There was a time that I prayed to God for the strength to leave my wife. Today is a much different story.
My wife and I struggled for years with secrets, infidelity, and lack of communication. We lied to each other and to ourselves. There was a continuous battle raging within us of “he said, she said,” and it took very little to set us off into an all-out war. We were imploding and at wits end with no relief from the pain and sorrow. With every day that went by, we grew further apart. Both of us unhappy, we began looking to other things for the happiness we yearned for. For me, the unending abyss of internet pornography. For her, seeking the attention from another man. This continued for several years, ultimately coming to a point to which we both were ready to give up.
I remember the feeling of rage and hate for my wife each and every time I would find out that my wife was not being true to our marriage. It all came to a head in the hallway of my in-law’s house. We were in financial troubles at the time and living with her parents. This only added to our troubles and magnified the search for external happiness. I had found out that my wife was having another affair. We exploded into another argument and the gloves were off. There was nothing to hide anymore and we said whatever we could to hurt each other. It got to the point that I was packing clothes for the kids and leaving. My in-laws stepped in and managed to separate us long enough for us both to calm down. I did not leave. And that was the last time my wife walked out on me both physically and mentally.
After this, our relationship improved slowly as we continued to struggle. Enter our two girls. After years of bickering back and forth. After countless arguments and brawls. And after continued heartbreaking hurt caused by our selfishness...our girls stepped up and came to our rescue. We were affecting our family in ways that we were not aware of and they called us out on it. With their urging we returned to Crossroads seeking a healing of our hearts. Since returning to Crossroads, I have attended MAN CAMP and had my eyes opened. The problems we struggled with were not all because my wife did something. There was another part to the equation—and it was me.
Although I was not physically cheating on my wife, I was cheating mentally. Through my unhappiness in or marriage, I would spend hours on the internet looking at pictures and watching videos, trying to fill what I thought I needed instead of working on what was there. This was a distraction from the problems we were having as a couple. Little did I know that it was actually making it worse. I can't say enough about MAN CAMP for being the catalyst for a change in me. It was MAN CAMP that helped me realize that, when I was praying to God for the strength to leave my wife, He did answer. His answer was a resounding "NO!" It was God who sent my in-laws to intervene that night I was out the door. It was God who helped my girls to speak up and get us to return to Crossroads. It was God who put my wife and I into a position that we both wanted to attend Couples Camp.
Couples Camp is where it all came together for me. My wife and I finally had a talk eight years in the making. In the past we have only brought up our issues in arguments and never talked about feelings or how what happened affected the other. During "Wine Time" we were given the opportunity to talk and realized, even though there is still a lot of healing to be done, God is for our marriage. We were without distractions and could engage in each other. Couples Camp has opened the door for the healing to continue and our relationship to be renewed. Along with God's grace and the community we've been establishing, I now see that some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. My unanswered prayer stands next to me everyday, and we are one in the eyes of God.