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She wants to stay in hiding, so I will travel to my job interviews, work on my research and live my lonely life. I think she wants to be married to me despite what she says, so I have to wait. We have another six months before she can file for divorce.

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Peter,

She wants to stay in hiding, so I will travel to my job interviews, work on my research and live my lonely life. I think she wants to be married to me despite what she says, so I have to wait. We have another six months before she can file for divorce.
Self-pity does not become you and it does not empower you in any way in your life.

 

Brother, here on your thread I see you moving 3 steps forward 2 steps back. That means progress, but in danger of becoming stalled or regressed.

 

Do you really want to move forward?

Do you see how you get side tracked easily by any dialogue about who's "right" and who's "wrong"?

 

No one ever said laying your life down was easy, on the contrary, it is brutal for a human being and impossible without being filled to over-flowing with the Spirit of God.

Of course my work is important to me, but of course it is not more important than my marriage. It is just really hard to watch it go away!
What you built in India was only a temporary work. What you do in terms of spiritual input has consequences for generations to come. You need to shift your eyes away from the temporal, even if it was good, toward the eternal. You will be influencing your children and their lives for generations to come. You get to choose the legacy you lead and the values you hold and attitudes you embrace will influence any message you have of an eternal nature. Go back to square one. Back to your roots in Christ, who you are because of your adoption into the family of God, through the cross. Embrace that heritage, one of hope and calling and sacrifice. Without knowing who you were meant to be, your default will always be human fraility: pride, fear, entitlement, self-centeredness, and self-pity.

 

So, stop resigning yourself to the lie that you are powerless, and embrace the inner Godly warrior. But remember this:

Your wife is not the enemy

You are warring against spiritual enemies who are dedicated to your personal destruction, the destruction of your marriage, and the spiritual ineffectiveness of your life. These are skilled foes, and apart from daily putting on the armour of God, you are going to get killed out there on the battlefield.

 

Ready yourself, man of God. The war is not over until you are present in heaven, so there is much to do and much lost ground to regain.

 

Plant a flag of rememberance in your mind on the day that you humbled yourself and willingly took a hard look at the sin which so easily beset you in your life and marriage. That day was a beginning to reverse direction. A new trajectory back toward God's best plan for you was begun on that day.

 

Believe it or not, God's best was not the mission field and India.

God's best is not private practice and Canada.

God's best is you, committed to daily live out your TRUE calling in Christ:

to lay your life down

for your wife,

for your children,

for your brothers and sisters in Christ

and then, for the world.

 

This, He calls you to in order that God's love and forgiveness would be lived out in your sacrifice and be presented for those that God has prepared for you to reach with His love. Embrace His grace and covering for your sin, transmit His grace and forgiveness to others.

 

Christlikeness, or mirroring the image of God is impossible unless you immerse yourself in His word and seek insight in its application to your life.

 

Go back to the Gospels and re-read Jesus life for a current refreshment of your understanding of your calling in Him. Meditate upon its message and ask for God's insight and vision. Repent when the Spirit points clearly to those things that are of 'the flesh' and of "the world". Purpose to walk differently, especially practicing the renewed walk in those areas that God is so clearly highlighting.

 

This can be the spiritual adventure of your life, or a root canal, that is all up to you and the path you choose for yourself and the attitude you embrace.

 

Choose life.

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I think she wants me to be safe and to take accountability for all of the ways I have hurt her in the past. I think she needs me to focus on her, not on me, and try to listen and learn what has happened to bring us to this position.

 

We had a brief meeting in which I didn't do well, choosing to argue and ask questions about what happened instead of trying to meet her needs. It is only since she bought a house on her own that I have come to realize just how hurt she is, and just how deep the trouble I am in is!

 

I spend a lot of time trying to look back and understand any signs she gave of dissatisfaction in the last year. I think there were some signs, but I did not take any of them seriously. I really had no idea that she was so hurt because I focused on myself and my needs more than hers. Each day I accept more that I am to blame for the loss of our marriage and mission career.

 

Besides reading and praying, I don't know what to do next. If I call her she is usually disinterested, but sometimes talks, and after she says that she will not meet with me again without supervision. There is a senior couple in her church that wants to meet with us together, so I am hoping she might agree to that.

 

I really want to start picking up the pieces of our lives and figuring out what to do next, but she is not ready for these discussions.

 

I want to do what she needs me to do. Every day I pray for her and for forgiveness and healing to occur in both of us.

