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Hi, my wife is on this forum under "Hope". I know she has come here looking for help on what in the world to do with me. First off, I have just read your first book and really enjoyed it. It clarified a lot of things my wife has told me all along, but in a way that seemed to make the light go on upstairs. I also ordered the DVD series and have been watching it with my wife, and again, love it. Yet I still struggle with truly loving her and following the instruction provided in the book and DVD series.

 

A quick background, my wife is extremely hurt over everything that I have done and not done to her over our 7+ years of marriage. My hidden and lied about porn addiction throughout our marriage (up until 2 years ago), a lust battle that I continue to struggle with at times and am too scared to mention to her for fear of consequences, and the 2 year old that I am that is struggling to show her the love and attention she so deserves from me. In a nut shell, when she is hurt by my actions or lack of actions, I struggle with being a humble, tender, loving husband. When insecurities come, on a very rare occassion I can meet her and help validate her feelings. I can help her through it. But the majority of the time I crash and burn. I lack all humility, yet feel it tug at my heart strings while the pride takes over. I clam up and don't speak, which only makes things worse. I may know what I am suppose to do, or at least have a feeling of what I should try to do, but can't seem to muster up the strength to resist the pride inside me.

 

I called into a conference call a couple Thursday's ago and introduced myself as a first time caller just listening. I learned that if I say I can't, then I can't, and if I say I can, then I can. I must get over the can'ts and begin telling myself I can. I can save this marriage. I can stop breaking promises. I can start putting her first before anything or anyone else. But then I don't. And I find myself in an out of control tail spin feeling as though I am reaching out trying to push the eject button when my wife is expressing her hurts to me. What a perfect description... I am more concerned about how her hurts are affecting ME. I hear things that she shares, like tonight about how she wishes she'd never married me, and I freeze. I show no emotion. I feel a quiet anger inside. Then I think, what right do I have to feel angry. As she mentioned, I'm the one that put her in this place. What a scum bag. She's the one that is hurt, broken, and completely destroyed... and by ME. So what do I do now? Ignore her. Hmmm... I try thinking about what to say and find myself scared to go talk to her. Can someone say pansy?

 

I really do want to save this marriage. I want to be the man of her dreams! She has never been happy. And I have never shown her real love. She really does deserve so much more then me. How do I get past these barriers that keep getting in the way. How do I crush the pride? Destroying the little kid inside me and making me into a man and loving husband? I haven't spent a ton of time reading through other posts and I know I can get more advice on this topic from reading them, but know I also need to get direct help. I'd also like to call in on the conference calls to get more advice. My work schedule doesn't always make that possible but I try when I can.

 

Thank you for everything Joel and Kathy are providing through these resources. For the stubborn guys like me, it is exactly what we need to get turned around. And for once, my wife isn't feeling crazy regarding all the feelings she has had for so long...

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For clarification, when I mentioned she said she wished she'd never married me, this was said after an hour of hurt being shared with me and me being defensive and most of all, quiet. She didn't just all of the sudden spout it out, I drew it out of her.

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631 - thanks for jumping in here and I am encouraged that even through your fear, stubborness and immaturity you have read the first book, ordered and are watching the DVDs, listened in on the conference calls and I hope you have the second book on the way too and will read that. You are also beginning to see and admit the sin of your attitude and behavior towards your bride, this is good.

 

When she vents and shares her pain and wounds with you this is your opportunity to LOVE her through:

 

L - listen to her heart, patiently, intently, without defensiveness or sulking in quiet anger

O - Offer an apology, "I was wrong for..."

V - Validate her emotions, i.e. - "you are right to feel angry, abadoned, betrayed..."

E - Embrace her, "I want to do everything I can to bring healing to your heart in this area and I want to be the husband you need me to be, is there anything I can do for you now?"

 

If she says, "leave me alone for a while", do that graciously, if she says, "I just need you to hold me without a word", do that tenderly. Whatever she says be ready to do with gentleness and tenderness towards her.

 

You need to take her emotions into and onto you, let her pour them out without you repsonding by fighting back or sulking away in silent resentment. If you do this well, with Jesus' help, you will begin to bring healing to her heart and you will also begin to grow up emotionally as a man, a real man.

 

We are here to help and again we are glad you are here.

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631 - hmmmm, she said that she wants you to admit you are wrong? In the LOVE acronym the "O" stands for offer an apology starting with "I was wrong for..." Did you admit you were wrong?

