Morning friends,

I’ve been in Chicago visiting my sweet parents and siblings. Each year we all gather together for one weekend and go to dinner and a play. This is our parent’s Christmas present to us all and it’s wonderful to have time set apart to connect.  In our busy lives sometimes connecting is tough to prioritize.

Study after study shows that healthy and loving relationships are the number one factor in living a happy life. Therefore it’s important that we learn how to “do” relationships well and recognize the things we do or what other people do to hinder and harm our relationships from flourishing.Click To Tweet

Check out this article from the Harvard Gazette – Good genes are nice, but joy is better

Today’s Question: I've been married for 25 years and our relationship is becoming increasingly toxic. My husband and I fight frequently about everything, from our young adult children to finances. My husband is a Christian with many good qualities and is never physically abusive, but our relationship has become destructive because we cannot communicate.

There are two predominant patterns: when we argue, he will go silent, sometimes for days. I almost always break the ice by trying to initiate conversation and even then at the risk of another blow-up. He occasionally apologizes, but rarely with any real sense of sorrow. The other pattern is that when I bring up a concern about something he has done – or not done – (I'm careful to use “I” messages and speak calmly), he becomes extremely defensive, gets loud and turns the tables – attacking me as a person (accusing me of being selfish, immature, negative, miserable, a chronic complainer and on and on). So if I raise a concern about his actions, he attacks me as a person.

Also, if I confess something about myself that I'm not proud of (for example, being jealous of a friend), he quotes Bible verses at me and then uses my confession against me in future arguments. So I'm not inclined to share much anymore.

I've suggested counseling on numerous occasions and his reaction is visceral – doesn't want to go because he's “not a big believer in counseling.” He has suggested we try to do things on our own like take a trip or go through a book and pray together now and then, but will not seek help from a third party. He also says he has “given up trying to change me.”

His most recent outburst/accusations were withering, and I'm so depressed I've spent much of the last two days in bed.(I've had ongoing struggles with depression/anxiety and much of it is related to my marriage). I don't want to leave, but I'm not sure how much longer I can handle the fighting and the personal attacks. When we're not arguing, he's a very jovial person, but we're never far away from the next fight. I'm walking on eggshells, and always wondering what mental notes/criticisms he is making about me for use in the next argument. Please help! Thank you.

Answer: There is a lot going on with your question, but I have a few questions of my own to clarify things. You say that your marriage is growing increasingly destructive. What’s different now or in the last few years that was not present earlier in your marriage when it wasn’t as contentious or destructive?  

Did you communicate better? Were there things you disagreed on back then? If so how did you handle it differently than you are now?  

You say that your relationship is destructive because you cannot communicate.

It’s important to note that it’s not arguing that makes a marriage destructive. There are couples who argue frequently about all kinds of things but are not destructive. What makes a marriage destructive is how an individual or couple argues (or doesn’t argue). It’s also how a couple reconciles an argument or not that determines whether or not their marriage is destructive.  

You mentioned he cannot hear criticism. He is accusatory and shaming towards you. And, when you try to speak into his life about something, it’s always flipped back towards you. Has it always been this way? Or have you noticed new patterns over the last few years?

You also mention that your husband shuts down, goes silent and avoids. You attempt to break the ice but that doesn’t always go well. When you try to bring something up, you do use “I” statements and stay calm that that doesn’t go well either. Has that always been true or are these new behaviors?

The reason I ask these questions is that you’ve been married 25 years. If your marriage felt happy, loving and safe for a long while and then began sliding downhill, we have to look for what’s going on. Sexual addiction might be one thing. A hidden affair might be another or built up resentment. A brain problem or chemical disorder could be impacting his mood or thoughts. Or even a mental health issue like depression. For depressed men, anger and shame are often present where, before getting depressed, they were not issues.

On the other hand, maybe he’s always been that way and what has changed is you. You’ve grown tired of dancing around his moods and catering to his emotional temperature. You’re tired of being the “good submissive” wife and losing your voice or choice in family decisions. You’re tired of being beaten down and silenced and you’re waking up to the amount of control your husband exercises over you. And your change is creating more conflict and stress than when you just stayed silent and gave in. This often happens when a woman begins to wake up to the destruction in her marriage. But now what?

You mentioned that you’re struggling with anxiety and depression. Tired of constantly walking on eggshells. So much so that you’re in bed for two days after this last debilitating episode with your spouse.  

Even if he won’t go for help around your marriage, help me understand why you haven’t gone for some help for yourself? I think this is the best place where you need to start making a change.  

Your marriage is in trouble, but so are you. You’re spending a ton of energy trying to get your husband to “see,” to hear you and to change. It’s not working. It’s time to redirect. For now, you are going to have to focus on you so that you get stronger. What changes do you need to make in order to get yourself healthy mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually?  

Here is where many women get and stay stuck. They think they NEED their spouse to change in order for them to be okay. And so they try in every which way to get him to see it. To get help. To stop it. To change it. And when that doesn't happen, they start to go downhill into a pit of despair.  

I wish I could give you some magic words to say that would wake your husband up to his destructive behavior but the words that you’ve already tried are the ones that have the best shot. “I” statements. Nonshaming language. You’ve done that. Even Jesus couldn’t get through to some people. Like Judas, like the rich young ruler, Jesus let them go.

You might not be able to influence your husband to change but what do you need to change in order for you to be okay and not be stuck in bed overwhelmed with depression? It might mean you need to separate to get some clarity, safety, and space to heal, as you are not staying well. But even if you do get away, it also might mean that you need to work on you for a season to get stronger so that his cruel words do not suck the very life out of you. You are a precious daughter of God. Don’t let your husband be an identity thief and rob you of who you are.

So let’s go back to your next step. If your marriage used to be happy and safe, then I would confront him on the changes that are going on in him that are threatening to break apart your relationship. Is he having an affair? Does he have a secret life you don’t know about? Are there resentments he’s not talked about but stuffed and stuffed and stuffed? Does he have something medical going on?

On the other hand, if he’s always been this way but you are no longer willing to live like this then you need to make some hard choices. You don’t know what’s going on with your husband but you do know that you aren’t doing well. It’s time for you to change your dance steps, starting with you. As you get stronger you will need to formulate healthy boundaries including possibly separating, so that he cannot knock the wind out of you as he is doing now.

The Bible tells us that reckless words pierce like a sword (Proverbs 12:18). If your husband was repeatedly stabbing you, would you plead for him to stop or make a plan to get away? After lying in your bed for two days bleeding and wounded, would you stay and wait for the next time? Or would you decide enough is enough and that your mental, emotional and physical well-being takes priority right now?  

Friends, let’s share our collective wisdom. If you were her, what next step would you take?

174 Comments

  1. Aly on February 7, 2018 at 9:17 am

    Leslie,
    I really like all of the possibilities that you speak of here. It does seem like history or patterns of the marriage would be helpful to this precious woman. I’m sad to hear that she is experiencing the physical issues associated with what sounds like longterm ‘unhealthy dynamics’.

    I find some of the comments that are ‘common’ in destructive marriages that I think would be helpful for this woman to asses and get honest with herself first.
    Taking them to the Lord and asking for strength and courage are key;

    Here’s one from above;
    “I’ve suggested counseling on numerous occasions and his reaction is visceral – doesn’t want to go because he’s “not a big believer in counseling.”

    What does being a big believer in counseling mean?
    When I hear this ‘not a big believer’ in (blank) often the word is ‘counseling’, it’s a position of power issues. Convenient for the person who is ok with not feeling the uncomfortableness of a third party seeing that they have unresolved issues.

    What I hear the husband saying here; I decide what I’m comfortable in and what I will do to bring problem solving toward our marriage.

    I agree with Leslie, what keeps this writer from going herself?
    This is key and important.
    The writer can offer individuality to the husband by saying well you may not want outside counseling , but I am free to choose and that’s what I’m going to do for my own well being.

    The writer also states that she thinks they have a communication problem ~ well yes they do but that’s the surface issue, what I read from this is that the marriage is in crisis and destructive based on her husband’s posture deep unresolved ‘shame issues’, he doesn’t want a 3rd party because that 3rd party will expose (hopefully) his unhealthy attitude and treatment.

    Getting great counseling is the next step for this Sister who is being victimized by a husband who is putting her in a very unhealthy situation.

    • JoAnn on February 8, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      I would suggest, for starters, the three questions that Leslie outlines in her book: Are you happy? What do you see as our most important goal or challenge as a couple if we’re going to improve our relationship? What is the single most important thing you want to be as a husband and father? The answers that he gives to these three questions could point the way to getting help to accomplish the goals mentioned in the answers, assuming that he actually wants to improve the relationship. She also talks about identifying what kind of person he wants to be, and what kind of person she wants to be. Redirecting both partners away from the problem and looking at moving in a more positive direction. When she goes to a counselor, these are things that she can set as goals. She needs to identify the person that she wants to be and get help to go in that direction.

      • Beth on February 9, 2018 at 8:52 am

        Someone had asked the question, has your husband’s behavior changed from the man he was or are you growing and recognizing unhealthy patterns?

        This was a clue that I didn’t recognize because the changes happened so gradually and fit with his family of origin behaviors of his father.

        What I’ve learned is that many of the behaviors I saw and the interactions that we had were bold red flags indicating an affair or in our case, multiple affairs. He was not the same man that I married but had become someone totally self centered, emotionally abusive, and yes, narcissistic. Other’s have talked about ways to communicate with this woman’s husband, questions to ask of him, and I can say based on my experience and the experiences of many woman I’ve come to know who have also been betrayed, this is a road that goes no where. Most husband’s will not be honest about what is going on in their lives and most likely do not want to give up their double life. Often, in my case, the caring questions only led to more emotional abuse about my shortcomings.

        I won’t say that she should leave though. After discovery of the affairs, my husband did not want to lose me, his family, or his “life” as he saw it. He has worked very hard, as have I, to heal from all of this and he is now the man he was before and actually an improved version of that man as he has dealt with all of the “reasons” he used to justify cheating and dived into all the issues he brought into our marriage that he didn’t even realize existed.

        Without knowing what is behind her husband’s behaviors, I don’t believe that any of us can really tell her what she should be doing but offer her support, share what worked for us, and help her to become a strong woman who is equipped to make tough decisions one way or the other. I agree that God does not value an abusive marriage more than us individually. I believe that he cries in heaven when he sees us emotionally abused and is there for us to lean into and count on to reveal the direction that is best for us when we are ready to make those decisions. My devotion last night was based on Psalm 56.8 and the author Wm. Paul Young writes “Sometimes I feel that my weeping goes unnoticed, that my crying does not matter, spilling like rain and disappearing into the dust of life. To know you collect my tears matters to me.”

        • Aly on February 9, 2018 at 9:27 am

          Beth,

          I’m so terribly sorry but so grateful that your marriage was dismantled and restored.
          Your Post was well written and I agree with some many things you pointed out.

          Leslie mentioned and listed many important steps and healing (for the woman’s part) prior to any separation. That seemed like a last and final attempt for her health and her sanity. Even then many don’t see that separation isn’t divorce.

          Separation might be more about getting safe and healthier so she’s not being further victimized as she’s fighting her way through. It can also be the most loving thing for the other partner, the husband in this case being self destructive and destructive to the other spouse.

          No idea what’s the history of their dynamic or what is going on with the husband? Leslie brought up some good things to consider investigating.

          You mentioned something really valuable for others who might feel in a weaker place or confused about their next step;

          You wrote;
          “Often, in my case, the caring questions only led to more emotional abuse about my shortcomings”

          The ‘led to’ you mention i see as a result from another’s decision to protect, react and hurt.

          As for my situation, and it didn’t involve an affair, (maybe with himself) was that my questions were ‘my right to ask’ given the marital status. My RiGHT to ask, often an abusive person will act as if the partner doesn’t have the position to question or inquire.

          The Lord strengthened me with this truth and a healthy position of value.

          Often wives think gentle and caring and yes, my ‘questions were gentle and with love’ but dealing with someone who thinks they are above another they ~ quickly revert to a power issue and treat a spouse like she doesn’t have any business investigating the crazy marital environment she’s drowning in.
          Which is imp what you touched on where you (like myself and others) get repeatedly emotionally abused for actually doing the healthy and right thing!
          This is where those spouses acting out, acting like toddlers, abusing their position are ‘training’ their wives not to go there.

          Beth again I’m thankful you posted your restored marriage and I’m thankful you are experiencing your freedom and your healing! Praise God ✝️

          • Seeing the Light on February 9, 2018 at 10:12 am

            Aly,

            “My RiGHT to ask, often an abusive person will act as if the partner doesn’t have the position to question or inquire….Often wives think gentle and caring and yes, my ‘questions were gentle and with love’ but dealing with someone who thinks they are above another they ~ quickly revert to a power issue and treat a spouse like she doesn’t have any business investigating the crazy marital environment she’s drowning in….This is where those spouses acting out, acting like toddlers, abusing their position are ‘training’ their wives not to go there.”

            Yes! I am to submit. That’s it. Nothing else. I am not to dig into anything. Not the health of our marriage. Not who he is as a person and how he really feels about me or anything else. Not what love is and the lack in our marriage – that is really not my business! I am to obey my role and then I will have joy. That’s it. Case closed.



          • Beth on February 9, 2018 at 10:54 am

            Yes, that is what I experienced. Now I will tell you what I have learned through conversations with my husband during his healing process.

            He could not share his feelings with me, other than to attack me, because he could not share his double life. Attacking me and seeing only the “bad” in me helped him to subconsciously justify what he was doing. He will even admit that he believes he may have purposefully picked fights with me to make me angry. He also was compartmentalizing immensely and truthfully I believe, says he does not remember most of the emotionally abusing acts and conversations. While I may have been trying to discuss our issues in a loving way, he took anything that did not support his decisions, choices, or opinions as attacks while at the same time, having his ego continually stroked by his affair partners. For example, he played a on his phone for me once and asked if I liked it. It really wasn’t my kind of music and I said that. He attacked me for not liking anything he did, and for not loving him. If I had only known that all of his actions were so common as if taken from a “cheater’s handbook”, I would have recognized the signs so much sooner. Truly, becoming educated about affairs is the best thing I have ever done in understanding his actions, knowing that the way I felt was totally normal, and that healing is possible and what that should look like to be authentic. I only wish I had learned all of this so much sooner.

            But I should also add, that I never, in one million years, would have suspected him of having an affair much less several. There were none of the signs that you typically hear about unless you’ve studied it. His time was accounted for, no strange charges on our accounts, etc. Even his cell phone, used for work with multiple clients, had pseudonyms for his affair partners’ names. I am not saying that this woman’s husband is having an affair, just to state that even when you believe it is impossible that the spouse you know would ever have one, it may be true.



          • JoAnn on February 9, 2018 at 11:04 am

            Very insightful comments, Beth. I am so thankful that you and your husband are on the road to recovery. It is interesting that he has been honest with you to share his thoughts and motives while he was leading his double life. Very hard on you, and no doubt hard on his conscience, too. Praise the Lord that truth has prevailed! Enjoy your new life!



        • JoAnn on February 9, 2018 at 10:53 am

          Regarding this comment: “most husbands….” Please keep in mind that on this blog we are usually talking about abusive husbands, and in that case, what you said, Beth, may be true. But I think it is wrong to lump all men together in that way. There are some good, honest and faithful men out there, and my husband is one of them. Those of you who hope to remarry after your divorce must be patient to wait for the Lord to bring one of those good men into your life. Be patient, be careful, be observant, and keep on healing.

          • Beth on February 9, 2018 at 11:01 am

            JoAnn, I’m sorry and should clarify that I am speaking about husbands who are embroiled in a life of deception and affairs. In my attendance at meetings of betrayed spouses for 10 years, there was only ever one husband who admitted to having an affair without being caught first. And even those who are caught, often denied it.

            I am not speaking about men in general, only about those who have affairs. I have met many honorable men who were also betrayed by their wives and experienced many of the same behaviors.



    • Helen on February 27, 2018 at 9:51 am

      I found couples counseling to be more harmful than helpful. I was seen by them to beat least 50% of the problem. None saw how toxic the situation really was even though I was clear about my experiences. The counselors were “won over” by H’s quiet charm and in spite of the fact that he didn’t contribute anything to the sessions. Finding a counselor just for myself whose education included trauma counseling made all the difference in my life. It’s much better to be alone than to be lonely in the company of someone.

  2. Seeing the Light on February 7, 2018 at 9:37 am

    I just had a thought that may or may not be helpful. Leslie asked the woman about the history since she said it was becoming increasingly toxic. I wonder if the increasingly toxic description is in any way related to the children growing up. She mentioned conflict over many things, “from our young adult children to finances.” I have found that the growing up and leaving of children has had an effect on exposing the sickness of our marriage for many reasons. He doesn’t like the children making their own decisions. Less people to control means he must control me more. He doesn’t like that they aren’t naive young children anymore and see for themselves what he is like clearly so they distance themselves from him. He must blame me for that. He doesn’t have playmates anymore – he absolutely loved playing games and sports with them like a boy with his friends. They are no longer interested in that. I just wanted to suggest this as a possible reason a historically destructive marriage might be increasing in its overt toxicity.

    • Aly on February 7, 2018 at 9:58 am

      Seeing the Light!

      Wow~ such a good point!
      Yes, if the h is controlling then he could very well feel like he’s loosing his position in places. Yikes ~ so sad.

      I do think that when the children leave or are not under the same rules ‘So to speak’ the absence of the other family members highlight the marriage problems because when the children were there, they were a distraction of sorts from the marital trauma.

      • Seeing the Light on February 7, 2018 at 1:04 pm

        Thank you, Aly. This is very much on display in my home.

    • Ilona on March 1, 2018 at 1:41 pm

      If you google Attention addiction you will most likely come across the Wikipedia article on Narcissistic Personality disorder. Very often it is coupled with hystrionic personality disorder and some or other medical complaint, eg. hypochodria. What I found to be a real eye opener though and absolutely true in my case was the statement that it tends to get worse with age. This is consistently true in the case of my mom and my alcoholic ex-husband. In his case the long term effects of alcohol cloud everything, but my mom is not addicted to any substance. Her addiction to attention has most definitely worsened over the years. Almost as if the Narcissistic supply/fix no longer gives the same high. Perhaps this is in play here as well. Where the behaviour was covert and very much behind closed doors with a vivacious exterior to the world, the outbursts, particularly towards my dad have become more and more blatant, even muttering and swearing at him under her breath. A great warning to us who don’t have the hang of boundaries and who try to placate bad behaviour by walking on eggshells and endlessly tolerating. I am now 53, in my third, toxic marriage and only now learning that staying no matter what is not necessarily God’s plan and that He hates abuse. The long, hard journey to working on my core has begun but unlearning the tolerance (enabling) that I was taught as a child, mainly through the way my dear Dad thought it should be handled is so hard.

  3. Beth on February 7, 2018 at 11:07 am

    I’m so sorry that this woman is experiencing such emotional trauma in her life and it really caused a visceral reaction in me. I have been in her shoes and understand so much of what she said and even what she didn’t say but read between the lines.

    I can remember trying to bring up rather trivial things to my husband, even spending an entire day trying to come up with words that would be non confrontational and would be understood and received with a “normal” reaction only to have them twisted, blown up in my face, and thrown back at me.

    He would belittle my faith in front of my kids, state his own version of his faith and beliefs though he never read his Bible or studied anything, ever. And gradually, like a frog thrown in cold water and gradually heated up, my self confidence slowly disappeared and even my belief in myself and my own faith deteriorated. He acted totally contrary to anything and everything.

    I was barely holding my emotional head out of water and I have no idea why, but the thought of going to counseling alone didn’t even enter my mind. Perhaps it just didn’t occur to me that by me having therapy, I would be strong enough to make some tough choices and set some boundaries to protect my sanity. I only thought of counseling in terms of us as a couple and like this woman, my husband “didn’t believe in counseling”.

    Six years later I found out he was having affairs and after 7 months of trickling truths found out that there had been multiple affairs as well as financial cheating, outright lies constantly, and a million other things that someone cheating often does. He is now considered a sex addict and has joined support groups and has counseling. I have had counseling, but even today I find that the effects of living under the past emotional abuse still haunts me and there are times when I am stressed about other life events, that I realize how I am still, after many years, still feeling that trauma in my health and ability to roll with life’s punches.

    I had “graduated” from therapy and had been doing very well but am learning that I will need to have third party help for a long time. Perhaps this woman’s husband is not cheating, having an affair, or have a sexual addiction, but whatever the cause, the emotional abuse she is experiencing is devastating and I hope that she can find the strength that I couldn’t to seek out her own therapy to become the strong woman that is buried inside.

  4. Barbara B on February 7, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    To the original writer: I think you are doing so many things right. First of all, you took the courageous step to come to Leslie’s site and be honest and vulnerable. I see that you are smart because you can spot and put into words things that don’t make sense in your husband’s behavior. Also, you have good character for trying to communicate well even when he doesn’t try as much.
    Leslie has asked us to say what we would do as a next step. I would ask God to help me learn a whole new and different way of relating to my husband. For whatever reason (he has changed or your eyes have been opened), the past ways of coping aren’t going to work any more so a new viewpoint and skill set is needed. My goodness, that is so easy to say on paper but of course so very difficult to carry out. I know when I have had to make fundamental shifts with family members I always have so many fears and tears. I hope you can find a good counselor, not one who will lay a bunch of worthless rules on you, but one who will help you walk fully in both grace and truth. I’m sorry you are suffering so much from your husband. It’s not right for him to act the way he is. I’m praying for you.

    • Nancy on February 7, 2018 at 12:49 pm

      Such a compassionate response, Barbara. I agree. In particular with the part about it being so easy to say, but so very difficult to do.

      The biggest change in my own heart and behaviour came after The Lord enabled me to lay my marriage at the cross.

      We so desperately need Him!

    • Aly on February 7, 2018 at 1:22 pm

      Barbara B,

      I also agree such a sweet encouraging & supportive response!

      You wrote;
      “I would ask God to help me learn a whole new and different way of relating to my husband. For whatever reason (he has changed or your eyes have been opened), the past ways of coping aren’t going to work any more so a new viewpoint and skill set is needed.”

      Would you be able to describe this ‘different way of relating’ in more detail? Or give examples?

