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God Save My Marriage

Please help me see HOPE!! I need you people terribly!!


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Why am I concerned about the genuine nature of your heart in this?

 

A continual line of questions from you along the lines of:

- Can this really work?

- Is there too much water under the bridge?

- If she is bitter can she ever forgive me?

- Is this worth the effort or is it a lost cause?

- Can a woman who says she no longer loves you, ever love you again?

-Etc.

This is revealing the true condition of your heart in the matter. My hope for you is that you really open your heart to recieve Jesus' view of your wife, His heart for her, that you would ask Jesus to help you get in touch with the pain you have caused her, that you consciously choose to lay your life down for her no matter what it takes and pursue her in love, His agape love for you and for her.

 

Maybe I am way off base on my assessment here, but I still sense a deep dislike and distrust of your wife in particular and women in general.

 

I am not looking for reasons to give up... I am looking for encouragement. I would want nothing more than for God to come in like a flood and drown me with the pain I put her through, leaving me with a sensitive, compassionate, understanding, tenderheart for her- that is consistent and true. Oh how I ache to be able to feel more and empathize with all I have done to her spirit.

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BW - that is good, make that a continual point of prayer and cry out to God until you do feel this in your heart. God will answer that prayer.

 

Has she recieved the gift card or given you any feedback in the past few days?

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BW - I really, really like it, however I wouldn't give this to her in her birthday card. Give a birthday card that is focussed on her and in a seperate card or letter give he this. What you have written above is some really good things and I do sense a real difference in the heart behind what you wrote in a very good way.

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Should it be included in one of the weekly gifts then?

 

I invited her to go for a walk on the beach with me this evenings through a text message and she refused. I guess she appreciated me pulling weeds Sunday but didn't mention anything to me. The kids relayed to me that she said something along the lines of, "Awesome, I hate those stinking weeds in my yard." So I guess I will be pulling weeds again soon as well. I picked up another gift card today. This one for Coldstone. She loves ice cream.

 

I never thought this was going to be easy. She has become much more enthusiastic regarding me taking the kids, unfortunately it is so she can date. My thoughts on this are mixed. First I know I serve a big God and He can keep her and her heart safe, secondly I don't think I would want the marriage restored if she were to be wistfully looking back at the single life, thirdly, I wrestle with self-doubt, concerned she may find someone she feels is "better" than me. Especially when I keep hearing a man's true colors are not seen until after the wedding day.

 

I have an appointment with my pastor this Sunday for counselling, I expect to talk to him regarding how far away from "mental health" I am. Anything you think I ought bring up with him?? I have been listening to scripture tapes regularly at work, doing morning and sometimes evening devotions, listening to praise music, and praying like crazy. I don't get much free time that isn't devoted to my studies but when I do I am on here and reading the books.

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Alright big question here. I believe I have begun to tap into what is most likely the depth of my wife's pain by sneaking a few peeks at the woman's posting. Problem is, my wife has never really been one to acknowledge "pain." She has always been "tough," and extremely so. She is not one to accept the degree to which her decisions are motivated by pain. I see the divorce, her dating, her resistance to my overtures as all rooted in her pain, she sees the same desires and decisions as "the right thing to do." I write of her pain, suggest she may be stressed, frazzled, struggling and she says. "No, you are wrong, everything is fine." Does she really believe this? I know there is a lot to it. Like she would rather NOT believe that I am right, or in tune to her but it is also she just doesn't want to feel it either. Is there anything I can do? I certainly don't want to argue with her- but it seems before I can expect any kind of healing in her life, she needs to admit there is pain. Or is she just hiding it from me?

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I met with my Pastor today and he suggested I try and meet with my wife and get her to say she forgives me for every item on my grievance list one by one. I came up with 70 items.

 

That's really, really bad advice. Your wife is going to feel pressured, and she's going to feel like you're controlling her again. Please just give her the list, and let her talk about it when she wants to.

 

I'd rather go this route than the letter because right now I don't think she wants to forgive me cause she knows by doing so she could no longer justify her behavior.

 

Sorry, but this is not about what you want. It's about healing your wife. You can't force her to forgive you. You can't force anyone to forgive you. All you can do is apologize for what you've done.

 

Give her the list and back off, but let her know that you're willing to listen anytime she wants to talk about it.

