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I'll dig up Steve's apology letter for you to look at. Be patient, though - it is buried somewhere in their thread and I'm gonna have to go digging for it. :)

Thanks Cindy. I am still working through their thread and hope they will be back moderating the calls again.  :)

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Good evening all.  It was good to be on the Men's calls this week.  Overall this week has gone pretty well including the previous Memorial day weekend.  I certainly enjoyed time relaxing with the family.  Yesterday we did a Disneyland trip with the family and tomorrow I will be meeting up with my younger sister visiting from Florida and her family to go to Disneyland round 2!  :)

 

Also over the course of the last few days I have been able to talk with my older sister and wife about the past communication.  I believe it is clear to us all the hurt/pain my sister was talking about has been not having our families back together again and NOT about berating my wife for the past.  I am thankful that my sister and husband-in-law are supportive of our family and want to express their apologies to my wife for what she has experienced in the way of my past abuse/passive-aggressive behavior.  I have repeatedly shared with them the ways I have wounded my wife and expressed there is no timetable for healing and they are understanding of that.  My sister e-mailed my wife the other day and my wife responded so I am hopeful that is the start of healing in that relationship as well.

 

One other note that continues to be an issue I need to be aware of is when and how much physical touch to initiate with my wife.  I want touching to be life-giving, relaxing and enjoyable, but I realize at times she does not welcome it and that I need to back off.  I look forward to when I can fully give her more hugs and kisses ::love , but for now I really gauge each day , even within that day where she is at to receive them.  I pray overtime she will be more receptive and allow that physical touch to remove the cortisol build up and get more oxytocin flowing. :smile: I know I feel the difference when we have long hugs in particular.  :grin:   I still see ways I can improve in living with her in an understanding way and this is just one of them.  I realize the issues regarding touching will come along as I become more Christlike and bring the necessary healing to the relationship.  There is always room for improvement!
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One other note that continues to be an issue I need to be aware of is when and how much physical touch to initiate with my wife.  I want touching to be life-giving, relaxing and enjoyable, but I realize at times she does not welcome it and that I need to back off.  I look forward to when I can fully give her more hugs and kisses

 

 

It is very important for you to understand that much of this could be a temperament thing. This is why I strongly suggest you both have your APS tests done. If your wife is melancholy in affection - and I'm guessing she might be, although it's impossible to tell without the test - she will never want as much physical touch as you do. Yes, as she gets healed she will probably welcome more than she does right now, but it's very possible that God simply wired her differently than He wired you. If that's the case, then you may have to find ways to deal with your need for physical touch that don't involve hanging all over your wife. Do you have a dog? ;)

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Two thoughts came to mind when I read your post.

 

1. Are the physical touches for your wife or for you? I noticed you used "I want". Check your motivation to make sure it's coming from the right place. Often, we have a subconscious motivation.

 

2. There are a lot of other ways you can increase your wife's oxytocin without hugs. Remember that article that talked about how a hug could be a negative when it's not wanted.

 

TP

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Thanks Cindy and TP.  We had a nice date last night seeing some community Shakespeare.  It was a really fun time for both of us.  I listened in to the Saturday night couples call for a bit as well.  Today, Sunday, we plan to rest as a family.  :)

 

I spoke with my wife about the temperament testing and she did not feel it would be tremendously helpful as we have learned more about our personality types in the last few years.  She is also concerned about spending extra money right now as we have/had some large expenses recently.  I still am interested in getting tested as I welcome further input/confirmation of what we may already know and ways I in particular can live with my wife in an understanding way. I believe I still have quite a bit to learn in living with my wife in an understanding way.  I see how I need to find a balance of giving her the space she needs alone while still pursuing her and not getting caught-up in my own world.  In her words my pendulum continues to swing wide and I am not centered in this area.  

