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Hi everyone,

I've discovered Joel and Kathy's ministry over the weekend and I have been blessed because I had no idea how to get better. I didn't think I was that abusive of a husband and thought I was pretty good, still thinking that my wife contributed to 50% of the problem. Joel called me out and said I was a "narcissist who abuses his wife and blames everything on her." This is so true because all the memories I've had of my wife being angry at me or cursing me out were ALL provoked by me because I kept invalidating her and ignoring her pains. Everytime we saw a third party or counselor or pastor, we were told that relationships are 50/50 and that she needs to do her part. She tried her very best and it amounted to nothing because I kept on being controlling and abusive. So right now, she is totally closed off to third parties because they have helped me to stay narcissistic and abusive and blamed the problem on her.

Anyways, about 3 weeks ago, she asked for a divorce and asked me to leave the house. Since then, she has agreed to a 3 month separation first. There is a little bit of breathing room.

There is absolutely no fear of infidelity or anything like that for neither of us had premarital sex. Our first kiss was on our wedding day. And it wasn't like we were 18 year olds... we were both in our early 30s when we got married. She was thinking of being single for life before our courtship. She was my first girlfriend ever as I was into the whole saving myself for marriage thing. We felt like we were such a great couple and everyone thought of us that way. We kept sexually pure until our wedding day. We kept hidden the verbal and emotional abuse that was happening behind closed doors. I kept thinking I was being a great husband and thought my wife was just complaining too much. I did this for over 5 years and finally she said she sees no other way but divorce. I begged and apologized profusely, but she said she's heard it too many times and stated she wanted real change immediately because she couldn't handle the pain. It was very frustrating for me at that point because I was honestly trying. She acknowledged I was trying but she said that she could no longer be in pain and couldn't just stand there with me slowly changing and her continuing to hurt. Everything I said, she thought I was being manipulative to try to get her to stay and not because I really wanted to change. Before Joel and Kathy's ministry, I wasn't able to take full responsibility of my sins and thus I probably was being manipulative and not really changing.

I've been on the phone calls (both couples calls and men's calls) and because of it, I've sent my my wife flowers and have texted every morning and evening.

However, she just emailed me saying that the flowers were ugly and cheap (I paid $75), that the text messages were fake, and that they're just making her angry. She said that in the past, she's always had to say she liked the things I did for her and that she was never able to say she didn't like the gift/service I was providing for her. I'm sure that is true because I would get angry if she didn't like whatever I was doing for her. She said that this is the first time she is able to tell me straight up that she doesn't like these gifts because now she's free. She says my attempts right now are too little, too late and that I should spend my energy elsewhere.

Right now, she's HIGHLY suspicious of anything I do and is super sensitive to anything remotely related to manipulation.

What should I do? I am working on the apology letter. Am not sure if that'll be helpful at this moment. Please help. I am so regretful for the way I have abused my precious wife.

- Anon2000

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Here is my first draft of my apology letter. I'm not sure if it's to be sent right now... but please give feedback...

Dearest S-

“I commit to make your joy my joy. To make your pain my pain. To make your dreams my dreams. To make every possible effort to keep your smile genuine. To walk side by side, hand in hand, for the rest of our lives.” On November 17, 2007 I made this vow to you at the church over on Camp Rd. Over the course of the past 6 years or so, I have shattered these promises, this covenant, and your precious heart. I have no excuse for the way I treated you. I have abused you as my bride.

As I look back on the nearly 6 years of marriage, you were absolutely amazing. You went above and beyond your responsibilities by loving me with incredible fervor and energy despite me causing so much pain and hurt in your life. You endured more than any woman should have experienced. It was not your responsibility to love me unconditionally, the way you did, rather it was my responsibility to love you unconditionally and in that regard, I have failed miserably.

You supported my dreams of being in ministry as you took a back seat in the public’s eye, all the while, with me abusing you, invalidating you, giving you hindrance after hindrance in pursuing your own dreams. Incredibly, with generosity and concern, you gave me credit in the public’s eye and dying to self.

