Marriage on the Ropes


#1

In the past year I’ve been on a journey to save both my 19 year marriage and my relationship with God. In that time, I’ve successfully reconnected with God while growing more as a person than I have in all of my married years. In addition, I’ve finally found the strength to move beyond the past wrongs in our relationship and extend unconditional forgiveness to my wife. I’m proud to say that the man writing this is not the same man that started this journey a year ago.

The worst problem in our marriage has been the combination of communication problems and anger issues (verbal). I’ve tended to be the angry one and as she has tended to avoid communicating with me due to the chance of an explosive reaction on my part. This has often put us in a continuous loop where the two issues feed upon each other. But in the last year we’ve come very far in resolving these issues.

Yet despite these fantastic changes in our lives, my wife still hasn’t found the grace to forgive me and claims that she doesn’t have faith that the changes I’ve shown can last a lifetime. She remains cautious around me, detached, and often ignores me. In addition, any hugs, kisses, or “I Love You’s” are only initiated by me. The end result is an anxiety ridden environment that makes me feel abandoned and helpless. Despite all of the hard core investing I’ve been doing in our relationship her actions seem completely at odds with her saying she has a desire to save our marriage.

Through counseling it was revealed that she just needs time to heal. So our counselor suggested Retrouvaille which we gladly will be going to on 8/12/11. In the meantime however, what can I do to survive the day to day when she is trying so hard to keep me at arms length?


#2

I am sure that you are already doing this, but pray. Pray for patience, pray for love, pray for your wife. Go to adoration as often as you can and give your past to Jesus. Do not push your wife for more than she is willing to give.

I am so happy you are going to Retrouvaille! It has helped so many couples to draw closer and heal their marriages. I hope yours is one of the success stories.

And I hope the pain in her heart is healed. She has not forgiven you yet nor let go of the pain you have caused her. She does not trust you not to hurt her again, and might be afraid that if you did hurt her again, she could not recover. She’s protecting herself from further hurt as a defense. I think the weekend and the follow-up sessions will help her learn to trust you again.

But it takes time. Keep up the good work on keeping your temper in check!

:slight_smile:


#3

You and your wife will be in my prayers. All things are possible for God


#4

[quote="PatienceNeeded, post:1, topic:249695"]
In the past year I've been on a journey to save both my 19 year marriage and my relationship with God. In that time, I've successfully reconnected with God while growing more as a person than I have in all of my married years. In addition, I've finally found the strength to move beyond the past wrongs in our relationship and extend unconditional forgiveness to my wife. I'm proud to say that the man writing this is not the same man that started this journey a year ago.

The worst problem in our marriage has been the combination of communication problems and anger issues (verbal). I've tended to be the angry one and as she has tended to avoid communicating with me due to the chance of an explosive reaction on my part. This has often put us in a continuous loop where the two issues feed upon each other. But in the last year we've come very far in resolving these issues.

Yet despite these fantastic changes in our lives, my wife still hasn't found the grace to forgive me and claims that she doesn't have faith that the changes I've shown can last a lifetime. She remains cautious around me, detached, and often ignores me. In addition, any hugs, kisses, or "I Love You's" are only initiated by me. The end result is an anxiety ridden environment that makes me feel abandoned and helpless. Despite all of the hard core investing I've been doing in our relationship her actions seem completely at odds with her saying she has a desire to save our marriage.

Through counseling it was revealed that she just needs time to heal. So our counselor suggested Retrouvaille which we gladly will be going to on 8/12/11. In the meantime however, what can I do to survive the day to day when she is trying so hard to keep me at arms length?

[/quote]

Youve got to be patient. She gave you 18 years of patience.
So, whatever is less than 18 years is a blessing. And I guess she wont need 1/10 or that.
Be ptient till she believes you, I do not see anything else. No one can rush things. Can you heal a deep wound in 2 hours? Impossible. You cannot set a timetable. It is up the her to set it. And thank god for the wife you have. she is an Angel !


#5

I think it is wonderful that you have made such fantastic changes! But it took 18 years to get to that point, so one year compared to 18 might be too short of a time to say you have tried everything and it is over. I don’t have any idea when that “moment” would be that you decide you cannot try anymore, but I don’t think you have reached it yet. I pray that you never reach that moment and that you continue trying forever :slight_smile:

Not to sound condescending, but I’m very proud of you :slight_smile: It takes a huge person to make the changes you made and its a hard road to continue on and to stay true with and I will pray that you are able to always maintain your path with God and your wife!

Also, it might be a tiny bit of human nature that she is kind of eating up the humble approach you have and she might be taking advantage a bit with having so much control in the relationship. Just offer it up to God as a sacrifice that you are willing to endure in order to strengthen your marriage for the future. Pray for you and her as much as you pray for your marriage and God will continue leading you down the path towards Him and towards a stronger marriage. God bless!!


#6

Welcome to CAF! :wave:

I think the best advice is advice that you no doubt already know in light of the user name you have chosen. Patience is needed.

It will take time for your wife to be convinced of the changes in you. That you two are going to counselling and a Retrouvaille speaks volumes that you two are committed to healing the rift and are headed in the right direction. She certainly didn't have to do those things.

Though I won't pretend to know what it's like to be in your shoes, for me, the most helpful thing is a healthy dose of humility. Rather than focusing on the things I think my wife should be doing that she is not yet doing, I look at my many faults instead. Not that I dwell on them and despair. But if I'm tempted towards resentment, the best antidote for me is to realize that, in all justice, I deserve all that and more.

Not that I'm advocating being a doormat. It's just the trick I use to make it easier for me to extend patience. Try to see things from her perspective.


#7

I agree with this.

I would also approach your wife and explain that the reason you say “I love you” so much, and try to show some minor signs of care (hugs, kisses, etc) is because you’re feeding her with what YOU need in hope that she’ll catch on that in order to continue growing you need her to give you a bit of encouragement and actually SHOW that the words “I want to fix our marraige” are more than just words.

She may think that you’re using the "I love you"s and hugs and kisses as a means of trying to “bribe” her back to trusting you… a good fix would be explaining that you’re giving her these things not to win her trust but because it is YOU who has a latent need for them in order to carry on might go a long way to getting her to support you in your trials.


#8

Hi Patience Needed,
I just came off a Retrouvaille weekend- it changed my life and gave me back my marriage... We had been struggling after I finally told my wife in January that I had been leading a secret life for 4 years... The shock of it sent her into a downward spiral, she became extremely depressed and contemplated suicide... On the weekend, we learned that we were not the only ones having this problem... The team couples have all been through it, too- they were authentic and just what we needed... We still have our problems and we have a long ways to go, but we are working on it together now... Remember Love is a Decision! ? You and your wife have made the a positive decision to help your marriage... That's the first and maybe the hardest step...
We will keep you in our prayers on your weekend and after!
Crabbie Man:thumbsup:


#9

Thanks so much for everyone's thoughts and prayers. It really has helped us. Please continue to pray for us this weekend as we attend the Retrouvaille retreat. God bless you all.


#10

[quote="PatienceNeeded, post:9, topic:249695"]
Thanks so much for everyone's thoughts and prayers. It really has helped us. Please continue to pray for us this weekend as we attend the Retrouvaille retreat. God bless you all.

[/quote]

I will gladly pray for you and your wife. I hope that some day, I will be able to ask for the same prayers if/when my husband and I are able to attend Retrouvaille. I have heard so many good reports from this program. I will pray that you and your wife will be a success story! Just having both of you on board for the program is a good sign!

:thumbsup:


#11

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