beginning anew… hopefully

So yesterday was another really hard day for Mr. Fox and Mrs. Bunny rabbit. In fact, I felt so awful after such a difficult weekend that i didn’t even go to work today. I never do this, but it was so yucky and we were up till 1 am talking about issues.

Apparently when Richie was out of control with pornography, he was stuffing down feelings; feelings of dissatisfaction with our marriage. Resentment at how I act and how I make him feel unloved and have trouble apparently expressing love. It was very humbling to really listen to these things, but instead of shutting down and crying like I usually do.

His letter was as follows:

  1. That I can’t express a problem I have without it becoming about you (i.e.: R: i’m  mad about x behavior” L= “sorry for being the worst wife ever”)
  2. I can’t express how I feel about something because you turn it into something that is your fault (i.e.: R= I wish we had chips L= I’m the worst wife ever, i suck because I didn’t buy my husband chips)
  3. I’m mad that instead of talking about what is actually bothering me, or even more frustrating, if I ever try to compliment you, you keep gooding me until i say something that you can take as proof that I’m lying to you about how I feel about you. i.e.: (R=Hello beautiful girl; L= Oh, I’m not, I’m ugly”; R= Not true; L= I bet you would find me attractive if I had large breasts; R= well I uses that it would be nice L= You do think I’m ugly!)
  4. I feel I can’t communicate with you if it is something you don’t like
  5. I’m mad that I can’t say anything nice to you without it being thrown right back into my face.
  6. I’ll lump all of the Wendy problems here. I’m mad because she doesn’t respect me, you, Becca, or Dave. Mad that she never really changes. Mad that she is medalling, controlling, manipulative, and unapologetic.
  7. Mad that no matter what I do, everything gets worse. I am mad that nothing gets resolved, always it ends in me finding out that you were only pretending to be happy being away from your mom.

Then he wrote about things that make him sad:

  1. That quiet time tougher never seems to go anywhere.
  2. Sad about his choice to suppress his emotions with pornography.
  3. He misses being friends with my mom.
  4. He sometimes feels devalued as he feels that no one changes but him and things don’t change unless he submits to Wendy; this includes my attitude as well
  5. He doesn’t like who he’s become in this past year or two
  6. He feels that nobody cares about his problem as long as it is solved or solvable
  7. He is sad about where we are right now and feels like he failed everyone
  8. He is sad about how I supposedly keep wanting to be controlled by my mom.

He wrote “My sadness leaves me lost, hurt, and scared. Right now I am at the lowest point in my life and feel that Jesus is the only friend that I have left, and His loving mercy is the only hope I have left”.

Then he wrote a few things he is happy about:

  1. Happy that Jesus is restoring me, and I am closer to him now than at any time in my adult life
  2. I’m hopeful that things will get better for us
  3. I’m happy that I’m in recovery.
  4. I’m happy you are in recovery too.
  5. Happy I am finally being honest about how I feel.

He wrote, “My happiness is mostly a hopefulness for the future and a thankfulness for Jesus’ grace and mercy”.

“I feel trapped though, still lost. I talked about divorce because all these feelings make me feel insecure about what our relationship even is, and I don’t know if you are even going to like who it is that God is shaping me into. Staying together means changing together. I need to be able to express how I feel. I need to be able to communicate my love to you, and my issues. If you want to keep pretending and ignoring and isolating and avoiding, I don’t know how much you will like honesty and openness.”

I admit that I have many negative traits, but i’d say that one positive one is that I always think the best of others and like to see the best in people and I am kind and gentle. I truly can overlook little things and am not really a small detail person; much more of a big picture person. More concrete than Richie who is quite abstract. But of course there are parts of Richie that I don’t like or respect at all, but I don’t dwell on them! Because i have committed and am committed to loving him. I felt like even though I appreciated the honestly in his letter, he needs to come to a reality check that he isn’t by any means the perfect spouse in our marriage… He can be wishy washy, uncommitted, selfish and arrogant, depressive, undisciplined, undriven (at worst… there are many wonderful traits that he has too)… but guess what? I LOVE HIM! I choose to love him whether or not he changes. Love is not always a sparkly feeling; sometimes love is a choice. Richie tends to be a depressive idealist and always want things to be better than; almost discontent with things most people would see as ok or normal. Honestly, I think that I would be ok with a marriage like either of our parents (issues but they’ve each been together for around 30 years), but of course would strive with him for better; but wouldn’t be unhappy if it ended up like that.