      • Barbara B on February 7, 2018 at 5:10 pm

        Hi Aly,

        If we heard how the guy in the original post was acting, but we didn’t know his age, wouldn’t we assume he was a child or a toddler? Basically he’s throwing a fit when he doesn’t get what he wants. So a different way of relating might be to treat him like a toddler when he acts like one. That’s kind of an unusual statement in Christian circles but a grown man acting like a child is not normal, either. A couple of weeks ago there were suggestions for one-liners such as, “When you’re ready to talk about it, let me know;” and then ignore his sulking. Or, “When you’re ready to talk without accusing me, let me know,” and then leave, go somewhere safe away from the poisonous temper tantrum. I really appreciate what Nancy says about laying the relationship at the cross. That’s the hardest part. I have to face the fear that if I stop bowing to the family tyrant, he or she might abandon me forever. That’s why we need God’s help. A good counselor sure can be a big help, too.

        • Aly on February 7, 2018 at 7:32 pm

          Barbara B,

          Such good examples, and yes one~ liners of sorts can really help especially ‘toddlerville’.
          It took me along time to learn this;)

          You mentioned the fear of being abandoned by the family Tyrant, well that’s part of my story and I’m living and prefer to live where I’m at rather than that place of ‘fear’ ~ the truth about that is the family tyrant or covert controller, has already abandoned anyways.

          Hugs and prayers for your journey💕

          • Barbara B on February 8, 2018 at 9:03 am

            Aly, I’m so glad you’re safe and happy now. Your words about fear are so powerful and make so much sense. When a person starts acting like a tyrant, it’s too late to try to save anything or prevent anything.



    • Renee on February 8, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      [I would ask God to help me learn a whole new and different way of relating to my husband.] In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

      At times I find myself having a reaction (start feeling tense), on the inside, when there is no need. Sometimes there is a need/reason (possibly ?) but then at other times I have to catch myself and ask why are you getting all worked up.

      My non-legal disclaimer. Speaking of my life but the writer’s post seems so familiar.

      • Free on February 10, 2018 at 4:38 am

        Trust your autonomic responses. There is a reason. Your body holds a memory and is not betraying you. You owe it to yourself to listen to you intuition. There IS a problem and it might be something unresolved from your past. Your body has a great physiological memory designed by our wonderful creator. Heed it’s warnings, they are a gift!

        • Free on February 10, 2018 at 4:47 am

          Apologizes for grammatical errors. It is hard to review my entries on my the tiny screen on my phone.

          My point was don’t silence the ques the body sends us. They are a message uniquely designed by our creator to protect us. I think it is wiser to heed the warning and respect the body’s response as a protective mechanism designed by God.

          • Free on February 10, 2018 at 4:48 am

            More grammatical errors….oh, well.



          • Renee on February 10, 2018 at 9:31 am

            I hear you Free loud and clear. Thank You! Message received and welcomed.



  5. Dawn on February 7, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    It sounds exactly like my life! I got out! It’s what you need to do. Your husband is a Narcissist and will continue to abuse you. I just recently had a lot affirmation from other women that tell me I’m doing the right thing and to stay strong. I want to pass it on to you….Please get some counseling or support for yourself. It wont be easy but baby steps….You need to take care of YOU first. I left my husband after 38 years….I would be willing to talk to you if you would like….

    • Free on February 10, 2018 at 4:32 am

      Dawn, I think you speak the truth. Many of swirl around in the tornado for years, confused, trying to fix something that our partner doesn’t want to fix. I have learned that healthy people leave immediately, like running from a fire. Those of us who linger, ouch here it comes…. don’t value themselves properly. We are an odd subgroup, usually deeply religious, who stay. To complicate things we have children with this person and turn ourselves inside out trying to accommodate the destructive person.

      I think an interesting blog discussion would be to profile us. Who stays in such a situation? What are the characteristics of women who rationalize mistreatment and don’t flee danger?

      Last thought, I had a friend who was newly married and pregnant. One night she was tired and took a bath after she had prepared dinner. She left the pots in the stove and when he husband came home she said, I left the dinner on the stove, you can help yourself. I was so tired that I took a bath and I am headed to bed. He screamed at her, How dare she etc… And then took the pot off the stove and hit her on the head in the bath. She dressed, ran from him, got in the car and never came back. That was a normal response!

      I on the other hand probably would have tried to talk about it, been patient, prayed about it, thought what did I do wrong, not told anyone etc.. I think you see the difference. One behavior was normal and the other, was vastly abnormal. Many of our blogging friends stay, our judgement is off and we are trying to make sense of evil. I gently and with live say there is something wrong with US. We need counsel, we need an intervention, and we need to change.

      Thanks for listening.

      • Aly on February 10, 2018 at 9:06 am

        Free,

        I would completely agree with you and that example above and many other examples that continue to bring light to those hurt or traumatized.

        I think when the abuse is overt, it’s clear especially to us on the outside and especially for a healthy individual who has not been taught devaluing tolerance or is not in a compromised position of dependency.
        However, when the abuse is emotional and Covert it’s much more subtle, irregular and the emotional swings of the destructive one, cause the other healthier spouse to sometimes question themselves more than necessary, because if you can question or investigate your behavior that’s a first sign of any healthy response (offender or victim). If you can’t question your actions or motives, and you believe you are perfectly entitled to say or do or behave in any form and there is No considering… there shows that something is Core developmentally wrong!!!

        I had learned unhealthy tolerance for a lot of covert behavior and those with the power and position were not to held accountable ~ fast fwd:
        I ended up married to someone ‘highly immature with little coping skills’ I had no idea what I was dealing with because even though I was taught unhealthy balance and lived it I had no idea or how BAD .. a marital dynamic would be of such nature ~
        Because the abuse is one, not always consistent, and at times so covert ~ one must write every thing down to keep their head from spinning.

        Praise God, He equipped me and my husband got interventions and Healing for his core issues.
        Many never do, and end up staying in their marriages often until their later years 20, 30,+ and it’s that much more difficult on the spouse to ‘awaken the destruction or pile of poop they are desensitized from’.
        😥
        Some do get help and get healthy and the marital outcome is left to God!

        • Hope on February 27, 2018 at 11:43 am

          Your situation sounds very much like mine…I wish in many ways I’d separated earlier, I feel that every year I wait there are greater consequences and less chance that my husband will start to respect me…am currently trying to get up the courage to leave him after he has upped the disrespect significantly and is pushing me to make a decision. Thank you for the benefit of your experience.

          • Aly on February 27, 2018 at 1:05 pm

            Hope,

            Can you maybe expand on why it is that you would be the one to leave?
            Not saying you shouldn’t or should, just wondering if there are other possibilities since you say your husband is pushing you to make a decision.

            Based on your experience and his mindset as you describe ~ you leaving is far ‘easier on him’than him leaving etc. so in some ways he can stay the victim or justified in it looking like you abandoned him.



      • JoAnn on February 10, 2018 at 10:18 am

        Free, I agree with you. That’s why Leslie emphasized developing CORE strength. We need to be healthy in order to clearly understand how the Lord is leading us. So often our concepts, teachings, and upbringing get in the way of being able to clearly discern the Lord’s leading. Those things need to be stripped away so that we can have “the mind of Christ.”

      • Carolyn on March 1, 2018 at 2:16 pm

        Free, thank you for the two different responses to one situation. I absolutely do the part of immediately trying to figure out what I did wrong, how I can ask for forgiveness, and later prayed for help. I have spent most of my life submitting to men, being told over and over again, that I as a woman, am to do that. I have spent many years in counseling. When I have lived by myself, I am so much more confident, and really like myself. I got lucky with my first husband, my best friend, who lost a battle with cancer. Then my second, “the vulture”, came along when I wasn’t thinking straight. Left him, got myself together, and feeling great, only to fall for a Jeckyl/Hyde. He has so much repressed anger, and doesn’t seem to ever let go of it. Many people, friends, who he feels have betrayed him. He definitely has a “second life”, and likes it there. He keeps putting more and more of what should be a part of marriage into the “second life” category, shutting me out. So much more. There hasn’t been a single person who knows my situation, including a few counselors, that doesn’t tell me to get out. I am disabled, and can no longer work. Social Security doesn’t pay the bills, so I am stuck. The counselor I have been seeing doesn’t even want to help me figure out how to live with him. My last counselor kept telling me to do what he wanted, no matter how many times he changed his mind about it. So, this morning, after being locked out of our joint checking and savings, complained that I didn’t pay the cable bill, and now we have a late fee. Exactly how was I going to do that? So, go along with what he wants when one minute something is ours, and the next I have no right to it. I have even been told that I have no right to listen to phone conversations that he has in our home! The lies, the cheating, and physical, emotional, verbal abuse. I pray for strength, wisdom every day. but I so often get so anxious, tense, afraid, that I forget who I am, and what the truth is. Probably 10% of our conflicts are resolved. I am trying to stop acting like a programmed robot.

    • Debbie on February 27, 2018 at 8:21 am

      How do we find good counselor that believes you ?

      My eyes are opened

      I’ve started recording our conversations and also let him know we can communicate about things over email. Which is a total relief. I’ve gone to church too many times with no avail

      I have released the marriage to God

      I resonate with everything said here.

      Our family has a real needs A proper home. 6 living in 1,000 square feet and I really don’t have what I need to run the home. Husband makes over $100,000 and we have little debt

      I’m at a loss how to financial get equal ground and get the home we need for our family. Part of it is also having an environment I can entertain and build relationships we so desperately need

      I have the support of both my parents and his parent on the issue

      His reasonings are all very “ biblical” for not going into debt but out living situation is not adequate and I’m. I longer interested in living under his control

      I’ve nade the mistake of threatening to separate I don’t want to live as a single mom right now

      I heard the lord say that we must uphold a standard of joy for ourselves. Meaning there is strength when we are happy. I need help getting out of this unhappy situation of 25 years and I’m willing to do anything it takes. I just want to do it right and not go around and around

      • Aly on February 27, 2018 at 10:34 am

        Debbie,

        You wrote:
        “Our family has a real needs A proper home. 6 living in 1,000 square feet and I really don’t have what I need to run the home. Husband makes over $100,000 and we have little debt”

        Can you speak to who in the marriage makes these living decisions?

        Would you say that you are in a power and possibly a value struggle with your partner?

        Does your husband consider your interests and legitimate needs of value to you as much as his own decisions for your family environment?

        Sorry to ask so many questions but as I read your post many came to me and I’m wondering more about your dynamic.

    • Lena on September 8, 2022 at 1:01 am

      Im in a similar situation I been married for 31 years, My son 31 years old, stay with us sometimes. When he is having a hard trying to make it on his own. My husband neaver taught him how to become a man. I raise him the best I knew how. My husband is the only child
      He a very angry person, from his childhood life. He.real dont want his son around. My husband is alcoholic he also do crack, He.say lm the cause of it all he need take responsibility. for himself .Thank God.for the holy spirit. That guide me . Because without him I will be depressed. Pray for him and my son because my son is angry too under his leadership.

  6. John on February 8, 2018 at 2:42 am

    Well, not sure if this is the right place for a man to comment but………… here is what I see. Most men have a lot of negative characteristics that they were either handed down from their parents or have simply not developed or matured in certain areas of their lives. Both husband and wife did not show their true baggage when they first met, fell in love and eventually got married, for better or for worse. Its these painful times in life that actually are opportunities to overcome and have great victory. The reality is that there are two sides to every story. To give advice to divorce because it worked good for you, or at least you think so, is to do the woman who wrote in a disservice because you do not know the details. Hurting people are vulnerable and advice is best sought on our knees before the Most High God and from His true people. Not those who say they are Christians but advise contrary to scripture like they have a score to settle from their own broken relationships. At best I see these posts as a place for woman to vent and at worst a sympathy circle that is destroying families. After all, most relationship issues come from broken families passing on their garbage to their children. So, problems that broken families created are not going to be fixed by creating more broken families. What God has joined, let no man put usunder, is not a licence to abuse but more of a border around marriage that says I am not going anywhere. If Gods view of marriage does not even exist in the minds of husband and wife or at least in one of their minds then all is for not anyway. Look up stats of divorce and roll your dice and better luck next time, explain it to the kids and have the mess drag around for the rest of your life, no matter how much you try ignore it. My words are in no way conclusive whatsoever, I just couldn’t help but quickly throw out some thoughts before I help my wife put the kids to sleep. I don’t know the details of the issue but what I do know is that any good advice you will receive will not contradict the word of God and if it does it is not Gods word but mans and should be rejected as such. My heart goes out to you and your husband. My wife and I just pulled through a seemingly impossible situation and I can honestly say that it is like I just met her and she says the same. I can see things I was once blind to and she is looking whithin. Yes I believe I was the cause of 99% of our problems, but something has changed. I absolutely am head over heels in love with my wife and have already experienced many of the same stresses in our marriage all to which I have been given a different game plan to deal with. I am finally learning after 15 years to sleep in the boat will there is a storm outside. To know something is one thing, too experience it is totally different and powerful. Not by power or by might but by My word sayeth the Lord. He will fight for you but you have to trust Him and take the necessary steps you know you have to take. God has people in your life that are waiting for a moment like this to help. Even “Christian” Councillors can have their own tinted glass over laid on the Word of God that impairs their ability to give sound advice. My wifes Councillor told her to divorce me and her we are like high school sweethearts slowly healing all the past hurts. My wife has been following Lelsie’s stuff for years and for the valuable insight she has gained I am grateful. She was able to see things in me that both her or I did not even know were there but at the same time the info she was taking in was slowly pulling us further and further apart as In now was labeled with ever label you can imagine, beyond repair.
    You really have to insure the voices you allow in your head are from God and if the are they will agree with His word.
    My wife humbled herself before the Lord and I was broken beyond anything I have ever experienced before and I know that He is healing us. We are covering so much ground so fast its amazing. So be careful with the, woe is me sympathy crowd. Recognizing the problem is just the begging, staying focused on the problem will destroy you. Move fast into solutions. It takes work but it is so worth it. I am, in my own conviction, an over the top Christian man yet I owe so much to my proverbs 31 wife who fought so hard for me to help me see that I really was not quite what I thought I was regardless of my intentions. Unless the Lord builds it the labour is in vain and it will not stand. Cry out to Father and He will here you and already does. Surround yourself with Christ even if He will not come with you. When God opens his eyes to the true daughter of God that has been placed in his care he will be eternally broken and forever changed. God promises and He can keep His promises and bring them to pass. Guaranteed! Maybe hes a cheating bastard, I don’t know, but I do know God can brake us and build us up. You have hard hard decision to make. Be strong girl, you are gonna be ok. My healing is so fresh I am crying while I am typing. It is so worth it to be healed. I have pictures up all over the house of our wedding day when we got baptized together. In and out of the water holding hands. So freezing cold that lake was 🙂 Pictures of when we first met. She is so beautiful it hurts. Our marriage is not an idol but an example of God love for His church(his people).
    Get alone and take this is. It will give you powerful perspective.
    http://www.ubm1.org/sabs/01-28-2018.mp3

    This will give you hope.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7RbBB-lT5o

    This will make you cry and soften you heart. I am learning it on the piano so I can play it for my Wife. It brings is both to tears.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjF9IqvXDjY

    God bless from our family to yours. Hang in there. No matter what happens, anything hurt we may go through in this life is nothing compared to the glory we will receive in heaven, but to get there we need Christ living in us and when he does His light shining through you will tear down strongholds and brake down walls and set you free. Praise God. Love you so much.
    Thoughts are not edited just typed out quickly. Gotta go enjoy a movie in front of the fireplace with the woman of my dreams. Always has been always will be!

    • Renee on February 8, 2018 at 6:54 pm

      [Most men have a lot of negative characteristics that they were either handed down from their parents or have simply not developed or matured in certain areas of their lives.]

      John, I am speaking of things that I am hearing from males in my life. My non-legal disclaimer.

      For example; I started learning of my father’s indiscretions as I became an adult. I never knew because he took such great care of mom and us and well she hid any emotional upsets. What I mean by taking care is that some men allow their family to suffer once they stray. However, he says he was taught, including by his father, never to put his all into one (I think they use to call it eggs in one basket). He says once he started studying the Bible for himself, he learned how wrong his behavior and those teachings were.

      My husband also shared a story saying his father never allowed anyone to close doors in the home. Of course, he I believe could be trying to justify his behavior. I sympathized about what he as a child endured with that form of control. He became semi-defensive that it was not the intentions of his father to be controlling but to welcome openness (as in no one had anything to hide). I explained that his father’s behavior does not welcome openness but created exactly the opposite.

      Behavior (whether good or bad) is being learned from many sources.

    • JoAnn on February 8, 2018 at 9:46 pm

      John, thank you for your thoughtful comments. We rejoice with you that your marriage has turned around and that you and your wife are experiencing a renewal of your love for each other. Praise the Lord for that!!
      I understand your concern for people who misunderstand what’s going on here on the blog as being an endorsement of divorce as a way out of an unhappy marriage. As you read the stories told here, you can see that the women here have all considered divorce as a last resort, and in fact, many have tried numerous ways to save their marriages with no response on the part of their spouse. Many admit that they should have left sooner because of the toll the stress has had on their bodies physically and on their children. Advice, when it is given, nearly always encourages getting clear with the Lord what they should do, and to that end, Leslie encourages getting stronger via the CORE principles. (It’s in the book, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage) The boundaries that Leslie encourages have the goal of helping the abusive husband to recognize the effect his behavior is having on his wife and inciting him to change, while helping her to protect her own heart. So, your advice to “surround yourself with Christ” is good advice, as no one can endure the stress of these situations without the grace of God operating in them.
      Again, I rejoice with you that the Lord has moved in your marriage and restored it into a godly relationship. Thanks for sharing. It’s always great to hear a success story.

      • Barbara L on February 9, 2018 at 7:40 pm

        Yes, JoAnn, I completely agree with what you say about the purpose for the advice on this blog: To promote the grace and truth of Christ. Both “sides of the story” get grace and both sides get truth. Part of surrounding ourselves with Christ is being careful not to receive any one person’s words as gospel truth, even if that person has a position of spiritual authority. Every human being can make mistakes, no matter his or her spiritual position or title. That’s why I checked the UBM (Unleavened Bread Ministries) material suggested by John. Unfortunately I can’t really say that I would recommend this material. Others may have a different opinion, but I find it unbiblical to say that God does not speak to married women directly, but only through their husbands. I’m also concerned about the heavy emphasis on God being angry and punishing people who don’t comply with the many exact standards and rules He has, one of those rules being no divorce except for infidelity. I have no interest in starting a Bible Battle with anyone posting on this blog! I’m mainly concerned that the original writer knows that people will claim to have the final word on difficult subjects in the Bible, but the main point for her to know is that there is no excuse for her husband’s behavior toward her and the first thing that needs to happen is for her to be safe.

        • Barbara B on February 9, 2018 at 7:42 pm

          Gaah I did it again! This is Barbara B not Barbara L.

        • Seeing the Light on February 9, 2018 at 9:05 pm

          Amen, Barbara.

    • Seeing the Light on February 9, 2018 at 10:03 pm

      John, I just have some thoughts in response to your comment. I have no desire to get into an argument or a lengthy exchange, but I was concerned about some of the things you stated and shared. I thought it best to take the time to make sure I was not responding reflexively. I tend to speak up when I hear something that I am think might increase pressure on a suffering spouse, and your comment was one of those that concerned me thus. As your comment was long, I won’t be able to address everything. I will just address a few thoughts.

      You said, “Hurting people are vulnerable and advice is best sought on our knees before the Most High God and from His true people. Not those who say they are Christians but advise contrary to scripture like they have a score to settle from their own broken relationships. At best I see these posts as a place for woman to vent and at worst a sympathy circle that is destroying families.” You appear to be judging the salvation of those who advise a woman in an abusive or destructive marriage that she may leave in some situations. You seem to be judging the motives of such a person as you characterize him or her as having “a score to settle.” Additionally, I do not know how many posts and how many comments you have read, but this is much more than a place to vent or get sympathy. I am sorry you don’t see that. Praise God for a place where Christian women can share their suffering, bear each other’s burdens, and find godly and scriptural counsel, including the counsel that sometimes leaving is acceptable.

      You said, “After all, most relationship issues come from broken families passing on their garbage to their children. So, problems that broken families created are not going to be fixed by creating more broken families.” I agree broken families are not a good thing and creating more broken families doesn’t fix anything. I came from a broken family, and my parents never divorced. My husband came from a broken family, and his parents never divorced. Divorce does not equal broken. Broken is broken. Legal divorce does not make a sick relationship or sick people more broken.

      You said, “Recognizing the problem is just the begging, staying focused on the problem will destroy you. Move fast into solutions.” Never moving on to solutions is certainly a problem, but I completely disagree with the advice to “move fast into solutions.” I know you have taken responsibility for 99% of the problems in your marriage. I am glad you have been able to see that and repent of it. I don’t know if you were abusive or not, but it’s a red flag for women living with truly abusive men when such men want to rush reconciliation without rebuilding trust with patience.

      You said, “When God opens his eyes to the true daughter of God that has been placed in his care he will be eternally broken and forever changed. God promises and He can keep His promises and bring them to pass.” Yes. God can. Are you implying that God has promised to restore every marriage as long as one spouse has faith and believes He will do it. I think this is crucial to understanding your perspective. I do not believe that. I believe that one spouse can be a Christian, walking with Christ, walking in obedience and that does not mean God has promised to change the abusive spouse and that does not mean God has promised to restore the marriage (and in some cases build it for the first time since some marriages have been toxic from the beginning).

      I listened to just over half of the message you shared from ubm1.org. I was concerned with what I heard. The preacher shared stories of believing for miraculous physical hearings. He shared a story about himself breaking his arm in a motorcycle accident. He said he refused the doctor’s advice to set the break. He said he believed God that it was healed and he in fact was healed when he believed it was. He shared other stories of miraculous physical healing when others believed they were healed. He used language that expressed doubt that another truly had faith because that person was not walking in faith after this pattern. This does not sound good. (If I have misunderstood, please enlighten me).

      I am concerned you might be putting pressure on women in seriously destructive situations with unrepentant, abusive men to believe for the salvation of their husbands and their marriages and that if they do, they are promised that God will do it. Again, if I have misunderstood you, please correct me.

      You said, “My wife humbled herself before the Lord and I was broken beyond anything I have ever experienced before and I know that He is healing us.” That is truly wonderful. There are, however, many women who humble themselves before the Lord and their husbands are not “broken.” That does not reflect any fault or defect of faith on the wife’s part.

      I mean no unkindness toward you. I am happy for you and your wife that you are experiencing so much love and joy.

      • Barbara B on February 9, 2018 at 10:56 pm

        Seeing the Light, thanks so much for your clear and concise thinking. This is so helpful. I was greatly helped by each of your points but especially when you talked about brokenness being a completely different condition than divorced. You’re right. Divorce isn’t the break; the break is the break and it happened long before the divorce. This reminds me of what Aly wrote on February 7 about the tyrant/controller having abandoned the family long before the spouse even knew to try to prevent that happening. I think this insight explains why so many on this blog have similar experiences of trying harder to fix things but getting nowhere. It’s because the spouse has already made up his/her mind and isn’t interested in fixing.

