I caused the Problem. I am to Blame.

Posted: May 18, 2011 in Love and Marriage
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

They say that the first step in changing is admitting that there is a problem.  Sometimes there’s a disconnect between recognizing that there is a problem and recognizing what to do about it.  It’s easy to look at a run-down house and say, “There’s a problem here.”  Understanding how to restore that house can be considerably more difficult. 

Through the giving over of my heart and will to God, I had gained a lot of insight into what the problems were.  Fortunately, I wasn’t on my own in figuring out what needed to be done.  Between God showing me the places I had failed and needed to restore, and Mort Fertel’s emails giving me practical advice on things to say and do, I had a pretty good set of blueprints. 

I also had an impulsive desire to fix everything NOW!  Of course, it doesn’t work that way, but once confronted with the truth of it all, I just wanted to make it right.  I didn’t want it to take time.  I wanted it fixed this minute.  Because of that, I sometimes said and did things that were counter-productive and probably set us back instead of moving us forward. 

The most unique aspect of Mort Fertel’s Marriage Fitness idea is that you don’t focus on the problems.  You step away from the problems and begin using words and actions that will begin to rebuild love.  In terms of fitness, it is perfectly logical.

If you find yourself overweight and out of shape, it doesn’t help to talk about how you got that way.  You need to get to the gym and get to work.  You won’t lose weight, build muscle, or get fit by focusing on why you haven’t been exercising or how poorly you’ve been eating.  You’ve just got to do the work.  The result will be that you’ll get fit and it won’t really matter how you got off track in the past.

By trying to get my wife to see what I was seeing and get her to focus on the past, I was missing the mark.  I was unintentionally still making the situation in our marriage her fault.  Although I didn’t mean to be, what I was really saying was, “Why can’t you see it like I see it?  Why don’t you just get over everything and it will all be ok?”  She needed a whole lot more than that to learn to love me again. 

I quickly realized my mistake (a scenario that would, unfortunately, repeat itself many times over the next few months) and began to simply work on saying and doing as many loving things as I could to her and for her.  I didn’t try to get her to talk about what had happened and why she couldn’t forgive me or any of that.  I just started loving her, really loving her, on God’s terms and her terms, not mine.

During this time, I began writing all these thoughts and realizations down so I wouldn’t forget and lose them.  I kept papers that had scripture verses, memories, and things I needed to go back and restore like the wedding ring.  I also wrote on one paper this statement:  “I am to blame.  I caused the failure of our marriage.”  That admission allowed the shift to occur from, “Why doesn’t my wife respond in the way I want her to,” to “I caused this, it’s my responsibility to fix it.”

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