Honestly, i think he’s put a lot of pressure on me and placed the bar too high. I feel insecure that one day he might leave me if I don’t change fast enough, and in fact that makes me unmotivated to change at all or be intimate with him, because I VALUE commitment an I feel like his love for me is based on who I could be; not who I am now; and then if I didn’t change quick enough he might check out of the marriage. I thought marriage was about unconditional, till death do we part love, and i choose to see the best and that’s just how I am, but if Richie chooses to be arrogant, then I can show him that I’m not thrilled with everything he does either, but that’s ok. Or maybe i’m just being the arrogant one here. I do appreciate him telling me these things, because i have to work on them, but it hurts my sensitive heart. I hope we both have the same high view of the commitment that we made before the Lord this past May.

Well, I guess at this point, I’m over the pride and imagining with my head in the clouds that my marriage is awesome. We have lots of shit to work out. Marriage isn’t what we thought it would be; but it is… and I just hope that he is as committed as me to working on things. I used to think we had a great relationship.  Oh well, I guess we are working on things one day at a time and rebuilding from scratch. This is embarrassing.

 

 

But… He giveth more grace…

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as the labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

[Refrain:]
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will up bear.

Wow.

Blessings from Raindrops?

beautyfromashes

I decided to use this space as a therapeutic outlet; writing is so therapeutic for me, almost better than therapy because I can be real and sort through my thoughts. As someone who tends to want to make people think well of me, it is sometimes hard for me to even be fully open about the darkest parts of my heart with a therapist. I hope that the LORD can use this space to help me to fully understand my heart, so that it can be healed.

Sometimes marital issues can feel like a deep dark hole. It’s like being in a black, destitute hole, and being all alone, because the hole is looked upon with shame. Good, Christian newliweds don’t have major marriage problems; marriage problems are for people who are unwise, undiscerning, ungodly; not for godly women who love the Lord… I used to harshly judge people in my mind whose marriages don’t work out or who have ongoing marriage struggles (what is wrong with them?!), but suddenly I see it through a different lens; a lense of sadness and compassion. Suddenly, I understand a bit how hard things in a marriage can get. A good, or even decent marriage, takes two people communicating, being on the same page on many things and accepting if they aren’t, and forgiveness. If one of the spouses is a crappy forgiver, then they will likely just walk out. I think that one of the most important things in a successful marriage is realizing that there are ups and here can be major downs, but there is no “exit strategy”.

I am in this thing called “marriage” till death do we part. I take marriage and the commitment I made on my wedding day extremely seriously, and would only leave in the case of serious physical abuse. I hope that Richie feels the same way. I worry because we were in the car the other day and somehow the theoretical topic of divorce came up (i think i asked if he ever thinks it’s ok or if he would ever do it). He seemed to not be able to give me a clear answer that it wasn’t ever ok (or only in rare circumstances). In some ways he is “wishy washy” in his views on things and not strong in his opinions, so hopefully he was just being theoretical. It sounded like his views on divorce were that if both people don’t love each other anymore and would be better off apart then it’s through God’s grace that He instituted divorce. And maybe it was just a bad night, but he stated that he wouldn’t want to live forever in a bad marriage (implying that he might leave me if things did not get better and if I didn’t change fast enough or make enough improvements etc). I do not believe that. Marriage is the very picture of Christ and how He loves His church. God loves marriage. He hates divorce. I hope Richie has a high enough view of marriage that he would not divorce me. I have a very low view of divorce, and that thought just sends a surge of terror into my heart. I don’t feel the same safety to grow with him, if he has an exit strategy. I am a bit scared of having kids with him (I have such a deep yearning in my heart to be a mamma and always have… I have prayed for my kids for years and love them even though I don’t know then yet!), because I could just picture how hard and sad it would be to be a single mamma, if we even ever got to the point we felt it was the right time to make a baby (I’m feeling such dysfunction now that I’m now sure about the when- we were thinking of not waiting more than a year or two, but I would be honestly terrified to get pregnant right now based on our marriage). I’m saddened because I lost some trust in the man whose hands I placed my whole life in. I have such a poor view of divorce that aside from everything, if Richie walked out I’d feel so ashamed and embarrassed. No one else would ever want a divorced woman; if i was a divorced woman i might never even want anyone else… i’d feel so used, impure, and broken. I might never have children. Everyone in the church would judge me. In that horrible situation, I’d probably move and restart my life elsewhere… Honestly i think it’s hard because we are both grieving what we thought marriage would be and realize that we got married without knowing each other much at all or having basic communication skills with each other.

