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Dear Lucky He's not Earl,

 

Be encouraged. You have taken the first step in changing you. I do not believe that it was an accident that you chose J&K's ministry. This is right where you need to be, and your wife needs this healing too. I pray that in time she will be able to be here on the board too, that she may get to a place of safety that she can post.

 

You- both of you, will find such love and support on here. You, the husband, will have your feet held to the fire. You will be held accountable. I pray that you can continue to get help on the calls. It is amazing what this ministry offers. It is not completely free, but I challenge you to find anyone else willing to do for you what this ministry will do for you; and at such a reasonable donation.

 

We will pray for you and your lovely bride. What are the ages of your children, and what are they facing with this separation. How can we pray for them?? I read your post because of your stage name. Care to share?? Anything else that you could share about your bride, so we may know how to pray. Keep to what you have decided to do here, it will be worth it, easy NO, but sssooooooo totally worth it in the end!!

 

BLessings,

 

Tigger

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LhnE - Welcome to the boards, good to have you here. How are the 30 days going so far? I know that initially you were to have no contact, but then she suggested that you could go to some of the children's events together. How are things going?

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Hi GMS-

 

We've been working as a team with the children. We took them to church together yesterday, and I'll be going up to the house to watch our youngest this afternoon while she takes the other two to a doctor's appointment. I can't think of a day where there hasn't been any contact, even if it's just by phone with her calling me with a question, or me calling to talk to the kids, but I guess I'm trying to figure out if that's good or bad. I think there was a hope that me being gone would bring about a desire in her for me to come back, but I don't see that happening right now. She definitely wants me involved with the children, but is very protective about what she's doing, thinking, etc.

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You need to expect that she is going to be guarded, that goes with territory - you have bought and paid for that with you past choices and behaviors. Just remember that you need to make every interaction with her a positive one, this will reduce the level of tension between both of you. When you do what she is asking and come through on your end time and time again you will be rebuilding trust. After consistently building trust she will feel more safe to share more of her needs with you. Be in this for the long haul - J&K ask for a 3 year committment from us and you need to have that long term perspective in mind so that the short term bumps along the way don't throw you off course. Stay the course and do the work, lay down your life for her and love her in the ways she is asking you to; trusting by faith that the love Jesus pours through you to her will help to heal her heart and make a way for reconciliation.

 

Bless you brother!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not Earl wrote:

Your wife is willing to forgive you.

 

So is your wife willing to forgive you and she can also trust you again IF you consistently lay your life down for her and love her right where she is at with no expecation of what her response is supposed to be.

 

How awesome is God that he sent a man who has been through and made it to the other side and is now reconciled to his wife, to minister to you at church! There were other men there that he could have prayed with, but he approached you with tears in his eyes and a personal history that speaks to your exact situation. There were other churches you could have attended that day. God is that good!

 

It is great that your wife sees signs of growth in you and may that growth bring about the permanent change that she really needs to see to be able to trust you again with her heart. You are so early in this process, set your mind on the long run. In the long run you have the opportunity to bring healing to her heart, win her heart back and be in a marriage with a healthy, healed, happy, whole and loving woman. Keep that long view in mind as you face the road ahead which will have twists and turns to help you grow into Christlikeness. Ecclesiastes says, "don't make straight what God has made crooked." The challenge for us men at times is that we want a straight path with clear signs and distance estimates that we can count on and plan for. Relationships are not like that, they are organic and changing, everything effects everything and there is this great interplay between us and our wives that requires the best of what we have to offer and they deserve the best we have to offer. Stay on your toes and make sure that when she asks something of you that you recognize that as an opportunity to demostrate your love for her.

 

Keep at it brother!

 

Die to self!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Love your wife!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Earl,

 

What is happening?? I was late on the call last night, so I may have missed you. How are you and where are things?? You have not posted in a few days, so I was just checking in; I know I kind of dropped off after my first post, but I had eye surgery and could not see. Did not mean to leave you hanging without checking back on you; hoping to hear from you some more.

 

BLessings,

 

Tigger

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Hi Tigger-

 

I was on the call last night as well - I hope you're feeling better everyday, you're in my prayers along with the prayers of many others. I was on the call last night, but I didn't speak last night, just listened. My wife and I had spoken on the call last Thursday (week before yesterday). She got very angry about what was said to her on the call (she felt that her faith and her word were questioned), and had mentioned that she might not get on the calls anymore. She wasn't very happy with me for not jumping in and stopping it, either. She chose to get on the call last night anyway (I didn't know she was on until today, but she had mentioned to me that she might join), but I didn't really have any questions to ask, so I just kept quiet - my wife has expressed that she doesn't want to feel any more pressure from anyone right now, that it will just push her further away.

