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Abigail, I too hope that my posts are 100% truth. As you say I have been transparent and whilst I accept that everything is my take on things I can assure you that I am giving the truth.

 

Update: could be a little bitty/disjointed (it's late here in the UK)

 

This weekend was very tense. I have been trying very hard to ensure that I did not cross any boundaries this week - I did not initiate contact and I made sure that I respected her physical boundaries. My wife was late home on Friday because she had been studying with a friend. She seemed happy to start with but because she was late the kids were very tetchy and she ended up arguing with them over their behaviour. We were sitting in the room together and talking quietly (the kids were at the other end watching TV) and my wife talked of being nervous about college starting and having done little work to prepare. I validated her feelings and was careful to hold my tongue because she had told me that she had been to various famous gardens in London etc. That, and something else later in the weekend brought to mind something I had never really thought of as significant. When at home my wife was always going out - to visit someone, to a shop, to a garden centre, to a farm etc and we always went as a family when practicable. I thought it was because she didn't like our untidy house and just needed to escape. However, now she is living alone you would think it would be different but it seems she still needs to be out of the house as much as possible despite giving peace and solitude and enjoying her own company as reasons for leaving us. I tell you this because I suppose I have realised that "being busy" is just a part of who she is, and coming home at weekends and doing nothing, or even just "being" with the kids is not enough for her - something I guess I need to work on in terms of planning.

 

Saturday went the same way in terms of tension. We had a sponsored bike ride with the youth club at my church and I said we would get the bike out in the morning and get them ready for the ride (around a park at 1.30pm). My wife got very stressed about this and said the bike ride was taking over the whole day and that she was very unhappy to be here doing something she didn't want to do - I'm guessing socialising with church folk was the issue or even just being with me (and the kids?). I tried to validate her feelings but she was very tired and very stressed. I tried to put her at ease saying everything would be OK and then we discussed how we would get there. She was adamant the kids could not ride to the park so I said I would ferry everyone in two goes and my wife could stay with the first lot - she blew her stack saying that she would be waiting with the first lot (the girls) and what a waste of her time that would be etc etc. I could tell she really didn't want to be with us, and I found out later that she is worried about the fact that she hasn't sorted the housing benefit yet, she has a benefits interview on Wednesday this week and she is worried she may have to find students to share the house with her. She is also trying to get income support and is looking at working a couple of hours a week (which would help with a claim). So I tried to be kind, loving, gentle and affirming. I was a bit shocked though, as she spoke of things she mentioned that in year 3 (she's starting yr 2 now) of med school they will do a placement in a hospital. She said her friend was worried because it can be anywhere in the country. My wife said she wasn't worried because she would get a placement in London because she is a single mum and has to get back for the children!!! I was gobsmacked again. More talk revealed that she seems to be telling certain people (not everyone) and the local councils etc that she is a single mum with 4 kids. I'm hoping that she is being honest with her benefits claims but it is hard not to retaliate when she says that as if she has the kids to look after every day.

 

My wife commented that I hadn't been on facebook much this week - I did refrain from telling her I knew about her alter ego (i.e her new identity in her maiden name) because I can see in much of what is going on that it's almost as if she is playing out some sort of fantasy or dream life. I accept what firewalker says in that she needs to hear the truth and all I can say to that is that on Tuesday and Wednesday of this past week I had an overwhelming sense that something is going to happen soon - I don't know what but I know it is God and I am being careful not to get in the way of that by either accidentally or intentionally taking control. My focus must be on Jesus and my relationship with Him.

 

I am a little embarrassed about what happened after the bike ride (which went well for me and the kids but saw my wife just sitting in a daydream most of the time except for going around the track once with our youngest). I had been praying to God for more to be revealed and after the ride we filled the car with bikes and walked to someones house for tea. I said I would take the bikes home and then come back for everyone else. The embarrassing bit is that when I got in the car her phone was there and I looked at it. All the saved "love" texts from "that man" were deleted and it looks like he's running away from her again. But she is still pursuing and even sent him a text whilst we were at the bike ride telling him where she was and asking how he was - but this time with no kisses on the end. So as firewalker said, he is too immature for a relationship (despite being the same age as her) and she is still sickening for him. To me that does echo Hosea to a tea. Sadly the "one night stand" who replaced "that man" was asking to see her again but I really do believe there is nothing to that and am not about to get involved in trying to control her life or judge her for what she is doing right now. I do struggle with why I looked at her phone and why it is that every time I pray for the darkness to come to the light I seem to get the opportunity to do so. I think I need to be stronger in resisting the temptation to look at her phone and be stronger in allowing her to communicate the truth to me when she is ready to tell it. :oops:

 

After the bike ride we had spoken about her going to London and the kids staying overnight with her - especially as I had an early morning communion ans 2 other services and a Harvest lunch to go to on Sunday. The kids all went mad even though they already knew. They were awkward, shouting "I don't want to stay in London", pouting, sitting down and refusing to budge - you name it. So I talked calmly and gently to them, helping them to see it as a possible adventure and or just a fun time or even just something to do. My wife was very appreciative of that support for her and said so in the car on the way up. Needless to say I took a few tools with me and did put up the curtain pole. When I left all the kids were all over me and not wanting me to go but I reassured them that I would be seeing them again in less than 18hrs. According to my wife they settled a bit by watching TV but on the Sunday it all blew up again because my wife wanted to go out and have fun but hadn't explained it to the kids the night before (they don't like surprises). One of the boys (11 y/o) was particularly bad and wanted to know why I didn't stay over and why my wife was living in London during the week. My wife told me this after my evening service and moments before she was leaving to catch a train home to London. She indicated she had said something to him about living separately was a good thing at the moment but I didn't get chance to hear exactly what she said to him or to discuss what we might tell them all - that will come, it has too - unless my feelings of earlier in the week are to do with that - I'm not sure.

 

She did also talk about cleaning etc and about some other things which my instant feeling was to retaliate but I didn't because I think in some ways she was venting and I needed to hold that as best I could. I didn't manage completely but mostly.

 

My wife did call when she got home and she spoke kindly and gently and I was taking an interest in her as I spoke and she spoke, so much so that I think the tiredness and emotions of the weekend, coupled with my responding to her as a husband should, made her say that she "needed to go now" in a way that - to me - meant that (in a nice way) she was unable to cope with it without getting all emotional on the phone - which she wouldn't want to do.

 

So I am continuing in this ministry. It is hard to lay your life down for someone and very hard not to retaliate and I think that is to do with the re-wiring of the brain that is (and needs to be) taking place. It's also hard when the clear verbal message from your wife is that we're done, yet the non-verbal communication (and sometimes the verbal actually) says something different. I do struggle very much between continuing to try and bring healing to someone who doesn't want it (or see the need for it) and just calling it a day and moving on. Though I have to say when I do have the latter thought I feel get a swift kick from God who says "I'm not done yet".

 

As always your prayers are much appreciated.

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Ulysee - I am praying for you brother. No matter what she does you are 1st responsible to God for how you treat her, treat her with love. If you remain faithful in this time to that calling, God will see and bless you in it. Her sin is no excuse for you to "sin" by not loving her.

 

This verse just came to me and I hope it encourages you in some way:

 

1 Samuel 12:20-25: "Do not be afraid," Samuel replied. "You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own. As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away."

 

As for you, despite her sin, you need to love her with Christ's love. Pray for Jesus to give you His heart for her, for your heart to be aligned with His. I know you have already prayed along these lines, I am just encouraging you to continue in this prayer.

 

Stand strong in Christ my friend!

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update - could be long

 

There's lots to tell but it's late here and I just spent yesterday until 1am in the morning with my youngest in A&E because she fell and banged her head.

 

I want to vent a little and update a little but I want to check my heart too.

