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Lori,

Try reading the basic concepts on this site and the Plan A info.

You may find that you will be able to influence him in positive ways, while still giving him some time and space to reach his own decision.

Check out the Emotional Needs section of the forum as well. you will be surprised at the number of people who are in situations very similar to your own. These people can offer advice and support when you need it.

Like Dick said, keep dong the right thing even if it isn't being returned.

Wishing you the best.


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Dick,

First - I strongly disagree with you about 99% falling on the shoulders of the man, and feel that a "newbie" man to this forum would be sincerely diserviced by that statement.

Marriage, by biblical terms, financial terms, or any other is a side by side.....in other words 50/50. The bottom line is the man and woman are equally responsilbe to eachother and the god of thier understanding.

Second - to counter this thought I will use my marriage as an example. My wife was verbally, emotionally, and at times physically abusive. She busted my eardrum twice in the course of our 7 year relationship by hitting me in the side of the head for disagreeing with her. I feel I earned the right to walk out 5 years ago, but have stayed because I felt it was what my god wanted me to do. She has as many issues of abandonment as I do, and I could not in good concious leave her, even tho I truly did not deserve the treatment I recieved.

Third - On earning the right to leave......ok, on that I will agree with you. As I said, I feel I earned that right long ago. The emotional abuse alone has been enough for anyone to leave. We tried counseling, spirituality, and nothing made a difference for her. She has a huge empty void inside that no one can fill, until she fills it.

She was and is unfaithful to me on a regular basis. Apparantly having had affair after affair, because of her own emotional problems. She can have sex just fine, just not with someone she cares about, so I was not an option. I could not "fix" her and can only take care of me from now on.

Last of all, I want you to consider my first point from this point of view......

when I came to this forum....I was seriously suicidal......all I needed to hear at that point was some other MAN telling me that the marriage wsa 99% my responsibility......considering the suffering I was and had gone thru that might have just pushed me over the edge.

Thank you,
Ben


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Ben:

Guess you are in the 1% category of not being at fault. That is why I said 99% - there are always rare exceptions of which you might be one.

However,as a man I hold to my convictions and I need to inform you that marriage is not a 50/50 proposition...it is a 100%. To make it 50/50 makes the love relationship "conditional" and according to Ephesians 5 where the Lord commands "husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church" - the greek word for love is AGAPE which is the God-kind of love "unconditional".

I am truly sorry for the abuse you suffered and I wish you the best.

By the way, you mentioned and I quote "...the god of their understanding". Do you embrace the Christian faith, that of personal faith/acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?

Dick from Texas


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Ben:

One more thought, you mentioned your wife had
"a void in her that only she could fill" -I'm sorry, but only Jesus Christ can fill this void.

Neither a husband or wife can find their fulfillment/security in the other...our security has to be in Jesus Christ first. This is a major problem in that couples look to each other to fill what only the Lord can fill.

If you are going to quote the Bible, then you
have to quote/abide by it ALL and not just a verse here and there.

I was somewhat disturbed by your listing of diety (God) twice by referring to Him as god (little g). If you really know Him as your personal Saviour and not just some vain religion....you would know to always capitalize diety 'God', rather than 'god'.

Dick from Texas


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Dick,

Well if everyone in the world agreed on everything, the world would be either mighty peaceful or awfully boring.

I still disagree with you, but you are entitled to your opinion as I am mine.

As for "God". While I was raised in a christian believing home, No, I am not a christian in your understanding. I am however spiritual and I do believe Christ existed, and in the good he brought the world. However, this is not a forum for religious beliefs, so I will refrain from stating all my personal beliefs and leave it at that.

You are right that God has to fill her void, and that is why she failed in staying sober, because she would not work the steps in AA. She could not agree with the whole higher power concept.


I wish you would try to keep in mind what I said about the "newbies" that might read your post and become even more discouraged.

Ben


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Oh - definitely earned the right to leave. Or in my case, earned the right to tell H that he is no longer welcome in my home and that we will be divorcing.....no going back for the 1,209,836,330th time. He has proven that 'bimbo' is more important to him than his wife and children. I will divorce him with only one regret - my love for him has faded to such a degree that I feel it has become negligible. I miss that love.

