All posts by When Marriage Hurts

Missing My Dad

My heart hurts:(

I can only imagine how mom feels.  I have cried for 24 hours straight now it seems like. I only worked for about two hours today because I felt like I was going to cry anytime anybody looked at me. 

I wish this was all a bad dream and that  I’d wake up and we’d plan on meeting down in Branson then soon we’d talk about what to have for Easter dinner.  I would make some suggestions and he’d say he was going to smoke a brisket. And bake a turkey and probably a ham, too. I want to call him and tell him how I used his idea and burned the three stumps on the front yard and tell him how great it worked so he could feel good about his idea and be proud of me for getting it done. I want to make plans for the kids to stay a couple days each on spring break next week because they love spending time with papa.  I want to ask him how happy he is that Ted Cruz announced he is running for president. I want to make a copy of Carson’s baseball schedule and give to him so that they can come to his games.  

Missing My Dad

My heart hurts:(

I can only imagine how mom feels.  I have cried for 24 hours straight now it seems like. I only worked for about two hours today because I felt like I was going to cry anytime anybody looked at me. 

I wish this was all a bad dream and that  I’d wake up and we’d plan on meeting down in Branson then soon we’d talk about what to have for Easter dinner.  I would make some suggestions and he’d say he was going to smoke a brisket. And bake a turkey and probably a ham, too. I want to call him and tell him how I used his idea and burned the three stumps on the front yard and tell him how great it worked so he could feel good about his idea and be proud of me for getting it done. I want to make plans for the kids to stay a couple days each on spring break next week because they love spending time with papa.  I want to ask him how happy he is that Ted Cruz announced he is running for president. I want to make a copy of Carson’s baseball schedule and give to him so that they can come to his games.  

One week later

Less than one week later he’s asking if I want another massage again. ‘Come on’ he says, ‘give me a chance to redeem myself it will be a sex-free massage’.

After numerous declines I finally agree. He rubs my feet and then my legs and spent an extraordinarily long amount of time on my inner thigh and buttocks. He began to make sexual moves and I asked him what he was doing. His reply was, “I’m getting into it”.
He stops and then gives me a quick rub on my back. He asks me to turn over so that he can massage the front but I politely say, “I think I’m done and want to go take a shower… thank you for the massage”.

As for the boundaries that are crossed… When he shows no regard for a specific boundary line I have drawn I innately question myself and wonder if I’m making too big of deal about whatever it is. Because, generally what is important to me is minimized as being an important. Ever since a friend of mine asked me to ask the question, ” would it be okay if this happened to your daughter?”.
Wow. Absolutely not. It would not be okay. I would be extremely upset if what I see is happening in this situation which is someone taking advantage of her and not respecting her wishes. So why should I think any less of myself?

There was no more discussion of this incident. The next day , after the kids had gone to bed Matt told me that the massage table was all warmed up and ready for me if I wanted a massage. I looked at him and said, “I do not need an inner thigh massage and I do not need a butt massage”.

Then the 3+ hour tirade began.
Him: I’m trying to do something nice for you and you’re refusing it.
Me: You did not buy that massage table for me. You bought it for your self as an avenue for sex.
Matt: There is nothing wrong between physical touch between two married people.
Me: I agree. However that does not necessarily mean sex.
Him: You’re crazy. There isn’t a woman out there that wouldn’t love to have a husband offering to do this for her. If you want to divorce me and find someone else who can live like this without any physical contact then you go right ahead. Hire an attorney. Get the papers ready. You just let me know when you’re ready to do that.

At this point I know that anything that I say will cause more volatility so I remained silent.
I think I blocked out a lot of what he was saying because I can’t even remember it all now. I took my shower and got ready for bed. Then he began “talking” again.

I remember him asking pointed questions such as, “do you want to be with me or not? Do you want to be married or not?”

I told him that I was not going to discuss such serious topics as that so late at night.

Then something was said about him “why do you think I keep trying?”

I made the mistake of making the comment, “I don’t think you really are.”

It was that moment when I came face to face with evil. He grabbed my arm and I tried to pull away. I was lying down in the bed and he got in my face. I could smell his breath he was so close. I could feel the air as he spoke.

“What do you mean you don’t think I’m trying? Do you give a fuck about my salt truck driving job? Did you give a fuck about my schoolbus job? Huh? Did you? How dare you say that I’m not trying.” He seemed to be in my face forever. I began to cry. But I didn’t fight back or try to get away or even ask him to let go of me.