 

On her saying that she feels you were manipulating her and blame shifting that happens when someone says for example, "I am sorry if you were hurt by my words, I didn't mean to hurt you." The person is in effect saying, "it is your fault you were hurt, because I didn't mean it that way", thus there is no genuine apology. Maybe you came across this way to her?

 

Continue to work on this with her and if she says, "I don't buy it"; "nice try"; "too little too late"; or whatever you remain calm and listen to her, continue to admit where you have been wrong, validate her choices in the face of your wrongs (if she won't let you comment on her feelings) and seek to embrace her in any way that she will allow you to. Embrace meaning that you are proactively looking for ways to build her up, appreciate and encourage her.

 

She doesn't trust you and will be skeptical of your efforts and you have to continue to remember that is your doing. Be humble and be consistent and make every interaction with you positive in your treatment of her, it may be a difficult topic, but you can still handle her in a gentle and understanding way.

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First off I need to make a public apology to my wife regarding my last post. After rereading it and hearing from my wife, I realize the things I said were almost an attempt to make her look bad. I hurt her by bringing out details from our conversation that were not necessary or where I didn't supply any backgroud for someone on the outside to really understand our situation. "Hope" I am sorry I hurt you in that post.

 

God's Mightly Helper - Thanks for the reply. I spoke with Hope about your comment. Yes, she said that when I am trying to make an apology, that I make it sound like I'm sorry that she is feeling badly, but it's not really my fault. That she is just over-reacting or that because I didn't mean to make her feel that way it is somehow not my fault. She said your comments were right on.

 

I had been seeing a counselor at one of the largest churches in our area (not our church) in an attempt to help me through the troubles in our relationship. Unfortunately he had a lot of very bad advice, as did many other counselors I met with, that fed my prideful side. Rather then helping me understand how I hurt my wife, they ended up hurting our marriage and resulted in us taking several steps backwards rather then gain any ground. They all pointed the finger and her and told me why, giving me ammo in a way to defend myself. How destructive! "Hope" I am sorry for sticking with bad counsel even when I knew he was leading me in the wrong direction. I know it damaged our marriage even more. "God's Mighty Helper", Joel and Kathy, I appreciate finally receiving help that truly makes a difference in me and our marriage.

 

I know Hope has valid doubts as to whether I am being real about my changes and trying to improve our marriage. I ordered the second book of Joel and Kathy's and will read it as soon as I get my hands on it. I understand her concern and am going to prove her doubts wrong.

 

She said she has a hard time being vulnerable with me right now. This includes emotions and anything on an intimate or physical level. When she begins to give any of herself, I have always "taken" it and then started to slack off. If she comes up and gives me a kiss or a hug, she said it's like I say, "ha, I've got her". Then my interactions with her, like the 20/20/20's begin to slow down if not stop. I know that as soon as she does interact with me, I feel close to her and excited and don't understand why I slow down. I can't let anything slack up.

 

We are currently at the Washington coast on a short family vacation. So far she says she is having a good time with me. Honestly, a couple days ago I was wondering if Hope would even agree to go. I thank God for helping things work out so that we could get away from all the chores and work and just relax. We are discussing our relationship, Joel and Kathy's book and DVD's, and this forum. Rather then me not wanting to talk about things I have been trying to be the initiator and bring things up to her first. That's a big change for me and I hope she is feeling that change.

 

I'd like to get on more calls. So far I have been on two, both times just listening. The last one was with Heather and Hope called in with me. My wife is very shy and doesn't feel comfortable discussing anything at this time. However I learn from just listening to the calls and it is good for me to hear from other woman that are going through the same thing Hope is. For me to better understand and grasp the hurts they feel. This helps me understand where my wife is coming from and ways thay perhaps I can help her and our marriage. Do you recommend a specific call or calls that would help me individually or the two of us? Both calls I have been on are Wednesday at 11 PST.

 

Thanks again!!

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I've read your wife's thread as well as yours, so I'm going to jump in here with some thoughts.

 

First of all, you need to realize that your wife has valid reasons for not trusting you. You've looked at a LOT of other women. You've hurt her heart in a million different ways. It took you 7 years to get to this point, and it's not going to change overnight.

