My name is David, the husband. I was at work today, unable to concentrate because of the postings that have been left here. I am literally sitting in the corner of a coffee shop, crying inside and out, seeking answers to how the most important relationship my life has ever seen has gotten to the point it sits. I hate the fact that I have to post this online, but I know that my wife has completely cut off communication with me - almost entirely for a month - and I am certainly overanxious that she will read what I have to write.
Before I do this, I feel that I should respond to the comments that have drug my name through the mud on this blog. As with anything in this situation, each comment has shreds of truth intertwined with gossip and things that people want to believe – whether due to family ties or sheer ignorance. I am not a perfect man and lacked at bringing spiritual leadership to this marriage – which is what God wants from me. At 22 years old, I thought marriage would be much like dating, but obviously it is not. It takes a greater degree of work and effort that neither of us was prepared for. I’m only 24 years old now and I realize this and want nothing in this world, but to have another shot at being the man God wants me to be. Be prepared – this is long.
To Ronelle, Alyson’s (my wife’s) aunt (also known as RoRo): I sincerely am confused at what you are so upset with. We have always been on great terms and have never spoken ill of each other. I realize that Alyson is family, but I just hope that you take in the five years you have known me and realize that there are two sides to every story. Here is mine.
You mentioned in your initial post all of the wonderful material things my in-laws have given me. I agree, I have been blessed from that standpoint. However, material things do not build character. However, I can’t help but take offense to your vicious outburst at my parents and the way I was raised. I grew up in a family without an endless supply of money and I respect my parents for giving me values over materials. I now possess a wonderful job (as do my brothers) and can afford anything that I want, but I was brought up not to focus on these things and I am not willing to start now. We have never talked about my background and you have only seen my parents at my college graduation and the wedding – leading me to the assumption that these comments are based off of Alyson.
Your next comment, about me refusing to go to the marriage counselor, really stung me. When this situation blew up last month, Alyson’s mother stood in our house and said she would not leave until I called a marriage counselor in front of her. Of course, I refused, and said I would call one as soon as she left. She does not need to get that involved. She didn’t like that answer and called the local church while still in our kitchen and found us a counselor. Despite this, I went to the first session with Alyson, she missed the second due to working early the next morning (I still went, mind you), we went to the third together, and there was a snowstorm that kept us from going to the fourth. Since then she has moved out and I have continued seeing counselor, a brand-new accountability partner, and a local pastor on three separate nights out of the week. I am actively seeking Christian guidance and will continue to do so. I have invited Alyson but have gotten no response. The week Alyson moved out I overheard her telling her mom that our counselor was “psychotic.” He told her to not talk to her parents about me, something she refused to do. The counselor certainly gave me things to work on and I believe Alyson will agree that I made an effort to follow those instructions.
Next, you said that I told Alyson I would report her car as stolen if she did not return it. That is embellished. I came home last Monday night to find that she had moved out. I could not get a hold of her or her family and once I figured out what had happened, I found it important to protect our assets. I am sorry if Alyson took that as me caring more about these things than us, but I also know that one rash decision financially can burden a person for years to come. With the car I told her that before she does anything rash that she needs to realize that I can report it stolen. There was no talk of taking it from her.
You also say the reason Alyson moved out was because I asked her. Not true. For the previous month, my wife has gotten home from work, locked herself in her bedroom (that’s right, we’ve been sleeping separately), and refused to talk to me. Further, she would immediately call her parents and rip me apart, just fueling the fire which was already going. I told her to either leave or work on the marriage. Obviously, I was shooting for the latter. I admit, I did tell her I would break the bedroom door down if she didn’t open it. I was very hurt. We had a counseling session that night and we drove separately. She showed up at home an hour and a half after me because she needed to “talk to her mom about the session.” She proceeded to go upstairs and lock the door. She told me she would open it after taking a shower. She didn’t. She went straight to bed. I was angry because the counselor had given us “homework” for the night and she wasn’t willing. I regret telling her that I would break down the door, but I quickly apologized. If I truly wanted to bring the door down, obviously I would have.
I have never, and will never, threaten to hurt my wife. I take this accusation so incredibly seriously because it is by nature a serious claim. Alyson says she is scared of me because the counselor said it is the only plausible way that a separation would make sense. I have never heard about this “fear” before this and she is now using it as an open door. I completely understand why her friends/family would tell her to leave me if they believe I would hurt her, but I know deep down she knows what she is doing.