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Oh Ben, I hurt for you...and your ex-wife..
I was abused as a child and understand the hurt of betrayal, shame, guilt, abandonment,
and a whole lot more. I understand how she
felt she couldn't have make love to someone she was emotionally close to. Because the betrayal of abuse in childhood starts at the most important relationships in our lives, and we learn to seperate "love" from the act of "sex". We are built to want love, and acceptance uncondionitionally, and when you are little and never recieve that you don't know what it is, and you feel if you never had it you don't deserve it. And when you are used to bad attention..anything better is hard to accept..it's like..when your used to
being hit with a frying pan, when your hit w/ a hand it seems minor. But the pain is still the same..and the damage is just as grave.

I don't know what all the issues are that you
experienced as a child that has hurt you so deeply, but I know for myself, I couldn't see God as a loving father or a loving God for that matter when I was growing up, or for many years as an adult..HOW COULD HE IF HE's so LOVING ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN TO ME??? TO ANYONE?? If He is so almighty why didn't HE do something to stop it???

The thing I have had to come to realize is we
all have a free will, (even those who abused us)And God doesn't force His will on anyone..
He couldn't make the person stop abusing you..but He could offer comfort and compassion because of it..I know for myself..
as I was being sexually abused..I looked at it was just happening to my body..and not the whole person..I literally disassociated myself from the body..and I have asked God numerous time WHERE WERE YOU?? And I have heard His voice just recently answer this question in His word.."To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord", I have come to believe that everytime I mentally left the situation because it was to much for me to bear..that I was in the Arms of God..as He held me and weeped with me and for both myself and my father..it has taken me MANY MANY years to get to this point..and as God changes me from looking at myself as "just a body" or "just a part of my body" I am realizing there are things I will not tolerate anymore..from anyone..and one of them is a lack of respect for me..and what I want and don't want..and because of this it is causing more problems in my marriage..because My hb is having to face Himself before God..and He really doesn't want to..and so as I change to the New creation in Christ, and DIE to the old man..
and He makes me whole as He intended..My marriage is filled with Many Many problems because of my own actions and understandings in the past about myself, and what I felt I was worth. And I am realizing that had I dealt with these things BEFORE I GOT married..I never ever would have married this
man..as He is now..so I am having to step aside..and allow God to prompt his heart to look within himself and have the desire to change..and if He doesn't then..well..I won't and can't stay married to him..because I know that I deserve better..but I also know that I have done all that God has asked me to do in following Him..whether my husband does or not..is stricktly up to him..I can't make him
since he also has that free will that God gave us all...

My prayers go out to you...and that you will
ask God to search your heart, so that you may
know the truth and be set free from the old man, and welcome in the new..as God desires for all of us..

But real change comes when we really look within ourselves at all the hurts and allow ourselves to go before God and allow Him to cut us open and face the hurts and pains inside and allow Him to really heal us...

it's like..were have a this big gapping wound inside of us that is infected and festering with puss..we can chose to live with the infection, or we can allow the surgeon to go in and clean the wound..He will have to cut us open and make it hurt like hell..but as He cleans out the puss with the peroxide it begins to feel a little better,
and He will stop for awhile and let us rest as He performs the surgery..but He will prompt us again when it's time to go back through the procedure..and each time it is a different section of the wound..(a different hurt a different pain) and in some places the
wounds are deeper than others so those may have to have two or three different surgical procedures..to clean out all the infection that has been festering there..but as each little hurt begins to be cleaned out and starts to heal..You begin to trust God (the surgeon) to heal the bigger wounds..and I will not say that it is not painful..because it is..but it is worth it..as the old song says..It will be worth it all when we see Jesus..And When God says those words..Well done my good and faithful servant..

Sorry this is so long..but my prayers are that this will help someone understand God better, and learn to trust Him more..



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Dick,

I have been e-mailing him letters..and alot
of them go left unanswered..unless its something he feels that I am attacking him
on..then he'll respond to those..and I write
him back trying to explain I wasn't attacking him but rather trying to explain how I feel
about things..and tell him I'm not meaning to
hurt him with the things I am telling him
but I feel that he needs to know..I sent him a list of things I need in a relationship
and he comes back w/ those are conditions
of your loving me..(ie..emotional support..
having someone share w/ me..having someone there to hug me when I am hurting..having someone not throw my past mistakes in my face, I need to be trusted and feel I can trust)I e-mailed him back saying..those are condionitions of my loving you..those are MY needs in a relationship..something I never knew I had or thought I deserved (because I had never dealt w/ my past abuses)..and if you don't feel that you can meet those needs then thats okay..I can except that..but I don't have to stay married to you if you feel you can't meet them..and I shared some other things as well..and asked him some things and he has yet to respond back..or call..


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quote:
Originally posted by Dick:
I recently heard something on a Christian talk show that I had never heard before. In fact I need to give credit to the source.