 

If you haven't figured out your cell phone issue yet, do it. Yesterday. If your wife doesn't have ALL your passwords to ALL your online activity, she needs to have them the second you're done reading this. Give them to her with the full understanding that you've put yourself in this position and you have no right to whine about it. She has the right to check up on you for as long as she feels the need to. Trust is earned.

 

Having said that, I honestly do believe that you want to turn this around. Stay here, stay teachable, and you have a shot at doing that. Your assignment right now is to make it all about Hope. Do the things she's asking you to do, and don't do the things she doesn't want you to do. How can you bless her right now?

 

If you haven't read the stickies about second looks/flirting and mother-son issues, you need to do that asap. They will help you understand why you've been looking at other girls, and why it's so hard for you to meet Hope's needs. Then you need to consciously decide to change what you're doing.

 

Don't let yourself get overwhelmed by all the changes you need to make. Just do the next right thing. Listen to Hope. Begin to work on your apology letter. Determine in your heart that every time she interacts with you, she will walk away feeling good.

 

Any of the calls are good - try to get on as many as possible, even if you just listen. You may find that you "click" with the helpers on a particular call, but they're all great and you will learn from everyone.

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Looney_Tunes,

 

First thanks for taking the time to offer help!

 

I completely agree with you regarding the trust issues that I have created from my history. I have resolved the cell phone issue and she does have all password information. Needless to say that was pretty stupid of me. I also have Covenant Eyes on my home computer and work laptop and have for a couple years now. This has created some trust but there is always questions as to what other avenues are out there for me that I may be participating in. Understandable.

 

Can you tell me more about an apology letter. I have written some to her and one recently, all in cards. Are there more specifics? I looked at the example apology on the sticky and tried to follow that lead.

 

I will read through more of the stickies. I have not taken time to read through too many of them yet. Thanks for the direction.

 

I really like your comment "Determine in your heart that every time she interacts with you, she will walk away feeling good." That says a lot and is something I have never done well with. That is... when she comes to me with a concern or a hurt, she usually leaves more distraught from my defensiveness or maniplulative actions. I have had a hard time with this, first recognizing I was doing it, and second handling my prideful reactions when these things were pointed out to me. This is a big area that needs improvement.

 

I will try to get on as many calls as possible.

 

Thanks Looney_Tunes for the help!

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Hello and Welcome...

 

Sorry I haven't had the chance to read your whole post just yet.. I will...

 

You mentioned writing an apology letter...This is a good place to start. When you do this, you make sure you are not justifying yourself, defending yourself or making excusing for your actions. Make sure you are totally focused on HER feelings and how your actions have hurt her. Make a list of about 100 things you have done to hurt her...Make sure you are not using "I" statements when you do this..You just want to get across to her that you are trying to understand and feel her pain that you have caused her.

 

There are many great letters on here that you can follow as well...They are a good jumping off point..but you want to make sure its also from your heart. Get in touch with what she is feeling.

 

Heather

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Beloved Warrior has been working on his apology letter - you might want to check out his thread. Read his first couple of drafts and see how the helpers advised him to change it, as well as the final letter. It will give you an idea of how to get started. HerDensity also has a letter to his wife's family on his thread - it's buried back around page 10 or so - but it's a great example if that applies to your situation.

 

One suggestion - if you're going to post your letter for the helpers to comment upon, which I strongly suggest you do, Hope might want to avoid reading your thread for a bit. The first few rounds will probably not be something she needs to see. :wink:

 

I'm glad you fixed your phone and computer issues.

 

Remember that what you do speaks so loudly that what you say she will not hear - back up your promises with action.

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631 - good job on hanging in here and listening to what we are saying, checking with Hope and then adjusting your view and being willing to change. I totally agree with LT and GH on the apology letter, look at Beloved Warrior's string and read through his letter and the feedback given, it will help you get started. Then post what you have here and we will help you to refine it.

 

LT & GH - If he does this maybe you can PM Hope to let her know that he is working on it and you recommend that she not read it until he gives her the final copy.

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I looked over BW's apology letter and have a better understanding now. Thanks for the recommendation. We just finished the last DVD that also touches on the apology letter. I have already started the list, and know it may take a little bit before I get most of it down. I don't want to miss something that shouldn't have been missed. I will bring it here for your review soon. Oh, and I just got the "Livin' It and Lovin' It" book today!

