Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Walk Out Woman

I was nearly a walk out woman, until I read this book. Okay, well, truthfully I didn't have the guts to walk out, but I really wanted to. And I had been that way for a long, long time. It was on my mind all day, every day of my life for years.

What held me back? Namely the fact that I knew it would not be pleasing to God. Then there were the five children my husband and I shared together; our families; our friends; our church. It was impossible to ever think about facing these people again if I did walk out. Of course, the fact that I didn't have any money or a place to go weighed heavily on my decision to stay put.

Regardless of the reasons listed above, walking out on my husband and the life I didn't like anymore still crossed my mind . . . and lived there . . . daily. It came down to the fact that I really needed to change my thinking. I really needed soome counselling but could not afford it.

This book had been sitting on my shelf for two or three years. I had picked it up at one time and had begun to read it. There were even little sticky notes and highlights throughout. But I didn't get far at that time. I just wasn't ready to hear what the authors, Dr. Steve Stephens and Alice Gray, had to say. But just a few weeks ago, I literally felt at the end of my patience. I had written three notes to my husband about how I was feeling, but I don't think he knew exactly how to deal with the intensity of my frustration, anger, bitterness, and saddness. If anything was to be done, it was up to me.

While packing a bag of reading material for a weekend trip with our daughter for 4-H, I grabbed this book hoping to get some relief from the ugliness in my soul regarding my marriage. Not really ready to read cover-to-cover, I flipped through the pages until I came across a chapter I thought might help the most. It's titled "This Lady Has the Blues" and it absolutely described this lady for sure!

I have been hooked on the book since then and am reading about a chapter a day. Just the fact that **somebody** understood how I felt seemed to lift the heavy burden I felt I had been carrying around. It was also helpful to read the stories throughout that chapter and others of women who are going through the same problems as I am.

One of the things I love most about this book is the fact that it is interactive. Most chapters include a list of symptoms, suggestions of things to try, and/or questions concerning you and your particular situation. These are the blue boxes throughout the chapters. All of this extra information helps you to identify what's really going on, as well as helping you to be truly honest with yourself about some things. So often what we "feel" is so one-sided. Are **all** problems in your marriage your husband's fault? This is one misconception that is addressed in this book.

At the end of each chapter is a section called "Something to Try". It is a list of several suggestions to try to reinforce what has been taught and discussed in that section. You can choose just one from the list. Most of these suggestions are very simple but eye-opening.

Some of the topics addressed to the "walk out woman" include:

- discovering if you really are a walk out women

- clueless husbands (boy, did **I** need this!)

- discontentment

- focusing on the positive instead of the negative

- anger (when I wasn't depressed, I was angry!)

- building walls (the authors must've been spying!)

- talking and reconnecting

- caring for yourself (a source of guilt for me!)

- devastation of divorce

- affairs and how to avoid them

- happiness

- and much more!

Several chapters seemed to be written about me! I wondered if the authors had been hanging around my house. I especially was distraught to read about myself in the chapter on building walls. We women seem so predictable.

Overall, this was just an eye-opening book for me. It helped clarify the fact that all marriages have issues and even if a walk out woman did get a new husband, there wouldn't be any guarantee that she'd be any happier. It was helpful to read about how Dr. Stephens would counsel a walk out woman; how to talk to my husband; how to tear down walls; and the fact that it's okay to do things for **me**. I have spent so many years caring for others and I often feel guilty for doing something for myself.

I am very thankful to have been able to address my issues with depression. I feel that my husband hears me better when I write out my frustrations and hurts and was glad to learn that this is an acceptable way to communicate with your man. Since I've done that, my Mister Wonderful has really been trying to be more attentive to my needs . . . and I am feeling much better.

While "The Walk Out Woman" addresses a negative topic and speaks to serious issues in marriage, it is also uplifting as the authors offer much helpful advice on getting through this time in life.

There are several references to scripture throughout, but it is not overbearing in its use. The authors also refer to many of sources in regards to writings on marriage counselling.

I really never have **wanted** to be a walk out woman, but it seemed the only way of escape for me. After reading this very insightful book, I feel that I am equipped to better handle the issues in my marriage. I hope that if you read it, you will come away refreshed and ready to fight for yours.


1 comment:

David J. said...

Good for you for staying. My wife didn't, leaving a 29+ year marriage and damaging four kids, including two still at home (one now 75/25 with her and the other almost 100% with me). Compounding her "walk-out," she remarried 13 months later (to a twice-divorced man) and moved 400 miles away, further complicating our kids' lives. Yet she claimed and claims the spiritual high ground and professes to be ecstatic at God's blessings in her life and her ever-maturing walk with Him. If her remarriage and her rosiness about it lasts, I'll never understand it. If it doesn't, she'll have an awful lot of crow to eat.

I'm thinking that Judgment Day for Christians will consist of having to face and apologize to those you sinned against but never apologized to in this life.