Dear Dr. Meg,
I’ve been separated from my wife and daughter for about 15 months now. Since I’ve been separated I’ve been helping out with daycare expense, clothing and food. However, my wife is seeking more money. She’s asking for a very huge amount each month so at this moment it’s very difficult for us to come to agreement on how much support she needs so she’s taking me to court. The day after Father’s day!!! My wife and I have plans to restore our marriage after counseling. Is it right or necessary that she takes me to court when we should be taking steps to restore our marriage?
Headed To Court
It sounds like your wife is dragging her feet on reconciliation. Asking for huge amounts of money, (unless you are very wealthy) and taking you to court while doing so right after Father’s Day, tells me that she is very angry and hurt.
You must remember some very important things because while you are going through marital difficulties and separation, it is hard to think clearly. First, your family is not only worth fighting for, but this must be your top priority as the father in the home. Dads are like the hub in a wheel, if you leave, the whole wheel collapses. You are feeling the beginning of that collapse right now. I can guarantee you that as tough as this is on you, it is much harder on your daughter. You may not see this now, but if you go through with your divorce, you will see.
How do you fight? Do you go into an offensive posture where you demand certain things from your wife? You can try, but this won’t get you anywhere. So ask yourself what Jesus would do in your situation? Would he worry about the money your wife is asking for? No, he’d give it to her. Would he go in and argue with the lawyer or judge? I don’t think so. I believe that he would willingly walk up to your wife and ask what he could do to serve her better. Ouch.
I know this is tough. But as a Christian, you are not to handle situations the way other men would. Your job first and foremost is not to worry about money, lawyers or your feelings getting hurt, but to restore your family. Do not rely on your angry wife to do this because she can’t, she’s too hurt. You must set aside your hurt, anger, disappointment and all other awful feelings and decide if you are willing to fight.
And the only way to do that is to serve them very well. As a strong-headed emotionally charged woman who has been married to a great, Christ-loving man for 34 years, I can tell you that there is no quicker way to rid a woman’s heart of anger (even hatred) than to be kind and serve her. The trouble for you is that this doesn’t come naturally for men. But it works.
Your wife is taking you to court because she doesn’t know what else to do, so give her an alternative. Tell her that you want to restore your marriage because you love her. Tell her that you have made mistakes and that you want to learn what you can do to change. In other words, don’t wait for her to come around and start restoring the marriage, you need to make the first step. If she won’t go to the counselor to get help, then you go alone. Show her you are serious about changing and becoming a better husband and father and she’ll come around. Just give her time and never give up. She and your daughter need you.