 

Well I have had a couple of at fault screw ups since my last post. First was at the beach Saturday when a bunch of gals that were not dressed well and one in a bikini came into our area. Hope notified me that there was "bad" things in the area and that I should avoid their location. We began to leave the area walking down the coast line back to the condo. I asked Hope to tell me when it was safe to look down to the water again. Well, I made the decision to look down to the water when I felt it was clear, without consulting Hope. Thankfully I didn't see anything but it turns out we were only just barely clear, as they had been traveling parallel to us playing in the water. I got defensive and explained how I just knew we were clear from my peripheral vision. Well, of course the explaining and being defensive only made things worse... I just couldn't man up and say... "Honey, I'm sorry. I should have waited for you to give me the green light. I was too prideful to wait since I felt I knew enough to make the decision myself. I am sorry." But since I didn't, the rest of the afternoon was not as enjoyable as it could have been.

 

The second was yesterday at home. There was a mailer magazine from our power company that I picked up and began to flip through. Well I came across a picture of a woman with a low cut top and quickly tossed it to the garbage. Low cut tops with cleavage is something I am really trying to avoid as possible tempatation to lust. When she asked why I did that I just said there wasn't anything interesting in it that I wanted to read. Well, she had already seen the picture and asked again if there was something in it that made me toss it. I then said well there was a picture of a gal with a low cut top and therefore I didn't need to be reading it. While I honestly didn't know how much was showing as I immediately tossed it when I came across it, she did know. Rather than using this opportunity as a trust builder, it ended up breaking down trust, as though I was hiding something. As though perhaps I got something out of the picture. Well, I ended up getting defensive and then scrambling to try to correct the problem, how?..., with more defensiveness. It's amazing how quickly I can completely destroy opportunities for building trust. I got frustrated with myself for messing up a trust building opportunity, then looking guilty of lusting since I didn't bring it forward when she asked, or when I could have just mentioned it without her asking. Also I was inconsiderate of what she was feeling and how both of these episodes made her feel.

 

The lack of trust that she has in me makes perfect sense and the only one I have to be upset with is myself for putting us in this spot, again, and again. I hate that I have such a hard time just dying to self and putting her before me at every opportunity. Again, "Struggling to Love". A few more things to add to my apology letter.

 

I just reviewed these two issues with her and verified that she felt I had provided a sincere apology and that she had forgiven me. That makes me feel better, but I want to die to myself NOW. Not as I get around to it and when I learn it instinctively. I don't want to wait three years for it to be natural. What can I do to speed up the process!? Maybe I could hook up a taser gun up to me and zap me each time I put myself ahead of her. Bet that'd make a difference!!! :)

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So far I have a list of nearly 100 things for my apology letter. I haven't posted anything yet because I keep thinking of more! :oops: Suppose I'd be better off just listing them and letting you all take a peek for now?

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It's a standing joke around here that I have a cattle prod and am willing to loan it to any wife who needs it, so if you think a good zap would help . . . :lol:

 

The actual list of what you've done isn't as important for us to see as what you're putting with it. The list is going to be specific to your relationship, and there isn't much for us to edit. It's how you phrase the rest of the letter that really counts. If you read BW's first couple of attempts, you'll see that he started with things like, "I'll never be able to forgive myself . . . I have to live with what I've done . . ." etc. Those types of things are not helpful because they are all about YOU. Again, if you look at BW's final letter and how he changed it, you'll see what I mean.

 

You're right in that you should have owned up to Hope immediately the other day - I always tell my kids that the punishment will be easier if you come clean right away. However, it does sound like you were able to offer an acceptable apology, and if I'm reading your story right it was the same day? That's not bad for just starting this process - many men take 2 or 3 days before they can come back and apologize.

 

Just decide to stop defending, period. If you ask Her Density, he'll tell you that that was the decision that turned him around - to just stop defending. HD and Eeyore are close friends and I've been able to watch the transformation - it's nothing short of amazing. If he can do that, so can you.

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Oh, and BTW, your wife said in her last post that you've only been on one conference call, and that you've made excuses for not getting on any others even though you've had opportunity to do so.

 

Do NOT tell me why (this is a mini lesson in Not Defending 101). :wink: Just fix it. If you really want to make progress, you need to use all the tools at your disposal.

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Thanks Looney,

 

OK, I will need to work more on the letter. So far I have focused on the actual list. Thanks for the help on that.