It’s also a hard chapter because my relationship w/ my mom has been changing so much. I know there have been issues with codependency, but at the same time, I have this deep and special love for my mommy. I know she loves me deeply and even though she can be overbearing at times, deep down it’s out of love. After issues we have had with her early in our marriage with her trying, I believe inadvertently, to be a part of our marriage and make decisions for us, Richie has wanted us to pull away, and not share a lot with her. He makes a lot of derogatory comments about her. I just want us all to recover a healthy relationship, but he doesn’t think that’s possible, so he wants to be distant from her. It’s so sad as I love her so much. The future mother’s heart inside of me is broken because those babies that the Lord entrusts to me, are already so precious to me, I can’t imagine how I’ll feel when I meet them. If they ever cut me out of their life, I would be completely heartbroken.

Anyhow… that’s where I’m at… long story short, I accidentally stepped over boundaries that Richie and I had talked about and shared some personal details about our marriage w/ my mom. It’s a transition to not be able to go to her for advice like I used to. And I felt bad… I came home and found out Richie used porn. I don’t even know if I care anymore. I feel like it’s the least of our issues and just covering up bigger issues; plus I deserve it and need to be a more together and selfless wife… so we both failed yesterday. It’s One day at a time…

These lyrics touched my heart right where it’s at today ❤

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things
‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe
‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It’s not our home
‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

Beauty from Ashes?

I found this quote on Facebook the other day and found it to be quite poignant:

happy marriage

 

 

So… a while back, I decided to make this blog a public blog in order to encourage others. Well, that approach tends to lead me to put on a façade here too, like I do in all other areas of my life. So much has happened, and so much is going on in my mind and in my heart and in my marriage lately. I am therefore making this very anonymous (pics deleted, no last names)… for now, so that I can really share my heart in case anyone finds this. Only the Lord can see this as He helps me to search my heart and know my thoughts. Please Lord, help me to learn and see my heart more clearly through my words, speak to me through them.

 

Here is my back story. Richie and I dated for 2.5 years or so before getting engaged. We were in a long distance relationship, and would get together and have fun, but never really had to discuss or think about serious things, and in many ways we hid parts of who we were from each other. Soon after we started dating, we got involved in sexual sin, and I think that blinded us in some ways from really getting to know each other, and getting more bonded and emotionally involved than we should have before getting to know each other.

 

There was a time about 2 months before we got engaged that I wondered if Richie’s heart was really in the relationship. I remember I felt more distant from him, and felt he wasn’t coming down to see me as much (it was a long distance relationship, and he mostly came to see me because I was in graduate school). One day, I had to present my thesis and had a major presentation, and he didn’t come to see me because he had a job interview for a second job. I was so upset, but I didn’t want to say anything at risk of being overly pushy, or pursuing him more than he did me. It was also around the time of final exams, and I remember sitting in a study room crying because I wondered if our relationship would work and if he would dump me. The thought came to me about how sexual we had been together, and basically how I’d given him my own body, and I couldn’t fathom the thought of breaking up after that. I would feel so used if that happened. No one else would want me… in fact I would likely never find anyone else. I couldn’t give my heart and body away again because I felt I had given this man everything and how could his heart not be in it…

 

 

Well, I think in his heart at that season, he realized we either had to get married or break up, especially with our ongoing sexual sin outside of a commitment that we felt guilty about. So he quit his job at the other restaurant and proposed in July. I was shocked. We never talked seriously about getting married, but I think we had talked briefly about it, like what we might want our wedding to be like. That day July 6th, 2014, my life changed forever when my then boyfriend took my to the hike that we went on for our first day uttered the words that every girl dreams of hearing since they are little girls, “Lizzie, will you marry me”. The day I put that beautiful pink saffire ring on my finger was the day my life began to change forever.

 

Our engagement revealed some little red flags and difficulties on both sides, but we ignored those things and moved full speed ahead without wedding planning. My head was in a pink cloud nine of all things for pink happy spring weddings, like I always dreamed I’d have if I got married… Then on that beautiful May day, I walked down the flower laced aisle to my favorite hymn and I my husband and I vowed our lives together before the Lord. I could never fathom how profoundly my life changed that day.

