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"I'm sure I"

 

Making an assumption

 

"I got fixated on you being part of the agency without asking you if you wanted to stay on."

 

An excuse - she doesn't want to hear an excuse. Only that you recognize and validate and repent

 

" It's understandable you feel disrespected and feel like I'm trying to dictate your life and your decisions."

 

By saying "its understandable" - you are taking control - telling her how she should feel. You could say..

 

my actions could cause you to feel ....

 

 

Review rest of email and repost corrections.

 

 

TP

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I counted 11 I's in that email. :roll: Most of it was you defending why you did what you did. How do you think that will sound to her? An apology is not about you. It's about bringing some healing to the person you hurt. Although there is no way to say I'm sorry without using I, your usage of that pronoun should be kept to a bare minimum.

 

I am going to rewrite your email this time so that you can get a sense of what will bring healing to her. Normally I wouldn't do this - I would let you keep rewriting it yourself as I made suggestions, because you will learn more that way. However, I have a tree full of peaches that are calling my name, so I need to keep my computer time to a minimum today. ;) So read through this several times and try to understand why I wrote it the way I did. Ask questions if you don't understand something, and either someone else will come along to help or I'll be back when the jam is done.

 

Hi S -

 

Thank you for helping me to understand how controlling and manipulative my last email sounded. I am very sorry for that. For our entire marriage, you have been treated as if you do not have the right to make your own decisions about your life, and that was wrong. You have every right to choose for yourself. I am sorry that I bulldozed ahead with the agency without making you a part of that conversation.

 

I also apologize for assuming that you would want or need my financial support. You are an intelligent, resourceful woman who is fully capable of taking care of herself, and my email sounded as if I don't believe that is true. That was beyond disrespectful, and you did not deserve it.

 

If there are any other occasions where I make you feel devalued or disrespected, please point them out to me. You deserve better than that.

 

Sincerely,

 

D -

 

Feel free to use different words, if necessary, so that it sounds like you, but don't change the generally format. Don't explain your intentions - she won't care - and don't refer to yourself in any way other than to say I'm sorry.

 

Got it? :)

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Thanks for the tips LT! I guess I should try to catch you when you're really busy so that there's less work for me!  ;-) j/k. I know I need to learn how to write with her perceptions in mind instead of trying to justify myself in the apology. I haven't sent the email yet, but will do so later today. 

 

Btw. Here's one more email correspondence:

 

I wrote this this morning about going to Atlanta:

 

Hi S-,

 

It was an extremely difficult decision, but I've decided to go to Atlanta.

I've already talked to my mom and my brothers about it.

 

I am thinking of leaving this weekend sometime, so if we can meet before then, that'll be great.

 

D-

 

She just replied:

Hi D-,

 

How about sometime on Thursday?  Both Th morning and afternoon work for me. 

 

Will you be driving there?  Can you take some of your stuff with you then?  I don't want the big receiver and speakers from your brother here, and you can take that blue blanket too.   I'm sorry that I haven't gone through all the boxes in the office yet.  If there's something specific you want, let me know and I can look for it. 

 

S-

 

My possible reply. Please let me know if something is alarming...

Hi S-,

 

Thursday afternoon will work for me if that's ok with you. How about 2 pm? Yes, I'll be driving to Atlanta and will try to take as much stuff as possible, so yeah, I can take the big receiver, speakers, and the blanket with me back to Atlanta. The only thing that I can think of that I want to take with me is the dSLR camera, which I think is in the hallway closet, and the electric drill as I want to make some improvements to my brother's house. But if you feel like you need the electric drill, please feel free to keep it as I'm sure there are lots of improvements needed at your house too. 

 

See you tomorrow,

D-

 

I am so nervous about the meeting tomorrow. It might be the last time I ever see her.  :unsure: I am tempted to try to restore it right then and there by giving some sort of 11th hour apology and begging for forgiveness, saying I'll do anything. But I've already sent her my apology letter, and she's going to California for two weeks for her brother's wedding this weekend too. I sent her brother and her parents apology letters, to which I don't know if she knows about them or not. I've done two major things this week. 1) Told her I'm going to Atlanta and 2) resigned from my mission agency. I hope it allows her to start building some trust over the course of the two weeks she's in California. Also, there's a strong chance she'll release some more poison on me tomorrow, saying how I haven't changed and that she's given me too many chances already, for me to not expect us to get together, that me going to Atlanta is still narcissistic, etc. Just need to remember L.O.V. at those critical moments.