 

Thanks for the encouraging comments on fixing things with Hope same day. I have already experienced what happens when things aren't fixed asap, and it isn't fun for either of us. It is much easier to fix them immediately, plus I can see the hurt that Hope is experiencing and now actually feel for her. In the past, I could just let it go and ignore her pain. Sounds terrible, I was really into myself! (This was not very long ago and do still battle with my "self".)

 

For the conference calls, I have been on a couple more since her last posting, and with Hope dialed in with me. I did miss the one this Thursday night. I thought I had a reminder programed into my phone but somehow it hadn't saved. I was traveling and didn't realize I missed it until Friday. :x I really enjoy being on the calls with Hope as we get some great discussion topics for later. We were trying to be on every call last week to see which ones we "clicked" with. Then I went and missed Thursday's call. Sorry Hope, I know this is important and I haven't tackled it as much as I should have. :(

 

I received the second book Livin' It and Lovin' It and started reading Thursday night! More great help!! :!:

Thanks again Looney!

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Hey 631 - good to have you hear, and I can tell that you are interested in healing your wife and moving your marriage into a healthy zone.

 

I have been involved with J&K since January - my wife (Eeyore) and I went to an Intensive at the end of Februrary. We were in crisis and have had additional crisi since the Intensive - read our threads for our stories...

 

I have been defensive my entire marriage - if I could explain away my actions, I would. If I could lie about what actually happened to make myself feel or look better in my own eyes, I would. I was a manipulator and an emotional abuser - how my wife put up with me for so long, I have no idea...

 

The most important change that I have made has been in the way in which I talk with my wife. I do NOT defend myself when she is talking to me about something that hurts her. Her emotions are not WRONG, and when we defend ourselves, we tell our wives that they are WRONG or STUPID or INAPPROPRIATE. The fact is, they are feeling what they are feeling based on our actions as husbands, and we NEED to own our behavior, plain and simple. Any defense on our part negates our ownership.

 

It's also important to understand that any form of EXPLANATION is the same as DEFENSE to our wives. If we attempt to explain our actions in any WAY, SHAPE, or FORM, we are defending. Our wives understand emotional things much, much better than we do, and we have to trust their views, not attack them. Even though we don't think of a defense as an attack, they do. Nothing good will come from defending or explaining - the sooner you can change your mindset about this, the better.

 

Get on the calls, too - you are the INITIATOR in your marriage. This can work for you, or against you. If you choose to initiate good things, i.e., Hey Hon, it's time for the call, let's dial in!, you WILL heal your wife. If you choose to initiate bad things, i.e., say nothing, forget, etc., you will continue the pattern of hurt for your wife.

 

I hope that this helps - we are here to help you make these changes. If you are struggling with some of these ideas (I did, so it's OK!), post your concerns here, and we will help.

 

HerDensity

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Thanks HerDensity,

 

I will locate your story and use your experiences to learn from. I appreciate the advice you have shared. I really think I am understanding the concept in regards to not being defensive and the affect those actions have on my wife. I know I am getting better but it still doesn't come naturally yet all the time. It is a retraining process for sure.

 

In regards to being a manipulator, I actually had a previous counselor that tried to make me believe Hope was just as much a manipulator as I! I really took several steps back with this poor counsel and still don't understand what made me stay with him so long. Actually, it was my prideful ego that drew me to him. What a mistake. He was almost the end of my marriage. It was me finding Joel and Kathy that opened my eyes and I finally stopped going!

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631,

Here is a copy of a letter that heather wrote for Joel and Kathy's newsletter. I will paste the whole thing here for you.

 

When Jeff and I first starting working with this ministry I would melt down all the time when I saw or even just felt that Jeff was looking at another women. I was one of the meltdown "queens".

 

What helped for me was when Jeff started being very consistence in his reassurance that he had eyes only for me. Jeff would have to make some really dramatic and exaggerated efforts to help me through this.

 

For example: If we were walking through the store and saw an attractive women walk by, Jeff would turn his whole body around so that he didn't take a look, or he would draw me close and kiss me on the neck and whisper in my ear "She's so ugly". These actions helped me to start feeling more secure in our marriage.

 

Sometimes I would just feel that Jeff had taken a second look, but didn't have the proof. On these times at first, I would lose it the moment that Jeff walked through the door. Again, he would just take the "hit" and reassure me that because of his past actions he can understand why I felt this way.

 

Then he would start asking me questions, trying to find out what had opened this wound again. This really helped, because sometimes I would not even know what had happened to re-open this and Jeff would help me figure it out.