 

Towards the end of last week my wife called in deep distress because her claim for income support was not going to be accepted and that because of that her housing benefit claim was in question. I began to wonder if this was God's hand at work and an answer to the Hosea prayer to block her paths. In a way it was and it did appear to humble her for a while although I still think that she may be declaring her single parentedness when if fact she is mostly single - but that's not for me to worry about (I think). And they did review it on Monday and she now has income support.

 

The weekend was hassle free again - we went to her brothers birthday and enjoyed ourselves although we sat at opposite ends of the table (of 16 people) and rarely spoke. We also went to my church's breakfast and to another church's Harvest to hear her parents and sisters sing. I thought all was well in many ways - WRONG! Interestingly she has now begun to 1) share with me some of her frustrations regarding the kids and the house, and 2) is taking much more interest in my addiction to pornography in the sense of making sense of our relationship and perhaps how she has become the person she is right now.

 

On Sunday we needed to tell the children they would be staying in London with mummy next weekend. My wife had said we should let them have their say and see how it went. When we told them the boys went mad - really mad!! They both said they didn't want to go, they said they hated it etc etc. We talked about it and my wife said how she was finding it difficult to come home, about not agreeing with me all the time etc. The boys (with no prompting from me or conversations having been had) both picked up on what they saw as mummy always finding fault with daddy. We allowed them to talk and it was obvious they were missing their mum but they wanted her at home not in London. The eldest spontaneously told my wife that if we ever divorce he will hate her forever (he said you but I don't think it was plural). She said that she has her house till August so she would be there until then and who knows after that - not sure they understood that. After some calming talk we left it be with the boys. The girls were different. The youngest was totally oblivious of what was being said and was playing a game with a toy elephant right next to me and my wife and was asking questions about her game as though we weren't even talking to the boys. My 9 y/o girl however just stayed behind a curtain the whole time and said nothing, but afterwards she kept asking me to do things with her, build a model, read with her etc and was very clingy to me but ignored my wife.

 

After about half an hour I spoke to my wife as I handed her a drink and she said how it had gone in the conversation and how she felt a little worried because we had played it down a bit and it was a bit more serious. I reflected on that for about 20 mins and then decided to say to my wife that actually I was a little confused because I don't know what's happening either.

 

So we had a conversation in my study. Broadly she said that she was still pursuing divorce, that she was just slow with paperwork and a bit laid back but divorce was on and that she has signed the papers and I'll get them soon. She spoke of our marriage as a sham (wrt pornography) and again of divorce as the only option (though she had spoken on Saturday of her thinking of taking a year off college but decided not to and that maybe I should take a year out to sort out my life and addiction - eventhough that seems to have just gone!!!)

 

She said she has filed for divorce but she's not happy about having to. I think she meant that she didn't want divorce but that she feels she has to. The reason she gave was that it is for my benefit and for me to treat her as an equal and as far as she's concerned it's the only way I will (I struggle with that because if treating her as an equal means other relationships and letting her live the single life then I find that difficult). I said again that if divorce changes nothing in our relationship then how is it going to make me treat her any differently. I asked her to tell me how I wasn't treating her as an equal and she just said it was things like the fact that we were sitting there with me asking her questions - so I'm confused on that? She did also say that anytime I say that I'm her husband is also not treating her as equal - I really don't understand that - I don't believe I am using that as a lever but I validated what she said and am trying to reflect on that.

 

I then decided to let my adult self speak, the more Christlike me who loves her whether we reconcile or not - which is quite powerful when you are no-longer afraid of divorce.

 

I spoke of how if nothing changes after divorce what is the point and I spoke of how her coming home all the time was giving me hope which was a false hope and perhaps she should not come here anymore - or at least not stay here (I recall firewalker saying similar to me in an earlier post) I said that if she was being with me but not wanting reconciliation that it was false and just playing at happy families to placate the kids which was wrong. If we never get back together then the pain for the children will just re-surface later when they realise mum & dad have just been playing at being happy. I said if she wanted divorce it wasn't right for us to be sleeping in the same house - I also said that would be the perception of others too. She countered that she and I were different to to other people and that we could do what we wanted to do - we could do it differently. She then said that during and after divorce wouldn't I still expect her to come to church with me and the kids and to go to church functions with us. I didn't answer but my heart was saying no, I wouldn't want her at those things during or after divorce, not if it was building a picture of a happy (but divorced) family - not that it would be if the boys reaction is anything to go by.

 

She then spent 20 minutes talking about they grey areas of life in so much as "we can't say for sure if we will or won't get back together" and that as she initiated the divorce she is in control of it and it can be canceled at any time by her. And that she was stuck in London until at least August of next year (second use of that). And that she cannot think of the future because it's uncertain, we might get back together or not. It felt like she was dangling the carrot of possible future reconciliation without wanting to commit to that.

 

That was then followed by a statement that she would keep coming home here because of the children. I didn't disagree at the time but did tell her that if she found anyone else that everything stopped (i.e visits and going out as a family) - that seemed to stop her in her tracks. It seemed to me like she wants for us to live two separate lives (either of us with or without partners - she did tell me to look at dating websites before I mentioned not coming here) but for the sake of the children to be together at weekends doing stuff as a family etc and that she seemed to see that for the foreseeable future whether we had new partners or not :?

 

Even still thinking of saving for a family holiday together for next year!

 

Her parents stayed over Sunday night and her mum told me in the morning (unprompted) that she had seen my wife during the week and my wife had said she was in her flat till August (again) and that by that time she would know that if she wanted to get back together with me that it would be a real decision on her part with no pressure of feeling she had to.

 

So I want to check my heart here. I perceive that she needs time apart from me. I can see that us being together here most of the time (I don't stay with them in London) may not be giving either of us that space. She constantly picks up on what I'm not doing (mostly cleaning), is frustrated because I am too efficient and she feels she has no role when she comes home. And tolerates coming to functions etc but would rather not be there, although would be OK when they all know we are getting divorced.

 

I am also aware that I may be failing to become more Christlike because reconciliation is still a motive when she is constantly coming home rather than becoming a strong man of God. Also I am not able to "make myself attractive to her" because I am always with her and the kids and she doesn't get the opportunity to miss me or to see me in a different light.

 

So I am struggling with what to do. I see the benefits to the children when they see us together and we do things together but I also see it is just a big lie. I intend to tell the kids that we are getting a divorce as soon as I get the paperwork and I will do that regardless of whether my wife agrees to that or not. That may make being together at weekends a bit more real if the kids can ask real questions. It also means that they don't have a false hope that just because we're in the same room together everything must be OK.

 

Yet if we need time apart (more that just 5 days at a time) then she cannot really keep coming/staying here. By her own definition she has to actually leave fully to be able to come back, otherwise nothing changes. So I am praying for the ability to discern her real needs and to lay my life down for her and the kids without thought for my feelings or pain but also living truthfully. Should she be allowed to stay overnight here or not? I just don't know yet and I am praying for direction.

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U,

 

Life is so messy and divorce/separation is messier still. You are in the ultimate of pickles (do they use that phrase in the U.K.?).

 

She is toying with the prospect of reconciliation, but not wanting to commit. The fact that she is processing the porn addiction is actually a step in the right direction. Before, she didn't want to address it, she didn't want to talk about it, she just wanted to be away from you and find herself and her inner adult. She needs to revisit it, not to punish you, but to mourn the losses: the dreams, the safety, the oneness were all lost when you chose porn over your wife. Her pain and her mourning give you the opportunity to come alongside and heal her heart. It is a very odd thing, that the betrayer holds so much power to heal, but in God's economy, nothing is wasted, nothing is without possibilities for redemption and redirection. Are you willing?