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What if instead of 70 I make this say 7 of the most grievous-- things she is using to justify the divorce in her mind. Here's the thing, my wife has always been very stubborn and not a real forgiver. She had wounds from her first husband and issues with her parents when I met her. My pastor, and I can see the reasoning behind it, feels she, like many, unknowingly use counterfeit forgiveness. They will say I forgive you, but will not name the actual offense. Please listen to this carefully. I have asked my wife to forgive me for being a louse and she has not said she forgives me for specifics-- and the bitterness and acting out of her pain and anger remains. She "thinks" she has forgiven me but she really has not because of it. It won't be until she says, "I forgive you for (named grievance)" is forgiveness genuine. Not because she doesn't want to, but because of ignorance. The devil can then continue to use this bitterness in attacking our marriage.

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BW - I agree with LT that the pastor is not giving good advice here. The list of 70 is great in terms of coming clean and instead of making this an opportunity for her to forgive you make this your confession of all you have done to wound her and that your hope is that God will heal her from this pain and that you are dedicated to serving her and the children and bringing healing to her with God's help. Make it about you taking responsibility for your sins against her, saying that you were wrong, that she deserved better from you and that you are committed to serving and loving her. Don't ask her for forgiveness, Jesus will take care of that through the Holy Spirit. It is enough for you to confess and repent, with no strings attached.

 

If your pastor would like to know why we feel this way I would be glad to talk with him.

 

BW wrote:

 

Please listen to this carefully. I have asked my wife to forgive me for being a louse and she has not said she forgives me for specifics-- and the bitterness and acting out of her pain and anger remains. She "thinks" she has forgiven me but she really has not because of it. It won't be until she says, "I forgive you for (named grievance)" is forgiveness genuine. Not because she doesn't want to, but because of ignorance. The devil can then continue to use this bitterness in attacking our marriage

 

I think your and your pastor's motive here is good, however, I would again say that you can trust this into Jesus' hands for Jesus said:

 

John 16:7-15: 7But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

12"I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

 

If you simply provide her with the list, then you can trust the Holy Spirit to guide her into the truth of it for her. The Spirit will be prompting her to forgive as she has been forgiven in Christ. Nobody in her life has probably come clean with her in all the ways that she has been wounded, especially with no strings attached. She will be stunned, though she probably won't show it to you initially. Take the step of faith and give her the list with no expectations from you, i.e. no strings attached and then pray, pray, pray for the Spirit to come through in her heart and guide her into all truth and understanding. You can't set her free from her bitterness, nor can your pastor, but the Holy Spirit can. You can trust her into His hands...and you can trust yourself into His hands too...

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We are (my wife and I) both christians. Are these verses directed toward the world and unbelievers?

 

In Luke it says we are to confess our sins one to another and that if a brother sins against you and asks for forgiveness- we are COMMANDED to forgive.

 

I admit I am getting anxious here. My wife is actively dating and the divorce is scheduled to be final in 6 weeks. I know she is noe "remarried yet." and I should just stay the course and chill a bit but I also feel I MUST DO all that is wise.

 

Again thanks for the counsel... I edited your post to me just a bit before forwarding it to my Pastor... I changed the first line to read, "I don't think your pastor fully understands what is going on here. Hope you don't mind. I love the man.

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BW - no problem in adjusting the post for your pastor.

 

John 16 is directed both towards the world and towards believers. "He (the Holy Spirit) will guide you (the disciples) into all truth, into all wisdom and understanding, He (the Holy Spirit) will take of what is mine (Jesus') and give it to you (the disciples). The Holy Spirit is the primary agent in working in the believer's life. Yes we, when lead of the Spirit can be the vessel through which the Spirit works to bring this truth, but in your particular case with you wife our recommendation is to share with your wife what you have done to hurt her with no strings attached (not asking her to forgive you) and then you can trust the Holy Spirit to raise up someone else to bring the truth of her need to forgive you for those sins. Possibly your pastor and other faithful women at your church.

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This is SO true, in my opinion:

If you simply provide her with the list, then you can trust the Holy Spirit to guide her into the truth of it for her. The Spirit will be prompting her to forgive as she has been forgiven in Christ. Nobody in her life has probably come clean with her in all the ways that she has been wounded, especially with no strings attached. She will be stunned, though she probably won't show it to you initially. Take the step of faith and give her the list with no expectations from you, i.e. no strings attached and then pray, pray, pray for the Spirit to come through in her heart and guide her into all truth and understanding. You can't set her free from her bitterness, nor can your pastor, but the Holy Spirit can. You can trust her into His hands...and you can trust yourself into His hands too...

 

Your wife could make herself say, "I forgive you for..." until the cows come home and it wouldn't make any difference in her feelings for you.

 

Just give her The List, tell her how utterly sorry you are, and walk away. Let it all sink in. The fact that YOU are spelling out YOUR offenses, will likely speak pretty emotionally to her.

 

You are her husband and you are there to heal her heart -- not to GET her to forgive you. She will. Don't worry.

