Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Don't give up

I just talked with an old friend. Haven't heard from him in a while. He is miserable. His wife just left him for another man. He is in real pain. I am hurting for him. I understand that kind of pain. 
What do we do when we hit rock bottom like that? We hold on. Easier said than done, but we have to. As Christians, we all talk a big game about faith and hope, but what about when it hits the fan like that? Either we trust God or we don't. Well. Do we?
If we really trust Him, we have to keep moving forward and expect that He has what's best for us. I can talk big like that now. Yep. After surviving what I have, I might even get a little obnoxious about it. Wasn't all calm and cool in the middle, though. Cried to the point of nosebleeds twice. Broke down and collapsed on the floor a few times. Lost my mind completely for the first two weeks after finding out she wanted out. My whole world fell apart. Even started smoking again. Still fighting that one. Quit for 19 years and just picked right back up like I never quit. It made perfect sense at the time. Stupid. I know. Still going back and forth on that one. Don't ever start. Really. 
After my first few conversations with Joel and KathyBestMarriage.com, understood what I had to do. I had to track down the big jerk who hurt my wife and ruined my family. It took a few weeks to figure out who it was. Even though Joel told me during our first conversation. It was me. Unbelievable. Me. The perfect husband. Not possible. 
I loved my wife. I rubbed her feet and back. I brought her flowers. I cooked meals and washed dishes. I helped around the house, a lot. I did everything I thought I was supposed to do. And I was way better than all those other losers from her past. Compared to the other guys she dated and various step fathers over her life, I was freakin' perfect! I was the man! She was lucky to have me. I really believed my own crap, too. As Christian husbands, we don't get the luxury of comparing ourselves to any other random meathead we know. We have to compare ourselves to Christ. And once I did that, I didn't look so good anymore. I actually looked pretty bad. Turns out all those great things I was doing for her were done from purely selfish motivation. I was being good to her so that I could get a response from her. I had expectations. ( already worked that one out in a previous post. Read it if you dare) I expected her to react a certain way every time I did something good. And guess what happened when she didn't. I pouted. Or threw a tantrum. Or just sulked. Or stomped around angry. Or refused to do something she wanted. Or did something I knew she didn't like. Seriously. Joel had to explain the whole "arrested development" thing to me. Basically, most adult men had something traumatizing happen at a young age. Whatever it was, we pretty much quit maturing emotionally at that point. Something inside us is holding that moment until it is resolved. So. Apparently, I was about 3-4 years old emotionally. Yep. And the head of my household. Dragging my family through life by whatever seemed logical at the time. 
Really. That's where most of us live. Deal with it. Do something about it. Your wife needs pure, unconditional love. She needs to know that you love her and not what she does. She needs the freedom to be her own person without you controlling her and demanding she act or be a certain way. You have to forget yourself and your needs for a while and focus on her. That's what dying to self really is anyway. Put your needs and desires aside and focus on what she needs. Dang. Kinda like what Christ did for us. Isn't it. That would mean..... You would be on the path to being Christlike. That's the goal, right? As Christians. Christlike. Giving up everything to do what's best for the bride. 
Not going to be easy. I promise. You will be fighting yourself every minute. Like Rocky. Yeah. (I am a big Rocky fan) Even in those goofy Rocky movies. It was never a question of whether or not he could beat the other guy. The issue was always, could he beat himself? Could he get over whatever fear or anxiety or insecurity or prideful issue that was holding him back? Can you? Can you get over the fear of what people will think? Can you get over your own pride and humble yourself to serve the one person who really needs it? Can you get over the fear of being alone and focus on her? Can you get over the pain of feeling like a dog being trained to act like a decent, respectful human? 
She is worth whatever it costs to save her. Love her. Do for her. Give to her. Listen to her. Meet her needs. It's worth it. Do not give up. </

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