 

Good for you to commit to truth. Speaking the truth in love and for the purpose of clarity can shine a light down on your wife. Her going quiet at the mention of "other people" being a deal breaker shows that she needed truth at that very moment. She is likely still cultivating a fantasy life in which she is swept off her feet by a handsome, yet unknown man, she becomes a brilliant doctor, and she is admired and beloved by her children. Instead, she is creating chaos and pain with her pursuit of self and the children intrinsically know they are not at the center of her thoughts. How God must weep over the pain of your children. Their young hearts so confused and so undone by this entire thing. It is one thing to pay the price for your mother's employment/educational goals, it is another to be at the center of the unstable world of separation and/or divorce. Clear, isn't it, why God hates divorce.

 

Her heart is so uncertain. I wish there was a way for you to be at peace with that, but it complicates everything. She does not want to pursue reconciliation, because.....she fears losing herself and returning to the same woman who was overlooked, unadored, powerless, and weary of trying at marriage. She wants divorce because...she feels power and control, which she was lacking in her marriage. She was such a little girl, who sacrificed her own voice and desires and judgement to "keep the peace" in your home. All those unexpressed thoughts, desires, needs, dreams, goals....lost opportunities.

 

Now she wants to be a woman, with a strong and powerful voice and with choices. But she has forgotten who it was who made her, she has left her Heavenly Father, who gave her life, out of the equation. Thus, she is no more mature than the small, voiceless, powerless wife of the minister that she so despised in her previous incarnation. She will be incomplete and lacking depth and maturity without the Spirit of God being her lead and her guide. Pray powerfully for the renewal of the Spirit in her heart. Her emptiness by shutting Him out has got to be endless and utterly frightening. Choices. She has made these choices. Sowing and reaping. She forgets about all that she will yet reap. Pray that God would visit her in her dreams. That He would be the hound of heaven in pursuit of her, tireless and with complete resolve that she would be rescued.

 

Stay close in your walk with him. The temptation to indulge your self and place blame and walk away from your marriage will grow greater. Expect it. Fight it. Surrender the outcome, but pursue with all the passion you can muster, and as much as she allows.

 

Without any expectation, ask her out on a date. What????Firewalker are you utterly mad??? Every woman wants to be pursued and adored from a powerfully confident man.

 

Be playful, be winsome, be grown up, not little boy. If she turns you down, just play it off, say something natural like, "I just so wanted to date you all over again," then smile, and walk away and do something else, or better yet run an errand right away so she can't argue or berate you, or blame you for trying. Think Cary Grant: confident, gentleman. No begging, no tears, nothing ventured nothing gained. And come back with just as much commitment to love and with a smile on your face. You know something she doesn't: God is still on His throne, and His love never fails and He is your Dad and your are His boy.

 

There still is hope. Listen for His voice. He will make your path straight and light your way.

 

If you are going to fail in the pursuit of your wife, then fail magnificently, with all the passion and all the commitment and without the fear of the outcome.

 

You will be an awesome example to your sons of how to love a woman in the most difficult of times. Allow them to share their hearts, but never to disrespect their mum.

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Firewalker - thank you for your post it has helped me to understand myself a little better and to try to understand my wife.

 

We do use the phrase "in a pickle" and yes we really are in a pickle!!

 

I have been reflecting on your post and mine and agree that the temptation to just walk away is very great indeed. I have been tossing around in my mind whether my wife coming here and staying overnight is good or bad, especially as she is not here to reconcile. It's a fine line between meeting her (and the children's) needs and being a doormat. As you and others and my wife have said, I have to have something to offer (relationally) and I have to actually "be" someone and not just be a people pleaser. So it does make the choices hard.

 

I do believe, though, that I am willing to come alongside her and heal her heart and part of that is about me not harbouring my pain but laying that aside and ignoring her life choices and just giving and giving and meeting her needs as I understand them. Mind you understanding them is difficult because of the ambiguity and as you said, "her heart is so uncertain".

 

The boys exploded again today when I asked them to get some things ready for the weekend in London. I think they are very much aware that divorce is on the cards and when trying to diffuse the situation (without avoidance or lies but trying to deflect their anger) my eldest just cried out "lies, it's all lies". I so wanted to just splurt out what was going on but it was not the time or the place (over breakfast). And as so many have said, when we tell them we have to do it together. My eldest also said that if we divorced he wouldn't give custody to either of us but would go live with a relative - he was expressing his anger and frustration so I just came alongside him and gave him a big hug and told him I loved him.

 

I have not received papers yet and I hate it when the post arrives. We still need to discuss what we tell people and I'm guessing that my wife is going to want to keep it low profile but I think it's time the truth (but not the detail) was told so I will hold out for that.

 

I did ask her out - not on a date as such. I want to see Michael McIntyre a really funny comedian so I asked if my wife would like to come with me (in November!) She said yes (by text) immediately but later in the day when we talked on the phone she wanted to make sure I understood it wasn't anything to do with reconciliation - I just said "sure - no strings attached".

 

What I have learned over these past 24hrs is that I too often think of the strong defensive wife that I know, when actually she is both nervous and worried and severely lacking in self-confidence in many situations and her natural defense is to come across as determined and confident. So I am learning to allow for those things in her actions, her choices and her words and in a very good way to actually ignore what she is saying, doing and choosing and deciding to "do" what God wants me to do for her and for the children which is to put self aside and to look after them.

 

I am determined, as you say firewalker, that if I fail in the pursuit of my wife, I will fail magnificently.

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I am still around keeping updated...and I do keep your family in my prayers.

 

I think it important to clarify on the part of you and your wife parenting together...that would be the goal...not that you have to wait until she decides it necessary.

 

Every time I read your posts...my heart first bleeds for your kids. I think that they deserve an explanation...even if it is Mom and I are going to separate and parent you together until we know what we are going to do.

 

And if I were you...I would say...I'm telling the kids something. We can decide together what that will be....or you can let me decide what to tell them....but they are going to be told something.

 

I would tell her this at an appropriate time...not right before you drop the kids off for the weekend...and then she has them alone to tell them her version before you two confer. If the kids will be there this weekend, I'd tell her as you pick them up...and say...they will be told something this weekend. Let's each think about it for a day...and we can communicate on this issue after that. If you don't want to, then I'll do it myself.

 

That is my opinion. Take it for what it is. Offered in Christian love...and fully knowing you have your rights to do what you ultimately feel is best for you kids... :D

 

Hope you have a great week!

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From Nancy Nair's advise to wives, posted by firewalker:

 

7. Remember that your example can help your children to be truthful at all times about their feelings, so they don't have to wait and learn how to be truthful after they are married. Teach them how to appropriately share their hearts with you and dad.

 

ulysee, you are not the wife. You have the XY chromosomes, so I did not copy and paste the rest of Nancy Nair's pointers for wives.

 

As the husband, when you tell the age-appropriate truth to your children, follow up with taking responsibility each and every time.

 

This will give your children a heightened sense of security. There's something very healing about fathers humbly taking responsibility.

 

Just as sins of the father are very strong, the converse is also true - healings from the father are very strong.

 

Mothers whose husbands abdicate their Godly roles take over the father's role....but what I say about fathers is still true.

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Xena and Purple many thanks for your comments. I have to say that apart from me being a man I do sometimes think my thread belongs in the wives section - it is a kind of unique situation. And it makes wining my wifes heart back quite a challenge.

 

Truth, I am learning, is liberating and over the last months I have been truthful in everything. Even when my wife asked if I had seen a lawyer I couldn't say no even though I knew it would make her mad because we cannot afford one and she is getting legal aid and she knows that money spent by me is money the kids won't have!!

 

I do struggle with what parenting together means though and welcome any thoughts.

 

My wife seems to think that co-parenting or parenting together means that I need to phone her to tell her about the kids - if they get a cold, if they are told how good they have been at school etc etc. Difficult because she takes offense if I text her everyday and then takes offense if I save things up to tell her later :?