 

There were times when Jeff wasn't around and I would start to feel this way again. So at these times I would turn to the Lord. Open my bible and start reading. Praying and asking the Lord to reveal to me what I was feeling and why. Many times God would show to me that I was being attacked, that the enemy was trying to destroy what we were working so hard to put back together.

 

After many months, I just started to relax. I felt in my spirit that Jeff was going to be my safe place again, even if we were not there yet.

 

But I had to do my part as well.

 

I had to learn to stop yelling and start communicating.

 

I started to rely on the Lord to reveal things to me that He wanted to reveal and that it would happen in His timing, and there was nothing that I could do about it.

 

The Lord works in many ways. I knew that when I started healing that some of my own flaws would be revealed, and sure enough God revealed to me, that melting down each time I just felt something was off, was not the way to handle things.

 

Ladies, if your husband is working with this ministry, trying to meet all your needs, and listening to your heart, we have to give them some grace to make mistakes.

 

It is all in how we handle these mistakes that will help them grow.

 

Melting down doesn't correct the problem.

 

Take a deep breathe, take a small time out when you feel this coming up, go for a quick power walk around the block, then come back and communicate to your husband what you are feeling inside.

 

When you talk calmly you will find that your husband wants to make the change you need him to make, and wants to heal your heart.

 

Heather (Gaininghope)

 

I posted this, primarily so that you can see some practical ways to make your wife feel safe. The things she mentioned are true, I would turn around and turn my back to a threat. Did it make me feel a little silly? Yes, it did. But I would rather look a little silly for making my wife feel safe than blowing it and getting into a fight or argument in a store. I would hug her or hold her hand when another woman walked by to let her know that I was thinking about her. It also sends a message that you are taken by your wife. Makes her feel like you want to be with her.

 

You have to keep it in the forefront of your mind that you have been hurting your wife for years. As Joel told me at our intensive, go overboard. "She's ugly" can be the two best words your wife can hear. I did that all the way home from the intensive, every billboard with a woman on it would get a resounding "she's ugly". Over time your wife will begin to feel safe again provided that you are consistent. I know that you can do this. I just wanted to offer some encouragement.

 

God Bless,

Jeff

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Thanks everyone for the responses. Actually, I wish I were making my wife outrageously happy but unfortunately that's not the case right now. Last night things did not go so well. I am traveling most of this week, fortunately I don't have to travel this much normally... Last night my wife expressed to me some hurts to me after we chatted on webcams. I was busy entertaining customers until fairly late (golf and dinner) and did my best to be in communication with Hope through this time. I actually was having fun texting back and forth and when harassed by the customer and associate, I just said "hey, don't bother me, I am busy flurting with my wife". They joked "what for, you're not going home tonight". I said, "no, but I will be soon enough." I didn't share any of this with my wife but perhaps I should have. Any how, when I got back to the hotel I phone her and we talked for a time. She then asked if we could get on webcams. I agreed, so we chatted a little while each working on other things. I was reading through the forums "Stickys" and wasn't devoting my attention to her. After a very long couple of days with the 3 kids all alone, she was ready for me to initiate conversation and make her feel loved. Well, I was so caught up in myself I let her initiate conversations while I read and even started to doze off a few times, expressing how tired I was. Not exactly showing her much of any love or excitement to finally be able to see her and talk with her. When it was finally 1230am, we decided to call it a night, but it then ended badly when she shared she was hurt how the night went. I called her and she shared more of her hurts in regards to my lack of interest in her, lack of initiating conversation, lack of any excitement. Then more hurts came from all areas of our current relationship and past. I was trying so hard to die to myself, but battled it all the way. I would cut her off so that I could agree with her, trying to get on her side. But what I was really doing was trying to shut her up, cuz I didn't want to hear any more of it. We discussed these things and how I was only making things worse. The more hurt she expressed, the more I struggled with dying to self. She said she felt like she was mothering me since she was once again having to share what I was doing wrong and what I needed to do to fix them. Finally after an hour of her sharing her hurts, and me trying to go through the right steps of validating her but really struggling with it, she had had enough of me. When she offerred to end the call, I was fine with that. She pointed out I was fine with ending the call without providing any closure and then she was done. The call ended abruptly and unfomfortably. There had been no closure... I did not call her back... Something I always struggled with in the past (and present) is providing closure and pursuing her. Instead I felt myself feeling desperate and confused, thinking about what just happened. And then boom I woke up at 4:30 not realizing I had even fallen asleep. I thought about calling her at that time but then didn't. Tried texting her but fell asleep in the middle of writing. Then this morning I emailed her early and told her I understood her hurts and what she was trying to share with me, but it was way too late to be trying to get any closure. I was able to pull away from work briefly this morning to call her and see how she was doing. I was reminded that I should have done that last night. She had no desire to talk to me. Right now I snuck away to share this looking for help. No need to be nice, don't beat around the bush, just looking for solid Godly advice.