I was still. I felt like I was playing dead. Just like one does when in danger of being attacked by a wild animal, just play dead and hope it won’t hurt you more. That is what I felt like.

For the first time in a long time I felt scared.

He got up out of the bed and said one last, “how dare you fucking say that I’m not trying”. I felt like I’d been attacked and left for dead.

After a bit he came back to bed and began to talk again. I pretended like I was asleep. He shook me and called my name loudly until I responded a couple of times. I would mumble a response, then continue to try and block him out.

Much later after I really was asleep he proceeded to begin sucking on my fingers as foreplay. When I awoke I pulled away and rolled over. Just about at that time his phone dinged to indicate that he had a text message. He read it and then left the bedroom and closing the door behind him.

This morning he acted as if everything was normal. i’ve cried most of the morning. I feel so wounded today.

Shame

After purchasing a massage table and all the accessories for nearly $300.00 when the money should have been spent on bills, I was feeling angry about its arrival yesterday. He wasted no time getting it set up.

Today after I woke up from a much-needed nap he got a bottle of water and some hot tea for me. “Just like the professionals.”, he says. “Come on, let me give you a massage.”

I hesitate. I know that in the past the codeword for massage is sex. I have not felt an emotional connection to him and really don’t want to be intimate with him like that.

I tell him that I feel uneasy about it.

“Why?”

I express my concern over his intentions.

“No strings attached. Come on. It’s physical touch. I gave you a massage the other night and nothing happened.”

So I believe him.

I crawl in to the toasty warm cotton sheet. It feels good. I do love a good massage. He touches are more gentle than usual. It is certainly relaxing. And how nice to be touched in a non-sexual way.

And then he begins to get handsy. His hands get closer to my inner thighs. I’m relaxed. And it kind of feels good.

I’m torn. Do I let my flesh enjoy this with my husband? I give in. I let it happen. But my heart knows it is wrong. As he climbs on top of me I began to weep. He told me this wasn’t his intention. I knew otherwise. But I fell for his deception again.

Afterwards, he makes the comment that a massage sure is relaxing. I am crying silently. I feel violated. I feel disrespected. I feel betrayed. I feel used. And I feel guilty for the pleasure I just experienced. I am ashamed that I enjoyed it. I’m ashamed that I let him deceive me. I am filled with shame.

This can’t happen again

Jan. 26, 2015 on the phone while I was at work. I am in close proximity to others so I can rarely talk while I’m at work except for the occasional uh-huh or OK.

Husband:
After telling me more about his friend’s situation at his family’s business and how he charged a very wealthy client exorbitant amounts of money last year when he was at his worst, he went on to say that Marc is delusional. “He is delusional. It’s not like yesterday when I was standing in the pantry and you were standing at the sink wretching and crying. I was thinking, “this is bad”. I wasn’t thinking, “Oh, that’s what she gets for making me so miserable.” That’s not what I was thinking. We just can’t have another day like that.

Something’s got to give.

You can’t go through another day of having five or so periods like you did yesterday. And I can’t go through another day of living in fear.

I haven’t lied yet.

Here is the trap I get caught in. I tell myself that I’m doing stuff to please you or help you. I’m a husband, and a contributor, therefore, it’s not me helping you out, it’s me doing stuff that a husband is supposed to do. But what I want is to do stuff to please you. I put too much weight on your approval. If I don’t get verification of your approval then I know that it’s not gonna be easy between us. And I could go one step further and say that when you’re not pleased then we don’t make love and I don’t get sss. But the flip side is that whenever you’re pleased with me, and I with you, ideally then things could go well. But I know the reality is that I should be getting what I need from the Almighty. We can’t have another day like yesterday where I seek to be justified.

That’s what the answer is. But how I get to that place…I don’t know.
I don’t know how you’re going to see Jesus in me. I don’t know if it is possible. I mean it is possible. But I don’t know how that is going to show up or what that looks like. When you see a glimpse of it, you don’t believe it if it doesn’t last.

I get it. I do get it. I understand.

I don’t know how God is going to show up in all this.

I fell into the same pattern yesterday that I always do. It’s the same ole story.”

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Executive Assistant

Out of the blue he while laying in bed he began talking about people that I work with…
“I wonder what happened with Jim (the executive) and his assistant?
I thought he was dating a doctor.
I wonder what happened with that. She probably wasn’t pretty enough. His assistant is though. She’s a trophy.
But, she would have been better off to stay a Jehovah’s witness then be an adulteress.
I wonder how many times he’s been married and how many kids he has.”

