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Suggestions for How to Wait w/ an Introvert Spouse who Wants to Separate

Discussion in 'Separation and Marriage Restoration' started by ChristopherK, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. ChristopherK

    ChristopherK Member

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    Hey brethren. I wanted your Godly opinion on this. It's a situation where you "know the answer", but you still want to hear wisdom from others. As you may know, my wife has mentioned separation, and I've been fighting for my marriage for the past 8 months. She has exposed her heart to another man from her job, and I'm sure may be debating whether she will choose us or a new life altogether.

    Since she's an introvert, all she's asked of me is to give her space, and to not talk about our marriage. As an extrovert, it's difficult, because this is the biggest trial God has ever had me face. It's been hard not to be an emotional rollercoaster, but I've committed two weeks ago to not mentioning our marriage. In the meantime, I pray, read the Word, serve her where I can (shopping, cooking, etc), and go to the gym 5 days a week. My question is what are your suggestions for me as I wait for her to make her decision? I intend to stand firm in my unconditional love and commitment to her, but just need advice w/ what to do in the mean time. Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
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  2. RedPonyDriver

    RedPonyDriver Professional Pot Stirrer

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    Read, study, pray. As an introvert myself, I cannot deal with someone who wants to talk about ANYTHING all the time. I prefer quiet. My husband had developed the habit of talking to me as soon as I got up in the morning. I REALLY don't want to have to think about things or deal with things until I've had my coffee. So, take the time and examine yourself also...it takes two to make a marriage and it takes two to kill a marriage. When she is ready (if ever), she will come to you to discuss things.
     
  3. ChristopherK

    ChristopherK Member

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    Thanks sis. I know I'm not going anywhere. God willing she'll begin to have trust in our marriage again.
     
  4. DZoolander

    DZoolander Persnickety Member

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    Let's say she chooses you.

    What will your life with her be like once she's back?
     
  5. ChristopherK

    ChristopherK Member

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    Listen to her more. Investigate/observe her more to really understand what she likes and doesn't like. Validate her opinions. Protect her thoughts and make her feel safe enough to speak her mind. Right now she's said that she doesn't trust me. It's been 8 months since all this began, and I've stood my ground since. Either she legitimately doesn't trust me and it's going to take serious time or she's struggling to let go of her attachments to this other man.
     
  6. DZoolander

    DZoolander Persnickety Member

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    Well, what I'm kinda getting at with my question has to do with this other guy.

    If I was in your position, I would want to make sure that my goal of "getting her back" didn't obscure other issues that would inevitably come up were I successful - and that I'd thought it all through.

    I don't know just how far it's gone with this other dude - but say she comes back to you and once you guys settle in - are you prepared to not hold that over her head and make her atone for it for some prolonged period of time?
     
  7. ChristopherK

    ChristopherK Member

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    Oh I see what you mean. No I wouldn't hold it over her head, but I'd eventually like to go to Christian marital counseling when everything had settled down. The affair was an emotional one, which of course it worse than physical because it has to do with the mind/heart, but if I would've been the kind of man to hold something over her head, I wouldn't have fought for our marriage for 8 months, you know what I mean?
     
  8. DZoolander

    DZoolander Persnickety Member

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    That's good to hear :)

    Sometimes I think people get so wrapped up in their goals that I think they haven't thought about what happens next. It's good to hear that you've thought about those things.

    I assume that's you guys in your pic. You look relatively young (lol I must be getting really old now that I'm starting to phrase things that way). How long have you guys been together/married?
     
  9. ChristopherK

    ChristopherK Member

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    Yeah, I hear you. It's been an emotional roller coaster though for sure. To give her complete space and not talk about our marriage throughout this entire time has not been easy and I've certainly had convos that only made it worse. She'd be open one minute but closed off the next. I know she's very conflicted and may be struggling with thinking whether our marriage is worth it, and that she may want to just start over, but I'm believing the best.

    Yeah that's us. That was about 2-3 years ago. I'm 30 and she's 33. We've been together for almost 9 years and married almost 6. I don't know what God is going to do, but it's only going to be Him that will change her heart to believing in us again. That's why I've gotten out of the way of trying to do too much.
     
  10. DZoolander

    DZoolander Persnickety Member

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    Well, all the best to you two man. Hope everything works out. Sounds like you're managing it as well as can be expected :)
     
  11. ChristopherK

    ChristopherK Member

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    Thank you, brother. ^_^
     
  12. Ana the Ist

    Ana the Ist Aggressively serene!

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    I'll just start by mentioning that I am not christian...if that colors your opinion of what I say next, so be it.

    I'm not one to malign a man's wife to her husband...but what in the world is she doing during these 8 months? This would be my primary concern, because she appears to be waiting for something...what that is, I have no idea. I can make a couple guesses though...

    1. What is this man's status? Is he single? Married? Because she could quite possibly be waiting for a commitment from him. After all, she won't want to leave you for him...and find out he just wants sex and not a relationship. Worse, if he's married, perhaps she's waiting to see if he's going to leave his wife for her. The funny thing is, if he actually has no intention of committing to her...she'll end up waiting quite a long time. Why? Because you aren't going anywhere...and the "possibility" of being with him will remain...