 

I think she also believes that co-parenting means that, as far as it is possible, we do things together with the kids. Like going out to farms or functions or church together and even going on holiday together. That seems OK as long as neither of us is seeing someone else but at the same time it also feels like "playing happy families" and giving the kids a false sense of security. I say that because she has admitted that she cannot not be in a relationship with someone - so how she can survive the coming months as a single person who knows. Also, co-parenting seems to be what happens only at my house - at her house I know I am not really welcome and certainly not given permission to "feel at home". And I do not stay overnight and because we arrive at tea time I eat but then leave and don't see anyone until the Sunday evening - meaning she is a "lone parent" for those 48hrs.

 

The kids having the security that mum is still around is one thing but is it right to do things together as a family? Sometimes it feels right and other times I question the validity if what my wife really wants is divorce. Perhaps divorce means something different to her -I don't know.

 

So I am praying for direction and for the ability to understand my wife and so to heal her heart and lay my life down for her - not as a doormat but as a strong man of God.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Warning - much longer post that I had anticipated :)

 

Firewalker - thanks for asking. I haven't posted for a while because not much is changing. My wife is now back at college full time and communication has been minimal - she uses the excuse that because I have a pay-as-you-go mobile phone that texting is too expensive for me but I am not so sure. I think that sometimes she just wants it to be that I do not know how she is or what she's doing so that she can feel free of me in the sense of not feeling obliged to include me in her life or thoughts. Divorce papers have not yet arrived but we do have postal strikes here at the moment so I still wince everytime the mail arrives.

 

I am still struggling with many of the things I was before. Half the time my wife kisses me on the cheek, the other half you would think nothing was wrong. She does now ask me how I am doing wrt my addiction and what has replaced it - which for me at the moment is fairly constant prayer - she says she's asking because of the safety of the kids - mmmmm!.

 

Sometimes I stand in awe of what I can see God is doing in our relationship especially when I give control to Him - other times I feel like my wife is running away and hiding from her old life.

 

She still has her alter ego on Facebook and still seems to hanker after "that man" who still seems to have no real interest in a relationship with her. I keep praying that God will remove him from her life by giving him what he wants - a girlfirend!! (but not my wife cos she's not his type - so he says). I pray the Hosea prayer daily.

 

My wife does seem to be struggling too and I think it is this double life that she is leading. On the one hand she seems to want to be young free and single. She is doing things in London like Salsa dancing, she has joined a choir, she sees friends and relatives there etc etc. But when I manage to pray about it I see a picture of someone who remains unfulfilled, someone who has a gaping hole in their life and is trying to fill it with things. These past two weekends my wife has twice put her mobile and home phone numbers on the wall near the phone and told the kids if they want to phone her they can. This weekend she made a large (A5) notice with the number written large and decorated with pictures of leaves. But the kids aren't interested. The older ones never ask to call her (and never do call her even on their cell phones) and the youngest doesn't know to ask so I ask her and sometimes she says yes and others no - but she very rarely says "can I tell mummy......" I guess my wife is feeling that distance. She does call most days but the effort to do so has to come from her. She already told me off weeks ago for what she saw as me "forcing" the kids to talk to her or to phone her or even just to return her texts - they still get a "good morning" text from her and rarely bother to respond to it - but if I encourage them to I get it in the neck from them and from my wife!! But on the missing the kids bit we have duality once again. My wife had downloaded the wrong terms timetable from college and thought she was doing 9-5 at college everyday. It seems that the correct one is much less intense (although I'm not allowed to see it). She says she misses the kids yet this Friday she was due home and she arranged to see her cousin in London which meant she wouldn't be back until 8pm. As it turned out with the trains etc she didn't arrive until 9.30pm - way past bedtime. Yet at 2.30pm she was at home posting on Facebook. If she had left then she would have been home for tea - it is confusing and I think it confuses her as much as me and the kids - as I say I think she is struggling with wanting to be free and without responsibility but at the same time there is a major pull to be a caring mother.

 

This weekend we went out as a family (my suggestion) to a play area near the beach - I knew my wife misses the sea and it was a lovely day. Again, apart from touch and intimacy you would think we were a normal happy family. This weekend my wife has been tidying a few boxes of stuff to make more room in the house - contrast a few weeks ago when she wasn't interested and was complaining of having no role here. Also she made up a new rule for the kids this weekend - It was to do with eating down from the table and that the rule is you can't. Contrast with a few weeks ago when she kept saying to me - well it's your house, your rules. She is taking bits and pieces to London every now and then - plants, pictures - little things. The kids notice but then just dismiss it.

 

So I am trying to do whatever I can to bless my wife whenever I can do it. Like today, our youngest got the "star of the day" certificate at school so I asked her if she wanted to tell mummy, and when we got home I called my wife but let the youngest speak first - trying to include her in the small things of parenting which all of you will know are actually the biggest (both for us and for a 5 year old).

 

And I think she is noticing. But like firewalker indicated before (and others) she cannot allow herself to even think that the changes she sees are permanent or even sufficient for her to reconsider her path. Yet I know she sees how much the kids dote on me because of how much I have been laying my life down for them - and I can see in her expression the mixture of joy and sorrow in that especially for what she is missing out on in that.

 

She still talks of saving for holidays and buying joint presents at Christmas whilst at the same time going to a garden centre together and paying separately for what we bought.

 

As for me, I am learning so much about me and about becoming Christlike. I have begun to understand that the way my wife acts or reacts does not have to be because of me. What I mean by that is that if she is sad or happy or down or angry - it isn't necessarily about me or anything I have done. That has enabled me to stop and think and then rather than reacting (thermometer) I have been able to initiate things to change the mood or to pull her out of it (thermostat) or to "ignore" it and be happy in myself (and show it) anyway. That is so important to me because I think I have been so reactive for our whole marriage and I know that has been so draining for my wife.

 

I have also begun to understand my propensity to leap ahead to a future that doesn't yet exist except in my head. I have been able to stay in the moment - well actually I leap ahead then jump back again but I'm sure it'll come. That has helped me to stop leaping to conclusions. Before I would be suspicious if my wife seemed over confident or overly happy (this is since she asked for divorce) because I though something (or someone) was happening. Now I am able to begin to understand a little of why she may be like she is and to rejoice with her and to take what she says as what she says without adding my own interpretation (not there yet but progressing).

 

I still do a lot of apologising and I am validating her feelings as she shares them (though rare at the moment). And I have realised a biggie for me. I have always known I have drifted through life and I have not been able to do anything about it. I have been stable and caring but completely lacking passion in anything. My wife was taken back 3 years ago when I did a sponsored slim at my Church - she gave me a copy of the South Beach Diet and I was so passionate and "in charge" especially when it came to preparing the meals (I lost 22lb in 6 weeks). When tidying up I found yet another 4 page journal (she rarely gets beyond 4 entries in a diary so we seem to have loads of them all over the place). In it she describes me taking a wedding and how it was a glimpse of who I can be. I have reflected long and hard on that and tried to understand the heart behind what she wrote - as much to figure what it was that was so special about that day. I think what she liked most was that I was confident and was taking charge but in a caring and humble way. What she said was "the right mix of reverence, charm and don't worry, it's nearly over". In other words I was taking the lead but making sure that the needs of the bride and groom were being met. I see that in life I need to take the lead (initiate) and that I need to make sure that the needs of others (my wife and children) are met before my own. That is why we went out on Saturday. I wanted to go out (passion) somewhere but I thought of the needs of my family too, wife beach/sea, kids play area.

 

None of it comes as second nature yet but for me the revelation is in seeing it and understanding it and therefore being able to short circuit those badly wired neural pathways in my brain (to the thalamus? been reading Angry Men) and to begin making new ones.

 

I have also realised that I cannot and do not want to control my wife (though it is a daily struggle) nor do I need her (at the moment) to validate me - only God can do that. If she comes back then that would be great - even go so far as to say "what I want" - if not then God has plans for me (and her) that I do not yet know but the will indeed be plans to prosper and not harm.