You treated me with incredible tenderness and love the many times I was sick. You gave me 5 star treatment. Remorsefully, you were not treated with the same tenderness and love but were treated to an abusive husband who only looked out for his interests and neglecting your need for tenderness and kindness.

You wanted a husband who would love and cherish you in all circumstances. A man who bonded to you so closely that that there would be total security and safety whatever circumstance may befall upon us. A man who would hold your hand and tenderly reassure you of your worth without being reassured of his own worth first.

Over the course of the past few weeks, I have come to realize how miserably I have failed. But worse than merely failing, I have brought destruction and abuse into the most intimate parts of our shared experiences. I did not love, honor, and cherish YOU.

This is not what you wanted out of marriage. I have utterly failed because I am a narcissist who abuses his bride and makes everything her fault despite her going above and beyond the responsibilities of any normal wife. I am sorry that I have shattered your dreams so thoroughly and thoughtlessly.

Not only did I shatter you dreams, I have done countless things to hurt you and sin against you. The following is just a partial list that I take full responsibility for. I am sure there are countless other things in which I have sinned against you.
 

· I have broken the promise of pursuing you, even after marriage.

· I have broken the promise of vacuuming every Sunday.

· I have broken the promise of making the bed in the guest room.

· I have broken the promise to cook for you once a week.

· I have broken the promise of always doing the dishes.

· I have set up double standards and thus disrespected you.

      -Double standards with rules. Enforcing the rules on you while being lenient with myself.

      -Double standards with finances. Being strict with your purchases while buying stuff behind your back.

· I have masturbated and defiled the marriage bed.

· I did not buy you the milk and water you desired. I cared more about saving a few dollars than providing for my pregnant and desperate wife.

· I did not take care of you when you were sick in the village. Instead, I called you a bad missionary. Also, I got angry with you when you wouldn’t take off your shirt even though you were sick and it was freezing cold.

· I wrongfully blamed you for our baby's death even though you were more saddened by the miscarriage than I was.

· I wrongfully blamed you for us being childless in the future if we didn’t go with the adoption agency I liked. You were just trying to follow God’s leading and I threw it back in your face.

· When you shared your vulnerability about not having close female friends, I threw it back in your face and pointed out your flaws.

· I told you that I hate your laugh even though your laughter brings people joy.

· I told you that people are happier when you are not around even though people love to be around you.

· You were made to feel rejected when I put sports and video games ahead of you.

· I asked you to beg like a subhuman instead of just listening to your needs.

· I asked you to give me a piece of your hair to get my attention instead of listening to your needs.

· I have blame shifted and made you the scapegoat of our relationship even though I was the cause of 99% of the fights.

· The countless times, I have manipulated you by provoking you to anger and then blaming the fight on you.

· The gifts and deeds I did for you were forced upon you and I got angry for you not liking them. I did this instead of carefully listening to your desires.

· I took away your basic human rights by not allowing you to complain and express your needs and desires.

· I made you look bad in front of counselors and third parties and did not take responsibility for my behavior. Meanwhile, you remained neutral and did not attack me.

· There were many times you desperately tried to communicate to me by doing drastic things and I simply ignored it and pretended like everything was fine.

· I violently threw down a chair and broke it simply because you were following through with a condition you had stated earlier.

· I told you that the proposal was the man’s right and that the woman should not give input. This was completely chauvinistic.

· I ignored your desire to have a second wedding ceremony and instead gave lame excuses. I was a coward.

· I didn’t protect your honor in front of cab drivers when they started at you. I cared more about the social awkwardness than protecting your honor.

· I controlled how you dressed and the length of your hair. If you did anything differently, then I would make you feel terrible.

For all these sins, I am deeply remorseful because I have hurt and abused you over and over again.

-----------------

I am not sure how to end it because any promise or commitment here would seem fake and like I'm trying to manipulate her. Right now, she's not even interested in reconciliation.