 

TP as we spoke on the Men's call yesterday I do continue to evaluate my actions regarding physical touch.  I see in particular giving her space in bed, minimizing touching/snuggling right now as she does not want that as I was not honoring her previous request.  I really enjoy when we do make that connection for a kiss or a hug even if just one or two a day.  It is always a pleasure to hold her hand too as we walk to and from the performance last night.  :)

 

One other topic we covered on the men's call was as I have adjusted my passive-aggressive behavior, my wife has responded accordingly.  My wife and I were talking and she pointed out she did not act as "crazy" in the last six months or so as I adjusted my behavior.  I also recognized this week while at work receiving feedback, taking hold of any negative feedback/thoughts and not letting them control my actions.  It is a great feeling to apply what I have learned here being able to make mental shifts in a positive direction.   

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The following quote is HUGELY important! Print it out and put it where you can see it. Passive-aggressive really just amounts to saying one thing -to please or look good- and doing another-your own true wishes and desires - and then trying to claim that you forgot, you were trying, it was a mess-up etc.... It is absolutely crazy-making for a wife. This was the problem between me and my ex. He left home nearly two years ago and he's still singing that song: "She is so irrational and angry that I am justified in leaving."  Don't let this happen to you!

 


One other topic we covered on the men's call was as I have adjusted my passive-aggressive behavior, my wife has responded accordingly.  My wife and I were talking and she pointed out she did not act as "crazy" in the last six months or so as I adjusted my behavior. 

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Thanks 4evr, yes TP encouraged me to post it on the forums. I didn't realize how bad it was in the past and I catch myself still, albeit in a much better place than before.  I can see how this whole process takes time to reprogram our brains.  I am sorry your husband stayed in arrested development and did not embrace the opportunity to really grow as a Christlike man in the marriage - his loss!  

 

I realize these past 6 months have really been a time of growth and not the stagnation I had been in for years, coasting on my faith if you will.  Each day I need to die to self and become that new creation in Christ going where he leads me.  Through this ministry I finally learned of the initiator/responder in the role of a husband and wife. I am so thankful it was not too late for my wife and I.  I have faith in due time we will be living out an OHM.  :grin:

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Stupid moment of weakness on my part tonight.  I was caught looking in her purse as a paper caught my eye while cleaning up downstairs.  This is so stupid on my part, I just gave into the urge to take a quick peak and now have hurt her.  I am so frustrated with myself.  This does not engender any trust on her part and only puts us farther back.  I have worked so hard to overcome these urges and turn them over to God not letting them take root and here I sit tonight looking at my failure. 

 

I am so sorry MourningCloak for failing you this way.  You don't deserve this type of behavior from me.  I hate that I have violated your trust. There is no reason I should be even touching your pursue unless you have expressly given me permission.  I will do whatever you need to bring the necessary healing. 

 

God I repent of this sin against my wife and pray for your healing. Cast out fear in me and anything else that would cause me not to fully rely on you.  I must NOT lean on my own understanding.

Edited by ChooseLove
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Snooping... it just makes me not want to be here. I kind of suspect things like that go on but it's different when you see it.

He also does some cyber stalking... just has to see everything single thing I do online.

Which is justified?? That's what the counselor would say.He's just not going to trust me for a very long time. I'm just going to have to live with the NSA.

Recently went to dinner with a new friend and she got a little lost trying to find the restaurant and had to call me. I find ChooseLove trying to reverse search her number. I don't even know how he gets to my call log.

I find him logging away passwords that I had left on my nightstand... so... I just know he goes through my stuff when I'm not around but it's still very unsettling...  :(

 

Yes I have been guilty of this previously, absolutely, particularly before I found the ministry.  It was not until I found the ministry I started to finally get free of that compulsion, however, I am obviously not totally free as evident by my breakdown tonight.  It is NOT justified for me to continue this behavior.  I know MC needs to be loved where she is not and not where I would like her to be at.