 

She's been great about letting me see the kids. I spent all day last Saturday at the house with her and the children, we had some of her family over for a Mother's Day cookout. I left around nine in the evening, came back the next morning to take the kids to church (she wasn't feeling well unfortunately, so she stayed home). After I got back from church with the kids, all of us ended up going out to lunch together, then we came back to the house, and ended up planting a little garden, so I was able to stay Sunday afternoon as well, which hadn't been planned. It was nice. She let me come by Monday evening to put the kids to bed, and I was with them Wednesday, Thursday, and today as well. We'll go to church Sunday together, and she asked me today if I wanted to have dinner with her and the kids Sunday, which was really cool. I'd love to think that she's liking having me around a little, but I know that the kids have really been missing me not being there all the time, and she's concerned about them.

 

I'm trying not to dwell to much on figuring out what she's thinking, and just enjoy the time that I'm able to spend with her. She hasn't mentioned anything yet about ending the separation, she did mention that the "divorce may still be necessary, we can't just stay separated" (or something to that effect), but I realize it's still early, and I need to be prepared for this to be a long road. I also am beginning to realize that sometimes ladies say things as a way of kind of thinking about them, not necessarily looking for input or with a motive (I think).

 

The themes that the Lord has been putting in front of me lately is faith and strongholds. Joel directed me to some Kenneth Hagin teachings on faith late last week, the sermon Sunday at church was on blessings and curses (including alcoholism and divorce), Wednesday night's teaching was primarily on faith (did you ever think about the fact that faith is the only thing that is both a gift of and a fruit of the Spirit?), and there have been other things here and there too.

 

I always welcome all advise (ok, well good advise). My wife tells me I'm doing a good job, which is all I really have to go on, at least from a female perspective. Kathy's really cool about trying to help me out when she can.

 

May your faith stay strong, Tigger. I hope your eye gets better soon. I have a rather large plank in mine that I'm working on getting out.

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Earl,

 

I am no helper, as you already know. I just want to offer encouragement. I pray, right now, that you surrender this and all areas of your marriage, onto an alter to the Lord.

 

You said you were uncertain about some comments that your wife made and you have mentioned this before, I believe. Since I do not know your wife, I can not be certain either. I just pray for GOD to give you the wisdom of Solomon, without as many wives :rotfl: :!:

 

Keep posting and seeking honest help here. I sure hope others will chime in, but for now, you know someone has prayed for you, your wife, and your marriage.

 

BLessings,

 

Tigger

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Lifted from www.c3christiancounciling.com:

 

A Servant's Heart vs. Self-Centered Fear

 

What always keeps us from loving and serving others as God does us is self-centered fear.

Always. Take away self-centered fear and we become grace-filled Servants to one another and

glorify God with our lives.

 

Our greatest fears are of being hurt and of being taken advantage of. The Garden of

Gethsemane and The Cross show us vividly that we do not need to be overcome by selfishness

and fear. Jesus sweat blood in the Garden. His struggle was real because The Cross is a

very, very hard and painful place. There was nothing comfortable about it. Yet when He asked

the Father if there was any other way and the Father's answer was "No, Son, you must go to

the Cross if they are to be saved and not eternally separated from us - my Justice demands

it", He instantly replied "Yes, Father, I will go. If You say I must go than I can endure

the pain of it and I TRUST you to deliver me". If He had one once of self-centered fear in

His heart, He would have never obeyed and endured the incomprehensible suffering of The

Cross.

 

Jesus shows us in this inexpressible moment that we CAN take up our crosses and endure them

with Grace and Obedience. That we WILL be lifted up and resurrected into new life. That all

will work out well and God will be glorified by our obedience to serve rather than be

served.

 

To do this takes nothing more or less than absolute, implicit TRUST in our Heavenly Father;

in His Glorious Son; and in His Holy Spirit to give us the Divine Aid we need to obey. As

Jesus instantly replied to the Father "I trust you to obey and endure the Cross", so we

would, in the absence of self-centered fear, say to Jesus "I trust you to obey and endure

the Cross you have given me" - to love and serve my Wife/Husband/Children/Friend Who

Betrayed Me/Unlovable Person Who Cut Me Off In Traffic/Homeless Person On The Street...

 

Yes, Lord, I will trust you to hurt for them and to be taken advantage of when necessary.

You, and only You, are trustworthy to deliver me.

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Well, the kids and I are really enjoying our new church, and my wife seems to like it, too, which I'm really happy about. She has stated that she's pleased with my progress in the J+K "program", that she feels I'm being a good dad to our kids, and doing what she's asked of me. She doesn't feel that she needs to work the program right now, because she "worked the program for years" (we only came across J+K a couple of months ago, by that statement she meant she tried to hold the marriage together for years while I was being a lousy husband).