 

I'll give her J&K's second book, telling her to read it if she wants and saying how it's helped open my eyes. Leaning towards not giving her Hegstrom's book, but want to because it perfectly describes who I am and I know that my wife can be extremely empathetic even in her current state. For example... just last week, I was living in a dorm type of setting, but she asked a friend if I can live with him because it'll be better for me to have company and fellowship. Also, two nights ago, she had an intense 1 hour discussion with mutual friends about the status of our relationship. Nothing too revealing from that discussion... she stated to them that she doesn't want to give me any false hope, that she knows that change takes time but that she's unable to handle slow change, and that even if I do change, perhaps God's justice is supposed to happen due to the consequences of my sins. It was hard to hear from my friend, but she did talk to the couple for an hour. It's almost if she's looking for a lifeline of real hope. But that's probably just my imagination.

 

Maybe as I'm leaving her place, I'll drop in a "I love you" or "I will always love you." I don't want her to feel like I'm giving up on the relationship or abandoning her.

 

Ah! This is so hard. It's almost unbearable to know that tomorrow might be the last time I see her. But I must go to Atlanta because it's where God is leading me and even if she miraculously restores it tomorrow, I will have deep grief about the potential loss of restoration with my brothers. 

 

Perhaps I can get on the couples call tonight and see if there's any time leftover at the end for a guy to get advice. The men's call won't happen until after I see her tomorrow.

Edited by anon2000
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Don't give her the Hegstrom. Think I've said this before. The bible says husband understand your wives. She is not called to understand why your a bad husband. It's irrelevant and pushes the responsibility on her. And then she is to think. Awe poor Anon. He's had such a terrible childhood, I'm a bad wife for not understanding him."

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Hi there.. This is just my opinion.. Every time you write your wife.. You're digging a deeper pit...

My letter would be this...,,,,

 

Wife,

I'm sorry for disrespecting you and talking about your future like you can't decide for yourself. I will step down from the missionary work.. And will not contact them again. What you decide to do, if you need my support in any way.. I'm here for you....

 

If you keep explaining.. Over and over... your reasoning why you did what you did.. Even if it was from a pure place... But, reading your letters.. You appeared to be looking for sympathy and your wife picked up on that....

 

Your wife is 100% right... Reread her responses.. And then just be quiet :)

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Got on the couples call last night but didn't have an opportunity to speak as the lone guy and couldn't stay on for the whole call.

 

I haven't sent the redraft of the email yet. I am meeting her today at 2 pm CT. This is possibly the last time I'll ever see her (praying to God it isn't). I didn't want to send the email to her before our meeting, possibly causing more anger. Also, she might bring up the stuff when we're together. If nothing is said, then I'll send her the email afterwards, a day or two later. I have been praying that this encounter be a positive one for her.

 

What is difficult when you say, "then just be quiet" is that then we could just go dark. Especially with me in Atlanta and her in Dallas, with no kids, there is no reason for us communicate. I've been trying to have positive email communication with her, but as you can see, I'm just digging a deeper hole.  

 

When I meet her today, I'll give her J&K's second book, be positive and loving, and then when I depart to say that I love her. 

 

Any other thoughts? If you see this before 2 pm CT, please pray for us.

 

As I read my Bible this morning, I read Mark 5 where Jesus casts out the demons into the pigs. The man who was healed begged Jesus if he could go with him. Surprisingly, Jesus told him no and said,

 

“Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

 

This feels like an affirmation for me. The man wanted to be with Jesus. Instead, Jesus tells him to go home. I feel like that's what He is telling me. Go home, go love my brothers, tell them of God's mercy. In my crisis, God has revealed so much of Himself to me and I've seen so much of how my past had put me in bondage. I am coming out of it, it could've even been demonic, and I want to share these mercies with my brothers.

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Quick question...

 

Should I dress up? I normally am a shorts and t-shirt type of guy. Should I put on some khakis and a polo? It's possibly the last meeting and if we are to see each other again, it'll be a while.

 

If she asks, "why are you dressed up?" I would respond with... I won't see you in a long time and I wanted to look my best for you. 

 

Thoughts?

Edited by anon2000
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I don't know. If it were me, I'd find it a little uncomfortable if my ex dressed up for me when he normally wouldn't. But I don't think it's gonna be a deal breaker either way, so do what you want to do. Maybe compromise - shorts and a polo LOL.

 

Why don't you plan on emailing her once a week or so for now, but run your emails by us before you send them? Then we can help you until you learn how to communicate without causing her more pain and frustration. Remember that communication is just a skill - you CAN learn how to do this, but it takes some practice. Then if she's not objecting to the once a week emails, you could go to twice a week, and so on.

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Ok everyone. Here's the update. My wife said to come at 4 pm instead of 2 pm. I found out just now (from the men's call) it was because Kathy called her and talked to her for about 2 hours. My wife did not let me know at all that she had talked with her. 

