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Free Dog and Chrystal - working towards an OHM


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Freedog,

 

I would also like to request that you write out a very long and very detailed, heartfelt, and prayerful apology letter for the events of Feb 3, 2013 in your house. Your wife deserves it, and you NEED it.

 

Please go OVERBOARD on the validation and putting yourself in her shoes, and keep the number of uses of the words "I" or "me" to single digits.

And, complete it and give it to her on Valentine's day.

 

Stephen/HD

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Thanks for the help last night and the encouragement on the phone call HD.

 

I can see that if I put the energy into THINKING in the moment about how Crystal is being affected instead of the "mess up", that it would be energy better used, and to really THINK that the feeling/heart sharings are coming from my ally and friend NOT my mom would really break a hole in the wall "in the moment". Armed with the mindset that it is not at all about me and my mess, but rather about how Crystal is feeling. Lots of times I am just a big bully with her feelings. "I feel hurt by you", five little words that put the shields up around my heart like the armor around the Bat Mobile. Then what For Him For Her reminds me of would be the key what takes the armor away, "treat her as I should not how I could"; God forgives me a whole lot, how can I not forgive Crystal the little.

 

Ok, I did read about the apology HD, not to glaze over that.

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Been thinking about anger and how it lies just below my skin, it definately is one of those "family traditions" that was handed down from father to son on my dad's side, don't know about my mom's side they all died before I knew them. It is so stupid because Crystal is over a barrel because I will get mad at her if i do, and if she doesn't I get mad at her. Which brings up the importance of staying in the moment and not beating myself up over the past. We were getting out of the car this afternoon and crystal made a comment about paying for what we were going to do. I started down the self-pity road but took a detour back to the main road. It is right under the surface; hope it will flake off eventually like a scab!

 

Thinking about Crystal's last post, and something she brings up frequently, is that a huge amount of abuse comes when I lull her into feeling safe/relaxed and then she opens up only to have a 16 ton weight dropped on her head. This stems from me wanting her to appreciate how wonderfull I did and please now take care of me. I don't know if I do it as much, but last night we discussed needing appreciation and how that drains her, she made the comment if I suck appreciation out then i need to put that much back. Makes sense because the flow should be from me to her and from her to the kids with my source Christ. Simple teaching that pride butts into with dire consequenses to Crystal.

 

It has been a pretty relaxed day here so far, couple times pride reared its head but was cut off; pride seems to be a medusa!

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pride reared its head but was cut off; pride seems to be a medusa!

 

Yes, it really is...

 

I found this description of how Medusa was killed...

 

"Medusa had a special power: whoever looked at her would turn to stone. That's why, when fighting her, Perseus didn't look at her directly, he used his shield as a mirror to see what she was doing, and that's how he managed to cut off her head."

 

So I was thinking that when we gaze at pride, our hearts become unfeeling... and turn to stone... and when we use our shield as a mirror -"taking up the shield of faith wherewith you shall be able to quench ALL the fiery darts of the wicked" Ephesians 6:16

 

Gazing into the Word of God and asking Him to change us into His image.. will go a LONG way toward cutting off Medusa's head...

Edited by 4evrHZdtr3
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Have a little more time.

 

Here is a pattern that we have identified. I give Crystal some good days so she feels relaxed; then I start feeling like I can do it all, a real big guy with a big head. She pokes it and then it defalates into a fearful twit that abuses her with needing to be taken care of. This morning Crystal made the comment that after work she/we will go with my son to buy a car and she commented along the lines of: "Don't know what we will have for supper." I know now she was "Just saying"; but Mr. Big says "Maybe Subway.", Crystal says "We have pleanty of stuff here." We didn't end up down the drain! And yes there was some reacting after that, but we didn't let the moment slip and end up covering the past, talking about me and how "bad" I am, we were able to move on and enjoy the short time together.

 

So the pattern is to give some good time then feel like I can "Do it all" but when she pokes that, it becomes a whimpering child. My plan this evening is to stay on course with what has worked this weekend, namely be aware and when the anger tries to rear up give it to The LORD and ask for His love in return to bless Crystal with, also knowing her anxiety level will be elevated because of the past, especially the recent past, of having the rug pulled out from under her.