 

Regarding cyber-stalking, I understand where MC is coming from and if anything I am doing is not making her feel comfortable or safe I need to stop it NOW!  I do enjoy reading what she posts online as it helps me to better understand her interests and passions as often she is not up for talking all about them with me.  I have learned a lot from her posts and interactions with others in what is most important to her and good news articles, but again if me engaging in those cause her to not feel safe and secure I am totally willing to give that up.  

 

Regarding the phone number incident I periodically review our phone bill - did it more in the past and again this was one incident where I did not recognize the number and just did a quick Google search. I would say this was another moment of weakness as I identified in earlier posts.  Again this whole night just highlights how much farther I need to go in becoming a good husband.   :(

 

Another frustrating element about tonight is here I was thinking about her earlier today, picking-up her favorite slice of cheesecake (Godiva Chocolate) from the Cheesecake Factory coming home from work to surprise her and this ends up overshadowing (rightly so) that small token of thoughtfulness.  Ugh! :excl:

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It's a bump. Do not let it destroy you. Don't let her see you dwell on it, either. All you can do is acknowledge the mistake and apologize. Learn from it and move forward. Just don't hit that bump again.

 

You have made incredible progress in a very short time. My concern, from the first time we spoke, was about time. You got it quick. You understood and jumped in quick. The problem is always with the wife when this happens. She doesn't buy in quick. It takes time to prove yourself and regain her trust. Joel told me that it's normally 6-8 months after we get it, before she believes it. You haven't cleared that hurdle yet. Just relax and understand the process.

 

If you panic, it looks like you just broke character. Like it might have been an act that you couldn't keep up. Only you know if that's what happened. I don't think that's the case. I think you just allowed an old habit to breathe again. We all do it. We all make mistakes and prove that we are human. Get up and keep moving. We all believe in you. Eventually, your wife will be fully convinced of where your heart is. The bumps don't hurt as bad once you are fully healed and on the same page.

 

Breathe. Relax. Rest. Trust God. Quit beating yourself up and just do this thing.

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Thanks Erik.  Yes it does take time and I am in the for the long haul.  I see what you are getting at.

 

TP - I read Psalm 51 last night and I know that we all make mistakes.  I know that God forgives me and makes me a new creation, now it is up to me to go and sin no more.  I need to rely on God to renew that steadfast spirit within me and remind myself all my needs will be met through him.  Along what Erik was saying is not to stay in a beat-up place (Psalm 51:16) but rather offer up that I am broken and in need of his healing in this particular area.  That was my prayer last night that this be a bump of the past as I turn to God first. I know God wants to see our marriage restored and that He will indeed restore to us His joy (Psalm 51:12) as long as I have a willing spirit to pursue God, which I do!  God will sustain me.

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Cool. So the idea is you learned from your mistake, and that us more valuable then the mistake itself. First, God has revealed some trouble spots in your heart that need attention. Second, you recognize it, and turned to God for guidance and wisdom. While devastating to your wife now, in the long run this will make you a better husband. So look at this as a blessing.

 

Also, one thing to learn from David is that even though he defeated Goliath and thus the Philisteens (I know spelling) remember they came back again, as will your struggles.

 

In His service. TP

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Yes, I agree with you it was good that she caught me in the act as it reinforced it that much more (both my own sin and how it affects her).  I apologized to her last night and again this morning.  I know this will take time to heal from. As you noted I agree that in the long run it will make me a better husband and that is where I want to be.  She is obviously very put off by my behavior and it is hard to be around me right now.  I get it and again need to meet her where she is at, feeling safe and comfortable, I caused the hurt so it is up to me to bear whatever she needs to heal.

 

I also like the reminder about David and Goliath.  The storms will come.  Will we be prepared when they do?  Yes, as long as we build up ourselves in Christ.  This is surely a learning experience for me, for as much progress as I have made there are still areas I have not completely turned over to God.  Onward and upward.