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Peter,

 

I am not a helper, just a woman who has been hurt, much like your wife has been.

 

I see how hard that you are trying to understand all of this, and I see you on here (the boards) constantly...so I know you want your wife back!

 

As a hurt wife I will ask you this...WHY does it matter so much when or if she showed you signs of dissatisfaction through the years. That is done. What's done is done. It doesn't matter if she showed you or when she showed you or how she showed you. She was unhappy. You two are in a place now where you can fix those things! What a wonderful gift!

 

Put the how's and why's of it out of your head if you can and just resolve to heal her pain. Do what you can every day to make her feel special and loved. Think of her always. Pray for her always. Be nice to her. Treat her like your most precious gift...and TELL her that. Sincerely! Treat her like she is the most fragile piece of glass that you've ever seen. I can tell you this because my heart as a woman has been damaged like your wifes...and that's how I feel. I feel like you can't treat her tenderly enough. Be very gentle with her!

 

This is coming from the heart of another wounded wife. This is what I would want to hear.

 

I'm not close to your wife, although I've read your story.

 

I don't know if I'm out of line posting this (please someone just let me know if I am!). But I've just been reading your string and I'm seeing how frustrated you're getting banging your head against the wall of "when did she show me she was dissatisfied????"

Try not to focus on that right now, because really, what is knowing the answer to that going to get you? It won't get you any closer to making her happy and getting to be with her, like you want!

 

Hang in there!

 

This is a tough road for all of us!!!!

 

goingsolo

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This is you: focussing on the past.

I spend a lot of time trying to look back and understand any signs she gave of dissatisfaction in the last year. I think there were some signs, but I did not take any of them seriously.
This is you: not focussing on the present.
We had a brief meeting in which I didn't do well, choosing to argue and ask questions about what happened instead of trying to meet her needs.

 

You are still looking for YOUR out, to be exonerated from responsibility, instead of focussing on healing your wife's heart.

 

It is still all about you, isn't it. At least that is what your behavior and words are telling about you. Stop talking already and get back to listening, without judgement. Practice, practice, practice. You are obviously not good at marriage so you need a lot of doing the right thing before it becomes your default behavior.

 

Have you even read J & K's books at all? Really read them and considered how your own behavior shows up in similar ways and how you can be different? Get educated and then get going in the right direction and quit falling back into the rut of arguing, defending and blaming. You are in danger, brother. Don't you see it, yet? If you do, then behave as if you really believed all the costs you are in danger of paying: spiritual, emotional, familial, and financial.

 

This is your life, and this is the mess you made. You better be 100% vested in cleaning it up or it's not going to happen.

 

Sorry to be so blunt, but Peter, you are really not understanding how your thinking and your behavior are going to make or break your already tenuous marriage situation.

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Goingsolo,

I don't know if I'm out of line posting this (please someone just let me know if I am!).

You are quite welcome to contribute as you have read the books, understand and embrace the focus of a biblical marriage and are loving enough to speak truth for another's benefit.

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Peter wrote:

I think she wants me to be safe and to take accountability for all of the ways I have hurt her in the past. I think she needs me to focus on her, not on me

 

Absolutely! I am sure she would say yes and AMEN!

 

Are you mowing her lawn as she has asked? Is there anything else she has asked for from you? Financial support? Help with the girls? What is she expressing to you, written, verbal or through a 3rd party, that she needs from you?

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Joanna wrote:

Since Peter and others are asking what I need on his string:

 

I need a legally binding contract with Peter to pay us every month, starting September 1.

 

I need him to ask how the car is doing and offer to tend it - it a '99 and has almost 200,000 kms

 

I need him to take out life insurance, health insurance and dental insurance. I am paying for medical and dental out of pocket.

 

I need him to stop recruiting new people to be involved in this when I have stated clearly that I ONLY FEEL SAFE IN THIS COMMUNITY. Just keep calling/posting/ here.

 

I need him to stop trying to prove he isn't as bad as he is.

 

I need him to put me before his original family - full stop.

 

I need him to stop insinuating that this can be resolved quickly. God doesn't rush anyone. He carefully prunes us patiently. It took almost 20 years to get to this place, it is not going to go away quickly.

 

I need him to NEVER speak of his feelings.

 

I need him to pursue God and His Kingdom first. Full stop.

 

Peter - are you working towards making all of these things happen?