I heard this from "Dr. Phil" (Phil McGraw) who is a frequent guest on Oprah. He wrote a book entitled "Relationship Rescue".

Appearing on the same show with him was a couple that had been married for 22 years.
The husband openly admitted he had made alot of mistakes and was now trying to correct all the hurt/damage he had caused.

However, despite all the changes for good; the wife had no more feelings and wanted out of the relationship.

What Dr. Phil told the man was (I'll paraphrase); "You screwed up all that time and suddenly just because you've made these changes, you expect your wife to just fall at your feet and worship the new you. Sorry, it doesn't work like that".

(Personal note: This confirms what I have heard that men tend to want to forgive/forget and say "let's just move on"..while women take a long time to get over hurts/wounds.)

Dr. Phil told the man it would take time and that his wife was going to have to see consistency plus need time to heal.

Then, it was what Dr. Phil addressed to the wife that caught my attention. He basically told her this: "You have to earn the right to leave this relationship. By that I mean, you have to have turned over every stone and made every attempt at reconciliation before you have the right to walk out". Then he bluntly asked her if she had done this (she hadn't).

This really ministered to me because of my situation. After nearly 30 years of marriage, my wife left me in Feb of 1996. We were separated for 4 years before we finally divorced in March of this year.

During this time, I remained faithful to her, I didn't date, I made every attempt at reconciliation, I turned over every stone possible to restore the marriage, I made all of the changes necessary, I dealt with every issue (and then some) that caused the separation...but my wife wasn't buying.

Finally, after 4 years I gave up and filed for divorce. In Texas there is what is termed a No Fault Divorce...simple, 60 days to finalize, both parties sign and it is over.

I didn't want to divorce my wife, but she said she wasn't going to divorce me; in fact what she wanted was a "permanent separation".
Even after I filed the divorce, I would have taken her back.

So, when I heard Dr. Phil say that we "have to earn our way out of a relationship", I can honestly say I can look in the mirror and declare I did everything humanly/spiritually possible to save/restore my marriage, but God would not cross my wife's free will.

I honestly believe in most cases, the #1 cause for divorce is "selfishness" in one of the two parties. Not always...but most of the time!

I want to admonish anyone reading this post, before you give up on or walk out on your relationship; ask yourself....."Have I earned the right to leave? Have I honestly turned over every stone and made every attempt at reconciliation?"

If you can say you have and the other party refuses to change; then I say in the words of Jesus...you are free to "shake the dust off your feet" and move on.

What I have shared, I tried to share in love and compassion; and not in judgement towards anyone.

Dick from Texas


I'd like to reply to the idea that you have to "earn the right to leave a relationship". First of all there is never any way any person can ever know or find all of the possible "stones that you have to uncover" i.e. all the options. At every moment you do the best you can, but you can't see everything. Who really has the right to decide whether or not a person in a marriage has really looked at all the options. Dr. Phil MacGraw? OK, so maybe he is a psychologist. But, there are lots of them out there. Only the person in the marriage can really decide whether or not they have tried everything. Only you can know, because you live that marriage everyday. Besides, what happens if you just get tired of looking for options to make a marriage work with a person that puts little effort into your relationship. Do you really have the responsibility of torturing yourself by going through unhappiness everyday.

Right now my husband is currently trying to be a "good guy" in our marriage. Just two weeks ago he wanted a divorce because he said that he regularly saw that people split up and left unhappy marriages and started their lives anew. (I should mention that our disagreement this time started over the way he defended our young female employee for unacceptable behavior and how he basically tried to make me feel as if it were my fault. I wasn't even there.)Anyway, I said OK. If that was what he wanted, that was fine with me. I told him it was fine because I had already decided also that I didn't want to have children with him because I felt he did not seem to understand the responsibilities of having children. I didn't feel I could rely on him. This was at 10:00 pm at our business. I came home. He came home at 4:00 am. When he did come home he didn't speak to me nor tell me where he'd been. Nothing. The only reason we are on speaking terms now is that I went in to talk to him. He'd changed his mind. He didn't want to get a divorce. Frankly, I don't really care anymore. Right now I just want to focus on protecting myself emotionally from him. Obviously, my problems here are deep. But, quite frankly, I don't think Phil McGraw or anybody else really has the right to ask or question whether or not I have tried every option before I decide to leave. The day he has the right to determine whether or not I have the right to leave is the day Phil McGraw lives everyday with me and my husband and gives us some daily couseling. When that day comes he can say anything he wants. Until then, I'll decide.


