Separation

Posted: May 20, 2011 in Love and Marriage
Tags: , , , , , ,

My prayer life was continuing to grow and evolve as I struggled with everything I was facing and dealing with.  I continued to yield my heart to God and let Him bring about changes to my thinking and my inner being.  I was praying for wisdom and understanding in how to deal with my wife.  I was also trying to learn to rely on God instead of trying to do everything myself. 

While in prayer, I would have thoughts that were not typical of my way of thinking and I would wonder if it was God trying to speak to me.  As time went by, I became more and more convinced that the changes in my thinking were, in fact, coming from His Spirit.  Sometimes, they were specific guidance, like things to say and do.  Other times, they were advance notice of things that were going on or that were coming up, so that I could be prepared for them. 

In our relationship, we were stuck.  I was trying to change and show my wife that things were going to be different.  She realized what I was doing, but was unable to respond to it.  It wasn’t getting through to her heart, and she often felt pressure because she knew that I expected a response that wasn’t forthcoming.  The idea that we might need to experience some time apart to break that impasse began to take a stronger hold in my thoughts, even though I objected to it greatly. 

One afternoon, we stopped at a deli to eat and the fateful conversation took place.  She broached the subject. For a while, I had been trying to figure out if there was a way that I could go stay somewhere else for a few weeks or so.  I figured that if she spent some time alone, she would miss me and things would work out.  Now, sitting across from each other, she said she thought we needed a separation. 

She told me there were things she needed to figure out about herself and what she wanted and that if I could give her that, she might decide that I was what she wanted.  She said that she felt she had always had to be dependent on a man and she wanted to know if she could make it on her own.  She reasoned that if she could be independent, and then chose marriage to me, it would be because she decided that was what was best for her. 

She presented it as a way that I might possibly get her back, but it caused a major war to break out inside me.  One side understood that what she was saying was the truth, and I even told her that I had been working on possible separation scenarios myself.  The other side said, “What about what’s best for me?  I’m your husband and you made vows to me that were supposed to be forever. You already chose marriage 12 years ago.  That choice is already made and you don’t get to change it.”

I didn’t voice any of these latter thoughts.  We talked and I found out that she’d already been looking for an apartment.  She said that there were loft apartments in downtown Springfield that she could afford and where we might both want to live if things worked out between us. 

It was both a terribly painful and somewhat hopeful conversation at the same time.  It hurt tremendously to know that we had reached the point where my precious wife wanted to live apart from me.  It also cast a vision that showed her thinking in terms of reconciliation and ultimately, staying together.  We agreed to table the subject for the night, but to continue it the next day.

As it turned out, we went together and found a loft apartment within the next few days that would be hers, but that we both liked and would want to share together if we got things worked out.  The message was clear.  “I’m stepping away, but not too far.  You’ll know where I am.  Will you come after me and pursue me and win back my heart, or do I not mean that much to you?  Is this love you are now professing real, or is it just for show?”  It wasn’t a game, but she had made her move and now it was my turn.

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