June 15, 2006
My fiancee and I have an awesome
relationship. I love her incredibly.
Maybe that's the problem. Each of
us came to our faith in Jesus in
our late 20s, after years of sexual
relationships. She would not have
done what she did, with
those men, and in fact she's rather
pure given the context of our society.
But it drives me crazy to know what
she did. I have tried seemingly
every means, talking myself out
of jealousy, praying, rationalizing,
trying to not think ... and yet
this problem persists. I am angry,
sad, anxious, jealous, insecure,
depressed. I can almost guess what
anyone's advice might be; I realize
this is more about me than her,
and there must be self-esteem issues.
But I was wondering if you could
shed some insight?
Well, I will certainly try.
I'm not trying
to put you on the spot here, but:
do you have the same problem with
your own past? If not, and you forgive
yourself, then you might want to
ask--why not my girlfriend? I think
that when we truly see a future
with someone, the past becomes irrelevant.
Well, almost: it only matters in
terms of how it got us where we
It's easy to
see a future with yourself. You're
with yourself all the time, right,
so you have to forgive yourself.
it sounds like you're not clear
about whether you want to build
a future with this woman.
In my opinion,
love is not this state that you
just slip into, magically. It's
built by giving but also maintained
by consistently appreciating who
the other person is.
If you can't
simply appreciate who this woman
is, and all the little things she
adds to your life, then I'm sorry
to say this but I'm not sure it's
best to be engaged right now.
I worry that
unhappiness with a capital U could
be around the corner for both of
you (if it hasn't already appeared).
This feeling of love you have could
so easily turn to hatred and resentment--and
in fact, it partly sounds like it
But if you
do break up, what happens if you
get engaged to a different woman,
only to discover that you have the
same problem with her?
My point is
simply that very few people can
attain perfection. And the rest
of us simply hope for normalcy by
ripe old age. Thus, nearly everyone
you get close to will come with
her very own peckela (from the Yiddish,
meaning "little package,"
usually referring to one's special
At this point
you may be thinking, why should
I listen to this person? Here I'm
writing to her about Jesus, and
she's answering in Yiddish. Still,
it sounds like you really have potential
to change the situation because
you're open to changing your attitude.
That's great--attitude is 99% of
the battle anyway.
But as you
already see, old patterns of thinking
are hard to break. It seems to me
that you have to be consistent:
When you find yourself focusing
on her faults, think of yours instead.
When you're inclined to dwell on
what could be different about her,
think instead of the ways in which
you might like to grow.
I don't mean
to sound flippant, but if you focus
on the things you can change--i.e.,
you and not her-- it just may help
you become more future-oriented.
If not, at
the very least, you will have greater
all the best,
on this dilemma? Send in your thoughts