Thursday, August 26, 2010

Frustration, Heartbreak, Love, Disappointment

This roller coaster is not fun. To be honest, I hate it. I'm too human to let go and trust God. I'm trying, but... Mostly it's because I know some of this isn't so much in God's hands as it is my wife's hands, and if she won't listen to God, then my understanding of God is He isn't going to step in any time soon. I pray for a softened heart, but if God gives us our agency then doesn't that mean a softened heart doesn't happen until that person is at least slightly willing to allow it?


I realize I should clarify. I trust God and believe He has my best interests at heart. My problem has been that I find it hard to stop worrying about whether my wife will pull her head out or continue down the path she's obviously chosen. I have always had a hard time letting go of something to 'let the Lord handle it'. I always think I should be doing more. This is where I'm hitting the wall. Anything I say to LeeAnn seems to make things worse. She doesn't see at all any problem with the way she's been acting (or says I'm making a big deal out of nothing). Her favorite seems to be, "So, you weren't perfect either!" Okay...


As a more full knowledge of the last year and a half of my marriage unfolds, I feel sicker and sicker. My stomach knots and ends up somewhere near the bottom of my throat. My heart feels both pain and deadening as the realization of the lie I've lived in becomes more real.

My wife had a "no-sex" affair from March to May or so last year, with a guy she'd dated in the 90's and pronounced a weird, hopeless loser any time she ever mentioned him (once she'd moved out of state he stalked her mother and young sister as a way to feel closer to her). We reconciled, she cut it off, and swore that she'd spend the rest of our lives proving to me that she loved me and I'd never get rid of her. Until October or so of last year when, fresh into a new job, she started meeting up with him again, unbeknownst to me. Meeting every 'couple' of weeks, or 'weekly', or 'whatever'. Lunch, make-out sessions, whatever. In the meantime, I'd been getting all sorts of weird feelings about how she was acting and every time I brought it up she lamented the fact that our marriage would be ruined if I couldn't learn to trust her again, because she loved me, would be with me forever, etc. etc. Except for when she was with him, I guess, because those assurances happened in the middle of her 'other' activities...

Over the last few weeks I've been trying to show her I would reconcile if she chose to. She'd told me that she was repentant. Sorry for what she did, but afraid that she'd do it again if she came back. She said she wasn't ready to make that commitment. Not to me, mind you. What she meant was she wasn't ready to cut off seeking physical and emotional attention from other men.

I may be mistaken, but I always thought a repentant heart meant you'd at least stop what you were up to and start looking for a way to fix it. Not with my wife, I guess.


So the boys were with her yesterday and when I got to her mom's to pick them up, my wife (yes, we are still married) met me at the door with the blood drained from her face. She informed me that our younger son had fallen off a table at the park at noon that day, but shown no evidence of the injury until 7:00PM, when a small but obviously deep cut began oozing blood over his corn silk hair. My mother-in-law's sister was pronouncing him fine (no Dr. needed) over the phone when I told my wife to give him to me so I could take him to the hospital. I took her as well and the boy ended up with one staple in his scalp. Not a huge deal, but I would have heard nothing about his injury if I hadn't seen the blood. If he'd had a concussion or subdural hematoma I wouldn't have known as he drifted off to sleep once we got home because my wife thinks keeping me from knowing anything that might put her in a bad light is the proper way to go. She did the same thing when she lost the same son at the mall a month ago and it took long enough to find him that other adults (and maybe security or police) were involved. I know this because, unlike my wife, my sons talk to me. A lot. They both repeated their version of events many times since and I was just waiting to see if she would bring it up.

Am I wrong for thinking that her withholding that type of information (especially in light of her general deceitfulness over the last 3-4 years) is troublesome? They are our children, right? She seems to think I want to know these things so I can 'get her in trouble' and 'take the boys from her'. I tend to look at it as wanting to know anything of importance about the boys when they've been with her for the day or longer. If the boy had woken up screaming in the night after having been lost I might have been able to comfort him, knowing what the source of that fear was. As a matter of fact, that happened... Good thing the three year old had explained it to me first.

And yes, I would still rather reconcile than divorce, but I'm wondering if that would be a fool's errand no matter what my wife ends up deciding?


Anonymous said...

>I always thought a repentant heart meant you'd at least stop what you were up to and start looking for a way to fix it.