 

Anyways, in the beginning, it was just about logistics. She had to decide what to do with some credit cards that I had opened up in her name. She said what I did was abuse and I validated her by saying that it was financial abuse and that I was sorry. She snappily replied, "no you're not." We talked more about logistics and then she changed her tone, became soft, and then proceeded to tell me that she doubted my salvation. She said that she doesn't see any fruit in my life and said that she's broached this subject with me before. Every time she did, I became angry at her and said that I am definitely Christian and became offended at why she thought that. She said she needed to tell me this as a sister in Christ. Then I asked her if I could share some experiences I had during this crisis.

 

She said yes, please share. I told her of my discovery of Hegstrom's ministry, of J&K's ministry, of the realization of my arrested development. About how in order to protect myself from the trauma as a little kid, I had built up a pseudo-personality. I fed this pseudo-personality with sports, academics, then theology, then ministry. She was nodding her head the whole time. I told her that God revealed to me that this pseudo-personality was the one that abused her and that it needed to die. I begged God to destroy this pseudo-personality... to obliterate it. After praying that, I felt like a 6 six year old again and felt completely vulnerable and saw that 6 year old as the stupid, worthless, ugly kid. It was then I heard from God, "that's the way I love you." It was the first time I felt that in my life. In my vulnerability, to be loved. A bit later, I felt the spirit tell me to sing "Jesus Loves Me." I started singing it, and when the lines, "little ones to him belong, they are weak but he is strong" I cried and cried and felt completely loved. We were both crying for a good bit of the time. She said she was happy for me and urged me to not think I've arrived. She said that the cross is so much more and that I'm now just a baby Christian. 

 

Then she proceeded to tell me that this doesn't change anything about the relationship. She is still headed towards divorce until she hears differently from God. She said that I really can't do anything and that it has to be God. Then she gave 3 reasons...

 

1) She said she would divorce me many times. She feels like she needs to follow through this time for her integrity.

2) She feels like justice needs to happen. She mentioned David's sin with Bathsheba. God forgave David but their child still died. She also mentioned God and the Israelites. The Israelites betrayed God and God forgave them, but oftentimes, there was a plague that wiped out tons of people. She feels like justice needs to happen via divorce because of my sins against her.

3) She said that her passion is to serve overseas. She knows that in my arrested development, I cannot go overseas. If we get back together, then she'll be stuck in America.

 

After this, she asked, why do you want to get back together? I said immediately, "Because I love you. I need you. I want to make up for every tear that you've shed." Then she said that she doesn't need me. She feels completely free and feels like she can do anything in the world. She said that many women in crisis get needy because they don't know what to do. She feels invigorated by this and see the world full of possibilities. To this, I didn't have a reply except to say that she indeed is a strong woman. 

 

I did give her two books. J&K's second book and Hegstrom's "Broken Child, Grown Up Pain." I didn't intend to give her that second book based on TP's advice, but because she was asking about my story and was empathetic towards my arrested development, I decided to give it to her. I told her that these two books changed my life and that she can read them or throw them in the trash. She said "thank you."

 

As I left, I told her "I love you." She said, "you're beginning to know what love is. Go love your brothers." I waved to her bye once again, and she said with a gentle voice, "Don't cry." 

 

TP on the men's call tonight pointed out that this was manipulative because I took Hegstrom's book with me just in case I felt like it was ok to give it to her. I just wanted to be transparent about this because I do not want to be manipulative and know that I am still so at the core. Another example, Joel had suggested that I don't go to Atlanta last week and then I go on the forum, talk to other people, until enough people suggest that I go to Atlanta. This one is a bit difficult to swallow because I really did not want to go Atlanta, but I can see some sense in it because at the root, it may be just to try to prove change to my wife instead of facing rejection by staying in Dallas and not just jumping through hoops that my wife throws at me. 

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Anon,

 

     Whether it was intended or not, it was completely selfish. You gave her the book because if she understood "why I did those things she wouldn't want to let me go". Here is something you and every man who will ever read this thread needs to understand. She doesn't care "why" you did it. She only wants one thing. She wants the "hurting" to finally end. This is the only thing she can focus on is making the pain go away. In her mind, every time she feels pain it has a face and that face belongs to you.

 

As a child I was molested for years by many different people. There was one man who molested me and it only happened once over a 3-4 hour period but this particilar one was the one that hurt the most. It was his face that appeared in my head every time I hurt. Imagine you are reliving the same kind of hurt in a benign type setting and this man's face pops back into your head. What do you think would happen in your brain? For me, every time his face popped back into my head and I had to relive those 3 or 4 hours again. Now imagine, this happening to you multiple times a day over and over and over. Now turn those days into months. Now turn those months into years. How long do you think it would take before the only thing you can ever feel is the hurt? It is the most maddening thing to ever experience. All I ever wanted was for one day just one single day for that incredible crippling pain to go away. I would have given anything to make it stop.