        • Seeing the Light on February 10, 2018 at 8:05 pm

          I find myself thinking Amen! when I read your comments, Barbara. I just wanted to let you know that I find your thoughts to be quite helpful.

  7. SunRiseIsland on February 8, 2018 at 4:12 am

    This post resonates so close to my heart. This was my life of almost 20 years. I got out.

    In the beginning, there were marital problems (as all marriages endure) and I believed in working through those issues and guessed this was just the torrain of marital storms but the last 3 years became extreme hell from the family tryant (everyone walking on eggshells, his hot/cold moods, jekyll & hyde personas, rage, blameshifting, sulking, silent treatments and no accountability). The ultimate betrayal was his single-double life.

    After practically bending into a pretzel to avoid his tantrums and criticisms and as Leslie stated doing any & everything to help him see himself (including the non-shaming talks & “I” statements about his destruction), change was not part of his plan, abuse, control and gaslighting was.

    There were unacceptable behaviors with women and affairs that we were In counseling to heal from (I was counseling, he was pretending to work on marriage but his words and actions never matched). It was as if he was two different men to me, the one I married and the unknown imposter he became. I finally came to realize that nothing I did or the love I continued to give was going to change him, in fact his abuse worsened.

    The beginning of the end of our marriage came about after a new (well paying) job was secured. He associated this power in earnings as his ticket to abuse his family and do what he wanted without any accountability to me or the responsibility of marriage. Although it was NEVER what I wanted, filing for divorce was my final option that I nonetheless executed!!!

    My heart and prayers go out to the author of this letter or anyone whose life has been shattered to pieces by a spouse who exhibits flawed character/personality traits that are commonly known as NPD.

    • Free on February 8, 2018 at 10:26 am

      How are you doing now? I understand many of us just don’t leave soon enough, we see the signs and think we can do something to change our spouses behavior. I wish that was true, but sadly, it is just magical thinking. Thanks for your post.

      • SunRiseIsland on February 8, 2018 at 2:59 pm

        Hi Free,

        I’m much better & taking one day at a time, Thank you for asking. I’m honestly still trying hard to wrap my mind around being at this place in my life and marriage, while also tryn to have some compassion for myself for not leaving sooner. Like many of us, I stayed longer and took wayyyyy more bad behavior than I should have until reality FINALLY kicked in that I was the ONLY one fighting and trying hard to make sense out of behavior that is/was incredibly senseless.

        Hugs to you 😘

  8. Aleea on February 8, 2018 at 6:34 am

    “. . . .If you were her, what next step would you take?”

    . . .Hmm, well, I would find the most risky-faith thing in prayer I think God would want me to do and start doing it. Sometimes we need to shift our focus. . . .Maybe throw off every conceptual cloak of self-defense and go for a ecstatic self-emptying. A re-boot. . . .Then ask God to start deeply changing you. Your husband can’t interact with a you that is no longer there. He would have to interact with a new you. Sometimes you simply have to remind yourself to relinquish the goal of having a better past. . . .I would urge you to project yourself into the future and to consider how you can live now so that five years hence you will be able to look back upon life without regret sweeping over you. I bet you already know what that looks like but often we don’t want to know what we already know.

    So, I’d sell my cleverness and buy total bewilderment:
    1. Really, deeply tell the truth, as best you know how, about everything, —just everything.
    2. Do not do things that you or God hates, even if others are doing them.
    3. Pursue what is meaningful (ultimate concerns), not what is expedient.
    4. Remember that what you do not yet know is probably far, far, far more important than what you already know or think you know (—Learning, yes!!! —For all of us!!!).

    We cannot change, we cannot move away from what we are, until we thoroughly accept what we are. Then change seems to come about almost unnoticed. —And it could be that no one heals without gullible caring, in which we are accepted as who we say we are, not with a lurking, constant suspicion in the therapist’s mind that the person may, in fact, be otherwise. —And that attitude is not stupidity on the therapist’s part (—see the research); it is the kind of attitude that is most likely to lead to trust. . . Trust = healing. The rest are massive, never-ending wars over what scriptures “really say” and shattered homes, broken children, wasted lives. —I see it Lord, just give me the strength to keeping crossing the thresholds.

    re: “I’ve suggested counseling on numerous occasions and his reaction is visceral – doesn’t want to go because he’s “not a big believer in counseling.”

    But that is exactly why he should go!!! Change is your real friend but change never looks that way. But if you stay locked down, you are just finished. Also, what you do not yet know is so often far more important that what you think you already know. . . . .If you want to, have your husband e-mail me [my e-mail is in that Gravatar symbol📤 📡 μετά☄νοια📶📥†ރ😊] and I will do my level best to flat out convince him to go to the best Christian counseling he can find. Counseling is the best thing e-v-e-r, even when it is excruciatingly hard, even when it is excruciatingly slow, even when it seems totally ineffective. It is like actually having a friend you can tell anything to, who prays with you and loves you and pushes you to your limits and beyond. It is terribly good stuff even though it is very hard and frustrating. It provides a safe relationship with someone who is healthy that your husband may use for his own personal growth.

    . . .The relationship is so critical. Generally, it’s not ideas, nor vision, nor tools that truly matter in counseling and therapy. When they have debriefed thousands and thousands of patients at the end of counseling/ therapy about the process, what do they remember? Never the ideas —it’s always the relationship! It’s revealing yourself fully to another and actually still being accepted. . . .Generally, that simply doesn’t ever happen at home, certainly often not at church, often not even with good Christian friends, although it should. But you want all that to transition to your marriage. Any genuinely loving relationship is actually one of mutual psychotherapy.

    . . .You would think it would run the other way but it does not: Complexity is a product of unawareness and simplicity a result of awareness! —Simply amazing!!! Healing means refocusing and all you need is one safe anchor to keep you grounded when the rest of your life spins out of control. So the main curative part of is the relationship itself. This is what should be happening in our marriages but. . . . res ipsa loquitur!!!🏁

    “He has suggested we try to do things on our own like take a trip or go through a book and pray together now and then, . . .” . . .The caterpillar does not become a butterfly by telling everybody it has wings. Re: Dear God, Thank you for waking me up today (YES!!!) and for your everlasting love and never ending mercy! It actually buries itself in darkness and grows those wings. Truth is the most powerful technology ever. Static people, often like me, love to compensate for their inability to change themselves by always trying to change their world, —not effective. Always work inside. . . .Oh, and pray “now and then” part . . .well, take it and do it together. —But hopefully, hopefully it will become consistent re:—pray first, often and every single day. If you want to create a different future, you have to do what you haven’t done before. You must walk into the total unknown. —Just deeply, clearly, carefully tell the truth about everything, as best you can. Truth (not pretending, not outcome engineering, etc.) changes everything. . . .Start with small things, that strengthens you and after awhile, you’ll be able to tell the truth about really big, important, difficult things that really get you in hot water. . . .Then things will just naturally start changing. When someone says you’ve changed, it’s because you are no longer willing to live your life their way. . . .Nothing in our worlds is going to change unless we change. Because even if something changes we really won’t recognize it. We will still perceive it with our unchanged and out-dated vision❣💫

  9. Connie on February 8, 2018 at 8:48 am

    I read some of the reviews on amazon. I’m hoping this is not another ‘pink book’……Fascinating Womanhood……that many of us read years ago, that promised such bliss and delivered slavery.

    • many years on February 11, 2018 at 12:30 am

      I read ‘Fascinating Womanhood’ too, Connie, and it taught about being the ‘domestic goddess’…the woman whom the husband could not find ‘fault’ with as she ‘kept a perfect household’ according to Proverbs 31. How far from reality that book was! It was a sugar-coated dream of the ‘perfect’ wife for the ‘perfect’ husband. It catered to ‘pleasing the husband’ always having food that he wanted toward the front of the refrigerator so that ‘he’ wouldn’t have to search the refrigerator (before he got mad and couldn’t find it!) etc. etc. Always being cheerful, having the kids in order, blah, blah, blah. Nice thought but who really lived like that? Always having his clothes clean for HIM, no children’s bikes in the driveway when he came home from work, etc. It leaned toward holding the husband up as a small god! It wasn’t about how the husband was to treat the wife. All the responsibility of ‘being good’ was laid upon the shoulders of the wife. Being totally submissive, ad nauseum to the point of being a maid in a King’s castle, but not your OWN or SHARED castle.

      The book did not address abuse in marriage, so how in the world could an abused wife realize that her husband was not the ‘perfect’ man he was supposed to be? When none of the experiences in the book fit the abusive marriage? And we wondered why it wasn’t working even when we were attempting to do everything the book told us to do? It’s because it wasn’t MEANT to work for abusive marriages. And it took YEARS for any of us to find some relief when real and honest, and godly councilors came upon the abusive scene in so-called Christian marriages. I say, so-called, because some marriages were of convenience sake due to a couple being in a conformed ‘cult-based’ church, so the couple did what the ministers told them to do.

      Anyway, I know how the ‘poster’ wife feels, as that was my quandary too, in my marriage. There were no answers 40 years ago.

      The one thing that I have found on my journey to being a healthy Christian believer is that YOUR HUSBAND, no matter HOW spiritual he may be, CANNOT define your own faith in Christ. And you cannot define his walk with Christ either. We can only lean on our Heavenly Father, and the Holy Spirit, and Christ, who is the WORD and we HAVE TO do this for OURSELVES!

      And if God reveals that your husband may not truly be a believer, but ‘walks the walk, and talks the talk’ yet when it comes down to the actual ‘living’ the life, the fruit cannot be forced if it is not there. There are many ‘good’ men in the world, but if you don’t have a true spiritual connection with your husband, and he is not willing to face his faults, which are spelled out in God’s word for a Christian husband to naturally want to do in his spiritual heart, then there may be pause to consider whether he is even a believer, as you can talk all you want to him, can lovingly confront him, but when he comes back and says: ‘What triggered you to want to talk about US?’ Then I would seriously question his salvation, because a true believer will WANT TO SIT DOWN and try to figure out how to keep a marriage in tact. And it won’t be about the finances being used a a scapegoat which the husband uses as a form of punishment against the wife wanting what is rightfully hers, and him using it as a financial weapon against her, because, in fact, he is scared to death to loose control over the finances, or whatever he is afraid of loosing, and it doesn’t appear that he is afraid of loosing YOU! This is how the mind of a dissassociative personality person thinks and protects themselves. I have only found this out recently. And it is only God and the Holy Spirit who can draw the husband to God. After we have done what God has asked for us to do as the wife, in lovingly confronting, etc. and the husband gets a blank look on his face, and cannot comprehend what you are spiritually talking about, it is time to realize that you are most likely living with an unsaved spouse. And I do blame the church of 40 years ago who were just as clueless as we have been, but NOW, TODAY, we have chosen to know the TRUTH of the matter and it shall make us free in Jesus.
      And everything Leslie said is ‘spot’ on.

      • Aly on February 11, 2018 at 10:16 am

        Many Years,

        Wow~ what great perspective of your experience of a book an of understanding places of community and cultural influences. You brought up such important things.

        You wrote:
        “The book did not address abuse in marriage, so how in the world could an abused wife realize that her husband was not the ‘perfect’ man he was supposed to be? When none of the experiences in the book fit the abusive marriage?

        To me this makes sense because you often won’t see abuse ‘in a spouse’ until they are displeased. If they are always getting what they want, when they want, and everyone is orbiting around them.., often the temper tantrum is at bay until they don’t get what they want and then the abusive behavior ‘erupts’ from just under the surface. The abusive partner feels quite entitled to be upset and to behave the way they justify~ to them it’s not abusive.

        You wrote;
        “And we wondered why it wasn’t working even when we were attempting to do everything the book told us to do? It’s because it wasn’t MEANT to work for abusive marriages. ”

        Your correct, and I’m not sure it ‘really works’ in healthy marriages either where people face real time life and situations, not perfection. Again we get back to a posture of ‘what is love’, and how do I show my love even when things are difficult and uncomfortable and not all is bliss? Am I still caring, loving and kind toward my partner? Do I offer a gentle yet safe place to problem solve or sit in the grief of many problems that are not ours to solve, but our privledge to comfort one another in the world filled with broken places?

        Abusive marriages in deed often will have absolutely ‘crazy expectations’ that are so out of power imbalance that the abusive parter just remains doing their thing, growing their entitlements~ thinking the same thoughts.

      • Aly on February 11, 2018 at 11:11 am

        Many Years,

        You wrote such important comments in this post. I think there are SO MANY wives living some or much of what you describe.

        You wrote:
        “And if God reveals that your husband may not truly be a believer, but ‘walks the walk, and talks the talk’ yet when it comes down to the actual ‘living’ the life, the fruit cannot be forced if it is not there.

        Yes, this is understandable and often you will find wives following ~ a husband who is not following or submitted to Christ or Christian principles in process. And that wife so badly wants to believe in her investment that she struggles to see who she is submitting too? And what the marriage really represents.
        It then can become a crisis of faith for the wife to face head on, that is if she’s willing and can seek the Lords Courage and His promises.
        Recently, I heard a pastor speak and give a message about something important to us all in our journey..,
        ‘You can have comfort, or you can have courage, but you can’t always have ‘both’.

        You wrote:
        “There are many ‘good’ men in the world, but if you don’t have a true spiritual connection with your husband, and he is not willing to face his faults, which are spelled out in God’s word for a Christian husband ‘to naturally want to do’ in his spiritual heart, then there may be pause to consider whether he is even a believer, as you can talk all you want to him, can lovingly confront him, but when he comes back and says: ‘What triggered you to want to talk about US?’ Then I would seriously question his salvation, because a true believer will WANT TO SIT DOWN and try to figure out how to keep a marriage in tact.”

        Yes Many years I see your questioning and a big issue of salvation as key here too.

        You above mentioned this;
        “he is not willing to face his faults, which are spelled out in Gods word to naturally want to do in his spiritual heart”

        Hmm, I agree they are spelled out and but the ‘naturally want to’ can be complicated when a person isn’t Intune with truth and isn’t interested in seeking out truth and wisdom for growing more closer to Christ and wanting to have a change of heart.
        I do think often in brokenness, FOO issues, addiction etc. many seek Christ for comfort but not for the Christ for change and true comfort, not the counterfeits.

      • Connie on February 12, 2018 at 10:13 am

        Actually, if I remember correctly, the pink book did address abuse, along with a simple remedy. You dress cute, stomp your little foot, push out your little lower lip, toss your little curls and pout, something like, “You big bad boy, I didn’t like that!” Problem solved.

        I hope that brings a little chuckle to someone this morning (if you can ignore how sick it really is).

        • JoAnn on February 12, 2018 at 10:33 am

          Yes, Connie, I am laughing. I do hope , however, that you were joking! I can’t imagine anyone actually giving that advice.

        • Connie on February 12, 2018 at 10:44 am
        • Seeing the Light on February 12, 2018 at 12:16 pm

          Wow, just wow. I read this link, and I can’t believe it. Unreal.

          • JoAnn on February 12, 2018 at 12:24 pm

            Re: the Pink Book, maybe we should organize a virtual book burning for that one. 😉



        • many years on February 13, 2018 at 12:32 am

          Thank you, Connie. Nope…Connie is not joking about what the book said for defending yourself; and I forgot about that ‘line’ in part of the book. And no there is no way I would have tried that ‘fake’ approach either. So I would say, the woman who wrote the book had no clue about real abuse in a marriage. But, yes, there just wasn’t much in the way of support back-in-the-day, and no internet either.

      • Debbie on February 27, 2018 at 8:29 am

        To many years

        I can’t believe that I’m saying this but I can’t even be sure my highly religious husband even knows Him

        Our last blow up was about my selfish behavior of staying after church to talk to people and pray with them

        It’s highly confusing living with an unbelieving believer

        I struggle with just moving on. He says .. just go do your own thing

        Are these husbands ever accountable ?

        • Seeing the Light on February 27, 2018 at 10:37 am

          Debbie,

          “It’s highly confusing living with an unbelieving believer” – yes. I know exactly what you mean.

          At some point, I became satisfied that the best explanation in my situation is most likely from Matthew 7: “21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” That helps me understand the presence of the unbelieving man who professes to be a Christian and is even active in what appears to be Christian service and activity.

        • Aly on February 27, 2018 at 10:47 am

          Debbie,

          What you wrote above is such a huge thing!

          Living with an unbeliever (believer)!
          Such a big flag for a person who is interested is using God but not committed to God as (us believers posture our hearts) Jesus speaks to this throughout His ministry!

          One of the most COMMON highlights about a mindset of abusive person is their lack of accountability!

          The word common does not mean ‘good’ in this scenario.

          I’m writing you back because I actually had the exact same blow up with my then very self-centered immature husband years ago at church! It was crazy making for sure and I saw how my toddler (2) had better coping skills and patience than my husband.

          Which dog will get fed? Maybe you have heard of the analogy… often this would pop into my head as I sorted through … are we really having an argument over me praying with someone at church and having a reasonable time fellowshipping?
          His reactions to the reality of the situations or (his complaints) were often so disportionate to the truth!
          It drove me crazy… our counselor and I were just revisiting some of the old pathways. Painful yes but purposeful.

    • Seeing the Light on February 11, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      many years, Wow. Amen. You said this so well.

      I could highlight almost your whole comment, but I have to quote just one statement, “After we have done what God has asked for us to do as the wife, in lovingly confronting, etc. and the husband gets a blank look on his face, and cannot comprehend what you are spiritually talking about, it is time to realize that you are most likely living with an unsaved spouse.” When I finally started to suspect the man was unsaved and had been performing a studied act, I asked him basic gospel questions about sin and sanctification a few times. I mean, we’re talking really basic, and it was like his brain misfired because beyond mechanically repeating memorized portions of gospel tracts, he had nothing. He went blank and had to leave the room. Oh, that blank stare.

      • Nancy on February 11, 2018 at 5:28 pm

        Hi Many years, Aly and Seeing the light,

        From a practical, “what to do”, on a day-today basis, perspective, I don’t think it really benefits a wife – in an abusive marriage – to try to figure out if her spouse is saved or not.

        Don’t we just need to discern in whatever conversation, whatever decision being made – in any given moment – if he is cherishing and submitted? In an abusive marriage, the answer will be a disproportionate ( maybe always), No- he is not in a submitted heart posture. When that’s the case, I don’t follow him or support him,

        Beyond that, trying to figure out the underlying reason for this belligerence isn’t going to change how I behave in response to him.

        In each case, I respond under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

        I think that’s how we put one foot in front of the other where those steps end up by turning into some new dance steps.

        Maybe I’m projecting here ( that’s very possible!), but if you’re like me then you might spend all kinds of time pre-occupied with ‘his motives’ etc… in order to avoid facing your own pain.

        Just something to be careful of.

        • Seeing the Light on February 11, 2018 at 6:34 pm

          Nancy,

          I hear what you are saying here. To an extent and in certain situations, I agree. This may be something that is different depending on the situation. If I’ve been reading and remembering your comments well, you and your husband are in the process of trying to heal and reconcile your relationship. I hope I have that right.

          My situation is very different. I do not believe that is even a possibility, now or ever, with my husband. The destructive nature of our relationship goes back to the very beginning. At this point, we are far, far past the question of how to respond in this or that conversation or decision. This is open hostility, with contempt coming from him consistently.

          I don’t know if I ever decided that I needed to figure out if he was saved or not. It’s just a gradual process of questioning. Things don’t add up. He is teaching Sunday school to children and attending Bible studies and preaching at us, but is unrepentantly sinning against me (or us). Questions just naturally arise. Then one tries to have conversations based on gospel issues and he does not get it. When you have lived accepting someone’s profession that he is a Christian and the reality that he has been faking it and playing a role for years and years hits you, it sends a little shiver up your spine, metaphorically if not actually. Everything has been a lie.

          “Beyond that, trying to figure out the underlying reason for this belligerence isn’t going to change how I behave in response to him.” For me, it does, I think. (And it’s not really a matter of having tried to figure it out – over time it just became obvious). But it does. Don’t you think it matters if I am interacting with someone who I have a reasonable basis for believing is a Christian, indwelt by the Spirit of God versus someone who is not? It may not matter in the workplace or community, but in the intimacy of home life, it matters very much to me. Who is sitting across the room from me – the spirit of Christ inside someone who is wounded, broken, and maybe sinning? Or one given over to a malevolent spirit, desiring my destruction and punishment (someone who has the potential to be far more dangerous to me than one who has Christ within)? I don’t know – maybe to others, it is not such a big deal. Maybe it’s just me.

          As far as the practical, “what to do” – I, for instance, try not to engage him or appeal to him on a biblical or religious basis anymore. I also avoid him more – as I now believe he fits into the category of those described in 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

        • Aly on February 11, 2018 at 6:40 pm

          Nancy,

          I agree with you here to have such concerns ~ you brought up a really great point here:

          “Don’t we just need to discern in whatever conversation, whatever decision being made – in any given moment – if he is cherishing and submitted? In an abusive marriage, the answer will be a disproportionate ( maybe always), No- he is not in a submitted heart posture. When that’s the case, I don’t follow him or support him,”

          This is clear, what would be an example of not following or supporting him?

          I can speak from my experience and I chose to treat and hold my husband accountable for what he professed to believe it. He professed to believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord.

          For he and myself, this brought about well quite dismantling and rebuilding.
          He needed just as I was also being held accountable to deal with as a Christian~ do my words of belief align with my behavior?
          And when they don’t… how do I respond?

        • Nancy on February 11, 2018 at 8:16 pm

          Hi Seeing the Light,

          Of course you’re right to want to know if you are in danger- ‘a malevolent spirit, desiring my destruction and punishment’. Leslie wrote a blog post a while back on indicators of an evil heart (or something like that).

          Safety always comes first.

          My caution was directed more at a ‘slow leak’ or covert type of destructive dynamic.

          I think you’re wise in your practical ‘what to do’ with your h.

        • Nancy on February 11, 2018 at 9:21 pm

          Hi Aly,

          In my case, not supporting or not following involved not stating silent any longer with deception. The first thing that I changed was really internalizing the C of Leslie’s CORE acronym. Commitment to truth.

          So when he would try to ‘slip something by me’ I would not allow the conversation to go beyond that point. I would follow that ‘off’ feeling in my gut. Even though I was intimidated (not physically), I stood firm in my search for truth and would say things like, “well I’m confused because 5 minutes ago you said x, and now your saying y”.

          For our dynamic, this was key : Me not following him in his deception.

