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Your apology letter is gonna drum up some pretty awful feelings for her. She will probably read it and spit nails for awhile. I don't think you want her to get it on her birthday.

 

Send it out Monday or Tuesday, and yeah, scrap the other one for now. She only needs one ton of bricks dropped on her at a time. :lol:

 

Good for you on the weekly gifts - if she hasn't complained about them, then they are touching her heart in some small way. Ask her periodically if there's anything you can do to bless her. She doesn't want the "hi beautiful" texts, but maybe something like "I'm at Walmart, is there anything you need?" would be ok with her.

 

Just don't forget her need for sleep -way back when, my husband used to call me at 1pm and ask if I was gonna sleep all day. Ummm, yeah, since I worked all night. I finally called him at 1am and asked if he was gonna sleep all night. :lol: Don't call or text if you know she's sleeping. A tired wife is a mean wife. :wink:

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I'd wait until after the birthday delivery for the apology letter. Let her enjoy her birthday. As far as the previous letter goes, I'd defer to one of the other helpers on that. GMS gives great advise. I'm not a helper by any stretch of the imagination, I just saw you getting ready to make a mistake I would have made a few months ago with the apology letter, so I pointed it out. It comes with our old nature. I sense a bit of control freak in you, I guess we can smell our own. It is good that you are identifying reasons why (not excuses) you have behaved the way you have, and my opinion is that it is good for a wife to know that you are actually taking steps towards making the necessary heart changes, but as far as the timing of it goes - I'd like to help you, but don't feel qualified.

 

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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Looney Tunes are you a "won back heart?" What made you put things back together? Are beautiful, desirable woman more or less likely to be "won" back? My wife is tall, elegant, witty, fun, absolutely dazzling smile and knows how to treat a man. In my opinion she could have any man she sets her affections on. I most certainly married up and at the time her self-esteem was in the toilet.

 

I feel like my goose is cooked. She most certainly will have no trouble replacing me if that is what she decides to do. What pray tell- do I do with these feelings / realizations??

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Let's just say I'm working on being won back - not there yet but my husband is trying. :wink: What made us put it back together? To be flat out honest, God wouldn't let me leave. I was not here because I wanted to be, but once I found J&K I felt like I at least owed my husband a chance to do this. Sometimes the progress is pretty slow, and sometimes it feels like we've gone backwards, but we're still hanging in there.

 

I don't think your wife's physical appearance has much to do with whether or not you're going to win her back, but you will have to work pretty hard if you have a lot of competition.

 

You need to take all those negative feelings and dump them on God or some of the helpers here, but you absolutely cannot let your wife see them. When you're around her you need to be strong and confident. You need to act like you have just as much of a shot as any other man at winning her heart. You need to pursue her as much as she will let you.

 

As for your question about why she'd want to give you another chance vs. just starting over - well, she won't, unless she sees some serious changes in you.

 

You are still very strongly focused on getting your wife back. That's understandable, but the men who succeed at this eventually come around to another way of thinking. Their goal becomes to be Christlike, whether or not their wife ever responds. They stop focusing on what their wife says or does (although of course they keep listening and doing what she asks) and start doing things because it's what God wants them to do. The faster you can get there, the easier this will become for you, and the more likely it becomes that your wife will see the changes in you.

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BW - one comment on what your pastor is saying, he is right about verbalizing it and making it a point of reference in time and then we walk out that forgiveness; and he or someone else needs to be the person to point that out to your wife not you.

 

Looney and Earl are giving you good direction on your apology letter so I won't add to that. On the timing after her birthday is good and the sooner the better as long as you realize that, like Looney said, this will drag up the emotions she is trying to bury with the other dating and she will most likely initially be very angry and "spitting nails". Get ready for that, it is a good thing and if you handle her venting in a healthy, safe and loving way this will be a positive thing for her and for you. Right now the pain from your abuse is poison to her heart and it is continuing to harm her. If you give her the opportunity to vent that pain back onto you this will begin to bring healing to her heart and at the same time will help you start to grow emotionally as well. Even though it stirs up negative feelings, it is the beginning of healing. Then comes rebuilding trust and after healing and rebuilding trust you now have the foundation laid for reconciliation. That is the process.

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I'll try and make this quick. My job today was on a painting detail at the college. While I worked I was comtemplating this apology letter and listening tp praise music as I scrubeed the surface needing to be painted, then I began doing the even more tedious task of triming in the areas the roller would not fit all in preparation to go whoosh with the roller and knock out a finished product totally different looking than what it was originallt but pretty much the same thing but people will notice that there is something different. They may not know what without some serious consideration but they will notice something.

