The games people play

An open letter to Christians dating (especially the ladies),
I wrote the post below last night, hit publish, and continued to play the game until I fell fitfully asleep regretting it:

So, I just got off FaceTime with my kids. They are at “the other house” this week. I keep going over the last few years of my marriage and the things my wife said to me the night she left. 2913052110_86f6b014a2_z

It seems like the biggest mistakes that I made in my relationship, the ones that ultimately drove my wife into the arms of another man and out of our marriage were:

  1. Being too available. I gave up a lot of hobbies and a second job to be at home with her and the kids and to help with the kids / housekeeping etc.
  2. Letting her know regularly how much I loved her. I bought cards just because. I wrote little notes. I sent texts. I bought flowers. I bought gifts. I never wanted her to doubt how I felt about her.
  3. I shared my feelings, concerns and weaknesses in a transparent and vulnerable manner.

No, I am not being sarcastic in the least. I know that those seem like the qualities that we’re all told to have as Godly men. Those are touted as positive characteristics that all Godly women are seeking. The night my wife told me she was leaving she shared all of the things she couldn’t stand about me and why she just had to “get out”. They included:

  1. You’re always around. You have no hobbies. Your whole life is me and the kids. That’s really pathetic.
  2. I feel like you care for me and love me far more than I do you. That’s not fair, and I can’t stand to look at that “I love you” look on your face anymore.
  3. I don’t feel like you’re a real man. See, you’re crying right now. You’re kind of a big baby.

Wow. This feeds into everything the male relationship gurus say about how we have to “play games” and pretend to be indifferent, disconnected, and unavailable to get a girl. Apparently this also applies to keeping a girl, even one you’re married to.

So, here we are, two years later. This girl I really like, who really seems to like me (we call or text every evening) hasn’t contacted me all day, and I haven’t contacted her. I’ve had plenty of opportunities. I’ve thought about her several times. I feel as though I initiate conversation too often though, so I am painfully letting the silence hang and waiting to see if she will contact me. How ridiculous is that? I really want to call her or text her, but I feel like if I do, I’m setting myself up to “lose the game”. I feel like I have to play the game. I hate feeling like that. I hate it.

I don’t want her to think I’m clingy. I don’t want her to think I’m too devoted. I don’t want to look like “a big baby”. That phrase will never leave my head. Thank you, prodigal spouse.

I also can’t help but think this is unbiblical or wrong, but it’s become a part of the courtship process because of the fall and I just have to live with it.

I hate this.

 

So, I regret playing games. I pray that I’ve done no lasting damage to my relationship with this amazing woman. All I managed to do, I think, was miss an opportunity to talk with her, but perhaps she enjoyed the break.GAMEFREE-2

Either way, I think if we have to play games, maybe the relationship isn’t worth it. My end goal is marriage, and I think the worse-case-scenario is not that I’ll lose the girl. That’s happened to me already in the worst way possible. I think that the worst thing that can happen is that I’ll end up married to someone I have to play the game with. I’ll end up with someone with whom I cannot:

  • Serve
  • Love
  • Honor
  • Cherish
  • Be transparent with
  • Love as Christ loved the church.

I don’t want that. So, this girl, as amazing as she is. This girl that I’m willing to wait for even though she is really busy, deserves more than to be played with. That said, if she wants to feel the need for “a chase” or desires a guy who is aloof, unavailable, and disengaged, then maybe she isn’t as awesome as I think she is and I’m better off without her. I will allow God to be my anchor, and no human relationship, no matter how much I desire it. I need to look to Him to hold this fast if it is His will. If it isn’t, then I’m better off without it. It’s just hard to see that sometimes, particularly when I’m down & feeling insecure.

Christian ladies, go read the dating advice websites. See what is being said about women and what they want. If you ever want a relationship that lifts you up instead of tearing you down. If you ever want to have a real spiritual leader in your home, you can begin by stopping with the games. If you’re getting a text every hour, yes, he may be a clingy-stalker-psycho. If you’re getting a nice text or call every day, he just might care for you, which I would think is what you want. If you’re seeing someone, and you don’t want him to second guess your feelings and whether or not he’s constantly being “tested”, don’t assume he knows. The social media marketing is intense. Every single or divorced guy’s Twitter and Facebook feed is filled with invasive intense marketing by these guys who say YOU WANT US TO TOY WITH YOU! Go ahead, send your man a text right now. Tell him you don’t need him to play hard to get. Tell him you appreciate his transparency and authenticity… that is, if you really do.

Blessings.

J.


 

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3 comments

  1. Hi there–hope you are well, despite what I just read.

    Can I suggest something? Try to just “be” for a while. You are mourning, truly grieving!, the loss of your wife and marriage. But then you’re also trying to start something new with a new woman. You’re moving. You’re trying to adjust to a new life that you never asked for and never dreamed of, and don’t even like. The whole world seems to be moving forward, happily, right? But yours is nothing but a collapsing whirlwind. I know the grief isn’t just going to go away and the feeling that you need someone–even anyone—there with you is hard to shake. BUT–give yourself time to grieve and to adjust to this new “normal.” You’ve been through so much—be a little selfish—try to figure out a little bit of who you are now. It sounds like you are desperately trying to heal all the wounds–if Im right, I get it. Believe me, I do. You just want to feel better, if anything. But just “be.” If it means continuing crying your eyes out at night and fighting with God, then so be it. Just be in the moment and see if God will open something to you–it might just be a new insight that can give you peace or maybe it’ll be something huge. Or maybe just “be” by finding things you’ve always like and indulge some–swimming laps, watching documentaries, book club, whatever. But take the time to let some things settle and hopefully find a state of peace. Finding peace doesn’t necessarily mean you’re happy or no longer heartbroken, BUT it means that its not so unbearable to handle the losses and you can see glimmers of hope. (and catch some sleep) You’re heart won’t feel so terribly wrecked. When our whole lives have already changed (and been shattered), we need to rest our minds and hearts as best as we can.

    When we lose our spouse, we have lost a part of us that we will never be able to get back. And because we were made ONE with Christ, it is a deep and excruciating loss. We can’t just recover from this or live a new life as if it never happened. Can an amputee do that? No–they’ve lost a limb. Life will ALWAYS be different and they will never be the same again. And we don’t expect them to simply jump back into life. We first expect them to grieve & to wrestle out this new situation before moving forward. Why should we be any different?

  2. All I’ve ever wanted is a guy like you but all I’ve gotten is the guys who play the game. It’s disgusting to me. I am not a woman who plays games. I hate it. And now that I’m confident in what I want (& know I deserve), I tell guys up front, who show an interest in me, what I won’t put up with/what I’m looking for. This has saved me trouble & heart ache. I’ll keep being who I am regardless of who this world says I should be cos I know God will work it out for me. God bless. 🙂

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