Category Archives: Spouse

Dating, engagement, marriage, separation, divorce

Is your man really good enough? Are you?

really good manIs Disney to blame, the media, or our own imaginations?

Women tend to have high expectations of their men. When we begin a new relationship, these men are perfect. A friend of mine used to say “everyone is lovely until you really get to know them.” It’s true that we make every effort to present our best in the beginning. One reason the first year of marriage is difficult: we live in reality with our “perfect” man who isn’t so perfect after all. We create a mental list of all the ways they are imperfect. How can so much change? Is it really them, or is it us?

Driving me crazy!

One of the reasons I fell in love with my husband 35 years ago was his drive. He knew where he wanted to go in life, in his career, and I was ready to go along with him. It didn’t take long after our wedding that his drive was driving me crazy! He didn’t seem like he could rest, constantly moving on to the next thing. I loved and hated that at the same time. Did this mean he was no good for me? Was he no longer worthy of my admiration? Had he really changed or was it me?

Good Questions

One of my daughters shared a blog post by Melissa Edgington entitled, “Do You Have a Really Good Man?” where she shoots holes in our preconceived ideals about the perfect man by asking the following questions:

You want to know if you have a REALLY good man? Here’s a test for you. Does he love God? Does he love you? Does he work hard? Does he come home? Does he love your children? If so, then you’ve got a good one.

Melissa encourages readers to not take for granted the small and simple kindnesses our men extend to us. Things like taking care of the pets, kids, cars, bills, and going to work (and coming home) every day.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

We are not perfect women and it bugs me when I feel like I need to be perfect or think my husband might expect perfection from me. Does that stress you out too? So, why would we put this kind of pressure on our husbands? Stuff happens in life: taxes, kids, sickness, car problems, death and loss of friends and loved ones, jobs, and homes.

So much frustration and marital turmoil stem from unrealistic expectations. Ladies, it’s time we sit down and consider the ways our husbands are really good men (and realize we are really good women, too!)

Time for a healing separation

What’s a healing separation? Doesn’t a separation indicate that the marriage is dead and over? Is divorce the only answer?

Not necessarily.

time for healing separationConsider these ancient words about time:

“There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

A right time for birth and another for death,

A right time to plant and another to reap,

A right time to kill and another to heal,

A right time to destroy and another to construct,

A right time to cry and another to laugh,

A right time to lament and another to cheer,

A right time to make love and another to abstain,

A right time to embrace and another to part,

A right time to search and another to count your losses,

A right time to hold on and another to let go,

A right time to rip out and another to mend,

A right time to shut up and another to speak up,

A right time to love and another to hate,

A right time to wage war and another to make peace.”

There’s a field of options between marriage and divorce. Make time to heal, construct, and mend. A healing separation allows time to focus on one’s own needs and rebuild the marriage on a new foundation.

Separation by living in two different homes is an option, but cost prohibitive for many. Another option is an in-house separation, whereby you continue living in the same home with agreed upon conditions. Whatever your situation, make the following time commitments a priority while separated.

Five time components of a healing separation agreement:

  1. Time frame agreed to for separation (weeks or months)
  2. Time spent together (date your spouse, have fun together create new memories)
  3. Time for counseling, group support, and same gender friendships (applies to both partners)
  4. Time with children (with both parents, or separate time with each parent)
  5. Time to reunite (assess when the time is right and plan for a permanent return to the marriage)

With the guidance of a counselor, healing and renewal can be discovered when both partners are committed to the hard work of reconciliation. Separation with the intent of healing begins by creating a plan both parties agree to and increases the likelihood of a successful separation.

A healing separation.

 

Happy Birthday!

Today is my husband’s birthday. When I think about him, my mind is flooded with memories of all the places we’ve traveled. Here are a few:

  1. Rome
  2. New York
  3. Charlottesville
  4. Lakeside
  5. San Francisco
  6. Glacier NP
  7. Seattle
  8. Portland
  9. Cambria
  10. Yellowstone
  11. Calistoga
  12. Death Valley
  13. Sacramento
  14. Morro Bay
  15. Monterey
  16. Coarsegold
  17. Yosemite NP
  18. Kings Canyon NP
  19. Sequoia NP
  20. St. Augustine
  21. New Orleans
  22. San Diego
  23. Monticello
  24. Thomas
  25. Cancun
  26. Palm Desert
  27. Boston
  28. Bryce Canyon NP
  29. Phoenix
  30. Houston
  31. Brazos Bend
  32. Nacogdoches
  33. Chicago
  34. Fountain Valley
  35. Laguna Beach
  36. Cayucos
  37. Bass Lake
  38. Shaver Lake
  39. Paso Robles
  40. Lake Tahoe
  41. Zion NP
  42. Colorado
  43. Williamsburg
  44. Philadelphia
  45. Glen Allen
  46. Anaheim
  47. Buena Park
  48. Garden Grove
  49. Clovis
  50. Selma
  51. Oakhurst
  52. Memphis
  53. Tupelo
  54. Kauai
  55. Iguazu Falls

We’ve driven and flown thousands of miles, kayaked, swam with dolphins, hiked, and walked in the sun, rain and snow.

So, here’s to many more years of life as we continue this journey together, side-by-side.

Happy Birthday, Honey!

 

Relational Betrayal Recovery – Grief Retreat

A grief retreat?

Although the focus of this blog post is for betrayed spouses, a grief retreat is helpful for anyone processing grief.

I’ve heard many betrayed spouses say they’ve been told to “just get over it.” When you’ve been betrayed by your partner’s infidelity, that’s not something you just “get over.” It’s a journey.

In “Beyond Betrayal” Lisa Taylor clarifies that “grieving is a necessary precursor to forgiving. Forgiving, as it so happens, is a necessary precursor to our (personal) healing.”

In part two of the three-part series, “Trauma Recovery,” a grief retreat is recommended. Odd to suggest getting away to grieve, but it allows you designated and distraction-free time to grieve your losses.

What to take

  • A journal, pen or pencil
  • Bible
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Soothing, meditative music
  • Tissues
  • Healthy snacks
  • Coloring book, markers or colored pencils (I recommend “The Journal of an Insane Woman” coloring book. Contact me for details.)

Helpful Questions

Here is a list of helpful questions for you to consider as you begin the grieving part of your journey. Make sure you answer spontaneously, don’t overthink the questions. Write the answers in your journal.

  • What would my life, including my spiritual life, be like today if it had not been for my husband’s addiction and the resulting trauma?
  • What normal adult life experiences did I get robbed of?
  • What life opportunities were stolen from me?
  • How would my life be different without his addiction?
  • What parts of me have had to be buried or underdeveloped because of the addiction/the trauma?
  • What relationships have I lost?
  • What life dreams have I given up or put on hold?
  • What have I lost spiritually?
  • How much trust, faith, or hope has been drained from me by the addiction/trauma?
  • How would my relationship with God be different now?
  • To what degree have I, for now, lost my ability to feel valued and loved by God?
  • How has the addiction/ trauma affected my relationship with prayer, worship or church communities?
  • What have the addiction and resulting trauma taken from my life-vision and sense of personal life-purpose?

Make the most of this retreat time by staying off social media, getting plenty of sleep, and focusing on your relationship with God. He has the power and knowledge to bring you through this phase. Trust him, and have grace for yourself.

You can purchase a copy of “Journal of an Insane Woman” from me by sending me a message