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Ellyz is right . . . your apology is all about you. Frankly, I expected that. The first apology a guy writes usually is all about him. You've spent your whole marriage focusing on yourself, and you don't know how to do anything else . . . yet.

 

I'm going to pick this apart, quote some things you said, and make some suggestions. Other helpers will probably be along to do the same. Please remember that we are here to help you and not to beat up on you - I know I'm pretty blunt, so please take this in the spirit in which it's intended. :)

 

As we went through the list of areas of abuse, I began to recognise just how hurt you must be.

 

So how hurt is she? In what ways? You need to get specific here. Your statement sounds just a little flippant - kinda like an "oh, sorry," when you step on someone's foot. This is why I pointed you to Heartsong's post on how a wife feels when her husband looks at other women. She described those feelings beautifully . . . you need to take some of that and put it in your own words so Ellyz can see that you really get it.

 

I don't know if they'll ever mend again :(

 

It's pretty telling that you wrote this in passive voice. You need to take responsibility here - it's YOUR job to mend her, and it's not going to just happen while you sit there and wait.

 

maybe with some tender, loving care (like the sort you have always used for me or the children when we hurt) we can try and restore you

 

OK - I'm sure you didn't mean it this way at all, but that line makes it sound like it's Ellyz's fault that she's hurting. It sounds like you just found her lying in the road like that, and out of the goodness of your heart, you're gonna try to put her back together. But YOU ran her over with the truck. She's bleeding and broken, and you say. "Gee, too bad you're hurt. I hope the docs can fix you up." You did this to her. Once again, take responsibility for it. Who is "we" - you and the mouse in your pocket? It's your job, and your job alone, to heal your wife. Not God's - He delegated it to you - and not your children's. Yours.

 

My stupidity does not make you any less gorgeous than you always were -

 

Then why mention it? Try something like You are so beautiful, and I never made you feel that way. You must be devastated, knowing that I was looking at other women.

 

Do you see what I'm getting at? You need to really get in touch with her feelings. That's going to be hard for you - my bet is that you have walled yourself off to such an extent that you almost don't know what feelings are anymore.

 

Now to address a couple of things your wife said:

 

Poor Rocky, he has been a 'victim' of porn.

 

Nope. You chose to look at that stuff. Every time you clicked on an image, you were making the choice to do it. Nobody tied you in the chair, and nobody had a remote control on your mouse. Own it.

 

What you had no insight to was that my screams were screams of emotional pain because of your severe rejection of me as a person, you wouldn't even use my name.

 

Oh man. You didn't even use her name? :o

 

You have barely spoken to me today, and when you have it has been about your healing, your agenda, your preferences.

 

From this moment forward, there is no YOU. It's all about Ellyz. The only thing you're allowed to focus on regarding you is how abusive you've been to your wife and kids. Go through the types of abuse and make a list. You need to see yourself as you have been . . . because it's my guess that you think you're a pretty good guy who's just made a few mistakes. You're not - you're an abusive, prideful man who is going to change with God's help.

 

So starting now - well, when you read this, because with the time difference you're probably in bed by now - you are going to focus on your wife. You are going to give her 20 smiles, 20 hugs, and 20 kisses every day. You're going to learn to say things like, "What do you need from me right now?" and "Thank you for pointing that out." You are going to listen when she talks. You are going to love her the way she needs to be loved.

 

You can do this - but again, the emphasis is on DO.

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Ellyz is right . . . your apology is all about you. Frankly, I expected that. The first apology a guy writes usually is all about him. You've spent your whole marriage focusing on yourself, and you don't know how to do anything else . . . yet.

 

I'm going to pick this apart, quote some things you said, and make some suggestions. Other helpers will probably be along to do the same. Please remember that we are here to help you and not to beat up on you - I know I'm pretty blunt, so please take this in the spirit in which it's intended. :)

 

 

 

So how hurt is she? In what ways? You need to get specific here. Your statement sounds just a little flippant - kinda like an "oh, sorry," when you step on someone's foot. This is why I pointed you to Heartsong's post on how a wife feels when her husband looks at other women. She described those feelings beautifully . . . you need to take some of that and put it in your own words so Ellyz can see that you really get it.

 

 

 

It's pretty telling that you wrote this in passive voice. You need to take responsibility here - it's YOUR job to mend her, and it's not going to just happen while you sit there and wait.

 

 

 

OK - I'm sure you didn't mean it this way at all, but that line makes it sound like it's Ellyz's fault that she's hurting. It sounds like you just found her lying in the road like that, and out of the goodness of your heart, you're gonna try to put her back together. But YOU ran her over with the truck. She's bleeding and broken, and you say. "Gee, too bad you're hurt. I hope the docs can fix you up." You did this to her. Once again, take responsibility for it. Who is "we" - you and the mouse in your pocket? It's your job, and your job alone, to heal your wife. Not God's - He delegated it to you - and not your children's. Yours.

 

 

 

Then why mention it? Try something like You are so beautiful, and I never made you feel that way. You must be devastated, knowing that I was looking at other women.

 

Do you see what I'm getting at? You need to really get in touch with her feelings. That's going to be hard for you - my bet is that you have walled yourself off to such an extent that you almost don't know what feelings are anymore.

 

Now to address a couple of things your wife said:

 

 

 

Nope. You chose to look at that stuff. Every time you clicked on an image, you were making the choice to do it. Nobody tied you in the chair, and nobody had a remote control on your mouse. Own it.

 

 

 

Oh man. You didn't even use her name? :o

 

 

 

From this moment forward, there is no YOU. It's all about Ellyz. The only thing you're allowed to focus on regarding you is how abusive you've been to your wife and kids. Go through the types of abuse and make a list. You need to see yourself as you have been . . . because it's my guess that you think you're a pretty good guy who's just made a few mistakes. You're not - you're an abusive, prideful man who is going to change with God's help.

 

So starting now - well, when you read this, because with the time difference you're probably in bed by now - you are going to focus on your wife. You are going to give her 20 smiles, 20 hugs, and 20 kisses every day. You're going to learn to say things like, "What do you need from me right now?" and "Thank you for pointing that out." You are going to listen when she talks. You are going to love her the way she needs to be loved.

 

You can do this - but again, the emphasis is on DO.

 

Rocky, please do NOT BE discouraged with this -- it was a good attempt at an apology, just needs some MAJOR tweaking and a lot more humility (because it is currently all about you)-- Looney is right on about this, so re-write the apology, making it more your own while inputting Looney's observations about it.

 

E is wanting your marriage to work, she does. It is unfortunate that she read the apology before it was final, but she WILL get to read the new one, and as a matter of opinion, I would highly encourage you to read aloud the new apology to her, preferably in person if she will let you (and without expecting a response from her - be sure to touch her gently afterwards).

 

AS you are doing what God wants you to do, agape-loving your wife, cherishing her and honoring her, laying down your life for her,,,, etc remember that "If God is for you (and HE IS FOR YOU), who can be against you?"

