During our separation I happened to spend a Saturday with a couple of men who had been through marital crises in the past and had reconciled with their wives. One piece of advice they gave me on issues where Sharon and I disagreed, is that I should move radically towards her way of thinking in my actions.
This is very counter-intuitive for men. I think most of us know that in life you don’t always get what you want, but that often you can find a happy middle ground with another person by compromising. For example, maybe you found the perfect red Corvette equipped just like you like it. You have done your research and your best guess is that maybe you could get it for $48,000. However, the dealer wants $52,000. You and the salesman huff and puff and bluff for an hour and eventually you agree on $50,000. You both feel like you did a good job negotiating and go away mostly happy.
Well, that mentality just doesn’t work so well as you try to work through a crisis in your marriage with a woman.
One thing that Sharon and I drastically differed on was psychological tests and visiting psychiatrists. Because of some various issues within me she wanted me to take several psychological tests and see a psychiatrist and consider medications. I bucked and kicked her requests – to put it politely.
I had major fears about what kind of diagnoses I might receive and I also had, and still have, some major concerns theologically about a lot of psychological and psychiatric theories and treatments.
Eventually, I did reluctantly comply and take the tests and saw a psychiatrist. I also gave her full access to my medical files, which I had been warned by a professional could be used against me if we ever got to court.
Later in our separation, when I got so depressed that I knew for myself that something was seriously wrong, I voluntarily researched and checked myself into Meier Clinic which is a three-week intensive Christian-based outpatient psychiatric program. I voluntarily took even more tests.
Right or wrong, I did draw the line and not take psychiatric meds. They were recommended a couple of times, but the choice was left up to me. I did sit down and ask questions from the professionals before I said no.
Financially we were struggling at the time of our separation. We had already sold some land that we had held for a long time and we needed to sell more. Sharon and I disagreed over how aggressively to sell, but eventually I gave her my power-of-attorney. We sold more than I would have, but more in line with her thinking. I continued to allow Sharon to have access to all of our bank accounts and credit cards even though she had money in her own name.
What was the point of all of this? I guess I was trying to show God, myself, and her that I was really willing to go the extra mile and that nothing on this earth was more important to me than her.