 

I see that my wanting to be cared for and wanting someone else to do this for me is fear, plain and simple. Fear is not trusting God, for in Him I can do all things because He strengthens me, and since His love is perfect, fear should have no home. In each moment it becomes a choice then of living by faith or living in fear.

 

In the Medusa example,instead of looking to the shield/Christ, if I look inside myself/looking at Medusa's face, then the pride is a huge monster and who can slay it? Caught myself a few times starting to look inside but was able to stop it. It is easy to see the pride or heading down the path described above when Crystal pokes and I am himming and hawing from one defense to another...to just give it up and then move onto the next moment seems to be getting easier.

 

It seems fear=mother/son, and that feels like a pressure or anxiousness in the gut region. Symptoms that I know, it is just how to deal with it in the moment so it doesn't rear up and yet not suppress it but give it up...in the moment. We'll see, I'll try to be back tomorrow, hopefully I won't be so hurried as I don't know if this makes sense, but it seems it is starting to make more sense ('bout time!) to me.

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This sounds good.. Keep posting and let us know how it actually walks out... I like the fear = mother/son description.

 

I also think your statement is is really key...

 

In each moment it becomes a choice then of living by faith or living in fear.

 

The more moments you pile up of doing it right or stopping in the middle of doing it wrong and turning it around, the better it will get...

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Last evening went pretty well, got by with some reacting and slothfulness...but I did notice it and was able to catch it and not beat myself up over it but instead carried on to the next "moment". Then our middle son came over and this is almost always a time for me to "put on the good dad" mask. Was able to keep ahead of it, knowing that it does rear up and knock Crystal upside the head. Instead I focused on her to see if "good dad" was coming out to play.

 

Just being aware and remembering the things that hurt, making the moment count and not beat up, these seem to help.

 

We are entering that point were Crystal is resting and feeling relaxed. Becomes even more crucial to live in the moment. Focusing on the pride and how to over come it works only to bring it further into focus and that is where I would beat myself up and turn the focus on me, because pride likes an audience. So I ask for prayer that Crystal would be able to continue to rest and relax. All this "living in the moment" is just choosing to live/walk in love and put someone else first. The words are easy..it's the walking part thats hard because I am a runner, but I have to walk first. Have to remember that there is a passive guy call tonight.

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Pretty lousey weekend for Crystal I must say. Friday we went to St.Louis with our daughter-in-law and met Crystal's cousin. Crystal had given me a heads up a couple days before about how she was anxious about me becoming a "jerk", I told her I understood, which I did. Well, Friday was a bust as i was in my head not focusing out, generally meloncholy/jerky. I did not heed her warning and her anxiety was validated.

 

Sunday morning Crystal shared a "Passive Guy" post from David to "Albert", she wasn't meaning anything by it except as a refresher. I absorbed it and claimed it. We seemed to have come out of that all right, then in the afternoon I got tired of listening and yelled at Crystal. My reason? She wants me to be honest with my anger, wrong time this time though.

 

Monday she tried sharing a couple things, one being BH sent out to find an apertment and feeling sick. I was flippant in my attitude and to make a long story short she spent the day "out". I did some things in the yard and then went out to lunch. The evening was spent in separate rooms.

 

This morning was spent in separate rooms before we went to work. On the way to work she texted she didn't want my "Golden Haired Sunday School Boy" lips around her's anymore and that she was done helping, time to figure it out myself.

 

All in all I don't blame her as the past bunch of weekends have been the same as this last one, except last weekend was pretty good, actually looked forward to this one based on that one. That I am still in the house is amazing. My love for her wafts so much.

 

Last night I wrote to myself "I know what to do, but I can't recall what to do at this moment, it has something to do with 'in the moment'" This is a real common occurance too.

 

Gospel: I sin, but I am not defined by sin because God loves me and forgives, period. He accepts me as I am, cesspool heart and all- He loves me do I accept myself?). He chastens because He loves and wants to squeeze the pride out, which I so tenaceously hang on to.

Anti-gospel: I cling to the concept that I am really "OK"; and that I must be good, if I am not God won't love me.