 

Thanks for your prayers and concern.

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Ulysee - thanks so much for the update, it sounds to me like you are really finding a solid place to stand in all of this and I praise the Lord Jesus for your example and for His work in you!

 

I am continuing to pray for you, your wife and your children my brother!

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Sorry I have taken so long to reply. I just want to say well done. Keep moving forward. So many of your statements are indications that you are truly working on your Christlikeness, your living with your wife (even at a distance) in an understanding way and your commitment to regain you own identity so that you will become the man that God intended to be the husband of your wife and the father to your children. Your previous choices that were not God-honoring changed you. Now you get the opportunity to take off those old garments and reveal the Ulysees that your were meant to be.

 

All of these things are sooooo important. I don't minimize the difficulty for you, for that is truly apparent, but the seed sown will be reaped. Make no mistake. God will prosper the seed scattered amongst your family: wife, children, extended family.

 

Keep your focus and when you become distracted, find yourself moved from your path you have chosen to follow, then get back on track.

 

It is curious how the divorce papers have not shown up. It does give one pause as to why this is the case.

 

My heart so breaks for those kids. That is a lot of pain. I am so glad that they are strong enough, and that you two have made it safe enough for them to speak their hearts, even if it is not what your wife wants to hear. Their speaking up is such a sign of good sense of self, not selfishness, but being willing to speak their truth. Hallelujah.

 

I also loved that you shared the "star of the day" award. That is fantastic and showing great love and support for both your wife and your daughter.

I have also realised that I cannot and do not want to control my wife (though it is a daily struggle) nor do I need her (at the moment) to validate me - only God can do that. If she comes back then that would be great - even go so far as to say "what I want" - if not then God has plans for me (and her) that I do not yet know but the will indeed be plans to prosper and not harm.

Great attitude. I know you may not always have that perspective, but I pray that it will become your second nature.

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Update (and bit of a vent if I may) (p.s. turns out to be a definite vent in parts )

 

After taking the time to let my wife know of our little "star of the day" I guess I boobed a couple of times. First I told my wife we would call her after going to the Fish & Chip shop but neglected to say which one and therefore how long it would take which left my wife feeling worried that we were OK or not because we took so long. The second was on the Wednesday, my wife called me on my cell phone expecting me to be in the car park with the girls waiting for school. Instead we were walking to school because it was "national walk to school week". I told my wife as we were walking along and she was very angry then very upset, partly because she is a keen environmentalist and partly because I think she felt left out. She went very quiet on the phone so I apologised and validated her feelings several times in the silence. She then blurted out that she doesn't even know what her children are up to - I apologised and validated her feeling and was all the time fighting the urge to point out that we had called her on the Monday about "star of the day" and Tuesday about our other daughters piano lessons etc and that it was my wife who was distancing herself from us not the other way around (I know I can tell you guys that because you know how hard it is, and as I said before I am changing (not changed - yet) and at least managed to empathise with her feelings of isolation).

 

Her call turned out to be about travel arrangements to her grandfathers funeral - the kids were going too. On Thursday my wife arrived on the train and I was waiting with 3 well dressed children ready to go by train to where the funeral was being held - I followed with the other child because it was "Victorian day" at school and she wanted to be there for the morning. At the railway my wife was very happy, gave me a kiss and a hug then went off with the children - blessed perhaps because we were there waiting for her, were looking the part and the kids weren't complaining or moaning.

 

We met at my father-in-law's house and things were a little colder between us, I think because of his stress (it was his dad who died) and my wife's stress induced by him and his normal rejection of our children when they visit. When I got there he asked if I would do a reading at the funeral and I said I would check with my wife (background - Granny had said she wanted me to "be part of the family" and not take the funeral - she doesn't know of our situation - my wife knew this and said she would be upset/angry if I had been asked to lead the service). When I checked with my wife the answer was a flat NO - followed by a thank you for complying. So my father-in-law was left feeling as though he had been let down by me (even said so and was very scathing of his daughter for stopping me). Fortunately I read a devotional earlier in the week which was about not being able to please everyone - even God can't do that!

 

The funeral was fine but when I put an arm around my wife to comfort her at one point I got daggers and shrugged off by my wife, perhaps because it was in public? I don't know but I just walked away and looked after the kids. I certainly felt unwelcome by my wife yet at the same time was very welcomed by her family and especially her granny. I did what I felt was the "right thing" and tried to keep in the background. When I dropped my wife off at the railway (she decided not to stay for dinner) we were back to a peck on the cheek - perhaps not surprising given the circumstances. Later she did text and say "Thanks for today. I know it was hard for you too." and then the next day sent a text saying "I was really sad yesterday but also tired."

 

I'm really glad to say that I managed throughout to make sure that nothing my wife said or did influenced my behaviour and that all the time I was just seeking to be a blessing to her and the children. That can be hard when my wife demands the children be disciplined or told they cannot have something which I feel is unreasonable and I can tell it is because she is tired or irritable and is just intolerant of the kids.

 

We talked on the phone later in the week and I told my wife that when I spoke to the kids to remind them they would be staying in London this weekend the two boys did a repeat performance with regards to plain just not wanting to go - hating London - why didn't I stay etc etc. I have to be very careful now because the three eldest are making up a picture for themselves which is that daddy doesn't stay in London because he is trying to get some time away from them!!! I managed to tell them that wasn't the case but uh oh, that is not something I want them to think. We haven't told them the whole picture yet and I'm beginning to see why purple said we should tell them or it will backfire on me - I'll come back to that in a minute.

 

Because of a Church meeting I was to take the kids to London Saturday morning and my wife to bring them back Sunday afternoon. On the phone my wife said - oh yes, about Saturday, the choir practice on Saturdays and I miss out, so this weekend I want to go it's from 1pm to 5pm but it takes an hour to get there. I volunteered to babysit but my wife just said - no bring them up after. Then on Friday night she called and said, don't bring them just come up for dinner on Sunday afternoon after church!! (my note - that's a 140 mile round trip for a 3 1/2 hr visit). I said I would give them a sandwich to eat for lunch in the car so as to save time and my wife said - oh! well what will I give them for dinner then if you have already had a sandwich?

 

We did go and I was greeted with a big hug and big kiss - my wife had been to a local church and then to a hospitality lunch at the church and she was very happy. I had bought her some flowers but let the youngest choose them so as to involve more than just me. I deliberately let her be in charge in her house but after a while I began to volunteer to help which was gratefully received. She then asked me to help remove the last difficult bits of Holly from her house walls (gets everywhere). Whilst I was up the ladder she said "have you got a letter yet?" I said no and she said that she had got a letter from her lawyer telling her they were sending me a letter :( I just said I hadn't got anything and she said "I'm really sorry"

 

I helped with dinner and took the lead with the kid's and especially in making sure we left on time (my wife was anxious on the phone that we left in time to get back for bed time for the youngest). When we did leave I gave my wife a kiss and a hug and she hugged me again and then held my hands until we parted. she gave a big smile to the kids and seemed happy. When I let her know we were home she texted to say "Thanks for the visit".

 

Now for the vent bit - or even a cry for help in understanding!

 

I am confused with how things are. I don't believe my wife is seeing anyone at the moment (can't be sure) and I can see both in her actions and in her home that she is trying to find herself, to become a single person. She has things in her house that seem to me to shout out that she is trying to be an individual - her own person. There are plenty of pictures of the kids but (as expected perhaps) none of me - yet my wife told me not to take pictures of her or of her and me off our walls because it might upset the kids. Perhaps the boys hate London so much because there is no trace of daddy at all?

