I’ve been exhausted the past two days which would be a reason for a lack of a post for a day, but I have not missed one day of my love dare. I’ve completed day 28 of 40, and although I thought I’d feel worse off based on the course of events, I feel rather comfortable. Here is a summary of day 27 followed by today:

Love encourages – day 27. Today was about encouragement. Too often we are quick to break down our partner and chastise them for not living up to a certain level. A great quote to counter that was, “You must choose to live by encouragement rather than by expectations.” I struggle with this just as much as the next person, however since starting this journey, I’ve been able to let go of expectations. I’ve begun to let God take care of things and not expect what I want. In turn, it has allowed me to stay a little more even, except with the rare occurrence to throw me off. Another reminder was Matthew 7:4-5 which talks about not judging someone with a speck in their eye when you have a log in yours. So true. I’m committed to letting Rachel explore things right now, even though she wants a divorce so that I don’t create expectations and that any hurt won’t inhibit my choosing to love her and be her biggest supporter. On a bright note, no papers were filed today. How that changes over the next few days, I do not know.

The first dare required me to eliminate the poison of unnecessary expectations inside the home and to apologize for being so hard on them and promise to try and understand. Here is the first thing that came to mind.

“I’m sorry for expecting too much of our relationship right now. I have have nightmares of you being with another man. I will see to understand what it is you feel and I will continue to love you unconditionally, whether you want me or love me in return.”

 

Today was a decent day overall with rough patches all around. In an eerie dream, I relived all aspects of my wedding day and evening, the trip to Palm Springs the next day including the stops made, and the honeymoon itself. Everything was a photographic imprint and accurate to the t. It was pretty cool overall to be able relive that, but it was sad as well since it involved having thoughts about hope, happiness, and love and then dealing with such difficult things now. The day was worse as I bumped into the rear end of a car on the way to work, causing my hood to buckle. That’s gonna be a $400 mistake at least. I didn’t tell Rachel since I didn’t think it was important and, to be honest, I didn’t think she’d care so much other than be scared while imagining Haylee in the car. Work went well, although I had some problems staying focused on tasks and not dwelling on my relationship.

Today, day 28, was about loving by making sacrifices. It was about giving up selfish acts in order to satisfy or fulfill your spouse. This was a touchy one as I’ve been selfless and struggle seeing Rachel so selfish. Maybe it is what she needs to grow and in God’s plans. I do not know. I will continue to have faith in the process and continue to love Rachel. The dare asked what one of Rachel’s greatest needs was and if I could lift any of those things by making a sacrifice. I believe Rachel’s biggest need is Christ right now, but I did text her (so impersonal unfortunately) to ask her if I could help her in any way. I didn’t hear too much back from her today except for an emphatic stop after telling her I love her. It’s the truth and she will continue to hear it. I’m looking forward to these final weeks and to continuing this process whether Rachel chooses to be together or not. I cried one last time while thinking about my daughter and how much I love her and how much she means to me. I only hope that Rachel loves her and showers her with as much affection as I feel. It is heartbreaking, but I will get something worked out soon so that I can take Haylee more and cherish our time spent. Until next time…

Today’s dare signals only 2 weeks left in my process. Each day seems to bring more contentment towards my heart with my love towards Rachel and my family, but each day seems to be more difficult with her responses. Today was such a day. I had an amazing day playing with Haylee as we went to breakfast, to the park, the mall, and played at my mom’s house. Throughout the day, I sent Rachel little pictures and updates and didn’t do a whole lot to engage. I also referenced nice housing and things like that. It wasn’t until Rachel picked up Haylee that I just felt a lot of anger towards myself. Rachel told me that she wants a divorce plain and simple. That comment was followed up later in the evening by a text confirming that she was going to file papers tomorrow. I cried when seeing that comment. I would lie if I said it didn’t affect me because it did tremendously, even up to the point of writing this blog entry. I am saddened that Rachel feels that is her only option. I am hurt that she has given up not only on me a year and a half ag0, but on the marriage and a family for Haylee. Selfishly, I’m upset that I will not be intimate with Rachel any more and there is a possibility that she may connect with another person. Gone is any assurance that she would choose to be faithful to me. I can only hope that she is through the process. I am not questioning God as He ultimately will bless me in one way or another, but I am curious as to what His plan is. All I pray for and ask God is protection over Haylee and compassion for Rachel. If all of this does happen, Haylee’s view of marriage will be damaged. No longer will it be something pure, but it will be something that is always an option as she moves forward in life. I never imagined I’d get divorced. I feel like a bit of a failure that it would even occur, but I know that I am doing my best to be Christ-like and be the man that Christ envisioned I be when He blessed my parents with me.

