Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Love story

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her - Ephesians 5:25

The moment every military family knows is inevitable was upon us - RLB's first deployment. The last few days wound down filled with "one last times" and "it'll be okay, we'll get through this." I was confident we, as a couple, would be fine. We had 14 years of marriage in and had been through some challenging times. And, it was us, the agreeable RLB and SD, two peas in a pod, made for each other, nothing would shake our tree. (I can almost hear military couples laughing right now).

It took a couple months to start but, as so often is the case, fear and insecurity overwhelmed me. I allowed anxious thoughts to infiltrate my mind. RLB was in a remote location in Africa, the OIC (officer in charge) of a small group of men. There's no need for details of the operation or the situation. All that's essential to know, with regards to this story, is that RLB had a job to do, men he was responsible for, and, when it mattered, a wife that failed him.

It's hard to tell this story because it involves my ignorance and failure, something we women don't like to talk about. But how else can I tell you of the most beautiful love story that has happened in my life?

We had the unfortunate convenience of communication. We messaged each other, spoke on the phone and through Skype. Missing were the weekly letters extolling my love and appreciation of my Soldier, replaced with endless chats and too much information. I wanted to know more and became aware of my need for control. When it was evident that control was gone I lived in a state of anxiety that can only be described as an out of control, irrational panic. RLB stopped answering my questions, he knew that answering one question only led to another and then another. This fear that had overwhelmed me was insatiable. By the fifth month, RLB would entertain talking to me only until he sensed a leading question or accusation coming. When that happened, he hung up, disconnected. He said things like, "what business is that of yours?" and "get over yourself."

Several friends and family members got to witness what became of me. RLB was completely detached from me emotionally and I was a raging lunatic. Many of them tried to comfort me in my pity party to no avail. RLB told me I needed to "get my own thing." And I, for the life of me, could not understand what that meant.

Finally the day came for his return. By this time I was sick. For sure he would emotionally attach himself once again when he saw me, right? He would see all the pain in my eyes and know what he had done to me, right?

Wrong.

RLB had a resolve and would not waver. I feared our relationship was over.

It was.

The relationship we had previously was over.

It was time for our marriage to begin. A marriage covenant as it was intended. A three way covenant with God at the helm. I had two choices before me. I could succumb to Satan, divorce RLB, and destroy our family. Or, I could surrender to the Voice that had been trying to get my attention. RLB was not going to help me with the decision. It was mine alone to make. I needed to get my own thing

I got it.

We were on a family vacation in South Padre Island, Texas. Late one night, after I mentioned divorce once again to RLB, he got up, left me, and went to sit on the beach. I cried out to God to help me. I was not alone in my prayers. A peace came over me. I walked to the beach, found RLB and said, for the first time, "I will never divorce you, I will not destroy this family. I will do whatever I need to do."

I surrendered.

I started the journey of walking with God.

I'll share in future posts the tools that were made readily available to me that assist me in this journey. The Bible was the first. I opened up and truly listened to what God was communicating to me. The message was clear. None of this had been or was about RLB. This was all about me and God.

RLB loved me. He loved me so much he left me alone to find a new Love.


21 comments:

  1. The Homeschool HomemakerNovember 28, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    Been there myself, had the same fight. Had to wrestle the flesh, it was too strong, cried out to God, He was quiet....wrestled and begged God and set my face like flint, He answered and it has made all the difference.

    Thanks for sharing. It may save someone else's family, life and generations to come.

    This is not weakness, this is not failure. This is a war story and we are Veterans.

    Looking forward to more.

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  2. I have been working to get my wife to fully understand that she needs to trust God with me more than me with me. We have certainly made progress, but it sounds like you made the same leap that we have been working on in our 24+ years of marriage.

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  3. Brad, I wasn't such a genius that I was making the right decision on my own. I was very lonely when deployed and I missed my wife desperately. Stubbornly, I tried to keep doing what I had been doing before in our marriage. It stopped working. I couldn't make her happy. I have been reading VP since close to his starting the blog. I was praying and reading the Bible aggressively. The truth just started to reveal itself to me. I was tired of always returning to the same arguments we had had previously. It became obvious to me that I wasn't leading/loving my wife the way God commanded me to do. SD calls it cold detachment. I stopped giving into the tears, screaming, and general shit-tests. I focused arguments on singular issues and would shut down when she didn't follow my rules for interaction with me. I had to be ready to lose the marriage. The truth was we didn't have the proper alignment to our marriage and that needed to change. I was fed up with being unhappy in my marriage and would do what was necessary to fix it. Even if she left, I knew she would return but in proper alignment. I knew she would pray and go to God over something so scary as divorce. I loved her enough to let her go. It was the only way. I'll pray for you and your wife.

