Win the Battle or the War?

The saying goes “I may have lost the battle, but I will win the war” – or something very similar. Currently, I am in the process of battling with my inner self. I hear her saying Focus on the battle. Tell him what you think, and do whatever you have to to get your way. Alternately, I keep telling my inner self to shut the fuck up and be happy with what I have – life is about the ultimate war.

I’m not really sure what the answer is, which is the problem.

My previous posts take you through the recent downfall of my marriage, the following aftermath, and how I’m slowly but surely trying to find my way back to love, trust, and faith. It hasn’t been easy, and to be quite frank, it’s still a mental and emotional struggle some days.

As I have this conversation with my inner self, I am drifting back to the demands I put on my husband, demands that were supposed to help me feel okay about moving forward in a marriage that lacked trust at the time. Singularly, those demands are not solutions to our issues, but they were supposed to bring us close to a more stable foundation once again. I realize that since the fallout, I have compromised on almost all of those demands, and I’m feeling like the ultimate failure – another weak woman who is letting a man walk all over her.

My demands were as follows:

  • End contact with her
  • Put in for a transfer at work
  • Quit the part-time job so we could spend more time together
  • Go with me to counseling or to church
  • Begin going a men’s ministry at my hometown church
  • Spend more time with me

His responses to my demands have, respectively, been as follows:

  • He ended the friendship with her the next week after the fall-out, once he returned to work. They still see one another in passing, which for me, is still too much.
  • He did not put in a transfer. His plan was to work closer to home, but the office location had worse conditions than where he was, so he decided against it.
  • He has not quit the part-time job; although, he has toyed with the idea. He says he needs the additional money it brings in.
  • Because he works long hours and still has the part-time job, there’s no time to schedule a counseling session or go to church.
  • The men’s ministry is just getting started this January 2017. His response is that he doubts he’ll participate.
  • He still makes time to spend with his friends during the occasional weekend day off, but no specific time has been blocked out to spend with me. He doesn’t pay any more attention to my needs than before. He still hasn’t purchased comedy show tickets that I’ve been asking him to purchase, and his idea of spending more time together is scheduling a weekend trip for us to enjoy when his work hours slow down.

This leads to my initial question – should I just focus on winning the war? The battle, it seems, has been lost. So now I’m just weighing my options, and I have my inner self to help me:

Why bother worrying about this list? The demands were silly to begin with.

I disagree. Those demands, if met, would have put us on a road to healing. At least me.

You know he cares about you. You’re just feeling down in this moment, but later, you’ll be happy you married him all over again.

Knowing he cares isn’t enough…or is it? That’s asking me to have faith in something that I cannot see – that isn’t tangible to me. He’s not God – he’s my husband. I should not have to trust blindly. I should be able to witness the actions as a promise to be a better version of himself for us.

Bringing this up will just start a fight.

Yes, it definitely will. He needs to be put in an uncomfortable situation. That’s the only way he’ll become ready to make a change and do things differently.

He has legitimate reasons for not completing your stupid list of demands.

No, he really doesn’t. Saving his marriage should just be enough.

After going through this exchange with my inner self, I decided to keep pushing for what I wanted and to be patient. Actually, I decided to focus more on myself instead of him. This is how I’ve decided to deal with my respective list of demands:

  • I try not to think much about their friendship. I still really have no idea if they still communicate. I’ve decided to leave that to God because He will eventually allow the truth to be known.
  • Since he did not put in for a transfer at work, I’ve decided to leave that to God too. There’s really not much I can do.
  • I began helping at his part-time job when I wasn’t exhausted from my own full-time work. It allowed us to spend some time together, and he became appreciative of my help. The exhausting work of the part-time eventually wore him down, and he quit!! A win for me!
  • I’ve gotten him to agree to visit a nearby church. We haven’t taken this step yet, but at least he says he’s on board.
  • I realized that I can’t push him into a commitment like a men’s ministry, but I can serve as an example. There’s also a slight chance that I was projecting my own needs on him. I took up an offer from a colleague and visited a women’s ministry that I am enjoying very much. I’m learning many new things about God that I never knew, and I hope that I’m rubbing off on my husband in the process.
  • I took him up on his offer to go out of town when his work schedule slowed down. We took a five day trip to the beach, and it was amazing! Also, I got tired of waiting on him to take the initiative to go out, so when I want to do something, I purchase the tickets. If he can’t go, I find someone else. My fun doesn’t depend on him any longer.

In the end, I guess I chose to tackle the battles…






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