My readings main focus was to not judge and to seek forgiveness, somewhat similar to yesterday. However, it did add the idea of looking in the mirror and to ask Rachel for forgiveness for my shortcomings and faults. I have many faults that I have expressed to Rachel, but it is good to admit them on paper and I will continue to do the same with God. Some of these faults include selfishness – I chose independence over companionship for far too long, anger – I didn’t control myself when difficult situations arose and I let my emotions control me, I didn’t fulfill my husband obligations that God called me to do, and I haven’t followed a Christ-like model until things became a little more challenging and thankfully God is always there to welcome us home and love us unconditionally. I have many faults and I put them out there for others to see. With these faults, I am just happy that the Lord gave me a renewed sense of self to become the man I always could be and should have been. Hopefully Rachel eventually sees that and finds that true happiness is found in God and that He will bless us if we are together.

Favorite Thoughts:

“Love doesn’t make excuses. Love keeps working to make a difference – in you and in your marriage.”

Romans 2:1 “When you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things.”

The Dare: Take time to pray through your areas of wrongdoing. Ask for God’s forgiveness, then humble yourself enough to admit them to your spouse. Do it sincerely and truthfully. Ask your spouse for forgiveness as well. No matter how they respond, make sure you cover your responsibility in love. Even if they respond with criticism, accept it by receiving it as counsel.

Day 25 taught me about forgiveness. Never has it been more clear to me that forgiveness is a necessity to keep us healthy – in our own individual journey’s and in our relationships. Forgiveness can be a struggle for any of us, especially when we’ve been hurt. I can say that this whole process has made it easier to forgive Rachel. I forgive her for many things and I forgive them all in the past, in the present, and I forgive her for anything she may do in the future. I asked God forgiveness of my errors and if I am to be like Christ, then I must forgive others. I prayed and will continue to love Rachel and move forward and trust her. I have let go of so much pain by forgiving her that continuing to do it will help with myself releasing any other things that may be affecting me. Perhaps by showing complete forgiveness to Rachel will show her my true spirit and inspire her to look to God to help her with anything she may need assistance with.

Sunday was a little rough with some of the things Rachel was saying to me. She consitently stated that she wanted to divorce and that by filing papers, she’d have 6 months to figure things out. While I don’t think that is the answer, I will not stop her from doing whatever it is she is going to do. I can only continue to love her. I have loved spending my time with Haylee and dream of the day we all share each other’s love under one roof again. Haylee is becoming smarter and smarter and I only hope she is not grasping the dynamic of Rachel and my relationship status. My heart would sink if she understood that we could possibly not be together in the future. Here are my favorite quotes to take with me in the coming days:

“When you forgive another person, you’re not turning them loose. You’re just turning them over to God, who can be counted on to deal with them His way.”

“Great marriages are not created by people who never hurt each other, only by people who choose to keep “no record of wrongs”.

Today was a lesson in lust. Lusting after things brings about anger. I was to identify an area of lust. I realized a few areas but one is posessions. I’ve always wanted to have the big house or the financial stability and money, but it doesn’t make sense for me to lust after it. As I’ve learned, these things are best left in God’s hands. I vow to release these things of lust and do things for love. The only thing I can justify lusting over (to a degree) is my wife.

Today was a difficult day in general for me as I was running on no sleep. By the time I actually do sleep it will have been around 48 hours. That is difficult. What made it easier was my texting with Rachel. I was focued on letting her know how I felt and she was very nice and loving in return. It is days like this where I become more confused as I see the ability for us to communicate well and without strife and then it doesn’t carry over into the next day for some reason.

Today was simple, I’m exhausted so I’ll reserve the right to edit this entry after some rest, however, I will state that I love Rachel and Haylee so much. I was able to take Haylee to school today and cried when I saw her this morning. She is an angel and makes my day. I wish I had both of my girls in my life and I will continue working on myself and loving them both and I will pray that God’s plans be put in motion.

For day 23 of the love dare, I read my daily passage and was to reflect on the command to “remove anything that is hindering your relationship, any addiction or influence that is stealing away your affections and turning your heart away from your spouse”. While I don’t feel that I have a lot of things hindering our relationship, I did think of a couple things that could be issues now or in the future if we were to be together. These things not only hinder my relationship with my wife, but with my family, and with God. I will not list them all, as they are between myself and my family, but I do recognize weaknesses that I may have when I allow myself to become vulnerable. I wouldn’t say I would seek these things, but when I want to disappear or allow my mind to drift, these things appear. One item is television and music. Something, such as music, that I am extremely passionate about can take away time from those things that are dearest to me. Television can grab my attention whether it be sports or storage wars. I just need to make sure any activity surrounding these hinderances involves the entire family. Focusing on my family and God will eliminate the desire of these worthless objects anyways.