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  4. That sounds good redlegben. I am not in the military or anything, just a "normal" guy. Ironically I was learning some of this prior to reading all the alphagame stuff. God just seemed to be showing me what I needed to change in me.

    My wife and I have made progress, especially after I realized she was influenced by feminist thought more than either of us realized. We both stand against it now, even though she is a bit slower at grabbing parts than I did.

    It is a process of working it out, as you note. I am always looking for good examples, but I did get her to read the posts here tonight, so we should start to have some things to discuss.

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  5. I think often times, our ideas of stopping something is to just leave. Leaving, in some situations, helps but not in others. There's a commitment we make to one another and we tend to forget that in tough times. We decide that running away and stopping the pain would be easier. But is it really? I never thought so. It results in looking deeply into ourselves and realizing what the future would be if we just quit. That answer isn't always the best. I hate the words that come out of some people and their books. Just walking away without trying is never the best answer. It leaves a weak and destroyed individual, one who has to find themselves all over again alone. I love that SD was able to sit and think and come back and RLB walked away. Women will do what makes them happiest but we need a time to explode in order to relieve ourselves of this bursting energy that stems from having no answers. I can't tell you how many times I've blown up and my husband just sat there with no words, sometimes walking away and leaving me to think things out. I needed to explode. I needed easy answers and I wasn't getting them. I was then able to calm down and think about what's best. My husband left the house so I could think. He did the same as RLB. Funny how that works out. We always come back stronger, knowing each other more than before the blow up. I can say that without a doubt, my relationship is stronger than my friend's and her husband's. They argue often. She is dominate in the marriage and when he doesn't do things the way she would do them, she has to argue. She is a total feminist but at the same time will explain how she loves that her husband does all the manly things around the house. They separated a few weeks ago because he had had enough. He couldn't take her dominating ways and said, "You never let me make my own decisions!" It's true. She can't let anyone make their own decisions because she feels her answers and ways are what works best. She chooses damaged people who need a sort of light at the end and offers her suggestions. Perfect example in her husband. They are back together now but for them, the answer is always divorce. They have had several arguments nearly leading to divorce. My thoughts, when mad at my husband, is always me needing a break or a vacation. Divorcing would result in me being the quitter in something I vowed to always work on. We rarely argue. We have disagreements but we give both our ideas and basically come to an ending result where neither one of us have any issue with it. Saying all this, I understand this post completely. Let it be something you both have worked hard on and made you stronger.

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  6. God bless you, SD. May your tribe increase. RLB is fortunate that you came out of the cave, or that God pushed you out. For some reason yet to be known, it didn't work that way in my marriage.

    In late 2009, in the 28th year of the marriage -- after many years of disrespect, control, manipulation, sexual refusal, threats of divorce, individual and marriage counseling, an ambush divorce filing in 2008 that she eventually withdrew, and extensive (one-sided) reconciliation efforts following that -- I finally issued an ultimatum. Our house was on the market and, when it sold, we would separate (NOT divorce) unless she agreed to three boiled down minimum necessary changes (all manifestations of her overall disrespect): (1) she would start having sex with me again (after 2 full years of absolute denial) and would begin serious work on her lifelong frigidity [I do mean lifelong; she came from a broken home in which her father (the custodial parent) was a rigid, extreme, King James Only independent fundamental Baptist but her mother was a promiscuous, oft-married alcoholic; she had never even masturbated, believing it to be a sin; she has never had an orgasm, from any cause, in her life; if left to her, sex would occur 1x/month and she would do more than lie there 2x/year]; (2) she would stop keeping "her" earnings in a separate individual account and unilaterally deciding whether and when she would contribute toward family expenses; and (3) she would drop her stated intention to file her 2009 taxes separately (for the first time ever). Long story shorter: she ambushed me with a second (and final) divorce filing in mid-2010. She hired a Christian divorce attorney about whom I had previously heard only good things; he proceeded to make the divorce litigation hellish through incompetence and unexpected animus toward me and my Christian attorney, whom he had known and dealt with previously, always amicably. Despite our requests and explicit state law requirements, the attorney refused to tell us their alimony and child support demands for 7 months. At that point, they demanded permanent (!) alimony of $2,000/month and almost double the monthly child support amount indicated by state guidelines, plus all of her attorney's fees. In the meantime, she had completely alienated our then 14-year old son -- in response to a tantrum he threw while they were running errands during "her" weekend with him and his 16-year old sister, and on her idiot attorney's advice, she took him to the police station for a talking to. He told her that if she went into the police station he was leaving. She did, and he did. I found him more than 1.5 miles away, running to my house, furious, hurt, and crying. She then refused for more than a week, again on her attorney's advice, to let him return to her home to gather the belongings he had left there. Their relationship has never recovered, despite my encouragement to both. Because our son thereafter refused to adhere to the informal interim 50/50 custody schedule we were following, she refused to let my daughter continue to adhere to that schedule, or even to spend alternate weekends with me. (She also claimed the family dog as her own, refusing to let the dog visit my house (and therefore my son) unless our daughter was visiting.) By the time the litigation was eventually settled 16 months after she filed, she had been fined by the court for noncompliance with the discovery process, she had fired her first attorney and retained a second (also incompetent) attorney whose sole purpose was to get the case settled (and with whom she likewise became disenchanted), I had incurred $40,000 in legal fees (which I still haven't paid), and she had incurred more than half that amount (which she still hadn't paid the last time I knew).