 

I know I messed things up with her, again. I know she is very hurt, again. I know she wonders why she is even still with me and why she even married me in the first place.

 

Hope, I am so sorry I messed things up last night. I tell myself I am going to die to myself, and it is so much harder when the time comes to act on that.

 

We were on the call Monday night, and listening to another couple in the same situation was helpful to me. To hear about his struggle with the same issue, and hearing her hurts, just reminded me so much of us.

 

I wish I could stay on longer but I really have to get into see my customer. They are probably all wondering what happened to me. I don't have time to reread this so I hope I explained things clearly and accurately. I am sure Hope will also post something on her thread so feel free to reference her side of the story before commenting.

 

Thank you!

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Yep, you blew it. :roll:

 

Something to remember - even good things (like reading the stickies here) become bad things if they are pulling your attention away from your wife when she needs you.

 

You already know what you did wrong, so apologize, pick yourself up, dust off your butt, and move on.

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OK, this message below was a PM to Joel and a couple others from 8/14. Joel asked me to post it, so here it is. I trust it will be used to send more guidance my way and also to help other "men" like me. I will follow up with where we are at now in the next post.

 

Hi, looking for some help. I severely damaged my marriage, perhaps fatally. On June 17th of this year, just previous to finding JK, I fell back into sin in regards to porn. While away on a business trip, arguing with my wife at home, and under VERY bad counsel that fed my pride and ego, I turned on the tv (which I promised my wife not to do on the road) It was on an HBO show that was porn. After 2 years of being free from porn and masturbation, I immediately lapsed. I chose to watch enough of the show to self gratify. At the time, I felt ashamed, scared, confused. I knew I royally messed up and would have to tell Hope. Well I had already been told by her that if I even lusted, I was chosing other women over the marriage, and that would be the end of it. So I was terrified! So instead of telling her, or an accountability partner, I hid it. THEN... I was bombarded with thoughts and feelings for my past sins and felt all the desires come back that I thought I had already won. The next week, I was on another trip and again turned on the tv, saw another bad show on HBO, and self gratified once again. Then again the next week and the next. For four weeks I looked for bad shows to self gratify to. I knew I had just made the worst mistake of my "second" life (life after porn). I found JK between the 3rd and 4th week. While I could feel the tug from JK resources, I was hooked in my past. I didn't view porn again, but did turn the tv on again, just this week. But not looking for bad stuff, yet going against a promise to Hope and opening up the door for bad stuff to continue. When questioned last night (and in the last weeks) about how I was doing, out of fear of consequences I lied and said fine. When asked if I had masturbated since 2 years ago, I hesitated and said yes, once, not long ago, but lied about the circumstances. (No porn, just thinking about Hope while away). Then after her digging and digging, I opened up about everything else above. I have been so scared of telling her since I knew things would be over, that I just stuffed it. Hiding my sin, and therefore letting it rule over me. I have been so excited about our progress with JK lately, I could see changes in our marriage that hadn't been there ever before. I knew the sin and hurt I did to Hope had to come out, but when or how I had no idea. We were up all night last night, sharing tears, Hope filled with EXTREME hurt, but feeling at peace because she knew what she needed to do. I am SO scared of loosing her. I just killed her spirit all over again. For 2 years she has been dealing with hurt, and just when she was feeling a little better, WHAM! I hurt her sooo bad. I am a fool. Obviously she doesn't want anything to do with me now and is thinking about what in the world she is going to do. I think I'm outta here. And I deserve to be. I don't want to lose her and everything we had just started. Do you have any advice? A baseball bat to the groin would be good too. I can't believe I did this to her. God, please help me know what to do. Please help Hope deal with the pain I have caused her. I PM'd you since you were the first to take an interest in me and have offered much help. Please feel free to share this with other mentors, etc., but I didn't feel like posting it to my forum, at least not now.

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