 

In the moment, God loves and Crystal probably likes me, so why don't I? If I did I would drop the Sunday School Boy idol and die all ready. How does one come to a place that they love themself but yet not to the point of idolization? Not a real question just thinking out loud. Not love themself but rather accept themself. I know I make mistakes, everyone does not just me and mine are no worse than others. My thoughts are way below God's, He knows, I don't, I am mean and heartless, abusive-but God still loves? True, because Crystal is still here. My flesh rules and I can't keep it down on my own The image I have of myself is deceitful and a lie. My thinking is wrong, it is fear based, granted a few days a week it is faith based, there it is, cold feet that don't want to plunge in. I remember dropping my camera off a pier on Lake Superior, I tried reaching it but the water was way too cold, it hurt! To get the camera I plunged in, fought the cold....and it really wasn't that bad.

 

I'll have to post more often as this seems like a lot of rambling.

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When I read your posts i get the feeling that you are disconnected from YOUR life source... God can't be figured out in our heads only.. of course we go to church and listen to teachings and read our Bibles.. but He has to be experienced.. It's the moment when God says to you: FEAR NOT! and it becomes a real experience... that fear leaves.. If I was you, I would be praying that God reveal Himself to you and show you how to attach and connect to Him..

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I don't know what I am afraid of specifically, but intimacy seems to keep coming back to mind. When i think of past and present relationships i do keep to the superficial and tend to reject before being rejected and finding it easy to cut ties. How this relates to my marriage is obvious, I love the appreciation and closeness from Crystal, but when she wants to move beyond the superficial, whoa...

 

Do I fear intimacy with God? He knows who i am why would I be afraid to be naked before Him? It seems I don't want to admit in my heart the person I am and I try to hide with fig leaves, my idol gets tarnished and i have to polish it with denial. My relationship with God is mainly intellectual, not really experiencial which was a big draw to the Reformed faith, not that all reformed people don't have experiential relationships don't get me wrong because that would be a lie. When i get down and get angry with God it seems He does answer He is there with councel and advice; most times though it seems like so much talking to the air. God can take my yelling, why can't I reciprocate and take Crystals feelings? Why can't I have a simple heart to heart with God without yelling at Him?

 

Yes, the short of it is that I am disconnected from my source and that is why i suck life from Crystal, like a vampire. When she isn't sharing feelings it is easy to draw from God, because I am going through her. When she feels comfortable and shares feelings then the mother-son kicks in, all of a sudden my source is dry and because I haven't connected with THE source and I flop.

 

I know, intellectually, God is "there" and always is, in fact Isaiah says He holds my right hand and I know that He loves me perfectly...experientally, is another story, which leads to my up and down cycles in the week. Feels like God is there, great...then where did he go? Have to suck life from Crystal. So yeah, there is a problem with the spiritual walk.

 

It is too easy to harden my heart, even mustering a little sensitivity when she shares feelings is hard to generate. You know, really, this is getting way to in -focused, way too in -focused.

 

It used to be impossible to listen to her feelings, lately, it has gotten easier and it doesn't always depend on her mood now, but she does get wacked up side the head after a few days and it really hurts her. This is Wednesday and I have not popped out of my head, not good, too much in- focus and this is what hurts Crystal, not realizing this has caused her much more grief than i can imagine. She has decided to separate into a different room, but it started with me pushing her away first, she just has had it and i don't blame her. She does not get the consistent actions that say "You are Loved and appreciated", love for her depends on her mood. Her love language is words, I have abused her with words, the very thing that means a lot to her is used for manipulation and abuse.

 

What am I afraid of, i don't remember any more. All this self-focus...

 

My relationship with God is superficial, needing lots of work and advice. Does any of this make sense? I am sure when I read it again it will be mother-son stupid stuff. I get that way when I self-focus.

 

Yeah, mother-son stupid stuff.

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No, just a daughter-in-law.

 

To finish from last night: I get mother-sonish in the week usually, ok, sometimes on the weekend. It feels like so much resistance and I was reading last night that that is what I have to push against without letting Crystal know that I am, sorry Crystal, this is something I should have learned years ago, no excuse except rebellion. The key is the attitude, every week this is re-learned, attitude, attitude, attitude.

 

So I know where to start...again, still any advice would be welcome.

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FreeDog,

 

Let's cut to the chase here. It doesn't matter one's status level, emotional level, spiritual level or intelligence level. This is ALL about making a choice and sticking to it at all cost. I had incredible mother/son issues. Stories that would make most people's mouth drop and I have actually seen people's mouth drop. It doesn't matter. I made a choice to stop using this an excuse to continue my behavior.

