Marriage Is Not Disposable!
Hey there again! Back to the journey of my redemption and the crap that is real life. I was healed up and back at it. My broken leg was whole again and my marriage was healing too. But that is a funny thing, the whole emotional healing versus physical healing difference. My exploded leg took about 4 months to be back to “normal” again after I broke it in a nasty crash. My marriage and life on the other hand was, and still is to some degree, a work in progress, years later.
I don’t know about you but as a guy I expect things to be “fixed” as soon as you find the problem, repair the part and put it back together. That is the mechanic in me. If your motor locks up, you find the broken parts, you determine what caused it, replace or fix the offending parts and, bam, you are back on the road again. It’s simple really? Life and relationships should be the same right? Wrong!! It turns out that healing a marriage and a life takes much, much longer and for so many reasons. The affair was like a crankshaft seizing. Yes, the crank needs to be replaced, yes there is a ton of collateral damage that needs to be fixed but if you just replace those parts and don’t figure out what caused the crank to seize then its just going to lock up again. You need to dig deeper and find out why it failed and fix the underlying problems too.
My marriage was the same way. I had quit seeing another woman, we had started going to church, and I was praying everyday for guidance but my struggle was still very real and very hard everyday. I wasn’t happy with my life or myself. I was so disappointed everyday. The pain of my selfishness and mistakes was so deep and so terrible that it was taking a monumental effort on both of our parts to keep the ship afloat. Of course day to day was better than before but it wasn’t what we wanted or hoped for and it wasn’t what God had intended for a married couple. As you can imagine our intimate life wasn’t good and that strain was hard to bear. A married couple is supposed to connect on every level and that was one that I had destroyed so it was going to take a lot of work and time to repair.
At this point we were a couple years into the remodel of our marriage and honestly it was excruciating. We both loved each other so much and we wanted badly to get to “normal” but it was so freaking hard. The shame of my affair was like a giant lead blanket holding me down and separating me from my wife, kids, friends, and even God. I was suffocating in my own shame and guilt. Messages from church and the Bible told me that God forgave me and that He loved me and I wanted to believe that. But I couldn’t imagine that my human wife could possibly ever forgive me. Sure, the all powerful, creator of the galaxy could grant me grace and mercy but humans are flawed and imperfect right? So how could Ruth ever really forgive me? In my mind she couldn’t, I wouldn’t let her. We fought about this over and over. She was trying desperately to convince me that she loved me and had forgiven me but I wouldn’t have it. My shame wouldn’t allow me to be vulnerable and let her grant me the grace she was trying so hard to give. These days a lot of people would have given up. I mean she had stuck with me through infidelity, selfishness and numerous injuries and here I was acting like an ass and telling her that she couldn’t really forgive me and that she never would.
But she didn’t give up! For some crazy reason, she kept offering me forgiveness and love. She kept fighting for us. I would be doing ok, opening up to her love, trying to be better, then I would relapse and shut the world out and go back to my unhealthy thoughts. I would be distant and miserable, I would drink and check out at night. We would fight, sitting in bed at night, both of us crying, wondering why the hell we kept doing this. And then the next day would come and Ruth would still be there, indefatigable (look it up, it’s a great word). We would find some common ground, repair another small piece and go back after it again. I consider Ruth Spradling to be one of the many miracles I have personally witnessed in my life and if her sticking with me isn’t proof of a miracle then I don’t know what is. I know so many people who have quit for so much less but she didn’t and it was God who kept us together, I would love to give her all the credit but she isn’t THAT good.
The world’s advice these days is that if something isn’t working right, you should just to give up, move on, throw away this junk and get new junk. Everything in our society is disposable now. Just get a new one, just trash that. Well I don’t believe that! Looking at what my amazing wife and I have built out of this torn up, broken down marriage leads me to believe quite the opposite. The correlation between this and motorcycles is amazing too and I will go into that as we continue on towards my salvation and redemption.
Thanks again for reading. I hope that this entry gives you a little more insight into how hard it is to fix something so broken and I hope that you can see a little glimmer of hope. If you are going through something terrible, I can assure you that there is hope. There is always hope! It will work out, you will come out a better version of yourself if you just keep after it. I personally think that you need God to get it done because we are just too weak to handle all of this life on our own. We also need friends and people to talk to so if you want or need to reach out, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call or text at 970-275-2261. I am here to help if I can!
Today I am grateful for lots of work at the shop, long days and good food.
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