It does. You might not be confident that you won't falter in the future, but repentance requires the full commitment to never committing the sin again. It means throwing the whole sin away, not just the most problematic or visible aspects. It means taking that one foot out of Babylon and putting both firmly in the center of Zion. It means no compromise. It means no pet sins that we fool ourselves into thinking we can't get along without. It means growing up and doing what has to be done, regardless of how we feel.

And if we falter, we do it all over again, and we keep doing it until we beat it completely and are free.


Lying, or any kind of deceit, is always troublesome. It prevents repentance and it prevents spiritual as well as emotional healing.

Old Man C said...

Thank you. According to my wife she's doing so much better now that everyone can see it. All I see is a darkened countenance that I barely recognize as the woman I married. It was like that last year when I found out about the affair. She had an evil contempt in her callousness that was disturbing, and that demeanor is back with a vengeance.

I'm at a complete loss as to how she can't see it and I worry for our kids having to be exposed to it. As they grow older, how do I teach them about chastity, honor and integrity when their mother has chosen to have none. How do I say, "This is what God requires", knowing that they'll see their mother has no respect for those things. When the world scoffs at these 'old fashioned' morals, they will need look no further than her for another argument in the world's favor. To me, that is the worst betrayal of all.

Anonymous said...

>they will need look no further than her for another argument in the world's favor.

I don't see it as an argument in the world's favor. Think of it this way: Is a street bum an argument in favor of the success in life brought about by insanity, crime, or drug addiction?

Teach your boys correct principles, make sure they understand what actions lead to what results, and tell them the truth, and they'll realize that what they are seeing is a warning about the results of prioritizing worldly standards and personal urges over integrity, covenants, and God. In general, they'll be able to differentiate between truth and deceit.

Old Man C said...

As I think of the task ahead I must admit I'm afraid I won't be up to the challenge. I thought I had a partner in this. One with a few issues, but one who had chosen to love and revere the Gospel and who wanted to raise our sons up to the Lord. I worry that I won't be good enough to outweigh the bad (let alone rid myself of the bad in me).

I think of the influence my mother had in my life (for good and not so good) and I worry for the boys. You are right though that teaching correct principles will be my best line of defense.

How horrible it feels to hope my wife's negative choices don't come across as happy, good examples of how to live one's life. Experience tells me she won't be happy, but that experience comes from one who has always felt the prick of conscience when even small sins have been allowed to stand. One thing I am learning is an even greater understanding of just how much my entire existence relies on the Lord and my trust in and obedience to Him. I only hope I can rise to the challenge and provide what my boys need.

Sarah Waddington said...

OK, this is gonna be a long one, so, sorry!....

Firstly, I think you are being way harsh on yourself. He never gives us more than we can handle, remember. Feels like it when those big trials come along, I know. He knows what He is doing up there!
He has blessed you with those 2 beautiful boys, yes, but equally importantly, He blessed them with you as their Daddy. Always remember that.

I keep thinking about my experiences as a child growing up in a single parent household, and trying to use my experiences, and how it feels later on, to help you, and I hope it does....

I remember having no time whatsoever for my Father, because I hated what he was doing to my Mum, and also hated that he tried to use us to get at her, with the secrets, and stuff he knew we weren't allowed to do that he tried to have us do, and the times he put our safety at risk. Didn't work with me, I'd never do what he asked anyway... Always came home and told Mum. You'd have thought he'd have learned to be honest about stuff, but, nope. Anyway, I digress...
Sounds like your 2 are already sharing the things that are happening with you. Thats great. Keep talking to them, finding out how their day was. its important.
Joseph is already showing worryingly similar signs to myself :0 He's refusing to sleep anywhere but in his own bed. Gotta tell ya, think yourself lucky, I wouldn't sleep anywhere but with my arms and legs wrapped around Mum. Bet she loved that ;)

The church will be important to you in terms of guiding them in years to come. Primary, Young Mens, laying down that bedrock for them, and building them into young men you will be proud of.

As for what the boys need. Really, all they need is you, fit, healthy, and backing them up all the way in every way that matters.

Finally, when you're feeling low I want you to look at your Facebook page. You are loved by many, many people. Hell, I remembered enough about you to look you up all these years later. Thats some impact you had, right there! And I'm guessing I'm not alone, honorary brother from another mother!
Anyway. thats enough for now.
Love ya, praying for ya.
Anything I can help with. just shout. And I really mean that

Old Man C said...

Thank you Sarah. That meant a lot. I will always cherish our friendship, my little Ollie...