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Some sad feelings are coming back reminding me of the beginning of our marriage. When we were engaged I thought that the closeness that I was longing for would start after we got married.  We didn't have intercourse before marriage, and in my heart I think I thought that love-making is when the real closeness and relationship would begin. I'm pretty sure I've shared this on this thread before....I felt big disappointment when there was not more closeness after we got married and began having frequent M.L. than there was before.  I worked on myself for 20 some years because I was certain I was the problem.   When we found this ministry I was certain that the closeness that I was longing for was finally going to happen. It hasn't. Now FD is putting real effort in the ministry...I feel like he genuinely wants this...and wants to do the right things to make this marriage work --- different than the self-sufficient, stubborn, deceitful attitude that he had before for the first several years of being with this ministry.  This past 12 months he has had more "want to" than before.  This sad feeling I have, like I described in my previous post that's like looking at an OHM through a thick frosted glass reminds me of what it felt like in our early marriage when I realized there was never going to be that closeness that I long for and like when we first got married it feels like it's something that I'm doing wrong.  

 

But it's not like that.  God has given me a strong reminder that we're not done yet,  sad as I feel, and it's ok that I feel sad and discouraged about it.  Thankfully, just cause I give up, God doesn't give up on me.   As I'm writing this, I realize that in my heart I believe that when I feel sad and discouraged that God will punish me for feeling sad and discouraged and for not "having faith".  That's some leftover garbage from some wrong teaching somewhere sometime.  That's what FD does to me, albeit maybe not on purpose, but when I feel sad and discouraged, he walks away from me....I only just now noticed that connection.  That's not what I consciously believe about Jesus.  I consciously know that Jesus is faithful, strong, true and compassionate  no matter how I feel.  

 

Ladies, if you get a minute I want your first thought about what's important to put in a letter to our 2nd son and his fiancee, a letter they have requested from us, both me and FD that will be ceremonially presented to them during their wedding and will be opened and read by them on their first anniversary.  What do you think is the most important thing to include?  I've got too many ideas and thoughts and I want to make it a short letter, no more than a page and a half, not a rambling book.  Brevity is my goal. 

 

Their wedding is May 16th.    When the bride to be was 5-7 years old she used to spend days and nights with us, so I've known her for a very long time.  I have caught myself occasionally when I talk to people about the wedding calling it my daughter-in-law's wedding---they give me a funny look and then I realize what I've said, "I MEAN, my SON's wedding."  I'm very excited and happy for them.  They have purchased a home near us, so I'm happy for me too. 

 

I hope you are all having a wonderful Easter weekend!!

 

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When the bride-to-be was 5-7 years old and her parents needed a babysitter they would ask her where she'd like to stay and she'd request our house because of all our pets.  It never crossed my mind to take pictures of her and the boys---it was never on my radar that there would be a future.   She was there because she loved the pets, not because she was friends with either of the boys.  They reconnected in college because she recognized his name and re-introduced herself.  I sure do wish we had pictures from years ago.

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What a neat story! I try to tell my children a couple of things- my now teenage daughter especially and I think its very important for her future...

 

!. A viable (living, breathing, flexible, REAL) relationship with a LOVING (Not scary or  punitive) God is absolutely necessary for both partners for marriage to succeed and become all that God has for you both. This includes praying together.

 

2. A love that lasts is NOT about being perfect and never fighting. It's about being REAL and letting the other person see into your heart. "Into-me-you-see" from Danny Silk.

 

3. There is no responsibility or difficulty or work load that should be so big as to separate you - especially if you choose regularly to have fun!

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  • 2 months later...

The wedding was beautiful and the happy couple seem to be doing very well.  Me and new daughter in law have a date tomorrow afternoon! Our husbands both work Saturday evenings, and there is a band I want to see at one of the wineries nearby---my brother in law is the new drummer in the band so I want to hear them but I don't want to go alone so I asked my daughter in law if she'd want to come with me. I've never done anything like that with my other daughter in law, but she doesn't live as close as our new girl.  