Edited by anon2000
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Hi there! Welcome!

 

Your letter is a lot better than many first attempts I've seen! It does need some tweaking, though. I'm not going to critique it at the moment - it's almost bedtime and my brain has already shut down - but I promise to come back to it tomorrow once I'm upright and properly caffeinated. ;) So don't send it yet.

 

If you need something to work on till I get back, start with the paragraph that begins Over the course . . . That's where you start talking about yourself. This letter is not about you.

 

More tomorrow . . .

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Ok... some advice needed (outside of the review of the apology letter). I have been texting my wife every morning and every evening with a short message not requiring a response. I also sent her flowers with the intention of sending her a weekly gift. After two days of this, she said that what I'm doing is counterproductive and that everytime she gets a message from me, it causes her anger because she says they're fake. She asked me to leave her alone because whatever I'm doing is manipulative to get her back and that what I'm doing is too little, too late. She is highly suspicious of manipulation and has already heard me apology many times before. But I really have had an epiphany upon coming across J&K's ministry and see that it really is all my fault and have stopped blaming her in my truest of hearts.

 

So I don't know how to proceed. We've been separated for three weeks. Should I continue to text her and give her weekly gifts? I don't want to disrespect her. But I also heard that wives response like this at first but that we need to be consistent and continue to focus on her instead of rolling up in a ball and not doing anything.

 

Am in agony. Any advice should be appreciated. Thank you.

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OK, caffeine in. Here we go.

 

As I said last night, the first part is pretty good. You lose it in the 6th paragraph.

 

Over the course of the past few weeks, I have come to realize how miserably I have failed. But worse than merely failing, I have brought destruction and abuse into the most intimate parts of our shared experiences. I did not love, honor, and cherish YOU.

 

We often tell guys to count how many times they use I in a sentence. This paragraph and the 3 following turn the focus back on you. I totally appreciate the fact that you are taking ownership of what you've done, but you need to find way to say that while keeping the attention on your wife.

 

Your list of things you have done is good. What you are missing is any validation of her feelings. She needs to know that you have at least an inkling of how your actions made her feel. Please avoid words like "hurt" and "upset" - they are too generic. Be as specific as you can.

 

So give a rewrite a whirl, and then we'll go over it again. If you're really stuck, say so. I don't mind giving more specific suggestions once you've made your best attempt, but you will not learn if I simply tell you what to say.

 

As for the texts and gifts, think about it for a second. Why do you want to continue them? I'll bet money that YOU want her to see that you're trying, YOU want to do it so that YOU grow as quickly as possible, YOU want to feel like you're doing something.

 

Your wife has very clearly indicated that the texts and gifts are not blessing her. What do you think it will say to her if you continue them?

 

One of the most important lessons every man needs to learn is to look at things from his wife's perspective. If you spend a couple of minutes thinking about it, I'm sure you'll come up with the right answer. Tell us what you think and we'll confirm or correct.

 

Are you on the men's calls? If not, get on them ASAP. They are specifically for men who have lost their wife. There is a monthly donation and you would call Joel to set that up.

 

You CAN do this. The only question is whether or not you will put in the amount of effort it takes.

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Hi. Thank you for your reply. I'm putting in maximum effort right now. I've been in all the men's calls (that's where I got the idea for the text messages, gifts, and apology letter), have been on most of the couples calls, have read "Angry Men and the Woman Who Loves Them" and have ordered both books of J&K and their DVD set. On the men's call, I was told to continue to text her, but I am feeling uneasy and wanted to hear a woman's POV. I don't want to disrespect my wife and think that this anger is just temporary and that if I continue to text her she'll eventually be blessed.

 

I will redo the draft and post it up today. Thank you for the suggestions!

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Oh dear Lord . . . no wonder your wife left. :huh:

 

think that this anger is just temporary and that if I continue to text her she'll eventually be blessed.

