year-old. But I loved my son with my whole heart.
I was exhausted and burnt out.
I soaked up the sunshine and drank my pina colada. I still don't look like Cindy Crawford, the only thing we have in common is our first name and our age. Well, she's three years older than me and looks ten years younger. Why does that only happen to people in Hollywood? I think I'll try to get me a blockbuster movie so I can age backwards instead.
All joking aside.
Do you have a husband who is like Vance was? Like me, have you been trying to change him with blunt, and critical words meant to harm? I understand, I really do! But my sassy tongue and angry words got me nowhere.
I want to share with you some of the ways God changed my communication to reach Vance's heart. You might find these helpful in your relationship:
💗First, start praising your man as often as you can to soften his heart towards you.
💗Once he starts trusting you to not blow your lid in anger, whenever you talk to him, he will start opening up.
💗Ask him how you can help him with his concerns or problems.
💗This is now your opportunity to dig deep and pull out your Pandora Box, and open the lid gently, and let him know how you are hurting.
💗Share with him how he can make a difference in your life or your children's lives without accusation.
💗Tell him you love him.
💗Pray and ask God to heal your marriage and change your heart and also your husband's.
Vance finally stole my heart away, and now it belongs to him. He's the biggest flirt, but only with me. When my husband started putting his words into action, I began to soak up his flowery language and cherished the words he blessed me with.
God desires to see your marriage happy, healthy and thriving. Ask him, today to give you and your husband a renewed friendship and to change your relationship.
Your husband might become your best friend and biggest flirt, and capture your heart with his love💗
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. – Colossians 3: 12-14
Cindy Seaton shares her blunders, joys, triumphs, every-day life, and moments with Jesus on her blog, Beauty from Ashes. She shares heart-felt moments about her life as a wife, mother, daughter, and sister. You're invited to join her on Tuesday mornings for Beauty with Your Coffee, a weekly chat via email!