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Peter, I'm going to be blunt (those who know me here are saying, yeah, when isn't she blunt? :lol: ) SHUT UP! What's done is done. There is absolutely nothing productive in trying to figure out when what happened and why you didn't know. Get over it. Put some duct tape over your mouth, and get busy making the things on her list happen.

 

You don't get to do what YOU think will restore your marriage. If you knew how to be married, you wouldn't be in this position in the first place. You obviously have no idea what you're doing, so humble yourself - yeah, I know that's tough for a lot of people who have certain letters after their name. I work with a lot of guys like you. Hate to break it to you, but you're nothing special. Yes, you have a lot of knowledge in a certain area. So do I. I could run circles around you in neonatology or toxicology, and if you suddenly decided you wanted to be a neonatologist you'd have to go back and learn from people who know more than you do. So now you need to become a marriage-ologist, and you'd better start learning from people who know more than you do, or you're going to kill someone - namely your beautiful wife and your kids, who don't deserve to be sacrificed on the altar of your ego.

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Good job Peter, don't despise the day of small things. One day at a time, one step at a time. Make every interaction with you positive.

 

Joanna - you are showing tremendous courage and grace in this.

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Peter,

 

I love this ministry. The people here have offered you a drink of water in a dry and thirsty land. Your soul is parched and so saturated with self-righteousness that you can no longer see or hear or taste life. Like a man in a desert you see a mirage of your own self in a condition of acceptance before God when in reality you have forsaken His truth long ago. You talk much about yourself...as if you are the king of a your own kingdom...your family, ministry and mission all servants of yours. You are masterful at placing every piece of yourself in a winning position just as a chess player positions his pieces to protect or to strike at the next play. Yet, your kingdom is built by your own hands and not built by God's.

 

I see you as a man who is still blind and thinking he can find his own way out of gross darkness. You look to your wife and others to give you your desperate excuse why anything in your life is not nor could be your fault. What is the grandeur of being right? A man's way is right in his own eyes and the end or the final outcome of the matter brings death...then what profit has that man gained? I say often that it is better to be RIGHT WITH GOD than to be RIGHT. It is better to rightly relate to your wife than to not be in relationship at all.

 

You have been to an Intensive and so you are well armed with the RIGHT TRUTH to move forward and obey God. Many men often put things backwards in their lives...they DO a thing and ask God to bless it but Jesus always asked what the Father was doing and asked to join God. The difference is far-reaching between these thoughts. Ask God what He wants from you and then do it...not if it makes sense...not if it feels good...not if you look good...not if you get something out of it...not if you get the upper hand or the applause and approval of men....do what your Christ did before you...empty yourself and cling to the Cross God erected for you to bring a deathblow to the carnal man. For a husband your Cross is the joy of your wife set before you...her healing..her heart...her wholeness. What do you get? Love, respect and to look in the mirror of God's Word and see a good man....a righteous man in Christ...a healed and loved and man made whole and complete.

 

Someone goes first...someone steps up first....someone says yes to sacrifice and suffering for the beloved....that someone is NOT your wife. God called you, the bridegroom, the Christ-like man to go there. Now, this is either an honor for you or you are sickened by it? The choice is yours how you go...either way... every Christian husband will be presented his Cross. They will go there and reject it blatantly before a Holy God or they will pick it up. Again, the choice is yours.

 

The magnanimity of our God is that Christ went already to a Cross for you. He suffered to the point of shedding blood and death...the ultimate sacrifice. You know this but perhaps ponder in your heart the difference between what Christ did for you and what he asks you to do for a beautiful bride? The scars and sin you gave God that cost Jesus His life are quite different from the scars and gash your wife brings to you. Those scars are the ones YOU put there. All God is asking a husband to do is to love his wife to the point of healing her her heart. God is asking you to die for love's sake...not for sin's sake. It feels like dying because your nature is to grasp for your own need to be met first. Yet, if you let go of your right to be right, heard, healed and loved...it will come back to you through your wife. This is God's design for marriage and it is perfect.

 

The reason you never felt or detected your wife's pain and brokenness is only because you never listened. You made sure her voice to tell you anything was silenced long ago. Your weapons of choice were and are to bully, threaten, coerce and withdraw love to heap punishment upon her if she dare speak. It is NOT your wife who did not try to tell you a million times you were crushing and bruising her...it was your own deafness to the Spirit's voice you chose to ignore.

 

Jeremiah 24:6-7.... "For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart."