 

I am still struggling against control issues. I want to know what my wife is up to but she tends not to want to share small talk with me so I have no idea where she is or who she's with. I do fluctuate between wanting to know and then just accepting that God knows and that he is ultimately in control and that whatever happens he will never leave me nor forsake me. But I do often feel like my heart is being trampled over in all of this - and maybe that's what I deserve or perhaps that is the price of my sin - I don't know.

 

I struggle each day with the impending "letter" filing for divorce - although the letter is likely just a copy of the documents and is a letter of intent - the documents still have to be issued by the court after they have been filed. I struggle because I have no intention of signing the documents - in the UK they have a phrase that goes something like "I pray that the court will grant..... " and I just cannot sign that because I don't - also in the UK we don't have to sign, it can be processed (albeit delayed) without a signature of acknowledgment. I struggle within this that my wife has on several occasions said that she doesn't like divorce and even doesn't want divorce but is still going ahead as though there is somebody or something pushing her reluctantly or unwillingly (or she is resigned) into this.

 

I was surprised to see a card from her old flatmates wishing her well in her new home - one wrote about the struggle for my wife and the hard times she was having even if her own family (meaning mum & dad etc) didn't understand. I would love to know exactly what she has been telling people - but at the same time accept that 1) I don't need to know, 2) I don't want to control and 3) God knows and she will reap what she sows.

 

I struggle hard with my emotions when it comes to our current relationship and position. Again, if divorce changes nothing in our current living pattern then why do it - except to legitimate "other relationships". Unless divorce, as my wife has said ages ago, draws a line under what went before, so we can start again with a clean sheet. Except that there are 4 children here who would, in my view, forever stop us either drawing a line under it, or having a clean sheet most especially if the clean sheet involves a 3rd party entering the ring.

 

I also find it difficult to understand how my wife can berate me one minute for not passing on info regarding the kids and then the next can so easily decide not to see them or have them for the weekend and to put choir practice above her kids. Although she did the same with regard to Salsa - as in a couple of times she went back to London for Salsa instead of staying to see the kids (though I think that may have been in the days of "that man" & salsa). I guess that perhaps for her at the moment, self is more important than children except when she feels lonely and/or lost, whereupon children become top of the list again, swinging between the two states.

 

I struggle with whether or not to let my wife sleep here at weekends, except I know that the children think this is home and complain about why mummy doesn't come home - this is their secure, safe place - with or without mummy. And when I struggle with this one I flip between stopping her to force a realisation that things have to change, and then realising that the kids need her and that at the moment she seems to be not seeing anyone specific so why not, it gives me opportunities to bless her (though that in itself is not and should not be the motive).

 

I am aware of a nagging and perhaps cynical thought based on what my wife has said to me and to her family who have then shared with me. That thought is this (and I share it as a raw thought not as a fully fledged thought, and yes it is "lining up ducks" or whatever phrase you like). She has spoken of future possibilities of reconciliation, she has spoken of being the initiator of divorce and she can stop it when/if she wants, she has spoken of August next year as a deadline (for something other than renewal of her house contract though I don't know what), she has spoken of wanting space to find herself and to find someone to replace me, she has spoken of August as knowing by then whether she wants to come back to me with no pressure to HAVE to. My nagging thought is this, I wonder if she wants to spend a year to figure herself out and experience the life she would have had with no me and no kids - to see if there are any potential suitors (who would of course need to be comfortable with 4 kids or at least someone who has 4 kids) and live the dream. Bit like firewalker described in the last but one post. In that time I think she expects divorce to have happened such that if the dream doesn't materialise she is still free to reconcile with me (and by then the kids too I would imagine!!) as an equal. My concern and struggle is that I am not sure I want to collude with that, and also the damage to our relationship, the kids relationship and her family relationships. In one sense it's like living in cloud cuckoo land.

 

I struggle to with the desire to just walk away - to give up on her and focus on the kids. To give her her hearts desire and let her be single with no communication except what she initiates - it's a feeling and it's a fight because I know that is neither right nor what God wants me to do. It's just a struggle - sometimes I feel like I need that rest from it all (not from the kids though).

 

Most of the time I am trying (and managing) to focus on becoming Christlike and am working on loving my children and trying to help them to grow by putting them first. It is very difficult at the moment with my wife having a heart which is soooo uncertain - I guess I just have to hold her in that.

 

When the letter does finally arrive, which barring postal strikes in the UK, should be this week, I will tell my wife that we have to tell the children exactly what is going on including an indication of worst case scenario. Obviously kindly and gently and age specific, but I feel they need to know what might happen so that they don't get a further shock down the line of this process. They need to be able to speak their hearts and express their own fears with as much knowledge as they can be given. My wife is correct when she says we don't know if we will get back together now or in the future but you can't feed that info to a 13 year old and expect just a nod of understanding can you? My heart bleeds too because I can see that even couched in the gentlest of ways I believe this news (filing for divorce) will rip my children's lives apart, and who knows how they will react.

 

I will also tell my wife that I will tell the wider congregation and our personal friends that she has filed for divorce (with all the caveats from previous posts about my part etc). Not as a threat but as much to let her know because I fear that the backlash or the "reaping what you sow" may be much more than she anticipates...... or maybe she's right and I'm wrong - I don't know.

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She is at times confused and childish about her independence versus her connection to home.

 

All the more reason that she is depending upon you and your maturity to acknowledge her feelings and her pain of separation. You choosing to not condemn her for her choice or throw in the "you are getting what you wanted" when your feelings are being unjustly trampled, is a great sign.

 

Keep taking your pain to the Lord. He has walked in rejection, false accusations, and misunderstanding from the time man fell in the garden. Sin creates distrust and selfishness. As a Christlike man, you need to float above the sin or hurtful behavior and see the foolish child in your wife at those times and love the woman, but hate her behavior.

 

Your reaction to the divorce papers is understandable. Her saying "I'm really sorry" is a good indication that she is not trying to intentionally hurt you. But, her choices are hurting you and the children.

 

I am glad you will finally acknowledge the truth to the kids, family and friends and the congregants. They all deserve the truth. Then, the adults can support you as dear brothers and sisters, and the children can grieve in their own ways.

 

On the phone my wife said - oh yes, about Saturday, the choir practice on Saturdays and I miss out, so this weekend I want to go it's from 1pm to 5pm but it takes an hour to get there.

 

When a divorced woman pulls this, she has horrible boundaries and is asking you to shoulder her schedule at the last minute. This is an unreasonable request unless fire and emergency rooms are the reason. How fortunate that you get to "lay your life down" for a woman, still your wife, when she makes an unreasonable request.

"Love me and serve me when I least deserve it." That's what we expect from our Lord, don't we. That's where Christlike behavior really manifests.

"But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you"
Well, through her choices and her behavior she is persecuting you, and you still get to choose how to respond. It is always important to consider your response, since you will always be connected to this woman through the children. That will never go away, so you will always have to choose wisely as you respond to her.

 

With all that being said, don't ever feel obligated to put your self and your children in harms' way to meet the whims of your wife. Meeting her real needs, not her fantasy, make it up as I go along "needs" is always important to consider. She has a need to see the children. She does not have a need to go to choir. She has plenty of time minus the children to meet her need to socialize and invest in her interests. You can say no. You can have good boundaries for your kids and respond with a loving decline in the change of plans for the hardship and the fatigue that it will inflict on you or them. Sometimes your wife "needs" to be told no and that would be the most loving thing you can do. Make a no count. Say yes to as much as possible so that the no really means business.

 

I still admire your tenacious resolve to respond out of love and understanding, even if you have to grit your teeth to do it. Feelings follow action sometimes, so don't always expect to feel loving when you respond with what you know is what God is calling you to do.

But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

 

Your obedience is your sacrifice, laid on the altar to the Lord daily. He delights in your faithfulness and His heart is well pleased with your well doing.

