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Author Topic: How can I be a better potential wife?  (Read 1028 times) Average Rating: 0
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TheProdigalDaughter
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« on: November 23, 2009, 11:41:05 AM »

Greetings Everyone

I'm a young woman in my early 20's. I am a recent convert to Orthodoxy, and I know this is how I must follow God.

I've been with my boyfriend who is also an Orthodox Christian now for about 4/5 months.

Recently I lied to him (Please PM me for more details) and it REALLY caused a massive change. However, I confessed to him, and he has forgiven me. However, he wants to "cool down" I think now with all our plans to get married etc This is really upsetting for me.

However, I understand his reasons. We need to know each other, and TRUST each other 100% before we can even think about getting married.

Right now I'm really praying and reading the word so that I can mature, and restore what we had.

In a way I'm glad this happened now, where I can address any deep-seated issues I have, and we can both concentrate on knowing each other BETTER.

It just hurts so much to know this had to happen though.

What advise would you ladies and gentlemen give a young woman in my position? How can we move on and get that "connection" back that feeling of total unity mentally and spiritually?
« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 12:03:45 PM by TheProdigalSon » Logged

'Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.' Proverbs 27:17
katherineofdixie
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2009, 12:13:41 PM »

Greetings Everyone

I'm a young woman in my early 20's. I am a recent convert to Orthodoxy, and I know this is how I must follow God.

I've been with my boyfriend who is also an Orthodox Christian now for about 4/5 months.

Recently I lied to him (Please PM me for more details) and it REALLY caused a massive change. However, I confessed to him, and he has forgiven me. However, he wants to "cool down" I think now with all our plans to get married etc This is really upsetting for me.

However, I understand his reasons. We need to know each other, and TRUST each other 100% before we can even think about getting married.

Right now I'm really praying and reading the word so that I can mature, and restore what we had.

In a way I'm glad this happened now, where I can address any deep-seated issues I have, and we can both concentrate on knowing each other BETTER.

It just hurts so much to know this had to happen though.

What advise would you ladies and gentlemen give a young woman in my position? How can we move on and get that "connection" back that feeling of total unity mentally and spiritually?


Though I certainly don't know you or your boyfriend or the details (nor do I want to), there's a good chance that you and he may never be able to move on or get back. The relationship, for better or worse, has been changed, by your decision and choice. It remains to be seen whether he is willing to accept the changed relationship or not. It depends on what his "non-negotiables" are.

And, btw, it didn't "have to happen." What happened was due to a decision or a choice that you made. You may not (probably were not) thinking about potential consequences when you lied, but it was certainly your choice.

One thing that did strike me about your post, and if I am being unfair, I apologize in advance and ask you to forgive me, was that it seemed to be mostly about you., your issues, your problems, your wishes. As long as it's all about you, progress is unlikely.
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TheProdigalDaughter
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2009, 12:31:58 PM »


Thank you. Many Blessings.
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EofK
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2009, 12:35:30 PM »

No one ever wants to hear this, but gaining a person's trust back takes time.  It also takes a deliberate effort in being honest and open about everything, to the point of feeling like you're killing yourself every time you share something unpleasant with him.  For him to ask for a "cooling off" period says to me that he needs some time to process the information you've shared with him (and kudos on confessing to him, that's the first step in the right direction) and to process his emotions over it.  It may take him a while to get past the hurt and until then, be sure to be as honest and forthcoming as possible.  It will be humiliating but that's what it takes sometimes.

As my priest loves to say, marriage is about dying to yourself and putting your spouse's needs above your own.  The more you focus on serving him (and he you), the better your relationship will be.  If I may suggest it, check out St. John Chrysostom's On Marriage and Family Life as well as John Meyendorff's Marriage: An Orthodox Perspective.  They're both excellent books on what to expect and strive for in an Orthodox marriage.

Also, welcome to the forum!  Smiley
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TheProdigalDaughter
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2009, 01:02:24 PM »

EofK: Thank you, thank you, thank you SO much for your warmth and help. God bless you!  laugh
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2009, 01:33:01 PM »

EofK: Thank you, thank you, thank you SO much for your warmth and help. God bless you!  laugh


You're welcome!  BTW, I'm new to being married so take my advice with a grain of salt.  The things I've learned have mostly been from failing miserably. Smiley 
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2009, 01:36:52 PM »

TPS,

 First, welcome to the forum!  Admitting/confessing your mistake to your friend is commendable because it takes courage, but as others have said, that was the easy part of the process because the real work has now begun.  As you already know, no one likes to be lied to.  Though your friend wants to trust you, I'm sure he's probably wondering a few things.  How does he know you haven't been lying to him all along?  How does he know you really are trustworthy?  How can he be sure you won't lie to him again?  Unfortunately, these are things you're going to have to prove to him... and it will take time.  If he wants some cooling down time, you need to honor that give him some space.  It's hard and it'll hurt, but if you really are committed to him, this is what you gotta do.