 

So essentially what you're saying is that you are gonna keep on doing what you want to do, even though she has told you very clearly how she feels about it. You are certain that she doesn't really feel that way, and that if you just keep pushing your agenda she will eventually come to see how wonderful you are.

 

I realize that's not what you're consciously thinking, but I promise that it's what your wife is hearing.

 

Stop texting. Stop the gifts. All you are saying is that, once again, you don't give a rodent's posterior how she feels.

 

You may, every Monday morning, text something like Hope you have a great week! . . . but not this coming Monday, because it's too soon after she asked you to stop. She needs some emotional space. Give it to her. Then you go back to pursuing her, paying close attention to her clues, because what feels like pursuit to one woman can feel like bulldozing to another.

 

Anytime she has to contact you - kids, bills, whatever - you need to behave in such way that she walks away feeling good. Treat her like you would treat your best friend. She needs to start feeling comfortable around you again. Otherwise she'll never consider anything more.

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Hi LT. Thank you for giving me a different perspective. I was really not wanting to send those texts/gifts, but was told I should continue. I was torn as every fibre of my being said to not text her, but the men's group told me to continue. So my head has been spinning like crazy the last 12 hours. I think I'll give Joel a break here because he was REALLY tired last night during the men's call. I do wish good female input was involved during the men's calls sometimes because we could be in our own little world.

 

Yes, your advice is respectful. I haven't texted at all since she's told me to give her some space, but I was struggling to do it or not. I won't do any of that stuff for a while.

 

As for the apology letter, I'll redo it today. Should I wait on that too? Instead of giving it to her this weekend, wait another week or two?

 

Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much. You are doing a great service to men who are chauvinistic and somehow can justify their bullish actions.

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Ok... second attempt. Thanks for the suggestions and keep them coming!

Quick update.
My wife asked me to leave because she couldn't take it any longer.
We've been separated for 3 weeks with her leaning towards divorce.
She has no desire for reconciliation and feels like everything I do is manipulative in order to keep her
I have been heavily involved with Joel and Kathy's ministry for 1 week and have called in almost every night, including the Men's calls.
I texted her and sent her flowers this week, but she has asked me two separate times (over email) to stop it and to give her space.
She has stated whatever I'm doing right now is too little, too late and she is angry.

With that, I'm not sure what to do with this apology letter. When to give it, how to give it, should I read it out loud in front of her, what format, etc.


----------------
Dearest S-,

“I commit to make your joy my joy. To make your pain my pain. To make your dreams my dreams. To make every possible effort to keep your smile genuine. To walk side by side, hand in hand, for the rest of our lives.”

On November 17, 2007 I made this vow to you at the church over on Camp Rd. Over the course of the past 6 years or so, I have shattered these promises, this covenant, and your precious heart. I have no excuse for the way I treated you. I have abused you as my bride. You were forced instead to follow these rules instead:

“S-, ignore your joy and only look at D's joy. Ignore your pain and focus only on D’s pain. Ignore your dreams and only establish D’s dreams. Smile always, even if it’s fake and even if you are in terrible pain. Be trapped and be abused in this role for the rest of your life as you follow behind him like a slave.”

As I look back on the nearly 6 years of marriage, you were absolutely amazing. You went above and beyond your responsibilities by loving me with incredible fervor and energy despite me causing so much pain and hurt in your life. You endured more than any woman should have experienced. It was not your responsibility to love me unconditionally, the way you did, rather it was my responsibility to love you unconditionally and in that regard, I have failed miserably.

You supported my dreams of being in ministry as you took a back seat in the public’s eye, all the while, with me abusing you, invalidating you, giving you hindrance after hindrance in pursuing your own dreams. Incredibly, with generosity and concern, you gave me credit in the public’s eye and dying to self.

You treated me with incredible tenderness and love the many times I was sick. You gave me 5 star treatment. Remorsefully, you were not treated with the same tenderness and love but were treated to an abusive husband who only looked out for his interests and neglecting your need for tenderness and kindness.