 

FD and I took a road trip last week.  I was anxious about it, but it went okay.  The last two one-night road trips were disasters. FD had told me that he had everything planned and for me to sit back and not worry about a thing, but turned out his "plan" had been to get in the car and see what happened with only a vague clue where we were going or what we would do.  Passivity planning nothing.  This time the trip was for a week and I planned it out like I used to do and it went much better for the most part.  FD was attentive and engaging and we had good fun.  There were only two bottom-ups and they occurred on the days when we were doing the most driving.  We were both tired and cranky but that's not a reason for him to be rude.  On our drive home he was driving and being rude and not communicating, I was hungry and he wasn't...so we didn't stop for lunch. We listened to a Ken Nair talk about becoming Christ-like and it turned into a stinky argument between us---of all things!! I just can't figure out how a man can listen to something like that and then start acting out from the examples Ken Nair gave of how NOT to treat your wife.  I wasn't the most patient.  He pulled off the highway into a dirty looking gas station in the middle of his rudeness and he got out of the car without saying a word and so I got into the drivers seat without saying a word and drove away stranding FD to find a cleaner looking restroom for myself.  Unfortunately I got lost and turned around and ended up pulling into a check station of a military base and then on a never ending narrow country road where I couldn't turn around.  I couldn't even figure out what city I was in!!  Had to meekly text FD and ask him where he was and I eventually found the gas station where he was, after I found a cleaner restroom to use.   From that point I got to drive the rest of the way home using my GPS as a guide and stopping to eat when and where I wanted to.  I understand his fatigue and all, but I think he needs to be just as understanding of my own fatigue and hunger and needs, and in fact even more understanding, but it is what it is.  Anymore, instead of a lot of bad and a little good I have to admit that we have a lot of good and a little bad and its easier to rebound from the bad when there is more good than bad.  

 

For the most part I feel like he is putting effort into our relationship.  He's learning to be more honest and grateful and less arrogant, not flawlessly, but with quicker humility than in the past.  He finally asked our doc about something to stabilize his mood swings.  He started Seroquel two days ago.  It makes him sleepy and I have to remind myself that it's sleepiness from the new med and not passivity, melancholy and self-focus.  Most of those kinds of meds take about two weeks to "kick in" so I have to weigh and balance my feelings for a little while before I jump to conclusions.  So many times he turns something that could be a good thing into a worse thing...a new disability....much like he did with the Ken Nair recording.  At times like this I am more aware of how what he feels affects me, because although he is the one taking the medication, I definitely feel the somnolent effects in me.  

 

He is also shopping for a hearing aide.  We had our second visit with one audiologist this week.  Our first visit was bad.  I got my hearing checked for free too and so I was more involved in the discussion.  The audiologist began defending FD and asking me to be more patient and understanding with his hearing loss.  He hadn't even checked FDs hearing yet, but he said he "knows" that FD has a hearing loss...all the while FD sitting there with his helpless look that I detest.  Our appointment this week went better, I said very little and let FD do all the talking and he could hear the conversation just fine.  FD pretends not to hear a lot of time and I know when he's pretending and shutting himself off.  His hearing test shows some hearing loss (so did mine) but not "severe".  A hearing aid will help him though, with conversations and small groups and so we're shopping for the best deal.  I think it'll be good for both of us for him to be fitted.  

 

 

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This time the trip was for a week and I planned it out like I used to do and it went much better for the most part.

 

 

I know that in this ministry we place a lot of emphasis on the man initiating and taking care of all of the details, and up to a certain point I think that's good. But I think that once a guy has done a fair amount of dying to self and has shown that he's committed to the process, it's OK to loosen up on that a little and just do what works. If you are better at planning trips, and if you feel less anxious when you do it, then just do it. We all have strengths and challenges, and in a working marriage, each person does what he or she is best at.

 

Don't misunderstand me - that is NOT a free pass for FD to abdicate all responsibility. He needs to be involved in the process, and he needs to do whatever you ask him to do. He can't just say Honey, let's go to Niagara Falls next week - take care of that, will ya? He needs to work with you. But there is dying to self, and then there's forcing square pegs into round holes.

 

For the most part I feel like he is putting effort into our relationship.

 

 

And that right there is the key. If he is putting forth honest effort, then do your best to allow yourself to be healed. Because wives are taught to be so focused on pointing out what he's doing wrong, I think that sometimes we develop something of a hyper-focus on the negative. You always want to talk about what's bothering you, but then do your best to let it go and get back to enjoying your life. You know the pendulum analogy we use - that the pendulum has to swing all the way to the wife's side for a time, but then it settles in the middle? We have to allow it to settle there.

 

A hearing aid will help him though, with conversations and small groups and so we're shopping for the best deal.  I think it'll be good for both of us for him to be fitted.  

