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Riversedge, I want to follow-up on another good resource for the apology letter at http://reviving.us/anatomy-of-an-apology/...

 

Now, beyond that, one of the first things we do when a man gets involved with this ministry is have him write an Apology Letter to his wife.  This is meant to be an initial summary of all the things he’s done to hurt her over the course of their marriage.  Typically, the first draft of the letter is all about him, which is understandable, since the man has no experience with any of this. However, in order for the letter to be healing to his wife, it has to be about HER.

Remember, this is not just a pointless exercise! This will bring healing to her heart if it comes from your heart, and is genuine! You also need to include, to the best of your ability, how you think your actions might have made her feel. You won’t get all of that right, but she needs to see an attempt. Words like “unsafe”, “insecure”, “ignored”, “worthless”… anything you can imagine she may have felt.

Here’s some guidelines:

  1. Recount what she said hurt her (this shows you were listening)
  2. Repent and apologize for the specific ways you wronged her, acknowledging how it hurt her.
  3. Offer an explanation ONLY if there’s a legitimate one (do not anticipate that she HAS to accept it right away. and if there is no good reason, then totally skip it)
  4. Offer amends for the present – as to what you can do to change the problem and make things right today.
  5. Offer the steps you need to take or are taking to re-assure her it won’t happen again in the future.
  6. Reassure her of your love, and that she is the most beautiful woman inside and out and you can’t imagine life without her, nor would you even want to.
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I will be working on this tonight when I have access to a computer. I see what you and Ophelia are saying and how I have missed the mark with the apology letter. I will post up my first draft as soon as possible.

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I need to come clean about myself and admit to what kind of husband and father I am. By believing and admitting that I am the problem in this marriage I can start to change. I see the pain and he'll that I have put my wife through. I wanted to believe it wasn't all my fault yes I have some areas to fix but it's her over reaction to everything that was the problem. I have been like Joel sitting in the back of the class pointing at Kathy asking when are we going to be talking about the wives part of the problem. All of the self protection and throwing blame off onto anyone or anything is cowardly and it has caused so much pain to my dear wife.

 

The biggest thing I can do right now to bring healing to Ophelia is to believe her right away when she is telling me something that I'm doing and why I'm doing it. I have always thought about it or stonewall when it comes up. By doing that I am saying let me see if I agree with you. I have to just believe her right away then take it to God afterwards if I don't see it.

 

My biggest problem that is the big issue in our marriage is the denial of my sexual dysfunction. I really don't want to have sex or be the initiator in a healthy sexual relationship as much as I try to convince myself that I do. I have lived in a delusion that just because I have a physical desire to climax that means I want to have a sexual relationship with my wife. This is causing my dear wife so much pain and I am ashamed of this. I would do anything to keep this truth from coming to light. I blamed Ophelia for my dysfunction which was another slap in the face by not pursuing then putting it off on her. I have self sabotaged our sex life by being a great pursuer when she is not feeling well or on her period when nothing will happen. Then other times when we are having a great day I don't do anything to turn the romance to the bedroom, wait for a green light to start initiating sex (which is not initiating but wanting her to initiate), or I will do something to break the bonding that has started. Joel has told me the only way to get over my fear is to be initiating everyday and bonding with my wife.

I have not and by not doing this it has made it that much harder for it ever to start the good cycle.

This week I complained on a call about not getting a fair shot at initiating because of all the circumstances that had happened that day and I made it seem like Ophelia is just a cold hearted b****. That is the furthest thing from the truth and a straight up lie. Kathy called me out on it and I'm glad she did. I didn't want to believe it but God has really been convicting me about all of this and owning it. Ophelia was devastated and I was more concerned with protecting my delusion and self image than protecting her. I was a coward not her knight in shining armor. I manipulated this and lied about what kind of person my wife is. All I needed to do was tell her "as soon as we get a chance I would love to ml" so she would have known I was thinking about her. I didn't and then was angry when she brought it up. I pushed back and got kicked out of my home for the night. She is not going to stand any longer to be left on the back burner and I'm glad that she has pushed for this change to happen.

 

The last couple of days I have been living in the basement and only having a business relationship with my wife to give her a break from the abuse until the intensive. I am not to be upstairs without permission. I have turned this into more pain by being angry and having a I'll show you attitude. Instead of being humbled, I started down the self protection road and initiated nothing. I didn't ever ask how she was doing and I would not talk to my wife at all unless it's about finances. I didn't ask for permission to come upstairs. I didn't call and let her know that I was on my way home from work, (I always do because it changes depending on after shift meetings.) I started showering at work so I wouldn't have to ask permission to come upstairs. This means getting home later with less time with my kids. My relationship with my kids has been anything but healthy. I have not been consistent in showing them steady love. Ophelia called me out on being a roller coaster with them giving them really big highs then nothing. My relationship with them has been self serving rather than my serving, protecting and loving them. They are so grateful for any love given to them, but if I don't get this right and soon they will start to really pull back and I will loose everything with them too.