 

There is a huge difference between a reason and an excuse. A reason is "why" we do something. An excuse is using "the why" to allow us to continue the bad/wrong behavior. The reason for your behavior is your mother/son issues but you are allowing it be your "excuse" for your behavior.

 

If this one decision literally meant Crystal was going to live or you would have to start making funeral arrangements, what would your choice be? We all know the answer. You have to begin to believe this is going to happen because my friend it is. You choice to choose the "excuse" is keeping her from God and Christ. You are commanded to show her Christ. Where in the Bible did Christ use an excuse for anything?

 

2 Timothy 4:1-5

 

4 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound[a] teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

 

When we are keeping someone apart from Christ even in the slightest way, we are slowing killing them. We are stealing the oxygen they need to live and survive. She is dying and by your hands. Spirtual death is a million times worse than physical death. Physical death happens but once and is finite. Spiritual death last FOREVER. I am not being judgmental only stating the reality in which she is living.

 

Crystal and life - choosing her

Crystal and death- choosing excuses

 

It is as simple as that my friend.

 

God Bless

David

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I see what you are saying, David, about excuse making. I said; "I get mother-sonish during the week...", yes, that is an excuse, no doubt. I calim it instead of standing against it and that is why it has been such a struggle. I don't want to continue in it, but every week when the going gets tough I claim it instead of seeing it as the reason for the problems. Thanks, I think Crystal has said it before, but it sticks out here.

 

Making the decision and sticking to it, you hit a broadside with that. I tend to loose interest in things I decide to do if I don't see positive results quickly. Another excuse?

 

Right now I am at a point where I really don't know what to do. Crystal and I remain separated in the house and it seems I cannot make head way. My attempts at interaction are only met with her saying I am only seeking her approval, then i get frustrated and walk out; so it does seem I am looking for approval and not sincerley wanting to hear her. I want to fix her so she won't be mad, ok, I see where my head is at. Sometimes I think I have come so far, and she does not appreciate it, only to realize I haven't a clue and have not even started. Essentially we are at square one.

 

She did write me a note that I will need to address, I think she gave it to me yesterday or the day before. My approaches to her so far this week have been childish, she said yesterday as we were sitting together that I was being self-righteous. I don't know which way to turn here, I will be at work all day today and evening so have some time to respond to her note. Living together but separate really sucks, guess that is what she has been feeling for 26 years, eh?

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I'm paying attention here. If you make headway and keep making it, with your eye on the prize, it may turn out that you will be helping one or two other marriages "get there," without even trying.

 

The Prize, of course, is a happy wife, and a happy husband, dwelling together in the Joy of The Lord!

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Your last line really sums it up. That's where it's at for most women. We don't want roommates who pay our bills and ask for benefits every once in a while. That degrades us into feeling like prostitutes. We want lovers who are sincerely interested in our well-being and personal success. Who LOVE us.

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Have you read HD and Eeyore's thread? Every word? If so, read it again. Then find every other post HD has written and read those too. HD used to be just like you - emphasis on USED TO BE. He has changed, and he has learned how to love his wife - REALLY love her, not just be on his best behavior for short periods of time. There is no reason why you cannot do the same thing. You are where you are because you have chosen yourself over the things that would help you grow. And all of these soul searching posts look great, but they are worthless if you continue to do the things you have always done.

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No, I have not and I do want to go back and see what occurred in the last of the year and new year. One thing is for certain, my thought life has not been faithful to Christ, really, ever. I lived by "feeling" like He is there and not pushing through when it feels like hHe is not, that is when I suck out of others. For the past 26 years that "other" has been Crystal. Plus my attitude waivers too. Monday after we spent the morning apart we met in the evening, which didn't last long because our son went to hang out with his cousin. Sitting in the chair alone again I prayed I did not want to do this again this week. Focused on God and Crystal and went in to her room and talked and listened. Low and behold, she came out and we spent the evening together.

 

I cannot blame her for separating as she really needs the peace. Sunday she took a chance and had lunch with me after church and it was disasterous for her. My manipulative child came out and I did nothing to send him away, which was the difference Monday evening. I have to be the one to go first, not Crystal, for her to go first is to draw from her, and yes she has the right to tell me how bad I am and have treated her anytime she wants. So were getting back up on the horse again, I'll try to make sure it is a horse and not an [edit], lol.