You wanted a husband who would love and cherish you in all circumstances. A man who bonded to you so closely that that there would be total security and safety whatever circumstance may befall upon us. A man who would hold your hand and tenderly reassure you of your worth without being reassured of his own worth first.

Over the course of the past few weeks, the ways you have been abused. torn down, and belittled have become painfully obvious. You were not loved, not honored, and not cherished. This is not what you wanted out of marriage. Nobody would want this. You have come face to face with a narcissist who abuses his bride and makes everything her fault despite her going above and beyond the responsibilities of any normal wife. Even your very best and genuine efforts were twisted and distorted so that they were somehow funneled back to you as baseless accusations.

Not only were your dreams shattered, you have been sinned against by the countless things that I have done to hurt you. The following is just a partial list that I take full responsibility for. I am sure there are hundreds of other things in which I have sinned against you.

  • You were made to feel used and like an object to be merely attained and not a bride to be cherished when I broke the promise of pursuing you, even after marriage.
  • You were made to feel like a dumb housewife to be taken advantage of when I broke the promise of vacuuming every Sunday.
  • You were made to feel like a servant when I broke the promise of making the bed in the guest room even though the mess wasn’t even yours. The mess was almost entirely mine.
  • You were made to feel exploited and unloved when I broke the promise to cook for you once a week. You learned how to cook for me and even had a rating system so that you could see how I liked the dishes. Your poured in so much effort, time and love and it was infuriating for you to see how little I cared about cooking a simple meal for you just once a week.
  • You were made to feel like a slave when I broke the promise of always doing the dishes. This made you feel like I was unreliable. When the going gets tough, D- will bail out. Someone had to do the dishes and you were forced to do them without any negotiation.
  • You were disrespected and made to feel like less than a human when I set up double standards for myself.
  • Double standards with rules. Enforcing the rules on you while being lenient with myself.
  • Double standards with finances. Being strict with your purchases while buying stuff behind your back.
  • Double standards with preferences. Your preferences were treated as inconveniences whereas I treated my preferences as needs.
  • You were made to feel inadequate and unwanted when I masturbated and defiled the marriage bed.
  • You were made to feel helpless, unloved, and feared for your own life when I did not buy you medicine in --- when you desperately needed it. Instead, I made some lame excuse and told you to suck it up for the evening. How could a husband not get his sick bride some medicine?!?!
  • You were made to feel cheap and neglected when I did not buy you the milk and water you desired. I cared more about saving a few dollars than providing for my pregnant and desperate wife.
  • You were judged and condemned when I called you a bad missionary while you were sick in the village. To make it even worse, you felt uncared for, made to feel like a needless object, and used when I got angry with you when you wouldn’t take off your shirt despite you being sick and it being freezing cold.
  • You were made to feel like a bad friend and that your needs were the lowest on my priority list when I ignored your pleas to release Ahmad despite him driving you insane. Even worse, you were accused of hating Ahmad despite the tremendous love you showed to his family.
  • You were utterly crushed and wrongfully blamed of our baby's death even though you were more saddened by the miscarriage than I was. You were given a scar that will never disappear.
  • You felt trapped and felt like God’s leading upon your life was periphery when I blamed you for us being childless in the future if we didn’t go with the adoption agent I wanted. You were just trying to follow God’s leading and I threw it back in your face. This cut deeper the scar that reached into the depth of your soul when I blamed you for our baby's miscarriage.
  • You were made to feel unsafe and rejected when after you shared your vulnerability about not having close female friends, I threw it back in your face and pointed out your flaws.
  • You were made to feel insecure and unloved when I told you that I hate your laugh even though your laughter brings people joy.
  • You were made to feel unwanted and made you question your identity when I told you that people are happier when you are not around even though people love to be around you.
  • You were made to feel rejected and secondary when I put sports and video games ahead of you.
  • You were made to feel like a subhuman, like a dog, when I asked you to beg instead of just listening to your needs.
  • You were made to feel hopeless and disrespected when I asked you to give me a piece of your hair to get my attention instead of listening to your needs.
  • You were made to feel hopeless, manipulated, and abused when I blame shifted and made you the scapegoat of our relationship even though I was the cause of 99% of the fights.
  • You felt oppressed and neglected when I forced you to like the gifts I got for you and the things I did for you even though you had no desire for them.
  • You did not feel like a human being when I took away your basic human rights by not allowing you to express your needs and desires and instead just called them complaints.
  • You felt totally attacked, lonely, and made out to be a liar when I made you look bad in front of counselors and third parties by spitting out lies and not taking responsibility for my behavior.
  • You were made to feel desperate and insane when you tried to communicate to me by doing drastic things and I simply ignored it and pretended like everything was fine.
  • You were made to feel unsafe and unjustly accused when I violently threw down a chair and broke it simply because you were following through with a condition you had stated earlier.
  • You were made to feel like a woman’s desire for a proposal was meaningless when I told you that the proposal was the man’s right and that the woman should not give input. This was completely chauvinistic.
  • You were made to feel unwanted and unloved when I ignored your desire to have a second wedding ceremony. You were trying your very best even though you were feeling so sad and I trampled upon those efforts.
  • You were made to feel like your purity wasn’t very important and you felt unsafe and unprotected when I didn’t protect your honor in front of cab drivers. I cared more about the social awkwardness than protecting your honor.
  • You felt controlled and rejected when I controlled how you dressed and the length of your hair. If you did anything differently, then I would make you feel terrible.
  • You felt rejected and unwanted when I made negative comments about your dress in --- even though you were carrying pretty clothes for me all the way throughout Europe. You had very little space and yet you carried it all the way across Europe only to be rejected.