 

This is where your wife is now. She has found a way for her pain to be manageable. By keeping you away from her, she can manage the pain because the "face" is not sitting or standing in front of her. This is why she is practically begging you to go to Atlanta. Once you leave, she won't have to manage anymore. The face will be 1000 miles away.

 

So now, we have an idea of what kind of hurt she is carrying inside her. She then agrees to meet with you which she didn't have to do. And how did you respond to her in this moment? You hand her a book describing your hurts and your pains. You should have hit her in the face as hard as you could with your fist because it would have hurt her less.

 

God Bless

David

Edited by For Him For Her
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 She has found a way for her pain to be manageable. By keeping you away from her, she can manage the pain because the "face" is not sitting or standing in front of her. This is why she is practically begging you to go to Atlanta. Once you leave, she won't have to manage anymore. The face will be 1000 miles away.

 

So now, we have an idea of what kind of hurt she is carrying inside her. She then agrees to meet with you which she didn't have to do. And how did you respond to her in this moment? You hand her a book describing your hurts and your pains. You should have hit her in the face as hard as you could with your fist because it would have hurt her less.

 

I cannot tell you with enough emphasis how right these words are!! In the early days of my pain after discovering my husband's three year long affair with a woman, I had asked him to take some initiative in bringing healing. He bought some books that I threw out. On page 1, the author called the wife to try and understand the husband's miseries. I threw the book down and told him i would never use it.  It was the most outrageous, insulting, salt in my wounds.

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Whether it was intended or not, it was completely selfish. You gave her the book because if she understood "why I did those things she wouldn't want to let me go"

 

 

Yup. You wanted her to understand you, and that's not the way this works. She is not called to live with you in understanding. There is a point in a marriage recovery where you could have that conversation, but it is way, way down the road from where you are.

 

I agree that she wants you in Atlanta to give herself a relief from the pain. I don't think it will be a bad thing as long as you handle it right. I hope I am NOT wrong. But in the end, we all take advice from those we trust and then make our own decision, and that's what you did. Now you, with God's help, need to make it work.

 

So what's your final plan for keeping in touch? We have made suggestions, but again, ultimately it's your decision what to do. Just make sure you have a plan, and that you're willing to adjust it based on her feedback.

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I am about to hit the road to Atlanta and wanted to give one last post. 

First of all, thank you for everyone pointing out my selfishness. It was selfish to give that book to my wife and I did want her to understand. She asked some questions about my journey in the last few weeks. I shared, we were both crying and she went from doubt about my salvation to saying that I now have the H.S. It felt exhilarating to hear from words of affirmation. She also said that she read Hegstrom's first book (we have a joint Kindle account and I had bought it several weeks ago) and she didn't say anything negative, and so on the 11th hour, thinking that this was possibly the last time I would see her, I gave her Hegstrom's second book too. I DID want her to understand me. I am pushing her ability to be empathetic and instead of asking about her and how she felt, I dumped everything on her, my whole story, the book, and it was selfish. I wish I didn't give her that book. It's clear. I was warned, but let my emotions at the 11th hour control me. Thank you everyone for explaining about the hurt. The explanation doesn't matter, the only thing that matters is healing the hurt, not explaining why it happened. 

 

I do want to point another VERY selfish thing I did yesterday. She started sharing about how she was wanting divorce for many months. She was sharing about how she had been expressing her hurt for several months and she was actually opening up to me. While she was talking, I looked at my laptop, and tried to open up a Word document where I had been collecting all her emails of pain to me, showing her how I been trying to understand her pain. This was in the middle of her sharing. She said that it was rude and I tried to explain what I was doing and she said she doesn't need to see the document because she has all those emails herself and she said it was once again, me trying to prove how I have changed. I said I was sorry for my rudeness and she continued sharing. But I was so shocked at my selfishness. I tried to find a document on my laptop while she was sharing her heart. When it mattered, I reverted right back to selfishness. 

 

I beg you guys to continue to work with me. I've been on this forum for about a month and am committed. I desperately do want to change but I still keep following my emotions, which are self-centered, in the heat of the moment. 

 

Now it has to be done from Atlanta. Perhaps I'll send her an email once a week or once every two weeks with an update of my life and how she's doing. Just to open up a possibility of friendship. 

 

Also, if you read this David, I heard you lead a men's group somewhere in North Atlanta. Could you share with me where that's at? I am in north Gwinnett. 

 

Another plan is to attend Life Skills International, which Atlanta does offer and Dallas does not. Unfortunately, the next round starts in January.

 

Pray for me as I take this drive to Atlanta. Feeling majorly depressed and this road trip will be a long and emotionally exhausting trip. I'll take it over two days instead of one super long drive.

