Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for June, 2012

I recently spent 4 days alone. In virtual silence. Amidst the beauty of the mountains, I walked the trails, in awe as nature lived and breathed all around me, but mostly, I listened for answers.

And I received none.

God spoke, but not in the way I expected. I was both drained and refreshed. I cherished the isolation, yet yearned for company. I grieved, and I was comforted.

But I came home still having no idea what to do about my marriage.

While I was gone, my husband sent me this e-mail:

“You deserve a vacation. You are a devoted mother of five, who works extremely hard. I recognize it and so do the kids.”

“I know that when we communicate, I feel constantly accused, which is very difficult on me since I am not someone who has any desire to be close to anyone on any level – (emotionally or physically) other than you, my wife.”

“As I’ve said before, I take my marriage vows very seriously and feel that is not something that will ever change. Our marriage is not going to end because of me walking away.”

“I understand that it is disrespect you feel by my behavior. I am aware of your feelings, however, I am not seeking anyone’s friendship, nor have I ever been in a compromising situation seeking companionship.”

***

I had to read and re-read the e-mail in order to process all the emotions that his message incited.

The first read brought feelings of guilt. My husband’s words sounded sincere and, for a moment, the memory of all that had transpired between us was forgotten history. The weight of responsibility slowly began to creep upon me as I questioned why I couldn’t be a better wife. A wife deserving of my husband’s kindness.

With the second read, I couldn’t help but notice the presence of denying any unfaithful intentions or behavior, and the absence of acknowledging my issues with his trip to Arizona. Why was that? My feelings had been hurt by his lack of communication and from excluding me in his vacation plans. Yet, he chose to address an issue that had nothing to do with either one of those.

By the third time thru, I was angry. I began reading what was not written and raged over the fact that my feelings regarding the present issue were ignored and invalidated. Was it really that unreasonable for a wife to want to know that her husband is planning to take their children on vacation and have her feelings hurt when she finds out about it after its been planned? – Only to realize she has not been included in those plans.

And as I sat with the peace of God’s nature surrounding me, so opposite of the resentment churning within me, I had to question the spiritual aspect of my situation. Was the devil trying to destroy my marriage . . . Or was God allowing me to view it from a different perspective?

Read Full Post »

I read about the goal of a Christian is to be more “Christ-like”, but what does that look like in real life? When are we to “turn the other cheek”? . . . When is “righteous anger” appropriate? – “Do we continue in sin because grace abounds? – Certainly not!”

My husband may never change. Am I willing to continue living the way things are?

No.

But how do I stay married and find a way to live with his behavior? And how do I know the difference between God’s will and my own?

***

With my husband and 3 youngest sons gone on a vacation that was planned without me, I have been struggling with these and many other questions. I have had several e-mail conversations with my husband since they left – which is better than face to face conversations, since my anger is in a full blown rage right now.

***

Me: “I can’t believe that even after our last conversation about communication, I was still getting information about your trip from the kids, instead of from you. I can’t help but think that nothing I said got through to you.”

Him: “It seems everything I do or say makes you upset and I find it very sad. In light of that, as well as the fact that you weren’t going on the trip, I saw no reason to communicate the details to you.”

“I would have been more than happy to have you accompany us to Arizona, but I knew you were scheduled to work.”

Me: “You SAY you wanted me to come on this trip, but your actions said something completely different. I am so discouraged over the lack of change during the course of our marriage, and the bleak future ahead if the path we are on doesn’t change.”

Him: “It is just so unfortunate that this entire incident could have been prevented if you would just communicate with me in a more loving and understanding way. I am trying to not let it affect my health, but it is. I understand that you feel I don’t communicate well, but my behavior is usually a response to your behavior towards me.”

Me: I have reached a crossroad in our marriage where I no longer take responsibility for your behavior. I have done nothing to provoke or deserve your disregard for my feelings.”

Him: “It is MY feelings that are constantly being disregarded. You do not understand the daily struggles I face from financial difficulties and dealing with your children, not to mention the years I have been forced to interact with their father over his (lack of) financial responsibility. I am glad to say, that even with all of my imperfections, at least  I am not like the men from your past.”

Me: “You are out of line.”

Him: “I feel blessed and at peace to have a clear conscience in knowing that I am not ‘out of line.’ “

***
So that’s the state of things. I ended the conversation by telling my husband that I was going away for a few days to think about the future of our marriage. I need some serious quiet time to listen to what God wants from me right now.

Psalms 55:1-2, 6-8, 16, 20-22

Listen to my prayer, O God.
Do not ignore my cry for help!
Please listen and answer me,
for I am overwhelmed by my troubles . . .

Oh that I had wings like a dove;
then I would fly away and rest!
I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness.
How quickly I would escape – far from this wild storm of hatred . . .

But I will call on God and the Lord will rescue me . . .

And as for my companion, he betrayed his friends;
he broke his promises.
His words are as smooth as butter,
But in his heart is war.
His words are as soothing as lotion,
but underneath are daggers!

Give your burdens to the Lord,
and He will take care of you.

Read Full Post »

Here We Go Again

With summer fast approaching, I knew I needed to prepare myself for any unspoken trips my husband was planning to take. Again, resentful that I had to protect myself from my dear husband, I asked this question at dinner:

Will you be traveling this summer?”

He responded with an incredulous look on his face, as if the answer should have been obvious to me, “I can’t afford any vacations this year.”

I inwardly breathed a sigh of relief. I didn’t have the emotional energy it would require to deal with the abandonment issues that my husband’s trips usually trigger in me.

This took place before the “Silent Treatment” began. https://mygossamerlife.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/the-silent-treatment/

***

Last week, as if I were invisible, my husband began a conversation with “our” sons. Informing them that his request for time off from work had been approved and the 4 of them would be leaving for vacation next week.

It was my turn to be incredulous.

And then (as usual) I shut down.

It took a few days, but when I was finally able to express myself to my husband, it was in the only way I seem to be able, with written words. And this is what I wrote:

I am not sure if you are aware, but the last time I asked you about traveling this summer, you said it was something you couldn’t afford. Then, the next time you spoke of it in my presence, your plans were, by that time, already confirmed.”

“I had specifically initiated the original conversation with you some time ago to give you the opportunity to discuss your thoughts with me regarding your summer plans. I was hoping to prevent being surprised by your habit of not including me in your decisions. But it seems as if you’ve done it again.”

“Talking about your plans with the boys while I am present is not the same as talking about it with me in private.”

Does any part of a husband making vacation plans without discussing them with his wife and not including her in the vacation seem odd to you?”

“I don’t know how to stop expecting better from you, even though by now, ‘better’ is exactly what I should not expect.”

His response? Justifying his behavior with the excuse that since we had not been “communicating”, he had not felt inclined to keep me updated on his summer plans.

I am hurt, I am frustrated, but mostly . . . .I am tired! What is it that God is trying to teach me and when will I learn what it is?! I want to release my husband to God. I do not want to be his Holy Spirit, his conscience, the magnifying glass pointing out his faults and bad behavior. My therapist says I must stand up to him when he is wrong, but I am so exhausted from this constant assault on my heart. At the same time, I cannot ignore his behavior, just to avoid confrontation, but I need someone / something else to speak Truth into my husband’s life. It can no longer be me . . .

Read Full Post »