 

Just keep taking one step at a time, with a gentle smile inside and a focus with your wife FIRST on your mind, every day, all day. God gave you the privilege and responsibility to care for HIS daughter, so He knows that you CAN DO this. :D

 

praying for you as you go on towards an OHM ::love

 

 

 

June of

Edited by Ward & June
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Thank you for your comments about my apology. After my initial shock that I had not got it right first time (cos I usually do!) I realised that you have a great deal of wisdom and experience, and I praise God for that. I guess it's not worth trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes. Ellyz has had enough - and we need to get things straight as quickly as possible ... rather I need to get things straight! Here goes ...

 

Dear Charity

 

My first attempt at an apology was indeed a bit self-centred ... ok, it was very self centred, and I'm sorry. Your hurt is very deep, and I have been the cause of it. You have always hurt when you are rejected by anyone - not surprising when I think that you never reject anyone - and I have rejected you many times, and for many years. At times the rejections have been overt, and sometimes by failing to validate or accept you. Either way, it leaves you hurt and I am so sorry.

 

I know it has really hurt you when I behave so immaturely - walking out, sulking, colluding with the children, and I guess this pain became unbearably worse when you found out what I had been doing with so much of my free time in recent months. Not only was I not doing the things I had promised to do, nor was I spending time usefully with the children who so desperately need it, I was becoming increasingly addicted to looking at porn and self-gratifying. This must have made you feel very unlovely - but you are so NOT unlovely at all. You are very beautiful, yet I never made you feel that way.

 

There really is no excuse (I know, cos I've tried to think of one, as usual!) - I made bad choices, and you have suffered greatly as a result. I am so sorry.

 

I have abused you in so many areas, but I guess the biggest one has always been as a 'Silent Knight'. This makes it so much worse for you because you cannot access support from people who know us both (e.g. in church) because I always come across as such a 'nice guy'. Even the few people who know and maybe accept(?) the truth have not offered you the kind of support you need - the kind being offered on this forum. By being passive, they pick up the idea that maybe I am the victim, and I don't even have the guts to insist it is otherwise. I am so sorry.

 

As you have missed out on even a weekly date night for the last 23 years, I have calculated that you will need to be dated EVERY night for the next 4 years, just to break even! Each day must have some guaranteed uninterrupted time - so probably often out of the house, as I know you often ask for - for us to share and build together. I must not take this for granted - please will you give this a chance?

 

You are a very special princess who would love to be romanced. To be romantic, I need to be much more selfless - and you deserve nothing less.

 

You are so sweet - you taste like honey

Your skin so soft, like silk to touch

Your voice itself has a silver thread

Your feet - how beautiful, and swift to bring

Good news to those who need to know

How good and faithful your Lord has been

Like God the Creator, you craft words as poems

And pictures that capture a moment's bliss

This is the time, this is the place -

Let the Kingdom of our God reign

This is the time, this is the place -

To begin to obey and love you, my sweet,

To bring healing and strength

By dying to self - and trusting in God

 

Thank you for being you. I am so sorry for all the hurt I have caused you.

 

With all my love,

 

RockyBee

xxxxxx

Edited by RockyBee
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Much better! :)

 

No, you can't pull the wool over our eyes - many of us have been married to guys just like you, and they have either changed, or they're gone. Sorry, but you're not getting away with anything! ;)

 

I have advised Ellyz to stay off your thread for now, which means you will need to print that letter and give it to her. It would be nice if you'd include a small gift, like chocolate or a gift card to her favorite coffee shop - it's not meant to be expensive, just something to let her know you're thinking about her. We recommend that a man give his wife a small gift on the same day every week - that gives her something to look forward to, and for us girls, anticipation is half the fun. Again, nothing expensive (unless you have buckets of money to burn ;) ), but something that shows that you are paying attention to her and you know what she likes.

 

OK, next assignment . . . since you are such a nice guy :rolleyes: , it appears that your church, family, and friends all think Ellyz is the crazy one and you are a saint to be putting up with her. I think it might be very healing for Ellyz if you would write a letter to the important people in her life admitting your responsibility for the state of your marriage. Obviously you will ask her if that would be helpful, and then you will show her the letter before it's sent so that she can make sure it says what it needs to say. I've copied one here that was written by my best friend's husband - they are Eeyore and Her Density here on the forum - when you have time you might want to pop into the couple's section and read their thread. His struggles are much like yours, but he is growing.

 

Melissa's Family:

 

I am writing this letter to explain to you the person that your daughter married - this is not going to be an easy letter to write, nor is it going to be an easy letter for you to read. You will not want to believe what I have to say, but I promise you, it is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This is probably the first real truth that most of you have ever seen or heard from me.

 

I am not the "good man" that you think that I am - I have NEVER treated your daughter kindly, at least within the walls of our home. In your homes, I appear to be the "Greatest Husband Ever Created!", but it is only surface level and is only for appearances sake to make myself appear great in your eyes - usually, I am treating Melissa horribly at the same time (or was before we arrived). I act like everything is great, and work very hard at making Melissa look like the "bad guy", like she is "hyper-sensitive", or that she "wears the pants and tells me what to do".

 

She is NOT a control-freak - I am; I always NEED to be in control of every conversation, argument, and situation, to the point where I do not care what anyone else thinks about Melissa, as long as I get my way. I will "push her buttons" in ways that no one else can see, just to "set her off" in front of everyone, while I remain calm and cool and look like the "great, peaceful presence in the marriage". My method of control is "under the surface" and very passive - I use subtlety to control conversations with Melissa, confusing her to the point of appearing crazy to others and to herself! If you are surprised by this, or are having a difficult time believing me - that should just show you how good I am that this!

 

I know that Melissa has tried to explain some of this to you all over the years, and that you just didn't believe her - I can understand that. I am a deceitful person, and purposefully did all that I could to try to paint myself in such a good light that NOTHING Melissa would say could convince anyone differently. Well, I lied to you - all of you. I wanted so badly to be accepted and loved that I would do anything, including divide my wife and her family, to feel that acceptance from all of you. I am a very insecure person, and just don't love myself enough to feel accepted without "proof" - I simply had to make you like me, and was fine with sacrificing your acceptance of Melissa to gain your love. I never realized how much I was hurting Melissa by my selfishness - I guess that's the definition of selfishness, isn't it?

 

In any relationship, there are times of conflict and disagreement - unfortunately, in our relationship, I wouldn't allow us to discuss anything that might have caused me discomfort. If Melissa brought up a topic (completely valid, mind you) that I didn't feel comfortable discussing, I would change the subject without caring about her feelings or I would say something, then change my story, then change it again, then deny that I changed it or said the original thing, until we were arguing about my changing the subject, instead of the actual subject. We fought over my changing the subject (this is called "manipulation" and I rock at it) instead of the true issue, which never got dealt with and just lingered within our relationship and within Melissa's heart. This built up so much resentment within Melissa that I believed I might never get back to the point where she could trust me in a conversation, and I can't blame her. No one can destroy this much trust and still expect to be allowed to participate in a loving relationship - I have no idea if she will ever have the grace to forgive me and allow me back into her heart. I did this our entire marriage, and still do at times - I am working hard now on changing this behavior and truly listening to Melissa for the first time.