Rewind to a few months ago when he saw the two of them having coffee on a Saturday morning. He made the comment that they were having an affair. “Why else would they be having coffee on a Saturday together?”

I, on the other hand, found this assumption ludicrous. She is in her 30s. He is in his 60s.
And they’re having coffee at a coffee shop on a Saturday morning across the street from their place of employment. Why would they choose a Saturday morning to nurture their affair? Why would they choose a coffee shop across the street from their work? It really made no sense to me.

I finally convinced Matt that he was assuming things that he really had no knowledge of. After some time he said, “you’re probably right. And truth be known, if I weren’t afraid of that very thing happening to my own wife then that kind of thing wouldn’t even cross my mind”.

So on Monday morning I asked around and found out that they indeed did have to work on Saturday morning on a special project that required them to be there during off hours.

Where does this thought process come from and why does he want to burden me with these thoughts? And something that is missing from typing this out is his tone. It’s very strange and impossible to explain.

Advice from a 5-year-old

Today was a long day of me begging him to stop talking…telling him I wasn’t engaging in the conversation…then being brought to tears. All. Day. Long.
Finally some relief when we had to go our separate ways – me to a dinner for my sister while he went to the church chili supper. That in itself created problems as I was ‘creating division’ by going someplace else.
On the way home from our evening away, my 5-year-of said:
“If daddy tries to make you cry, just don’t say anything. Walk away. Don’t cause any problems. Ok?”

Wow. What in the world am I putting these kids through? What kinds of life lessons are they learning?

Don’t cause any trouble.

I can’t get this statement out of my head.

Does she think that standing up to someone or speaking out for yourself is wrong? Does she think that it’s ok to live under tyranny?

Some tough decisions are going to have to be made. My heart aches. My soul is battered. My spirit crushed. While I can’t see my countenance, I can feel the sadness, worry and fear on my own face. God did not design me to live in impression.

Steeped in Sin

Before our counselor would see us again this year after the Christmas break she wanted us to meet with our pastor. Specifically, she wanted us to discuss what we were looking for in a mentor for Matt.

I forwarded the text to Matt that our counselor sent me explaining why we were to see him. Matt said he would take care of setting up the appointment. Earlier this week Matt told me that he set up an appointment to see the pastor just by himself to explain to him what HIS issues are, and that I could make a separate appointment to meet with him by myself.
I did not say anything to Matt after he told me this because, most of the time he gets defensive when I question his actions, and I knew it would turn into a fight.

I let our counselor know this and she responded back surprised by two things:
1. That Matt would make an appointment by himself when he and she had spoken about this previously. She indicated that he led her to believe that he was making the appointment for the both of us. (Welcome to my world…saying he’ll do one thing and then does another.)
2. That our pastor would make an appointment with him knowing that it was supposed to be a couples appointment.

Well today was the day he met with the pastor. Matt shared with me some of their conversation today:

Pastor: What do you see as your issue?
Husband: I’m lascivious.

The night before he’d Googled some information about ‘masturbation as a Christian’
The response resulted in scripture that pointed to lasciviousness.
This article explains it very well:
https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1123-what-is-lasciviousness

For over a month now, heck, maybe it’s been closer to two, I have chosen to distance myself physically from Matt. I just cannot be intimate with him when I do not feel emotionally connected to him. Perhaps the absence of sex has been the catalyst for change? As Henry Cloud says, “We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.”

Their conversation continued…
Pastor: What do you see as the biggest issue with you and your wife?
Husband: She says that I’m not a man of integrity. And there is a trust issue. She doesn’t believe a word I say and she thinks I’m a liar.
Pastor: Well are you a liar?
Husband: Yes.
Pastor: When is the last time you lied to her?
Husband: Yesterday. She sent me a text around 1:15 and asked me to take some ibuprofen to our daughter because she’d called her at work and said she had a headache. My wife couldn’t leave work so she texted me since she knew I didn’t have to be back at work until 2:30. I was laying on the couch and wanted to take a nap. I looked at my watch and had about 40 minutes before I had to leave for work. All I wanted to do was take a nap. I waited until 2:15, after I was headed back to work, and texted her that I didn’t get the message until it was too late.
Pastor: What a pathetic reason to lie. I tell you what…if I found out that you lied to me about something like that, I wouldn’t believe a word that came out of out of your mouth either.

They discussed the fact that lying is a character defect, which reminds me of a one of three books written by Dr. George Simon recommended by a friend that I need to read: Character Disturbance.