The weight of the above confessions is overwhelming and too much for anyone to handle. You had to leave me because there were no other options. I had thought that I was a good, or at least a decent husband, but that facade has been obliterated by even a quick glimpse of the sins I have committed against you. I am an awful, narcissistic, abusive husband who is facing his sins without any justifications. I need desperate help.

The abuse program that I am currently involved with exposed me for who I am because they’ve all been abusive husbands themselves. Their wives can attest to how they were lifted out of the mud of narcissism and how they became the men that could lay down their lives for their brides as Christ did for the church. All of them say they could not have done it by themselves but only through the help of other men who have been through it and know the chicanery and manipulative tactics that people like me will use. These men are committed to seeing lives transformed as long as the man is willing and committed. It’s a slow change, but it does happen. Not everyone changes because some men just give up and are unwilling to change.

I do hope that God will bring us together again one day. But even if that does not happen, I am committed to be involved with this abuse program and will grow and mature so that I can become a redeemed man before God. With the help of these men and the help of the Holy Spirit, change is possible.

With all my heart,
D

Edited by anon2000
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I am torn. After getting my wife's emails about how my texts and gifts are counterproductive, that she gets angry whenever she gets a "fake sweet message", and to leave her alone, I thought, "yes, I will leave her alone for a week or two." This is what I wanted to do.

 

However, after the Men's call today, I was told to continue to text her until she responds more vehemently and more frequently not to text her. The rationale is this, "has she told you to not ever touch her again? that was said in desperation and anger, but as a husband, we are still to love her and to pursue her." That it's all about consistency, despite the anger and poison that is coming out. That if I continue to do this for a while, perhaps tweaking it a little bit, then she will see that I do care about her and that my texts and gifts are serving her instead of me looking for approval or praise from her.

 

I'm getting mixed messages and so I am sooooo confused and want to do the right thing. I know that men can get paralysis analysis and eventually not do anything. So is my not texting and sending her gifts paralysis analysis or is it just respecting her or is it communicating to her that she's not worth pursuing or is it communicating that I'm selfish and bull headed?

 

This ministry is focused on actions... and that actions lead to a heart change.

 

Ahhh!!! So confused and stressed out over thinking everything.