 Also, in addition to the books that EofK suggested (which are both really great), I'd like to add Attending to Your Marriage by Fr. Charles Joanides, an Eastern Orthodox priest as well as a professional marriage counselor.  
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2009, 02:22:33 PM »

^Ooh, I've not read that one.  I'll have to check that one out!  Thanks, Gabriel!
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« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2009, 03:18:26 PM »

You may want to pick up a copy of the following:

On Marriage and Family Life
by Saint John Chrysostom
http://www.amazon.com/Marriage-Family-Life-Saint-Chrysostom/dp/0913836869

Also, you are in your early twenties and have been dating for 4/5 months. I'd say date another year before you make any marriage plans. It takes a long time to really know someone. Also, from a biological perspective, your brain is not fully developed until you're 25, so you may change a lot between now and then.

Marriage is forever; make sure you know what you're getting into before you make that leap.

 
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"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
Super Apostolic Bros.
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2009, 04:09:15 PM »

Marriage is not a trivial thing, though our (American? I presume) society treats it as a means of personal fulfilment. It is not. Though there are couples who are happily married, it is not something that comes easily. A marriage requires both partners give wholly of themselves to each other. This is Biblical.

My advice? If you feel you cannot unconditionally love and trust your partner (knowing his faults, and remembering he may have faults you are unaware of), don't marry. It is better to have an ex-boyfriend than an ex-husband.

Then again, I've never been in a romantic relationship, so my POV is a bit sterile.


UPDATE: HandmaidenOfGod is right. Marriage, like anything that will require many years of your life, is something you can't rush into. Which is also why I'm being circumspect about being received into the Orthodox faith.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 04:11:31 PM by Super Apostolic Bros. » Logged
katherineofdixie
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2009, 04:51:55 PM »

And another thought I had is that it is very easy to say you forgive someone, but it is extremely difficult to actually do so.

And as was said before, if you can't accept your boyfriend or girlfriend as they are, don't even think of getting married. People are not fixer-uppers. Marriage doesn't solve all your problems - more often than not, it exacerbates existing ones.
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Quinault
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2009, 05:34:51 PM »

(Although not an orthodox resource by any means) There are a series of protestant videos called "Keys to loving relationships" by Gary Smalley that are wonderful. You need to concentrate on being good friends before you concentrate on being good boyfriend/girlfriend/lovers.  There are some videos on sexuality that you should just avoid for now. But the rest of the videos are awesome. We had horrible pre-marital counseling (we are converts so it was a his parent's baptist church) so we did this series instead and it helped us tremendously. (we actually went thru this series once a year during our three years of dating) We have been married nearly 13 years and together nearly 16 years and gone thru TWO deployments, 6 moves, 7 pregnancies and 4 children in that time, any of which could have caused our marriage to be destroyed beyond repair. Communication can not be overemphasized. And the Hidden Keys series establishes really great communication. This is actually a "non-christian friendly" series since it doesn't bring scripture into the curricula at all. I would read the books above for spiritual guidance on marriage. But for the meat and bones of getting good communication going the series above can get a good jump start in the right direction. It could be that after going thru the series you two will be good friends but realize that you can't be more. It could be that after you go thru the series that you will find a deeper love for one another. It isn't a series meant to "save" a romantic relationship that is failing. It is a series designed to help communication to be fostered so that what you have will be built upon.

http://store.dnaofrelationships.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=496
« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 06:00:17 PM by Quinault » Logged
TheProdigalDaughter
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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2009, 05:57:30 PM »

Thank you all very much.

Thank you for all your links, and suggestions of reading/viewing material. I can't stress how having the help of brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus means to me. Surely he will bless you all!
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« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2009, 06:57:31 PM »

Lord have Mercy.
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GabrieltheCelt
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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2009, 01:56:09 AM »


Marriage is forever; make sure you know what you're getting into before you make that leap.


 What's this?  You and I actually agree on something?  Wink Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2009, 02:58:38 AM »

(Although not an orthodox resource by any means) There are a series of protestant videos called "Keys to loving relationships" by Gary Smalley that are wonderful.

 You're right about that!  I've got one of his books and it's really been helpful.
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