They discussed the issues of movies. This has been a source of contention for years with us. I am a firm believer of garbage in-garbage out. Why pollute your mind? And the kids certainly shouldn’t be exposed to that kind of stuff but time and time again, the limits are pushed.

Pastor: Do you watch R rated movies?
Husband: Yes.
Pastor: Do the kids watch R rated movies?
Husband: No.
Pastor: Does your wife watch R rated movies?
Husband: No.
Pastor: Then why are you watching R rated movies?

Matt asked me to lock down all R and NR movies on Netflix.
Wow. Never thought I would hear that come out of his mouth.

He shared with me that the pastor told him that he was “steeped in sin”. Matt and I discussed what the term steeped meant and looked it up…immersed, drowning in. That is serious. Immersed in sin. Drowning in sin.

Satan is hard at work.

While the term ‘mentor’ was not used, it seems that the pastor is going to take him on as a mentee. They have a weekly meeting scheduled and Matt was told that he is going to be accountable to him. His first challenge is to not lie for an entire week, including lies of omission.

I’m a little scared about this one. The words brutally honest come to mind. I’m afraid there will be no filter as to how to speak truthfully yet in love and with kindness. We shall see.

I did ask Matt how the conversation today differed from the conversations he’s had with our previous minister. He said because he started out by telling him up front that he was lascivious.
But on the other hand, he was pretty honest with our previous minister about some very serious sins too.
What makes this time different?

He says it is because our pastor now is responding differently and addressing the sin instead of simply acknowledging it then moving on to some coaching lesson from a textbook as our previous minister did.

I do have to admit that I was was skeptical that our pastor would be able to respond in a way that I felt would be suitable for our situation. My experience with former church leadership has been less than helpful, to say the least. In my mind, I am resigned to the fact that I need to file for divorce. There has been little change in behavior, no evidence of improvement. Now, after today’s conversation, I feel hopeful. Yet I have been fooled so many times before. “I’m sorry” is said all too often with no promise of future change. And the good days are still fewer than bad ones. There are more tears than there is happiness. There is still more fighting than there is getting along.

While our fellow man can be used as a vehicle to help, ultimately, one cannot truly change without surrendering to Christ fully and completely. And that has to come from the heart.

Still

Feeling really low tonight.

Reading the heartache of the women in my group of women who are in difficult marriages is just too overwhelming sometimes. I sometimes catch myself thinking, “gosh, what a jerk her husband is” or “why can’t he just make an effort to get along with her”. But then the reality is that my story is just like their stories. Time and time again I could easily be the one they’re talking about.

There are only a couple of wives whose husbands have had a change of heart and have committed to truly do the work.

There have been a few who have separated. Those women mourn over the loss of a good marriage that likely never existed. Their hearts ache from the years gone by. Their voices cry out to Abba to help them deal with the loneliness and guilt. Their prayers are said often to help them, their children and their ex-husbands. Their heart and souls are wounded deeply.

And still yet there are the rest of us. Still confused. Still stuck. Still feeling trapped. Still hopeful that “maybe this time will be different”. Still trying to shield our kids from the toxicity in our homes. Still yearning to be loved and cherished. Still holding on to ‘the dream’. Still waiting to hear from God. Still reading scripture. Still praying for courage, clarity and wisdom.

Still here we are.

And here I am. Still.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10

The Day After

Today I feel weepy.

It’s the aftermath of his ‘talk’ with me last night. I feel berated, belittled and torn down. He brought up issues, hurts, wrongs and regrets from years ago that do no good to bring up again.

“You were a horrible alcoholic when we met. You only had a couple months sobriety when I asked you to marry me and do you know what my mom told me when I said we were getting married? She told me not to marry you.
I don’t know know why you never could get along with her. ”

That was in 2001. His mom passed away last year. Why bring up hurtful words like this again?

He kept pressing and kept pressing bringing up more things about his mom; and admitting that she was very difficult to get along with.

I finally spouted off: “I had no respect for her because she let her friend’s son molest you and did absolutely nothing about it when you told her about it. And you brought that into our marriage and you’ve never healed from that.”

I do not like who I’ve become around him. I don’t like being prodded with insults and having to beg him to stop to no avail. I get pushed to the point that I try to combat his words but words are his weapon and I only end up confused and saying things I regret I would rather not say anything at all but the questioning is incessant.

A wife should not feel wounded the next day after a ‘talk’ with her husband.

And so it continues. The tightened chest, the crying, the regret, the feeling of entrapment.