        • Nancy on February 11, 2018 at 9:49 pm

          Another example would be confronting him when he did not live up to something he had previously agreed to.

          Or not ‘submitting to’ him ending a discussion because he’s mad. Saying out loud that that’s not fair fighting.

          Or simply getting into the driver seat of the car to drive us both, when he was being mean spirited. (He usually drives when we’re together). This was so freeing! I wasn’t mad at all, but just decided that in that moment that’s what I needed to do.

          Or raising my hands to worship music, and sang to The Lord, while he pouted and tried to silently punish me.

          Or told him I’d be ready to listen when he could use “I” statements ( instead of blaming ” you” statements)

          Or simply praying for protection of my heart as he ranted at me and when he was done calmly leaving and crying my heart out.

          Or walking out of the room when he began to blame.

          Or deciding to put dinner out and tell everyone “come and serve yourselves” when I didn’t feel that I could “play happy family” around the dinner table.

          I suppose for me the examples of no longer supporting him or following him came down to me being true to my own heart.

          Thanks for asking this Aly. It’s good to look back sometimes.

          • Aly on February 11, 2018 at 10:35 pm

            Nancy,

            Thanks for listing out here. Those were great examples that I’m sure many here can relate to.
            I’m glad you found it helpful but I also am wondering if you see the pattern in most every example you gave…

            Those examples are ‘trust infractions’ meaning that when someone says they will do X, and do Y etc.
            I bring up the trust issue because it’s hard when your ‘building trust’ and let’s say the husband or wife has taken a step back or relapsed.
            In your case, sounds like he took a step not necessarily in the healing or connecting place and trust issues got reignited.
            Maybe I’m off and misunderstanding you, so please speak up if I’m wayyy off;)

            If you have a long history of trust infractions it’s hard to not feel ‘secure’ with this building of trust and especially hard if you can relate to the vacillating aspects. Inconsistencies are really hard to navigate, and my heart goes out to you. I can relate.
            I do believe your counselor will be able to really assist here.

            I do want to encourage you to remember that you’ve done some heavy lifting this past year especially ~ keep all of that on the table…
            and it’s SO hard to experience a sorta ‘new old version’ of interaction with your h.

            Sending my hugs and continued prayers💕



        • Nancy on February 11, 2018 at 11:08 pm

          Aly. Yes they are absolutely trust infractions. I agreed to go to marriage counselling last year because he admitted to me ( and to the counsellor) that he was untrustworthy. That was the foundational problem, and it caused me to feel insane!

          As to this latest event : He was defensive against vulnerability, he wasn’t being ‘slippery’, or deceptive. But maybe on a deeper level, that uncooperativeness hit my ‘trust button’. I’ll have to pray about that 🙂

          • Aly on February 11, 2018 at 11:49 pm

            Nancy,

            You probably are well aware;
            But vulnerability is actually a great example of courage not weakness etc.

            The sad situation is that our world (even esp. the Christian culture) has taught ‘especially men’ that vulnerability is to look and feel weak, not courageous.
            I say this because your husband was choosing to not be courageous about what he could have been honest to bring to you (not saying he had to).
            When men are available to the rewiring/ renewing of their minds through Christ they can redefine vulnerability, and the places of connection and rebuilding of trust can take place first with God and then with others.
            Such a learning process as it takes time to dismantle old poor coping skills and grab the newly developing ones for a healthier experience.
            The trust button you mentioned is imp. Because your h must be in full understanding of what he has to risk based on any uncooperativeness on his part and I’m pretty sure he can’t afford that anymore.



          • Renee on February 12, 2018 at 8:03 pm

            [The sad situation is that our world (even esp. the Christian culture) has taught ‘especially men’ that vulnerability is to look and feel weak, not courageous.]

            I also don’t know who taught, “that men are never to cry.” In our years of marriage, I have only saw my husband cry (I mean really cry) and that is when he lost his mom.



        • Nancy on February 12, 2018 at 7:44 am

          For sure, Aly, sharing vulnerability is essential.

          In the last situation, my h was unprepared for the depth of what was being asked of him. He did not know what he was agreeing to.

          The only ‘right’ expectation is one where both parties have agreed to it. In this case, my expectation of him was unfair.

          So, while everything you say about him not being able to afford uncooperativeness, is true, it doesn’t apply to this situation : because of a lack of communication and preparedness, this was not a fair situation for either of us.

          • Aly on February 12, 2018 at 9:17 am

            Nancy,

            I’m glad you have it understood and your settled with it. I think I am confused about the ‘preparedness’ you mentioned.

            Because of the trust issues and the rebuilding of work here…. my hope would be for your h to see the words of ‘what is asked of him’ as ‘an invitation’ to consider in future opportunities.

            Your counselor should be able to add support and expertise to assist your h in taking a painful or insecure situation and bringing it to God and his wife for connection and comfort.

            Many hugs and thankful too Nancy for so much of your insights especially about not contributing or ‘peace faking’, you have brought here.



        • Nancy on February 12, 2018 at 10:01 am

          Yes, I look forward to bringing this great example to our counsellor. There’s a lot there to work with.

          On another note, I pushed our eldest this morning, with the ‘feelings word list’ (she’s a vacillator and uses her sister as a lightning rod for her anger).

          Turns out she was worried about some friend dynamics. I was able to affirm her feelings (without fixing!) and she ended up taking responsibility with her sister afterwards (without my prompting).

          Thank you Aly, for the care and concern you demonstrate to us, here 🙂

          • Aly on February 12, 2018 at 10:28 am

            Nancy!
            Praise God! That is so great and such a huge place for your daughter to learn and become a student of herself ‘brave’ & blessing ‘earlier rather than later’~
            Wow, great Job mom as a vessel! 🤗

            Such a positive for her to see what her ’emotions’ are really related to and who about.
            I’m so thankful that your other daughter got to receive her sister taking responsibility, such a great example of emotional maturity in process!



      • many years on February 13, 2018 at 1:11 am

        Seeing the Light, and Nancy, and all of the thoughts from Aly,
        It is a very sad and a profound empty feeling when the man whom you thought was a born-again Christian turns out not to be one, or indications point that this may truly be the case, and the air goes out of your sails, and you have a difficult time comprehending why you never saw it before, that is when you realize how subtle Satan works to deceive both the church and those who attend church, to think that just because a person goes to church and does ‘all the right things’ does not necessarily mean they are saved.

        Because for most of my marriage I was unable to engage in what I would call ‘normal’ spiritual talking about the things from God’s World, our walk as Christians, our call to be shining lights, and when the person you are married too just doesn’t comprehend your love for them, because that should be first and foremost is to love your neighbor, your spouse, your children, etc as yourself, and when the only love they can show to you is material wealth, or lovely birthday cards, but the spiritual love isn’t just there, that is when it hurts down deeply that you will never be able to have a true spiritual conversation with the one you have spent intimate time with for years.

        So, no, Nancy, it’s not about ‘figuring out’ if your spouse is saved or not, but when the spark in your spouse is not evident, it is one of the most disappointing revelations you can have in your marriage And because of that sadness of heart for the one you love comes to light, when you are not certain of their salvation, it can totally change ones perspective on why they do what they do to protect AND project themselves from being ‘revealed’ to others. It scares them to death (almost!) and this is why they can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, because they need Jesus first and foremost before they will ever change.
        Hence, the reason we are on this blog to ask God for direction in light of circumstances we do have to figure out in order to grow in Christ and to help ourselves out of situations when we thought the person we married was a Christian man, which may be the whole solution to the problem.

        And the abuse will continue in some way shape or form because there is no real love of God to change the heart of our husband. Everything else he thinks he needs to change will be just superficial, and he will fall back into his old habits, or he won’t even think he is abusive at all. So that is why some women do have to at least have an inkling as to where their husband’s heart is, in his relationship to God, as it affects her own walk as a believer so that she will know that she may have to ‘walk it alone with Jesus by her side’ throughout the rest of her marriage, or as God sees fit to release her from the covenant; as God can only change the sinners heart.

        Yes, and I agree with Nancy saying about the malevolent spirit and covert deception as that can be so apparent, and I have only begun to delve into that aspect of deliverance ministry, as it is a deep subject and not one to take lightly in the face of a deeper and more sinister entity entering and being ‘present’ in the marriage via the unsaved spouse.

        Nancy, what you listed was very timely.

        Thank you so very much everyone who has entered into this deep discussion. Praying for wisdom for everyone.

        We all need that responsibility to delve into these deep thoughts of the Spirit until we can recognize what we need to do as individuals, in the mean time, getting spiritual feed-back along the journey. I have greatly enjoyed and benefited from this discussion.

        • Aly on February 13, 2018 at 12:57 pm

          Many Years,

          Wow~ yes I’m so very sorry for what you have been brought to a critical awareness in your most sacred relationship. It’s excruciating to face, but it also takes such bravery to face it!!
          And I’m so so sorry for the loss that you are uncovering and how traumatic it is, 😩
          I’m so very sorry!!
          I hope it’s comforting that many can relate to your pain~
          I can relate on somewhat of a marriage level but more for my journey (from a family of origin) level where the Lord let me discover some hard truths that were similar to what you experienced in your marriage.

          Are you in counseling or a grief group?

          You wrote:
          “It is a very sad and a profound empty feeling when the man whom you thought was a born-again Christian turns out not to be one, or indications point that this may truly be the case, and the air goes out of your sails, and you have a difficult time comprehending why you never saw it before, that is when you realize how subtle Satan works to deceive both the church and those who attend church, to think that just because a person goes to church and does ‘all the right things’ does not necessarily mean they are saved.”

          Yes, Satan deceives but he is not more powerful than Christ’s death and resurrection for Victory for the Saved!

          Many people claim being saved and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior but fail in choosing to feed the Spirit for Spiritual fruit and maturity. (I am guilty)
          I think there is a distinction in those that say they have salvation and create their own versions of the Gospels and those that truly desire to Love Him to follow and be shaped into a disciple.
          Many are Fans and not committed or have a posture to be committed to the things of Christ!
          Have you heard of ‘Not a fan’?

          So I guess from my own experience, it’s a loss to be in relationship thinking one thing and finding out another, it feels like painful betrayal and brings us even that much closer to those things that Christ himself encountered.
          As Leslie often points out ~ healthy people live in reality.
          Reality costs. Reality can also be the beginning of healing and growth.

          Marital Crisis can actually be a huge blessing for many who are in need of their hearts reconcilled to Christ (our first love)
          Guess what? This is what I desperately needed and the Lord sought me out and swooped me up! Regardless of my marriage ~ non marriage really, The Lord was going to hold my hand and lead me to more realities and facing my dreams filled with brokenness.

          Have you studied the book of James?
          Many do get lost on their journey ~ (I did) and I had many beliefs about Christianity and what it might look like. ?? And I was fooled by many too.

          There are so many of wives like you and husbands like what you describe and the church needs to be accountable to growing spiritually as a church!
          If no/one holds or loves someone from a healthy place for growth it makes sense why we have such a misused place of ‘Professing Christians’ looking like unsaved.
          As Christians, we lovingly and gently communicate the duplicity. In order to bring them back~
          James 5:19

          Sending virtual hugs🌸

        • Nancy on February 14, 2018 at 8:04 pm

          Hello Many years,

          I’m wondering if perhaps you misinterpreted my meaning.

          When I repeated Seeing the Light’s words of “a malevolent spirit desiring destruction and punishment”, I referred to a post Leslie wrote about indicators of an evil heart because I found that wording to be extreme and alarming.

          I worry about the notion of anyone “delving into deliverance ministry…in the face of a deeper and more sinister entity”. This is very dark!

          Why put your energy there instead of creating a ‘real world’ exit plan for yourself and child(ren)? Why not leave the spiritual fight to God? ( you could still pray for your h once you are safe)

          The degree to which you seem trapped is hard for me to accept. I recognize that I don’t know what your circumstances are, but please know that I am praying for you.

        • Debbie on February 27, 2018 at 8:36 am

          Nancy. One thing that really spoke to me

          “ we do not follow them into their deception”

          Religious deception, guilt, condemnation

          I am often accused of not submitting and what I really am doing is not following his false religious mindsets

  10. Renee on February 8, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    [Nothing in our worlds is going to change unless we change. Because even if something changes we really won’t recognize it. We will still perceive it with our unchanged and out-dated vision]

    Interesting Aleea

    • Aleea on February 9, 2018 at 5:46 am

      . . .Hello Renee. . . .Yes, that was “note to self:To Aleea, Aleea Pay Attention. . . .and Renee something else interesting: . . .it seems there is a terrible truth about so many of these different scenarios and questions: every single voluntarily unprocessed and uncomprehended and ignored reason for marital failure will compound and conspire and will then plague that betrayed and self-betrayed woman for the rest of her life. The same goes for her husband. All she—he—they—or we—must do to ensure such an outcome is absolutely nothing: don’t notice, don’t pray, don’t react, don’t attend, don’t discuss, don’t consider, don’t work for peace, don’t cry out to God for help, don’t take responsibility. Don’t _________

      . . . .That is why we must speak all our brokenness. Everything clarified and articulated becomes visible. . . .But maybe neither wife nor husband wished to see or understand. Maybe they left things purposefully in the fog. Maybe they generated the fog, to hide what they did not want to see. They did not want to know what they already knew. . . .What did she gain when she turned from mistress to maid or mother? Was it a relief when her sex life disappeared? Could she complain more profitably to church friends, the neighbors and her mother when her husband “turned away?” ☢ ☣ Maybe that was more gratifying, secretly, than anything good that could be derived from any marriage, no matter how perfect. —Ditto the husband.

      What can possibly compare to the pleasures of sophisticated and well-practiced martyrdom? (re: See the early Christian church!!! I have read so, so many of those documents and those early martyrs might as well have just been trying to get themselves killed. They were more than trying to get themselves martyred, because they wrongly assumed that was a “ticket to heaven.”)

      What can possibly compare to the pleasures of sophisticated and well-practiced martyrdom? 🔥 😇
      “She’s such a saint, such a victim and married to such a terrible, horrible man. —She deserved so much better.”
      “He’s such a saint, such a victim and married to such a terrible, horrible woman. —He deserved so much better.”

      Those are very gratifying myths to live by, even if *unconsciously* chosen (the *real* complex, nauanced truth of all these situations be damned). Maybe she never really liked her husband. Maybe she never really liked men, and still doesn’t. Maybe that was her mother’s fault —or her grandmother’s? Maybe she mimicked their behavior, acting out their trouble, transmitted *unconsciously,* implicitly, down the generations. Maybe she was taking revenge on her father, or her brother, or society.

      . . . .What did her husband gain, for his part, when his sex life at home died? Did he willingly play along instead of taking personal responsibility, did he act as “martyr,” and complain bitterly to his “friends?” Did he use it as the excuse he wanted anyway to search for a new lover? Did he use it to justify the resentment he still felt towards women, in general, for the rejections he had faced so continuously before falling into his marriage? Did he or she seize the opportunity to get effortlessly fat and lazy 🍦🍪 🍟 🍔 🍕 because he/she wasn’t desired, in any case? Maybe both, wife and husband alike, used the opportunity to mess up their marriage to take revenge upon God (the One who could have really sorted through all the unbelievably complex messes). That’s why God has to be involved —even if you deconstruct Him every so often by getting Him involved.

      . . .The early Christians called marriage “the little church within the Church.” In marriage, every day you deeply love, and every single day you radically forgive, ―a lot. It is an ongoing sacrament ―love and forgiveness. . . .If you are in a situation where your marriage isn’t of sufficient quality, you might ask yourself: Am I doing absolutely everything I can to fix it? ―You are and you have for a long time??? Then, who knows, maybe that is a total God fail because if it is just a distinction without a difference? . . .In that case, ―maybe you just get clear of it no guilt reduction, no step-down necessary. . . .But only the Lord God knows how many doors will open if you are seriously doing everything you can to fix your marriage. That is always worth pursuing. . . .But it may be better not to draw any conclusions about our marriages and the utility of them until we know (―Holy Spirit-style knowing) we are seeing things clearly.

      . . . .Again, here’s the terrible truth about such matters: every single voluntarily unprocessed and uncomprehended and ignored reason for marital failure will compound and conspire and will then plague that betrayed and self-betrayed woman and man too for the rest of their lives, kids too. . . .and God does the highest levels of full disclosure: re: 1 Corinthians “. . .But those who marry will face many ongoing θλῖψιν (tribulation) troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. . . .And I want to spare you this!!! . . . . θλῖψιν (tribulation) as in the nasty stuff just like Matthew 24 ὑμᾶς εἰς θλίψιν καὶ ἀποκτενοῦσιν ―they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you. Mark 13 μετὰ τὴν θλίψιν ἐκείνην ὁ after that tribulation, as in the GREAT tribulation. . . .Marriage is a life commitment, and a life commitment means the prime concern of your life (―After the Lord, obviously and always!) If marriage is not the prime concern, you’re not even married. . . . .But everything is generally in balance, we all know anything that hard is going to be incredibly meaningful. Think how hard it is to follow Jesus. It is a living hell many times (re: the hiddenness of God). ―But I don’t know of anything more meaningful and totally frustrating and dangerous 🚑 too (re: “divine” hiddenness ―nothing divine about it at all. Sort of like saying painless surgery.)✞ރ✝ރ☧✞❣😊 💕

  11. John on February 9, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Aleea,
    You have a very interesting mind. Either you have back round and experience, are gifted, brilliant, or simply have a love for His people and alot of time on your hands or a combination of all the above:) Either way WOW! Very deep and thoughtful. Amazing.
    It seems most here are just hacking at the branches or are just trying to put out a fire that is out of control and this absolutely is the first step. A first step repeated hundreds of time for some, my self included. One of our biggest problems, probably the biggest actually, was not having solid people to talk to. Christian or not, just someone to here you maybe for the first time in as long as you can remember. Someone to help you make sense of what is going on. Not to advise you on what they think is best for you but just to here you out in a safe environment without being interrupted. To which these posts and Leslies site serves its purpose well, however to have faith in reverse and stay in problem identification mode for 10 years like my wife was, was not doing her or I any good, let alone the children who are learning what is “normal” from mom and dads behavior. I know first hand that when my wife is hurting she makes ZERO sense to me and from what I can gather, zero sense to herself in tough times. The front part of the brain completely bypassed into more of a survival way of thinking. Myself as well. I am sure anyone can default to this pattern. This lower lever beast like mentality, which does initially serve a purpose, can be overcome with a renewed mind. Paul says we have the mind of Christ. Do we believe that? Do we actually even read that book or do we let someone else read it to us once a week. Has the Word become flesh in us? This is not to say that bad things are not happening to us, but more so that no matter what may happen to us Gods will stands. Then the question remains, is it Gods will to have my marriage breakdown, to which to simple answer is absolutely NOT, unless of course the jesus (anti(meaning another)-christ) of our own making has adifferent idea of marriage than what is clearly written in the word. We error, not knowing the Word. Is it not written. Have ye not read etc. We may go through better or for worse circumstances but our Rock never moves our changes. Marriage is one of the most powerful ways God teaches us about His true nature. On these posts there seems to be alot of problem telling, yes real problems that need to be addressed, and maybe taking time apart is necessary. (separation is such a sad and hard word – divorce, uncomprehendable, for me anyway). After all in the Law the certificate was only written because of the hardness of our hearts and if we are to believe for a new heart to replace out heart of stone, how can we continue living, or better put, dieing with a hard heart. Imagine explaining to Jesus that day why your heart is hard and why you divorced. I am not sure how that would go down but I am pretty sure there would not be any extra prizes given. Hate in the heart is murder, looking is adultery. All these are matters of the heart and we will be judged as such. When I was given a new heart for my wife, I could no longer see her the way I used to. All the hurt, pain, miscommunication, broken trust, mother in law stuff everything just disappeared. I only saw my beautiful and broken wife. I could not stop weeping and hugging her. I didn’t care about any perceived fault she may have had. I only wanted to love her and build her up. Husbands love you wives as Christ loved the church and give your life to her. Lay it down. Die for her. Pretty easy to control the thoughts and tongue if we are dieing for our wives. As I was praying one day for God to help us go deep into the root of our issues He clearly spoke to my heart and said “You work on you and I will work on her” So simple, yet so perfect. As I am learning now how much pain my wife has internalized much of what I have caused, it is breaking me more and more everyday. So much it is hard for me to focus on anything else to the point of my wife feeling flooded by me. I am the type that aggressively moves toward solution, in my opinion anyway, and my wife goes into hiding, protection mode, journaling, outsourcing un-met needs, but little by little, being careful with her heart we are dealing with unresolved issues from the past.
    Sometime we can over complicate things and cause more confusion. Not that there is not a place for the deep deep understanding of why things are the way they are, however that realization only begins to happen when we are standing on solid ground, hopefully together. NO matter how scared we are if we take God at his word and internally forgive, not forget, but forgive he takes it from there. Forgiveness releases us from prison and we are free to pursue Christ and to have Him shine through into other dark areas of our lives and the lives of those that matter most to us. God has so much more for us to do than just get our house in order. Imagine what He may do through us when we are made willing vessels for His purposes. With men these things are not possible but with God all things are possible. Quick story and I am back to work here. My mom and dad (65ish) going to a church building made with hands. Their pastor, who is married, involved with another woman. Don’t know the details but that so-called- christians are behaving out of Gods order (dangerous). He is working on the side in grain farming, working on a combine header and is taken into the equip and killed. Not sure where he would be now but some of you may have an idea. God is loving but is just and He will fight for the oppressed. Yes you have to take hard steps but it is sin to limit God through our thoughts and action, regardless of how well meaning the people who gave you these thoughts were. Our ways seem right in our own eyes. God takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked but wants us to come to repentance. People who made a decision to get married were in love at one time in their lives. It is only possible to force those thoughts and memories out of our minds if we choose to do so, which is hardening our hearts. The kingdom of heaven is at hand . Lets not miss the gift God has placed in front of us which comes initially as a trial, tribulation, or fire. God is a consuming fire. Let the true sons and daughters of God be purified to His glory. Let Him break us beyond tears and build beyond breakable. I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH AND THE GATES OF HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL.
    I pray for the peace of God that passes all knowledge guard you hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
    He is calling us, will we come? What is out burden that we think is just simply too big for for Him to handle?
    All men are counted as liars. If God is for you who can be against you. NO ONE. NOT EVEN US STANDING IN HIS WAY.
    Let us trust God to build rebuild our lives. Unless He builds we labour in vain.
    Bless you all this day. This is the day He has made. Let us rejoice and be glad.
    Gotta go now hug the amazing woman that God has placed in my life. Thank you Father.