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But I was so shocked at my selfishness.

 

 

Eye opening, isn't it?

 

I beg you guys to continue to work with me. 

 

 

 

You don't have to beg. This is why we're here. As long as you are putting forth the necessary effort, we'll hang in there with you. 

 

Another plan is to attend Life Skills International

 

 

I'm gonna be honest here - I have nothing against Life Skills, but I know David, and I think you'd get just as much, if not more, out of his group. Life Skills is expensive, and I'd rather see you go to David's group and use the money to bless your wife. If you attend David's group for a couple of months and still think you'd like to go to Life Skills, you'll have plenty of time to make those arrangements.

 

And I know your wife doesn't want your money, but a donation to one of her favorite ministry projects, or some other cause she believes in, in her name might be a blessing. :)

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Go to Reviving.us. We meet at 12 Stone church in Bufurd every Tuesday night @ 7.

 

God Bless

David

 

 

Thanks for the info David! Do I just show up? I'm so glad it's in Buford. I'm in Suwanee and I was worried your group would be in Marietta or Woodstock. You don't know how much this means to me. I had a support network in Dallas and going to Atlanta, I felt like I needed to start over. My home church in Atlanta (Duluth) doesn't have anything for people like me or people in grief. I was afraid that I could sink into a spiral of depression in Atlanta, but your group is giving me TREMENDOUS hope. Definitely will be coming on Tuesday. 

 

And LT, thanks for your suggestion! I'll be attending David's group and will have plenty of time to decide on Life Skills, which is several months away. 

 

And giving to a person in need or a charity in my wife's name is a great idea! 

 

And btw, just an interesting memory from yesterday's conversation with my wife. She said she's been listening to lots of music about women's empowerment. And she mentioned Jamelia, an R&B singer. That is totally not her genre and so I thought it was hilarious. But Jamelia's song is serious stuff. It's called "Thank you" and my wife said it's given her tremendous empowerment. She kept mentioning that she's not like other female abuse victims who are needy or still have longings for their significant other. She also mentioned how many women in her situation are scared about the crossroads in life they're in. But she's not scared at all but feels excitement and a sense of exhilaration because she relishes the idea of an open future where she could do anything, go anywhere. She's plenty talented to do that... she speaks 7 languages, has a ridiculously high IQ, pure in heart, loves Jesus with all her heart, and now feeling totally empowered because she is now out of an abusive relationship.

 

 

[Verse 1:]

The fights, those nights

I tried to pretend it don't hurt

The way, I prayed

Someday that you would love me

Really, completely

Just how I wanted it to be

But no, so wrong

Can't believe I stayed with you so long

 

[b-Chorus:]

You hit, you spit, you split, ever-y bit of me, yeah

You stole, you broke, you're cold

You're such a joke to me, yeah

 

[Chorus:]

For every last bruise you gave me

For every time I sat in tears

For the million ways you hurt me

I just wanna tell you this

You broke my world, made me strong

Thank you

Messed up my dreams, made me strong

Thank you

 

[Verse 2:]

My head, near dead

Just the way you wanted it

My soul, stone cold

Cos I was under you're control 

So young, so dumb

Knew just how to make me succumb

But I understand

To make yourself feel like a man

 

[b-Chorus:]

You hit, you spit, you split, ever-y bit of me, yeah

You stole, you broke, you're cold

You're such a joke to me, yeah

 

[Chorus:]

For every last bruise you gave me

For every time I sat in tears

For the million ways you hurt me

I just wanna tell you this

You broke my world, made me strong

Thank you

Messed up my dreams, made me strong

Thank you

 

You coulda had it all babe

It coulda been so right

I woulda given you everything

Morning through night

Yeah, you taught me some lessons

Those are my blessings

That won't happen again

Thank you

Edited by anon2000
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Just got to Atlanta. It's been quite a journey to get here. Time to seriously look for a job. Get things right with my family. Become more Christlike. Pray like crazy for our marriage to restored and for her to be healed.

 

My wife sent an email to our closer network of friends and supporters. Because of our vocations, our marriage and separation is well known with concerned friends all over the globe. It's hard for the both of us as we are under the microscope. As you read it, you'll see how special she is.

 

Dear friends,

 

I just wanted to write in and give you a little update on what's happening.  It's been about a month and a half since I asked D- for a separation.  We have a three month separation agreement which will end on Oct 5 and at that point I'll make a decision to either file for divorce or extend the separation agreement.  I think a reconciliation at that point will be out of the question since evidence shows that the process of changing deep rooted abusive attitudes takes longer than three months.  I am still crying out to the Lord for guidance and I ask you to cry out with me as well.  Please pray for D- too, that God would reveal Himself to Him in a powerful way.  

