4 – Day 18 – Love Seeks Understanding
“Prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of you. The dinner
can be as nice as you prefer. Focus this time on getting to know your
spouse better, perhaps in areas you've rarely talked about. Determine to
make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate”
for armor kick started my day. I did not get much sleep and was physically and
emotionally spent. I really needed His strength as I had both my personal
counseling and marriage counseling today.
was quite obvious I was struggling when I walked into my counselor’s office.
The minute I sat on the couch the tears started streaming down my face. He said
I looked very discouraged. I certainly couldn’t disagree with that. I went over
the past couple weeks since our last session. I focused a bit of time on my
husband and I’s first counseling session to get his feedback. His main advice
was to continue to be honest during those sessions. We then talked about what I
am to do now since I am at a complete loss. He told me that it is okay to be more
up front with my words. It doesn’t mean I am not showing Christ’s love, but my husband
needs to face the truth whether he gets angry or not. I will definitely
continue to pray on this because as I expressed yesterday I struggle with
balance of what to say when because of just that—not wanting it to seem I am
not showing him His love and fear of escalated anger. He tasked me to research what
it means to being married to an unbeliever specifically referencing Paul’s writing
in Corinthians. This conversation also led me to looking into a book about the
Prodigal coming home through Rejoice Ministries, a Christian ministry focused
on standing for marriages.
the way to work I prayed some more for His armor and serious energy to make it
through. Thankfully it was a calm day at work. Not a lot of phone calls, which
I really appreciated. I felt pretty productive too despite a lack of
motivation. During my break I did my devotions and read today’s dare chapter. I
thought what a bittersweet way the dare was going to be completed. Dinner would
be quick since we had counseling and not sure how enjoyable I could make an
evening that consists of counseling—something my husband absolutely hates.
However, “seeking to understand” was pretty fitting considering the very fact
we have counseling. My time ended on break by randomly getting excited about
starting a Love Dare Bible Study with my husband in the future. Not sure where
in the world that came from considering the circumstances, but it did put a
smile on my face.
I got home I immediately started dinner since we had a half hour before we had
to leave. I made Belgian waffles. I figured I can’t go wrong with waffles since
he really likes them for breakfast and it was a quick fix. I got it all
prepared and set out then went upstairs to let him know it was ready. He came
down a couple of minutes later doing random things then finally asked if I
wanted his waffle because he did not feel like one. I said absolutely nothing. I
didn’t know what to say to that. I am batting a negative 1000 this week, so why
would I think he wanted waffles? I finished my dinner, cleaned up, and let him
know we needed to leave.
the way there was mainly silence. He randomly asked me if I was trying to
change his beliefs. I told him I know I can’t change him and asked why the
question. He said he was just wondering. My guess is at some point at home he
saw my book Power of a Praying Wife.
our counselor greeted us he said he was going to start off by meeting us
individually for about 10 minutes each, so asked who wanted to go first.
Without hesitation my husband told him I could go first. He started off asking
me how things were going—if we were eating dinner together and doing other
things together. Let the honesty begin. I let him know I’ve been struggling. I’ve
tried dinner and doing things together, but my husband completely dismisses all
of it. I expressed my frustration with his withdrawal and avoidance by playing
video games every waking moment of the day. The counselor then brought up how I
was not the one to initially cut ties with the OM. I thought that was weird,
but okay lets go there…I told him it was a true blessing it was halted for me.
It was my wake up call. I was at complete brokenness and after spending time at
the ocean crying out to Christ, I was on my way back to the right path and led
to fight for my marriage no matter what. I let him know it was close thereafter
that things were put into place to start down that road as I led my heart. I
did not bring up the Love Dare. Rather, I focused it all on His work. I told
him I would have not gotten through any of this without His strength. I ended with
making him aware of a huge separation between my husband and I because of my faith.
I figured I would forewarn him since I was pretty positive my husband would be
bringing it up when it is his turn to talk to him.
was feeling really good as I waited for my husband’s turn. His felt like
forever. Mine was about 10, 15 minutes at the most. His was 20-30 minutes. I
was having mixed feelings about it. Good that he was opening up to the
counselor, but then negative ones about all the horribleness I’ve caused in our
marriage knowing that he has yet to take responsibility for a thing. He took
the anxiousness away pretty quickly though as I prayed silently for peace. I
was reminded that He is still working.
we were brought back together the first thing brought up was the space between
us because of my religion. That word bothers me. I always call it my faith, but
both the counselor and my husband continued to call it religion. Perhaps next
time I will feel compelled to distinguish the difference, but in that moment I
did not. I was asked what it means to me that my husband is an unbeliever. I
told him, I am not going to leave or give up on this marriage because of it. It
is still workable, but it takes both people making an effort. Then it was brought
up how I don’t understand the timetable and requirements of asking for a
detachment switch nor how a lot more difficult it is compared to my cutting
ties. I did not bring this up in my individual time with the counselor, so I
was thinking that my husband must have brought it up in his because he does not
want to face it. I got pretty fired up at this point. I said, “I do understand the timetable and
requirements, but he hasn’t even TRIED. I feel he is using it as a cop out. If
your marriage is on the line, you would at least give it a shot. He said he
was, at the very least, going to talk to his sergeant about what happened. That
has yet to take place. Besides comparison kills. It is BS to sit here and
compare whose repercussions are worse. If this marriage is going to heal and
move forward to its fullest capacity then ALL ties have to be cut on both of
our counts period.” The counselor then challenged my husband, “Don’t you think
it is worth the risk?” He eventually agreed. I was asked if I could put that on
the shelf for at least another month so we can first work on spending time together.
I said that was fine, but I am at a complete loss when everything I try is shot
down. My husband then agreed that he has been avoiding everything because he is
so overwhelmed with it all. He talked a lot about the old Jenn. The counselor asked
if part of what he is feeling is that he wants to make me pay for how I had
treated him. He agreed. He was then challenged again. The counselor told him, “Don’t
you think how Jenn is now is a much better reward for everything you’ve been
through, so it isn’t worth it to punish her?” He thought about it then agreed. This
led into some conversation about leading the heart. I don’t think my husband is
quite buying that concept yet, but I think he is getting closer. I expressed
that I will continue to show by example the change that I’ve gone through as I
know he is still struggling with the fear of things going back to the way they
were with me. The session ended with him emphasizing that we really need to try
and spend time together. He recommended leaving the heavy conversations for
counseling since it is in a controlled environment. To some extent I see the
positive in that because conversations at home tend to not get very far when
the anger is overshadowing everything. Although, I am still going to pray about
the advice I was given this morning by my own counselor.
it was a very good session. It ended up being an hour and a half long. I
thought it was really cool of him to not rush us off at the hour mark since he
didn’t have anyone after us. My husband expressed sarcastically as we were
walking to the car how joyous that was and how spent he felt. I told him soon enough
he will see the benefits of all of this.
felt covered in His armor today. Times of frustration were quickly minimized to
feelings of peace. Fatigue was changed to energy. Discouragement switched to encouragement.
In weakness I was given strength. Praise Him!
You got fired up.......and you vented.....
Re-read your statements about being at the counselors. What does it tell you?
You husband has a problem with your "religion" because you do not react like he does. He can now start to see how foolish his selfish nature is through your testimony. It is called conviction.
Religion is man made. Faith is not made. I love your "voice" in this. You gave them a lil' reflection punch! WooHoo! YeeHaw! :) :). LOL
Smile andnotice His little treasures all around you today!!!
Wow Praise God for your faith and trust in him! Way to go! You relied on God and he saw you through those rough moments.
God is still at work, not just in you, but in your husband too. Keep strong in Christ.