There are always two sides of a story and in my new book, No More Anger: Hope for an Out-of-Control Mom, I share my story of how God delivered me from being a child abuser. And God also healed our very dysfunctional marriage. In a final chapter of the book, Larry shares his side of the story.
In the book, I share the time I took a leap of faith at God’s command to think while looking at Larry, “I love you.” That began the healing process. Here is what Larry wrote:
Although I know now I wounded Kathy in many ways because of my selfishness, I can say honestly, I never purposefully and willfully intended to harm her. Tweet that!
I actually wanted to love her but I didn’t how to do that. I’m not defending my actions. I was wrong. I sinned against God and against Kathy. But now I know why I reacted the sinful way I did. It wasn’t against Kathy as much as it was for me.
In my own immaturity and rejection of God’s plan for being a loving husband and father, I found value in other things like working and having a flying hobby which I could “conquer” and feel good at. It was easy to rationalize my choices because it seemed like nothing I did was good enough for Kathy. I concluded I could never please her so why even try. Even when I did try to do things for Kathy and the family, there was always something I didn’t do, or I did poorly, in her mind, negating my effort. In fact, I truly thought I was loving them the best I could by working toward our financial security.
These are not excuses. I know now I wasn’t trusting God. I chose to fulfill my needs selfishly at the expense of Kathy and my children. Kathy was right. I did have a “mistress.” It wasn’t another woman, it was what I “worshipped”: what I depended upon to make me feel strong and important. My choices disregarded God. I believed my job, flying, real estate success, and not having children would meet my needs.
The primary turning point occurred when Kathy released trying to make me provide everything she needed. When she made a very scary and difficult choice to think “I love you.” Although I didn’t know what she had done, I noticed a difference in her and the way she responded to me. She was more considerate of my needs and didn’t hound me when I didn’t do what she wanted. She was cheerful and greeted me at the door. When I did the smallest thing, she expressed her gratitude instead of waiting until I fulfilled every aspect of what she wanted.
Since the pressure to be her “everything” was no longer there, I didn’t feel like I needed to run from her. I could move toward her emotionally and physically. I didn’t have to face being something I knew intrinsically I had no ability providing.
I’m so very grateful Kathy obeyed God in making the choice to love me, even though she didn’t feel love for me at all. Her obedience started the process of my heart being softened. (Tweet that!)
I’ve asked God, Kathy, Darcy, and Mark to forgive me and they graciously have. I’m very grateful. My passion now is to make God look good through worshipping him and believing he can meet my needs. I want to love Kathy, my children and my grandchildren with God’s kind of love. I still am challenged to do that but God is making inroads.
Today, I’m very happy with my life, marriage, and family. I know it’s God’s work in my heart to want to make them a priority. Kathy is now the highest human priority to me and we can freely serve God together because we have the same goals: to glorify God in whatever way he desires. Of course, our relationship isn’t perfect. We often disagree and have different ideas of how to work through challenges and disagreements. But the difference is we both no longer feel accused and threatened by each other. We are united, on the same team. And as a result, we both seek God to help us.
We both believe there is hope for any hurting marriage and family.
God is powerful enough and we are living testimonies of God’s work. Together, we give God the glory and praise.
Larry: thank you, honey, for sharing with my readers. I’m so grateful that with God there is always hope and help.
To my reader: Would you like to share something you learned that helped your marriage? I would love to hear it and I know my readers would also.