Twenty-nine Years Later

Today my incredible wife and I celebrate twenty-nine years of marriage.

Paul and Lori kissing © Paul H. Byerly

We have joked that when we walked down the aisle our “friends” were taking bets on how long we would last, and that by our first anniversary they had all lost. In truth, they had plenty of reasons to think we would fail. Lori was fairly recently divorced, and she had a daughter. I had no idea how to handle money, and I greatly underestimated the difficulties we would face. Lori had sexual molestation and rape in her past, while I had significant porn use in my past (thank God I was out of it).

Had it not been for God, I do not think we would have made it. I doubt we would have divorced, but it would have gotten ugly and ultimately I think we would have been married in name only.

One thing that kept us from getting better as fast as we could have was my focus on “her problems”. Her problems were more visible, making it easy to ignore my own issues. Fairly early on I started to look at things as “our problem” rather than “her problem” but for a long time that meant we both should work at fixing “her stuff.”

How do you get a man to see not all his marital problems are his wife’s fault? Unfortunately, I do not know. However, I can give you a few roots of the problem, which might help you.

  • First and foremost, it comes down to pride – “I’m fine, you’re a mess.”
  • Another factor is assuming how I do something is the correct way, which means if you do it any other way you are wrong. 
  • Then there is “If I’m wrong, I have to change, and I don’t want to change.”

For me, the desire to see our marriage healed was enough to push me to confront these things. (Motivation wise it helped that we had some significant sexual problems.)

Getting him to see the problems as a joint issue, even if he still sees you “at fault”, is a step in the right direction. If he is looking for ways he can help you deal with “your problems” he just might stumble over some of his own issues.

~ Paul – I’m XY and my XX is awesome!

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Image Credit: © Paul H. Byerly

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