As this is my first entry on here I don't know where to start.
First off I want to thank the Love Dare for helping me appreciate my love for my spouse even more than I had before I started.
I have been keeping a journal on my phone of my daily events while reading through the Love Dare, I may get around to reposting it at some point, feel like I'm a little behind as everyone one here does daily updates and I only just looked the website up.
Anyway, backstory. My wife & I have been married over 16 years now, and around Christmas my wife came to me and told me she had fallen out of love with me. Needless to say I was shocked. She said she felt our marriage was over and didn't even see herself as my wife anymore. Over the past 2 years, since our eldest daughter attempted suicide, my wife had felt I had checked out of our marriage and I didn't care. To the point that she had sent me an email in the middle of last year stating that very thing, that it was over - I was at work when I received the email and in anger I deleted it, thinking to myself that I didn't have time to deal with it and if it was that important she should come talk to me about it. I didn't mention when I got home, neither did she. We let it fester.
Part of the reason she felt I was out of the marriage is that I hadn't been into intiating sex on a regular basis and she saw it as me treating it like a chore. I had pent up a little resentment toward her, considering she needed to be working but wanted to stay home with our daughter. Of course I understood, but I never talked about the need for her income. I let us stress. At the time she thought my disinterest in love making had the possibility of me having thoughts of another woman - I had had an online affair back in 2002, which I never fully addressed in couseling, I just stopped it when she found out. She had held onto that, even though I had recommitted to her and had been faithful ever since.
So she had let go of me, in January I found out she had developed feelings for a friend of ours, he didn't know, neither did he encourage these feelings from her. He was and is someone that was giving her favorable attention where I wasn't.
Fast forward a little, over the next few weeks I rediscovered my faith and someone suggested Fireproof, I didn't watch the movie at first but found out about the book so 5 weeks ago I started my journey, I knew I loved my wife - I started it because I needed to explore those feelings that hd be reignited in me with her turning from me.
She still has those feelings for this other person, and still hangs out with him regularly. I even told him of her feelings for him and he was very understanding. He is a good friend. My wife got upset when I told her, said I was trying to control her. I'm just trying to make her face whatever is going on with her. At this point I just want the woman I love to be happy. Be it with me or not.
Of course there are more details... but that is all I have time for now. Im still continuing on my journey and will not give up on my love. Ever.
Welcome. This you may be realizing is a journey, one between you and Christ, not you and her. she is being used as a tool to mold you while doing the dares. I would suggest getting the movie and watching it by yourself.
I would encourage you to do another round. Everyone says they do round two is different for them, in a better way.
Make sure you do a dare a day, no more, no less. IF you haven't, read the appendix, especially about leading the heart.
things may get worse before it gets better, but this serves purpose.
As you probably noticed she may become angry with some of the dares you are doing. Because she is thinking you are trying to win her back and then you will go back to the old you. Or she's thinking, why wasn't he like this all along.
All the problems you listed and probably the ones you didn't, will be resolved in you when you do the dares as intended, without manipulating them to make them easier.
Welcome Benjamin. I'm sorry you have had to discover this blog for the reasons we all do, but glad you are willing to reach out and share.
I think we all, in trying to be obedient or do what we feel is pleasing to God, fall in the trap of thinking we should want our spouses to be happy with or without us, but Benjamin, that is not Biblical and certainly not God's will for us. I have yet to find anywhere in the Word of God that He promises us happiness. He, does, though, promise joy and as time goes on and you focus on Him, He will become your joy.
Like Tim said, do one dare a day. Do what you can as she allows and pray about the others.
Pray for your wife and a good start is to use the suggestions in the book.
Something I hope you think about, though, is that God does not expect us to pray for our spouses to be happy, especially without us. God will not take your wife and hand her over to another man with His blessing because that is contrary to His Word and His character. When we said our vows, God considered them as binding as the covenant He made with Israel.
Rather than want her happy or even pray for her happiness, instead pray she discovers the joy of the Lord and that He becomes her greatest joy.
My husband divorced me, but I am still standing for him and for our marriage. I do not pray for God to bless him in his sinful rebellion, but pray that God blesses him as he honors God.
Let God change your heart through this season and release your wife to Him to change hers. My favorite verse these days is Exodus 14:14 (The Lord will fight for you. You need only be still.) We do our battling on our knees in prayer.
Hang in there! It's a marathon, not a sprint for most of us. :)
I agree with what Linda is saying about happiness. So many people do come here saying they just want their spouse happy.
In fact, at least short term, it is actually better to pray for them to feel Christ's conviction, and feel that stress of going against His will. Because we usaully only change when we are hurt or when we are in a jam and know we need Him.
When unsure what to pray for your wife, simply pray that God's will is done in her life. Often times, especially in the beginning of this trial, if we pray anything more than that it becomes a selfish prayer. Because we want our spouse to change so we are happier.
Thanks you for your kind words.
She thinks it's ironic that over the length of our marriage she was always the one who wanted to goto church and I was stand offish. Now it's flipped, to the extreme. I'm passionate about my love for God and she says she sees a change in but it is alien to her. Her feelings on church have go the other way as well, she is disillusioned by organized religion - she believes in God and that's about it.
Thanks to the guidance of the Lord, the Love Dare and others around me.. I have never felt so close to my wife and yet so far apart at the same time.
I know it's about changing me and I love how it is all making me feel. Like above I've never been happier and sadder at the same time. lol I just can't wait until I can share this fully with her without scaring her away.
Thank you for posting this.
I know how you feel. My husband is a wonderful man and I am trying to win him back. I know you are probably feeling lost, that is how I feel anyway. I watched Fireproof this morning again and you know, Kaleb was still going strong on Day 43. I think that's what you need to do, also. This Love Dare book teaches us a new way of life, not a 40 Day life. Keep trucking, if anything go back to Day 1 on Day 41 and keep it going.
I know in my marriage my husband and I just let each other fall to the back burner and didn't invest the energy needed to keep the flame alive. As I type this he is off at some party, made sure I knew I wasn't invited, and informed me just an hour ago he wouldn't be home until after dinner time. I am on Day 3 and went and bought his favorite dinner ingredients and dessert today. When he text me back I screamed and cried out to God to help me. Day 3 says I have to buy him something to say I am thinking of him, which I did before he left, during his absence and I bought him something else for when he gets back. My flesh is screaming "LEAVE! He doesn't deserve you" but God says stay. I am staying and fighting, that is what you need to do. Stay and fight for your marriage. You love her, she will learn to love you through all of this.
God is Good.