This is my first post in the forum, however I have been browsing and reading the journal entries since I started on day 1.
My wife and I have been married for 9 and a half years. We got married young (I 21, her 18), and she had a son already (10 now). We had two more children (both boys, ages 8 and 7 now), while I was serving in the military. We eloped after 6 months of knowing each other, and did not have God in our lives at all for the first 7 years of our marriage.
We both come from broken homes and parents with multiple divorces. At the start of our marriage we had made an extra promise to never divorce. Needless to say, since we didnt have God in our lives, we did not have very good modeling to live our marriage by. I became the stereotypical breadwinner, while she put on the image of a suzie homemaker. The first few years, I was adjusting to being a new husband and a new father over a baby boy that wasnt mine. I did not control my anger well. I never hit her, but I made her feel unsafe. Our communication with each other started having issues right then and there, and it wasnt long before we had sexual issues as well.
In 2005, I noticed a voicemail on her phone from another man calling her sweetcheeks. In 2007, things came to a head when I discovered she was having a full blown affair. She became pregnant with our 4th child due to this affair. I do recognize how horrible of a husband I was through counseling. We separated for most of 2008, and I had an affair (of which I did not tell her). I also had problems with pornography. I spent the majority of the year in counseling for depression and anxiety. In the summer, she accepted me back and even though we were separated by distance, we tried to work on things.
At the end of 2008 I moved back in with my family. She had stopped contact with the OM, but we had this new baby. It took a long time for me to learn to love this little girl, but over the next couple years I did. She is a beautiful little girl and looks like her mother. We started attending church more frequently but did not give ourselves over to God like we should have. I thought things were alright, but looking back they were pretty marginal.
In summer of 2011, she started meeting guys behind my back. Nothing had changed with our marriage. We never got any counseling or help with our issues. In November last year I was served (by surprise) with divorce papers from my Mother in Law. My wife said the reason was because she saw pornography on the computer history (which was true). I stayed arrogant thinking that my wife would change her mind about getting divorced but she did not. I moved out of the house the last weekend in January.
The first weekend I was on my own, I cried most of the weekend. I felt the Lord convicting me. At that time I knew I had to work on my marriage and start a relationship with God. Going to walmart that weekend, I saw Fireproof in the $5 bin. I figured this was a sign since we had seen the movie before as part of a group but flaked out on some of the exercises. So I bought the movie and started the dares.
Some of the dares have been tough, some easy.
I recently found out she has started dating another man since the week I moved out. She has told me not to even enter the house I used to live in upon advice from her lawyer.
Ok now as far as today. I spent most of the day on my knees praying for the Lord to show me the path and what I need to do. I had recieved a letter about a court hearing that was bothering me financially. Then guess what, my divorce care group discussion was on finances! While I was doing the homework I felt a wave of peace that I would be OK financially no matter what. My counseling session was tough. We focused on all the sins I committed that led to my wife's desicions and how the root of that was basically her trying to meet the needs that I neglected. I cried later that night with my mother and admitted to her that I have been a horrible husband.
What I am looking for is a bit of help and encouragement. I feel at times like I am lost, and I cannot always discern what the Lord is trying to tell me from what my head or Satan is putting there. I am trying my best to focus only on the dares and my relationship with God but I have gotten weak at times and tried talking with my wife about things and telling her I love her and such. This has only pushed her further away.
You ask for advice and encouragement. And we are here for that. But because of the journey you have chosen, we too offer accountability. Which is by far the most important thing you can get.
This is a journey between you and Christ, not you and your wife. You need to find Christ, seek Him out. This journey will help you do this each day. Christ will bless you if you trust Him and do this journey His way, not yours.
Look at it like this. You have done things your way all this time, and where are you?
I do have a question that would help you understand this. I know you are on day 19. And I do not want you to look ahead. That is something that should never be done.
But soon a dare will come, one that asks you to make things right. One that would be a confession of wrong doings. Since you said you had an affair when you were separated and have never told her..... Will you stand by trusting Christ to do that? If you manipulate the dares you are still in control. And that does not work. Confess it to Christ. Pray about it, and take it from there. But also take into consideration that you must be right with Christ to be able to move to the comfort and care of Him.
And if I may. Take time to read the appendix, especially the part about leading the heart.
I am wrestling still with the thoughts that pop into my head about her, and my longing for her. I do understand this is supposed to be between Christ and myself, so I try to pray when I can to refocus myself.
I have wrestled with the idea of telling her and my pride keeps getting in the way. I hope that when the time comes I will be humble enough to tell her. I really do not want to hurt her further, as I have caused so much pain in her life, but I understand that I need to do what I am called to do.
I will re-read the appendix.
Thanks a bunch. I've read your other posts on here and you really get it from what I gather.
Thank you for sharing your heart! Just as Sean said, we are all here for advice, encouragement, and accountability. I am so in awe of God's daily work and blessings through this journey. I know I have a lot more growing to do as I am only on day 13, but I look forward to it everyday as I focus on my relationship with Christ. Through this we are bound to show the light and love of Christ to our spouses/family/friends.
Here is one of the great things of this journey. You see how you are longing for your wife? That is how Christ is longing for you.... He wants that relationship with you.