 

Our relationship has never had truth in it - since the start, I was hiding something from Melissa. At first it was the porn, and then it was the pain and shame I had inside. Melissa would do ANYTHING to help me to heal from my past, but I would never be honest enough with her to let her close enough to me or to understand my pain. I have not shared my life with her - she has been more of a roommate than a wife, more of an acquaintance than a close friend. Even during conversations where she KNEW that I was lying about something, I would not share more than she already knew. I never REVEALED anything to her, she always EXTRACTED information from me. So much of her desire for a marriage lies in honest, straight-forward conversation, and that is one of the last things that I have wanted to give her. I have protected the garbage that I have inside to the point of collapse of our marriage; the truly sad thing is that when we actually pry open my shell long enough to dig out some of that "highly protected garbage", it is just junk with no value to anyone. I have protected the pain and hurt and misery inside myself like it is the secret to life as we know it - again, just pure selfishness and self-protection at the cost of Melissa and our relationship.

 

Melissa has always had the best interests of our marriage at her core - she has tried EVERYTHING that she could think of to get me to see how much I was hurting her, and how poorly I was valuing our marriage. I would not listen - I would apologize enough to smooth over the issue at hand, promise to change, and maybe even change for a short time; but, before too long, I would revert back to my hurtful ways, and bring more pain to Melissa. When she was hurting, I would typically just go on about my life as if nothing is wrong, or act like it was her deal. There were times when she was hurting SO bad that she was lying on the floor crying, and I would just sit and look at her - I was never empathetic to her pain, and would rarely comfort her when she was hurting. When we would talk about my behavior later, I would typically defend myself, make excuses, and turn the entire issue around onto her. I would constantly confuse her during conversations, even ones about simple, basic, common-day topics, by restating things that I had just said or by telling her that I didn't mean what I just said or by saying something and then denying that I just said it. I drove her into depression by my actions, my neglect, my distance, and my lack of caring - she has been on the verge of insanity and suicide countless times during our marriage; if not for the kids, I think that she would have died to stop the pain long ago.

 

I am sure that you will read this letter and think "It can't be that bad" - well, it can be, and it is. Melissa is miserable, unhappy, and hurting. We have reached the end of the line - we have been getting help from a great marriage ministry (http://godsavemymarriage.com), but there is a lot of hurt, pain, anger, and other things to work through before we will ever be happy. The pain in our marriage has been my fault - I also hold the key to healing it. Part of that is to admit to all of you the truth about me and our marriage, and to help you understand what Melissa has been through, and why she isn't the person that she should be. You need to believe this letter and embrace Melissa - regardless of what happens to our marriage, she needs to know that you (her family) love her more than anything else, and accept her UNCONDITIONALLY. She bears NO FAULT for our marriage situation - I cannot emphasize this enough! I never engaged into this marriage with everything I have - I always held something back. Melissa put everything in, and got hurt more than a human being should have to hurt as a result. This isn't her fault - this is mine, 100%.

 

One thing that I ask of all of you - if you have questions or comments or want to discuss this letter, please call or email me, not Melissa. This letter is about me answering for what I have done to you, her family, and you deserve the truth as much as she does. I promise that I will answer any questions that you have truthfully and that I will listen to whatever you have to say. I am deeply sorry for the pain that I have caused Melissa, and the walls that I have created within your family.

 

Steve

 

So, man up and get this done (unless Ellyz would rather you didn't), and don't forget to pay attention to your wife while you're in the process!

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Much better! :)

 

No, you can't pull the wool over our eyes - many of us have been married to guys just like you, and they have either changed, or they're gone. Sorry, but you're not getting away with anything! ;)

 

I have advised Ellyz to stay off your thread for now, which means you will need to print that letter and give it to her. It would be nice if you'd include a small gift, like chocolate or a gift card to her favorite coffee shop - it's not meant to be expensive, just something to let her know you're thinking about her. We recommend that a man give his wife a small gift on the same day every week - that gives her something to look forward to, and for us girls, anticipation is half the fun. Again, nothing expensive (unless you have buckets of money to burn ;) ), but something that shows that you are paying attention to her and you know what she likes.

 

OK, next assignment . . . since you are such a nice guy :rolleyes: , it appears that your church, family, and friends all think Ellyz is the crazy one and you are a saint to be putting up with her. I think it might be very healing for Ellyz if you would write a letter to the important people in her life admitting your responsibility for the state of your marriage. Obviously you will ask her if that would be helpful, and then you will show her the letter before it's sent so that she can make sure it says what it needs to say. I've copied one here that was written by my best friend's husband - they are Eeyore and Her Density here on the forum - when you have time you might want to pop into the couple's section and read their thread. His struggles are much like yours, but he is growing.

 

 

 

So, man up and get this done (unless Ellyz would rather you didn't), and don't forget to pay attention to your wife while you're in the process!

 

Hey Looney,

Let him breathe a little -- Heather gave him a lot of homework last night on their FABULOUS PHONE CALL! hooray! :D

 

Rocky was learning even more about apologizing - and reading his apology aloud to E.

:D

 

Rocky is going to be initiating a "family meeting" so that the adult sons (who still live in the home) are NEVER to "abuse" their mother again. HE WILL be owning up to how he has hurt her as well as not being a good father to them by hurting their mother. Since they are 5 hours ahead of us, he and E have probably already sat down to plan this meeting.

 

Right, Rocky?

 

Blessings to you --- sooooo proud of you both for getting on the call at 2am in YOUR morning.

 

Yes, Looney, Silent Knights destroy their damsels, don't they? They don't mean to, but they do.... However, Rocky IS ON the way to becoming a Christlike husband .... and after the meeting with his sons can be concerned about bringing more healing to E, and then to admit his "abuse" to whomever E wants him to incl the church leadership.

 

 

for your prayerful consideration,

 

June of

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OK, June, cool . . . Rocky can file this away for future use. I guess we can let him take a few breaths. :P Sorry I missed that call.

 

Rocky, none of us intends to overwhelm you, but sometimes we don't all know where you're at or what you've been told on a call. You'll most likely be given a ton of suggestions for things to do at any given moment - just talk them over with Ellyz and do the things that are most important to her, ok? :)

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Rocky

 

Hi there..just checking in with you and holding you accoutable to have thoes meetings with your children! I pray that you and Ellz have already had your meeting and came up with the guideline and conquences that YOU will put into place with the adult kids...You should probably be getting ready to have that meeting with the adult kids tonight!

