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Thank you so much everyone! I can see how there is a lot of pity me type of stuff in my emails. It's like a natural instinct, to try to draw pity and to try to prove to everyone how changed and awesome of a person I've become. Even with the testimony that I typed up a few posts earlier, I started to daydream how the testimony can be used to minister to men and I started elevating myself. It's so toxic... I keep using ministry and the blessings by God as fuel for my ego. I've done that my whole life. 

 

Anyways, here's the final letter that I sent to her father and her mother. I definitely took all of your advice and am slowly learning how to do this.

 

Dear Mr. and Mrs.,

 

My 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 is loved by all and many of her family and friends are heartbroken over the matter. My letter to you was to assure you that S had no fault in the current state of our marriage and that she does not deserve any blame whatsoever.

 

My heart is for our marriage to be restored and for us to have a healthy marriage for the future.  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. 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. In doing this and becoming the man of God has called me to be, I will change and stop emotionally and verbally abusing her. S deserves only to be honored and cherished and that is my goal. To that end, I am involved in a counseling program for people like me that is geared towards teaching me how to be a responsible and loving husband. Thank you for answering my letter.  

 

With deep remorse,

D

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Ok. Here's the plan to help me get out of narcissism. J&K talked to my wife last Thursday for 3 hours. It was ok until the topic of text messages came up. It did not go well. It went very badly. This ministry uses the weekly gifts and daily texts to help the man become less narcissistic. J&K were trying to convince my wife to accept these text messages but she kept her ground and then things came to a screeching halt when she said that they were abusing her by trying to force her to accept text messages. But before it came to a screeching halt, she did offer some good ideas to them for men in my position... namely wives who have no interest in receiving gifts or text messages. She suggested that men can give weekly gifts to someone in need. 

 

So here was Joel's idea to work within the limitations. I am to post up a morning and evening "text" on the forum. That way, there will be a time stamp and I can be held accountable. I can then email her the login info I create and then simply ask if she wants to check out the thread I started to see what I'm "texting" her every morning and evening. I'll just send the login info once and she can check it whenever she wants. It'll be completely in her control and her day doesn't have to be interrupted.

 

Joel also mentioned that I should save the receipts from the weekly gifts, hand write out the "text" messages from the forum, and send it to her weekly. But I do not think I should do that. My wife clearly said to not send her anything, which includes anything via postal mail. My apology letter barely made the deadline before she said that to me and she is VERY sensitive about boundaries because I've crossed them so many times. Anyways, instead of saving the receipts, I can just type out the gift and to who it was for in the thread I started for her with the text messages. It'll all be in the thread and she can check it out anytime she wants. I don't think she needs proof of a receipt for the gifts.

 

This may be good because the whole point of this is to get the guy to become less self-centered and if the only thing he's being less self-centered about is for his wife, he can miss the boat. By me giving gifts to others, it may be much better than giving the weekly gift to the wife (which can be viewed as manipulative) and have a larger impact on me becoming less self-centered.

 

So here is the thread I've started:

 

http://forums.godsavemymarriage.com/index.php?/topic/7322-daily-messages-for-nj-girl/.

 

Today was the first "text" message for her. I won't send her the login info just yet. We just had an intense discussion last week and she's happy that I'm in Atlanta. She told some friends that me going to Atlanta was the only positive thing I've done since our separation. I'll send the login info at a later date, but not quite sure when yet.

 

Not quite sure where to put that thread. Moderators, feel free to move that thread to anywhere you think is appropriate.

Edited by anon2000
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Went to David's group tonight. It was great. Definitely a blessing to have fellow travelers on this journey, especially when coming to Atlanta and trying to find a new community. But while there, I got a call from my wife. I had emailed her earlier today, reminding her about annual enrollment for benefits. Also, told her that admin told me that Oct 1st will be my official last date because paperwork needs to happen and that it'll take some time. She told me that I shouldn't get any money from the mission agency because I have been using the mission agency and stealing from them and from her, repeatedly saying I bought stuff behind her back. She did correct herself and say that "stealing" was too strong. I told her that I don't have to take the next month's income and that I can make this month my last month where I'll receive income. She said she shared with her supporters that I had already resigned so the money they send in will be with the intention of supporting her solely, not me. So I'll be out of an income source in 1 week instead of in 5 weeks. Guess I'll need to expedite my job hunt!