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Violeta:

To be honest, I really didn't understand the point you were trying to make in your reply to me, except that you obviously 'disagree' with what I have shared.

I'm sorry you feel that way, but I make no amends as to how I feel as do the majority of the people that have replied to this thread.

It is true, that only you know how much is enough...but I still say if more people practiced this in their marriages, we wouldn't have the divorce rate we have.

The bottom line is, people have to work at and in a relationship...too many people just want to walk away. I say that in most cases, people are self-centered, selfish and have no concept of what the word 'committment' means.

The bottom line is, I do believe you have to earn the right to leave a relationship and you have no right to do so until you can say you have turned over every stone and made every attempt...again...only Y0U know when and if you have done this.

Dick from Texas

P.S.

Why reprint my entire, original thread in your post, what purpose does it serve? I know what I said, in fact I see this alot on Marriage Builders


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Violeta,

Seems you have good reason to not trust
your h, and once that trust is broken..it
takes a long time to re-establish..and sometimes that trust can never be rebuilt.

But your right in the fact that nobody has the right to decide for you..whats best for
you..as my mother used to say to ppl who would try and tell her how to live her life..
"when you start supporting me financially, and supporting my kids then you earn the right to tell me how to raise them, and how we should live our life, until then you have no say so in what I do or they do unless it effects you personally"


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Why reprint my entire, original thread in your post, what purpose does it serve? I know what I said, in fact I see this alot on Marriage Builders[/B][/QUOTE]

i don't think this is intentional, but for newbies, if you hit the reply button, it just reprints the whole thing, and it can be a little disorienting. in fact, ive been around awhile, and i don't even know HOW this will look when it comes out.

anyway, did dr phil mention whether major personalitly disorders can shorten the 'stone turning' period? i'd love to see if things can be worked out with my cheating husband, but he lies in EVERY area of his life. lies extensively. is clearly a sociopath (anti-social personality disorder, is what it's called in the DSM-IV, but he's just a supreme con-man). how long do i have to try to work things out? he's cheated and blamed me for it since right after we were married, and now that he's claiming he wants me back, i'm a little wary, obviously.
oh well, this has been something to think about, anyway. thanks for sharing!

julie


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Julie:

Thanks for letting me know why so many times I see replies/responses re-printed...I really didn't understand what purpose this served.

Concerning your situation, I might encourage you to get Dr. Phil's book entitled RELATIONSHIP RESCUE. It was even being sold in WalMart.

Your husband's desire to reconcile with you and your hesitancy is normal....I have come to find out that men tend to want to just forgive/forget and let's go on...while a woman who has been hurt/abused takes a long time to rebuild trust.

Remember, Men are from Mars, but Women are from Venus.

Blessings upon you!

Dick from Texas



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Hi Dick,

After I just posted on EN board that I thought there was some progress, I finally let it all go. he finally did one too many things and I have given up, I have decided to call it quits. After Thursday, when he informed me that he wasn't ready to file because he didn't have the money, would need to do a change of address, and wanted to get me comfortable with the idea that he wasn't a "bad guy" and all, it left me in shock, he was waiting for HIS CONVENIENCE to end the marriage. He keeps playing me to all ends, telling me things that give me a bit of hope, then just not doing anything he said.

To think, I spent lots of money on books trying to work on this relationship and he's been lying to me for years and years. I don't have any idea what is true at this point, to know that he didn't continue with his spur of the moment divorce in 3/98 because he couldn't afford it financially and living a lie the past 2.5 years just floors me. I knew he wasn't very emotional, but a cold blooded jerk is a real eye opener.

I changed the locks on the doors tonight, I have admitted defeat. I deserve better, and I am going to try and work through Life Strategies and get myself back on track. I have the support of the neighbors, the same neighbors that H thought we're always his special friends.

I will have to talk with a lawyer and get things straightened out legally, but I have a direction in which to go now.

Lori


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Lori

Your situation sounds like mine. I hung on for almost 4 years, clinging to every shred of hope my wife gave me....but she never followed through.

I guess she never really wanted reconciliation, but she said she wouldn't divorce me. Now I see it was obvious she wanted me to be the 'bad guy'.

So, like you; I finally gave up after 3 years and 10 months and filed for divorce. It wasn't God's will, but then again; He can not go against her will. Divorce breaks God's heart as much as it does ours.

I feel for you, because I've walked that road.