 

While doing this project I was asking myself why on earth would I want to drag my wife through the mud of all my past grievances. Why would I want to drudge up the misery I have caused her our entire marriage? How on earth could a mere human forgive such treachery. I am asking for grace I do not deserve and forgiveness I have not earned. And God said... "see your painting project? I am going to do the same. I will remove the crud, address the details and whoosh it will look totally different yet remain the same." Give me something to work with. Trust this into my hands and get out of the way."

 

I still need to go through the list, make sure it is complete, ask God to forgive me for all the ways I have sinned against His baby girl, and forgive myself before giving it to her. I was also considering giving a copy to one of our pastors she still talks to so a few weeks from now he can ask her what she plans to do with it and will have a copy incase she throws hers out or doesn't bring it to the meeting. As far as I am concerned, I need to get on with my walk with Christ after this and let her see what He is doing. I'll still send the gifts and be as servant minded as I can be but as far as any more "chasing" or "negotiating" words, I am done after this. Thoughts y'all.

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In addition...

I believe my wife has sent a few encouraging signals to me maybe without her even knowing it (if that is possible) when she first started the divorce proceedings she asked me:

When do you graduate?

How do I know things would be different? (When I asked her about reconciling months ago) When I told her how my heart had even changed at that point she said, "Show me."

and then in response to the first gift card and pulling weeds 3 weeks ago, she did say she appreciated it then treated me pretty decent for about 2 weeks thereafter as well as much of the fire in her "fight" went out of her and just yesterday she said in response to the flippant text message you can read in earlier posts she said "Please stop, it is not helping at all."

 

Does that mean the other things like the gift cards and weed pulling is?

 

Am I grasping at straws, overanalysizing, or learning to listen to her heart? Any thoughts.

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Am I grasping at straws, overanalysizing, or learning to listen to her heart?

 

No, yes, and yes. :lol:

 

It seems to me that you are seeing some small signs that her heart isn't totally closed off to you. That's good. Just don't overreact - when a little seedling is starting to poke its way through the ground, you don't dump an entire bucket of water on it or you'll kill it. Water it gently.

 

Yes, you are overanalyzing. That seems to be what gets most of you guys in trouble. :roll: Don't try to read anything into her responses. You'll probably be wrong. Just accept whatever she says or does and continue to reassure her that you are committed to becoming the man God wants you to be.

 

If you are weeding and giving gift cards, which she has said she likes, and not texting, which she says she doesn't like, then yes, you are learning to listen to her heart.

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We're posting at the same time again. :roll: The apology letter looks good. If I were in your shoes I wouldn't be excited about sending it either, but you have to do it if you want to move forward.

 

Remember that this will probably dig up a lot of anger in her. Whatever she says, do not defend yourself! Trouble is, most guys who are just getting started with this don't know what that looks like. Do a little role playing or whatever you need to do, but make sure you can kill that need to defend yourself when you talk to her.

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BW - I like the apology letter in that you are digging deep with God's help to realize all that you have done and that is good, no matter what her response is. A woman doesn't have almost unlimited capacity for forgiveness, neither to men, however Christ does and it is in Him that you need to be trusting in this. She will repsond how she responds, your consistency of attitude towards her no matter how she responds is key. She will be looking to see if you are running away and hiding or lashing out in anger. If instead she sees humility, genuine care and concern for her and tenderness towards her expression of pain, this will begin the process of healing and rebuilding trust.

 

Nobody likes to confess sin, but once it is out in the open it can be dealt with in a healthy way. You withholding this from her just sets her up for more pain with some other abusive man, as I said before I am sure that no one in her life has come clean with her and set her free from the crushing weight of feeling like all that she has suffered is really her fault. This confession opens the door for true healing and reconciliation with a man who is humbling himself and seeking to follow the Lord and lay his life down for his wife and that man is you.

 

By all means share this with your pastor and other trustworthy people in her life who can help her and minister to her in the love of Jesus Christ.

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BW - yes, I agree 100% with what Looney was sharing with you about serving, doing the things she likes, not doing things she doesn't like, taking her words at face value and not trying to read into them...all that.

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BW - I want to add a couple of comments - I need to read up on you a bit, so hopefully, I'm not saying things that you have already been told, or already understand.

 

The apology letter is good - you're right in realizing that it isn't going to be a fun thing to give to her, and it will dredge up a lot of things in her. BUT, you are INITIATING the dredging, instead of the things just festering inside her. She will ultimately RESPOND, I believe, more positively to you having brought these things up than she will if you were never to bring them up. It will NOT seem like that for a while, because there will be a lot of pain associated with these things - for you, it will be a good exercise to watch her reactions (or listen very closely) and begin how to learn to feel what she is feeling.