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Weekend update:

 

First I just want to recognize my wife for all the work she did pulling together our daughter's birthday party on Sunday afternoon.  It was a great day!  :razz: 

 

The weekend was up and down for sure.  We went to the chiropractor together as a family and then I ended up watch the kids so my wife could get out and run errands.  When she got home she read a post Joel shared on her thread that covered a LOT of ground for both her and I.  I for one am still processing.  I am so thankful that my wife is still with me in this journey and I want to bless her more each day.  I know I have been hard to live with for years and that it takes time to trust again after I have abused her in so many different ways.  With that said I realize I will continue to be refined - although it may be hard at times I welcome it as TP noted above - it will make me a better husband in the end.

 

Sister front - my wife and sister were finally able to talk on the phone and my wife welcomed her to the party on Saturday as well.  This again was a huge step as I have noted the conflict previously.  I was glad my side of the family was able to be present at the party and everyone had a good time. I made sure to back-up my wife on this.  She was confident and wanted to resume communication with my sister, not having me in the middle.  I am ever so grateful for them reconnecting and pray for continued healing.

 

As I read Galatians this week a few different verses jumped out at me...

  • Galatians 5:13-14 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.
  • Matthew 5:43-48
  • John 15:13 -  Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
  • 1 John 3:16 - This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

The takeaway from all of this is as I lose my life and lay it down I find it in Christ.  It has been freeing to let go of the mindset of the past.  I have lived for myself most of my life.  I do see at times where I get hung up on getting a result or doing something to get something back.  My wife shared with me that she feels my intent/motivation at times is of that nature.  I believe her when she shares that as I know that the flesh can grab hold of me, but I know that God ultimately has the victory and as I pursue Him I will be better off.

Edited by ChooseLove
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ChooseLove,

Can you be more specific?

 

How have you used your freedom in Christ to indulge your flesh? How did you correct that? Do you regard your wife as your friend? Would you lay your life down for her? What does that mean to you to lay down your life? 

 

Here's an example:

 

I live for the spring/summer season where I live.. I love gardening and sprucing up the yard after the winter rain, cold and weeds... I always feel happier when I can plant. I often get up early and go in my backyard and eat the asparagus, or cherry tomatoes or strawberries and enjoy my prayer and Bible time. I feel such peace when I get to be alone and do that!  This year just as my yard was shaping up.. just as the strawberries were producing.. just as the tomatoes were setting.. right after I finished school and had LOTS of time to enjoy my yard.. I got called away for a family emergency. I don't get to enjoy my yard. By the time I get back, most of the growing season will be over... I had such a hard time with this until I realized that I was obeying God.. I was not turning away from my own flesh (Isaiah), I was in the middle of His will and He will surely re-pay me!

 

I would like to see more of you connecting your actions and thoughts to the Word instead of so much about the Word and how it stands out to you.. HOW???

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ChooseLove,

Can you be more specific?

 

How have you used your freedom in Christ to indulge your flesh? How did you correct that? Do you regard your wife as your friend? Would you lay your life down for her? What does that mean to you to lay down your life? 

 

I would like to see more of you connecting your actions and thoughts to the Word instead of so much about the Word and how it stands out to you.. HOW???

 

Thanks 4evr for your prompting.  Yes in the past I see where I did use my freedom to indulge in the flesh (see below).  I consider my wife my best friend and closet confidant.  Yes I would absolutely lay down my life for her - whatever she needs I will do.  To lay down my life is to give up any desires I have (the sins of the flesh) and live with her in an understanding way.  To make sure she is safe, secure and most importantly loved like no other.  To love her as close to Christ's love as I am able.  I talked with my father-in-law and some friends this weekend and wished when I was getting married and growing up in the church that I was asked that same question - "Are you willing to lay down your life for your wife?", before I even considered marriage.  Thankfully I am here now and still have an opportunity to live that out.