 

Don't allow yourself to fall back into your "victim" role here...You are taking responsablity here and while yes it has been your fualt..its time to look at yourself in a new light..an new Life with Christ in your heart!

 

Remember fear is from the enemy here....and the enemy wants to take you down...so don't allow yourself to go there in your mind...cast it all at God's feet! You are going to have to learn to take thoes "negitive" thoughts and feeling that play in your head and replace them with positive thoughts and feelings...It's changing your brainwaves as well!

 

Stay POSITIVE! You can do this and you can overcome it all..just by becomeing the man your wife needs you to be, staying focused on HER!

 

Blessings

Heather

 

Ps..In the quick message section Ellyz wrote a note to you...worth reading...you have am amazing wife!

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Romans 7:14-20 says:

14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

It appears that I have begun to understand how to 'step up to the mark' of being a father and a husband, but that I keep stepping down again. Charity does not have consistent love, and the feeling of going up and down so much is worse than being 'down' all the time - or, better still, 'up' all the time: when I fully grasp how to be unselfishly 'stepped up to the mark' and being what God called me to become (by being the husband Charity needs me to be).

 

We have seen a fantastic difference in the family since I led a family meeting on Friday, superbly supported by Charity (and, I believe, by the prayers of a number of people - thank you). Still not completely there yet, but an important step forward. Ellyz has been initiating a number of vital discussions with the children - so they are now being allowed to respond, rather than initiate, but I am being too passive.

 

Thank you all for the help you have been giving me. I am so keen not to have to sleep in the car overnight! Please can you keep up this support for Charity and me? Thank you.

Edited by RockyBee
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It appears that I have begun to understand how to 'step up to the mark' of being a father and a husband, but that I keep stepping down again

 

That's pretty normal at this stage. You are learning a whole new way of relating to your family, and unless you actively think about your behavior at every given moment, you're going to slip back into the way you've always done things. So the challenge is to pay attention to what you're about to do or say before you do or say it. Don't just fall into the same knee-jerk reactions you always have.

 

We could help you a lot more if you would get specific about what you're struggling with. What types of situations cause you to slide backwards?

 

Please can you keep up this support for Ellyz and me?

 

That's what we do here. We won't give up unless you do.

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We could help you a lot more if you would get specific about what you're struggling with. What types of situations cause you to slide backwards?

 

Thanks. I guess the main issue at present is because I am still too passive - I have expected to respond whilst Charity initiates. I now know this is the wrong way round, but the struggle is in getting it the right way now!

 

We did have a totally 'upside down' family - children initiating and parents responding, and me responding to Charity. I think we have now established that the children should be responding to us (though we need to keep this up, of course).

 

This idea of initiating is a whole new ball game for me - never seen it in my family before! (except that Ellyz and I wonder if I sometimes used to initiate for my Mum because my Dad didn't?? Not God's way at all.) I know that God, in Christ, initiated the relationship with us (as His bride), and want to be doing that every moment of every day for Charity.

 

Hope that is a bit clearer now? Thanks from us both.

Edited by RockyBee
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Ellyz and I wonder if I sometimes used to initiate for my Mum because my Dad didn't??

 

I wouldn't be a bit surprised. After all, where do you think you learned this pattern of behavior? And now - guess what? - your sons initiate while you sit on your butt. Sound familiar?

 

The good news is that you're learning to do it differently, and your boys, in turn, will eventually learn the right way to do this.

 

The key to overcoming sit-on-your-butt syndrome is to get up and do something. You should be constantly asking yourself, "Is there something I could do right now to bless Ellyz?" Make sure these are things SHE wants you to do, and not the things that YOU want to do that she couldn't care less about. Don't walk by without touching her (unless she has specifically asked you not to). Talk to her - ask her how she's feeling and if there's anything she'd like to share. If you see something that needs to be done, take care of it (unless it's one of your children's responsibility - then, get after them to take care of it).

 

Remember that you will get back what you pour into her - if you are grumpy and miserable, then don't be surprised if she's not the happiest girl on the planet. If you want her to be pleasant, then you have to be pleasant first. If you don't feel it, fake it.

 

Does this help at all? Ask specific questions if you need to.

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I have now written the letter to be sent to key people in our church - elders and those who have been involved with supporting us. This is what it says ...

 

You may be aware of some of the difficulties which Charity and I have had in our marriage over recent years. A number of people have very kindly given us time and energy to try and help address various issues. We are grateful to you all, and value your continued prayers for our family.

 

Since 18th July, we have been following a Christian marriage recovery programme which is online. It is led by Joel and Kathy Davisson and the website is http://saveourchristianmarriage.com/

 

It is very clear about the true interpretation of Eph 5, including what is meant by submission, headship and how men should 'love their wives as Christ loved the church'. Joel and Kathy have written two books, and there is another book by Paul Hegstrom who was instrumental in their marriage being turned around. These resources are from people who have been there, and know what they are talking about!

 

The purpose of this letter is partly to make you aware that we are following this programme, but also to express things which will be pivotal in restoring our marriage and, I hope, bring healing to Charity. Please would you understand that these words are entirely my own, I am writing them because I want to.

 

Ellyz has suffered as my wife for most of our marriage – particularly the last 15 years or so. There have been instances of physical abuse and also emotional and verbal abuse. The most persistent type has been what Paul Hegstrom describes in his book as being 'The Silent Knight': “Some men use silence as a weapon … Typically he … is seen by others as a solid Christian. He is the kind of man who is consistent on his job and with his friends. He does not appear to be an angry or violent man. … his wife … asks herself, What's wrong with me? … Her friends tell her that she is fortunate to have such a good husband … She doesn't consciously know that she is being cheated of emotional bonding. He has not involved himself in her life.”

 

Clearly this type of abuse hurts twice – not only is Charity being emotionally abandoned, but others tell her (or give her the impression) that it is she who has the problem, not me.

 

Charity is not a control-freak - I am; I always need to be in control of every argument and situation, to the point where I do not care what anyone else thinks about Charity, as long as I get my way. I will 'push her buttons' in ways that no one else can see, just to 'set her off' in front of everyone, while I remain calm and cool and look like the 'great, peaceful presence in the marriage'. My method of control is 'under the surface' and very passive - I use subtlety to control conversations with Charity, confusing her to the point of making her appear crazy to others and to herself! If you are surprised by this, or are having a difficult time believing me - that should just show you how good I am at this!

 

In any relationship, there are times of conflict and disagreement. Unfortunately, in our relationship, I wouldn't allow us to discuss anything that might have caused me discomfort. If Charity brought up a topic (completely valid, mind you) that I didn't feel comfortable discussing, I would change the subject without caring about her feelings – a kind of parallel conversation. We fought over my changing the subject (this is called 'manipulation' and I rock at it) instead of the true issue, which never got dealt with and just lingered within our relationship and within Charity's heart. This built up so much resentment within Charity that I believed I might never get back to the point where she could trust me, and I can't blame her. No one can destroy this much trust and still expect to be allowed to participate in a loving relationship. I did this our entire marriage, and still do at times - I am working now on changing this behaviour and truly listening to Charity for the first time.