 

Guys don't generally get how women feel about things (duh), and we don't feel the same way that they do. Oftentimes, my wife reacts to something COMPLETELY different than I thought that she would - I can either freak out about that and blame her for a "misguided reaction", or I can study her reaction and learn from it. If you want to heal your wife, learn.

 

Be brave, be strong, be a Godly man. RESIST the urge to flee when the letter comes up - it WILL be there, I promise. You will SO want to get out of that conversation. But, you HAVE to stay, you HAVE to listen, you HAVE to keep your mouth shut - pray, pray, pray for EMPATHY and UNDERSTANDING and WISDOM. You will need plenty of it.

 

OK? You're making a big step here - it's going to seem like a free-fall, and it's going to be uncomfortable. But, you're a MAN and you're designed to handle that kinda thing...

 

HerDensity

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Lastly, for now, I am concerned this letter will be poo pooed or trashed or throw her into such a further fit of denial she continues to act out (dating) trying to prove to herself and the "world" that she is really "over it."

 

My credibility and sincerity has been damaged by my past behavior pretty badly. Is that why how I respond from here on out will most likely be tested? Does that inner desire for her husband thing drive this "testing?"

 

If so and I am assuming it does, am I guaranteed some type of "testing?"

 

How do I respond? At this point I am disgusted with myself for being the "one" who has to own these depraved behaviors and pretty stinking angry at the guy who pulled this crap on her.

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Let's talk delivery. It is now ready to be given to her. Do I mail it or hand it to her? Is it sent with her weekly gift or by itself if it is mailed. I definitely will NOT e-mail it. My pastor thinks I ought to face to face ask her to forgive me for the main topics and give her the letter afterward after she has been given the opportunity to verbalize her forgiveness in those broad categories or not. It is his impression that many people believe forgiveness is a mental exercise similar to choosing to think differently about someone- like flipping a mental switch whereas it is really a heart issue that must be spoken (there is creative power in the tongue, out of the issues of the heart the mouth speaks, a man will eat the fruit of his lips) I am wrestling with the two schools of thought.

 

Primarily because I have already confessed to be self-centered and trying to reconcile up until this point to soothe my pain (all about me) I don't want to appear I am doing THIS for me and secondly, because of my history of controll and manipulation I do not want this painted with that same brush.

 

I figure we can do verbal apologies down the road. All I want to accomplish here is for this to reek of sincerity. How now brown cow- do I do that???

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Just a quick thought here (from a wife)... while I understand what your pastor is trying to say about apologizing face-to-face, in this situation, I completely disagree. It puts too much pressure on her. Just get the letter to her and let her respond (or not) as she needs/wants to at this time. Put the control in her hands for a while. It will be tough but I think that the other way will feel like you are trying to force her to listen to you and forgive you and she will just run further away.

 

I will let others reply to your question about how... I am not sure about that.

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Your pastor means well, but he's wrong. Has he read J&K's book? If not, give him a copy asap. If you're gonna get counsel from this man, he needs to be on board with this view of marriage. I know he means well, but he's been feeding you what he's been taught, and the church has taught marriage wrong for way too many years.

 

Print out your letter, put it in an envelope, and give it to her. Do it right as you're about to leave - when you're dropping off the kids or whatever - or set it on her kitchen counter with some flowers. Do not stick around and force her to read it in front of you. Do not call her later and ask her what she thought about it. Give her time to process. Give her time to throw things without your head being in firing range. :wink:

 

Something else I want to gently point out - when you said, "I like your style," to me a page or so back - that could be interpreted to be just a bit flirty. I know you didn't mean it that way, and I'm sure it surprises you to even read this. Don't worry, I wasn't offended. I just want to caution you to be careful about this kind of thing, because we wives pick up on it like crazy. Has your wife ever accused you of flirting, and you denied it? It was probably something like this - you didn't even realize you were doing it, but trust me, both your wife and the other women knew you were.

 

Are you on the men's calls, or on at least one of the couples calls? They will help you so much as you walk through this. Good job with staying plugged in here and being teachable. Now you just have to walk it out.

 

Remember, you are becoming Christlike. Winning your wife back is one of the huge benefits of doing that. It doesn't work the other way around.

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BW - Jesus said, "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks", what you want is to touch her heart in a thoughtful way that communicates love and understanding towards her, this can lead to a change of heart for her. Your pastor is trying to work this from the outside in - i.e. your words have creative power, instead of looking for change from the inside out, heart change. He might disagree with my characterization here and that is ok, I am speaking generally about his approach. He is also not fully appreciating the relational dynamics of you presenting her with the opportunity to forgive you, when in the past you have manipulated, controlled and abused her and made it all about you and now you come along and say, "I really want you to forgive me, but it is more for you than for me." I think you need to send this to her seperate from anything other thing and at the end of it that you tell her that you would welcome the opportunity to talk with her so that she can share her thoughts with you about what you have written.

