Starting new.

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Benjamin, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    As for another tread,

    I was one of those “Mr. Boyfriends” except for I never even promised to marry. I had a terrible childhood, been taken for a real loop by a former girlfriend as I was looking for love, and then had a 3 month disastrous marriage with another and after that I trusted no one and was not willing to commit to anything, especially a marriage, or let my heart sink to falling in love and be hurt for it. My girlfriend (now wife) said she loved me but I was not willing to take the chance. I thought she was pathetic and even told her so that she would hang on to me as mean I was to her (to make her give up) and after firmly telling her I would NEVER let myself love. I even moved away and wouldn’t tell her where I was moving to except for she narrowed it down to a general five mile or so range. Well, she checked every apartment complex within a very large area looking at the mailboxes and found me; disgusted with her relentlessness at lunch soon after I picked up on a “Hooter’s girl” and made sure she would be there the next time my girlfriend showed up uninvited displaying the attitude of “so what get lost”. That kind of action hurt her terribly and seeing that started me to thinking- I was really hurting someone who truly loved me and maybe I was making a mistake. It still took me several years in which at times I could be very cold to her in my doubts because of my hard heart. Seeing her hope start to fade and the sadness in her waiting for me to ask her to marry I thought I might as well, I can’t get rid of her and she’ll never leave anyway! Very romantic huh?

    I started to put value on my marriage especially after our first child was born. It was then that I turned to God and He brought me peace and I think it was Him softening my heart the whole time. I’ve had a lot of tears as my heart softened and the love grew in my heart, a lot of regrets for the hurts that I’ve caused my wife. I have deeply emotionally scared her and now I want to comfort her and reassure her. I have so many things to make up to her and so many desires to prove to her that I can and do love her, but it is so hard to come out and just show it, she seems to look at me and say, who are you? I know you and you aren’t that. Problem is she doesn’t really know me at all anymore, at least how much love I truly do feel, after so long of not showing it you forget how or maybe never did know how, have no practice, and frankly she has trouble believing it and I am clumsy trying to show it. I’m making progress but I really want to speed things up. We need to show affection for a healthy presentation to our children as well as to have a healthy marriage. To start with we don’t even hug and kiss and greet each other when one comes in the door, never have so it seems really out of place when I try to change this. This was my fault to begin with by always pushing away until she got tired of trying and gave up hope being deeply scared. God gave me someone that truly did love and I rejected her so strongly I’ve damaged her. I want the old her back and this time give her the love she deserves. I can’t change the things in the past that caused this but I certainly should be able to make things new. If you understand what I saying, how do I make a fresh new start with my wife and put the past behind us.

    One thought I’ve had is to renew our vows with a big romantic celebration. But I want her to see the change, live it, and believe it first.
     
  2. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    From a woman's point of view:

    Go slow!

    If you start changing your attitude, verbal language and mannerisms all at once, she is going to think something is wrong. And I mean wrong in your marriage as in you are either having an affair or are simply dissatisfied with being married. Once she gets an idea like that, she will only go on the defensive and make true change in your marriage almost impossible.

    She worked long and hard to get to this place where she is now. It isn't exactly what she wants, but it is better than nothing. Having worked so hard and so long for her position as your wife, she probably doesn't have any idea of life without you. If you change to much to fast you will scare her to death. There are only two reasons (in a womans perspective) for a man to change: he's having an affair, or he wants out of the marriage.

    In the case of an affair, a man usually changes for the worst and becomes critical and demanding. He does this (IMO) in order to justify his behavior to himself. "Well if she would only....then I wouldn't have to have and affair".

    When a man wants out, he does just the opposite. He becomes more affectionate, asks what he can do and generally tries to show the world what a great husband he is. This accomplishes two purposes. It lulls the wife into a false sense of security and when he does leave the blame will end up on her. "I just can't understand why Sally divorced Sam, he loved her sooo much".

    So you want real change in your marriage? Then you have to convince her that your MOTIVES are pure. Then, maybe, slowly she'll trust the change in your actions.

    You need to start by having a long talk with your wife telling her what you have told us(minus children, by which I mean find a time when it is just you two). Then slowly, start changing how you show her affection.

    A big thing you need to remember is that your relationship with your wife wasn't built in a day. It also can't be remodeled in a day.

    I would also suggest a Christian marriage counselor.
     
  3. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    I’ve never had an affair in our 16 years, I have had two situations I shouldn’t have been in the first place but both times I said no, nothing happened so this is not a factor as it is in the past and I won’t let myself get in that situation again.

    My motives are pure and I feel that now I’m not being who I really am now as I have had to deal with a lot of issues in my life and conquered them with God’s help I have come a long way to be the man I am and I feel meant to be except I have no experience in showing the affection as natural even though the feelings come to me naturally to do so. Almost like a shyness because it seems out of character for me.