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Brief update:

 

The divorce proceedings arrived today :cry: I have read them and will reflect on them. It is the petitioner who "prays that the marriage be dissolved"

 

I am also researching what "staying contact every weekend" means.

 

Your prayers are appreciated.

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Praying for you now.

 

I am going to be in your shoes in a few months when my wife gets a job with insurance so she can divorce me because of my sin.

 

I wonder if I should spend some of my online time researching custody and legal options since she says it WILL happen.

 

I pray for you now for strength. For wisdom! For peace.

 

Use this wilderness time to the best extent possible. GROW! LEARN!

and DO NOT wallow in self pity for longer then say.. 2 seconds..

 

You need to step up and be strong in the face of this.

 

 

again..praying for you...

 

MKD

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It may help if you look at is as merely the logistics of the emotional divorce that has happened a while back. This is just the state recognizing it.

 

If God's plan is for the marriage to work, this is just another part of the miracle He can easily manage if you do YOUR part to grow and be someone worth reconciling with in the future. If not, why should God bother?

 

Hope that had the intended encouraging impact.

 

 

MKD

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Thanks for your prayers - and continued ones too.

 

Update and mini vent

 

Spoke briefly to my wife tonight. She was "happy" having done her placement at college today. She was trying to sound OK about the divorce papers and seemed surprised (though not much) that they were from the court and not the lawyer. She brushed it aside and said "well I could have done it 6 months ago so at least we had another 6 months it could have been all over by now" I managed to restrain myself from talking about the mental anguish and instability of the last 6 months and just carried on talking. I told her I may want to run the papers by a Lawyer and you could almost feel the change in the conversation. I said I wasn't sure about the "staying contact every weekend" bit because I didn't know what it meant. She said it meant nothing - that it means that nothing changes - she comes home sometimes, the kids go to London sometimes. I said that I wasn't sure because there may come a time when I don't want her to stay her ( as in if she has another partner - though I didn't say that). She said that the kids would have to come to her every weekend then to which I replied that I couldn't allow that and why should they ( I was jumping ahead I know - but I was voicing a concern that her sleeping here was not always going to be an option, seeing the kids yes, but not necessarily sleeping here) - her knee-jerk reaction was to threaten that she could always take them to live with her!!.

 

I had to bite my tongue again because that is now such a hollow threat - her having the kids = NO COLLEGE and therefore no Doctor. Also my Lawyer has already told me that her getting a residency order is highly unlikely because 1) all paperwork says I will have the kids and 2) because they have only been apart from me for 10 days in the last 10 months but have been apart from my wife for approx 200 days, residency would be with me. There is no custody as we are sharing parenting (whatever that turns out to mean).

 

Having said all that, apart from the almost venemous way it was said I did understand that it was perhaps spoken more from a defensive and even frightened (that I may contest or burst the "happy" bubble of a passive divorce) perspective so I backed off, apologised and said it was just me reacting to the shock of getting the papers after all this time. After a minute or two we were back chatting about her day and then later she spoke to the kids and seemed relatively normal emotionally.

 

I am personally wrestling hard with "the old man" in me who wants to blurt it to the world, especially our friends. I can see that that is neither helpful nor gracious nor loving. I know I need to calmly reflect on who I am and who I can be through all of this and that beating a retreat into self is not the way. So yes I am continuing to love her, and yes at the moment through gritted teeth but always with an eye on Jesus who has done all of this for me. I will not blurt it to the kids and will not ban her from the house but will lay my life down for her and for the children and sacrifice my hurts and feelings on God's altar knowing that what I do I do for Him. That is not to say I will be a doormat but rather it is recognising my part in how we got here and also that God is still at work in both of us. It does, however, help me a great deal in understanding that my absolute priority must be that of my children.

 

Thanks again for all your support.

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Oh U,

 

I am crying for you and your precious children. This has got to be so tough. I have no words. I have been praying through getting caught up on your thread. I have been ill and not on for about 2 weeks, but somehow was further behind on your thread. Keeping you in my prayers.

 

BLessings,

 

Tigger

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u-I'm praying for you. I just lost a long post that I had been working on for you. Do not have time to recap it all...but I trust that God our Father is covering your steps and decisions in this perilous time.

 

Please do not sign anything or make any legal decisions without the consult of your lawyer. Divorce should never be with one lawyer. Her lawyer too should be telling her that. While there can be an amicable divorce, no one with "right" intentions should become angry that the other person is having a lawyer peruse the paperwork. Do not take her explanations of legal wording for fact. That is what lawyers are for.

 

I too pray for reconcilation of your family. It is time for you to realize that for a fact she is filing for divorce. Why she continues call your house with the kids "home"...when she's made another home away from you...and is filing for divorce? You have your children to think about regarding any custody or parenting decisions that are made....because if she continues with the life she is leading...your children may eventually be staying with her and an unmarried partner. Her life now may affect your children in a much more dramatic way than the picture that has been painted for them the last year.

 

You can be a man that loves her Christlike...and not be a whipping dog. Christ was no fool....and does not require that you be either. You are to conduct yourself as a prudent Christlike man regarding your dealings with her....and it should be fine to say: I led us down this path. I cannot continue to lead my family astray by not being the man I should be. I did sin. I have asked for forgiveness. I am not that man anymore and I am learning to be Who I am in Christ.

 

Your past sin does not mean that she gets everything she wants, how she wants it. I am not dissing her...I just still have very shaky feelings in my spirit about all this. My opinion.

 

My prayers will continue!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Warning - probably a long one!! :)

 

Been a while since I last posted, partly because we had 1/2 term here so I took the kids on holiday for a week - we went to Jersey one of the Channel Islands to see a collegue of mine who is single but with a large church house. My wife doesn't get half-term off so she didn't come but I made sure to call/text her every day and to put loads (270) pics on facebook so she knew what was going on and what to talk to the kids about.

 

Since my last post my wife came home on the weekend before I took the kids on holiday - it started poorly because she had thought I was taking them to London on the Friday because they had the day off (even though she didn't??) - we had had a discussion and because of a birthday party on the Saturday we had agreed not to travel 2hrs to London just to come back again early the next day. However I did try and validate her feelings of disappointment rather than defend the facts as I understood them.

 

When my wife came home she asked how I was and then indicated she wanted to talk so after dinner we left the kids watching TV and went to my study. I told her I wasn't going to sign the divorce petition out of conscience and she was upset but accepted that. I said that If she was sure this is what she wanted I needed to tell my boss's boss who would tell the President of the UK Methodist Conference who would send her a letter. She was very upset and wanted to know why they needed to know when we weren't even at the decree nissi stage and that it might not happen and we don't know if the divorce will be canceled etc. etc. I was a bit confused and asked again if she wanted divorce. She said that she knew we saw it differently but she still felt divorce was the only answer for her. So I said that we needed to tell the children and the churches. Again she was distressed and said that we couldn't tell the children because I would tell them I didn't want divorce and it would make it her choice. She basically said we shouldn't tell them until it ad gone through court and a decree-nissi was issued!! I said that wasn't fair on the kids and she just said that they seemed OK with the arrangements so far so nothing needed to change. I said again we needed to tell them and she basically said that we shouldn't tell them until I agree that it's what is best for us and that I tell the kids that too so they don't feel like mummy is leaving them. She seemed to say it in the sense that for the foreseeable future this is how life will be - her coming back some weekends and them going to London others with both of us parenting as though nothings happened!!

 

I also said that if she insisted on trying to find someone else she couldn't stay here anymore. She asked me what I was afraid of and I said I wasn't it was just wrong and that I couldn't cope with her being with someone else. She said "I'm going to find someone else at some point so get over it!" So I just said again that if she did that she wouldn't be able to stay here. She seemed genuinely confused that I wouldn't want for her to keep coming here and playing mum whilst having a partner in London. Then she said that it would be in the future and we needed to be good parents now. I didn't get to say this to her yet but I reflected on that for a while, trying to see her point of view - i.e. mum & dad getting on but separately, loving the kids etc - then it hit me, what was wrong is that the example to the kids would not be of two loving parents because the examples of affection/hugs/kisses etc would be missing. To me that would only show them a bad example of how to be parents despite how nice we were to each other and to them. It would not be being good parents - my view.

