Marriage Struggles

I had Kyle go to me to a bible study with some other cou­ples and it is amaz­ing what he picked up by being there.  We were talk­ing about praying…and how prayer changes things.  Talk­ing about how in all of our mar­riages when we try to grow closer together how there seems to be a spir­i­tual war­fare and we can feel it.  They talked about the strug­gles in their mar­riages and the bat­tles they face and the prayers.  The thing that sparked Kyle was how all of them devoted time to be with God and made it a pri­or­ity to pray with their fam­ily and set aside a time in the word grow­ing closer to God together.…even though every­time they would set the time…it would seem like some­thing was fight­ing against them to do that.  On the way home Kyle said, mom I want you to know that dad loves you…he just knew.  He came home from the study and read the bible and we prayed together.  He gave me the biggest hug.  My kid­dos are the sweet­est!!  They prayed that God keeps our fam­ily together!  Please pray for us too…we…the children…our friends, are worth the fight.

Really??

Of course some­one else is going to step up and lead. What does it make a dif­fer­ence if some­one else leads, they still know that you are going to study and talk and be there. Might as well just lead it! If they were lis­ten­ing to God, they would encour­age you to get your stuff right with your fam­ily and come back and lead.

Baseball Season

I am look­ing for­ward to swing­ing into base­ball sea­son. It is always a lot of fun to see the smiles on all the boys faces. I espe­cially like grab­bing my cam­era and try­ing to get the per­fect shot. Although I rarely do…the hunt is still fun. I am amazed at my sons drive, when they set their mind to do some­thing, noth­ing stops them. I remem­ber in vol­ley­ball, I would do the bare min­i­mum just to be on the team, but when some­one says you should do pushups every night to Kyle, he does them every night. If some­one wasn’t watch­ing me, I wasn’t doing them. They are teach­ing me a les­son every­day. It is impor­tant to do things even when no one is notic­ing. To expand your mind, extend your capa­bil­i­ties and live each day in prayer and to your fullest! Don’t look for the easy way out! It’s not that easy!

Forgiveness

Not to for­give is to be impris­oned by the past, by old griev­ances that do not per­mit life to pro­ceed with new busi­ness. Not to for­give is to yield one­self to another’s con­trol… to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of out­rage and revenge, tit for tat, esca­lat­ing always. The present is end­lessly over­whelmed and devoured by the past. For­give­ness frees the for­giver. It extracts the for­giver from some­one else’s night­mare.” – Lance Morrow

Gardening

I love to Garden…it is one of my favorite past times with my father!  Yes­ter­day I was weed­ing my flower gar­den with my boys and they were lit­er­ally crack­ing me UP.  Con­nor would pull out a big weed and say, “That’s LIVE action!!”  “I got that with my BARE hands!”  I turned and looked at him and told him…those aren’t your bare hands…you have gloves on.  In which he responded, “OH!”  LOL  I told him he was one of the fun­ni­est per­sons I know, he said thanks!  He said weed­ing was a piece of cake…not just one piece of cake — two pieces of cake and a muf­fin!  Logan said aren’t I funny too?  Yes, Logan you are really funny too!  Our neigh­bors dropped by to tell me how much help I had, I told them that they liked weed­ing so much that they wanted to do it EVERY­day, she said cool, when they are fin­ished there they can come on over…  Con­nor said okay…that will be 50cents.  Logan said cool we can open up a lemon­ade stand, except we can sell us weed­ing.  Too cute…and they helped me pull a lot of weeds, minus the cou­ple of actual flow­ers they trampled…aw well.  Logan wanted to know why if God invented every­thing why did he invent weeds, I told him that I think they rep­re­sent sin.  God wants us to pluck out the weeds, the things that take us away from him and stunts out our growth.

An article I read…may help others as well.

The last word: He said he was leav­ing. She ignored him.

When Laura Munson’s hus­band asked for a divorce, she ducked instead of fight­ing. He needed to learn, she says, that his unhap­pi­ness wasn’t really about her

posted on August 13, 2009, at 11:19 AM
Hap­pi­ness starts within. Even­tu­ally, my hus­band got it.