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I started reading on The Donkey and Delorean thread, read page one and made the executive decision to jump to page 155 and start from there then go back from there.

 

Feelings still get me hung up, after I got home from work Crystal was sharing what she had been thinking about today, (I had wanted to move some dirt around), and thought she was more important than that. We had a good time and went for a walk and after we got back i became exasperated with her and it showed, i went out side denying I was angry, instead of believing her feelings of anger rising in me. After I came back in I did apologize and we had supper and she continued to share with me what was on her mind.

 

One thing she shared was about becoming honest with my feelings instead of trying to cover them over with "good guy" stuff. Something I just read that HD was/is struggling with, shoot all us passive guys do. i have this idea that anger is bad, never express it, I know just where it comes from too and have forgiven the source. to be quite honest i dislike emotions they are really messy. OK, that said I know, and want to, understand them because Crystal is an emotional being, i am an emotional being. So it is important to come to grips with them so our marriage can get out of the nursing home. I stuffed my emotions long ago vowing that I would not be hurt; now I un-vow and choose to be hurt.

 

four weeks ago I learned about money greed and how I have a love for MY money (really though it is OUR money equally). Now these past two weeks have been about my time greed. I want to make sure I get my portion of time to ME. And I was able to have my fill of it as my past two Mondays (one of my allotted week end days) to my self, as well as most of the evenings. I hate it, it was really stinky, I can get an idea what Crystal has felt for 20 plus years.

 

We have been together in the evenings, although crystal is still suspicious and apprehensive, who can blame her? Look what she gets all the time, time for something different.

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I must admit that the goal of becoming Christlike does get lost; in all the reacting, defending, self-pity...can't die to self if I am defending my old man all the time! I used to (ok Crystal, your right, i still do, lol) use the passive guy trick of saying "What does being Christlike really mean?", intellectualizing it so I don't have to confront it and maybe get someone to do my thinking for me. Like in the post last night when I mentioned the learning money greed and time greed, that was taking Crystal's thoughts and calling them my own something I abuse her with, instead of forming my own thoughts. I apologize Crystal, and I apologize for becoming angry with you when you told me how it affected you, no wonder you are suspicious of me.

 

Christ makes it really simple, to be Christlike is to keep His commands, which is to Love, period. Love God, love friends, love neighbors, love wives and family, love enemies, love those who spitefully use us...it couldn't be an easier yoke to carry; easier than the yoke I/we try to take up keeping commands that God said we couldn't keep if we tried to.

 

So last night I said, more or less, "i can't wait until I can catch myself (I don't remember what it was I was going to catch) before it hits you." She corrected politely by reminding me that it isn't about me becoming a good guy/woman, but what I actually ment was I can't wait until I can listen to Crystal without defending, etc. Which would be love and that equals Christlikeness.

 

Then she asked, "When will that be?" I had no response, but the time is "in the moment" when the choice is laid out to defend or not defend; to be (on her team), or not to be (on her team). Now if it would get into my heart...oh yeah, another "in the moment" choice, to put it there or not to put it there. So many choices in life...

 

About the un-vowing and choosing to be vulnerable, the incident involved was with a "good friend" along time ago and I have forgiven him. I never forgave myself it seems for I know that wall exists. I choose to take it down, Crystal I hope it does not become more abuse. Because I wrote that before we went to bed, so how vulnerable was I when you shared your feelings about taking your thoughts as my own? Silly man, you oh so want to look good!

 

I have been learning, actually re-learning, about taking thoughts captive and taking control of my thought life. Phil. 4:8 used to throw me for a loop thinking about what to think about. Recently our pastor did a series on that verse taking a sunday for each word, about the third Sunday it hit.."Oh, think about Christ and His word. They are the only things worthy of praise, etc., not flowers and clouds and nice snow flakey mittins" I do fall in this area, an area I need to mature in for sure. When I went outside to move dirt around I realized that while she was telling about how she felt anger anger rising up in me, I was in my head thinking about my defense and not keeping a clear mind as to what she was sharing, her concern and apprehension. Cear of the thoughts that work against us like defending, not a head that is empty of thought.

 

Anyway, I hope this isn't just a lot of blah, blah

Edited by FreeDog
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