 

As of this week, D- has resigned from the mission agency and is moving back to Atlanta this weekend to restore his relationship with his family as I have asked him to do.  Many of you know that he has been emotionally estranged from his brothers for a while now, and over the last five years I have pleaded repeatedly with D- to make more effort to restore that relationship.  I am glad he has decided to go back and make things right from the past.  Would you pray for his two brothers and their girlfriends, their mom, and the cousins and extended family there too, and for D-'s relationship with them?

 

The agency admin have contacted me, and we are thinking over my future, i.e. whether I have a future with them.  They are looking at my case right now and they may ask me to resign, or they may allow me to stay, since D- has confessed his abuse to them.  I am thankful for a woman who seems aware of the complications of abuse and how it's not a clear-cut thing.  I too am asking the Lord for wisdom to know if I should voluntarily resign and seek His calling for me elsewhere, or try to stay, and if I did, what my job would look like.  The big question for me is, can I still serve in our former country in some capacity?  If not, does the Lord have something else for me in the mission agency?  If not, where will He lead me?  My heart is still for the nations, but I accept that given the situation things may be more difficult than they were before.  I ask for you to stand with me in prayer and asking the Lord to SPEAK and to do it CLEARLY, that I may not be confused or misled by the many differing human voices I hear.  I am not troubled, however -- I feel much hope and peace in where He's leading me, and I have always been the type of person that exults in possibility rather than feeling overwhelmed by the uncertainty --at least when it comes to my calling.  

 

Please also pray that the Lord would provide all that I need during this time, my daily bread and emotional / spiritual healing.  It is a really good place to be, this needy place.  Need draws us closer to the Lord.  My faithful Shepherd is always so kind and compassionate and anticipates my needs before I even ask.  I am looking forward to knowing more and more of his faithfulness as I continue to go through this valley.  I am so grateful for His constant gentle, loving, strong presence with me, and for those He has clustered around me in support.  

 

Dear friends, I apologize to those of you who sent me kind individual emails / texts and I wasn't able to respond personally yet -- I was thinking of each of those unanswered communications when I wrote this.  Thank you for your warm notes to me, I definitely cherish them and hope that I can respond to all of you at some point when things settle down more for me.  I hope this update gives you the info you're seeking on me.  I will be traveling to CA on Monday to celebrate the wedding of my brother to a lovely young lady, and will be back in Dallas in 2 weeks.

 

By the way, after this email, I will probably pare this group down to a more intimate group, since this is very personal to my journey, and this mailing list was originally for requests for our ministry, so it doesn't seem appropriate to keep sending these kind of emails to a group like this.  However, general news will still come to the big list.  Just wanted to give you this last update.  Thanks friends. 

 

May Jesus be glorified in my life, in yours, and in the nations.

 

Blessings,

S-

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I thought I'd post up my testimony. Because of this crisis, I've had a spiritual awakening. It may be labeled as born again, really being saved, freedom from bondage, baptism of the Holy Spirit, etc. It doesn't matter. All I know is that Jesus is more to me than ever before. Even if restoration never happens, I'll be majorly depressed, but it's ok. Jesus is my everything. The following event happened about 3 weeks ago. I didn't post it up in full until now because I wanted to wait it out and see if it remained authentic. It definitely is.

 

My wife and I have always been fighting over the course of our marriage. I always felt like she was trying to control me or to oppress my identity. My masculinity cried out and I fought back as hard as I could, lashing out at her with tons of accusations and neglect to the point of her weeping and wailing for much of our marriage. My masculinity would not allow me to feel pain nor show her compassion. I viewed emotions as weak and something annoying. I had to be strong and I had to win.

 

This led to my wife seeing the truth in our relationship and she asked for a separation. Suddenly, my perfect world collapsed. I always saw myself as a good husband, as a strong man, as someone who had great knowledge and could debate with anyone about anything. God loved me for how awesome I was. But after the separation, I was shaken to the core. I studied some books and saw the problem. I was abusive. I saw that I had emotionally and verbally abused my wife for our entire marriage. It was only right of her to ask for a separation because I put her through hell. I began to see the depth of my sin and the gravity of how badly I had hurt her. Unfortunately, the books said that abusive men don’t change. I wanted to change so badly, but I didn’t know how to suddenly stop being abusive. I was stuck and I hated myself.