 

 

I'm all for anything that takes away another excuse. ;)

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Don't misunderstand me - that is NOT a free pass for FD to abdicate all responsibility. He needs to be involved in the process, and he needs to do whatever you ask him to do. He can't just say Honey, let's go to Niagara Falls next week - take care of that, will ya? He needs to work with you.

 

I understand.  I'm supine phlegmatic in control so I'm willing to make plans and arrangements, but my need as supine phlegmatic is to have somebody share the responsibility.  FD is melancholy in control and if I remember correctly that means he prefers somebody else to take control of making plans.  We (as in he) need(s) to make a conscious effort to make sure he participates and is involved in the plans.  He usually doesn't unless I ask him to and it's a temptation for me to just do it without bothering him...  So thanks for this reminder.  

 

You always want to talk about what's bothering you, but then do your best to let it go and get back to enjoying your life.

 

OK.  thanks!  this made me feel like I've been promoted.  It's difficult to move past the hyper-focus on the negative.  In another way though, it comes natural when he is doing his part to think things out and understand what's going on with me before I do.  It's sort of like, whew! I don't have to be on guard full time now because he's doing his part to guard me so much of the time.  But he still has those flip flops to his old ways.  When he flops, so do I and I regress to my same old panic.  It's hard to tell which one of us needs the mood stabilizer, but maybe we can fix two people with one prescription.  I'm not sure what allowing the pendulum settle in the middle is.  I hope I know it when I see it.  I appreciate your encouragement. 

 

4evr, no it wasn't funny at the time, but  it was good.  Snapped him out of his funk when he found that I'd left and I got some very humble texts from him. 

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FD is melancholy in control

 

 

Actually I checked with Tim on this ... he has FD down as supine in control, so one of you is mistaken. ;)

 

I'm not sure what allowing the pendulum settle in the middle is.

 

 

This is kind of tough to describe, because there's a big risk that a guy could use what I say to head right back to Selfish Jerkville. But what I mean is getting to the place where you are OK if he is not "on" every waking moment. Allowing both of you to have that alone time that Mc's need. Initiating affection yourself sometimes instead of always waiting for him to do it. Asking him what you could do to make this easier for him. Things like that.

 

Over the years, we have had a few long term couples - couples that had been doing well for some time - suddenly crash and burn. When I've been able to talk to those guys, I have heard things like Once in awhile, I would just like a touch that I don't initiate or I am never going to be able to move on from what I did. I am tired of apologizing for my entire life. And I thought, ya know, to a certain extent I can see his point. We talk about that pendulum settling in the middle, but we say that as if it will just magically happen somehow - that the couple will wake up one day and they are mutually blessing and submitting and life is wonderful. And for some couples, it does happen that way, but for others, it doesn't.

 

So I am coming to believe that when a guy has been laying his life down for a significant period of time, then maybe we need to think about asking the wife to work a little bit on being healed, rather than just sitting there waiting for it to happen. I'm not even sure what that really looks like. I think it will be different for every couple. But we want an OHM for both husband and wife. Tim likes to say that men are Christlike, but they are not Christ. They are human and have needs too, and within the context of him laying down his life and initiating, I think there comes a time when it's fair to ask a wife to work on giving back.

 

Again, the caveat is that he has been doing this - dying to self and initiating life into the marriage - for a significant period of time. This is definitely NOT for guys who are new here, or for the guys who have been here for years but haven't really done anything.

 

I am really just feeling all of this out, so take it with a pound of salt and don't do anything you don't feel is right for you. I don't even know where all of this is going yet. :roll:

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Supine in control? really? well whatever Tim says is correct. I must be wrong, I thought he was melancholy in all three areas.  I'll have to look again, but whatever it is, Julie always told me his temperament naturally wants me to take charge and that we both need to actively work at him being involved with decisions for my sake.   

 

Thanks for pontificating on my thread, I feel honored.  Your thoughts are clear and reasonable.  I won't carve it in stone, but I'll think on it. I really really want us to be more relaxed. I feel like significant healing has taken place even with the frequent bumps.  I mean, when the bumps are happening I don't feel healed at all, but I recover pretty quickly once he gets back to a safe-for-me place.   

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I love all this, Crystal!  Including the part about driving away!  ;)  It was probably good for both of you, in a way.  But I know, the whole episode would have felt awful at the time.