    • Aly on February 9, 2018 at 5:29 pm

      John,

      Thanks so much for sharing some of your experiences and your thoughts here.
      Obviously, God has given you eyes to see and ears to hear when it comes to your marital union and your history.
      Was there a catalyst? What do you see as the place of you seeing your hard heart?

      • John on February 11, 2018 at 8:29 pm

        God corrects who he loves. I was so broken that my wife was outsourcing, and at the time she needed to too, this in turn weakened our relationship, initially. I look at it now as a workout for our relationship, which now is making us stronger. I just started crying out to God, literally crying and once my heart was broken enough that my wife was slipping away from me, it triggered a deep love for her and a willingness to do anything for her, to love her like Christ loves us. So really thats. I wish I could say it was more complex that but it wasn’t. Our flesh and mind may fool us and those around us art times but God sees us clearly and He knows when you are sincere. I dropped all my “issues” I had with her and only wanted to hold her and weep. Might have looked like a show from her perspective at the time but it was real. My heart just changed when I realized what was at stake. Now just time to heal. Thats the short short of it.

    • Seeing the Light on February 9, 2018 at 10:24 pm

      John,

      “Imagine explaining to Jesus that day why your heart is hard and why you divorced. I am not sure how that would go down but I am pretty sure there would not be any extra prizes given. Hate in the heart is murder, looking is adultery.”
      —Divorcing an abusive and/or destructive spouse is not equal to hardness of heart.

      “Yes you have to take hard steps but it is sin to limit God through our thoughts and action, regardless of how well meaning the people who gave you these thoughts were.”
      —I do not think it is fitting for any one of us or indeed our place to tell people in these situations that they are in sin for limiting God. That is not something we are qualified to assess.

      “People who made a decision to get married were in love at one time in their lives. It is only possible to force those thoughts and memories out of our minds if we choose to do so, which is hardening our hearts.”
      —Many people assume that. I have heard statements like this before. It’s not true, though. Not every man and woman who made a decision to get married were in love. Recognizing this does not equate to hardening one’s heart.

      • Aleea on February 10, 2018 at 5:53 am

        Hello Seeing the Light,💌

        . . .Who really, honestly knows. The issues are obviously *not* simple issues. . . .That is why we have all kinds of book series like the Spectrum Multiview Book Series 📓 📔 📒 📕 📗 📘 📙 📚 📖from InterVarsity Christian Press: Psychology & Christianity Five Views, — Divorce and Remarriage Four Views, —The Historical Jesus Five Views. —Biblical Hermeneutics, Five Views, etc., etc., etc. No one really knows. 🌠 🌌 Not really. . . .John is certainly more right than wrong if you take what the earliest Christians said (the first three hundred years of Christianity; Church fathers with access to manuscripts no longer extant.) The modern views generally just float along with modern psychology via unbelievable (from a historical standpoint) text twisting but Truth serves Life, so they may be right too.

        You say: “Not every man and woman who made a decision to get married were in love.” I believe that is completely ture. Absolutely!!! People are unbelievably complex and nuanced. They may not even know why they got married but the motives are complex and nuanced, as neuroscience clearly shows.

        Evil is the force that believes its knowledge and understanding is in any way complete. We know so, so very little. What we do not yet know is often far, far more important than what we think we know now. . . . .First of all, there are massively more things you and I (especially me!) don’t know than we “know” (—or think we know). The things we don’t know are the birthplace of all new adventures💛😉 👏 😎 🌈 in learning. So if we make the things we don’t know our friend, we are always looking (on a quest) . . .in the off chance that somebody who doesn’t agree with us will tell us something we couldn’t have ever figured out on our own! It’s a completely different way of looking at the world. It’s the antithesis of opinionated! . . .We cannot be protected from the things that frighten and deeply hurt us, but if we can identify with the part of our being that is responsible for transformation (the Holy Spirit), then we are always the equal, or more than the equal of the things that confront us. †ރ ✞❣😊 ✝

      • Seeing the Light on February 10, 2018 at 5:10 pm

        Hi, Aleea. I just wondered if you could tell me if there was a particular part of my comment that you were referring to when you said, “…Who really, honestly knows.”

      • Aleea on February 11, 2018 at 4:18 am

        Hello Seeing the Light,💌—thank you for the question. . . .I appreciate that. ✞❣😊 💕.

        “—I do not think it is fitting for any one of us or indeed our place to tell people in these situations that they are in sin for limiting God. That is not something we are qualified to assess.”

        “…Who really, honestly knows.” Who really honestly knows what we should be telling people, maybe nothing, nothing at all. “…Who really, honestly knows.” Maybe God Himself sent John to tell us that, maybe John is just talking his own position. “…Who really, honestly knows.” Can really anybody, —really, sincerely put their hand on their heart and profess to know beyond all doubt what happens on the other side of this life? God only knows and no one can claim to penetrate into His mysteries. Often there is very little agreement behind the curtains but what people put there —whatever their imaginations can fathom. —But when you stop to analyze, asking serious, hard questions, well, —No wonder people don’t really ask these hard questions.

        Just think about remarriage, it goes for nothing —maybe it should. But I humbly submit for your consideration: See: Divorce and Remarriage (In early Christianity): Joseph A. Webb Th.D., Ph.D. & Patricia L. Webb Ph.D.*** Dr. Margaret A. Schatkin, “Divorce In Christianity”, 2nd ed., edited by Dr. Everett Ferguson, New York: Garland, 1998. . . .And so says Dr. Elaine Pagels, Professor of Early Christian History; Dr. Susan Barnett, Professor of Early Christianity; Dr. Margaret Barker, Systematic Theology; Dr. Karen King, Hollis Professor of Divinity; Dr. Barbara Thiering, et.al. I’m citing women because this was important to them and they are very, v-e-r-y careful researchers:

        *** “The early church fathers were in complete agreement. Of all the early recognized Church Fathers who ever wrote or who were written about concerning every discussion and every debate in thousands of surviving documents over hundreds of years, there is not a single dissenting authoritative voice on the essential core doctrines of marriage, divorce and remarriage. Each taught the same doctrine, each held the same opinion and each enforced the same moral standards ―Here is what all those early church fathers (―many who died for Christ) taught:”

        “* To indulge in lust is to be guilty of adultery of the heart. (―We all agree with that!!!)
        * Whoever marries a woman who has been divorced from another husband commits adultery.
        * Should the husband put her away, he must remain by himself. But if he put his wife away and marries another, he commits adultery.
        * Whoever marries a divorced person commits adultery.
        * Whoever contracts a second marriage is sinning against God (while a former spouse lives). God does not, and the Church must not, take into account human law when it is in violation of God’s law.”

        . . .Again, I know people text-twist and torture the scriptures until the texts “confess” but the rule through time was: If the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense.

        I think there is something holy and right about what is taught here, but I don’t understand how it can be reconciled with Classic Christianity and when I see scholars debate these issues, I don’t see post-modern Christianity making their case on the texts or the history.

        . . .The great path to Truth is to try (―and try hard) to disprove what you like.
        . . .The great path to Truth is to try (―and try hard) to disprove what you like. ✞❣😊 💕.

        . . .Evil is the force that believes its knowledge and understanding of what God wants and says is in any way complete. I certainly know mine is unbelievably *not* complete. . . .But I also know that the things we most need are always to be found where we least want to look —for me too!

        “…Who really, honestly knows.” “…Who really, honestly knows.” . . .What we Christians want to believe is that, under God, things really are just “black and white” (―meaning that there is a totally clear set of facts that 100% happened) and *not* that everything is a huge probability distribution with lots of even critical “facts” having less than a 100% chance of having occurred. . . .I want 100% level of certainty. That’s why I am a fundamentalist but in reality, no one has that level of certainty. That’s just the “I’m right and you’re wrong” approach, most “facts” about God and Jesus fall along vast and nuanced conditional probability distributions. Aly always points to prophecy but . . .See for example: Cognitive Dissonance in the Prophetic Traditions of the Old Testament; and Prophecy and History in Luke-Acts. . . .They come to many of the same conclusions I do but I *never* even knew who they were until I *independently* came to my own conclusions with *primary* source evidence.

        “—I do not think it is fitting for any one of us or indeed our place to tell people in these situations that they are in sin for limiting God. That is not something we are qualified to assess.”

        “…Who really, honestly knows.” Can really anybody, —really, sincerely put their hand on their heart and profess to know beyond all doubt. We, generally, never try to disprove what we like here on the blog, we only engage in confirmation biais, generally.

        Seeing the Light you are correct but John is correct too. “…Who really, honestly knows.” . . .Prayer, what else is there? Lord Jesus please help and guide us. ✞❣😊 💕. . . .I have no idea unless we are talking about *primary* source evidence then we have a few things we can say.

      • Seeing the Light on February 11, 2018 at 11:56 am

        Aleea, I find that I am at quite a loss to know how to respond to you, but I am going to try, so here goes…

        First off, I stand by my previous comment, “I do not think it is fitting for any one of us or indeed our place to tell people in these situations that they are in sin for limiting God. That is not something we are qualified to assess.” You said, “Seeing the Light you are correct but John is correct too.” I disagree with this statement of yours. I don’t think in this context that both are possible. John and I disagree (if I did not misunderstand him). Therefore, in this matter, we can’t both be correct.

        I am concerned, Aleea, that you try to take things that are simple and make them complicated or things that are complicated and make them absolutely incomprehensible. You seem so confused and filled with doubts and I often feel that you are trying to convince the rest of us to be just as confused and filled with doubts. I also wonder if you are paralyzing yourself trying to delve into things that God is not going to answer because you don’t need the answers. You say things like, “I also know I am *hopelessly* in love with Jesus Christ.” Yet on the previous week’s post, you said, “For me, I think it is that I just can’t face the fact that God may just be imaginary.”

        For me personally, I know there was a time when I tried too hard to search out some theological issues and mysteries, one or two in particular. The issues were inscrutable things so I was wearing myself out for nothing. At the end of the day, I found Psalm 131 particularly poignant:

        “1My heart is not proud, Lord,
        my eyes are not haughty;
        I do not concern myself with great matters
        or things too wonderful for me.
        2But I have calmed and quieted myself,
        I am like a weaned child with its mother;
        like a weaned child I am content.
        3Israel, put your hope in the Lord
        both now and forevermore.”

        I especially found the second half of verse 1 so very freeing. “…I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.” I don’t know about anyone else, but I found letting go of the things too wonderful (or too difficult in another translation) was in itself wonderful. After that, when others tried to pressure me with their theology or to engage me in exhausting wranglings, I could simply opt out. That calm, quiet, content weaned child is my goal. My focus is now more on the practical. I try to leave the mysteries and the unknowns to God. Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”

        I am afraid I don’t know much about your specific situation, Aleea. Are you in an abusive marriage? Are you in the very difficult process of trying to determine whether or not it is right for you to leave?

        You said, “We, generally, never try to disprove what we like here on the blog, we only engage in confirmation bias, generally.” Ouch. I just don’t agree. I think that is unfair to the people who comment on this blog. I myself don’t come here to engage in confirmation bias, and I don’t think that about the others. I come here to engage in the bearing of one another’s burdens among other things.

        As to the church fathers, I mean no disrespect or dishonor to their crucial role in the building of the Church, but they did not get everything right. You might want to do a little research on the preponderance of their opinions regarding the capacity, character, worth, and intelligence of women just for starters.

        I originally spoke up because I was quite concerned with the tone and some of the content of John’s comments. I was concerned that he was needlessly putting pressure on people who are already living under a heavy weight of oppression and stress (among other things). I confidently stand by all I have said.

        • John on February 11, 2018 at 7:59 pm

          Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 2 Peter 1:20

          He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Mathew 13:11

          And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: Mark 4:11

          And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
          Luke 8:10

          It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2

          And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Mathew 18:3

          For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
          1 Corinthians 1:26-27

          Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. Psalm 119:160

          These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
          Acts 17:11

          Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
          1 Timothy 5:17

          I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
          1 Corinthians 3:2

          When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

        • John on February 11, 2018 at 8:07 pm

          Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 2 Peter 1:20

          He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Mathew 13:11

          And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: Mark 4:11

          And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
          Luke 8:10

          It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2

          And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Mathew 18:3

          For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
          1 Corinthians 1:26-27

          Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. Psalm 119:160

          These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
          Acts 17:11

          Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
          1 Timothy 5:17

          I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
          1 Corinthians 3:2

          When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11

          Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
          1 Timothy 4:3

          Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

          As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 2 peter 3:16

          My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. Hosea 4:6

          Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17

          And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Acts 17:30

          For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
          Hebrews 10:26-27

          Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. John 5:39-40

        • JoAnn on February 12, 2018 at 12:17 am

          Seeing the Light,
          I especially like this point that you made: “As to the church fathers, I mean no disrespect or dishonor to their crucial role in the building of the Church, but they did not get everything right.” There were heresies creeping into the church even during the time of the apostles Paul and John. I don’t know why Aleea puts so much credence on the “early church fathers.” So much of the truth of the scriptures was distorted and lost over the years, and until Martin Luther and the other reformers began to recover those truths, many people lived in darkness. So, let’s trust the truth in the Bible, AS THE LORD HAS SOVEREIGNLY BROUGHT IT TO US TODAY, as His gift to us so that we can know Him and His truth. His living and operative word is able to speak to us in our situation, and is always just what we need.
          Thank you for your wise counsel in this blog.

      • Seeing the Light on February 12, 2018 at 8:59 am

        Thank you, JoAnn.

      • Nancy on February 12, 2018 at 10:39 am

        Seeing the Light,

        Thank you for posting Psalm 131. I did not know these verses. This year, my verse is Romans 8:6 “… but the mind governed by the Spirit is Life and peace”.

        The verses you posted, confirmed for me, my goal of quieting my mind by releasing ‘things too wonderful for me’.

        Verse 2 is especially touching, because I have just started the process of looking deeply at my broken attachment style (broken attachment is about the disruptions created in the first year and a half of life – exactly the time of nursing and weaning).

        I am very touched by this. Thank you so much.

        • Aly on February 12, 2018 at 11:54 am

          Nancy,

          It takes a lot of courage and willingness to look at those broken ‘Bonding and attachment injuries’ but God does heal us through, He promises.

          Those broken ‘Bonding and attachments’ were first done in relationships and most often God will heal those also in relationships.
          My h benefited so much in identifying what would trip him up, and those Attachment injuries~ wired in telling himself ‘no one is safe to draw near to’
          Because of his unsafe previous experiences and bonding places~ he didn’t expect even God to show him just how healing & safe some of His own can be and can offer love and connection for those wounds.

          So what can be ruptured in relational dynamics ~ God can use relationships (safe & healthy ones) to repair. 🌈

          Your willingness is such a place of faith in action💜

      • Seeing the Light on February 12, 2018 at 10:47 am

        Hi, Nancy. I am so glad that God was able to use my sharing a verse He used to touch me in order to touch you. Thank you for letting me know. That’s encouraging.

      • Aleea on February 13, 2018 at 6:06 am

        Seeing the Light and everyone, I answered *all* those questions but nothing will post but this small amount. I’ve been praying very, very much about what you say. My tentative conclusion: I may (may) not be confused. I think I don’t want to know what I already know. I can’t accept what I know, like a women in an abusive marriage. . . .Oh, Seeing the Light, btw my abuse (childhood from my mother); counseling (yes, relational psychotherapy); maybe see previous blogs it is *all* detailed there. . . .Anyways, I don’t know what the issues are: sometimes things post with no issues, other times days and days go by without it letting me post anything. . . .Nancy, why I use the church fathers is because we have no complete manuscripts of the Bible for hundreds and hundreds of years (only very small fragments). Those early Christians, who had access to Bible manuscripts inside the now 275 year tunnel period where we have no surviving manuscript evidence beyond fragments, knew plenty. I don’t think we have been careful with our conclusions on divorce and I see the church just floating along with culture and psychology.

      • Seeing the Light on February 13, 2018 at 8:56 am

        Aleea,

        I remembered that your mother was abusive from previous posts, but my question was whether you are in an abusive marriage and trying to determine whether it is right to leave. I can’t possibly take the time to go back and read old blog post comments hoping to find the one where you describe your current home life and situation.

        “I don’t think we have been careful with our conclusions on divorce and I see the church just floating along with culture and psychology.” I don’t know about you, and I won’t judge the care with which other women have come to their conclusions. I myself have been quite careful as I take my obedience to God very seriously.

      • Aleea on February 13, 2018 at 8:24 pm

        Hello Seeing the Light,

        “I myself have been quite careful as I take my obedience to God very seriously.” That is very beautiful. I really love that!!!

        “. . .my question was whether you are in an abusive marriage and trying to determine whether it is right to leave.” No, I am not. I am trying to determine if faith is a reliable way to come to knowledge claims?

        “I don’t think we have been careful with our conclusions on divorce and I see the church just floating along with culture and psychology. I don’t know about you, and I won’t judge the care with which other women have come to their conclusions.” . . . That’s a very good point!!! I should not say “we.” I tried to post all the reasons (I) say what (I) think but that just doesn’t post. Maybe the issue is all the footnotes, or who knows, —very frustrating because I have spent years and years reading and praying down all these blog posts and looking at the Bible’s primary source evidence on the issues. Sort of like your “I take my obedience to God very seriously.” —Me too! Abaoslutely. —For me, confirmation biases, motivated reasoning, importing culture and psychology are exquisitely hard to control for. —Even if I use peer-review. I really care if what I believe is true. I have found that the best way to do that is to try especially hard to prove what I like; what appeals to me; wrong.

        Seeing the Light, would you mind detailing your best experience of God and why you think it was Him? . . .For me, I walk daily into the mystery of God but it is so, so emotional and I can not define that mystery no matter how hard I try to describe it. The other night I was thinking about God (as always) as I feel asleep. I was thinking about how saying “God” is never really naming God but only naming my understanding of God. . . .—but I want Him —not ideas of God. —How do you access God? . . .Reason is my gatekeeper, but I can not resist the rushing torrents of emotion, it is so, so emotional for me I fear I am not being rational. I really have to work at logic, reason and evidence, sometimes I think I am almost all emotions.

        Thank you for interacting with me, —I always appreciate when people do that! But don’t do it if you don’t want to. You own your feelings (I know you know that). You own your thoughts. You control both. No one has the right to any of it—to any of you without your permission.

      • Seeing the Light on February 14, 2018 at 12:18 am

        Aleea, I am planning to respond to your last comment, but I will not be able to do so tonight. In the meantime, I wanted to say that I think JoAnn’s comment is very helpful. I hope you will find something there to consider.

      • Aleea on February 14, 2018 at 4:51 am

        JoAnn says

        Lord God❣ 💓 💗 💖 💘 💝 💟 ❤ 💛 💚 💙 💜 💔 💟,
        Help us (especially me) to be gentle with each others precious hearts so no flying debris from our abusive pasts hits anyone or even hits us. . . .Lord God, please send us clarity or whatever we need. I certainly don’t even know what I or we need. . . . .But Lord, we want to be healed and changed into the likeness of You. Continually change us into the likeness of You and make this about You, not even about our abuse stories. More of You, less of us. Take me and melt me, mold me until I am complete in the likeness of You. Recreated, renewed, resurrected by Your righteousness. . . .

        Hello JoAnn❣😊 💕,
        Yes re:”The Normal Christian Life” and “Release of the Spirit” too. I understand the structure, but it looks like total chaos with everyone doing “what the Spirit” told them. Jesus told me to do __________; God told me to do __________; I have special permission from Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God to do __________. . . . .Joseph Smith or anyone of the thousands and thousands in other Christian faiths, . . . .Mr. Smith, founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement comes onto the blog, he starts telling us that the Holy Spirit told him __________ and the Holy Spirit told him __________. Ditto thousands and thousands of others: Chaos, just total, complete chaos. I only know to use the Bible and use the earliest extant copies of whatever we are talking about, otherwise just total, complete chaos. The Holy Spirit told me to tell you __________. It is just complete utter chaos.

        Is there some other way to tell the difference between true and false beliefs that isn’t logic, reason and *primary source* evidence based? What looks like very solid Christians go after the writings of Watchman Nee and just totally deconstruct them: We Were Wrong About Watchman Nee! – Are The Teachings of Watchman Nee Biblical? – Beware the UnBiblical Teachings of Watchman Nee!, et.al., et.al. . . .I just don’t understand that: chaos, just total, complete chaos. All of them can’t be right but all of them, including even Nee, can be wrong.

        As everyone knows, the Bible did not just fall from heaven, complete. . . .textual variants/ textual interpolations/ textual redactions/ textual alterations/ textual additions/ textual contradictions exist ―big time. We have enough chaos with just the text. In the consensus apparatus (―all the extant valuable early manuscripts *primary source evidence* collated) of the Bible’s texts, variant letter-ratings are used:
        • The letter A indicates that the text is certain❣😊 💕. • A-Ratings: 8.7%
        • The letter B indicates that the text is almost certain❣😊 💕. • B-Ratings: 32.3%
        • The letter C indicates that scholars have difficulty in deciding which equally valuable textual variant to place in the text 💀☠. • C-Ratings: 48.6 %
        • The letter D indicates that scholars have great difficulty in arriving at any decision 💀☠. They just DON’T know. • D-Ratings: 10.4%
        ―That is plenty of chaos right there.

        So that we can be precise, in First Thessalonians 5:23. . . .we have:
        1) Theos Θεὸς -God,
        2) Pneuma πνεῦμα -spirit,
        3) Psychē ψυχὴ -soul,
        4) Sōma σῶμα -body,
        . . .So just let me know which words you are referring to and when and who is doing what and how we know that because it really makes a difference, so does the context and all the other places the words are used, as you know.

        “Lord is leading us….to the question at hand, whether to divorce or not. As believers, we have the capacity to know God’s will by exercising our spirit. When we are one with Him in spirit, we have peace, and that is the governing principle.” . . .Aleea says, He either gave us instruction on marriage, divorce, remarriage or we have chaos, total and complete chaos and that is what we have in Christianity just chaos. In all the evangelical churches I’m in, divorce, remarriage for anything, anytime. It is just total, complete chaos. It makes me deeply wonder. . . .

        . . .Studying the Bible should totally, completely, utterly humble us. Why is divorce usually peddled as a last resort? Maybe it is a first resort? . . .Reality isn’t the way we wish things to be, nor the way they appear to be, but the way they actually are. Either we acknowledge reality and use it to our benefit (—no matter what the Bible “says”: Truth serves Life???), or it will automatically work against us. Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, it doesn’t go away. . . . .I’m re-reading “How Trauma Lodges in the Body”. They say in that research paper: “Unlike other forms of abuse, the core issue in trauma is reality.” ―I think, what does that mean “the core issue in trauma is reality”? —Then it hits me and I close my eyes and try to see more of You Lord†ރ ✞ރ✝❣😊 💕
        and less of me.

