Collaborate without boundaries

Day 31 Love and Marriage- Done

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WOW! What an exciting day. We started off having dinner as a family at 6:00. Some of the kids and my wife are angry at me for this because it is something we have only recently started doing. They are not used to it and they are fighting it. My wife thinks making the kids wait until this late to eat is wrong but I explained that it is very important that we make time to eat as a family. I told them I have done a lot of research on it and it is highly important. The kids think it is a waste of time and say we are getting nowhere with it but I have learned a lot about them and their lives in the last two weeks from the conversations.

Some things came up at the dinner table that I told my wife we should talk about in person without the kids around. One of my daughters said why can't we talk about it and I explained that some things are between parents and kids don't need the burden. SO after dinner my wife and I talked in the bedroom for about 15 minutes. I told her that I was upset because I heard her mom talking bad about me to our children and the children tell me she does it all the time. I told my wife that it is unacceptable. She said she would talk to her mom about it but I said I would like to handle it on my own because this is not the first time I have told my wife that her mother needs to mind her own business and whatever my wife says to her doesn't seem to help. She just turns around the next day and starts bashing me to our children.

Then we got into our current situation. I told my wife that her decision is wrong and there's no way to say that it is right. She said there is one reason that she is not willing to change her mind and I wouldn't believe it and it would hurt my feelings. I told her it is not important because it doesn't change anything. I told her there is no reason to continue down this path- not even the reason she is talking about. I then asked her a question that has been on my mind for a while. I knew she wouldn't be able to answer it but I thought it would put a pot of perspective on the situation. I asked her to name one thing that I've done to her that she hasn't done to me. She said something but I countered with her doing the exact same thing to me and from that point on she had no answer. I told her we have both been at fault in this marriage and unless we are both willing to fight for our marriage it will end in disaster. She did say to me that she thinks I have a mental problem, always have and that she will never be able to deal with it. I, however, have been going to counseling for a long time and she refuses to go to counseling. The professionals that we have both talked to say I have come a long way and I am doing great and they say they believe she has a mental disease but I do not have the heart to tell her that. I do suggest to her sometimes that she should go to counseling because it is very helpful but she says she doesn't need it. I do.

So later the kids came up to me and said she had came to them talking about me. She told them that I wasn't paying her mom for babysitting (which I normally do every Friday) because I had to save for a lawyer. So I went to her and told her she has to stop involving the kids in this. I added that I didn't pay her mom this week because I had to spend a lot traveling to the wedding we went to over the weekend and that I had already talked to her mom and told her I would pay her this Friday for both weeks. I told my wife that there was miscommunication going on and she was telling the kids something that wasn't true. I told her that if we were communication better none of this would be happening. This all led to us arguing back and forth when there were two of our kids in the room. One of my promises from an earlier dare was to not fight in front of the kids so I messed that up. I made mistakes and surely said some things wrong but we got a lot of things out in the open and I believe that is good.

Then two of my girls came and got in bed with me and my wife told them they need to go to their own beds. The girls whispered to me that if she's not sleeping in her own bed then why should they? I had to agree with them and I told my wife I had a problem with what she was telling them and we could talk about it if she wanted to but she said she didn't want to talk. She did text me right before I fell asleep and I didn't see it until this morning. She said "Consistency is important and it's past the girls bedtime and they really need to go to sleep." She texted this because the girls and I were talking as we were trying to go to sleep. Ironically we were talking about how loud my wife and other daughter were talking in the other bedroom.

I did manage to fit my dare in last night. Right as I got in bed it occurred to me that my clingy thing is my children so I texted my wife this: "I have to tell you something. Ever since we have had the kids I have been really clingy to them. I should have been clingy to you. That was a huge mistake. So many mistakes. Goof night. I do love you." So she knows about something I need to cleave now.

Then this morning, after I read her text and got to work I sent her this text: "When you came in the room and told the girls that they need to sleep in their own beds they said 'Why isn't she sleeping in her own bed?' I have to agree with them. You can't lead by example when you're not doing what you say. I'm telling you this because I love you and I want to help you. Just like you did for me on March 15 (She begged me to come out of my depression.) I really do want to help you so much that I'm willing to sacrifice my self, my pride for you. I made mistakes last night but if I were to talk to God about it right now I'm sure He would say He's proud of me for fighting for our marriage and family. Could you say the same if you talked to Him? Yesterday was such a blessing. We got so much of the devil's poison out in the open. I'm not going to let Satan win this. I will fight for you no matter what it takes. I need you to help me. You can choose to be happy in any circumstance. Read Philippians 4:12. You've told me yourself that one person can't make another happy or sad but then you told me that I did that to you. You know better than that because you are so smart. The only way to be happy is through Christ. I choose to love you through this under any circumstances."

So there it is- an extremely eventful evening.

  • At dinner we do all go around the table and share the best thing about our day and the worst. It's helped me learn a lot about our kids and it also gives them uninterrupted time to share and have our full attention. If there are things that need to be discussed one on one afterwards we save it for after dinner and move to the next. It's opened the door for very great conversation with our kids.

    Now I do 30 minutes of uninterrupted kid time every evening. If they have friends there they have to go home and the kids take turns deciding what we will do. It's worked well for us.

  • Make sure it isn't pride that wants you to talk to your mother in law.  And consider if it is best for her to talk to her mom vs you.  Sometimes it can cause additional hurt when we talk to our inlaws vs letting our spouse do the talking.  not saying any of this is right, but wanted to bring it up.

  • About the sleeping....You chose to show unity with your children vs her.  You did not choose to look at her desires.  Or let the other win or whatever that dare is.  Your wife is still the mom and and adult.  The kids are minors.   In the kids eyes and also your wife's eyes, you put your kids above your wife.  and this  was not honoring her.  What an adult does, does not make it right for the kids..  

  • Be cautious in defending the marriage a lot.  It can become habit forming and the spouse will revolt with it thrown as they see it, in their face all the time.  Right now, consider letting your actions, the new you do the talking about why she should stay in the marriage.  

    Is she possibly going to get frustrated with you putting out verses to her?  

    Should some of what you were texting been said face to face.?

  • You're right Tim. I put my children above my wife. I didn't talk to my mother-in-law. I came to the conclusion that it is pride and it would do more harm than good.

    Much of what I say to my wife could be said face to face but it always ends up in an argument no matter how hard I try not to.

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