“My lonely ear, pressed against the walls of your world,
I Pray to catch you whispering,
I pray you catch me listening,
I’m praying to catch you whispering,
I pray you catch me…”
Even in my marriage, my voice could have been bigger.
I am a “stuffer” by nature, and although I aim to resolve conflict and work out issues in my relationships, I don’t like to be confrontational in an unproductive way when it comes to communication. I usually wait, find the right time, then bring up the issue. Im very slow to speak, but quick to take mental notes and listen.
Throughout my marriage, when I would find or be told of conversations that were inappropriate between my husband and other girls, I didn’t know how to always confront the issue. When I did say something, I also made the choice to believe the justifications, explanations, and the promises of him never doing it again. While dating, while we were engaged, our first year married, and throughout the seven years we had been married, there were often situations regarding other girls, and my emotional and mental capacity for the same justifications and excuses just became intolerable.
I’m sure had I told certain friends and family the responses would have been, “why in the world would you stay or even marry him?” Well for one, I loved him (but back then I thought love was enough). Second…in all honestly… I simply thought things would resolve or that we would figure out a way to make it work. We were told to pray, meditate on scripture, fast, we made new relationship rules and boundaries… Nothing was working though. Meanwhile, I was getting more and more depressed and frustrated as to why God wasn’t doing His part to fix things. While mentally I had prepared to give our relationship another chance, emotionally, I was still having a hard time finding a way to reconnect.
All the flirting and cheating I was experiencing…. it just got to be too much. It was so embarrassing. I felt every bit of a fool knowing other people knew his weakness and would feel simultaneously sad and angry that whichever the situation, it was happening to me… again. Every incident was a chip away at my trust and respect for him and I didn’t know how to get it back. I tried. I really tried. Even when emotionally I didn’t know where I was, my mind was always working on my marriage. We had about 3 different marriage counselors that I took the initiative to find for us. One I really enjoyed the most, but then he didn’t like how we were being counseled, so we discontinued. Frustrated, I charged him with finding a counselor who he was comfortable for us to go to, but weeks, then months, went by and he never did.
I was hurting so bad, and was so emotionally full. I knew I needed some help trying to deal and navigate through this, so while waiting for him to come through with a new counselor for us, I ended up finding someone on my own to talk to and just started marriage counseling on my own with a therapist in the fall of 2015. I told myself that if nothing changed about him in this marriage, and if I want to continue to stay, then something had to change about me. I learned that you can’t change anyone for any reason, but you can change you. So, my goal in marriage counseling at that point was to figure out how I could be a better wife, a better support to him, a better mom, and to try and empower myself while going through that season of marriage.
I desired to be obedient and please God and stay in my marriage.
I desired to love God more than my husband, more than myself, and stay in my marriage.
I didn’t want a broken home like I came from. I didn’t want severed ties with his beautiful family I had grown so close to. I didn’t want the “I told you so’s”. I didn’t want the embarrassment.
I just wanted my marriage to not be so broken….I just wanted it to work.
When I would find evidence of infidelities, and my voice was too small to confront it, I literally prayed that he would just catch me listening or find something so that it was then right there in the open and we could confront it together. I wished sometimes I would catch him whispering or talking loud enough for me to confront him and a big scene would be made. At least more things would have come to light and could be dealt with in a more speedy manor, versus me stuffing them in letting them marinate or excusing them…. Enabling him.
I prayed he would catch me listening.
I prayed I would catch him whispering.
I prayed he would catch me…
And one day he did.
(to be continued…)