 

  1. For me I have loved collecting Star Wars memorabilia since I was little.  I have met people from all over the world collecting and trading items and have a huge collection.  While that has been great, it also has been an area where my hobby became a higher priority than my wife and family at times.  Starting last year I stopped buying anything Star Wars related and only recently have bought an item here or their very judiciously.  It has been freeing not to have the compulsion to buy items like I did in the past.  I realize God is asking me first and foremost to put my wife and family first and secondly be a better steward of the money he has provided me.

     

  2. Another area I have enjoyed over the years has been being a DJ.  I started in junior high (1980s) and up until 2012 or so was still pretty active.  Again this was an area where something that started off good became abusive as it took priority over my wife and family.  I struggled for a while, but have been able to give that up, in fact not renewing my business license this year  for the first time.  I realize it was there for a season in my life, but now is a different time, focusing on my wife and family.  The accolades from clients and peers does not compare to meeting my wife's needs.  I even recognized this early on in our marriage, how narcissistic of me, that I would seek out that praise outside of our marriage.  Again, it stroked my ego so I continued to pursue it at my wife's expense - no more!

 

These are two big examples for me as I had a lot of my identity wrapped-up in them.  Now I see God is calling me to a new place and I somewhat feel like wandering in the wilderness, but I know it is only for a season.  God is showing me that I need to rely on Him to meet my needs.  I no longer need to pursue those things I did previously, my pursuit is God first and in that comes my wife and family.  This is a great place to be.  Praise be to God!

Edited by ChooseLove
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Last night when I came home I could tell there was tension in my wife and it has continued this morning. I have tried to provide a safe and secure place to share, but I appear to be failing in this area even though she tells me I am doing "everything right, perfect" which to me comes off insincere and not out of true love and appreciation.  I am not looking for reassurance from her, rather want to connect with her emotionally, but every time I probe around she walls up.  I did share with her this morning when I finally first realized how wrong I was in marriage reading Ken Nair's book last December.  I don't know why it took so long, and I a so sorry for the years of loneliness and abuse I caused her.  At that point  in December she had given her heart away months ago to the other man and honestly it feels like she still has that soul tie.  I pray that will be left behind and we will be restored, but I know as long as that is there we will never be able to have a restored marriage.  

 

I know that my faith in Christ has deepened as I have pursued her and that HE has helped me remain steadfast and obedient working on being self-controlled.  I can't change her, and as LT has noted previously she ultimately may not want to stay in the marriage as to the damage I have done.  All I can do now is make positive choices for change in our lives and those of our children.  Philippians 4:13

 

I would ask those of you reading this pray for me and us, for divine intervention and revelation as to the steps I need to take going forward and of course respond to this post with incites you have.  Peace be with you. 

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but every time I probe around she walls up.

 

 

So stop probing.

 

She is not ready to open up and share with you. She might not be ready for months. But every time you start probing around, you are putting pressure on her. She's going to feel that unspoken expectation from you, and that will shut her down. I know you've been at this for awhile and you want something to happen, but you can't force it.

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Thanks LT.  I needed to hear that.  You are right.  She knows I am here working on the marriage and I just need to be patient and let her respond in her own way.  In the mean time I will work to redirect any of those unspoken expectations back to God and trust his promises to meet my needs.

 

LT if you get a chance I am sure she would appreciate your input on her thread including Joels' recent post and  perhaps reassuring her on this very issue. Thanks for your ongoing support and getting out that cattle prod when you need to.

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Weekend update
 

I am very thankful for a nice Father's Day weekend with the family.  My wife organized a lunch and movie with the family and my mother-in-law.  Additionally, she had the kids both give me a gift and card as well as herself!  We had a good visit at church on Sunday and the sermon even emphasized Ephesians 5:25.  My wife did encourage me that I was a better father than both she and I had growing up.  Now I want to continue to be a better husband too!

 

The word that came to me last night and this morning as I mediated on the Word has been ENDURANCE.  There have been a number of verses that have spoken to me as I continue this journey, in particular Romans 15.  