 

Then at a conference, a speaker, trying to be encouraging, asked the attendees, “what does God like about you.” She was trying to point out that everyone had some special qualities about themselves. I looked and looked into my heart and I couldn’t find anything. I was an abuser. That’s who I was. I felt like there was nothing redeemable about me. All I could think about was how badly I hurt my wife. Then a few hours later, there was a time of hearing God as the praise band played some music. As I sat there, feeling pitiful about myself, God reminded me about my childhood. As a little kid, I was often beat up at school, I was called stupid by my parents, I was called ugly, I couldn’t speak very well, I flunked 1st grade, my parents never attended any sports events I participated in, and I was forced to give oral sex multiple times to an older male cousin who was supposed to be our babysitter when our parents were away at work, which was all the time. I saw that I had to protect myself. I did not want to be abused and rejected by the world. So I started developing a pseudo-personality to prevent that pain from ever happening again. I became super interested in being masculine. I was always posing with my arms flexed in all my childhood photos. I excelled in academics and sports. As long as I was good at those things, I was safe. I was accepted by the world and I was protected by this pseudo-personality. God then showed me that I continued to feed my pseudo-personality as I grew older with knowledge about the Bible, with theology, and then eventually became a missionary to unreached people groups of the world. I even got a master’s degree in linguistics for that pursuit. But it was the same thing. It was all to feed my ego so that I would not feel defective and stupid. Then God said to me, “that identity has been abusing your wife.” The truth of it struck me to the core, and I begged God to destroy the identity that I had so carefully built up since my childhood. I begged God to incinerate it, to obliterate it, to burn it at the foot of the cross.

 

Then suddenly, I saw myself as a six year old. Before I had started building up the pseudo-personality. I despised that 6 year old. He was stupid and weak. He didn’t have anything to offer. Then Jesus suddenly said to me, “That’s who I love. I love the 6 year old.” I broke down crying as that I felt loved by Jesus at my core. I didn’t have to fake anything. I no longer had to pretend like I was strong. I no longer had to carry on through life being super masculine. Jesus loved me as a little boy. Just then, the praise team staring singing a song that contained the lines, “run into his arms” and I then ran into the arms of Jesus as a little boy. I was finally accepted.

 

That night, while I was sleeping, I suddenly had convulsions and a paralysis came over me. Only groans came out. After about the 3rd episode of this, I tried to shout out that I belonged to Jesus. There is no other authority besides Jesus in my life. The paralysis was still there. Then suddenly, the Holy Spirit urged me to sing “Jesus Loves Me.”  I felt a bit foolish about this, but I started singing it anyway. But, then when I got the line, “little ones to him belong, they are weak but he is strong,” I just started bawling because I was the little one. I belonged to Jesus. I am weak, but Jesus is strong. The paralysis left me and I continued to sing the song over and over again as I wept over the love of Christ in my life. I was alone in the little room. I was separated from my life. But I felt the love of Christ fill the room and I never had felt that way before. I don’t know if the paralysis was demonic oppression, or if demons were leaving me, or if it was a physical manifestation of my pseudo-personality dying. All that matters is that I had an experience with the Holy Spirit that made me feel loved and accepted by Jesus and I was free.

 

Since then, I have been reading the gospels with a new perspective. Instead of trying to learn it and study it to feed my ego and my Bible knowledge, I go to it because I desperately want to know more about this amazing Jesus. He is a different person now. He comes to the weak, to the desperate, to me. I don’t need to pretend anymore. I need Jesus. He is compassionate. He shows emotions. He is tender. He holds peoples’ hands. He is my model and I don’t need to pretend to be this super masculine guy that is respected by the world anymore. I am loved and accepted by Jesus at the very core of my being.

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Hi all. Happy Sunday. This morning, I unexpectedly got an email from her father. This is the apology letter I mailed out to her mom and dad about two weeks ago. I hand wrote it out and also printed a copy of sins I've committed against her.

 

Dear Mr. R- and Mrs. D-,

 

I am writing this letter to you with a heavy heart. As you know, S- and I are currently separated with a very real possibility of divorce.

 

On November 17, 2007, you passed off your beautiful and amazing daughter to me for safe keeping, trusting that this man would honor, love, and cherish her for the rest of his life. You have done an incredible job of raising such an amazing woman.

 

I have utterly failed to take care of your wonderful daughter and instead have put her through some of the worst years of her life. With all her intelligence, patience, and love, she tried her very best to improve our marriage, but I kept emotionally and verbally abusing her despite the love she showed me.

 

God told husbands to die to their wives as Christ died to the church. I have disobeyed God and sinned against you. Instead, S- had died to herself a lot more than I did. I was selfish and kept asking more and more of her until she had nothing left. S- had no choice but to ask for this separation. This was completely my fault.

 

You have treated me with so much love and generosity, treating me like your own son. I am deeply sorry that I did not treat your precious daughter with kindness and love. She has shed so many tears because of me. I had ignored those tears and oftentimes attacked her for shedding tears. Her tears are too valuable to remain in the abusive relationship. God does not want any woman to remain in abuse.

 

There is no way I can make this up to you. I am simply writing this letter to apologize for my sins and to acknowledge that you have the most amazing daughter in the world. Thank you for putting up with me these last 6 years.

