Today I prayed for God to forgive me for: being controlling, being manipulative, being selfish, being irritable and for not providing my wife with a loving, caring, supportive environment to come home to each day.
The remainder of today's dare was completed during a conversation with my wife this evening. On Friday, I reached out to a ministry in our church that provides counseling. I told my wife of this when we both got home from work. She said she was happy I was doing it, but that she wasn't willing to come. I accepted that, as I already knew she would say that. My reasoning for seeking counseling is for two reasons. First, because I truly believe I can benefit from it. Second, because I pray I can be an example to her and someday hope she will attend with me, or on her own.
This morning the counselor called and talked with me briefly. When the call was over, my wife was noticeably upset. I asked why. She said it was because she had told me previously that she had reservations about either of us seeking counseling with anyone so closely affiliated with our church. She's intensely private and doesn't want anyone at the church to find out. She admitted again that she is happy that I'm looking to get help, but very upset with me for ignoring how she felt and doing things "my way." She then said, "I can never step foot in that church again." That broke my heart and I felt ashamed, as it was her church home, long before it was mine.
The counselors are a husband and wife who operate the ministry because they felt called to help married couples in crisis. Like us, they reached the point of separation and were on the brink of divorce. They work as a team and meet with couples together, that way they can each relate to situations we are in and offer support from each perspective (husband/wife).
He had planned to call me back later today to talk with me some more to better understand where we are at. We talked for a while and I explained our situation and what I felt were my failings. He first told me that despite my reservations, I had done the right thing by seeking help. It was nice to have someone validate my actions, but at the same time, I still feel as though I betrayed my wife. He said that seeking help from a secular counselor, or a ministry not affiliated with our church would be a mistake. The church is our family. That's what they are there for.
I explained my wife's concerns about privacy. She doesn't want members of the church to gossip behind our back. HIs points were: when you stop attending church together, or attending separately, people are going to find out you have a problem. Why not let them find out because you're seeking help? As for gossiping, if they're talking about you in a way that isn't to offer you support, then they have issues of their own to deal with.
So how does this tie into today's dare? When my wife came home, she again, was upset to find that I had spoken with him again. Especially for an hour. Even less impressed that I had shared as much as I had, or that I had made plans to meet with him. She reiterated what she said this morning. That I had gone against her wishes and done my own thing. Again she said she was happy that I was seeking counsel for myself, but she was disappointed that I didn't seek it outside of our church.
I told her that in no way was it not done to betray her confidence. I had no where else to turn to. I apologized if it embarrassed her, or scared her that people would find out. I then said, "There are a lot of things that I need to work on before you will be able to forgive me and trust me, and I think this will help me, and it could help us." She said, "I think I do forgive you."
I replied, "Do you? Do you forgive me for being selfish and manipulative? Do you forgive me for being irritable and rude? Do you forgive me for not being loving, caring, kind and supportive? Because those are the things that I pray for forgiveness for every day." Her response was a quiet, "I don't know."
Needless to say, she's still upset with me. She was more talkative this morning. We even ate breakfast together. But ever since she witnessed me talking with a counselor, she's been very reserved. I honestly think she's scared. Probably embarrassed.
I think I did the right thing, but I hope it wasn't at the sake of what little trust I've earned back.
Dan, many important things here.
First. there is nothing wrong with what you did. The Church is there for you, and your wife. This goes to show how removed from Christ she is. To think the things she is thinking and to feel the way she feels. That is 100% the flesh, not Christ. You on the other hand are looking for those that love Christ around you to help. So doing things on your own... Actually she is wrong with that one. It is probably the first time you have without a doubt trusted Christ to guide your actions. Prior to this, it was your way!
On the other hand. When you realized that she was so upset about it, leave it alone. Do it for yourself now. Other than that it is a manipulation. Dont lie to her, but dont offer it.
Now is the time to be a testimony and lead by example and not pointing things out. Leave her to Christ and He will work on her. Doing things your way with her will get you venom!