 

Our relationship has never had truth in it - since the start, I was hiding something from Charity. At the start I was trying to copy my parents' marriage – not taking responsibility when anything went wrong. More recently it has been an addiction to internet porn and the pain and shame I had inside. Ellyz would do anything to help me to heal from my past, but I would never be honest enough with her to let her close enough to me or to understand my pain. I have not shared my life with her – she has been more of a roommate than a wife, more of an acquaintance than a close friend. Even during conversations where she knew that I was lying about something, I would not share more than she already knew. I never revealed anything to her, she always extracted information from me. So much of her desire for a marriage lies in honest, straight-forward conversation, and that is one of the last things that I have wanted to give her. I have protected the garbage that I have inside to the point of collapse of our marriage; the truly sad thing is that when we actually pry open my shell long enough to dig out some of that 'highly protected garbage', it is just junk with no value to anyone. I have protected the pain and hurt and misery inside myself like it is the secret to life as we know it - again, just pure selfishness and self-protection at the cost of Charity's health and our relationship.

 

Charity has always had the best interests of our marriage at her heart - she has tried everything that she could think of to get me to see how much I was hurting her, and how poorly I was valuing our marriage. I would not listen – I would apologize enough to pacify, promise to change, and maybe even change for a short time; but, before too long, I would revert back to my hurtful ways, and bring more pain to Charity. When she was hurting, I would typically just go on about my life as if nothing was wrong, or act like it was her deal. There were times when she was hurting so badly that she was lying on the floor or sitting in a chair crying, and I would just sit and look at her – I was never empathetic to her pain, and would rarely comfort her when she was hurting. When we would talk about my behaviour later, I would typically defend myself, make excuses and turn the entire issue around onto her. I would constantly confuse her during conversations (even ones about simple, basic, everyday topics) by restating things that I had just said or by telling her that I didn't mean what I just said or by saying something and then denying that I just said it. I drove her onto the verge of insanity countless times during our marriage; if not for the children, I think that she would have died to stop the pain long ago.

 

I am sure that you will read this letter and think "It can't be that bad!" Well, it can be, and it is. Charity is miserable, lonely and hurting. We have reached the end of the line. We have been getting help from a great marriage ministry (http://saveourchristianmarriage.com/), but there is a lot of hurt, pain, anger, and other things to work through before we will ever be happy. The pain in our marriage has been my fault, and I also hold the key to healing it. Part of that is to admit to all of you the truth about me and our marriage, and to help you understand what Charity has been through – why she isn't the person that she should be. You need to believe this letter and embrace Charity. Regardless of what happens to our marriage, she needs to know that you love her more than anything else, and accept her unconditionally. She bears no fault for our marriage situation – I cannot emphasize this enough! I never went into this marriage with everything I have – I always held something back. Charity put everything in, and got hurt more than a human being should have to hurt as a result. This isn't her fault – this is mine, 100%.

 

Finally, one thing that I ask of all of you – if you have questions or comments or want to discuss this letter, please speak to or email me, not Charity. This letter is about me answering for what I have done to you, and you deserve the truth as much as she does. I promise that I will answer any questions that you have truthfully and that I will listen to whatever you have to say. I am deeply sorry for the pain that I have caused Charity, and the stumbling block I have put in the way of any ministry we might have been called to.

 

Thank you,

 

Edited by RockyBee
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I have now written the letter to be sent to key people in our church - elders and those who have been involved with supporting us. This is what it says ...

 

You may be aware of some of the difficulties which Ellyz and I have had in our marriage over recent years. A number of people have very kindly given us time and energy to try and help address various issues. We are grateful to you all, and value your continued prayers for our family.

 

Since 18th July, we have been following a Christian marriage recovery programme which is online. It is led by Joel and Kathy Davisson and the website is http://saveourchristianmarriage.com/

 

It is very clear about the true interpretation of Eph 5, including what is meant by submission, headship and how men should 'love their wives as Christ loved the church'. Joel and Kathy have written two books, and there is another book by Paul Hegstrom who was instrumental in their marriage being turned around. These resources are from people who have been there, and know what they are talking about!

 

The purpose of this letter is partly to make you aware that we are following this programme, but also to express things which will be pivotal in restoring our marriage and, I hope, bring healing to Ellyz. Please would you understand that these words are entirely my own, I am writing them because I want to.

 

Ellyz has suffered as my wife for most of our marriage – particularly the last 15 years or so. There have been instances of physical abuse and also emotional and verbal abuse. The most persistent type has been what Paul Hegstrom describes in his book as being 'The Silent Knight': “Some men use silence as a weapon … Typically he … is seen by others as a solid Christian. He is the kind of man who is consistent on his job and with his friends. He does not appear to be an angry or violent man. … his wife … asks herself, What's wrong with me? … Her friends tell her that she is fortunate to have such a good husband … She doesn't consciously know that she is being cheated of emotional bonding. He has not involved himself in her life.”

 

Clearly this type of abuse hurts twice – not only is Ellyz being emotionally abandoned, but others tell her (or give her the impression) that it is she who has the problem, not me.

 

Ellyz is not a control-freak - I am; I always need to be in control of every argument and situation, to the point where I do not care what anyone else thinks about Ellyz, as long as I get my way. I will 'push her buttons' in ways that no one else can see, just to 'set her off' in front of everyone, while I remain calm and cool and look like the 'great, peaceful presence in the marriage'. My method of control is 'under the surface' and very passive - I use subtlety to control conversations with Ellyz, confusing her to the point of making her appear crazy to others and to herself! If you are surprised by this, or are having a difficult time believing me - that should just show you how good I am at this!

 

In any relationship, there are times of conflict and disagreement. Unfortunately, in our relationship, I wouldn't allow us to discuss anything that might have caused me discomfort. If Ellyz brought up a topic (completely valid, mind you) that I didn't feel comfortable discussing, I would change the subject without caring about her feelings – a kind of parallel conversation. We fought over my changing the subject (this is called 'manipulation' and I rock at it) instead of the true issue, which never got dealt with and just lingered within our relationship and within Ellyz's heart. This built up so much resentment within Ellyz that I believed I might never get back to the point where she could trust me, and I can't blame her. No one can destroy this much trust and still expect to be allowed to participate in a loving relationship. I did this our entire marriage, and still do at times - I am working now on changing this behaviour and truly listening to Ellyz for the first time.

