I had an epiphany one night while asking God to "change my husband's cold heart back to his family." God answered me in an audible voice, "Why should he?" It was like God held a mirror up for me to see what needed to be changed in ME! It wasn't about my husband at all! Although a very painful process, I learned to rely on Jesus and not my husband for a season. In spite of what well-meaning people were telling me, I listened only to God and Godly counsel. I learned about agape love first hand. I knew I had it for my husband and Jesus had it for ME! Even when he discussed filing for divorce in July 2006 (but never did), Jesus gave me the peace I needed to endure. I remember telling God, "He's all yours--I can't handle him anymore!" There were several "false starts" home, but on October 7, 2006 my husband agreed to coming home! This was also Yellow Ribbon Day in Austin and I had just listened to Charlene Steinkamp speak for Covenant Keepers!
Even though he was physically home, I don't think he really came home (mentally) until the next summer 2007! And I know that he "checked out" of our marriage mentally long before he left physically. Many people ask me, "How long was he gone?" "When did it begin/end?" I don't know--but God does! And now I treat my husband like I should have been all along--even when he doesn't deserve it! It helps me to think of my spouse as if he were Jesus--then he gets my utmost love and respect. In turn he appreciates and loves me. I can truly say that we have a "new and improved" marriage and we don't want the "broken one" back! God's timing is perfect and I know how blessed we are to have had a relatively "short" midlife crisis journey, but eternity is MUCH longer! And I would have NEVER given up anyway! Our whole family has been blessed with this "experience."
Besides the Bible, I tried to live out Ed Wheat's book "How to Save Your Marriage Alone." And Emmerson Eggrich’s book "Love and Respect" was a real "ah-ha!" moment for me, along with many other good books! I also wish the movie "Fireproof" had come out a few years earlier! The Midlife Dimension’s Chat Room was a lifeline to me, which helped me survive day by day. My husband supports what I do, and someday I hope that he will want to share our "testimony" to help others as well.