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Ok. Just talked with Joel and it's starting to make some sense. Whenever my wife said stuff like "I hate you" or "I don't want to ever see you again" in the past, I've always gotten resentful and stopped showing affection. This has been past behavior. So I will go ahead and text her simple messages and continue to send her gifts consistently. If she continues to be asked alone, then with Joel's help, I'll change what I'm doing.

 

Sorry everyone for asking seemingly trivial questions. I'm freshly separated and so feel like every single move that I make is critical. I'm sure it's too much to ask from people on the forum.

 

With that said, please let me know your thoughts on the edited apology letter. I'm not sure if I'm finishing it well. I am tentative to make broad promises since I've just started to really focus on my selfishness and narcissism. Definitely committed, but just starting on this journey to become a more loving and generous man and to bless her.

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I'm gonna agree to disagree with Joel on the texts. ;)

 

I really like your rewrite. Very nice job of validating her feelings! I think you've ended it well. The thing you need to avoid is promising that you'll be a great husband - she won't believe you - and you've done that.

 

Your best bet is to mail it to her. Don't expect a response.

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Thank you for your encouragement! I still haven't sent a text yet b/c I've had plenty of chances to respond to her emails. She's been emailing me a bunch with logistical questions and issues and I've been able to end each email with a blessing of some sort. I think that's a lot less intrusive than text messages.

 

I'll go ahead and hand write the apology letter and then mail it to her even though she's only 1.5 miles away from where I'm staying. She's asked for space and so if I come and sneak it onto her front porch she will be violated on some level. Not quite sure how I'm going to give her the weekly gifts without her feeling violated, but that will be a question for another day.

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I'm coming to a philosophical dilemma. My wife wants me to have a heart change and that if I'm pursuing her, it's not seeking a heart change but just manipulating the situation so that I can get her back.

 

However, most of the advice I've been getting is about pursuing her. I kinda understand the principle that in pursuing her, the man grows and learns how to die to self.

 

I want to pursue Christ, but most of my sin and ability to see my growth is within the marriage context. I didn't know how abusive and horrible I was until the marriage context. So are here the two options:

 

1) In one sense, it makes sense to NOT pursue her at all, and only focus on my own growth and being Christlike. The byproduct of this is that the wife will be attracted to me in the future. By focusing only on one's growth, the motivation can be pure and being Christlike is the ONLY goal. It doesn't matter if the wife comes back or not. Also, she's asked for a heart change and ANYTHING I do right now that looks like I'm pursuing her is perceived by her as manipulation and fake. Therefore, only confirming what she had already thought. Maybe this is narcissistic in a sense. But trying to become more Christlike doesn't really seem narcissistic. I've been looking at my childhood wounds (Broken Child, Grown Up Pain) and it's making me understand a ton about myself. I was sexually abused as a 6 year old boy for several months by an older male cousin who was our "babysitter" and authority figure. My parents were never at home because they were working all the time. I really believe that if I had come across this material before her breaking point, then things would have been different.

 

2) But on the other hand, it makes sense to pursue her. We are still married (separated 3 weeks) and it's a sacred union. Even if divorce happens, it's just a legal document and we are married in God's eyes. In pursuing her, I become Christlike. Am I dying to self when she constantly rejects me and has no interest in reconciliation? Or is it just disrespecting her boundaries and thinking I know better than her? I'm sure that she prefers that we do become restored if she knows guaranteed that I will no longer be abusive. This is her dream, but feels like it's impossible.

 

This really is a sincere question that I'm battling with. Any input would be appreciated.

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Pursuing my wife? So far, I've been given advice to 1) text message her, 2) send her weekly gifts, 3) write an apology letter. I've done all three, but haven't actually sent out the letter yet. After doing #1 and #2, she told me that what I'm doing is counterproductive, it's making her angry, that she's even more sure she wants a divorce, and to give her space. I've been told to continue to do #1 and #2 because whenever she got upset in the past, I've consented and stopped being proactively loving. It was said that it's good for a woman to release some poison. Before I did those things, all our encounters were semi-polite and vicious poison wasn't released. Did my text messaging her and sending gifts her release the poison or cause some of the poison?