 

Then she started venting. She said she read the apology letter that I sent to her parents two weeks ago. She said her dad that to her that I was a "good guy" after he read the letter. She said that I was minimizing everything and that I skipped the worst parts. I had to try my hardest not to argue because I definitely wasn't trying to minimize nor hide anything... and of course she's going to remember a lot more than what I wrote down. I told her that I don't want to minimize and asked her where I had been minimizing. She mentioned my apology about her laughter. In the letter, I confessed to saying I hated her laugh in a fight. She mentioned that I said that to her after she had shared with me that she feels insecure about her laughter. I was definitely feeling this wasn't fair because I didn't feel like I needed to detail everything that happened for each of the confessions, but I just kept listening to her and said that it was true and that I don't want to minimize anything. She mentioned 1 or 2 other things and then said that I wasn't her responsibility. It was definitely a difficult conversation, especially since that apology letter was between me and God, and me and her parents. I did not write that letter for her eyes. 

 

I was shaken, but I guess it's a good call because she was still showing strong emotions, even took a stab at showing me how I'm minimizing my behavior because I asked her. This is where I kind of get stuck. I'm taking responsibility for everything, but how can I bring a positive message? I keep saying and agreeing to what she thinks is wrong and by doing that, is it just furthering her view that I'm messed up and that there is no hope? How can I portray a positive message without defending myself, validating her, and without over promising to the point of her not believing anything (she is suspicious of everything)? 

 

She said to leave her family alone. To not write them, email them, or call them. I told her I would stop doing any of that. I don't know what to do if they email me. Should I just ignore them? Or should I just politely give them a very short anger? Should I tell them S- asked me to not communicate with them? 

Edited by anon2000
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Also, told her that admin told me that Oct 1st will be my official last date because paperwork needs to happen and that it'll take some time. She told me that I shouldn't get any money from the mission agency because I have been using the mission agency and stealing from them and from her, repeatedly saying I bought stuff behind her back. She did correct herself and say that "stealing" was too strong. I told her that I don't have to take the next month's income and that I can make this month my last month where I'll receive income. She said she shared with her supporters that I had already resigned so the money they send in will be with the intention of supporting her solely, not me. So I'll be out of an income source in 1 week instead of in 5 weeks. 

 

I wrote this yesterday after a phone call with my beloved. She just sent me an email regarding the matter above:

 

Hi D-,

 

I feel bad about our conversation about the salary.  I think you should keep your half until you resign; it is legally yours and I should not have bickered about money when I really don't care about money.  You don't have to tell our support network again.  But you need something to start your new life on.  I insist.  If you don't need it, put it towards the mortgage and set yourself free sooner.  Please.  I'm sorry for calling you a thief.  You're not a thief. 

 

S-

 

I have tears running down my face because I've just absorbed, listened to, and validated all her anger towards me. It's been hard, and so this email from her just reached into my heart and gave me immense comfort. This was the first time she's felt bad about anything she's said to me during our separation. Also, I've been laden with guilt after she said that to me, thinking I should reimburse the mission agency for "stealing" money from them by not being a good steward and not deserving to be in ministry while I treated my beloved this way for all these years. Now... this is a totally different type of email I'm drafting up. I've always been the one apologizing to her, but not quite sure about how to respond to her apologizing to me.  :unsure: Here's the draft:

 

Hi S,

 

Thank you for your words. After our conversation last night, I'd been racked with guilt over possibly having stolen from the mission agency. I was trying to work out a payment plan so that I can reimburse all the money I had stolen from them and how to rectify whatever wrong I've committed against them. You have always had a stronger conscience than me and my conscience is dubious at best, and so I wanted to really consider your words and take them to heart. Thank you for apologizing. I fully accept it and say that it's ok. As to my portion of the ministry money, I really don't feel like I should take it because I am not doing anything for the ministry right now and don't plan on doing work for the ministry anytime in the near future. Whether or not you decide to stay on board or not, I believe you had a few tasks you wanted to complete in the next few months, so I hope the money will bless you and the work. And also, you have a lot more expenses because of the house! 

 

Sincerely,

D-

 

So that's the draft. My beloved's conscience is EXTREMELY strong and I am thinking that maybe I should just take the money? She knows that by me coming to Atlanta, I'll be stuck with the mortgage... the house is under my name. This has always been a dark cloud over us. My younger brother is paying for the mortgage right now and that is his primary source of bitterness at me... he said to my beloved a few months ago when she brought up the topic of God with him... he said to her, "I don't really care about God right now because I hate my brother and I'll never forgive him unless he comes back to Atlanta and takes over the mortgage." The quicker I get out of this mortgage, the more free I am to go back to Dallas and the less excuse my brother has for holding bitterness towards me. 