 

We kept getting interrupted so moved the conversation upstairs. It went over old ground and the only thing she wouldn't be firm on was whether we would divorce or not - she kept holding on to the ambiguity whilst at the same time saying it was the right thing to do. I asked if there was anyone else and her reply was "when have I had time to do that?" I pushed because that isn't an answer but got no more. She also said that she has never had a relationship with anyone else :shock: that her "mistake" (meaning affair) was not a relationship. I also asked her about the second man and she just said he had chatted her up - but later, when we talked about the fact that our holiday in the Lakes changed nothing, I said it was because she kept getting phone calls, I realised that the calls were likely from the second man - I did ask her how I was supposed to react to that but it didn't go anywhere.

 

We took her back to London on the Sunday along with some of our animals to look after - this, despite the fact that we were packing for a holiday and that an additional 4 hours in the car was not something the kids needed. We had to leave so that she could go to church in the evening at 5pm.

 

The holiday was good and my friend was a very good listener. She knows all about our problems both my wifes and mine, and she is still concerned and confused over my wifes behavior even knowing my part in it.

 

When we came home we went straight from the ferry to London. My wife was happy to see us, gave a hug and a kiss (now more the norm that the proffered cheek) and hugged all the kids. I helped around the house a bit and gave her a couple of gifts from the holiday. We had agreed that I would stay over on Saturday night and we would all go to her new church in London (one that she seems to have settled on - although only for about 2 weeks)

 

Sleeping arrangements caused a stir as did a transaction using an ATM style payment system when my wife pressed MS as her title which my eldest saw and said "your not MS your Mrs" - my wife said nothing. When it came to sleeping I had her room and she was "in with the girls". Except the older daughter didn't want to be in the same room as the younger. I agreed she could be with me but the conversation was interrupted by the 11 y/o boy who said why didn't mummy & daddy share. My wife said a very hasty and quite stern "no thanks" followed quickly by a "daddy snores" to try and redeem herself. But that didn't stop him saying how he felt mummy & daddy were apart and why didn't she come home every weekend and that it felt wrong and all the other things he's said before.

My wife just said something glib about us not arguing or something like it.

 

On the Sunday morning we were in the kitchen and my wife began talking - she said she read a page in a book in the Christian Book shop that said that if she came back too soon I would likely default back to my old self. I validated that perspective and we talked a bit more about how we got to where we are and I said I still loved her. I also said that divorce was a step too far when it came to our problems which she listened to but said little in response. She also said of our 11 y/o "see it's all OK he just needed to say something and when he'd said it he was OK and trotted of happy" I said I wasn't too sure because we didn't actually answer him and all that will happen is that he will do it again later - my wife thought that was OK. When we went to church I was expecting to have to lurk in the shadows but surprisingly my wife introduced me and the children to someone and told them who I was and that I was a minister WOW! Not sure if that was as a result of the morning chat or not - originally she had said to tell people I was visiting, not to talk to anyone unless I had to, and that it was to be her church and she didn't want me to spoil that.

 

When we left she went to church (5pm) and said to text her when we got home. I did but no reply. I texted again later and reminding her of a TV program we both liked (on Sunday I had helped set her up with a TV and got it all working). Still no reply. Then about 20mins after the program finished (about 10.20pm) she phoned. I can't remember the premise of the call though she did start with something from the program. She asked how I was and I said fine so I asked how she was expecting the same or I'm tired, or something like that. What she said was that she was fine with how everything is and that she feels OK with the divorce. But she went on to say that actually she isn't really in as much as the bible is clear that divorce is wrong. She then went on to say that my pornography addiction was like adultery - even worse maybe and that perhaps she wasn't such a bad person after all. That her seeking comfort elsewhere may not have been entirely her own fault. I validated everything she said. She asked how I was in that and I said it has been 8 months since I suddenly and totally stopped and that God had gifted me with that ability. She asked about stuff in the house, on computer and I explained that everything was gone/deleted (not that there was anything much to get rid of really - but I had decided that any movies, music, programs I had downloaded via torrents had to go - the kids were much aggrieved but I said I wanted to make sure everything we had was legal - I even use Ubuntu Linux to make sure we don't have any pirated software).

 

She began to talk of how she felt and spoke of loosing the last 10 years - I apologised and said it was my fault and that I wanted to help make our relationship the one that God wanted. She struggled with that and kept asking who I was accountable to - I think she wanted me to have to say something to my boss so they could "punish" me. I said I was accountable to God and I had 2 friends who held me accountable. I also said that I had confessed all of my sins to God and that he had performed a "radical amputation" with regard to my addiction. She accepted that but said how did she know - then she said that when we had watched a film together that had some steamy scenes she had asked if I was OK with that and I had said yes so how could she trust me. I said that she was there with me and then she added that yes, perhaps I was trying to prove to her that I was able to cope with it. All in all I thought the conversation was very positive in that she is thinking about and processing why we are here in this situation. OK it's not about reconciliation yet but I keep praying as I keep journeying toward Christlikeness. The children can't stop hugging me at the moment so I must be doing something right. I did say to my wife at the end of the call, that I loved her and that divorce was a step too far, I then said I had been thinking about Christmas and that what had popped into my head as a present for me was my wedding ring back. She immediately said "if you want the ring you can have it back that's not a problem" (at least she hasn't thrown it away :) ) I said "you know what I mean, I mean with us working together on our marriage" she said nothing and then started to say how late it was so I agreed and said goodnight.

 

Something occurred to me which is this - throughout this time apart my wife stopped wearing her cross necklace. She now wears it everyday - like before. She is also going to a church and has been twice to church and to 2 meals at peoples homes and to a bible study. I wondered/hope that she is finally turning back to Christ and I am praying that in doing so God will help her see what is going on, both in me, and for our kids and for herself.

 

There is a very long way to go but I am praying that God continues to work in me and continues to change me as I pour out my life for him.

 

I hope this helps to give you something specific to pray for to help me and my family.

 

I am aware of the needs of the children and am also aware that announcing divorce just before a major festival (Christmas) is well documented as a bad thing to do for them as every Christmas would be tainted for some time to come. I am also aware that my wife seems to keep suggesting to the kids that she will be home most weekends before Christmas and I'm hoping that applies to Christmas too - so with an extended time together who knows what God can do.

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Your honesty and your vulnerability with your wife is outstanding. That is the stuff that emotional intimacy is made of.

 

Your report is quite encouraging from many standpoints. Your consistency and unwavering commitment to love her and to stand for your marriage is really what she needs. She only think she needs divorce, but that is the work of the flesh in her life that wants to soften her actions and justify her choices.

 

I hope that she is processing the damage of the pornography and not just using it as a way of deflecting from her own sin. Your validating her feelings, even if she is using fuzzy thinking, is very important.

 

Your owning the mistakes and the sin in the past is good. What it says is that you will not forget the choices that put your marriage in jeopardy, and you will not resent being reminded that her response really started with your choices long ago. This is what a wounded wife needs. Constant reassurance that you really get how you hurt her and that you will never again hurt her like that or to that degree. If a man continues to acknowlege without resentment, then he reinforces the state of humility which invites and welcomes Christlikeness.

 

Thank you for bringing us the update, and you are right, it does give us insight for prayer.

 

BTW, what a gift it is to be your children's Daddy. How precious it is to be their rock solid parent, whom can be counted upon for practical needs and love and hugs. They are so lucky to have you to love them, and the model you are of loving their mother in the most difficult of circumstances.

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