 

For the first few months of our marriage we lived with my parents, and as I’ve written before, that was hard. I was dependent on my mom and Richie felt like a third wheel in his own marriage. Then we moved out, but the issues with my mom didn’t stop and Richie grew resentment towards my mom. I then decided to go to a few codependents anonymous meetings because Richie shared with me how hard that dynamic was for him. Still at this point, I thought most of the issues in my marriage were mine.

 

The issues that he had were sexual issues. No matter what, he didn’t really seem to enjoy or get pleasure sex and never ejaculated during sex. When confronted about it, he seemed like he would put up a wall and shut down further and say that sex was an area of great shame in his life. For a while I thought it was my fault, and that I was just a terrible, selfish lover, which I was at first. But after a while, I truly desired to please him, and he couldn’t be pleased and it just left me so crushed and broken. One day I was particularly down about it, and felt it was laid on my heart to ask him about whether or not he was using porn through a text (when we were engaged he briefly mentioned that this was an area of struggle for him, but we used to have communication issues, so we both didn’t want to talk further about it). I asked him, and he said yes. I think my first emotions were joy. Yay!!!!! His issues aren’t my fault and they can be fixed now if he gives up the porn. Little did I know how deeply rooted his porn addiction is, and the issues in our marriage and in his heart towards me that they were covering up.

 

At first I cried for a night, but was then ok. But then he got into sharing some of the specifics of things he hid from me that he did before and during our marriage that broke my heart and hurt my trust in him. Some of these things include having sexual relationships with several girls before me and not sharing that, a great deal of porn use during our marriage, and even joining “Ashley Madison” to use that as a porn source. It just broke my heart and shattered my concept of who I thought this man was who I trusted my life to. He was very repentant and said that there would be no more secrets and even installed a internet filter after a few slips with the porn. We are also going to a program called “Celebrate Recovery”. Btw… many of his sexual issues have improved since stopping the porn.

 

I feel like since we have been in recovery, our marriage has been in relationship surgery. It’s been a very hard chapter… hard to connect. I tend to isolate when I’m struggling or not happy, and I’ve been isolating tons and tons. This makes Richie feel unloved because he is very much a quality time person, and I feel depressed and need to be alone lots of the time. I realize that I tend to push people away and I don’t know how to love. I have trouble getting close to people.

 

A few nights ago we had another one of those hard gut pounding conversations that left me heart broken. Richie and I sat down and he shared with me that he might have hidden what he did from me, before we were married, but the past year has been hard for him, because he feels that I hid who I was from him. Apparently he thought I was shy, sweet, fun loving, and humble, and now he sees how selfish and isolating I am with issues. This broke my heart. We both deceived each other and our marriage is rooted in lies. He also told me that he sometimes doubts our love and feels I don’t love him. Thinking back we agree that we probably stayed together and married because of our guilty over our sexual sin and may have broken up if it wasn’t for that. I agree. So now we are here. A part of me wonders if we made a mistake… if this is of the Lord. A part of me fears how we can have a functional life and family. Or will it even last? Will our marriage be like one of those marriages I’ve always made fun of that only last a few years. I always scoffed inside and wondered how people could be so undiscerning… well, now I am humbled and I see how it could happen. We both feel marriage wasn’t what we thought it would be. We weren’t who each other thought we were. We thought it would be a fun union of life spent with your best friend. I think we are also both grieving the loss of the fantasy we thought marriage would be.

We are both in places of being emptied and broken. I feel like the Lord is drawing me to Himself in a way that He hasn’t in a long time, but it requires pain as I feel like a mirror is being held in front of my face of what a wreched woman I am… but thanks be to God through Jesus Christ my Lord!! I can very much relate to Paul in Romans 7 15-25…

 

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

I’m so grateful that the Lord has provided the recovery community for me, to share my heart with and not have to put on a mask. I’m grateful for where I am because I feel weak, but when I am weak, He is strong. My Lord’s power is made beautiful and perfect when I am weak because it has the opportunity to shine through. Praise Him!

 

Also in James 4 I’ve read:

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Well, that’s where I’m at… being humbled… and drawing near to Him… He is the Light to the Darkness and I’m trusting Him for my recovery and for Him to make something beautiful from my marriage. He gives beauty from the ashes.