Let’s say you have what you believe to be a healthy mar­riage. You’re still friends and lovers after spend­ing more than half of your lives together. The dreams you set out to achieve in your 20s—gazing into each other’s eyes in can­dlelit city bistros, when you were sin­gle and skinny—have for the most part come true.
Two decades later you have the 20 acres of land, the farm­house, the chil­dren, the dogs and horses. You’re the par­ents you said you would be, full of love and guid­ance. You’ve done it all: Dis­ney­land, camp­ing, Hawaii, Mex­ico, city liv­ing, stargaz­ing.
Sure, you have your mar­i­tal issues, but on the whole you feel so self-satisfied about how things have worked out that you would never, in your wildest night­mares, think you would hear these words from your hus­band one fine sum­mer day: “I don’t love you any­more. I’m not sure I ever did. I’m mov­ing out. The kids will under­stand. They’ll want me to be happy.”
But wait. This isn’t the divorce story you think it is. Nei­ther is it a begging-him-to-stay story. It’s a story about hear­ing your hus­band say, “I don’t love you any­more” and decid­ing not to believe him. And what can hap­pen as a result.
Here’s a visual: Child throws a tem­per tantrum. Tries to hit his mother. But the mother doesn’t hit back, lec­ture or pun­ish. Instead, she ducks. Then she tries to go about her busi­ness as if the tantrum isn’t hap­pen­ing. She doesn’t “reward” the tantrum. She sim­ply doesn’t take the tantrum per­son­ally because, after all, it’s not about her.
Let me be clear: I’m not say­ing my hus­band was throw­ing a child’s tantrum. No. He was in the grip of some­thing else—a pro­found and far more trou­bling melt­down that comes not in child­hood but in midlife, when we per­ceive that our per­sonal tra­jec­tory is no longer arc­ing reli­ably upward as it once did. But I decided to respond the same way I’d responded to my children’s tantrums. And I kept respond­ing to it that way. For four months.
“I don’t love you any­more. I’m not sure I ever did.”
His words came at me like a speed­ing fist, like a sucker punch, yet some­how in that moment I was able to duck. And once I recov­ered and com­posed myself, I man­aged to say, “I don’t buy it.” Because I didn’t.
He drew back in sur­prise. Appar­ently he’d expected me to burst into tears, to rage at him, to threaten him with a cus­tody bat­tle. Or beg him to change his mind.
So he turned mean. “I don’t like what you’ve become.”
Gut-wrenching pause. How could he say such a thing? That’s when I really wanted to fight. To rage. To cry. But I didn’t.
Instead, a shroud of calm enveloped me, and I repeated those words: “I don’t buy it.”
You see, I’d recently com­mit­ted to a non-negotiable under­stand­ing with myself. I’d com­mit­ted to “the End of Suf­fer­ing.” I’d finally man­aged to exile the voices in my head that told me my per­sonal hap­pi­ness was only as good as my out­ward suc­cess, rooted in things that were often out­side my con­trol. I’d seen the insan­ity of that equa­tion and decided to take respon­si­bil­ity for my own hap­pi­ness. And I mean all of it.
My hus­band hadn’t yet come to this under­stand­ing with him­self. He had enjoyed many years of hard work, and its rewards had sup­ported our fam­ily of four all along. But his new endeavor hadn’t been going so well, and his abil­ity to be the bread­win­ner was in rapid decline. He’d been mis­er­able about this, felt use­less, was los­ing him­self emo­tion­ally and let­ting him­self go phys­i­cally. And now he wanted out of our mar­riage; to be done with our fam­ily.
But I wasn’t buy­ing it.
I said: “It’s not age-appropriate to expect chil­dren to be con­cerned with their par­ents’ hap­pi­ness. Not unless you want to cre­ate co-dependents who’ll spend their lives in bad rela­tion­ships and ther­apy. There are times in every rela­tion­ship when the par­ties involved need a break. What can we do to give you the dis­tance you need, with­out hurt­ing the fam­ily?”
“Huh?” he said.
“Go trekking in Nepal. Build a yurt in the back meadow. Turn the garage stu­dio into a man-cave. Get that drum set you’ve always wanted. Any­thing but hurt­ing the chil­dren and me with a reck­less move like the one you’re talk­ing about.”
Then I repeated my line, “What can we do to give you the dis­tance you need, with­out hurt­ing the fam­ily?”
“Huh?”
“How can we have a respon­si­ble dis­tance?”
“I don’t want dis­tance,” he said. “I want to move out.”
My mind raced. Was it another woman? Drugs? Uncon­scionable secrets? But I stopped myself. I would not suf­fer.
Instead, I went to my desk, Googled “respon­si­ble sep­a­ra­tion,” and came up with a list. It included things like: Who’s allowed to use what credit cards? Who are the chil­dren allowed to see you with in town? Who’s allowed keys to what?
I looked through the list and passed it on to him.
His response: “Keys? We don’t even have keys to our house.”
I remained stoic. I could see pain in his eyes. Pain I rec­og­nized.
“Oh, I see what you’re doing,” he said. “You’re going to make me go into ther­apy. You’re not going to let me move out. You’re going to use the kids against me.”
“I never said that. I just asked: What can we do to give you the dis­tance you need … ”
“Stop say­ing that!”
Well, he didn’t move out.
Instead, he spent the sum­mer being unre­li­able. He stopped com­ing home at his usual 6 o’clock. He would stay out late and not call. He blew off our entire Fourth of July—the parade, the bar­be­cue, the fireworks—to go to some­one else’s party. When he was at home, he was dis­tant. He wouldn’t look me in the eye. He didn’t even wish me “Happy Birth­day.”
But I didn’t play into it. I walked my line. I told the kids: “Daddy’s hav­ing a hard time, as adults often do. But we’re a fam­ily, no mat­ter what.” I was not going to suf­fer. And nei­ther were they.
My trusted friends were irate on my behalf. “How can you just stand by and accept this behav­ior? Kick him out! Get a lawyer!”
I walked my line with them, too. This man was hurt­ing, yet his prob­lem wasn’t mine to solve. In fact, I needed to get out of his way so he could solve it.
I know what you’re think­ing: I’m a pushover. I’m weak and scared and would put up with any­thing to keep the fam­ily together. I’m prob­a­bly one of those women who would endure phys­i­cal abuse. But I can assure you, I’m not. I load 1,500-pound horses into trail­ers and gal­lop through the high coun­try of Mon­tana all sum­mer. I went through Pitocin-induced nat­ural child­birth. And a Cae­sarean sec­tion with­out follow-up drugs. I am handy with a chain saw.
I sim­ply had come to under­stand that I was not at the root of my husband’s prob­lem. He was. If he could turn his prob­lem into a mar­i­tal fight, he could make it about us. I needed to get out of the way so that wouldn’t hap­pen.
Pri­vately, I decided to give him time. Six months.
I had good days and I had bad days. On the good days, I took the high road. I ignored his lash­ing out, his mer­ci­less jabs. On bad days, I would fes­ter in the August sun while the kids ran through sprin­klers, rag­ing at him in my mind. But I never wavered. Although it may sound ridicu­lous to say, “Don’t take it per­son­ally” when your hus­band tells you he no longer loves you, some­times that’s exactly what you have to do.
Instead of issu­ing ulti­ma­tums, yelling, cry­ing, or beg­ging, I pre­sented him with options. I cre­ated a sum­mer of fun for our fam­ily and wel­comed him to share in it, or not—it was up to him. If he chose not to come along, we would miss him, but we would be just fine, thank you very much. And we were.
And, yeah, you can bet I wanted to sit him down and per­suade him to stay. To love me. To fight for what we’ve cre­ated. You can bet I wanted to.
But I didn’t.
I bar­be­cued. Made lemon­ade. Set the table for four. Loved him from afar.
And one day, there he was, home from work early, mow­ing the lawn. A man doesn’t mow his lawn if he’s going to leave it. Not this man. Then he fixed a door that had been bro­ken for eight years. He made a com­ment about our front porch need­ing paint. Our front porch. He men­tioned need­ing wood for next win­ter. The future. Lit­tle by lit­tle, he started talk­ing about the future.
It was Thanks­giv­ing din­ner that sealed it. My hus­band bowed his head humbly and said, “I’m thank­ful for my fam­ily.”
He was back.
And I saw what had been miss­ing: pride. He’d lost pride in him­self. Maybe that’s what hap­pens when our egos take a hit in midlife and we real­ize we’re not as young and golden any­more.
When life’s knocked us around. And our child­hood myths reveal them­selves to be just that. The truth feels like the biggest sucker-punch of them all: It’s not a spouse, or land, or a job, or money that brings us hap­pi­ness. Those achieve­ments, those rela­tion­ships, can enhance our hap­pi­ness, yes, but hap­pi­ness has to start from within. Rely­ing on any other equa­tion can be lethal.
My hus­band had become lost in the myth. But he found his way out. We’ve since had the hard con­ver­sa­tions. In fact, he encour­aged me to write about our ordeal. To help other cou­ples who arrive at this junc­ture in life. Peo­ple who feel scared and stuck. Who believe their tem­po­rary feel­ings are per­ma­nent. Who see an easy out and think they can escape.
My hus­band tried to strike a deal. Blame me for his pain. Unload his feel­ings of per­sonal dis­grace onto me.
But I ducked. And I waited. And it worked.