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BW, I know your intentions are good, but your letter is still all about you. Statements like

How I wish I could turn the clock back knowing what I know now. How I wish I did not have to face the reality of what I have done.

For the last several days I have been praying that God would help me feel the pain I caused you from your perspective and bring to remembrance all I did to create it.

and

I don't know how many times since God has answered my prayer that I have cried out in broken hearted-ness, begging Him to heal you of the wicked, cruelty I inflicted upon your spirit and free me from this pain.

and

Please as much as it is within your power to do so grant me the grace I know I do not deserve in forgiving me. I am a broken man. Thoroughly ashamed that I must look back upon my history with you and acknowledge and take ownership of the destruction I caused you. I apologize that I attempted our reconciliation so I could then somehow deny it was all that bad.

will not be healing for your wife. Get your focus off yourself and onto your wife.

 

You also said

I do have one issue with this... I don't believe she fully understands the true dynamics of forgiveness.
.

And your point is . . . ? She will forgive in her own way and in her own time. You're still attempting to be in control here, and you will never heal your wife unless you're willing to give up all control for a season.

 

Your letter needs to be short and to the point. "I want to apologize for all the ways I've hurt you over the years. The following is a list of things that have come to mind so far. I'm sure there are probably more. I am so, so sorry for everything I've done. None of it was your fault. I am committed from this day forward to heal your heart and become the man God wants me to be."

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Even in honoring that I am somehow making ground then??

 

Yes. This is something that most guys don't seem to understand at first. Listen carefully. You will heal your wife by making everything about her for a season.

 

If she asks you to stop texting her, and you keep doing it, what do you think that says to her? That you love her? Nope. It says you're a controlling ::xx who doesn't care about her feelings and is gonna do whatever he wants to do no matter what she thinks about it. Ummm, isn't that what got you in this position in the first place?

 

I'm not saying you should totally ignore your wife, but you need to find ways to bless her that will be acceptable to her.

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Yeah. Pretty much anything that draws attention to yourself is not good. The only 'I' should be in I am sorry for.. - pretty much every single guy posting in this section has been extremely selfish in the past, and our wives are very aware of it, so anything with even a hint of self-centeredness is not good. I realize that you don't intend it that way, but your wife probably will not. To her it kind of says "See, look at me, I'm changing and doing good, now tell me I did a good job". That's why it's good to run things by the people here. I'm rather clueless and new to this myself, so, if I can pick up on it, you can bet that your wife will.

 

Even in honoring that I am somehow making ground then??
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Alright folks... I am so glad you are all here... I have been desperate for some quicker feedback. I have changed the letter as suggested, like it a lot better too. I need to run this next idea by you all. Saturday is my wife's birthday and I have been lousy at honoring special occaisions. I allowed myself to believe her when she said gifts did nothing for her, anyway I digress. She works the overnight shift at the hospital- I think she may also be seeing one of the guys she works with but that is not driving my intention here, anyway I was going to arrange to pick up the kids from her house so they could deliver a cake and a gift to her at work. I could also just as easily drop off the cake and gift to her house and she would get it in the morning. If I take the kids to her work A) she could realize how easy it would be for me to "kidnap" them and it B) might cause her some discomfort that she is having personal time stuff happening while at work. Should I not do the cake delivery at work thing? Even though I would wait in the car?

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Just so ya know, if you need some quick feedback it's ok to send a pm to a helper and ask them to take a peek at your thread. :wink:

 

As for the birthday cake, I think you've answered your own question. With the way things stand between you now, I think it would make her very uncomfortable. Just leave the cake and gift for her at home.

 

And you know what? Gifts don't do a lot for me either, but we girls still want to know we're being thought about. It's not the stuff, it's the sentiment behind it. I don't know if anyone's made this suggestion or not, but lots of men here give their wife a gift on a certain day every week. You might want to think about trying that - just something small like a gift card to her favorite caffeine shop or something. Just remember to listen - if she asks you to stop the gifts, then stop.

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I am sending the weekly gift as well. Most recent went out in today's mail. I think you / we are absolutely right about dropping off the cake and gift. I don't think there is anything I could do that would so unnerve her as to make her realise how vulnerable the kids are at home alone while she is working. She probably alread fears me doing something stupid like that.

 

UH when do I send the apology letter? Should I wait until after her birthday delivery? and what about the previous letter I wrote? Based upon "lucky he not earl's" tone I ought just scrap that for now. I think it is the top of page 4 or bottom of 3.

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Hey folks- I have a legitimate question. Why on earth would a woman having gone through what I put my wife through come back and not just start fresh with the gooey infatuation first in love feelings with someone new without the history? Hello!! Especially when she has been down the road of divorce once and knows how to navigate it?

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