      • Nancy on February 14, 2018 at 9:44 am

        Hello Aleea,

        A number of weeks back, you asked JoAnn if she would teach you. She graciously offered you advice, as she just has above.

        But I am really beginning to wonder about the sincerity of you asking to be taught. Aleea, you seem more invested in defending your pride than submitting to the wise teachings offered to you by a Godly woman.

        There is gold here, Aleea, but you are missing it 💔

      • Seeing the Light on February 14, 2018 at 12:55 pm

        Aleea,

        I tried to just sit down and write all the things I have been thinking in response to your comments this week, especially the last one addressed to me and the one you made today in response to JoAnn’s comment. It got exceedingly long. I have decided to address things in pieces to make it manageable.

        Please understand that I tend to be a blunt, straightforward communicator. (After so long living with a man with whom communication was a snarled-up, fuzzy, “word salad” mess, I just can’t beat around the bush anymore. It’s too exhausting). Please try not to read a harsh tone into anything. It’s not meant that way. I spent quite a bit of time last night reading some of your old posts, and my heart grieved for you. Also, I am no one. I have my own struggles and doubts. I have not arrived. I have just tried to speak in defense of the oppressed and burdened because I ached to have someone do that for me for so long. If I say something that you disagree with, feel free to disagree and be at peace.

        So, here goes…

        You said, “Seeing the Light, would you mind detailing your best experience of God and why you think it was Him? . . .”

        I don’t know if I can answer this in any way that is helpful to you. I don’t know how I could pick my best experience. Are you looking for some experience that had to be God and not something else in order to bolster faith? I have small instances where I am going about my business and every now and then it seems he just confirms something to my spirit that I know didn’t come from me. Or there are times I am angry or disappointed in Him (sorry, things get pretty real between God and me) – usually as a result of suffering and bondage – where I begin the internal monologue. I say monologue because at such times I am talking at Him and not really expecting or wanting to hear His side – and yet, there is that internal argument in His favor at a time where I am not advocating for Him.

        Perhaps this is closer to what you mean…I needed to have a health-related procedure that was very frightening to me. I sought prayer and encouragement from others because the fear was great and I was failing to quiet myself and trust God with it. (I have a somewhat adverse health care-related history and some trauma associated with it). I spoke to a pastor and we prayed about it. He counseled me to have Christian women friends pray and specifically to pray that the Holy Spirit would fill the room during the procedure. So, I found a few women and gave them a specific prayer list including that – that the Holy Spirit would fill the room. Then I went to the appointment and one of the health care providers had offered to pray. I said yes, and she began to pray and asked that the Holy Spirit would fill the room. I had not asked her to pray specifically that. Yet, there it was – the specific thing the pastor had said and that I had been asking the other women to pray. My heart was touched with peace that God was in it and that He was in the room and I went through the procedure more calm than I would have thought possible for me.

        I have another experience that I believe was God that was different. It was at the beginning of coming out of the fog after two decades of believing my husband’s Christian façade and stuffing the cognitive dissonance and the crazy-making having its effect. Things had turned a corner and God had started removing scales from my eyes and clearing up fog, and it was overwhelming. I was having a discussion with my husband, which was turning into an argument, and suddenly, out of nowhere – totally out of character for anything that happens to me – I “knew” a word. I say “knew” because there was no voice, there was no vision – no auditory or visual hallucination. It was a knowledge, as though a metaphorical neon light had gone on across his forehead – the word “SELF-RIGHTEOUS.” I was floored. It was hard to finish the conversation. It was like God had just dropped it from the heavens. There I was with this firm knowledge – my husband is not righteous with the righteousness of Christ – he is self-righteous like the Pharisees. It was true. I believe it was God.

        I don’t know if this was the kind of thing you had in mind.

        I will be posting again shortly.

        • JoAnn on February 14, 2018 at 3:03 pm

          Seeing the Light, thank you for those wonderful accounts. I consider that every one of them was from the Lord….because the result of each was a sense of life and peace in your heart. that is the best indication that you have heard from the Lord. The enemy brings confusion, but God’s light gives us peace. Thank you for sharing. I have had similar experiences, like after I had a miscarriage at 20 weeks, and I was grieving before the Lord. Then He showed me that my baby had come out from Him and then spent a short time in my body, then went right back to Him. The sense of peace that flooded my being couldn’t have come from any other source. Several other traumatic experiences in my life have finished the dame way: with a speaking from Him resulting in a sense of peace. The entrance of His word gives light (and peace).

      • Seeing the Light on February 14, 2018 at 1:26 pm

        Aleea,

        You answered my question about whether you are in an abusive marriage and trying to determine whether it is right to leave by saying, “No, I am not. I am trying to determine if faith is a reliable way to come to knowledge claims?” So then, why are you trying so hard to come to a conclusion on divorce and remarriage, as you have expressed in other comments? I must re-iterate that I see you trying to answer questions you most likely need to leave alone. If your situation does not require God’s guidance in this thorny area, why are you trying so hard to get it?

        Perhaps I’m missing something. I’m not even sure whether you already know where you stand on it or not. It sounds like you don’t sometimes. Other times you seem to advocate against it. If you do not support divorce (and/or remarriage) in cases of abuse, then feel free to come out here and say, “Women, I think you are wrong and you should not do it.” Then we can say we agree or disagree and be done with it. Or, if you truly don’t know, then you could say, I don’t know. Consider the possibility that the Lord won’t give you peace about someone else’s decision. I fail to see a good reason for you to keep asking the same basic questions here over and over again with different wording.

        You are trying to determine if faith is a reliable way to come to knowledge claims. Forgive me if I am wrong (I don’t read all the comments every week), but I just don’t think that is the focus of this blog. I had stopped reading your comments because they were too nebulous for me (no unkindness intended). I think I only read them this week because you addressed me. Why are you bringing these kinds of questions to a blog about difficult and destructive relationships and personal growth (CORE)?

      • Seeing the Light on February 14, 2018 at 2:46 pm

        Aleea, you said, “Reason is my gatekeeper, but I can not resist the rushing torrents of emotion, it is so, so emotional for me I fear I am not being rational. I really have to work at logic, reason and evidence, sometimes I think I am almost all emotions.” I am concerned that the torrents of emotion and the inability to control them may have something to do with your psyche’s reaction to the abuse and trauma of your childhood. I think your mind and emotions may be overwhelming and drowning out your spirit. If I may speak boldly: Stop over-stimulating your mind. Stop reading and reading all of these religious items. Just stop. Please. Let your mind dwell on the simple. I’m actually wondering if there is almost an addictive quality to the amount of religious information you are ingesting.

        Can you see what you can do about the emotions? Have you been diagnosed with anything – or at least discussed possibilities with your counselor? With the childhood trauma you experienced, especially at the hands of your own mother, there are likely conditions that involve emotional dysregulation. (My own mother is extremely emotionally dysregulated and was abused at the hands of her mother. She does not want to change. Do you?). Depending on what is going on, there may be focused ways to help. There are good resources for complex-PTSD, if that applies. What if you were to cease striving in the area of religion and attend to the health of your mind and emotions? As a sidenote, I have a great deal of respect for emotions, I have plenty of them myself, and I believe God to have revealed himself to be an emotional being, but they need to be regulated, not out of control.

        • JoAnn on February 14, 2018 at 3:15 pm

          Sister Seeing the Light, as your “name” indicates, you are definitely seeing Aleea’s situation very clearly, and I say a hearty AMEN to everything you wrote. I have tried to convey those same thoughts in past posts, but I think you said it very clearly and eloquently. Aleea….please hear us. We are very concerned for your spiritual well being, and we ae trying to help. Will you listen? Will you hear Nancy and me and Seeing the Light? I’d like to underline several points that StL made. First of all, she asked if you are not having to decide whether or not to divorce, then why are you troubling yourself and us by over-thinking the matter? Also, we are here to encourage one another, not to get into theological debates. I could go on, but I have an appointment in a few minutes. I just hope that you will prayerfully consider what we have written, in loving concern, and allow the Lord to clear your mind. There are strongholds there that need to come down.

        • JoAnn on February 14, 2018 at 3:34 pm

          Very good point about emotional dysregulation. I hadn’t thought of that, but I think it’s worth checking into for her.

      • Seeing the Light on February 14, 2018 at 3:23 pm

        Aleea, I should have said after that third long comment, that is the last of the “pieces” I mentioned before.

      • Nancy on February 14, 2018 at 4:20 pm

        I want to come alongside you too, Aleea, with JoAnn and Seeing the Light. There is a lot of wisdom in these Valentine’s posts, for you.

        I’m going to be direct, and also want you to know that this is written in love.

        I too, believe that you are dealing with some kind of addiction with your religious reading. It takes you down very dark rabbit holes. I wonder if when you are triggered, that’s what you do: You consume religious material, in order to run from your feelings.

        • Aly on February 14, 2018 at 4:38 pm

          Aleea, Nancy & others …
          I’m also coming along side here in love 💜
          Emotional dysregulation / many forms of that, create a void of reasoning. Especially if it’s skewed.
          If I think I understand you Nancy;
          The emotional space is flooded and not processed and nor is the ‘deeper grief’ processed really either.

          Aleea, you are fully aware of self protection mechanisms and one area to explore is the dismantling of PURPOSE as image bearers of God.
          That’s how we were originally designed prior to our sin.
          Sin brings brokenness and of course abuse in our world of all kinds.

          Ask yourself the motive in all the research and what you are trying to validate or invalidate?
          What sources you tend to align with and what makes them most valid for you to weigh?

          Some people try to makeGod, the scriptures, life and purpose irrelevant or insignificant so that they can cope with abuse and have abuse be irrelevant ‘meaning it doesn’t mean all that much’ so then the impact isn’t significant.
          But abuse IS significant, as we are image bearers of The Lord;)
          He loves us and we are significant and our lives, pain & healing journeys are significant!
          ✝️
          The Lord is the overcome and equips us with victory;) His victory and His Glory

      • Seeing the Light on February 14, 2018 at 7:04 pm

        JoAnn,

        Thank you for your kind remarks this afternoon. I am so sorry about your miscarriage, but I am glad God gave you peace.

        I also found your response to John to be excellent.

        • JoAnn on February 14, 2018 at 7:32 pm

          Thanks. Hugs to you.

      • Aleea on February 15, 2018 at 6:55 am

        Hello Everyone❣️,

        Please, please forgive me, it just takes lots and lots and lots of prayer time to think about what all of you are saying (I so appreciate the observations and thoughts). I am really praying over them and I will pray more too. . . . .So I don’t just focus on the logical fallacies, textual and historical misinformation and magical thinking . . . Lord, help me be truly aware and please change me. I want to be completely changed and I want to keep changing.

        So, as an example:
        . . . .JoAnn (—please forgive me, I love you, think beyond what I am saying if that is possible), . . .but in your first post above: JoAnn says February 14, 2018 at 11:32 am, it is not even what you say, because honestly (and I am fully aware I don’t know), but the amount of historical and logical errors and magical thinking I am aware of in what you say is. . . .well, . . .But, . . .but, but it is how gentle and kind you are with me and how you are not shunning me. It makes me think: wow, W-O-W, there are actually good mothers, not just total abusive monsters like I had. . . . .Posts with logical fallacies, magical thinking, vast historical errors that are self-deconstructing (—and who doesn’t do that including me). . . . .But there are mothers who are not abusive or who do not engage in shunning!!!!! —Incredible. . . .JoAnn, your Jesus is showing and I think to myself: —Aleea, for the love of God, pay attention —pay attention, don’t just deconstruct the errors in what is being said. Something else, something else is going on beyond the facts, beyond the primary source evidence, the reasoning, —the vast historical, logical, and serious textual errors.

        The Bible has to be interpreted. —And if it isn’t interpreted, then it can’t be put into action. So if we are deeply serious about following God, then we have to interpret the Bible. It is not possible to simply do what the Bible says or assume it has no issues. That is willfully blind. We must first make decisions about what it means at this time, in this place, for these people. . . . .But as obvious as it is, Jesus is bigger than everything, everyone says —especially me.

        All things work out for the good for those who love the Lord. . . . .I love the Lord and there are no textual variants on that part of that passage (sans new manuscript finds and they happen nearly every month) and JoAnn loves the Lord and loves me, —somehow. —And I think to myself: This is Ture, even if it is not true —and that is the truest thing I know. . . .And I think, how can I be far more gentle with people’s precious hearts while not being intellectually dishonest. —Lord is that even possible??? The danger is that in reaction to abuses and distortions of Christianity, the Bible, marriage/divorce/remarriage we’ll just reject it completely. —And in the process miss out on the Christ in it, the good of it, the worth of it, the truth of it. . . .💖☄💦🚉 🛩 ✈️

      • Nancy on February 15, 2018 at 8:09 pm

        I am in full agreement with JoAnn, Aleea.

        JoAnn has articulated this very well. I will not add anything, only emphasize that ” we offer this to you as someone we love and care for”

      • ContentinChrist on February 15, 2018 at 8:16 pm

        I join with the other sisters here in their stated concerns.

        I also want to ask how you can state that you are in love with a Jesus that is revealed to us through God’s written Word which you seem to strongly want to deny could be truth? Where does the line get drawn for you so that you can still believe in a Jesus that is attractive enough for you to love and pray to? If the Bible is most likely not accurate or trustworthy in your view, then on what basis do you ground your faith in a Jesus that loves you and that you can love back? You remind us often of your high value on prayer, but I wonder….why pray when you don’t even know what/who you believe in? You seem so sure of the certainty of prayer and God shaping the world through prayer. But, how… and why do you believe that?

        I might be wrong, but it seems that your last comment is stating that you need to pray over the responses because they are fallacies and magical thinking. Am I reading that right? It’s possible I missed something and am reading into that sentence more than I should, but I would love to have a one word yes or no answer to that from you on that question. If yes, that will be pretty self-explanatory. If no, you don’t believe that, please clarify what you meant by that statement. Do you believe that those who were posting with their concerns are posting from believing in fallacies and magical thinking?

        I have to also say here that I do find your comments to be unhelpful for the purpose of this blog. It’s hard for me to type that out, but it is true for me. I know for the first couple of months I was intrigued by your posts, but as I’ve read here for over a year, I find the content to be confusing. It concerns me that there doesn’t seem to be new growth, healing or new revelation in your life through the course of a year.

        Aleea, I pray for healing, rest and true peace for you.

      • Seeing the Light on February 15, 2018 at 8:20 pm

        JoAnn, you have put this so well. I could not say it any better.

        Aleea, I, too, am in full agreement with JoAnn’s comment.

        I would only add emphasis in particular to the following: “I am going to be bold enough to say this, and then that others can join in if they want to: the enemy is using this obsession of yours to keep you in bondage… ” I absolutely agree. I went through my own period of time in my past where the enemy kept my mind in bondage through certain spiritual wranglings. I am only saying this that you may know that I speak from experience. Though our situations certainly are not identical, I recognize the familiarity of his methods. I absolutely agree with JoAnn about this.

        • JoAnn on February 15, 2018 at 11:45 pm

          Thank you all for standing with me. It is not easy to write such things. We pray that Aleea will take this help in the spirit in which it is given.

    • Aleea on February 10, 2018 at 4:22 am

      Hello John,

      “One of our biggest problems, probably the biggest actually, was not having solid people to talk to. Christian or not, just someone to here you maybe for the first time in as long as you can remember. Someone to help you make sense of what is going on. Not to advise you on what they think is best for you but just to here you out in a safe environment without being interrupted.”

      . . .This blog is my prayer list. I just pray down the entire thing every single day. For years that is all I did, never interacting. Even now, I mostly just pray and pray and pray (I spend enormous amounts of time on airplanes and rotting away in airports) . . . .But what you say is so, so, so true: “Not to advise you on what they think is best for you” ☑✓✔. . . . Wow, WOW, I totally forget that. . . . .Prayer is the best, the absolute best thing we do. . . . I really believe that God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers live before God, and God’s heart is set on them. God makes astounding promises to prayer and I am so trusting Him and praying for you and your family too.

      We are so, so inadequate against the nanuance and complexity of these issues we must cry out to God for help. . . .It is the deep concern and deeply listening that probably heals people. Once people are totally, completely, fully know and fully accepted for who they really are . . . .well. . . . .They already know what to do.

      “Paul says we have the mind of Christ. Do we believe that? Do we actually even read that book or do we let someone else read it to us once a week.” . . .Some days I so, so, so believe it, some days less so. . . .But the Word-of-God, I can’t put it down. The issue is that after a while, you have so much of it inside your heart and your head that you collate it and collating it leads to text deconstruction: Deep questioning. . . . John, you say “. . . .what is clearly written in the word.” . . . .John, sometimes it is crystal clear . . . .but just as many times textual variants/ textual interpolations/ textual redactions/ textual alterations/ textual additions/ textual contradictions, et.al (—maybe see “The Pre-Nicene New Testament” on Amazon) and maybe http://egora.uni-muenster.de/intf/institut/profil_en.shtml Institute for New Testament Textual Research http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/itsee/projects/index.aspx Institute for Biblical Textual Scholarship.

      . . .and yet, even as I write that John, as I put in those links —Wow. . . .I think . . . .Wow, Lord . . .Great are You, G-r-e-a-t are You Lord❣†ރ ✞ރ✝😊 . . . .It’s Your breath in my lungs. . . . .So I pour out my praise. —I pour out my praise to You!!!!! . . .It’s like the wildest thing ever!!! One thing seems clear: Christianity in all its versions is so, so often a psychological defense mechanism against a *REAL* experience of God!

      “Marriage is one of the most powerful ways God teaches us about His true nature.” . . . .Absolutely!!!!!

      “When I was given a new heart for my wife, I could no longer see her the way I used to. All the hurt, pain, miscommunication, broken trust, mother in law stuff everything just disappeared. I only saw my beautiful and broken wife.” . . .Wonderful, that is so, so beautiful!!!! Just be so, so, so careful with her precious heart and yours too! ☑✓✔ If you are not careful with your precious heart, you can’t be with her heart either. . . .It’s all coming from the inside. That’s the palce to work: the inside. —Lord, give us constant transformation of ourselves *continually change us Lord* into the likeness of You —Psalm 17:15

      “I only wanted to love her and build her up. Husbands love you wives as Christ loved the church and give your life to her.” . . .Y-E-S!!! . . . .and John when you don’t, because we are so human and so sinful —just at that *very* moment repent and let Jesus just carry you. We repent and we keep repenting. —Lord, give us constant transformation of ourselves *continually change us Lord* into the likeness of You —Psalm 17:15

      “He is calling us, will we come?”☑✓✔ . . . . Absolutely!!!!! . . .I’ll come Lord. . . .It’s Your very breath in my lungs Lord†ރ ✞ރ✝❣😊 ✝—John, I’ll be praying for you and your family as you do!!!

  12. Marie on February 9, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    I totally can Identify with “Our Marriage is Getting Worse” for me I have already figured out that my husband/marriage has always been this way (married 25-1/2 years)and worse in the beging! I am seeking the help and support I need, I found a EDR support group at a local church, I am currently reading Leslie’s E.D.R. book, I downloaded the Emotionally Destructive Marriage on audible (I have listen to it once); and I am seeing a christian psychologist once every 2-weeks! I am in the process and doing my work, It’s hard-but I decided I’m worth it!

    • JoAnn on February 9, 2018 at 5:51 pm

      Yes, you are worth it! Good for you!

    • Free on February 9, 2018 at 7:19 pm

      Marie, you might like to read Lundy Bancroft’s books too.

    • Nancy on February 10, 2018 at 8:02 am

      Good for you, Marie. You ARE worth it 🙂

  13. Aleea on February 10, 2018 at 4:51 am

    Hello John,

    I wrote you a response to all you wrote . . .but it says:

    Aleea says
    February 9, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    => YOUR COMMENT IS AWAITING MODERATION <=

    Here are some thoughts until it posts, —if it does. Sometimes things post, sometimes they never do post. But I read everything you wrote and commented on each thought.

    . . .This blog is my prayer list. I just pray down the entire thing every single day. What you say is so, so, so true: “Not to advise you on what they think is best for you” ☑✓✔. . . . Wow, WOW, I totally forget that. . . . .Prayer is often far more important than advice. . . . I really believe that God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers live before God, and God's heart is set on them. God makes astounding promises to prayer and I am so trusting Him and praying for you and your family too.

    We are so, so inadequate against the nanuance and complexity of these issues. We think we know things but just look at the advice given 200, 400, 600 years ago. That is what the current advice will look like all too soon. We must cry out to God for help. . . .It may simply be the deep listening and prayer that heals people. Once people are totally, completely, fully know and fully accepted for who they really are . . . .well. . . . .They already know what to do.

    “Marriage is one of the most powerful ways God teaches us about His true nature.” . . . .Absolutely!!!!!

    “When I was given a new heart for my wife, I could no longer see her the way I used to. All the hurt, pain, miscommunication, broken trust, mother in law stuff everything just disappeared. I only saw my beautiful and broken wife.” . . .Wonderful, that is so, so beautiful!!!! Just be so, so, so careful with her precious heart and yours too! ☑✓✔ If you are not careful with your precious heart, you can’t be with her heart either. . . .It’s all coming from the inside. That’s probably the palce to work: the inside. —Lord, give us constant transformation of ourselves *continually change us Lord* into the likeness of You —Psalm 17:15

    “I only wanted to love her and build her up. Husbands love you wives as Christ loved the church and give your life to her.” . . .Y-E-S!!! . . . .and John when you don’t, because we are so human and so sinful —just at that *very* moment repent and let Jesus just carry you. We repent and we keep repenting. —Lord, give us constant transformation of ourselves *continually change us Lord* into the likeness of You —Psalm 17:15
    John, I’ll be praying for you and your family❣😊 ✝

  14. John on February 10, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Aleea,
    I know I said some things that need clarity and some things I should have said better. I am learning everyday. Isn’t it beautiful that we have a Father that does not change that we can fall on. Alot of times it is our thinking that gets in the way. If you had a more comprehensive response for me that was censored please feel free to forward to ligwyd@hushmail.com if you feel led to. I can tell there is something real in you. God is good.Have a blessed day from our family to yours. No division in Christ.
    And of course, not to sidetrack from the original reason this post started, thank you to Leslie and team for creating a platform for discussion and will continue to pray for the lady who is going through some rough stuff in her marriage. I was just sharing with my wife and 3 children today. how very serious these matters are. Relational issues are the most constructive or destructive experiences in life and I am learning even now to tread lightly as the heart is as you say so very precious. I also want to apologize for speaking to forwardly to others on this post. My wife reminds me this morning “don’t act like you got it all figured out, God hates pride” to which I humbly agree.
    For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. James 3:2
    Let us not add or take away from the word but search the scriptures daily to prove whether these things be so.
    Peace and the Love of Christ to you all 🙂
    John

    • Barbara B on February 10, 2018 at 4:45 pm

      John, I am someone your referred to on February 8 as being a “woe is me, sympathy crowd.” If someone said that about you, I am sure you would be offended, just as I was. You also said I am part of “a sympathy circle that is destroying families.” You had no right to accuse me that way; it is a lie. However, I read your words posted here on February 10 and I will accept your apology, even though it was a very general apology and did not give specifics about the harm done by your previous words. John, you are quite good at quoting Bible verses, but it seems to me that despite all your Bible knowledge, perhaps you have somewhat missed God’s heart. I say this with kindness and concern for you, my brother in Christ. As you say, God hates pride but He loves sympathy and compassion. It seems that you might be willing to learn more about compassion; I hope this is true and that it will be a lifetime pursuit. The men and women on this blog can help you with that. If you can tone down the attitude, as it seems you are willing to do, you can be a much more helpful member of the community.