Dick from Texas


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Woah...I was reading your post and was like
dang..thats my husband..he says one thing and then does something completely opposite..
I don't know what to believe anymore either
he says he wants to save the marriage, but he's not willing to talk about it..all he wants are "details" to an affair I had..I am
like it wasn't about sex..I told him..the thing this other man gave me that HE doesn't
is he talks to me..He would open up and share
things with me about himself, and allow me to share myself with him..(the same thing all my
men friends have done over the years) but as soon as sex became an issue in the emotional I backed off..because thats NOT what I wanted..I couldn't handle it..to me sex and
emotions didn't go together..sex was just a
physical act that had nothing to do with how
you felt about a person. And this OM accepted that and didn't push the sexual part of the
relationship..he was happy just talking and
sharing and getting to know each other..and be there when I needed a friend..which was when I freaked because I started wanting both..for the first time ever in my life..I
wanted to be able to show someone physically
how I felt about them emotionally..and this has really turned my life upside down because
it goes against everything I ever learned or
understood..and it scares the H*ll out of me..because it's something I have never experienced in my life..and I sit here in tears trying to figure out why I can't have this with my husband..and why he doesn't even
try to understand..and when I try to talk to him and share with him it's like he doesn't care about what I am saying..if nots leading to sex..He says he'll look for a job in town..he doesn't..he said he'd take me on a
date..he didn't..it's like he keeps giving
me these little pieces of hope something to
hang on to just to rip them away..and I'm tired of getting hurt..because of it..and I wonder if waiting a little longer is going to
do any good..

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Thorned Rose,

I think the length of time that one keeps trying is variable for each person and relationship. Dick took over 3 years, others have been working at this for 4. I'm at the point of quitting after a bit over a month.
Yes, I wonder if it is too soon, but in my self realization workings, I realized it has been bad for so long, for not just myself, but the kids and my H. Yes, according to all the work I've looked into, we SHOULD be able to save this marriage, there are some problems that CAN be worked out.

Knowing that my H is not willing to work at things, and the obvious pain that he has caused the kids has made my decision to quit a litle sooner than maybe would be advisable otherwise. We will have the time before a divorce becomes final to work on things, and I will try and do that as best that I can, but at the same time, I can't make him try, and realizing that has put me into a Plan B mode of action.

I have to think of the kids, and what is best for them. Already the relationship between myself and the 13 year old is better, less conflicting emotions and tension. She's a strait A student and I certainly don't want to jeopardize her future by keeping so much tension and pain going. I have to admit that I had spent more time trying to appease the H than dealing with the kids... I realize that was wrong, it wasn't fair to them.

I need to work on myself, and feel that can be done better in a Plan B situation where I'm not always trying to figure out what to do to meet H's needs when he won't even let me know what they are.

Feel what works in *your* heart, and do what is best for yourself and the kids at this time. I feel like I had lost "me" and am now recapturing who I am. My kids are wonderful kids, isn't it awful to have such a disaster to make one realize that?

Lori


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I didn't think I would be posting, but this is an interesting topic.

Posted by Ben:

quote:
Marriage, by biblical terms, financial terms, or any other is a side by side.....in other words 50/50. The bottom line is the man and woman are equally responsilbe to eachother and the god of thier understanding.

I agree with Dick- marriage IS a 100%/100%proposition or it is condemned to die.

About "earning my right..." YES I have. There are no remorses, no regrets, not even complaints about what "my" soon-to-be-ex was, is or will be, or about what she did or did not or will do in her future with her life. We had some good (actually great) times but that page is over; at this point of time I am free to start a new relationship with anybody, anywhere... but even IF there was the slightest chance that she would want to come back, she is no longer the type of person that I want to associate with to share my life, my bed, my finances, my dreams.

We must be able to walk away and move on when the time comes... trying to rekindle an old relationship only anchors us in the past. There is a life to be lived, new shores to be visited, new land to be conquered, new dreams to be fulfilled...

Alex

------------------
Live fully and always learn


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This Alex

Thank you for your reply! I want you to know you said something that really helped and ministered to me.

You said "Trying to rekindle an old relationship is staying anchored in the past"

I still am having a hard time with this, concerning my former wife (I hate the term ex). We were divorced in March of this year after 33+ years of marriage and though I am engaged to a wonderful girl...I still have guilt/regrets that maybe I gave up too soon even though I waited 4 years before the divorce (separated 4 years).

But, like you said about your soon to be ex, even though I might still have feelings for my former wife; she is no longer the person I want to share my bed, life, finances etc/etc with.

I guess I need to really meditate on what you said and feel free to move on to a new relationship.

Dick from Texas


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Dick,

Just wanted to pop in and say "HI!" No clever insight...just greetings!

Mitzi


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Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
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