 

Our relationship has never had truth in it - since the start, I was hiding something from Ellyz. At the start I was trying to copy my parents' marriage – not taking responsibility when anything went wrong. More recently it has been an addiction to internet porn and the pain and shame I had inside. Ellyz would do anything to help me to heal from my past, but I would never be honest enough with her to let her close enough to me or to understand my pain. I have not shared my life with her – she has been more of a roommate than a wife, more of an acquaintance than a close friend. Even during conversations where she knew that I was lying about something, I would not share more than she already knew. I never revealed anything to her, she always extracted information from me. So much of her desire for a marriage lies in honest, straight-forward conversation, and that is one of the last things that I have wanted to give her. I have protected the garbage that I have inside to the point of collapse of our marriage; the truly sad thing is that when we actually pry open my shell long enough to dig out some of that 'highly protected garbage', it is just junk with no value to anyone. I have protected the pain and hurt and misery inside myself like it is the secret to life as we know it - again, just pure selfishness and self-protection at the cost of Ellyz's health and our relationship.

 

Ellyz has always had the best interests of our marriage at her heart - she has tried everything that she could think of to get me to see how much I was hurting her, and how poorly I was valuing our marriage. I would not listen – I would apologize enough to pacify, promise to change, and maybe even change for a short time; but, before too long, I would revert back to my hurtful ways, and bring more pain to Ellyz. When she was hurting, I would typically just go on about my life as if nothing was wrong, or act like it was her deal. There were times when she was hurting so badly that she was lying on the floor or sitting in a chair crying, and I would just sit and look at her – I was never empathetic to her pain, and would rarely comfort her when she was hurting. When we would talk about my behaviour later, I would typically defend myself, make excuses and turn the entire issue around onto her. I would constantly confuse her during conversations (even ones about simple, basic, everyday topics) by restating things that I had just said or by telling her that I didn't mean what I just said or by saying something and then denying that I just said it. I drove her onto the verge of insanity countless times during our marriage; if not for the children, I think that she would have died to stop the pain long ago.

 

I am sure that you will read this letter and think "It can't be that bad!" Well, it can be, and it is. Ellyz is miserable, lonely and hurting. We have reached the end of the line. We have been getting help from a great marriage ministry (http://saveourchristianmarriage.com/), but there is a lot of hurt, pain, anger, and other things to work through before we will ever be happy. The pain in our marriage has been my fault, and I also hold the key to healing it. Part of that is to admit to all of you the truth about me and our marriage, and to help you understand what Ellyz has been through – why she isn't the person that she should be. You need to believe this letter and embrace Ellyz. Regardless of what happens to our marriage, she needs to know that you love her more than anything else, and accept her unconditionally. She bears no fault for our marriage situation – I cannot emphasize this enough! I never went into this marriage with everything I have – I always held something back. Ellyz put everything in, and got hurt more than a human being should have to hurt as a result. This isn't her fault – this is mine, 100%.

 

Finally, one thing that I ask of all of you – if you have questions or comments or want to discuss this letter, please speak to or email me, not Ellyz. This letter is about me answering for what I have done to you, and you deserve the truth as much as she does. I promise that I will answer any questions that you have truthfully and that I will listen to whatever you have to say. I am deeply sorry for the pain that I have caused Ellyz, and the stumbling block I have put in the way of any ministry we might have been called to.

 

Thank you,

 

 

This is very encouraging, Rocky, that you took ownership of what you have done and that you desire for others to treat E lovingly. E, did this bless you?

 

Praying for a strong and joyous marriage restoration -- keep it up, pressing toward the goal.

Blessings,

June of

Edited by Ward & June
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This is Ward

 

RockyBee,

 

This is a great post ,It show almost all of the mens problems with marriage. That we are the problem and it is all about our wives and not us. :rolleyes: Sometimes it seems so hard but the end results are amazing. :eyes: I'm GUILTY

 

Thank you for this post

 

Ward husband of a great wife JUNE ::love

Edited by Ward & June
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Nice letter! Good job on that one!

 

Now remember what you are to do today!

 

POSTERS ALL AROUND THE HOUSE! You needs that visual reminder of what steps you are to be taking...

 

1. 20/20/20/20 (Smiles, hugs, kisses and compliments!)

2. INITIATE (converstaions.."Honey is there anything on YOUR heart that you would like to share with me."

"Honey (or your own pet name) is there anything that I can do to be a blessing for you right now/today?

3. BE CHRISTLIKE! BE POSITIVE! BE PROACTIVE!

4. SMILE at your wife.

 

Now here are the actions you are to show your wife and how to put them into pratice

 

 

1. set your phone alarm to go off every 30 minutes when you are around Ellyz..MAKE the ATTEMPT even if she is not willing at the time (especially the 20/20/20/20 and love making!) (If she says not right now...then wait 30 minutes and attempt it again..DONT ASK HER..just walk towards her and make the attempt!)

 

2. FIND A FULL TIME JOB! (Make sure you are hitting the streets in the free time you do have each and every day to find a full time job! You are called by God to take the stress out of Ellyz life so that SHE can get the degree that she has been working on for so long..and slowly at that!: Remember: HAPPY WIFE:HAPPY LIFE!

 

3. DO NOT allow yourself to follow back into the "victim role"..YOU made these choices in your life..so OVERCOME them! When you feel thing coming up..cast them onto the Lord and turn the negitive thoughts back into positive thoughts..

 

ie: (your negitive) I don't think I can do this....CHANGE: (your positive) I KNOW that I can do this!

 

Look at your situation and INITIATE a converstation with E about attending an intensive! Make this a GOAL for the both of you...But remember YOU (as the husband) are required to pay for all the expenses for go to the intensive..(so that FULL TIME/FULL PAYING job) will really help out there! (If need too..sell some things on ebay or hold a garage sale to make the money for this trip!....

 

Keep reading the books at least 10 minutes a day, and listening to the calls when you can. (we understand that there is a BIG time difference, so for the time being we'll lossen that rule for you guys!)

 

ABOVE ALL ELSE! LISTEN TO YOUR WIFES HEART! MEET HER NEEDS and LOVE her just as CHRIST loves you

 

Blessings

Heather

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Nice job on the letter, Rocky. I recognize a lot of the wording, but that's ok . . . the important thing is that you got it sent.

 

Now, do everything Heather told you to to. In this day and age you have a plethora of tools to help you - you can set alarms on your phone, have reminders pop up on your computer, put sticky notes everywhere, and have things tattooed on your forehead (well, ok, maybe you don't want to do that! ;)) My point is that we don't want to hear, "I forgot." Yes, if left to your own devices, you probably will forget - we are asking you to learn a whole new pattern of behavior, and we don't expect it to come naturally at first. That's why you need to use the tools that are available to you. This isn't just gonna happen - you need to make it happen.

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well, Rocky -- the letter was really good --- and now, you're back to your old "stuck in passivity" land....

 

have read your wife's thread... and you need to be stepping up, listening to HER, validating HER, being PRO-active and showing good actions of love to HER....

she's in a world of pain right now

 

Your life will be so much better if you would DO this.

