Here is a short story from a few months ago, another of my emails. Hopefully it demonstrates that it is possible to come back from a marriage on the brink of total destruction to having a relationship with my wife where she trusts me, encourages me, and is at peace:
Anyway, I’ve been teaching a class here in Bogotá, Colombia this past week, for those who are new to the list. My class consists of 7 men and one woman from around Central and South America. The woman is from El Salvador, a country I visited for a few weeks in ’86, so I am quite familiar with the customs there.
The last day of class, after the exam was over, and everyone was leaving, she came up and gave me the customary “handshake” of El Salvador between a man and a woman which is a kiss on one cheek. I didn’t think much of it, and my automatic response was the same as it was in ’86. She kissed all the other guys in the room, too.
That night I sent Marla an email telling her I had to laugh at myself for my still-automatic response. She didn’t respond, but she was at the WIT women’s conference, so I didn’t expect her to.
The next day, Satan really started in with his whisperings of, “You know, you really shouldn’t have done that. You know Marla’s upset, and that’s why she’s not responded to your email. You know you can’t contact her now and ask, or ask her for prayer – that will thoroughly ruin the women’s conference for her…”
I knew it was the enemy, because that’s not the type of conviction the Holy Spirit brings upon me, and not what He says, trying to discourage me from talking to Marla about it. Since I didn’t have a way to call her at the conference, I sent her an email telling her of the attack I was under. She texted me back saying, “Stop thinking about it. No biggie.” The whisperings of the enemy stopped immediately!
Next day (today) Satan started a different tack. He started telling me, “Well, sure, Marla said, ‘No biggie’, but she didn’t know what the woman was wearing. You didn’t give her all the details. You know you’re supposed to give the details, and you know if you did she’d be really upset…”
So, tonight after Marla got home from the conference, we got on Skype to talk for the first time in over a week, and I gave her the details…how the woman had chosen to wear a shirt that hung way down off one shoulder that day, how I had been avoiding that side of her while teaching and answering her questions about the exam. Marla basically cut it short to tell me it didn’t matter what the woman was wearing or what she did – she (Marla) is totally at peace with it. I was then able to turn around and tell Satan, with the authority of Marla’s confirmation, “You are a liar!” and once again the attack of lies was gone.
Gentlemen, this is a small example of how my openness and my willingness to talk to Marla about anything, no matter how insignificant it may seem to others, has brought her to the point of fully trusting me again. It’s been a long road, but I praise God for the work He’s done in our lives and our marriage.
Marla is my best friend and my first person to turn to for prayer and counsel. She’s not an afterthought. I don’t hit her with every intruding thought, but I definitely go to her as my battle partner when I can’t just dismiss something, and it becomes a fight.
I hope this helps someone. Pass it around to whomever you like, if you think it will help someone else.
God bless and keep you all!