 

As far as the marriage, she continues to say that she feels there isn't really one at this point, and that she needs her space from me. I'm just trying to love her, give her what she needs, be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer, calling things that are not as though they were.

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Not Earl wrote: - this is good for the public forum too

I seem to find sometimes find myself slipping into condemnation while thinking about the errors I've made in my marriage. I think about these things because it is my understanding that we are to try and feel our wife's pain, and use that pain to grow, however I sometimes begin to begin to slip into what I'll call "condemnation / shame" mode, which I know isn't healthy either. I recognize the mistakes I have made, and the pain they have caused, but, I admit, I sometimes begin to feel that I am a failure, instead of focusing on learning from my mistakes, possibly because I'm not in a position to walk this out with my wife in the way I would like to (we're currently separated, and while I'm fortunate to have a decent amount of contact with her, she is very resistant to me acting like, or referring to myself as a "husband".) Acts of service are received well, but verbal displays of affection aren't received very well (if I call her honey, or sweetheart, it makes her angry, so I do my best not to), and physical displays of affection are completely out of the question at this time.

 

How do I stay in the mode of staying in the pain without slipping into condemnation?

 

Not Earl - this is very common and the difference is where you are focussed. When King David was confronted by the Prophet Nathan about his sins of adulterly and murder in the case of Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite; David said: "I have sinned against the LORD."

 

Now God, through Nathan, had just told David:

1. the sword shall not depart from your house for the rest of your life;

2. out of your own house I will bring calamity;

3. I will give your wives to someone close to you and they will lay (have sex) with your wives in broad daylight - you did this in secret, I will do this for all to see.

 

What again was David's response? "I have sinned against the LORD." David is called the man after God's own heart because when God confronted him, his focus was on God, not himself. When you are starting to feel condemned, shamed, etc it is because the focus is on yourself. You need to see your sin through the grace and mercy of God, through the cross of Jesus Christ and first acknowledge that your sin is against God. When you do this you need to remember what the cross stands for; the atonement for your sins - they are all paid for, past, present and future. Remember that when Jesus died to pay for you, you hadn't committed any sins yet, they were all in the future. That is why we can trust His word that says, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" Romans 8:1 Self focus brings worldly sorrow that leads to death. Christ focus brings godly grief that brings repentence and life. As you contemplate your sin, make Christ your focus, "I have sinned against the LORD" and then from that perspective ask Jesus to apply your wife's pain to your heart, knowing that you are forgiven and not condemned. Your wife's pain then will become a scalple in God's hands to remove the childishness from your heart and life, it will be painful, but this pain is a growing, healing and maturing pain a pain that brings life, the Christ kind of life in you. This is part of dying to self, surely the biggest part of dying to self. Open your heart to your wife's pain and ask God to use it to grow you up and transform you to be more like Him. God will not use your wife's pain to destroy you, He will use it to build you up, to transform and mature you.

 

As His life comes out in your life, your wife will like what she sees...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not much new to report in terms of what can be seen in the natural, but I hadn't updated in a while, so I figured I'd post something. My wife agreed to have dinner out with me last Tuesday, just the two of us, which was great! She wasn't too excited about it, and I know she found it stressful, but everyone should be really proud of her for trying. We walked around a mall for a little while afterwords, she bought some sunglasses. She's always liked sunglasses. I got to have dinner with the most beautiful woman on the planet, so of course I was stoked.

 

The pastor at our new church is talking about starting a Celebrate Recovery group there, and he's asked me to help with it. Does anyone have any experience with it, good or bad?

 

Father's Day was good. I really enjoyed my kids, and my wife made a wonderful dinner for us. I grilled a couple of steaks. It reminded me of the dinners we used to do together on the weekends. I miss those, but I look forward to having them again someday.

 

Romans 8:28-31 And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called, those He called, He also justified, those He justified, He also glorified. What then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

 

This is how we know we love Him, and are being conformed to the likeness of His Son:

 

John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.

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thanks for the update not Earl and I am happy to hear that you have had a couple of good experiences to fill your sails and lift your spirit. May the Lord continue to turn her heart little by little and that you would celebrate these days of "small things". Keep laying down your life and watch for God to move in her heart.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been pretty hectic the past couple of weeks. The week before last, I was at a conference for work out of town, and last week I was with my youngest two children on vacation at my parents. Not Wanda went and stayed with a friend in Florida. Communication has been pretty sparse - we talk daily, but not for very long. I'm trying to give her space, which is what she says she wants. She did mention at one point last week that she felt like she needed 'more independence' from me than she was getting when I asked her about her day - she said it made her feel like I was prying, which I know I used to do. I know some people say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it sure seems like she's slipping farther away sometimes. I'm not sure what I'm not doing that I should be doing, or what I could be doing better. I guess there comes a point when you have to be confident in what you're doing and rest in the LORD - a walking by faith kind of thing. I do believe that I'm doing the right thing by following this path, and that it will take time, I'm just a bit disheartened that she seems to be moving further away. That would seem to indicate that I'm doing something wrong, since that's the response, but I can't figure out what it is.