 

Yes, you have caused much harm in the past MANY years, BUT "greater is HE that is in you than he that is in the world." satan is the one hoping you will stay "stuck in the muck" TELL HIM NO MORE will you be stuck -- that you are covered by the BLOOD of the LAMB and are on the mission God has called you to, has enabled you to do... and that is to AGAPE-love your bride, to bring healing to her for the hurts that you (and others) have heaped upon her.

 

This is a great privilege and responsibility, Rocky, to be called by God to be a husband to one of His daughters. HE KNOWS you CAN do this... you MUST CHOOSE daily.

 

20 smiles /20 hugs /20 kisses /20 compliments EVERY SINGLE DAY

do NOT FORGET to do this. .... they are so important ---

 

re-read, re-listen, re-watch ALL that is on the "Please Read This Section First" and get hold of the Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them (by Paul Hegstrom) to help get you and keep you on track. YOU CAN DO THIS!! :D

 

 

Blessings,

June of

Edited by Ward & June
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There's this principle in the horse training world, Rocky . . . first you move his feet, and then you turn him in the direction you want him to go.

 

I've heard others say that you can't steer a parked car.

 

You're parked, Rocky, and you're never going to get where you need to go if you don't move. Ellyz is tired of trying to move you. Stop making her push, and get off your butt and do the things you've agreed to do. You're putting very little effort in here, even with that letter . . . yes, it was a good move, but you mostly copied Steve's words and just changed a little to fit your situation. Don't get me wrong - I'm glad you were willing to do it, but you put very little thought or effort into it. You just cut and pasted. How much more passive can you get?

 

Get moving, or be honest with your wife and tell her you have no intention of moving so she can do what she needs to do.

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There's this principle in the horse training world, Rocky . . . first you move his feet, and then you turn him in the direction you want him to go.

 

I've heard others say that you can't steer a parked car.

 

You're parked, Rocky, and you're never going to get where you need to go if you don't move. Charity is tired of trying to move you. Stop making her push, and get off your butt and do the things you've agreed to do. You're putting very little effort in here, even with that letter . . . yes, it was a good move, but you mostly copied Steve's words and just changed a little to fit your situation. Don't get me wrong - I'm glad you were willing to do it, but you put very little thought or effort into it. You just cut and pasted. How much more passive can you get?

 

Get moving, or be honest with your wife and tell her you have no intention of moving so she can do what she needs to do.

 

When I read this I felt I should put the record straight. Fortunately, feelings quickly pass, and I simply thank you all for your support for Charity - she needs lots.

 

Yes, I do need to get going. I have no excuses (believe me, I've checked and double checked - none of them work :( )

 

Charity is great at calling me to account and helping me to see where I could have initiated; and I am often silent, irritable or just plain grumpy in return :( . I have absolutely no idea why she sticks around.

 

We do have a copy of the dvd 'Fireproof' but it is with a couple we lent it to. I have emailed them to ask for it back, as I would like to watch it again. We both agree that the ending (where it is revealed that the original Love Dare was done by the wife, not the husband) needs to be ignored - it is ME who has to do the Love Dare.

 

It really seems that I am not listening to Charity's heart - when I bring her flowers or gifts or meals out or breakfast in bed, they are at the wrong time or given in the wrong way. It is not connecting with her heart - her real needs. We spoke as we drove home tonight from our evening out with friends about the different ways in which men and women approach problem solving - how women like to talk around it together and men like to 'fix it'.

Edited by RockyBee
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When I read this I felt I should put the record straight. Fortunately, feelings quickly pass

 

I am simply going by what your wife is posting on her thread. I am well known around here for calling it as I see it - you won't get coddled by me. I hope you realize that I'm only trying to help you, and if you get mad at me, that's ok. If you feel the need to tell me off, have at it - I can handle it. I'd almost like to see you get mad - at least there would be some emotion there! Just make sure you come to the forum and deal with me rather than taking it out on Ellyz.

 

I know you can do this, Rocky - every man CAN, but not every man WILL. I pray that you are one of the men who will, but you're not making a whole lot of moves in the right direction. I know you're a smart guy - it can't be that you don't understand what you are to do. You need to make a decision - are you really going to do this, or are you just saying you're going to do this? Your wife doesn't deserve to be strung along.

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Rocky, I am pretty sure that if you ask Ellyz what types of things would bless her -- she would tell you.

 

If you can think of things (like you did with the roofing -- great job) that she has ASKED you to do and you have not yet done them -- DO THEM asap.

 

Have you searched for a job so she can work fewer hours and become less stressed?

 

The key is to consciously be PRO-active -- ask God to show you, ask E to show you--- shoot, even ask your sons -- they might even know of something you could do to bless your wife, our teens sure do tell Ward --

 

LISTEN to her, and never never never argue with her --- and also do NOT be silent -- that is so darned HURTFUL and CRUEL, Rocky. it reallllllly is. repeat what she said and ask her if you got it right --- and if you didn't, ask her to tell you again because you really do want to understand her heart -- other times say "thank you for bringing that to my attention! I never want to do (whatever it was) again because I don't want to bring the hurt of (whatever it was) on you." statements like that.

 

ARE ya'll reading both books? Have you read through the "Please Read Through This Section First" thread on this forum?????? every single word and link and video segment???

 

WE are here for you --- so, GET MOVING --- Perhaps you could take her on a sweet picnic today??? and focus ONLY UPON loving her.

 

 

just a thought,

June of

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Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one come to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

 

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matt 4:28)

 

The first scripture verse was repeated several times in church this morning, and the second was part of a passage which Charity read to me this morning.

 

I understand that Charity writes as she sees things, says what she likes, and I have to 'listen to her heart' in this.

 

The Best Man at our wedding, who became an elder in the church we both attended, said once "I think you have a problem in your marriage, and Charity is the problem." I answered him, "If we have a problem, then it is with both of us - what do you suggest we do?" He agreed to work with us, using a video which he and his wife could watch with us, and for us to work through.

 

When I told Charity, she was deeply offended at what our Best Man had said, and we did not go through with watching the video. I guess that was an example of my passivity in our relationship, and things never got any better.

 

I have never really understood why Charity takes comments personally - my tone of voice, facial expression, use of eye contact, body language are all taken as being aggressive to her, even when nothing could be further from my heart.

 

The stickies are up, the letters posted, I get details of dozens of jobs each day (and applied for any I can do), I have read and re-read the parts of the books about 'listening to your wife's heart' - and this probably sounds totally defensive - but I totally don't get it.

 

Charity seems to think I am expecting a response when I do the smile/kiss/hug/compliment, after I showed disappointment when she said I hadn't done any on a day when I'd been doing loads. I am only human - I was hurt by this - but I'm not supposed to share feelings at the moment. I am NOT expecting a response - why does Charity keep saying I am?

 

I have said I will leave the house, but then Charity says I am abandoning her. She wants to use a solicitor to ask me to leave (I must not control how and when it happens.) What is going on?

 

For years, Charity has used emotional abuse to try to control me. Because I am so passive, I have submitted to her - but I cannot stand it any longer. I am out of here.