    For some quick background as a child I had a terrible temper but good heart, a severe speech impediment until 11 and great difficulty communicating after that. Although I feel love and tenderness toward people it is hard for me to show it. I wasn’t told, “I love you” and hugged as a child, or taught to smile and say nice pleasantries and be sensitive to others feelings. I was “taught a lesson” as a small child for trying to protect my older sister. I hate bullies and accept I probably will never get over that. Thinking Rambo might give the idea, not intimidated by a 300 pound bully in the least and it shows with confidence and forwardness if provoked, I’ve been known to quickly demand respect and get it from such one way or the other. Done wrong, hard, tough, stubborn, everything the hard way, critical-nothing ever good enough for instant approval, blatantly honest so usually better to not speak not having the skills to do it gently enough. People value my opinions but I’ve also hurt peoples feeling and often see people take me as very course and insensitive or even scary from my habitual demeanor reflecting something different than I am. Thing is I am sensitive to peoples feelings and feel bad that I have trouble showing it.

    Now imagine Rambo trying to smile for a family picture, saying nice things to proper old ladies, being sensitive and attentive to his wife’s feelings, communicating with born and raised church people in a mild and delicate manner. (Yo- soft caring voice with a smile and an attentive gentle expression on my face) it’s funny just trying to envision this and people who know me and my heart laugh at my attempts to portray this, it’s not me to do this but I feel it’s needed and there must be a way to show the softer side of me. You should see me try to smile for a picture, it’s a joke, I can’t do it on demand! I feel it but showing it is very difficult to learn and it would help many people who need to see this change from me and could be a very valuable tool to use. I know most anything you practice you will get better at but in this case it feels so weird to even try. My wife will say, “Don’t smile your face might crack!” She knows I feel it but not often enough, I do smile but you can mostly only see it in my eyes. I’m thinking how does one undo old unwanted habits or is it unique to want to know how you develop good smile muscles and use them naturally or even just for that good first impression. Often I know the right thing to say and what people need to hear but it’s like I’m embarrassed to let it come out, possibly at least partly a hangover from my speech impediment. I’m always going back and seeing the need for this change to undo these things and let myself express what I feel to make amends.

    I was wondering if someone might have some suggestions on how to start practicing.
     
  4. Helen

    Helen
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    Sure. Get a pad of notepaper. At the end of each day WRITE down ONE short sentence about something you appreciated about your wife just that day. Just one sentence.

    Put it on her pillow.

    The ice will break, slowly, inside you as you learn to express the positive side of your feelings bit by bit. It doesn't have to be words or flowers or candy at first. One sentence will thrill her, because she will know you are trying.

    Then go for ONE flower. Not a dozen roses. Just a flower from the grocery store or something. Or a potted pansy from the nursery.

    I've been kind of sick today with whatever and have spent a good part of the day in bed just wishing my stomach would find another body to live in.

    My husband is allergic, or at least reactive, to shellfish.

    He went downtown for a bit and picked up a lovely thing of shrimp and dip for me. I can't eat it yet, partly because of my stomach and partly because it is frozen solid, but do I know he loves me and thinks of me? Oh yeah!

    It's a special, special thing. God bless you for even wanting to try! You'll make it!
     
  5. Eric Pement

    Eric Pement
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    This may seem simple, but this has helped me and our marriage within the past 4 months: Get The Five Love Languages, Men's Edition [CBD link] by Gary Chapman, and read it. The advice in this book is truly helpful, and will give you a great place to start.

    --
    Eric Pement
     
  6. menageriekeeper

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    Benjamin, I never meant to imply that you had ever had an affair.

    What I said was that if you try to make to many changes all at once, she is going to think something is wrong. And there are two things that a woman is afraid of in her marriage: Affairs and abandonment.

    Now about that smile. Maybe you are asking to much from yourself. Perhaps a simple pleasant look would be a better beginning. that means NO SCOWL! How do you know if your scowling? Look in a mirror. Practice in a mirror if you need to. Your embarassment in front of others will diminish once you are comfortable with yourself.

    [take that bit from someone who knows. I used to wouldn't talk to hardly anyone especially if they had any kind of authority over me and would usually break down in tears if forced to. My own childhood had a great deal to do with this. I'm fortyone now and still struggle with speaking to new people or people in authority. I get funny looks sometimes as I struggle to control the ever present urge to cry, but usually I can get it out. It took years for me even to work up the courage to try to overcome this. The phone and internet are different because at least part of my problems are sensory in nature. It is much easier for me to type(no audio to figure out) or talk on the phone(no visual cues to interpret). Communication issues are deep rooted and take a long time to get control of. The beginning of control is self confidence.]

    Oh, and I must say, I really like the picture of your wife hunting down the guy who "demands respect and gets it one way or the other". [​IMG] Sounds to me like she already has your number and knows it by heart!

    Quit worrying already and enjoy her!
     
  7. gb93433

    gb93433
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    My wife and I often write nice things about each other on the mirror with a dry erase marker. It is nice to walk into the bathroom and see it.

    Why don't you tell your wife what you have told us. Perhaps she would like to hear that from you personally.
     
  8. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    I was thinking of printing out what you wrote with NO NAME or specific identifying event and "share" what you "found" on the 'net. Get her reaction to it . . and then share that YOU could have written that (if such is appropriate to her response).

    Whether you ever tell her YOU wrote it is inconsequential now. It is slow, bite-size, "get-the-ball-rolling" that she needs to see.
     

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