 

I am completely broken and do not know what the future holds for us. I am daily begging God to change my wicked heart. I do not know if I will ever see you again and understand if you never want to see me again. I will never forget the love and kindness the family has shown me over these last few years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

Sincerely,

D-

 

This was his email to me this morning:

 

Dear D-

 

I have received your long letter and read it with tears.  It is a tragedy. It was unfortunate that it happened.  You stated what you did.  It sounds pretty bad.  But, I am not writing this to you to scold you.  We cannot undo whatever has happened before.  We worry about the future.  What are your immediate future plans?  I did not read it in your letter.  You said that in the letter that you are just saying what you did is bad and that it is your fault.  You did not say what you are going to do.  What are your real intentions of writing a long letter to me? Without knowing it, I cannot help you.   Sadly, R-. 

 

I sent the letter to her parents and to her brothers, simply confessing what I did. I didn't want to ask for forgiveness because I didn't know if it was right for me to do. My confession felt like the right thing to do because I had wronged them by abusing their precious daughter. I don't really know how to respond to her father. But here is a draft. Please advise...

 

Dear Mr. and Mrs..

 

Yes, I am terribly worried about the future too. But I cannot control it. My only desire in writing the letter was to bring into light the ways I have wronged you by mistreating your daughter. I have wronged many people by mistreating her. I have wronged you, her brother, and her community. She was loved by all and many of her family and friends are heartbroken over the matter. I understand their anger towards me. My letter to you was not an attempt at a miracle that can fix everything that has been done, but it was a letter to assure you that S- had no fault in our relationship and that she does not deserve any anger.

 

My heart is for our marriage to be restored and for us to have a healthy marriage. However, I need to confess my sins against those who I have wronged. I cannot change as a person unless I take responsibility for my actions. S- does not deserve an unchanged man as that person will continue to emotionally and verbally abuse her. 

 

Sincerely,

D-

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Btw, her father is not a believer. Her mother is. However, her father has been going to church for the past few years. He considers himself an atheist but always makes comments that suggests there is a God. He mostly goes to church because his wife urges him to go and because he likes the people there.

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I sent the letter to her parents and to her brothers, simply confessing what I did. I didn't want to ask for forgiveness because I didn't know if it was right for me to do. My confession felt like the right thing to do because I had wronged them by abusing their precious daughter. I don't really know how to respond to her father. But here is a draft. Please advise...

 

Dear Mr. and Mrs..

 

Yes, I am terribly worried about the future too. But I cannot control it. My only desire in writing the letter was to bring into light the ways I have wronged you by mistreating your daughter. I have wronged many people by mistreating her. I have wronged you, her brother, and her community. She was is loved by all and many of her family and friends are heartbroken over the matter. I understand their anger towards me. My letter to you was not an attempt at a miracle that can fix everything that has been done, but it was a letter to assure you that S- had no fault in the current state of our marriage and that she does not deserve any anger. blame whatsoever.

 

My heart is for our marriage to be restored and for us to have a healthy marriage.  I must not try to control S.'s  choice in this or the outcome but only love her in the ways which she will now accept and which I know are right. However, I need to confess my sins against those who I have wronged. I cannot change as a person unless I take responsibility for my actions and part of that is owning my wrongdoings before you and others.  S. deserves only to be honored and cherished and that is my goal. To that end, I am involved in a marriage accountability and counseling program that is geared toward teaching me how to be a responsible and loving husband. Thank you for answering my letter. S- does not deserve an unchanged man as that person will continue to emotionally and verbally abuse her. 

 

Sincerely,

D-

  I think this version is better.. less about you and fewer reminders to her father of the pain of what you did to his daughter.

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As a follow up to 4Evr's letter - it is important to note why she is making the suggestions she is. I noticed the exact same things.

 

Yes, I am terribly worried about the future too. But I cannot control it.

not only is this about you, it cries out to her parents... "poor me, pity me, I am such a wounded child." See the rest of your letter and how the complete nature / intent is changed by the changes 4Evr is pointing out.

 

My heart is for our marriage to be restored and for us to have a healthy marriage. However, I need to confess my sins against those who I have wronged. I cannot change as a person unless I take responsibility for my actions. S- does not deserve an unchanged man as that person will continue to emotionally and verbally abuse her.

My heart is to heal S and restore our marriage and have us enjoy a healthy marriage for the future. By taking responsibility for my actions and becoming the man God has called me to be, I will change and stop emotionally and verbally abusing S.

 

 

See how by changing a few words, you can take a negative and turn it into a positive? If you are sharing with a non-believer you want to demonstrate how Christ is at the center of this change you are going through and how through His strength you can bring healing to your wife so she can enjoy the peace, love and joy God has promised her.

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