 

Areas I feel compelled to examine/improve on that will contribute to become more Christlike, winning my wife's heart back include:


  • Continued guarding against any self gratification/desires of any form. Looking for ways to bless my wife, family, neighbors (Romans 15: 1-2).

  • Self-awareness - Testing/checking my intention/motivations (Galatians 6:4), in particular actions that are taken to reassure me.  Also, getting confirmation from God on the things I am doing right in accordance to His will.

  • Active listening to further improve on what my wife shares, in particular items that are not immediate in nature, but consistently overtime I have not put full effort into making happen.  It is about overcoming my own limitations (e.g., ADHD - lack of organization/proper priorities) and living with my wife in an understanding way putting her preference and priorities over mine.

  • Not obsessing/stalking/probing about the past - let God meet my needs and allowing my wife to trust me again.  The purse incident highlighted this and although I am better in this area it GREATLY affects trust, safety and security.  I know God will not forsake me in this area and I need to just turn it over to Him and stop those destructive behaviors.  

  • Creating a SAFE and SECURE place for my wife to share. Guarding what and who I share with in order to create this safe and secure place for my wife.  

  • Understanding my wife is not "In Love" with me and meeting her where she is at, particularly in regards to physical touch.

  • Identifying our marriage and family mission and vision.

  • Learning to be OK about not always having my wife's approval or saying yes to all she puts out there.  Again it goes back to self-awareness so I can check myself.  Since I have found this ministry, my responses have been to immediately acknowledge and accept her purview regarding our relationship and the way the household is run.  I believe I am getting into a better place where I can take her critique of me and hold it up to what I know to be true in the Bible and thus make adjust accordingly.  I need to be confident in the areas I am leading our family and the ways I initiate with them.  I want to tread lightly here as I can see where old ways could crop back up if I am not careful.This is verified in part through her response and of course this ministry.


 

Of other note, we have missed our weekly dates for two weeks so I am looking forward to getting back on track on Saturday afternoon/evening.  Again, I am ever so thankful to be on this journey WITH my wife.  Thanks all for your continued input and guidance.

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Had another bump last night.  I came home still on a conference call with work.  I did not give my wife heads up it was still going on and it was selfish of me to come home before completing the call as it was a tease to her and the kids.  A tease so much that she got upset and left the hours for hours in the evening after she asked me to get off the phone and I stayed on.  She told me this morning she was too angry to be around me.  I apologized by text last night and again this morning. I am disappointed I missed out on a family evening together because I did not plan ahead and just came home after the conference call and give me wife a heads up.  

 

I normally work from 8-6 or so.  Her desire is to have me home before 6 at least a couple of nights a week.  It has been a struggle at times in the evening as I am on-call so to speak, to answer issues into the early evening.  I really try to plan and minimize those interruptions.  This past week however she needed me home on Monday to help with a fly infestation which I came home right away and then worked there the rest of the day.  On Tuesday I also came and delivered lunch on route to working out of town for the evening.  I am thankful  I do have a job that allows me to leave the office at any time and be able to work remotely.

 

I continue to evaluate my actions - are they blessing her or are they being done as a way to get something.  I realize I want to be that man who loves without regard for what is in it for me.  I do catch myself at times becoming sad/depressed in that the relationship is in the place I would like it to be, but then quickly turn that over to God and allow him to meet my needs.  In reading Romans 8 last night it reaffirmed to me that God is for me and although we go through these struggles, He is always there and ultimately it is the goal to be purified and be more Christlike.  While accidents happen, mistakes can be avoided and I need to focus on being self-aware and proactive.  When I do fall however I need not give satan and space to deceive me, but remember the promises of God, getting back up and passionately pursuing him.

 

This morning went well overall as I was able to make tea for her and we had our family devotion.  I was able to also give her and the kids good hugs. I gave my wife a little kiss too.   :)

Edited by ChooseLove
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