 

I like what Looney has just been "feeling out" here on your thread.  I'm doing everything so slowly, it's ridiculous.  Even so, I'm beginning to see, I think, that I need to get better at giving Zed a little encouragement at times -- just the right amount, of course.

 

Anyway, I wish you well.  May The Lord bless you both with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus!

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Thanks for pontificating on my thread

 

 

LOL thanks for allowing it. I have to spew this stuff somewhere.

 

Even so, I'm beginning to see, I think, that I need to get better at giving Zed a little encouragement at times -- just the right amount, of course

 

 

Yeah, and finding that "right amount" can be tough, because so many guys think they've arrived when they get a little encouragement. But at the same time, a guy should not have to feel like he is never going to get to the point where he can relax and just BE. Again, it depends on the fact that he has died to himself enough that just being is NOT abusive.

 

But the bottom line is that we have a LOT of men who burn out here. Granted, many of them do that before they have gotten to the place where they have proven that they are sincere and committed to this process. But for the ones who have, I really think we need to start teaching the wives to step up a little and start giving something back. This should not be so hard. Christ's yoke is easy ... so why do so many guys fail?

 

I welcome anyone's thoughts ... I'm just trying to figure out what we might be missing here.

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I'm just trying to figure out what we might be missing here.

 

 

It seems to me that you spend a lot of time thinking on this.  

There are so many more things that we get right here, y'know? We can't fix everybody. As a nurse you know that. 

 

Anyhow, I think that if the pendulum is never allowed to swing in the middle then I would be no better than men who demand complete submission of their wives.  My needs aren't more important than FD's, but because he wasted our time thinking more highly of his own needs for a couple decades, it's only right and fair that I pull the pendulum my direction.  I think it has taken him this long because he never fully accepted his own self-centeredness and arrogance. He really thought he was humble and selfless...I honestly believe that's what he thought.  He wasn't.  For the past 5 years it has been a struggle to get him to believe me and then of course he was repulsed by my needs and he didn't believe that he was repulsed.  His actions always speak louder than his words to me. So now, the only reason I can give him a little grace here and there is because he finally seems to believe me.  He always seemed to think that just because he would put himself down and because he SAID that my needs were more important than his that would be enough, but it's not, it's his actions that count.  So we were talking about the same things over and over and over again because he didn't really believe me.  He said he did and he said he believed Joel and Kathy and Ken Nair and the Word of God, but he didn't act like he did.   Why have I stuck it out here for five years? Pfft! Because of my own tenacious arrested development I guess.  Not love, that's for certain!  But here I am, still workin on the marriage, only I'm working on it a little less day by day and FD is picking up a hair's breadth little by little and bit by bit.  

 

So now I do compliment him when he deserves it and I can trust him not to run wild with the praise. Not that long ago I couldn't. I appreciate him when he bounces back from his failures and I tell him that I noticed.  One of his needs is to be appreciated.  I can dig it, but he has to earn my appreciation.  I'm not easy with my compliments.  I don't swoon when he "thinks about" getting me flowers

 

It was some time late spring, or early summer that I felt a strong urging from the Holy Sprit that told me "It's time to start forgiving."  Not that I wasn't forgiving before, but it was like NOW it's time to START actively forgiving and since then it hasn't been a problem.  Yeah LT, it was after that when I spoke to you on the phone in tears asking about divorce stuff.  When it hurts it still hurts bad, but because I naturally respond to FD when he turns it around...it's quick and painless to get back on track.  For the last few years it felt like it was me doing all the driving...like trying to turn around a semi on an icy mountain hi-way.  But now if he messes up and recovers I respond by panicking and recovering.  So...I don't know if this mumbo-jumbo speaks to the issue of allowing the pendulum to swing in the middle, but that's my thoughts take it or leave it.  Lol!

 

 

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It seems to me that you spend a lot of time thinking on this.  

There are so many more things that we get right here, y'know? We can't fix everybody. As a nurse you know that.

 

 

Absolutely. No argument there. And I agree with everything you said above. As I said, the need to encourage a wife to give back will depend on a lot of individual factors. And I don't think that every wife will need to be taught that. I think in a lot of cases, it does happen naturally. But there are a few where I know that it didn't, and I know that encouraging the wife to lighten up a little and give something back to her husband made a huge difference.

 

I actually don't spend all that much time thinking about it, but I have probably been thinking about it on and off for the past year. It's just all spewing out now LOL.