 

As always, advice is welcome! Both regarding the situation and the wording of the email back to her. 

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One idea that I didn't integrate into the draft... maybe I could tell her that I'll take the ministry money until the moment I get a job, then after that, it's all hers. But adding that idea would really take the draft into another direction, so I didn't add it.

 

Please advise on the letter. There might be some blame shifting there, but am not sure. I want to send it sooner than later because it sounds like there's some emotional stress on her part and I want to be able to alleviate that quickly. Of course, with your help, it'll alleviate her emotional stress instead of adding to it!

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I am not busy today, so you are going to have to do some work on this yourself. ;)

 

Stop making your communications about you! Count up how many times you used I, me, or my in your letter. I counted 15. Rewrite your letter so that it focuses on her. I realize that you can't eliminate all references to yourself, but keep it to a minimum.

 

Remember how sensitive she is to anything that sounds like you are trying to control or make decisions for her.

 

Now rewrite it, and then look at it from her persepective. How is the letter going to make her feel?

 

I'll check in periodically today and give you a hand - I know you want to get this out, but I have already written one email for you. You are not going to learn if you don't start doing it yourself.

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Anon,

 

Men cannot start threads in the women's sections. When you have a question you'd like the women to answer, post it on your own thread, and then make a post in the Quick Message section linking to it. I did it for you and copied your post over here.

 

 

Hi everyone,

 

This is a guy here, but I didn't know where to post up this question. Moderators, please feel free to move this thread to another section if you feel like it belongs somewhere else.

 

I have been abusive towards my wife the last 6 years and about 2 months ago, she told me that she's had enough and that she sees no other way but divorce. She suggested we do a 3 month separation first, but for her, it's just a time of waiting to make sure she wants to pull the trigger. 

 

Now here is my question. Have any of you women hit yourselves? My wife and I are not on talking terms and so I cannot ask her this. Many times during our marriage, when I was emotionally and verbally abusive, she would wail for a while, and then she would start violently hitting herself and violently roll around on the ground. I am so ashamed that I led her to do this and am doubly ashamed that I blamed her for doing this and thought it was her problem for doing things so drastically. I had always thought I was decent husband, thinking I've never hit her or cheated on her, but this morning, I felt like I was physically abusive towards her because I caused her to hit herself, a few times, to the point of blood being drawn. What's going on inside the mind of a woman when this happens? I am daily grieving over the hell I put her through, but I know I still don't understand the pain I've caused her. I've only scratched the surface. I want to understand more. I feel so bad for her.

 

My guess is that I made her feel so bad about herself, made her hate herself, that in some way, it came out physically. Almost every time she hit herself, it would be accompanied by the words, "I hate myself" and "I just want to die" and "Lord, please just take me away." During those days, she didn't even consider divorce or separation because of the church's teachings. She just wanted me to release her or for her to be taken away. 

 

I am thankful that this year, she hasn't done this at all. Instead, she left for a few nights to get away from the abuse. She did this 2-3 times this year, until the separation two months ago where she knew that she had it. 

 

She has never hit herself before the marriage. Her parents aren't violent. She loves Jesus with all her heart. She's an extremely intelligent woman who literally could go to any law school in the world but chose ministry instead. She's been in ministry (overseas) the last 12 years instead of choosing to go to a top law school. So it's not like these issues were brought with her. I caused them. You can see a glimpse of her amazing spirit by these recent FB posts of hers. This is the poor woman that I had hurt so badly that I caused her to hit herself. 

 

8/22. The darker and more evil the world shows itself, the brighter, sweeter, and more precious grows my Savior. Jesus, I love you better than life. How great Thou art...

 

8/26. Thank you Jesus that Your Holy Spirit bothers us when there's sin in our life. I recently was set free from cheating a company (by piggybacking on someone else's account) by getting them to let me pay them back in the spirit of Zacchaeus. During prayer and church this week, God had gently reminded me twice of this sin. I was a cheater and a thief, but Jesus set me free. It feels SOOO good. Thank you, Lord!!!

