Our Story: Part 7

On one late spring afternoon close to the high school graduation of our eldest, I recall walking into our living room, keeping the couch as a shield between me and the figure of my husband buried in a book.  I mused that at one time I’d been so proud and impressed that my husband was well-read and intelligent, someone I truly respected.   I’d rehearsed what I’d wanted to say to him multiple times in my head, but I don’t know that I had really planned for this to be the time to deliver it. I thank God for making me honest, giving me words, and helping me to deliver them with the right amount of humility, love, AND conviction.

“Can I just tell you something?  I care about you, but I don’t think that we can go on living this way forever, SJ.  I’m sad and depressed, and I don’t think you’re happy either.  We are hurting each other.  It might be a good idea for us to go our separate ways when the kids leave, because I don’t think it’s fair to either of us to remain miserable in a loveless marriage.  To feel loved, I need intimacy, I need closeness, I am a sexual being.  Maybe those things aren’t as important to you, or you are just wired differently, and I’ve come to a point that I don’t hate you for that, if that’s just the way you are.  You are a good, good person in so many ways, and I honestly don’t think you’ve meant to hurt me and reject me; I don’t want to hurt you.   But I can’t live with you, nor for the rest of my life, without intimacy and love.

“So, I guess I was wondering if you wanted to try again, to try to fix things between us… maybe it’s not fixable.  Maybe it’s too late, and if it is, I would just want us to part amicably, remain friends, not even divorce, and to be able to come together for our kids at holidays and special occasions, and still be grateful for that blessing.”

God was there, HE was that “something” that told me to give it one last try.  To have some hope, rather than to just quit and cut my losses.  As hopeless as things seemed, God was not letting me give up on my marriage.

SJ agreed he wanted to try too.

The next three years were a time of learning, communication, introspection, and changes for both of us.  Quite honestly, I did go into this arrogantly thinking that it was SJ who had to do all the changing.  I had a pretty specific list of wishes.  SJ was honest with me about how difficult I had been to live with, detailing the ways I’d hurt him.  I wasn’t prepared for how much I had to change, and it was sometimes very difficult to look into the mirror.  But the number one tool that helped us through was frequent communication and honesty.  I wish I could say it was prayer that did it ALL, because I know we both did a lot of that.  We are still working on praying for and with each other.  We are learning to be humble.  But most importantly, we stopped hiding.

This blog will be dedicated to anecdotes of the healing of our marriage over a three year period (and continuing), and the things we have learned in the process about ourselves, and about God’s plan for marriage.  I hope that it provides a place for encouragement, teaching, sharing and prayer for the restoration of all marriages.  For engaged or newlyweds, perhaps it will be an insight for all the things to avoid!

Above all, I am proof that not only does God still do miracles, but that it’s never too late to heal and renew, to restore what seemed ruined.

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever.  (1 Peter 4:5-7, 10)

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