Friday, February 4, 2011

What begins in the heart must end in the heart!

Continuing on with the "awakening" topic--

In one of my blog discussions a reader posted to say: "Yes, we (ex-refused) should not expect or demand an apology (from ex-refuser). Scripture deals rather harshly with unforgiving spirits. But, if you are that repentant soul, you can certainly make it easier for the wounded spouse to make the right decision by being humble and contrite and acknowledging the harm. To do less is wrong. For the other party to demand it is wrong."

BINGO!!!!! To become sexually awakened and to be flippant about it… I am sorry but that continues to show lack of ownership on the ex-refusers part for the damage done to their spouse. What it does say is this, "I am awakened but I want to continue calling the shots and now I say let us just start having sex. Forget about what I have done. The past is in the past… leave it there." That is just as wrong as wrong can be. I have seen a number of ex-refusers on MB forums who think they can simply make the outward change and their spouse should jump up and down for joy. When that does not happen they get bend out of shape and go whining on the forums, “Look what my spouse is doing to me. I have become the sexual being they have wanted all along and now they will not respond in a positive way.”

I try to ignore those whiny, selfish ex-refusers because, quite frankly, they supremely tick me off but in my mind I think, “Well, HELLO??? How did you handle your change? Did you truly repent? Did you feel and show remorse for what you have done? Have you thought about how difficult this has been for your spouse before and immediately following the change? For so long your spouse could not rely on you to do the right thing in the MB. Maybe they are afraid that you will revert back to old habits? Maybe they need to learn all over again how to trust you?

What do we see on forums when the ex-refused cannot quickly shake the past? The couple does not discuss it with their pastor and the ex-refuser says, “If this is how you are going to respond I will just go back to my refusing habit.” And you see them post (read: whine), “I need prayer. My sexual desire is going down again. I do not know what to do. Spouse does not care about my needs.” ME, MY, I... HELLO AGAIN??? This is EXACTLY what your ex-refused spouse was afraid would happen. You are proving them right. Rather than whine, ask your spouse if the two of you can go discuss things with your pastor."

Folks, to truly become sexually awakened is not simply an outward showing. It has to include a deep, genuine heart change for a real ‘turn-around’ to take place with an ex–refuser. The problem I have when I see ex-refusers with a flippant attitude is that it should never be their call to decide which direction the relationship goes from that point. When I am in the wrong it is not up to me to decide how we will handle things to make them right. It is equally as wrong if the ex-refuser has a contrite and humble heart but the ex-refused remains bitter and resentful when we are called to forgive. Clearly, when a marriage bed is on the mend it takes huge leaps of spiritual maturity in both spouses for them to be willing to do the right thing. If one or both spouses resist taking personal responsibility, then sadly, the awakening becomes a “no go” or just “a show”.

The refusing habit began with a sinful heart issue so an awakening needs to result with a deep heart change. Nothing less will be lasting. The best advice I would give an ex-refused spouse who struggles with the change… get you and your spouse in for a private meeting with your pastor and if pastor cannot point you towards a resolution, find a therapist who can. Why spend 5, 10 or more years living with sexual refusal only to spend another 5, 10 or more years living with bitterness and resentment? That is just shooting yourself in the foot.


Corner of a Rooftop said...

I'll add this is not simple conjecture for me. I'd hate to call it an "awakening" but (mostly through a combination of ladies at church, dealing with her own anger and issues, and a flat out confrontation at the level of "do you want to continue this marriage?" My wife is at least becoming more understanding. (The last one went did NOT go over well but it appears to have been a major catalyst for change)

But so far she's not made any ownership of it, and if challenged on attitude & participation still flatly denies the charges.

Why is it so easy to monologue that both parties need to respond unilaterally while neither of us want to do it in practice?

Anonymous said...

Hello, Gemma,

Just discovered your blog last week, and MB this week (posting under the name librarian on MB).

I have been going back to the beginning of your blog to get caught up on your journey, and I am struck by your reaction to old self, the true remorse that you have for the 25 truly sucky years that your GR had to endure. On another blog, a woman wrote that she literally cringed whenever she thought the psychological damage that she inflicted upon her husband through years of refusing.

I think what is missing from the posts that you are seeing is a failure to see that these spouses have inflicted great emotional, psychological damage that can't be fixed by a simple "Shag me." True empathy for their spouses is missing, and that is troubling.

Because of your history, you are uniquely qualified to help them see that, while they are not required to do penance for past sins (serve time in Relationship Prison), they do need to see that they have their work cut out for them to help their spouses heal. The Refused is damaged (well, we all are, but that's neither here nor there) and the ex-Refuser needs to be able to see the need to come alongside their spouse and help them heal.

Enough of me blathering...

mr. self respect said...

I am no longer bitter or resentful towards my wife for the nearly two decades of refusal. I have really come to realize that my wife is a messed-up person - and so am I. Much of our problems are my fault, so I have no reason to be angry.

However, I can legitimately see how some people would be less than forgiving, and even resentful, if they have been refused for years (or decades.) This experience can be heartbreaking, and some people can only have their hearts broken so many times. For some people, the only survival mechanism, may be to shut their hearts off. They really stop feeling anything, or even caring about their spouse.

Maybe these people are not resentful or angry, Gemma. Maybe they have really stopped caring. So if they appear resentful, they have are just being indifferent. Maybe they are just using a survival mechanism, to prevent any further damage to their heart.

Anonymous said...

What do "dh" and "GR" refer to?

Gemma said...

'dh' - dear husband

'GR' - I am Gemma. GR is 'Gemma'sRavisher'... my husband.