The Prodigal Wife

Tour ended, we both came home, and immediately started fighting.

The road had been good to me, and I wanted to stay out on it.  I didn’t want to be responsible for another human being, I just wanted to continue to travel, make money, and live out of a suitcase.  I wanted to escape the pain, and being at home meant facing unemployment and a marriage that was just being held together by a piece of lint.

The New Year arrived, and I half-expected a miracle – something to ignite my husband’s desire for me again, in every capacity.   I also thought I’d magically become a “better person” – more trusting, less angry.  Less hurt.

Not so much.

I was tired of having a hard time.  I was tired of being tired of having a hard time.  I figured I was just expecting too much or trying too hard on my own.

I needed help.  I turned to God daily and poured out my heart.

I don’t want to let anger rule me anymore.  I want to forgive and trust so much.  I [also] don’t want to excuse anything.  I want my husband to become a good man…a man after You and Your will.  I want to be a woman who always seeks You…Lord, help me look beyond the painful past and rocky present.

…my patience is tested to its limit.  Obviously there is nothing I can do to change him.  Obviously me talking, feeling and seeking advice and counsel does nothing when HE isn’t doing the same.  He is not meeting me even remotely halfway and it is frustrating, sad and disheartening.  Add on top of it a completely broken heart – the only time I feel loved is when we have sex, but that is just so messed up because he is sick, sick, sick – especially sexually.

I balk at everything.  I feel like his love and affection for me is performance-based, not unconditional.  If I behave and don’t get mad or call him names, he will love me more – or remember why he loved me in the first place…WHY does he not hug me? Why do I have to ask him, prompt him and then demonstrate how it’s done?  HOW can he just walk past me, sit and stare at me when I’m crying and do NOTHING?  Whereas I totally understand my anger does not help, why does he think our marriage will be “fixed” if we never talk?  All he does is write.

It was true.  He wrote constantly.  He was attempting to become the greatest writer his chosen industry had ever seen, except that the industry wasn’t known for its writers.  In fact, it never was, and I highly doubt it ever will be.  Blame it on stereotype, if you will. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

Nevertheless, in an effort to support my husband and his dreams, I read his over-sexualized, egotistical stories.  Every single one of them upset me.  One of his articles was (as I interpreted) a how-to guide on picking up women.  As I read the descriptive account, it occurred to me that he had quite the experience under his belt.  Things got ugly, as I reacted out of frustration and deep hurt.  He wouldn’t apologize, because he didn’t think it was wrong.  Quite the contrary: he was attempting to communicate that picking up on women for the sole purpose of sex would lead to death.  He was upset with me for reacting, icing him out, leaving, and then having the audacity to text him about how he had hurt me.  It wasn’t fair to him.

And so, the destructive cycle continued.  I would end up apologizing for becoming upset and angry, and he would continue to do things that upset and angered me.  In retrospect, it is amazing how my husband was able to manipulate situations in his favor.  He had a house, a warm bed and a wife who still loved him and was desperate to save their marriage.  Furthermore, she worked, paid the bills, fed him, bought him beer, gave him blowjobs and slept with him – all while he exerted minimal effort.

He had his cake, and could eat it, too.

Needless to say, I became increasingly frustrated with his priorities.
Conversations with him are still along the lines of career and “pushing each other to be great”, etc.  I often wonder if that is just a male versus female thing – men feel emasculated if women are more successful, or men only feel defined by what they do instead of who they are.

One day, in yet another 120-minute marriage counseling session, my husband dropped the bomb that he needed some more time to figure out his career direction.  If his writing career didn’t explode into a raging success in nine months, he would give it all up and go back to teaching.

My diplomatic, gentle and patient marriage counselor was able to get me to agree to this idea.  I was to become “The Prodigal Wife”. 

Again, I turned to God.

I don’t know exactly what that entails.  Nine months of traveling?  Nine months of focusing solely on writing? I believe with all my heart that it is Your will for me to stay married to him.  What scares me about that is the patience that I must have.

God, what can I do besides trust You?  Lord, how do I best support him without being a doormat?  How do I encourage and uplift while staying grounded and wise?  God, the task feels daunting. I want to be cared for and not have to worry.  I want to be cherished and loved, admired, desired and respected by my husband.  I feel none of the above.

I am one with this person and I have never felt more alone.

My hope is YOU.

2 thoughts on “The Prodigal Wife

  1. enjay says:

    Your thoughts about being “one” with your husband and yet never feeling more alone resonate with me. I said almost those exact words to my (then) husband when my marriage was falling apart. Your faith journey is incredible, must continue reading…

  2. Sophi Gilliland says:

    Quite a battle sister…..

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