    [Continued in next comment]

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  7. [Continued]

    The end result? Exactly the child support amount recommended by the state guidelines; only $300/month alimony for 4 years (which she prematurely ended after only 1 year by remarrying); and she bore her own attorney's fees. The only area where she got more than I would have agreed to initially was custody of our special needs daughter. I wanted 50/50; we settled on 75/25 -- every other weekend and one evening per week during the school year, but 50/50 during the summer.

    About a month after the divorce was final in 10/11, a friend asked me if I thought she would ever remarry. I snorted and said, "Only if she finds a guy who's not interested in sex." In addition to her aversion to sex, I naively believed her comments during our marriage and our divorce to the effect that she did not expect to remarry. (2 examples: she told me she knew the divorce would mean she would be alone and poor the rest of her life, but she preferred that to being married to me; and she told me during the reconciliation efforts after the first divorce filing that whether we were together or apart I would always have her heart. I told her I strongly preferred together.) Instead, as I only found out several months later, she was making preparations for online dating even before the divorce was final; she began online dating 1 week after the divorce was final; she zeroed in on a guy who lived 400 miles away only 3 weeks later; they corresponded for 2 months; they corresponded and talked on the phone for another 6 weeks; they met in person for the first time after 3.5 months (and she immediately introduced him to our 2 kids still at home); because of the distance involved, they dated every other weekend for 3 months, at which point they got engaged (3 days before what would have been our 30th anniversary); they continued to see each other every other weekend until they got married, 13 months after the divorce was final; and last week she moved to his home (taking my daughter with her) in a very rural, poor, low education area 6.5 hours away from the metropolitan area where we have lived almost the kids' entire lives. I will see my daughter only 1 weekend a month during the school year now. Thank God for video calls. My ex will no longer be able to attend my son's baseball games or take him on errands when he needs her to or is willing to; he will see her hardly at all during the school year and not much more than that during the summer (because he will have too much going on to spend half his summer that far away).

    Her new husband is preferable to me because he "has a heart of gold, full of compassion and so genuine." He is a (former) lay pastor who talks a good spiritual game. These characteristics allow her to dismiss, ignore, or treat as outweighed a number of red flags: this is his 3rd marriage after 2 previous divorces (the 2d divorce final 1 year before he began dating her online); he has 5 children by his previous marriages -- 2 by the first plus 1 child and 2 step-children from the second; he had an affair with his 2d wife while married to the 1st; he physically assaulted his 2d wife while their divorce was pending and they were still living in the same house (confirmed -- but minimized -- by his best friend and heard by his youngest child); and our daughter doesn't like him, so their adjustment to life together will not be easy. She knows that the unanimous advice of Christian counselors/advisers is to not even begin dating until multiple years have passed after a divorce, but that does not apply to her because "our marriage was over long before the divorce" (contrary to her contention that she was still trying mightily as late as a few months before she filed) and because "God brought them together."

    SD, your awareness of and willingness to abide by God's directive to wives is saving you, your husband, your children, your friends and extended family, and your church from extreme pain and permanent disruption of how things should be for all of you. Good for you.

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  8. For some reason yet to be known, it didn't work that way in my marriage.


    I can't answer that either. It does sound like financially and relationally things are going better for you than your ex-wife. I haven't specifically examined the Biblically allowed reasons for divorce or for that matter what to do if the wife divorces (legally according to the state) you, but your belief is that you don't recognize the authority of the state over your marriage. If you have seen useful conversations about this, please link something.

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  9. SD,

    I have already read this post. What is the hard stuff you mentioned on SSM's blog?