      • John on February 10, 2018 at 11:30 pm

        Barbara,
        I agree with you. That is one thing my Wife had said to me many time that I lack sympathy. Definitely an area in me that still needs work. Appreciate your honesty Barbara:)
        I am sorry for the stereotype re: woe is me, sympathy crowd comments. That is another area of me that needs to change, the little comments that tear down. Thank you for recognizing and giving me your time on that. I do not take your correction lightly.
        John

    • Aleea on February 11, 2018 at 4:46 am

      Hello John,

      “ligwyd” —I sent it to you! ✞😊

      “My wife reminds me this morning “don’t act like you got it all figured out, God hates pride” to which I humbly agree.”

      Absolutely. . . .Evil, pure evil, is the force that believes its knowledge and understanding is in any way even approximating complete. We know so, so very little. What we do not yet know is often far, far more important than what we think we know now. . . . .First of all, there are massively more things you and I (especially me!) don’t know than we “know” (—or think we know). The things we don’t know are the birthplace of all new adventures💛😉 👏 😎 🌈 in learning. So if we make the things we don’t know our friend, we are always looking (on a quest) . . .in the off chance that somebody who doesn’t agree with us will tell us something we couldn’t have ever figured out on our own! It’s a completely different way of looking at the world. It’s the antithesis of opinionated!

      . . .We cannot be protected from the things that frighten and deeply hurt us, but if we can identify with the part of our being that is responsible for transformation (the Holy Spirit), then we are always the equal, or more than the equal of the things that confront us. †ރ ✞❣😊 ✝

      “I can tell there is something real in you.” . . .John, for the love of God, please use discernment. I am mostly deadwood just like everyone else. I just don’t know where my deadwood is or I would get rid of it, as best I could. I have enough sin-potential to level TEN city blocks in every direction (—And if God let off His restraining hand, you’d see it immediately.) That’s how we know the Bible is true. It’s got a totally realistic position on what people are really, really like: redeemed but still in need of constant repentance. †ރ ✞ރ✝😊↪✈

      . . .And let me tell you John, you and so, so many here have been such a blessing to me. ―They have pointed me to Christ. The gospel is only available to people who know they are unclean: . . .my own heart, black as a coal-pit and twice as foul and even my repentance needs to be repented of. . . .But, I also know I am *hopelessly* in love with Jesus Christ. . . .As I have said before, in the first three centuries of Christianity, the Church was a gathering of t-o-t-a-l, absolute nobodies to worship the only real Somebody: Christ, raised from the dead, seated with the Father, Authority over all, Holy in His perfection, —the only perfect.

  15. Aleea on February 11, 2018 at 5:44 am

    Lord God,
    You see the depths of ours heart and You love us the same. —You are amazing Lord God❣†ރ ✞ރ✝😊

    αδιαμφισβήτητο απρόσιτο σχεδόν απίστευτο (indescribable, uncontainable, a-l-m-o-s-t unbelievable!!!)

  16. Aly on February 11, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Aleea,

    Just to clarify in our other dialogs I often ask you to not just consider the prophecy investigations, but the ‘statistics’ of prophecy.

    By the way, I’m not sure what your noting as primary source evidence and how you choose to validate those sources but I think it’s important to consider those things. (Probably not the best to discuss here~ and in another post you mentioned the Bible being true, so glad we can agree from such an important place)
    Praying for your heart and your journey.

  17. Nancy on February 11, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    I wanted to share where The Lord led me, this morning. He is really encouraging me to focus on myself in this journey ( I have discovered that I have a tendency to project and to blame, in order to avoid uncomfortable feelings).

    Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about intimacy and what that ‘looks like’ in my marriage. The image that kept coming to mind was of two people sharing vulnerability, of submitting one to the other. So, I went to Ephesians ‘submission passage’. Paul says, submit one to another. Okay. Then he describes what that looks like for each party. Of course my tendency is to focus on what my h is to do. But I resisted that and really just focused on ‘my side of the street’- and then I got really scared! What if I submit to a man in an area that he is not first submitted to Christ?

    Then I went to the message translation. It is SO CLEAR. It says, “the husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he excercises such leadership, wives should submit to their husband”.

    I want to highlight AS HE EXCERCISES SUCH LEADERSHIP. In other words we are not called to submit if our h is not EXCERCISING that cherishing leadership. And that takes me relying on the HolynSpirit, because he can move in and out of cherishing depending on his woundedness.

    Also, in my NLT version, the title starting at Ephesians 5:21 is “Spirit guided relationships”! This means being Open to the Holy Spirit as we interact. These are NOT RULES!

    If he’s not leading by submitting to Christ, then I don’t support or follow. He is called to be the spiritual leader, and where he excercises that spiritual leadership, then I will follow:)

    • Remedy on February 11, 2018 at 2:56 pm

      Absolutely Nancy…..wives are called to submit, as unto the Lord…..not just submit any old way to any old thing. Scripture has instructions we are to follow.

      It is my VERY firm belief that the leadership/authority of husbands has a boundary around it…..Jesus! He is the model. A husband has NO right to do to his wife things the Lord Jesus, Himself, would not do to us. If a husband desires to do something to or treat his wife in a way he KNOWS Jesus would not treat or respond to her…….he is sinning, period. Further, as a wife I would want to know, if he is treating me in a way Jesus never would, that the husband had gone on his knees to Jesus to ask permission to treat her in a way he knows Jesus would never do. Then he should have some type of proof of a word from the Lord that he was given permission to act outside the boundary and model of Christ toward his wife. Otherwise, it is the husband who is definitively sinning against his wife.

      Any husband who doesn’t tremble at the call of God upon his life in marriage to love in this way may need to check his pulse……spiritually speaking. This before he is accusing his wife of being submissive.

      The destructive behaviors….not a season of hardship all humans face, is why Leslie has created this forum, ministry, books, counseling. There is a distinction.

      • Nancy on February 11, 2018 at 4:56 pm

        I like the way you say that there is a boundary around his authority, Remedy. It is Christ himself.

        Even in a healthy marriage, the husband could still ‘lead them off a cliff’, so to speak. Even the most godly of men, are not God; and I think that is a critical distinction, too. Imagine a wife who has a pretty ‘God fearing man’ who is genuinely submitted and cherishing his wife. He loses his father and suddenly a bunch of repressed pain comes to the surface, and he becomes lost for a time. He consistently makes poor decisions and this is highly unusual… If the wife in this case, continues to submit to his poor decisions and doesn’t hold him accountable for facing his pain, this becomes her failure, too. She is submitting to the wrong thing. Without the ‘iron sharpening iron’ element – that he desperately needs- then he remains lost without a partner’s help.

        As wives, we can never stop paying attention to the Holy Spirit so that we can know when to follow him, or not.

        It amazed me that this one passage covered so much ground!

        • Remedy on February 11, 2018 at 6:29 pm

          Totally agree with what you’ve said here. I think most sound minded wives will not get their ‘knickers in a twist’ with a husband she sees is genuinely seeking the Lord as he leads. This forum is for the destructive situations…..the ones that have gone off the rails and all attempts to right it are failing.

          • Nancy on February 11, 2018 at 8:35 pm

            Remedy,

            I’m not clear on the point you are trying to make when you say, “This forum is for destructive situations…the ones that have gone off the rails and all attempts to right it are failing.”

            My original comment about Ephesians 5:22 was to validate a woman’s choice to not submit to abuse. My second comment to you was simply to marvel at the breadth of that one passage.



          • Remedy on February 12, 2018 at 2:10 am

            I remain in agreement with what you’re saying here, Nancy. My apologies if it appeared not.



          • Nancy on February 12, 2018 at 8:58 am

            No need to apologize, Remedy. We’re here to engage in conversation, and that will often lead to difference of opinion. Nothing wrong with that 🙂



      • Maria on February 11, 2018 at 6:34 pm

        Nancy,

        Unfortunately when women don’t submit to bad decisions that their husbands make, they are told they should because God will honor them and things will work out. We here have seen that things don’t just work out when we submit to poor leadership (so many examples on this blog).

        • Nancy on February 11, 2018 at 8:42 pm

          Hi Maria,

          My comment was meant to validate a woman’s choice to not submit to abuse (this blog has seen all kinds of ‘submit at all costs’ thinking).

          It was not meant to guilt anyone for complying in an impossible situation.

        • Nancy on February 11, 2018 at 10:09 pm

          I just re-read your comment, Maria.

          I think I misunderstood your point when I first responded.

          I think you are saying that it’s unfortunate that pastors ( and others in authority) do not view the Ephesians passage the way I saw it?

          If that’s what you meant, then yes, that is heaping abuse on top of abuse.

          • Maria on February 12, 2018 at 4:08 pm

            Nancy,

            I agree that it is not wise for women to submit to their husbands when their decisions are not for the good of their families. When I approached my pastor about the problems in my marriage I was told if I do the right thing (submit) would honor my obedience, that he would be won over without a word but through my actions. Thankfully I did I not take his advice. I brought it up in case there are others here who are hearing this. I know some of the marriage classes out there teach this.



      • Remedy on February 12, 2018 at 10:43 am

        Just realized my typo at the end…..when a husband begins to accuse his wife of being UNsubmissive. He needs to first check his own pulse spiritually and ask Am I treating my wife like Christ before I begin pointing my finger? This is very sobering instruction to husbands.

        Sorry if that typy made things confusiing😊

        • JoAnn on February 12, 2018 at 10:53 am

          Good point. We all need to check in with the Lord before interacting in situations that can go badly, and even in normal ones. We are called on to live Him daily….For to me to live is Christ….

  18. JoAnn on February 13, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    Aleea, If I may inject something here….I know you addressed your comments to Seeing the Light, but since we all read these comments… I wonder if some of your concern and confusion about faith versus reason might be related to which organ you are using to know God. First Thessalonians 5:23 tells us clearly that we are of three parts (and so is our God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). We have a body, and a soul composed of our mind, emotion and will, and a spirit, which was activated when we believed in the Lord and is the organ by which we can contact God and know and experience Him. When the Lord comes into us, He comes into our human spirit to be our life. It is by His Spirit in us that we can know Him, not by our mind (reason) but by the intuition in our spirit. You read The Normal Christian Life, and in chapter 10, he talks about the path of progress for Christians is to walk in the Spirit. This cannot be done in the mind; our minds need to be renewed, because they are cluttered with all kinds of artifacts. But our spirit is the organ by which we can know God and experience Him. That’s how we can know where the Lord is leading us….to the question at hand, whether to divorce or not. As believers, we have the capacity to know God’s will by exercising our spirit. When we are one with Him in spirit, we have peace, and that is the governing principle.

  19. JoAnn on February 14, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Aleea, I’ll try to answer at least some of what you wrote. You asked about 1 Thess. 5:23: “. . .So just let me know which words you are referring to and when and who is doing what and how we know that because it really makes a difference, so does the context and all the other places the words are used, as you know.” First, Paul prays that the God of peace Himself will sanctify us entirely. Then he defines what that means by saying that our “spirit and soul and body be preserved complete without blame.” We are made in God’s image, so just as He is tripartite, so are we. We don’t have three Gods, and neither are we three different people (though sometimes we can act that way.)
    I agree that when you look around, what you see is chaos. Guess what? God has an enemy, and chaos is what he does. So yes, you are going to see chaos when you look around, because that is his handiwork. We as christians are charged to live and walk by the Spirit, and yes, many times the enemy will try to deceive us into believing that we have God’s leading when in fact, Satan is the one telling us what to do. (We must learn to pray against the enemy’s influence when we read the Bible or ask the Lord for His leading in anything.) That is why we have to have the living word of God dwelling in us. The Lord’s speaking in us is not going to violate His word. (God does not tell us to kill our children, etc.) And the point that you are expressing about how can we know that the Lord is telling us to divorce, when His word expressly tells us that God hates divorce, is confusing, yes. But when you look at the whole of scripture, you can see that there are “exceptions” when you consider other factors like broken covenants, etc., as Leslie has pointed out. I think where you and I differ in this is that I choose to believe that the Bible as we have it today is given to us by God as His word for us, in this present age, and that He was sovereign over the translations and selection of what would be included. The various creeds and biblical passages that were or were not included by men, that was all managed by the Lord so that we would have what He wants us to have now. So, when I pick up my Bible, I “eat” the word as my daily food, and I enjoy the Holy Spirit activating the word within my being, and this is what assists me in my walk with the Lord. I have peace and joy, not chaos, not confusion.
    “Turn you eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” Blessings to you.

    • John on February 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

      “And the point that you are expressing about how can we know that the Lord is telling us to divorce, when His word expressly tells us that God hates divorce, is confusing, yes. But when you look at the whole of scripture, you can see that there are “exceptions” when you consider other factors like broken covenants, etc., as Leslie has pointed out.”

      Hello JoAnn,
      Which verses are you referring to with regards to “exceptions” as Leslie had pointed out?

      • JoAnn on February 14, 2018 at 6:20 pm

        John, I believe this matter is covered well in her book, and it was also discussed thoroughly in a previous blog thread. However, there are a few verses that point to the husband’s obligations to his wife that imply a covenant relationship. Indeed, throughout the old testament, the Lord considers His relationship with His people to be a covenant relationship, which the Children of Israel break over and over again. So, in Malachi 2:14-16, the Lord refers to the marriage as a covenant and rebukes the husband for being treacherous. It appears to me that the Lord is saying that He hates the treachery, and He hates divorce, so the husband should treat his wife properly and not put her away. This, of course, is open to interpretation, but it is clear that the Lord values the welfare of the person over the covenant of marriage. Eph. 5:25, 28-33 gives a pretty clear picture of the husband’s responsibility in marriage. Over and over again in the New Testament, the Lord Jesus Himself broke rules in order to take care of the individuals. So if a woman’s life is in danger, don’t you think that the Lord would permit her to leave, even realizing that for her to stay is to give him a way to continue to sin against her? This may seem like splitting hairs, and since you and your wife have a restored marriage, this is a moot point for you. Each woman here has to do what is necessary to protect her own life and heart and that of her children. Some have determined to stay, and “stay well.” Others have felt it necessary to leave. (To leave without divorce is also an option, which several women here have opted for. That is scriptural.) We are not here to judge each other but to support, offer comfort and our experiences, and pray for one another. “What worked for me” might help you, or it might not. Each one has a unique situation to deal with, so we all offer what we have, and pray that the offering will be helpful, and if not mine, then someone else’s.
        I don’t know if any of this answers your question, but I suggest that you read the book again, and look at what Leslie says about leaving an abusive marriage. She has seen so many different situations, and I have, too, as a counselor. There is no “one size fits all.”

  20. JoAnn on February 15, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Aleea, I will repeat what I said before….that I choose to believe that the Bible we have today is God’s word for us in this present age, so I am not stumbled by the things you are saying. I have heard from several real men of God, godly men, who affirm that we cannot pursue the Lord and be constituted with His divine life and nature if we don’t believe the Bible. Men like Billy Graham, Siang-Yang Tan (a Fuller Theological Seminary professor), and others I could name but don’t want to get into that…The point is that well qualified theologians don’t quibble as much as you do about: “The Bible has to be interpreted. —And if it isn’t interpreted, then it can’t be put into action. So if we are deeply serious about following God, then we have to interpret the Bible. It is not possible to simply do what the Bible says or assume it has no issues. That is willfully blind. We must first make decisions about what it means at this time, in this place, for these people. . .” They have accepted what we have, are living by it, and thriving spiritually as a result. The Bible HAS been interpreted, has been translated, and has blessed many. This is not being “willfully blind.” This is, for me at least, trusting in a God who loves to speak to His people.
    So, dear Aleea, even after you have heard from several of us how concerned we are for you…Nancy, Aly, and Seeing the Light and I, here you are insisting that you must find the truth by questioning, doubting and investigating these documents. And we are saying that this obsession that you have with “searching the scriptures” is unhealthy, even damaging, not only to you, but it confuses the sisters who come here for help and instead get your theological rantings. We are circling around you because we want to help. We see your confusion, your doubts and fears, even to the point of at times expressing your doubt that God even exists…. And here we are, offering our help so that you can have a clear and sweet enjoyment of the Lord, but you are resisting. I am going to be bold enough to say this, and then that others can join in if they want to: the enemy is using this obsession of yours to keep you in bondage… You call it being bound to the truth, but really it is not. Among the four of us, we have offered help. We four are of one mind about this, so I think we have the mind of Christ, and we offer this to you as someone that we love and care for. I pray that the lord will shine His light into your being so that you can see the reality of what we are saying. But even if you cannot accept our advice, I would ask that you stop discussing theological issues here on this blog and stick to offering words of encouragement from your own experience to those who come here for help. We are here to help and encourage one another as we navigate very difficult and challenging experiences, and throwing questions and reasonings into the conversation does not help anyone. First Timothy 1:4: Nor give heed to myths and unending genealogies, which produce questionings rather than God’s economy, which is in faith.

  21. Free on February 16, 2018 at 12:54 am

    I have to say that it seems we have dished out some tough love comments for Aleea. Ouch. I believe she has the same freedom as the rest of us to post entries that she deems appropriate.

    Yet, like in all other aspects of life there are consequences to our choices. Because her posts are so long and convoluted, I have stopped reading them a long time ago.

    A boundary I would like to place is similar to one poster who requested “yes” and “no” answers only. That would be a great start. Yet, Aleea has not asked any of us to edit her posts or make suggestions about her mental health. Which brings me back to the thought that she can post in any manner she choses, yet there will be consequences within the community as we respond to having our requests ignored.

    • Seeing the Light on February 16, 2018 at 7:20 am

      Free,

      Aleea has asked others to help her stay focused and to help her see her blind spots.

      On Leslie’s post of January 24, 2018, entitled “How Do I Know If I’m Being Sexually Abused In My Marriage,” Aleea posted January 30, 2018 at 9:34 pm:

      “Nancy, Aly, JoAnn. . . .

      Absolutely Nancy, I will join you but you have to help me stay focused because honestly, I can’t see my own blind spots.

      —I can sometimes easily see others own blind spots: unbelieveable evidence free claims about what works and doesn’t work, circular reasoning and fallacies. They are very clear to me, but I can’t see my own —that is for sure. —Otherwise I would correct them. I need everyone’s help with that.”

      I realize that I was not listed by name in that comment, but she specifically addressed me with her comments on this post, and I had seen her previous expression of desire for help.

      I understand your desire not to have her treated harshly here, but I don’t think anyone has been unkind. Rather people have tried to help her and help others on the blog. I know for myself this week I invested a lot of time and energy trying to figure out how to get through to her and grieving for her state.

      I do wonder (and perhaps she will read this) why she doesn’t just start her own blog to share these many thoughts that have nothing to do with the topics at hand. Or why not find a blog that is focused more toward the kind of conversation she clearly wants to engage?

      • Free on February 16, 2018 at 7:58 am

        Oh, I agree! I think you and others spoke the truth in love. Thank you.

    • Renee on February 16, 2018 at 9:40 am

      Yes Aleea post are way too long and confusing. Yet I don’t want her to feel ignored so I have to come back to her after all other comments have been read to find one something I could agree on or at least comment on for a discussion.

  22. Free on February 16, 2018 at 8:07 am

    I just thought of one more thing, at what point do the posts need to be edited by the assistants? I know other sites edit post and notify the senders of the suggested modifications. The cry for justice site is very good at monitoring the content and has firmly established boundaries for conduct. Do we want that too? I wonder.

    • Seeing the Light on February 16, 2018 at 10:19 am

      Free, I just wanted to say I have wondered about this, too, and I agree with you about the cry for justice site.

    • Leslie Vernick on February 17, 2018 at 12:58 am

      A cry for Justice in my opinion over edits posts. They do not allow any dissenting opinions. I don’t think that is healthy because when we don’t allow any fresh air into our own viewpoint, even if we are firmly convinced that our viewpoint is right, we can become cultish. However I agree that this blog is for the purpose of dealing with people in destructive marriages and other topics whatever they may be – might detract from the main thing.

  23. Seeing the Light on February 16, 2018 at 10:36 am

    I quit reading Aleea’s comments quite some time ago (until she addressed me this last week), and quite frankly, have not visited and commented on this blog as much as I would like specifically because of the distraction of them. I felt bad coming here and then ignoring her. I was also weary of trying to follow the conversations when her comments were interwoven into them and then I would need to read them for context or just give up. Perhaps I’m just too exhausted.

    It feels quite awkward to be discussing her to this extent, but I am wondering why she is not now engaging all the people who have tried to interact with her. My great concern at this point is that the blog may in fact be a stumbling block to Aleea. It is giving her an avenue for saying so many things that I am wondering if it might be healthier for her not to say. She seems to be sabotaging her own pursuit of peace and using the kindness, compassion, and acceptance of women who have been abused and oppressed to do it. The support and kindness here can be very validating, but is it validating her and her worth as a person (certainly a good thing), or does it end up validating confusing thoughts and patterns that she needs to abandon?