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Ok, draft #2. I changed it so that instead of refusing her money, I am accepting it. It's partly due to just having to pay a $750 bill to fix the A/C in my car. Here are my options....

 

1) Refuse her insistence and don't take any money. 

2) Take the money.

3) Take the money, but as soon as I find a job, then let it go to her 100%.

 

Still am unsure to accept it or not. But anyways, here's the gist of it...

 

Hi S,

 

Thank you for your kind words and for taking back the word “thief.” No doubt, you were hurt by all the times I’ve bought stuff behind your back and some of the same sentiments can be seen with the way I spent money from the ministry. Your conscience was troubled and you wanted to come clean. Your call was taken very seriously and I took it to heart. You have always had a stronger conscience and mine is dubious at best. Thank you for apologizing and it is accepted with gladness. Also, thank you for caring about the mortgage. I’ve been slowly bringing up these topics with my brothers and your generosity will help so that I'm not a dependent. Also, I just had to pay a $750 bill to fix the A/C in the Chevy Impala! If at any time your conscience bothers you about this, please let me know and I will try my best to rectify it. I have some savings so I’ll be ok.

 

Sincerely,

D-

Edited by anon2000
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I got a bit confused. In my initial draft, I said I wouldn't take the money and LT said that I shouldn't make her decisions for her - so I thought that meant I should take the money because that was her decision. 

 

I think TP said no because it would mean that I am selfish and that it would prevent me from blessing her financially. She has higher expenses because she has a house in her name to take of in Dallas. I'm just living at home, not as strapped. But it sounded like in her email that she REALLY wanted me to take the money. I don't need it and am fine with her taking all of it. I guess what I need to do is kindly refuse it and make it a blessing to her. 

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Okay, second take. Btw, 4evrHZdtr3, if you read my first draft, it said that I wouldn't take any of the money. I had gotten confused and changed the draft up. 

 

I'm glad that everyone seems to have a clear take on this. So it has nothing to do with money...

 

Take two:

She feels that me taking money from the missions agency is immoral. Her conscience is bothered by it and so if I don't take the money, then her conscience will be more clear.

 

Take three:

She feels very hurt about how I bought things behind her back and she feels like I've done the same with the support money. So I refuse the money, it shows more integrity on my part, even when it hurts.

 

It's frustrating to know that you guys see it so clearly but I'm just grasping for things. I'm trying hard to look at it from her perspective, but am unable to see clearly.

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Thank you everyone for working with me so intensely with this short but very complicated email!

 

Ok. After talking with Joel and TP during the men's call, I see a few things. 

 

1) I try to get too much credit. With exclamations of "look at me!" all over the place.

2) There is some blame shifting, making her feel bad.

3) I am a bit like a martyr, and trying to get credit for being a martyr. 

 

So here's the final draft. I'll send it in an hour or two. If anything jumps out, please let me know so that I can make some final edits. 

 

Drumroll....  :) 

 

Hi S,

 

 

 

Thank you for your kind words. No doubt, you were hurt by all the times I’ve bought stuff behind your back and some of the same sentiments can be seen with the way I've spent money from the ministry. Your conscience was troubled and I appreciate that you mentioned these things. Your call was taken very seriously and I took it to heart. You have always had a stronger conscience.

 

 

 I have some savings and so I should be ok. I've been careful with it and can make it go a long ways.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

D

 

There was some confusion by TP about the missions money during the phone call. Basically, we raise money from our friends and churches and they send the support money to our mission agency. The agency administers the payments and gives us our salary from those donations. The reason why my wife at first mentioned that I was "stealing" was because she felt like I wasn't worthy to receive this support money since I've told the agency I'm going to resign and currently am doing nothing for the missions agency. So the reason why my wife felt guilty about me receiving the money was because the money was given to us by our trusted friends for the purpose of ministry. She has not resigned, but I have. This relates to how I have hurt her in the past when I bought stuff behind her back with our personal money - such as buying gadgets for myself when telling her that she couldn't buy clothes.

Edited by anon2000
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After a lot of time writing up the email response to her, she writes back succinctly and immediately. 

 

Hi D-,

 

No, I was being unkind.  The money doesn't matter to me.  I'll make sure you get half.

 

S-

 

This is better than what has happened in the past where she responded with more anger and hurt. So thank you everyone! I really want to be able to bless her with the money, but don't know if I can "force" her to keep it since she seems intend on giving me half. 