    2. She's waiting on some kind of change from you. I don't think this is too likely, as it seems you've already changed and filled her only two requests...space and silence. I'm inclined to think that she requested this not so much because she's an introvert (how introverted is she? She's opened her heart to her coworker) but because she doesn't want her feelings for you to interfere with her feelings for him....making it harder to wait on a commitment from him.

    3. She's waiting for you to leave. Why? Because she's wrong, she's wrecking your marriage, and she knows she's to blame. If you're the one who leaves however, she can always lie to herself and claim that it was you who ended it. In other words, she's awful at confrontation and hurting you (she probably does care for you some) and she doesn't want to feel guilty about wrecking your marriage and life. If you leave...she gets out of it guilt free.

    I'm sure none of this is anything you want to hear...but that's the way this looks to me. I hope I'm wrong...but if she's willing to put you through this for 8 months, it doesn't seem like she has a lot of concern for you or your relationship.

    If it were me...I would've forced the decision by now. I'd make her choose between me and the marriage, or the guy she thinks she wants to be with. If she refuses to choose...then I'd tell her she has a week, and I'm going to give her some real space and silence. I'd move out (even if into a hotel) and refuse any contact from her that wasn't a decision. Of course, this action has no teeth if you won't follow through on leaving if after a week she still won't choose.

    Obviously, this being a christian forum I cannot tell you to divorce...and I'm not. What you need to ask yourself is this...how long are you willing to settle for this situation as a marriage? 8 months??? That's a long time and I really feel bad for you. I do think that after a long enough time, this will affect you mentally if it hasn't already.

    I'm curious what this other guy is getting out of the relationship if it's only been emotional after 8 months. Is she giving him the affection she denies to you? Is it really just emotional? Or has she strung him along with the idea that eventually you'll call it quits? I don't know...
     
  13. Ana the Ist

    Ana the Ist Aggressively serene!

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    The reason I suggested putting your foot down, giving her an ultimatum, and moving out is it forces everyone's hand. If she's waiting on a commitment from him, she'll give him an ultimatum...like I said, she won't want to lose you only to find out he's not committing. If he won't commit...she'll end up facing the fact that this guy has been stringing her along, and quite possibly realize she's been a fool to neglect you.

    Of course, by forcing everyone's hand, you may end up losing her. Keep in mind though that if that happens...it's because it was already happening, not because of you. You simply would be choosing not to put yourself through another 8 months like the last 8 months.

    Something tells me though that this guy will not commit. He's with her because she's with you...and he doesn't have to commit as long as she's with you. Once you're out of the picture and she pushes him to choose her...he'll let her down.
     
  14. ChristopherK

    ChristopherK Member

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    Thank you for your response. I read both, and appreciate your frankness. From the little I know right now, he isn't pursuing her and they haven't seen each other. I put her through a lot for a couple years with regards to theological conversations, but have given it all up 8 months ago because I love her more than a theological group, but love Christ more obviously since I am simply standing on the simplicity of the Gospel; nothing more and nothing less.

    I think you're right that this other man will not be what she may have envisioned. The reality of it it all is that I've chosen our marriage and for it to get through whatever comes our way. She knows that. I think she's scared of being the one that ends it, and is struggling with that. I'm praying that while we are still together that God would work on her heart in such a way that it would be obvious to everyone that He did it, and that it was nothing I or anyone else could've done within her.

    This weekend wasn't bad. We had some wine Saturday night, and we made out a little bit, but afterward she said she doesn't feel the same when we kiss anymore. That opened up conversation for everything else going on, and I was thankful because I didn't force it and it was civil. She revealed something that I pretty much knew, which was that she was concerned with my walk with Christ if she did choose to end it. I explained to her that my walk with Christ would be fine, and that operating from that place isn't really showing concern for me, but is showing that she wants to be comfortable and content enough in herself with her choice.

    At the end of it all I simply told her that my prayer has been that no matter how long it takes, she'd one day offer a piece of her trust to me again so that we could slowly rebuild our marriage. I told her that she's worth it and that I think she's amazing and that my view of her would not change. More stuff was said, but I'm going to continue to believe the best and that God would restore our marriage. I don't know what will happen, but this entire trial has been a test of faithfulness in God really. Though I've had my moments of being overwhelmed, I've been continuously falling back on God instead of slipping away which is something I'm extremely grateful for seeing. I love my wife so much, but I'm not getting in the way anymore. I pray God would have His way within her heart and that she would slowly drop the defenses around her and begin to let me in; no matter how long it takes.
     
  15. ChristopherK

    ChristopherK Member

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    1. The man is single, and I honestly have no respect for him because he knows she's married. I know she has responsibility in this too, but to think of this man as someone to be with when he's pursued my wife while she's married is horrific. She told me a couple months ago that they've stopped talking, but I'm pretty sure she's struggled with fantasizing and wanting something to happen.

    2. I've certainly changed, but I feel that she's choosing to hold on to negative things about me so that she wouldn't have to feel for me again.

    3. I've had my mental moments of considering leaving, but I know Jesus doesn't do that to us and if marriage is supposed to be a picture of His love for the Church then who am I to leave my wife? Especially when I love her unconditionally. So I've left that thought process behind me.
     
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