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I heard you on the call last night and a thought kept coming to my mind about your wife...

 

As Dory said..the fact that she is not totally disconnected is a good sign. The fact also that she is still asking God for His will is also a good sign.

It would indicate to me that her heart has not gone over the deep end of bitterness. God's Spirit can still make in-roads into her heart.

 

Often a wife's heart closes off temporarily as she is trying to get her bearings back. This is probably the reason she is needing space. When a woman's voice has been squelched and she has been told for years not to trust the very "voice" and intuition God created her with many women need to re-group. She needs to learn to trust herself again that her response mechanism will not betray her again. Most Christian women have been taught erroneous truth for years. They were told that to stand up to a husband was not only wrong but it displeased God. Now, because of this ignorance she is fighting a battle inside her of confusion with her marital relationship but also feeling ashamed and guilty that it is her fault. She discovers the beauty and truth of her God-given role but she is so unfamiliar with it she fears it will steer her wrong by now trusting the very husband who abused her. She does not want to make the same mistakes again and believe he is sincere. In the past there were so many false promises and her heart actually had to close-off to survive. Many wives will self-protect. They would rather shut down than to take the risk of more wounding.

 

As you have learned from J&K, that perhaps your wife does not understand yet, is that it is taking that very risk with a husband who is laying his life down for her is how she matures in her Christlike-ness. It is how she becomes engaged with her help-meet role and God does come alongside her also to give her the grace to risk and respond to the husband.

 

Give her the space she needs and when you converse with her...just ask her if she NEEDS anything? How are you feeling? Can I do something for the children? Send her a card or small gift saying..just thinking about you. She will let you know where her boundary line of discomfort is. Give her that time and space but do not totally disconnect.

 

Kimberly

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Thanks for the reply Kimberly. I read your posts frequently and know that you have a genuine heart for the Lord.

 

Not Wanda has recently told me that she wants to proceed with filing for divorce. Our arrangement for the past few months has been one where I've been renting a small room in a house, and her and the children have been continuing to live in the family home. I've been taking care of the bills, at her request, and staying in our family home every other weekend with the kids.

 

She has stated that she needs a further level of independence from me. Completely separate finances, and separate spaces - this would require us to sell the house, since there's no way we can afford it as well as a house big enough for me to live in and have the kids stay with me. I set up a budget, that she has said she feels is fair, but she doesn't like the fact that if she wants to buy stuff outside of it I have to know about it. I'm not trying to control her with it, just know how much money we have coming in and going out. I'm not hiding money, or living extravagantly, by any means - it just seems like having to involve me with any discussion about things like that bother her.

 

I have no idea what we're going to tell our youngest children.

 

I understand that my actions from the past drove her here. She has stated that she hasn't wanted the marriage for years - she acknowledges that I've changed, even tells me she's proud of certain changes or differences on occasion - but that she simply doesn't want the marriage anymore, hasn't for years, and that she's tired of having the "papers" decide for her. She mentioned that if she were in a position to decide on her own, instead of having the papers decide for her, she may choose to love me as her husband again - basically, if the Lord were to overwhelm her with the feelings she is looking for towards me, she will accept it and not fight. Her position is that if it is God's will for us to be together, we will be.

 

She's asked me to let her go easily, but I feel like the Christlike thing to do is to pursue her. I don't want to hurt her, but I feel like she's coming from a very wounded place and perhaps the enemy is using that a bit. I don't want to sound like I'm seeing devils everywhere, but I've had more than one person with this ministry tell me that this is a spiritual battle (not that there isn't that element to all of the marriages here, I just kind of got the impression maybe a bit more with this one in particular). So, on the one hand, I want to hear her heart and not hurt her, doesn't a Christlike man pursue and love even more in this case? Shouldn't the Godly love of her husband rescue her from where she is? Doesn't love seek to continue to try and woo her back to a restored family? Isn't that God's will for the situation?

 

She will not react well at all to someone quoting scripture to her, telling her that she is walking away from the Lord, or any of that. It isn't that she is not a believer, I honestly don't fully understand myself what her thoughts spiritually are on this. I think she feels like people are trying to control her when they point out what the bible says on the subject, even if they are speaking the truth in love, she's just had enough of being controlled to last a life time (yes, that's my fault too).

 

I get that my past behaviors got us here. I'd change them if I could, believe me. I don't blame her at all for not wanting to continue with that man. But what can I do now?

 

Pretty confused. I'm not sure what else to do. Sorry about the rambling. Welcome any help.

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