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You can't force her to do anything. You can do a couple of things with it if she does send it to you - either save it in a separate account that you won't touch so that it's available if she needs it later, or donate it in her name. Either way, she does NOT need to know about it.

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Hey everyone. Hope people are having a good labor day weekend. 

 

So after the men's calls, we've come up with a possible way to communicate with my beloved. She has set clear boundaries: no gifts, no text messages. Here was the email she sent me several weeks ago:

 

I don't know how to say this while being kind, but please stop doing things like that.  I have asked you in the past to stop giving me things and sending notes and you are not respecting my request -- which shows me you are still disrespecting my desires and doing what "you think is right" regardless of what I have clearly asked of you.  Again, our previously agreed upon rules and my requests mean nothing to you.  I don't know how to communicate this any more clearly.  PLEASE STOP.  I AM BEING VERY CLEAR.  STOP IT.  How can I get you to listen?  I am very angry with you for ignoring my requests and I feel violated and disrespected.  Nothing has changed; you have not changed.  You are still totally disregarding what I have asked of you.  My words mean nothing to you.  I don't know if you're doing something like the Love Dare, but please don't do that.  It's not working with me, whatever you're trying to do.  It's only making me angrier with you and more convinced that for you it's so easy to tread all over my boundaries.  I REALLY, REALLY WANT YOU TO STOP.   

 

So we need to work within the parameters outlined by my wife above. 

 

Here is what is being done...

1) I am giving weekly gifts to someone in need and keeping the receipt.

2) I started a thread on this forum that has the daily morning and evening "text."

 

 

In two days, on Tuesday (b/c of Labor day), I will put the receipt of the gift into an envelope. On the outside of the envelope, I will write, "Here is a receipt of a gift given to someone on your behalf. I am unsure if this crosses your boundaries. If it does, please let me know and I will stop sending you these letters immediately."

 

Then, inside that envelope, there will be another, smaller envelope. Within it, I will have written out all the "text" messages with their timestamps. On the back of this smaller envelope, I can write something like, "These are the simple messages that I have written to you over the past week. Please feel free to read them or throw this envelope away." This, I think, is better than giving her an email with the login and PW for the thread I started with these "texts."

 

This can be the weekly activity.

 

Definitely nervous about this. She sees me as being super manipulative and someone who crosses boundaries all the time and doesn't listen to her. Also, she currently has a very negative view of this ministry so that might make her react even more negatively to the envelope I'm planning to send. I know for me, it's helped a TON! Especially with accepting responsibility. 

 

I am a bit torn. Trying to restore the marriage definitely overlaps with my selfishness and narcissism, because it started out in personal pain. I want to grow out of narcissism and so in one sense, if I just give weekly gifts out without letting her know, then it can be better for me to grow out of narcissism. I definitely have a tendency to try to prove myself to her and show her how I've changed and know that I want to wring every drop of credit out of the various activities I do. But then on the other hand, it doesn't feel right to do absolutely nothing to win my wife's heart back and just work on myself. 

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This is me, my opinion for what it's worth...... I wouldn't do anything for a minute.. You are going to really get your wife heated... She is going to look at those receipts and feel manipulated because she never asked you to do it on her behalf... I understand you trying to find the crack back in.. But your wife has already told you to pump the brakes.... Your best bet is to ask God to help you find ways to bless your wife.. Ways that will help HER.. The answers might not come over night.. But that will just give you more time to be squared away for the next encounter with your wife..... Read Matthew 6:4. You're violating Jesus' teaching with your receipt idea.. Your wife will see it as

" look at me".... I don't have the answer for you.. I can only say this.... Even your idea of the smaller envelope inside.. Is just a way that she will interpret you slithering under her boundary.... Maybe another woman/moderator will chime in.... I hope so....

None of this is easy... God will have to show you the way.... My hearts intent is just to show you that there is a strong chance that after you send her the receipt idea with inside envelope... She told you no gifts or text messages ( but you want to put the messages in an envelope)....Your next post could read this...... Wife received letter....Wife said to never contact her again ;)

Again... I am not a moderator.. MY divorce will be final in November.. But I understand people... And your wife has blatantly told you what she is willing to accept...

God bless... Hang in there.. God will show you how to crack the code to unlock HIS will for YOU because your wife definitely has her own... And God will never force her heart to return.. You need to become what she has always needed... But in order to do that... God has to get ahold of you first....

Edited by Charles from Cali
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