I am going to the intensive this week and without being honest with myself there will be no change. I didn't listen to any of the help given to me or act on it the first time. I have put myself in this situation.

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I second 4evr's response. I would like to share another resource that helped me, since I have been in a similar place and mentality to you, the book that was an eye-opener for me into my passive aggressive traits and how badly they damaged my wife, Living with the Passive-Aggressive Man: Coping with Hidden Aggression - From the Bedroom to the Boardroom by Scott Wetzler.  I continue to pray for you and the family.  God bless.  Don't give up, don't give in.  This is a battle you can and will win by the grace of God. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The ball is in your court now brother. I have just read through your posts and there is really nothing new I can say here - you have been given all the tools you need to be able to do what is necessary to keep your marriage and take it to a whole new level but you keep choosing (yes choosing) to sabotage the process because it's too hard or she doesn't understand or I'm too tired right now or I deserve better than this or you get the point,  it's all about you and not about blessing her or becoming

 

You are being called to lay down your life for the sake of finding it (did you know you were lost). She has asked you to find yourself but you don't even know who that is do you? Your wife was a gift from God, given to you as your Helpmeet. She is trying to help you become the man she needs you to be,  which is also by the way, the man you were created to be! :) Are you ready to die to the old and become new?

 

You have go to get out of your own way here brother. You are fortunate enough to still be with your wife, although it sounds like barely, as you are living in the basement, A second intensive, sure hope you are paying attention. There are so many of us guys out here that are not with our wives and we are having to work a hundred times harder than you currently are to try to win them back. Let me just tell you that one day, if you keep this up the way you have been, she will decide to file for divorce or legal separation. Do you secretly want that, so that it will be her fault? That way you can tell all your friends and family that you did everything you could do but she walked away and it won't be your fault. But truth be told, you will have pushed her away. Is that what it is going to take to wake you up? Trust me brother, the grass is not greener on the other side. Your issues will follow you and you will never be able to find true happiness. Now is the time, now is the place, and now is the calling for you to become the man of her dreams my brother so that you can become the man God is calling you to be....... There may not be an opportunity later.....

 

For me, if you want to go and read through my thread, the light went on when my wife left me. It was not an easy journey at all and it took me almost four years to finally totally win her heart back. But let me tell you that every second of that journey was worth it and God ordained. I learned how to truly die to myself and how to put my wife first loving her unconditionally, without expectations. Today, we are in an Outrageously Happy Marriage and I have no regrets and am happier than I have ever been.

So don't give up brother, fight on, fight hard and fight like a man of God and He will guide your steps! :)

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Riversedge,

 

This is all you have to do. It is so simple. Keep HIS order.

 

1. God: Your personal relationship with HIM through Jesus.

2. Ophelia

3. Your Children

Ministry, Job, Extended family, friends and so on.

 

Go to Jesus. Ask Him to fill you up with our Father's light. Turn around. Give that light to Ophelia. We are to be nothing more than a conduit for the love and life of God for our bride.

 

Take it in. Turn around. Give it to Ophelia. Turn back to Jesus. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

 

God Bless

David

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  • 4 weeks later...

I haven't posted in a while but our marriage has been going really well. We are on day 19 of my wife being treated with love. We have had some bumps in those days but I am listening and correcting when they come up. Before the 19 days of good I scared myself going lower than I ever thought I would. It is great seeing Ophelia start to open up and heal.

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I am listening to my DW without getting defensive or explaining, being humble as she points things out to me, making sure she stays my priority in everything, and working together as a team. As difficult conversations come up that I want to get defensive about, I'm remembering that her feelings are just that there not right or wrong (there pretty much always right) and when I listen we are working through wounds from the past to bring healing. I am being quick to bounce back from bumps in under 20 minutes where they used to be 3 or 4 days of hell on my DW before I would snap out of it. Those bumps are getting to be fewer also. I know I haven't arrived yet and this is a 3 year process. Today is 20 days of treating my wife with love and respect. 20 days of good is more than I have ever gone in a row with being Christlike. I understand that these are baby steps and I will keep going and making progress. There is such a change already in my DW and I am loving the fruit of being Christlike to my family.

Edited by Riversedge
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