Awkward

Try­ing to give him space…so he can fig­ure out stuff, but also don’t want to give too much space so he thinks I don’t need him at all. But it is a bit awk­ward to have loved some­one for close to 19 years…and feel like you may/may not talk to them. All I know is that it is in God’s hands and I can’t worry about it. I do not need any health issues at this point and pent up hurt and aggres­sion only hurts me. I just pray that God heals our bro­ken fam­ily, because it is a long road of unknown. How can you not end a CLOSE friendship…but you have no trou­ble end­ing a mar­riage? A friend­ship almost 2 decades. Just so confused?!?!?!?!?

Appreciated

I need to feel loved, impor­tant and appre­ci­ated. I have been want­ing to go to Chase BBQ with my hus­band for a long time now…but just never quite made it there…and today I saw a coupon for $10 off your meal…I am so excited. Why do I need oth­ers to go out of their way for me. The place was there all along, I could have very eas­ily just gone by myself, but guess it was some­thing that I wanted to try for the first time with my hus­band. Times are real tough right now. It is really hard to stay focused at work and not think of things that bring me down…but i don’t have time to cry all day, so I bet­ter suck up and live with my con­se­quences of not mak­ing quicker deci­sions to seek help way long ago. I pray that if you ever need some words of encour­age­ment that I can be there for you and help you along your jour­ney of this VERY tough life. I just pray for my chil­dren that they do not have extra burdens…my old­est is ten and we have quickly thrown him into an adult world. Alright bet­ter dry up my tears…the more I write the more I CRY.

Deeply Hurt

I see an apol­ogy in the future…Wow how can peo­ple be so insensitive?

Ferguson’s photoshoot!