  24. Maria on February 16, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Hi Nancy and others…

    I’ve followed Leslie’s blog for quite some time. I’m in a marriage of 30 years that has only gotten worse.
    My husband is not a Christian and my question would be how are we to interpret 1 Peter 3: 1-2 and apply it to our marriage when dealing with a destructive partner who is an unbeliever?
    Our children are all grown up and married, but, it was the most diff. of times trying to raise our children when I believe I was always being pulled down.
    Our children profess to be Christians but sadly, are not walking with The Lord! Much of what I see in many Churches today, many are departing from sound doctrine and the truth.
    The New Age and trying to appeal to those of the world by making the world feel comfortable to come to church. Music and entertainment is a huge part but not the only one. I also believe another area that is not being addressed that is I believe playing a huge role in the deterioration of marriages/families within the Church is not dealing with sin.
    God’s Word “commands” that sin be dealt with in the Church. (Matt. 18), (1 Cor. 5), (2 Cor. 2) and the story of Moses and Lot in (Genesis 14).
    Lot was a Christian but He was not living for God, he was seeking the things of the world! But, Abram sought to restore his fellow erring brother in Christ, even though Lot was experiencing the consequences of his poor choices, Abram went after him.
    Abram brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people.
    Melchizedek attributed Abram’s victory to God’s Most High. A humble faith honor’s God. Both men were honoring God publicly for this great victory.
    Abram also honors God before the King of Sodom. Abram was guarding God’s honor.
    God had promised to proper Abram, and he didn’t want the King of Sodom taking credit for God’s work.
    So, even though Abram could have rationalized that this was God’s means of blessing him, he didn’t do it. He didn’t want any credit and rob God of His glory.
    Humble faith honors God when there are spiritual victories.
    We cannot change another person, only the Spirit of God can. I’m still trying to walk this walk of faith each and every day, believing Him for His promises no matter what I am going through.
    Yet, at times I am SO hurt, stressed, angry, frustrated in my marriage with a husband who is not a born again believer.
    I would appreciate some feedback on what others think of this passage in 1 Pet. 3: 1-2

    In a time where we are seeing the signs of the end times all around us, the return of Jesus Christ, we are I believe seeing the how the enemy is gaining a great deal destruction leading many astray in so many ways.
    I know God is good! I know He is faithful. I know He also has given to each of us a choice and that this choice is individual.
    I hear so many Christians say… just love them, just LOVE. I am seeing my grown children who have professed to be born again, not walking with the Lord.
    I see those in the Church not walking in obedience to God’s Word!
    Even those who profess to be Christians are walking in selfishness, pride and wanting to live their best life now.
    Well, I know that we are all sinners, even I have to watch out for these sins and I’m not saying that this is what I or anyone one of us is doing here.
    I’m just talking about the Church, those who profess to be Christians, the Church. Not our situation in general to our marriages. But, doesn’t it all come together in the end?
    If the Church as a Body is not pursuing holiness through God’s Word, doesn’t it all start to fall apart?
    I could go on and on and on, but, I’m really struggling like all here too. Trying to obey God and His Word, yet, living in a marriage where there is no marriage.
    I don’t see tomorrow…
    I do believe though, that we have to speak the truth in love, whether our spouse, children or anyone, we can’t ONLY love in action. We have to speak truth. God is love, but He is also a just God and a God of wrath.
    Being a Christian is not easy… “all those who will live godly will suffer persecution.” (2 Tim. 3: 12)

    • Leslie Vernick on February 17, 2018 at 12:52 am

      I have written in previous blogs about the 1 Peter passage. I think Peter is asking Christian women to suffer for doing good. What is the highest good in this situation? Is it to continue living in fear of what their husband might do? Or is to expose the problems in the family and that indeed might involve some suffering from church or family but when a woman suffers for doing good, God sees her and comes to her aid.

    • JoAnn on February 17, 2018 at 9:41 am

      Maria, I surely sympathize with your difficult situation. Please note that in that passage that you mentioned, verse 7, the husband is charged to “dwell together with (the wife)….assigning honor to them as also to fellow heirs of the grace of life.” Of course, that last part is directed to the God-fearing husband, and obviously yours does not. I am wondering if your husband is physically abusive, and if you have to fear for your safety? The emotional aspect of abuse can usually be even more damaging than the physical, because it is hidden, but this is where “holding to truth in love” can help to protect your heart. Spend as much time in the word each day as you can manage, letting God’s truth penetrate your being, so that it becomes a shield of defense against the lies your husband speaks to you. This is where verse 4 comes in: the hidden man of the heart….is very precious in the sight of God.
      I do agree with your view that the church in general is in a sorry state, people not living according to God, and not dealing with sin. You might, however, find a non-denominational church where the people are living a more godly life…..I would encourage you to look around. I believe that in these later times, the Lord is raising up some groups who are in obedience to Him. Ask Him to lead you where He wants you to go. No one here can tell you what you should do; we can only offer our experience and encouragement. Pray that the Lord will show you what you must do, and then be open to whatever He makes clear to you: stay well or leave well. Grace be with you.

      • Maria on February 21, 2018 at 9:25 am

        Hi JoAnn
        Yes, those who are not Christians will not “fear” the Lord!
        It’s so sad because so many who do proclaim to be Christians don’t fear/reverence Him. They only see His grace, not His judgment or His wrath and don’t truly know in their heart the sacrifice He paid for their sin, I believe.
        But, if individually people aren’t reading His word and studying it, faith will only be a head knowledge.
        Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word of God.
        And, if the churches are watering down they word and following the ways of man then we aren’t “renewing our minds” . |
        “Judgement will begin at the house of the Lord”
        I know of many who are not going to church all over the place, many can’t find a Church that is teaching and preaching and obeying the whole counsel of God.
        No, my husband is not physically abusive.
        I have learnt to be content, knowing that God is always with me and I trust Him that He will work all things out for the good of those who love Him.
        This is not my/our home…
        We as Christians are given that promise that… all who live godly WILL suffer persecution.
        I just never thought it would be from my own grown children, from those who profess to be Christians.
        My heart is truly grieving, but, it is not without HOPE.
        God bless,
        xox

    • Aly on February 17, 2018 at 9:48 am

      Maria,

      I can relate 10 fold to your angst. I’m sorry for this and I think you are flying 50,000 feet above to scan the ground and seeing all sorts of sadness and scary. While I also see your drawing near to sort through those truths and see the cost of a pretending faith by a spouse and the consequences that it passes on generationally.
      I think this is what I’m understanding but please correct me?

      I think your discriptions in many places is what a majority of the churches are experiencing and many church leaders are either surrendering to the pressure ‘to be liked and accepted by man’ or trying ways to still preach the Gospel ‘without offending’ and I don’t think any of us have that power.

      The Gospel is offensive to those who want to be their own boss and live the way they see most comfortable etc.
      Dont get me wrong, I like comfort too. Prob too much at times but I do think our spiritual walk is one that says a lot about our intimacy with God and others. And yes are we pursuing ‘happy or holy’?
      Happiness is a by product not the end goal in my opinion.

      You wrote;
      “If the Church as a Body is not pursuing holiness through God’s Word, doesn’t it all start to fall apart?”

      YES!! And we see it so many places! Scary isn’t it.

      Ok so are you saying that your husband has been a professed believer all these years or is he saying he doesn’t believe in Christ as Savior?

      If he has modeled pretend faith in your family then it would be reasonable for many if your kids to be thinking similarly to his beliefs, especially if they serve them to avoid drawing near and developing a personal deeper faith that is character changing and character building.

      For me, if I have someone who professes to be a Christian, I treat them as such (in love and truth, words and action) and feel that they are accountable to their faith just as I am accountable as a Christian.
      To treat them as a non-believer I find that to be rooted more in our own fear and limit the exposure of someone to grow spiritually and we as fellow Christians are responsible for some of that dynamic and environment.

    • Aly on February 17, 2018 at 9:55 am

      Maria,

      You posted;
      “Trying to obey God and His Word, yet, living in a marriage where there is no marriage.
      I don’t see tomorrow…”

      This concerns me can you explain what you mean by not seeing tomorrow?

      I can relate to living and functioning (over functioning) in a marriage that was NOT a marriage. I’m sorry about this for your situation.
      I decided to do many things within my own position as wife and leave the outcome to the Lord. Meaning if there ever was going to be a restored redeemed marriage.
      My husband and I previous marriage needed not maintenance but a complete dismantling and rebuild.

      I hope you stay on the blog and find the support you need, none of us do these things alone~

      • Maria on February 21, 2018 at 10:04 am

        Hi Aly,

        In the past year my faith has grown so much… Having to face so much heartache, this trial/testing has brought me to a place I never thought I would face. Isn’t that what life is, a walk of faith with or without Him? We have a choice and I choose to walk with the LORD!

        I also believe that God allows evil to go on and even worsen because of unbelief, either in our own lives or in the Church, society and as a nation.
        We suffer at the hands of sin, our own, the Church and the sin of nations.
        We reap what we sow….
        God loves those who honor Him and fear Him and He will give strength to those who are weak and peace and joy in Him if we seek Him with all our heart soul and mind.
        Yes, it hurts, but, like Paul said: “I will not be moved”
        My husband is not a professing Christian…
        Things are still very difficult, but, I will not turn from God, I will honor my husband, but I will also continue to speak truth.
        I try to obey Him in my actions and speech and know that I am responsible for myself and my husband is responsible for himself.
        Do I fail?
        Yes, and it is such an awful feeling knowing when I have, the Holy Spirit brings conviction and I am so thankful that He does.
        I repent and ask Him to forgive me and I know that I am forgiven when I do sin.
        Isn’t it a blessing to know His grace, His love, His faithfulness and to know that we are His.
        For His Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are a child of God.
        Having brought the situation of sin in the Church to the attention of the board and them not wanting to deal with sin in the Body of Christ, not the sin in my husbands life, because he is not a believer, but, the sin in the Body of Christ, our adult children who profess to be Christians and one leader.
        They basically wanted nothing to do with it, just dismiss it all.
        Therefore, I will have nothing to do with the Church, I will not fellowship with our adult children. Sin is like yeast!
        I am choosing to obey God and His Word!
        Those who are in leadership will be held to a higher accountability and God will deal with His children.
        Also, Rev. 1-2-3 speaks to the Church.
        What I found most interesting that I had not realized before is that the last sermon that Jesus preached 2 days before He was crucified was about false doctrine/false teachers/hypocrisy.
        There is a great deal of warning in Scripture, but, when teaching is watered down in one way or another we are seeing many fall astray.

        “ABOUT NOT SEEING TOMORROW”
        What I meant here was that it is God who holds tomorrow, it is not in our hands…
        I really do try to stay very close to His leading and trust Him with the outcome… as difficult as this all is. I know He knows what is best and what is good, it is no my happiness but my peace and joy in my relationship with Him. My HOPE is in Him even in the midst of chaos, frustration, heartache, pain, suffering and sorrow.
        Some days are harder than others, but, that is when I know I have to trust His Word and claim His promises. Thank you for your encouragement and kind words.
        He really is ALL and He promises to see us through.
        MY grace IS sufficient for YOU!
        God bless,
        xox

        • Aly on February 21, 2018 at 10:45 am

          Hi Maria,

          I am very sorry for what path you have had with a non believing husband and I so appreciate your giving your back story.
          Again I think your story is so full of your faith (HIS faith) and walking it out~ Regardless of fear.

          I think there are many who have found themselves in a scenario of yours. Trying to raise Children alongside ‘an unbeliever’ is down right painful based on the value and worth differences on completely different ends.

          I can remember discussing with our pastoral counselor years ago about my concern for my children’s faith and the exposure of what I was witnessing ~
          Reaping and sowing.

          My situation was different certainly than yours in that I had a professing believer husband, and I think that took me down a different path.

          The pastoral counselor encouraged me to continue to confront the discrepancy in my husband ~
          He has a profound ability to self deceive, misinterpret scripture and accept lies about growing in his faith.
          My pastoral counselor also told me to reach out for other ‘godly men’ to help mentor my children if need be and to notify my h of this!
          😲
          Talk about a starting WW3.
          Thankfully, God did continue to hold me tight through those years and He is so faithful!

          You mentioned something I think so important Maria,
          “There is a great deal of warning in Scripture, but, when teaching is watered down one way or another we see many fall astray.”

          I agree here and it’s so sad.

          Maria I’m also so sorry for the non-support from your (home) church.
          😥
          This is painful and I can see why you would respond the way you do.

          You also mentioned not fellowshipping with your adult children? Can you expand on what this means if your able to.

          Is it for fear of being influenced ~ by Lukewarm?

          For me I found that…
          It’s hard to influence or be a good influence to those that are hardened by a faith through comfort (false doctrine& teachers like you mentioned, hypocrisy) and not surrendered faith of His.

  25. Maria on February 21, 2018 at 9:12 am

    Thank you Leslie for your response…
    I also believe that we are to obey God’s Word and that is to walk in the truth of His Word.
    Being sincere in truth, speaking truth, which is His Word!
    Even if it means suffering at the hands of our family and even the Church.
    In verse 1 it says “without a word”.
    I don’t know if I understand it correctly, but, I believe it means continuously preaching the gospel, God’s word!
    NOT, speaking truth, which in a marriage we/I need to live as a Christian obeying God’s Word.
    When we were raising the children I had a responsibility to raise them in the Lord.
    My husband is NOT a professing Christian.
    When we married we both were not and then I accepted Jesus as my Savior.
    It’s really a diff. walk, wanting to obey God while married to an unbeliever… I felt like I was always being pulled down.
    I DO relay to Him who I am and how I am to be obedient to Him in all things… I love my husband and I’m in His Word everyday, I study His Word and listen to a very good Pastor online from a Calvary Chapel who teaches word by word verse by verse.
    I am so thankful for the true church who want to progress in their walk and relationship with Him
    God bless
    xox

  26. Renee on February 21, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Aly, I hope you don’t mind me asking. How did this [My pastoral counselor also told me to reach out for other ‘godly men’ to help mentor my children if need be and to notify my h of this!] go over with your husband? Did you follow through with the suggestion? If so, can you share how you went about breaking the news and finding such persons?

    I tried to get our son involved with a mentor (big brother/big sister) back when the teens were with another counselor. Yes, that was the start of WW3 so I backed out.

    So now the new counselor is encouraging this as well as a youth group for the teens.

    Thanks for your time.

    • Aly on February 22, 2018 at 8:14 am

      Renee,

      Yes I did follow through with informing my husband of my next steps. Yes as expected WW3 of sorts came raining down.
      I had a lot of support in my corner which I think help give me the courage to stay strong with my position.
      My h had a lot more respect for our pastoral counselor and when I informed than my plans were originated from the counselor ~ it got his attention.🙏✝️

      For me, my husband was trying not directly but more indirectly to control the parenting situation based sadly on his own immaturity overall. I wasn’t really up for my h’s immaturity to define our children’s nurturing. Our children were much much younger at the time so it was easier in some ways for me because I am the primary care taker and my husband knew my role.
      I was also their Advocate, so this is where the pastoral counselor encouraged me to continue on my path (my part) of staying true to my values as a mother (in Christ) and raising our children to see those values in action…To not be in fear of my husband and his mindset!

      Our children had some what of ministry mentors in their life ‘at church’ but I was informing my husband that this was my next step in parenting ~ since he was technically ‘at that time’ not showing up, I was going to have to get outside resources (emotional /spiritual leadership) for what wasn’t being provided in the home.

      This was yet another link in my husband’s chain of a wake up call ~ to seeing his part of either following Christ and learning from Christ to lead his family or living in denial and hoping his children just figure things out. Which we all know how well that blesses them!

      As I stood against the WW3 anger and resentment and you name it I focused on my parenting role and responsibilities (could never have probably if not for the support around me from some who understood our dynamic).

      I believe God used this as another place to grow me and challenge my husband where he was~ he eventually went from WW3 to considering I had an important thing that was his responsibility (also).
      He partnered up with me and many other things in between where he needed to get better equipped to walk that path (with me) for also his children.

      By better equipped ~I don’t mean fixed or finished .. in fact it’s more the opposite, of being humble and truly willing to lead and trust in God for walking alongside us.
      Often we will tell our kids~ well we don’t know the answers… but let’s seek them out together and pray God will encourage and equip our understanding to grow us! It’s amazing how Faithful He is in those places with ourselves privately and with our children.

      Hope I answered your question.. I rambled 🙃

  27. Linda on February 27, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Yes, yes, yes…to all of your answer. This story was mine in every way. After 40 years of marriage and fruitless attempts on my part to nudge our communications patterns in healthier directions, I sought counseling for myself and got much, much healthier. When that didn’t improve the relationship (it actually got worse), I discovered quite by accident that my husband had a long-standing and complex sexual addiction. I never saw that coming, although in retrospect, there were clues I could/would not see since he was a professed and involved Christian and outwardly very conservative. Sadly for us, he was not able to credibly recover from this addiction in a way that would regain my trust so we are now divorced. I’ll always grieve that loss for me and my children/grandchildren; however, I am so glad to be disentangled from the destructive patterns and day-to-day pain. Dear sister, please heed Leslie’s advice and get yourself some wise counsel. In my experience, it took several tries to find the right person who could cut through the fog and heal the trauma. (Hint: the “Christian” counselors/pastors I sought out were easily fooled and under-qualified to address his addiction.) I sincerely hope your marriage can be healed; but even if it cannot, you deserve to be seen, heard, and understood.

    • Aly on February 27, 2018 at 7:09 pm

      Linda,

      I’m so sorry for your loss but so very thankful that you found your way through and out of such a destructive marriage.
      Good for you in persevering and getting the help you needed to heal. So glad your free and you can look back and see what was at the core of it and certainly not yours to own.

      You are Brave and Free!

    • JoAnn on February 27, 2018 at 7:17 pm

      Linda, Thank you for sharing. First hand experience counts for a lot. I’m very sorry for what you have been through, though I’m glad that you were able to leave that destructive situation. Now you can just love your children and grandchildren, and help them on their way. Grace be with you.

  28. Catz on March 1, 2018 at 3:12 am

    I am in the middle of an ugly divorce after 30 years of marriage. I had tried for 7 months to work on my marriage, myself and my husband to no avail. He simply was not interested. He blamed me for all the problems and his unhappiness. He never admitted any wrong doing, and therefore, is incapable of apologizing. Then I read Leslie’s book The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. It was a huge eye opener for me and answered so many questions. I saw my marriage unfold in her book. On my second read, as I tried to figure out what I could do differently to make my marriage work, I googled – can an emotionally destructive husband ever change. The answer was NO. He may be able to modify his behavior, but he will never be able to love. It was then that my heart sealed and my mind knew my marriage was over. I then read Malignant Self Love by Sam Vaknin. It answered every question about why my husband acted the way he did. It was frightening to realize that my husband was a Malignant Narcissist. You are not the problem. You have done nothing wrong. The fact is he believes he is never wrong and you always are. Any challenge to who he is, why he does the things he does, how he thinks, will be met with rage. When I asked if we could talk about what was going on, he went into a rage and blamed me for choices he made. To have an emotional affair with my best friend. He argued that she was nice to him and didn’t criticize him. He will accuse you of criticizing him. The mere act of saying no to him is taken as criticism. He feels omnipotent. Grandiose. It is all about him. You needs and wants are irrelevant. He is incapable of empathy, compassion or love. He will discard you when you no longer feed his ego with awe, praise and attention. When you start to question why you feel so bad about yourself all the time and ask him why he treats you so poorly, that is when the discard begins and they move on without a care. You are no longer important to them. You have served your purpose and they no longer need you. You have projected who you are onto him and that is why you have stayed so long. You have hoped he would be different. You have hoped for a marriage that never was. That he would treat you better. He projects who he is onto you and that is why he is always angry, or mean, or dismissive and meets you with contempt. Wayne Dyer wrote an article called Why the Inside Matters that explains this behavior. You project who you are on the inside. You have always given him the benefit of doubt. He is always angry. He will make you believe you are never enough. That what you do is worthless. Therefore, you walk on egg shells around him afraid that you might say or do the wrong thing trying to avoid any conflict. He silences you. He will never change. My therapist asked my husband if he thought he could be kind to me. He replied that he would have to consciously think about it. Who needs to consciously think about being kind to someone – a malignant narcissist. He couldn’t even say ‘good morning.’ Strangers easily greet you with Good Morning. The next book to read is Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft. It will explain why men abuse and why they never change. Once you understand what you are dealing with, you will be able to leave. You will save yourself and spend the rest of your life taking care of you. It will be tremendously difficult. It will be a roller coaster ride. You will be further abused in the court system. You will find judges who believe stay at home moms have received a ‘hand out’ and are not deserving of any support. You will find that your husband will lie to the judge and she will become biased and impartial and judge you, criticize you, blame you and remind you that you are worthless and all that you did deserves no recognition. Money is. Ore important to him than you or your children are. You will be abused all over again throughout your divorce. Don’t let that stop you from knowing and holding on to your truth. You are enough. You are worthy of love and respect. You have a voice here to speak your truth. Surround yourself with the love and support from family and friends. Eliminate anyone from your life who sides with him. Sometimes that might be a family member or close friend. Leslie referred to the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. It is an amazing book of daily spiritual readings. They have been right on for every day I read it. It will amaze you how true the reading is for you in that moment. Jesus is always there holding our right hand. Remember that and it will give you some peace of mind. Remind yourself to be grateful as it is necessary to be happy. Forgive as it will relieve you from your anger. The book Forgive for Good by Dr. Fred Luskin is wonderful. Be compassionate with yourself and turn the love inwards to you. Only you can love yourself like no one else, other than God. You will need to remind yourself daily that you are enough. You are worthy of love. You deserve to be free of fear. You deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. You are stronger than you think. Remember to breathe. Through your search to find yourself, you will see the patterns from your childhood that allowed you to be treated the way you have. Your inner child did not know anything different. Now you do, and your course to healing starts with that. Forgive yourself for what you didn’ know. Now you do and you will do better. Take care of yourself. Believe in yourself as god’s child and know that only HE knows what’s best for you. You will survive this. It will take time. HE tells us not to worry about the future as that is his job. You will prevail. Leslie has much insight into the emotionally destructive marriage. Read her book. I wish the best for you. You have the power to change only yourself. Having help along the way, tremendous support, believing God has our back and being grateful will give you the strength to move forward moment by moment, day by day. There is a huge support group out there. You are not alone in this. Everywhere I turn, I meet women, young and old, who are dealing with the same issues. Share your story and you will be surprised at who shows up to listen and share their own. Use all the resources you can to move on and have the life you deserve. I’m still in the process a year out. My friends, who have gone through the same, say it takes at least two years. The process is slow, but it will guarantee success. Stop trying to change him and spend all your energy on changing you. The reward will be worth it. I hope that you can find answers in what I’ve shared. You should never have to feel less than you are, or so small that you have no voice. No one should ever make you feel less than the remarkable amazing woman you are. Stand up. Speak your truth and be the change you need to move on. Courage is doing the thing you fear the most. God Bless.

  29. timothy l michel on September 28, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    flee. just flee. don’t try to reason or talk, just flee. Or it may be much more dangerous the next time. Flee.

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