 

We DO get a lot of things right here, but if we can tweak it to make it more right, then I want to do that. The number of men who burn out here bothers me. I just want to see if there's anything we can do about it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think we got it, Joel and Kathy.  Life is pretty good. 

 

Bumps are still common, but it's not about getting this perfectly, it's about love.  We had a bump yesterday and we had one Sunday/Monday, but for me to wake up the next morning (today) and feel this fine about life is significant.  

 

FD gets the big head. Sometimes he hears me when I point it out, sometimes it takes him a while.  Sunday on our way to church he got stuck in his own head and unable to hear me...it wasn't lovely and it took all day and part of the next day before he understood what I was telling him, but you know what? We still had a pretty decent day, we went to dinner and listened to some music and took a nice walk around the lake and the next day he was still stuck when we started our drive to the city to visit the art museum.  I drove in case he would get too unbearable, so that I could make my own decisions about turning around or stopping, but he finally started understanding what i was saying and after we stopped for lunch I had him take over driving...glad I did, because city traffic was bad and there was a heavy rain storm to drive through. We had a lot of fun at the art museum and coming home was nice.  We're learning...both of us, not to take the bumps so seriously.  I point out his arrogance very consistently...sometimes when he reacts I can handle it well and sometimes not.  During our Sunday episode on our way to church I didn't handle it so well...I did a little screaming....I mean, it felt like I was trapped into going to church with him feeling so superior to me and there was nothing I could do about it. I freaked. I had him pull over before we got to church to give me a decent apology and hug even though neither of us felt like it, because I just couldn't go into church feeling like I was being run over by a steam roller.  I don't like that and it's nice to be able to tell him that I don't like that, right? right!!

 

Yesterday our bump turned out differently, because we were at home and I could walk away from him when he blocked me out.  AFTER I told him that he was being a creepy jerk I went outside to pull weeds...I had forgotten that's what I used to do a long time ago when I couldn't stand being around him, the difference is, nowadays I tell him about it.  Years ago, I'd go out to pull weeds and he wouldn't have a clue that anything was up.  When I went back inside I told him AGAIN.  It popped into my head to try a little role reversal play and  when we did so he suddenly got it and so we were able to continue our evening of play.  Our oldest son and his wife gave FD MarioKart8 for WiiU for Father's Day, so we raced with video games until bedtime.  Ha! Great for our testosterone levels, all that speeding and crashing!

 

I think the big difference in recent months is that most times when I point something out he gets it really quickly, and when he doesn't get it and I go into freak out mode he keeps trying...and I am recovering so much quicker than I was for the past couple years.  Quite candidly, I'm more impressed with me recovering so quickly than i am with anything FD does.  I mean, not that I'm not impressed with him sticking to this and working at it, but the real proof is that I feel so much better and I'm not just trying to feel better, I just am and that feels so much better than thinking I should feel better and not, does that make sense?

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It makes perfect sense and I'm glad you described all this!  I understand that how YOU feel about everything is a sign, or proof, of the improvement in your relationship.  I'm feeling warm and fuzzy for you, Crystal!  :)

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Yes, this is a great report! You are enroute to a happy, happy place all of the time - and you are enjoying the journey! (well, minus that ride to church!)

 

Hey, be sure to dial and say hi on the couples call tonight!  We get on at ten pm whether we have people on the line or not.. it gets lonely sometimes! Ha!   Sometimes we are overloaded.. sometimes we are like "does anyone want to say hello?.. anyone?"  That is when it is real nice to have someone speak up to just say "hi" and how they are doing.  Your story of what you have written in the post above would be a great thing to share on the call. It will help others.

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Crystal, that's an awesome report! MJ, I want to hit the "like" button on your comment... way too much FaceBook, I suppose! I am so happy you two are getting it. And I am impressed by the grace you are giving to both yourself and FD, Crystal. I enjoyed reading this!

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Hmm... it seems at one time in the past that we had a facebook button on the forum to post things from the forum onto facebook..  I wonder what happened to that.  I will ask Timothy Paul..  I bet that it is an easy fix.. I hope!   Hmmm.. I am seeing facebook Like at the bottom left of the page as I am typing..  after I post this, I am going to look to see if it is there.. if it is, we can post things here onto facebook!

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Uh, no Joel! Don't put my posts on Facebook!! lol! Tim, please don't let him! haha! But it would be cool to have a "like" button for individual posts...I don't think it's a capability of this type of community board, but TP is pretty smart, he may be able to muster it.  

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