 

However, one of the major reasons she wants out is because I'm so bullish. I've brought this up during the calls, but have been told to continue to do text messages and send the weekly gifts. My conscience says no, but I do want to continue to get advice from the calls. I feel like if I don't follow the marching orders, then help from the conference calls will be cut off.

 

The idea is that I'm a narcissist and that I should continue to love her even when she rejects me and that the biggest thing that's holding me back from doing those things is my fear of rejection. She had asked for a heart change and for me to do any of the items above seems even fake to me. I have fully accepted responsibility and fully see myself as the controlling and abusive husband who provoked her to become angry. I had always blamed her anger for the struggles in our relationship but now I see with crystal clarity that it was me provoking her every time. Yes, I've taken full responsibility and the guilt but I know that I'm not a new man yet. I've only discovered the idea of arrested development recently and have read that it takes 2-3 years to change. It's only been 1 week since I've taken full responsibility (after a call-in). But even though it's only been 1 week, my taking responsibility has lifted the scales off my eyes and I no longer have a place in my heart where I seek to blame her. When does a man know he's changed enough to actually dare to pursue his wife again? Or does it do it incrementally, every few weeks, and hope that there is real change and use her as the barometer?

 

It does drive me crazy to just sit here and do nothing but focus on myself. We're only 1.5 miles apart. But have no kids so the chance for encounters is almost nil,

 

So hopefully this gives some context to my question in the previous post.

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So my definition of "pursuing my wife"?

 

It would be to do whatever possible to make sure that she's holy, that draws her closer to Christ, that she's loved, that she's made the priority, and to become the man that will enable her to feel and be those things. It would mean to get rid of any silly notions of masculinity or entitlement or privilege for the sake of seeing her unblemished before Christ. My own feelings and worries are a non-factor compared to hers.

 

Practically speaking... not sure. Been praying tons for her. Been helping out whenever an opportunity presents itself. Gifts? Text messages? Apology letter? These are the things that are confusing me.

 

Mind you. Even though I've taken responsibility, the answer above is still coming from a narcissist who can distort statements to make himself look better without even knowing he did it!

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Btw. My wife calls me a very sophisticated manipulator. Our relationship didn't turn sour because of any obvious issues: drugs, alcohol, pornography, infidelity, violence, cursing, etc. On paper, it looks squeaky clean. But I was able to turn all the fights and arguments against her despite her being a very educated, very spiritual, ivy-league educated, independent woman. I made her feel AWFUL through 5.5 years of this sophisticated manipulation. Then she finally saw the light and saw what I was doing. I acknowledge I'm abusive and controlling, but the manipulation aspect is hard to grow out of because it is something I do unconsciously.

 

So, please! With your experience with abusive and controlling men, please STAB me if you see manipulation. I want to get out of it.

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Thanks TP. Yes, I gave a lot mumbo-jumbo that didn't answer the question and side stepped the issue and also didn't really listen. My wife has been through this many, many times.

 

What does pursuit look to my wife?

 

Currently. I believe she doesn't want me to pursue her. But if she were in a state of wanting reconciliation, then it would mean that...

 

Here, I am a loss for words. I can't see anything too different than what I wrote up earlier about me pursuing her.

 

This has been an issue in our relationship. Me thinking what's best for her before even asking her what her preferences are. Then asking her to love whatever I do for her and then get upset if she doesn't shower me with praise and thanks for my act.

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This is exactly why I'm pushing you. I gave you a list if homework on the call which included watching the videos at IAMSECOND.COM. How many have you seen? And what did they say to you.

 

On Saturdays call I shared with you that even the women in the most dire marriage circumstances need to feel pursued. So, dig deep and tell me what would look like for your wife.

 

The Word of God tells us, "Husbands live with your wives in understanding."

 

 

 

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