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  10. You have to not give a crap. I had to be ready to let the bitch walk. Yes, the sainted SD. She wasn't this wonderfully insightful lady three years ago. She wasn't a lady three years ago. She wasn't someone I wanted to be married to three years ago. I had to be willing to let her walk away. Divorce would not be my decision, but I wasn't going to let the fear of it determine my decisions. Aren't you done with being unhappy? I was. Quit playing at this. If you decide to be the man that God calls you to be, she might divorce you. She might not. Either way, you did what God called you to do. She might divorce you and return later. God didn't call you to abdicate your role in your family to your wife's emotions. It's not easy; it's simple. Quit whining and execute.

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  11. Tell her if she doesn't start havng sex with me I will divorce her?

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  12. RLB,

    I am just about at the ultimatum point right now. I have already started gaming out a separation in my head. I need to make sure the hormone levels are not causing this first before I lay down an ultimatum.

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  13. I wouldn't divorce her. Let her know you are ready to interview a second wife since she isn't interested in sex anymore. Hormones happen as a result of emotions as well as the other way. Quit worrying about the effect of hormones on her. Instead, be the man God calls you to and trust that the resulting hormones you desire are released. There's a reason God talks about sex and marriage so much. I haven't read anything in the Bible about being a feminized man.

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  14. She had a great sex drive when we got married. The birth control slaughtered it. How do hormones magically fix themselves?

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  15. Why do the Psalms talk about speaking positive thoughts? Why do so many positive thinking books exist and are best sellers? Because it works. When you think positive your mind changes...and your hormones change. Think about adrenaline. If you see a bear what happens? Even if it isn't a bear, but you thought it was, the same rush of hormones happens. They don't magically happen. It's all out there. Use it. Men are called to be the leaders because women don't have the same ability to change their own emotions. You can change them for her...unless you suck at following God's command for your leadership in your family. Quit sucking. Quit blaming something other than yourself. Take the blame and the authority to fix your marriage.

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  16. I did blame myself. That is why I started reading game blogs. I figured if we weren't having sex regularly, there was something I needed to be doing better. I started working out again. Focusing on being more assertive, decisive and dominant. Now she tells me I am too dominant.

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  17. If you have read anything on game blogs, why would you listen to what SHE has to say about your level of dominance?

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  18. She has never told me I was too dominant before I made a conscious effort to be more dominant.

    I know I am dominant outside of her telling me. She asks me for instructions on spending money, paying bills, when we will do certain things, etc. She shows me through her actions, not just her words, that I am dominant.

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  19. Look, seriously, she needs to be begging for you not to leave her. Until that happens, you don't have the hand you (and she) needs you to have for your marriage to become awesome. Sure, you may have eliminated some small issues of feminism, but there are much bigger fish to fry. All you have done is introduce her to the reality of life without you. When she knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the day she denies you hinting at sex, that there are dozens of women waiting to take on that yoke of oppression that is sex; she will be right mentally. You don't have to have an affair to illicit responses in public from women in front of your wife. If those responses aren't happening...guess what? You aren't there yet. Example: I have a physical therapist that is a woman. When I meet with her, my wife is present. However, it is obvious that she can't control her excitement about seeing me. My wife is amused and appropriately so because I don't have 18 years to teach anyone new. But she would never think I wouldn't be getting sex if she left me. It's one her favorite comments to women contemplating divorce. "Are you ready for him to be having sex with another women?" "Hell, no!" That's the sudden realization that happens for women.

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  20. I had a similar experience in my marriage. But my thought process was a little different from RLB's.

    After 15 years of marriage, struggling through mrs. deti's sexual baggage from her past promiscuity, and the fighting, I was done. I was just done. Mrs. deti had publicly disrespected me in front of the kids, then told me that sometimes she just wasn't physically attracted to me.

    That's it. I'm done.

    I was done with the disrespect and condescension. I was done with the controlling, the tantrums, the shit testing, the sexual refusal. The hell with it. I've had enough. If this is what married life is like, I want no more of it. We might as well get divorced, sell the house and I'll write her a child support check every month. What's the difference?

    And I told her pretty much that. And it did get better.

    deti

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  21. deti,
    It would be great if you could explain more about the process of it getting better. I get the impression that no matter how much we tell men to trust that it will work, they lack the faith or fortitude to implement what you and RLB did.

    It really does take getting to that "I'm Done" point. I hate that it takes that for some of us women. But am so thankful that RLB was willing to go there. Our relationship is 10Xs better IN ALL THINGS but what's best about it is my relationship with God - I can't thank RLB enough.

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