First, I want to thank soooo many of you who have sent me encouraging emails and also posted encouraging comments on this blog. To know you are praying brings me much comfort.
Yesterday George and I had a counseling appointment. We both shared about what has been unhealthy in our relationship. It's very apparent that we don't have something healthy to go back to...we can only change and move forward. For me, it is exciting. I look ahead and see unlimited possibilities. I know without a shadow of a doubt that if we both submit fully to God, he will fill our marriage with love, joy, confidence, and friendship.
That's a big "if" though. George doesn't see it that way. He came out of counseling (this happens every time) feeling like we're too far-gone. Yesterday on the way home he told me he doesn't think he's in love with me anymore. I tried to explain again that the feeling of being in love is much different from the love and commitment of marriage...and that we can't wait around for passionate feelings---we have to actually act passionately about each other. He said that would be a miserable way to live. Ouch.
After some conversation that seemed to be going nowhere I said, "Well, you need to grow some balls and stop being such a coward." In case you don't know my issues (ha!), I have tried for too long to always say nice things...be nice, act nice, look nice, nice, nice, nice! Now I am learning that, in times like this, nice doesn't work. So in case you feel like my statement may have done harm, let me assure you, this man I am married to needs to hear the hard stuff. I need to say it.
And that brings me to the title question. What is a man? What does it mean when people say "be a man"? I'd love to know your thoughts. I'll tell you mine. In our particular situation, George being a real man of God would look like this: You know what? I'm scared. I've screwed up. I have been a horrible husband. I want to make things right. God says I'm the head of this family and even though I don't know how all of this will turn out, I'm going to fight for my wife and my child. I will not quit--we are in this together!
That's what I want to hear from him. The thing is, I'm seeing zero signs that this will ever happen. Once again, he made a commitment to working on our marriage but as soon as he was reminded of our past and how much it sucks, he became too afraid to step up to the plate.
In counseling yesterday I brought up the way I have treated George in our marriage. We talk a lot about the changes George needs to make because he's the one reluctant to change. I wanted to point out that I could see how George might be afraid to commit to me and then find himself a couple of years down the road being treated the same way I used to treat him.
You see, I thought I could change George. I saw the good in him but wanted him to get rid of all the crap and just embrace the good. George became a Christian while we were dating and I thought he was on the road to change. I was madly in love with him and wanted him to change quickly so that I could have everything I wanted. I knew in my heart that if he didn't make some changes, I shouldn't marry him. I married him anyway. I took on a mothering role with him and he fell right into the role of a child. What a recipe for disasaster!
A couple of years ago I really started resenting George. I was mad at him for drinking too much, cursing, getting angry so easily and making me feel horrible. I felt that outside of my marriage, I was growing personally and spiritually but in our marriage I was being squeezed to death. Somehow, I decided to try to shame George into changing. Now, logically this is truly absurd. But for some reason, it made perfect sense to me at the time. It makes me sick to know that I treated my husband so poorly and was basically a hypocrite. Tell me why in the hell George would want anything to do with God when I, a representative of Christ in my marriage, treated him like absolute crap?
I have repented of these horrible sins to both God and my husband and I have turned away from them. I made a choice to look at George and see him through God's eyes. To love him unconditionally and treat him as I would my very best friend. Unfortunately, though, it is too late for George. The damage is done and he can't forgive.
So what now? I have no idea. I feel lost. I covet your prayers today. I'm asking God to give me direction.