A few days ago I was cleaning out files on my computer, old notes, sermons, and junk from years ago that I no longer need or want. I came across a Word file titled “What I would do different” and decided to open it up and see what it was. As soon as I started reading it I realized it was a letter I wrote to my wife back in 2012.
In 2012 our world was turned upside down and it would never be the same again on so many levels and in so many ways. When wrote this letter my wife (Diane) was in Kansas City and I was in California, at that point I thought our marriage was over for ever. She left on a plane not knowing if she would come back to this marriage or not, she was a mess and was at the end of her rope when everything finally went down.
This letter got me thinking for the last few days, has had me looking back over the last 60 years of my life, it has me thinking of who I am today and how different I am. I am having a hard time even understanding how I could have lived the way I did. In 2012 and 2013 I was in some intense counseling and some intense times with the Father. Although for most of 2012 He was silent towards me!
I knew and understood for the first time in my life that I needed change for ME not for my marriage and anyone else in this world, I made the choice I would go through this pain of facing myself, try to understand who and what I was and become the man I was born to be, with or without my wife. When everything first came to the surface and life fell apart I remember my sister-in-law telling me she thought I was a narcissist, I got really angry with her and let her know with all I had that I was not a narcissist!!! The truth be known at that point in my life I didn’t even know what a narcissist was or what it meant but I assured her I was NOT one.
Narcissist <– click this link to see pages of what a “Narcissist” is all about.
During one of my counseling sessions Dr D (a great man by the way) brought up the “N” word and it caught my attention for the first time in my life. As weeks went by we would talk about this in depth and little by little we reached deeper and deeper into my actions, motives and lies. I ended up seeing the real me for the first time and I DID NOT like what I saw one bit.
All of my life I made myself the center of attention, I was the “fun” guy, the funny guy and everyone loved me. When I would walk into a room I made sure people knew I was entering the room. I would make people feel good about themselves, make them laugh and make them feel as though I was their best friend in life, even if just met one another. People figured I had a million friends and wanted into my circle. I learned very early in my life how to manipulate people and when things didn’t go right I knew how to make them feel it was their fault.
The truth was I never had any real friends, not deep friendships. Once in awhile one would come along and in most cases I would ruin that friendship and then blame them for it, not only that I would make sure everyone around me knew it was them not me.
A narcissist is a narcissist, what I mean by that is you can’t separate that from your career, your relationships, your marriage (and a narcissist usually has multiple marriages), being a parent. So if you clicked on the link I posted you can get a pretty good idea what I was like as a husband and a father.
So there is a HUGE contrast to who I used to be and who I am now. There are times I question myself and wonder why I’m not more of a type “A” personality like I used to be when it comes to work and social life. I’m sure some of it has to do with age but most is due to change.
Today I want to walk with humility and thankfulness more than with pride and trying to make people think I’m all of that. The problem for me is I start believing I am all of that, believing that the world is a better place because I’m in it. That people want to be like me, want to get close to me etc etc.
The word that is on my heart in this season of my life and to finish strong and true. For 60 years of my life I ruined relationships, I hurt SO many people over the years. People I knew and people I didn’t know. I have been a horrible husband and father for so many years.
I do not want to be remembered as that man, I want to be remembered as a man who loved, could be trusted 100%, was true to his word, loved God and people.
Here is the letter I wrote my wife in 2012
What would I do different?
This is a very difficult question to answer for me, there are SO many things I would do different looking back. Would I be able to? I am not sure of the answer. When all this happened I was a mess too – my career was ended, my work, my passion, my life was turned upside down. And it was all My doing 100%.
My thought was to work on the family first – my marriage first – after that I would work on myself and then try to repair my relationship with NHCC! After reading, listening, and counseling I would do it completely different knowing what I know now.
I knew that I hurt you, I knew that you were crushed, I knew that you were broken but I didn’t understand the depth and the severity of the pain. I didn’t understand what you were going through in fact I was so focused on what I was going through that I didn’t see you.
And then trying to understand it was more than just this one incident but it was our entire life together…… that was overwhelming and I was in a place that I couldn’t handle it. Knowing the things I know now I can see my wrong in so many things.
To begin, when you left and went to KC and TN for the time you did, I should have worked on my relationship with the Lord………. That was the last thing I did, I focused on 1. Getting a job. 2. Getting you back. 3. Self pity.. When you came home I knew it would be a very hard road but in my stupidity I figured since you forgave me we would just move forward and the past would be the past…… NOT REALIZING that it does not work that way at all, that this was deeper and more devastating than I ever imagined.
When you came home and we decided to move forward instead of being offended when you would get triggered I would have allowed it and tried to comfort you, feel what you were feeling and kept my mouth shut. Well this holds true today too.
In this book you gave me 15 steps to repair – man Diane I was wrong on EACH ONE – If I knew or maybe if I was right with God I would have and could have done it all differently.
Here is the bottom line……I acknowledge your pain, your hurt and your questions. IF I was right with the Lord and had a heart towards you in the first place I would not have been where I was, but I did………..if I had my heart right after this I could have seen so much clearer, I could have answered all your questions without being defensive, trying to protect you or protect me.
Yesterday in counseling we talked in depth about this issue and Dr. D spoke about this and a light came on, I don’t know maybe my heart was ready for it and was open to it. We talked about the core of who I am, does my spirit man and my flesh match up, does my life reflect my spirit-man or my flesh, if they don’t match the flesh will always win and what comes out is really what is inside of me.
If the cup is clean on the inside it would reflect on the outside. If the Spirit is really in control of my life and I am really resting in Him there is NO way for me to take offense to your triggers, questions, insecurities, etc. I would be more concerned about you than me and in the long run that would draw you to me as the “priest” of our marriage. There would be NO WAY possible to ever fall into temptations again.
That the Lord will give us a Love that is REAL and DEEP that can’t be shaken. We talked about how it would be natural for me to be more concerned about your feeling, hurts, pains and insecurities than mine. IF there is something that is upsetting to me it is because there is something I want our of this that I’m not getting……… go to Jesus and ask Him to reveal it. THEOPHOSTIC!!!
So bottom line Diane, I can read all the books I want, I can go through all the programs I want and if my heart isn’t changed then nothing will change it will always be a battle, it will always be a fight for me to “try” and be a good husband a good man. I am done with living like this. The Lord has set me free in the past, He has taken over my heart completely in the past, I walked away, it was slow and gradual but I did it. Looking back I don’t think I have EVER given him EVERYTHING in my life………. Well it’s pretty obvious.
This happening has been the best thing that has ever happened to me (now I can say this) I once again in my life have made a choice to “go into the deep” and give it all to Him. I can’t be a good husband to you because I want to, I can’t give you the things your need, the love, the security you need because I want to but I can’t give it to you because of HIM!!!
I am so very sorry that all this has taken place, I am sorry for all the pain, the hurt and the LIES I’ve given to you over the years…….. I want you and you alone as my wife, my soul mate, my lover. I am SORRY with all of my heart and all of my being.
So here is my commitment to you. I will not read a bunch of books and make commitments to the steps they lay out, I will not be taking courses and memorize the steps and try to do them. I will read books, take courses, go to counseling and commit them to the Lord and ask Him to help me in these things. I will work on my relationship with Him, learn to REST IN HIM with all of my life, to trust Him with my life – once I am there and remain there I will be the husband that you’ve read about – that you drean about. My desire will not be for my needs but yours.
My life with Him is not about YOU, not doing this to keep you, to make you happy, but I realize it’s the ONLY place I can life from this day forward.
I think I finally get it!!!