 

Leading someone to say "I forgive you" if in their heart they are saying "I despise you" is worthless. This is like the person who is pursuing minstry for self gain, fame or power over people in the name of Jesus and when they meet Jesus face to face they will say, "Didn't I cast out demons, heal the sick and work miracles in your name?" and Jesus will say, "depart from me you worker of evil, I never knew you." She is going to have to come to a place where she sees all of her sins as washed away and be able see your sins against her as washed away in the blood of Christ, through the view of the crucifixtion and death of Christ and then with her heart she will say, "I forgive, even as I have been forgiven", this is what is actually helpful and effective for her. She has to come to a place of belief that she must forgive because God has first forgiven her and you cannot force her to believe this. You can pray for her, serve her, love her in any way that she will allow and all these things God can use to soften her heart and bring her to that point of belief. Also if she forgives you this is not the same as trusting you, you will still have to earn her trust after she forgives. If someone where to hurt my wife or children, I could genuinely forgive them from my heart and pray for their salvation, but I would not let them near my family possibly ever again depending on what it was. Forgiveness is freely given, trust must be earned.

 

I do not agree with your pastor that her verbalizing "I forgive you for ____" has real value independent from what is going on in her heart. This is the implication of the "creative power" of her words.

 

Beliefs (Christ has first forgiven me and calls me to forgive in the same way) leads to thoughts (what do I need to forgive him for) leads to actions (verbalizing "I choose to forgive Earl for ____) leads to Emotions (I feel like a weight is lifted, I am no longer bitter, I am free, I feel closer to Christ, the world seems brighter, etc)

 

This may be more than you were looking for, but I am happy to correspond with your pastor on any of this and if I am misunderstading and therefore mischaracterizing what he is saying I apologize.

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This is the most recent exchange between my pastor and I. I post it mainly because I am sooo proud I am getting it and encouraged. And because he is such a great guy. Open minded and tender-hearted. Check this out!!! I am sooo excited God is teaching me so quickly and that I am getting it!!! I have been so hard hearted in the past I thought I could never change. Reading what I wrote, comparing it to what you have all said recently is soo exciting and encouraging I was moved to tears of gratitude that my God is actually moving in this and I can finally see it!!.

 

Pastor,

 

I have to respectfully disagree with getting into a face to face forgiveness request with my wife. I no longer have that privilege. I have destroyed all vestiges of trust between us. She would most likely feel trapped, cornered, disrespected, manipulated, controlled, and question my sincerity and more than likely misinterpret my motive as self-serving. I have gotten into this mess by failing to listen to her heart (and by making assumptions I agree). I have got to honor her "space." I also think it might be wise to give her time to read, re-read, and digest it. I am sure there will be some sort of response to test my sincerity. If not- I guess it is on her unless somewhere down the road I ask her what she did with all I dumped on her in the letter.

 

I have read it through again, forgiving myself for each item so as to make sure I do not develop any bitterness toward myself that Satan can use down the road. It has almost made me physically sick, knowing I am responsible for the things written in it.

 

I doubt my wife has ever had anyone humbly ask her for forgiveness is the past- it will probably impact her pretty deeply. I doubt she is ready to show me that kind of emotion just yet.

 

Beloved Warrior,

 

I think your reasoning is sound. You know the temperature of things way better than I do. If her heart is so moved one day to actually verbalize forgiveness to you, that would be great.

 

I modified the content, and highlighted them in yellow. In the beginning, I changed the order, and some wording, especially to indicate that you are committed to her healing, but not that you are her healer. I think it comes across a little different.

 

I suggested a lot of grammatical changes in your list. You can ignore all of them or use any of them. They are meant to make the reading a little smoother. I also took out some of the "graphic quality" of some of your words, reasoning that you don't ultimately know whose eyes may fall upon the document. It should be safe to read.

 

I still think there is redundancy in it, and that you could probably eliminate quite a number of them, which would make it easier to digest, but that is up to you.

 

Keep it bathed in prayer. You're getting there my friend.

 

PD

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I definitely think you need to give your pastor the book - it sounds like he is of the mindset to support you, but since he doesn't understand the principles behind this ministry, he's giving you advice that conflicts with some of what we're telling you here.

 

If you decide to use your pastors edits, I'd suggest you post that version here before you give it to your wife.

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