As far you saying I have harassed her, that is untrue. Sure, I have called Alyson a half dozen times in the last week (no answer) and sent another half dozen texts, but c’mon, she is my wife. I contacted her dad once by phone and text (no reply), her brother twice by text/phone (no response), and her sister once by text/phone (no reply). If you are hearing otherwise, I will gladly provide the records. I do not consider this volume to be harassment, but I got a call from her lawyer saying that the dad was going to push a harassment suit at me if I tried to contact his family again. It is very cowardly to move out another man’s wife and then hide.
Next, you state that I “stole all of her (Alyson’s) money from her wallet, took her ATM card, and her credit card so that he could try to control her.” Would you like the background, the truth? The day after her mom called a counselor for us, Alyson walked in the house and said she was getting a divorce and that she wanted her own accounts and we were going to split all the bills 50/50. I was floored. She had already set up a checking account and was dead serious. Later that night (the night before she left for Chicago for a few days of holiday), I was looking for my ATM card (in her fairness, we only have the one ATM card because she said she would never use one). It was missing. I thought about what Alyson said and looked in her purse. Sure enough, she had taken it out of my wallet. While taking back my card, I saw the credit card – which has my credit attached to it. I took it back. She was sleeping and I apologized to her for not leaving a note, but I felt the need to take the card away in this situation. I took nothing else, no cash and certainly not “all of her money.” She found out the next morning before she left – the key part of this – because she decided to drive from Iowa to Chicago without stopping at the bank for cash. She was trying to play the victim and knew she could get within about 20 miles from the parent’s house before running out of gas. Perfect to make me look like a controlling, mean guy.
Second, I’m not sure what this is all about regarding me “stealing” tithe money. We have always set aside 10 percent of our income to tithe to the local church and since we hadn’t yet found a home church, we were keeping the money separate from our other funds. When Alyson set up her own accounts, I gave her half of the tithe money to do as she’s led. I would never gamble with that money and it hurts that you try to say that. Let me ask you a question, do you set aside 10 percent of your own income to give back to God or any non-profit for that matter? It is none of your business where I spend the other 90 percent of the money I earn and it certainly is none of your business where and when I tithe. However, your accusation on me is completely false.
Next, I did not make Alyson switch churches because she was making too many friends. We had to switch because I landed a job which had me working either 1-9 a.m. or 3-11 a.m. shifts. The church service started at 10 a.m., and wasn’t feasible.
Finally, if I had a problem with Alyson or her family I would never have moved from Virginia to Iowa. I knew coming out of school that she wanted to be close to her family so I told her that if she could land a reporting job (her dream) anywhere near them, that I would move with no job – and that’s exactly what I did. I think that speaks volumes about me wanting her to be close to her family and doing what I could to make it happen. The problem is, there is a solid line between being close to your family and being dependent on them.
I really hate that this is going on online so if possible, I am more than open – and level-headed – to discuss this further with you on the phone. The most important thing to remember is that this is a battle for me and Alyson – and no one else. If you are going to be as vicious as you have been, I would recommend contacting me for details, or better yet, just stay out of it. She means more to me than the world and all of its riches and I will do what it takes to rebuild relationships with the family to make this happen.
To Robin, my wife’s mother (also known as robin10): I am hurt inside, but truthfully not angry. I thank God for this. Your comment “dawn and dave get out of our lives! U lose u lose u lose” really kills me. This is not a competition to me. If this continues, we all lose and my wife and I will carry the largest emotional scars. Not six weeks ago you and your husband both stated that I was like a son to you. Would you not work to rebuild a relationship with your own son like you could with me? I feel for him if he ever disagrees with you. I am willing, open and ready to make changes in my own life, but you and your family will have to do the same if this is going to work.
I would be up for doing counseling involving you and your husband, along with Alyson and I, once a week or month if you would be willing. I will even drive the four hours to Chicago. I am serious about this marriage.
Remember, we have had yet one conversation at the very beginning of this. We have not had any time or opportunity to reach a resolution. Your husband told me that he hopes we get divorced and that he and Alyson will deal with God later. He also said as soon as he saw Alyson was unhappy that he would, and I quote, “take her out of the marriage.” You need to see that this attitude is not helpful or respectful to me as a husband and is a tough battle for me to fight.
I overheard you talking to Alyson several weeks back about hoping I would cheat on her so she could leave the marriage without the guilt of going against the Bible. You should know that I have been and remain completely true to my wife. Nothing will change that.
I will also use this board as a means to ask your forgiveness for laughing while you called the counselor that day in our house. I sincerely apologize to you because I was angry inside and did not respect you and the laughing was my way of dealing with the situation. I wasn’t happy with your actions and did not respond well. In many ways I am young and stupid and will probably continue to be for some time! However, I will always try to man up and say I was wrong and this is what I am doing now. I am sorry for my attitude and lack of understanding your situation and hope you will forgive me for that.