Today, I refocused my attention on loving Rachel and continuing to love her and Haylee. It breaks my heart that I do not see Haylee every day as much as it breaks my heart that I don’t get Rachel every day either. I couldn’t get either of them out of my head and I like that. I love having a mental picture of the two of them at all times and when I can’t draw up that mental picture, I look at my phone. I thought today about Rachel and I and when we were in high school and how tiny we were and how much stupid fun we used to have. Responsibilities obviously take some of that impulsive dumb fun away, but I know we could achieve that again. I wish I could surprise her with a babysitter one night and whisk her away to dinner and a movie like we used to. I wish we could take a walk together or just drive aimlessly. As with previous days, I will continue to put my faith in God and pray for Rachel and our family that His will be done and that He would comfort and protect us all. I know God can and will provide no matter what, I just hope that I can continue to get my strength from Him and to not rely on myself or my own desires.

Almost 2 weeks left and while I’m excited to reach my goal of completion, I feel like I don’t want this journey of understanding love to ever end.

I love Rachel period! I choose to love her even if she doesn’t love me in return. The 22nd day brought about an internal struggle with regard to a discussion I had with Rachel. We had a conversation about my availability and schedule. I understand her need for a break, but I wish she would understand that I want to be there all the time to take care of everything. I want to take care of her, I want to take care of Haylee, I want to do the laundry, clean the house, put Haylee to bed, make dinner for the family, pack lunches in the morning. I want to do everything possible to love Rachel because I want to do it. It makes me happy and fulfilled by doing those things for her and our family. I had a challenge today of expectations. I responded calmly to Rachel and we disagreed but didn’t yell or say anything hurtful. I was getting upset though during the conversation and after hanging up the phone, it dawned on me that I do have a small bit of expectation still and that I need to lose that and continue to turn God to fulfill my needs. I don’t expect Rachel to give anything back, but the thought is that if I am disappointed in my life, it means that certain things are not happening as I want them. It may not be in God’s plan for my life so I need to put my faith and trust in him. After Rachel and my conversation, I texted her letting her know that I am going to continue to love her period and love her unconditionally. I will love her regardless of whether or not she loves me back or gives me anything in return. I reiterated this over and over again and I will continue to do this and not focus on my wants or desires at this time. 

As I’ve stated that God will provide according to His plan, I will continue to put my faith in Him and if His will be done, so be it. I continue to pray for Rachel and Haylee and that God will protect them both and that God will work in Rachel’s heart to give her comfort and guidance. The item I accepted the most from this love dare day was the story of Hosea. It was amazing to read of how Gomer was a prostitute, left Hosea and when she came back after Hosea bought her, he gave unconditional love through God. God worked in Hosea to transform his hear. It was Hosea’s faithfulness that carried him through and his trust in God. I will do my best to model this aspect of his life and I’ll remain faithful to continue to love Rachel, to continue to follow God, and to continue to love my family. I will remain faithful to this process and continue forward to see what God has in store for me.

The best thing that happened to me today was my reading the verse at the top of Day 21. The verse was Isaiah 58:11 – The Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire.

I have been struggling today with rejection. Rachel wanted nothing to do with going out on Valentine’s Day. That makes today, our anniversary, and many other occasions that she hasn’t wanted to engage me. We had a back and forth conversation where I believe we were both patient and did not engage each other in a negative way. Over the course of the conversation, she reminded me that she feels like we should be separate and that is how she feels. I advised her to divorce me which goes against what I am doing. I got caught up in the moment, but I feel that I will just continue 0n this journey and not engage Rachel further unless instructed by the book or just out of a pure response. I still don’t feel that she can commit to any decision or idea and somewhat feel that she needs to know what life is like without me and if she’ll enjoy that. I will start looking at my own future, especially with finances in the event she doesn’t want to be together.

For my dare, I will open up the book of Proverbs and read and continue reading until I feel like putting it down. I’ve always enjoyed the book of Proverbs so I’d like to dive back in since it has been awhile since I’ve read the pages. I need to continually accept that God is the true provider and that He will fulfill all of my desires. I have to remember that I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. My needs will be met by God and I need to give my cares to God. I will see how I feel in the coming days, but I know that God will provide and carry me through these tough times. I love Rachel and love Haylee so much and need to trust God that He will either bless our family or bless and provide for my future going forward.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.