 

I took early retirement as the only way we could get a lump sum to put down a deposit on a house and get back into the housing market (which is a desperate concern of Charity's'). We lost our previous house when I went effectively bankrupt. Because I have a bad credit rating, the house is owned in Charity name - that is why the mortgage is in her name - and I pay all but one of the household bills. The car is hers - mine had to be sold when we could not afford to run both. I use the bus for work.

 

I am a teacher, and now work part time. In order to provide for my family, I had gone for promotions and became Head of Department. I left that job when it became untenable. I was signed off work with stress. The employers gave me a lump sum to leave, and I tried to get a new job. I could only get 'supply work', and this became full time jobs in two different schools. It has been difficult to maintain these jobs and support the emotional needs of the family - especially Charity. Last academic year I worked very part time (all I could get) but we managed on my (reduced) pension, Charity's salary and my small salary. This is increased considerably, and is now a permanent position at the school, with the prospect of the hours increasing. My 'two and a half days a week' are to be spread over most days - I will get just one day off per fortnight. I will happily accept any work in my 'spare' hours (the bus journey can take up to 2 hours each way), and I am looking for a full time post. Of course, I could work full time in a local store and get paid exactly the same as my part-time teaching job!

 

Sorry to rant so - I know it is very defensive, 'poor me' and un-Christlike - but that's where I am.

Edited by RockyBee
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OK, Rocky, I get that your last post was a vent, so I won't blast you too hard. ;)

 

I've got one thing to say - Ellyz is not the problem in your marriage. You are.

 

The one major thing you have GOT to understand is that women respond to how they are treated. A woman does not get married with the intent of becoming a controlling witch and making her husband's life miserable. If that happens, it's because her husband has not been loving her the way she needs to be loved.

 

my tone of voice, facial expression, use of eye contact, body language are all taken as being aggressive to her, even when nothing could be further from my heart.

 

Then change your actions to more closely match what's in your heart. Pay attention to how you are coming across, and remember that Ellyz is going to respond based on her perceptions and whatever wounds you are touching in her heart.

 

Let me give you an example that might help. I am a pretty talkative, outgoing person, and I sometimes tease my friends. It's all in fun, and I don't mean anything hurtful by it. Most of my friends tease me right back. It's not excessive and we all get a good laugh - with one exception. My very best, really-should-have-been-my-sister, closest friend in the world (she is Eeyore here) spent much of her life feeling unloved, put down, and picked on. If I tease her at all, she feels hurt and angry. Do I mean anything hurtful by it? Of course not. But I have two choices here - I can insist that I don't mean anything by it, she's stupid to be hurt by it, she's overreacting, and keep on doing it . . . or, I can decide that, because I love her, I'm going to understand that teasing touches a huge wound in her, realize that she can't handle it, and refrain from doing it. I choose the second option. Do I slip sometimes? Yes, and when I do I apologize.

 

So you need to understand that, no matter what you intend, Ellyz is interpreting your behavior differently that what you mean. You have the same two options I have in this situation. Which one are you going to choose?

 

That's all I'm going to address right now - if there's anything else you'd like to have explained, let us know. As I said, I realize your post was mostly venting and so I'm not going to pick it all apart. That one part just jumped out at me. We realize that you don't understand a lot of this yet.

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Rocky,

Your bride wants you to "get this" so that you don't HAVE to leave the home --

 

You write:

The Best Man at our wedding, who became an elder in the church we both attended, said once "I think you have a problem in your marriage, and Ellyz is the problem." I answered him, "If we have a problem, then it is with both of us - what do you suggest we do?" He agreed to work with us, using a video which he and his wife could watch with us, and for us to work through.

 

When I told Ellyz, she was deeply offended at what our Best Man had said, and we did not go through with watching the video. I guess that was an example of my passivity in our relationship, and things never got any better.

I can tell you from FIRST-hand experience with a "silent knight" (and I do not use that term lovingly, it is how Paul Hegstrom describes the "abuser by silence" in the book Angry Men and The Women Who Love Them.... that THIS IS DEEPLY HURTFUL TO THE WIFE -- that family and friends of the couple are BLAMING HER, when she knows that it IS HIS FAULT -- and we in this ministry know it, too.

So, keep on posting here daily so we can help you to CHANGE from being a "silent knight"

 

You wrote:

Ellyz seems to think I am expecting a response when I do the smile/kiss/hug/compliment, after I showed disappointment when she said I hadn't done any on a day when I'd been doing loads. I am only human - I was hurt by this - but I'm not supposed to share feelings at the moment. I am NOT expecting a response - why does Ellyz keep saying I am?

Because you are currently in the beginning stages of bringing healing to your wife, you MUST be pro-active in validating her and showing her love.

A great reply by you towards E if/when this type of thing comes up again - and it will because you are human AND passive -- is this:

"Thank you, darling (or whatever your pet name is for her) for bringing this to my attention. I never want to do ANYthing that would make you think that I am ignoring you (or whatever the hurt was). I am so sorry for __________(whatever it was). My desire is to always be a blessing to you and to stop doing the hurtful things. Please know that I WANT you to point out these types of things to me because I never want to hurt you again"

 

In THIS particular situation, E is being recommended by one of the other helpers to make a CHART about hugs, smiles, kisses, compliments --- It would be REALLY great if you would happily :D agree to work this chart. (make a GAME of it) ALSO, if you could ask her to please point out to you when you are missing it -- like Heather says to Jeff (and now I say to Ward), "YOU MISSED AN OPPORTUNITY" (said with a smile but matter-of-fact). AND, Rocky, when E does this you need to quickly apologize and in a loving way get to her quickly so that you can hug or kiss her and SMILING AT HER because you LOVE HER! ::clap

 

Eventually, this will become a sweet game if you do not react to HER words in a prideful or "put out" or defensive type of action or words. How do I know -- because Heather & Jeff have verified it, and so do Ward and I... we KNOW This works.... but, ONLY if YOU THE HUSBAND will do this.

 

AND, please re-listen to the oxytocin talk given by Joel -- it's on the PLEASE READ THIS SECTION FIRST and is the 4th Must Listen to recording

 

FOR A SEASON, just suck it up with your "feelings" -- giving them to God or venting them to us on the forum (with a note that "this is a venting session). Your turn WILL come some day, but for now, you need to be getting your wife OUT OF A DEEPLY hurt place and into one of health and life and joy.

 

OK? Let me know if you understand this.

 

If you have an example of another "hurt" or "discussion" with you and E that she is upset about, then please let us know and we'll help you figure our the best way to apologize and to bring healing to her.

 

REMEMBER, the 20 smiles / 20 hugs / 20 kisses / 20 compliments

 

(build her oxytocin - this will help her FEEL better, and then you will feel better, too -- honest!)

 

"Let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint." (Galatians 6:9 Amplified)

 

Blessings,

June of

Edited by Ward & June
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