THE MOST IMPORTANT LETTER, TO MY BEAUTIFUL WIFE, ALYSON: My God, how much I miss you. I miss your touch, your eyes and your spirit. I will start off by doing the only thing I can, apologizing. I am sorry for being a stubborn man, a hard-headed soul. I am sorry for letting my career take precedence over you and I am sorry for not being the spiritual leader that you need in this marriage.
You will see changes in these areas. I am plugged in to church, groups and accountability sessions and I have grown more patient and willing.
What I want is the chance to work at this. I don’t want anyone or anything else. No human being can satisfy my soul the way you do. I take well more than half the blame for what has gone on. I know that apart from God, we can do nothing, and I have let that part of our life together slip.
I have also taken you for granted. I have spent the last week of lonely nights picking through a shoebox full of notes you have written me from the time you were 18 until now. God, I miss that love. These memories have encouraged me to not let this relationship lose its spark. The busy nature of life made me lose track of my most important thing on Earth – you.
However, I cannot do this alone. You avoided me for four weeks and have cut me off completely for the past seven days. Your parents moved you out behind my back, and your dad bought you a car, an apartment and a lawyer. These are barriers he is setting to keep us apart, but I am asking that you let them go and give us a shot. You want to keep finances separate, fine, I will pay all of the bills if you come home and you can use your paycheck in any means you want. You want counseling, perfect, because I am meeting with several pastors and counselors on a consistent basis and would love you to join. If you sincerely believe you are “scared” of me, I first of all question how, as I have never threatened to hurt you, but nevertheless I will subject myself to any type of additional counseling you desire to deal with the issue. You want an apology, I am sorry, as I stated above. But, you have to realize that changes will need to occur on both sides of the fence. I need a bond with my wife that is deeper than the bond to her dad and mom. I need a wife who is independent in spirit, but dependent on me emotionally. I need you to stop all bad-mouthing of me to your family and friends. Conflicts between us should remain exactly that – between us.
A year and a half into marriage we should really be giving this more of an effort. Believe me, at this point I am a broken man, a lonely guy but still a man with an overflowing heart of love for you.
I do not ever remember saying that you are a terrible wife. I remember saying that you’re not a typical wife (cooking, cleaning, etc.) but that doesn’t mean much to me (you know I like cleaning and we both agree on restaurants. J).
To be honest though Alyson, I feel that your accusations of me being controlling is a reflection of the control you have tried to institute on this relationship. In truth, you cannot name one thing I have kept you from doing. Period. I have always told you in any conflict, “This is what I want, but you have to make your own decision.” I even moved to Iowa with no job for the main reason of knowing you wanted to go. You have controlled me much more by not trusting me when I’m watching television (trust me, I work hard to keep a pure mind), by disposing of my brother’s wedding present behind my back, by not ever wanting to visit my family and knowing I wouldn’t travel without you, and by using your own insecurities to accuse me of looking at every blonde girl who walked past. However, I can get over this and work to make it better; I hope you will do the same with me.
What is also bothering me tremendously is you and your family’s flippant use of God and his Word. It is appalling to hear that you are praying for me and that God loves me when you are blatantly going against God. God hates divorce. Malachi 2:6 states this precisely. There are dozens of verses like this. Further, 1 Corinthians 7:10b states: To the married I give this command (not I but the Lord): A woman shall not separate from her husband”; plus, of course the dozens of teachings about forgiveness. God doesn’t list “exceptions.” I guess what I’m saying is that you need to pick a side. If you want to talk the talk you need to walk the walk. If you were not a Christian woman than this would be easier for me to understand, but I am in a confused state trying to figure out where you separate your feelings from your faith.
You can call me a hypocrite and you know what, sometimes I am. No doubt, I should not have gambled the one time I did (for which I apologized) and I certainly should have focused more on our spiritual growth than I did. In the future, I’m sure that there will be more things that I am hypocritical about and you know what, I sure hope you are there to help me stay on track.
If you decide to make this work, it will mean going against your parent’s wishes for you. I understand it is difficult for you to do things that they disapprove of, but this is big. Nothing is too bad to be rebuilt and considering the fact that we have no history of cheating on each other, physical abuse, or any other “major” catastrophes, I think that this can be smoother than what a lot of other people go through.
If you give me your heart back I can promise you will get a man who is faithful to you, focused on God, able to admit he was wrong more often, and open to change. Despite all of this, I am not angry with your family. I refuse to be vicious and know that true growth can only come with time, counseling and of course, love.
Please don’t let our line of communication go dark because your parents are telling you not to talk. This is mostly childish and I want to form a strong, patient, loving relationship. Not one based on drama and imaturity.
I hope and pray this is not one of the last times I am able to say I love you.