Sunday, February 22, 2015

Joel. Michawn. {Part 11 - Time to Live Apart}

We left off with February 2014 in the last post, Part 10 (if you're new here and want to start with Part 1, go here).  I'll elaborate on more that was going on in February 2014...that I didn't even know about or find out about until a month later...and other things that I didn't find out about until 7 months later.  Things that floored me even more.  But, I'll get to that in another few posts.

The same sorts of things with Joel just continued to happen.  Joel did postpone his trip to Brazil.  But, only after talking and talking and talking about it...and me asking and asking and asking him to.  It was ridiculous.  I'm still floored by how he acted...and thankfully, now he is too.  (again...more on that later)

But, was just more and more of the same after that. 

We tried counselor #3 in March/April...that didn't work out too well.  I don't think he was used to counseling via internet and he basically left us high and dry during a pretty critical time for about 3 weeks without a word from him.  Turns out that he was traveling and thought that he had told us, but came home to see his email to us unsent.  Anyway...we had moved on already.  Counselor #3 didn't work out.

That brought us to counselors #4 and #5 in May.  May was an interesting time.  I had come to a place where I knew I needed to make some changes.  I could no longer live with the stress of our marriage.  But, nothing was changing within my the stress wasn't going away that way.  When I say that I could no longer live with it, I literally mean that I had to make some health was majorly being affected.  I had gone to my primary care person in March and done some tests...gotten the results back on April 1st...and definite changes needed to be made as far as stressors (and abusive/oppressive behavior) in my marriage.  Those changes were never made living as we, in May, I realized I had to make some decisions. 

Here's the deal...everybody always likes to say things like 'well, you're only responsible for you' or 'you can only answer for yourself' or 'you have to do the right things no matter what is going on around you.' And that is all fine and good, but it's not true.  lol.  Those lines of 'wisdom' can be true...especially when you are single...but, when you are literally yoked to another person, that can prove to be just basically impossible.  Do I need to show you that picture again? 

See that?  When you are yoked, you can't always just 'do what you know to be right,' can you?  You can't just 'be responsible for you.'  Every turn of your head involves someone else.  Everything you do or want to do is affected by someone else.  Everything that person does affects you.  So, the 'wise' cliches and tips...those don't really hold water in this situation. 

So...something had to be done. 

The unfortunate truth is that when he was gone to Brazil, life was much easier.  We got into a pattern, a routine.  My ‘oppressor’ was gone.  After that, I knew that I had to move forward in all the ways that I could, with or without him.  But, as time went on, moving forward in all the healthy ways was proving to be impossible with him (since nothing was changing).  Around the time he was gone to Brazil and after he got back, I knew that things were better without him here.  But, I did not have peace at all about living apart. 

In May, that peace came.  It was completely undeniable.  And I knew that we had to do it.  Joel did not want to.  But, the course of our lives was no longer going to be determined by one person in this marriage.  It was time and I knew it.  We (I) wrote this newsletter to send out to everyone before he moved out, but we never sent it out.  Because of a couple of reasons, we knew that it wasn't the right thing to do.  I talked about it in the very first post of this series.  I said that I might eventually share it here.  And here it is. 
Dear Supporters and Friends,

Thank you so very much for 'hanging in there' with us through the very challenging time we've had for the past couple of years.  You have continued to give to us, pray for us, and support us without question, even with such uncertainty.

There has been a new development that we need to inform you of.  As we've mentioned in the past in several different newsletters, the difficult circumstances of the past three years that have come our way have really taken a toll on our marriage.  The good news is that we have *finally* found some great counselors to help us wade through all that has developed and where to go from here.  The bad news is that we are far from 'out of the woods' in our relationship difficulties.  In fact, it's quite the opposite.  Because sometimes you have to go even further into the forest and deal with things there before you can come out of those woods. 

And sometimes going further into that forest involves taking what some would consider drastic steps.  For us, who have been walking through this for 2+ years, it doesn't seem drastic.  It just seems like the most logical next step on our road to recovery.  Sometimes space and time are needed...and the ability to grab onto perspective.  And, in order for us to do that right now in our marriage, we are no longer going to be living together for a time. 

Please do understand that this is not a step toward divorce, but rather a step toward healing in our case.  We don't want to worry you.  We don't want to upset you.  But we do want to be completely honest and upfront with you.  Please though...don't freak out.  :)  Just pray. 

Although it is a necessary step, it is not one that we take lightly.  We pray that this will provide that time, space, and perspective that we are needing...and in a timely manner. 

We will keep you posted...and let you know when it is time (Lord-willing) for us to go back to the country, people, and work that we love. 

In the meantime, thank you so much for continuing to support us and pray for us.  Our family definitely needs it as we take steps to become unified again. 

We love you guys,
Michawn <><
Joel moved out mid-May.  

And I'll leave off here for today.  More about our story and what happened after that next time. 

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