 

As God watched his people taken away to the captivity under Babylon because of their own sin...so now will God watch over them to bring restoration..as God will do in your marriage if you again give Him your whole heart. He will establish you and give you a new heart of flesh instead of a stony heart. A heart to do His will in a good place. In a land that gives both promise and provision.

 

Kimberly

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I have another assignment:

 

Thank you for asking your mother and sister to come to the recital tomorrow. HOWEVER, you have allowed them to believe that I hate them and want nothing to do with them, which is not true whether you want to believe it or not.

 

I want you to call your sister and tell her that the only reason I am not calling her is to protect her from the way you twist her words and mine and make the both of us miserable in the process. You have also kept my life spinning out of control and I have no time to phone her otherwise, caring for two children alone and working all while trying my best to work with Joel and Kathy's program.

 

I want you to tell your mother that I have the right to protect myself and the girls from being judged in a way that hurts me. And that ultimately YOU will be learning how to protect me and stand up to her, putting me first.

 

Otherwise, going to the recital with them there will be very uncomfortable for me.

 

However, I want to add that I am fully capable of facing them just the same. I will stand up for myself, as usual, if you cannot be the man I have asked you to be.

 

Joanna

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Had a long talk with both my mother and sister. They don't think you hate them. They love you and want to reconnect with you, but they are scared to talk to you.

 

They agree that they are a judgmental family and they (and I) have hurt you. I told them that it is my job to put my own family ahead of them.

 

You and the girls are my family. They used to be my family.

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Scared? I am not a scary person! Why are they scared? Because I leave when they hurt me? (your mom) Because I haven't been able to call? (your sister) Or is it because of ridiculous things you have said about me and how I feel about them that are not true.

 

I love them, but will not tolerate judgement or hurtful behaviour any longer. Your sister has never done this to me. So, obviously you and your mother have painted the situation with your own words. My last face to face interaction with your sister was wonderful - chatting like school girls about her boyfriend and Jesus. My last telephone call was both of us saying how much we meant to each other and her confessing that talking to me was getting her in trouble - that you pumped her for info afterwards (no surprise since you did that to our children too). So, I simply said that I would not be talking to her about the situation any more, to protect her.

 

Your mother need not fear me as long as she can understand that none of this is really any of her business - so she cannot tell me not to buy the house, how to raise the kids, when to come back to you, etc.

 

I will keep all conversation focused on the girls and their accomplishments. And safe subjects.

 

I need to bring up a related incident that our dd5 mentioned. Seems you inferred to her and to dd8 that you were coming to their program last Friday - you will recall reminder calls on Friday morning. In the past, I have not told them ahead of time of your plans in case of changes. Anyway, she was in the steps of the church crying and watching down the street for you, refusing to come in and perform until you arrived. She was absolutely devastated. You need to apologise to her. Kids cannot understand when parents don't come through for them! I have told her that Daddy would not have missed the program if he had known how important it was to you - he loves you very much.

 

So help me, another generation will not be emotionally bankrupt if God and I can spare them!

 

Joanna

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Peter - Joanna was upset that you let your daughter think that you were going to be there and when you didn't show it broke her heart. Now you are saying you will "try to make it" tomorrow night, however when Kay calls you on this you say that you are working. Why not just say, "I am sorry I won't be able to make it tomorrow either because I am working"? What Joanna is looking for from you is yes or no and that the yes or no can be counted on. Much easier to explain to a child ahead of time that dad can't make it because he is working instead of I don't know why he didn't make it, but I am sure something important has come up.

 

Kay is making a valid observation based on what she knows, which is what you and Joanna have communicated. What you communicated was "I'll try" in the face of Joanna being very upset that you didn't come through last time. Kay's observation is valid in the context of the communication.

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I'll jump in and referee --

 

Peter, you didn't provide enough detail (remember, this is a public forum) to keep all of us from reacting just the way Kay did. I thought the same thing she did. Your wife knows the specifics, but your reply sounded awful to the rest of us! Since this IS public, do provide just enough of the facts to keep us all on track.

 

Please don't be rude to those who make an honest reaction, trying to help call the bad attitudes when they see them. We just calls 'em as we sees 'um.

 

Thanks!

Jane

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Brian was posting as I was writing! Excellent point, Brian:

Why not just say, "I am sorry I won't be able to make it tomorrow either because I am working"? What Joanna is looking for from you is yes or no and that the yes or no can be counted on. Much easier to explain to a child ahead of time that dad can't make it because he is working instead of I don't know why he didn't make it, but I am sure something important has come up.

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