Being told I'm not Christian enough - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-19-2013, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Being told I'm not Christian enough

This is a complicated story but will try to make it short. Could really just use some advice from unbiased ppl. H and I have been marries for 7.5 years/together 10.5 years. Throughout it all has been years of verbal and emotional abuse as well as a physical situation. When H found out I was unhappy, he did a complete 180..nearly overnight. He now reads the Bible constantly, reading Christian books, quotes scripture, couples Christian counseling..you get the idea. It's almost an obsession. I checked out emotionally in this marriage more than a year ago..after his abuse started affecting our two young boys. I am 100% confident that I am done. I don't love him, don't hate him..just feel nothing.
Since this radical change, he's done everything to make is work...everything I've asked him to do for the last 7 years. He's admitted his mistakes. But again, I feel nothing. I've told him this and he will start telling me I'm breaking our covenant, promise to God..love is not a feeling but a choice and done through actions. He will say i need to be like Jesus and forgive him for his past behavior and move forward honoring Gods will. He has become very anxious, desperate, clingy (although i repeatedly asked him for space).

My question is..I feel like God is leading me to leave. I'm worried his change won't continue, his anxiety and paranoia will get worse, behavior will affect the kids. He tells me God wants us together but is that God really telling him that or just what he wants to happen? How could God be telling us two different things?

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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-19-2013, 05:21 PM
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Re: Being told I'm not Christian enough

Because you're not listening.

Your husband is correct, but your feelings are also completely understandable.

Love is an action, not an emotion. It's something you do. You do need to forgive him his past. But he also needs to respect your space - within reason (i.e. if him giving you your space means that you start living as roommates, then NO, that's wrong).

God hates divorce. Period. He's NOT going to lead you to do something He hates. Yes, there have been monumental issues, but your husband is trying. Frankly, the time for leaving was when the abuse was going on. Now that you're on the other side of that and he's trying to improve, you have no right to "check out" and throw up your hands.

You're having a hard time trusting in his change because of the way he's been in the past. To that, I will say three things.

1.) This is 1000000% understandable. There's a big difference between forgiving and forgetting. The abuse is something you will never forget, and as humans our instinct is to protect ourselves from being hurt - hence you "checking out". You don't want to invest because you're afraid you'll be hurt again. Again, this is totally and completely understandable, but you can't dwell on it forever.

2.) You are holding back because you're afraid your husband's changes won't last. You're basically withholding his wife from him because of something that hasn't happened yet. Basically, if you don't stop this (which is a choice, not a feeling) you will create a self-fulfilling prophecy. What do I mean by that?

He gives it all he's got to change, but you don't give him yourself (I mean emotionally and the whole nine yards) because you're afraid the changes won't last. Enough time passes this way, and he will begin to feel that all his effort is pointless because you don't care (he is just a human, after all), a window of opportunity for the enemy is opened, and so the changes do begin to grow lax and sooner or later disappear altogether - which is exactly what you were afraid of in the first place.

You see what I'm saying?

3.) You don't have to trust your husband. You have to trust God. Don't trust in your husband's ability to change, but in God's ability to change him. This is much easier said than done, but like everything else, it is a decision, not a feeling.

God isn't leading you away from your marriage. Your heart is. Understandable, but you've GOT to put the brakes on and take control of your heart.

Let me remind you that the Word tells us the heart is deceitful above all measure and desperately wicked, and that no one can know it. (Jeremiah 17:9)

We are told to keep (guard) our heart with all diligence. (Proverbs 4:23)

And finally, that if you trust your own heart you're stupid. That's Proverbs 28:26 in plain modern-day english.

Let me also say that the Bible also says if you give up when there's trouble, you're a wuss.

"If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small." - Proverbs 24:10

The two of you need to get into counseling yesterday - marriage and individual. Considering your husband's 180, I would imagine he would have no problem with this. You both need to learn how to be husband and wife again, and individually he needs to learn how to make sure he doesn't fall back into old habits, and you need to learn how to leave his failures in the past.

As I said, forgiving and forgetting are totally different. But forgiving is a conscious decision you have to make, and it means that you will NOT hold whatever it is over that person's head, which is basically what you're doing now.

Again, you don't have to trust your husband - not yet, anyway. You just need to trust God.

" But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:19 (emphasis mine)

God bless.


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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-19-2013, 05:33 PM
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Re: Being told I'm not Christian enough

You can't undo years of harm, how long has your spouse been behaving? Do you feel it's a permanent change or manipulation?
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-19-2013, 06:33 PM
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Re: Being told I'm not Christian enough

I'm curious how a man abuses you for 10 years and then 'suddenly' figures out that you're unhappy. What caused this epiphany?

Edit: Also, it's not your newly converted husband's place to tell you if you're "Christian enough". I believe that's God's call.

Darling it's better down where it's wetter, take it from me! --- Sebastian
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-19-2013, 09:24 PM
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Re: Being told I'm not Christian enough

Sorry I'm with you on this one. He's using the bible to manipulate you into staying. I got the same line when I chose to stay away from my abusive, toxic parents. "Honor thy father and thy mother". Yes I will honor them alright....from afar. LOL

It is your right to leave when someone abuses you. The fact that he changed AFTER you checked out changes nothing. Sucks to be him. Should have thought about that BEFORE he did damage to you and your two innocent boys.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-20-2013, 02:17 AM
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Re: Being told I'm not Christian enough

Its so hard to have clarity when there is such overwhelming feelings...and it is perfectly normal to feel claustrophobic when a spouse is laying it on thick...and the truth is that he is really scared of losing you...and that will resort into some very clingy behavior that is causing you to struggle with having respect for him. Is it God telling you to go...or is that just your emotions just feeling on fire to "GET AWAY!!!"? At the same time, your husband's fear is not helping the situation by focusing more on what YOU need to do to make him feel more comfortable. Communication is is really poor...and instead of saying what is really going on inside him...he is hoping that he can control you to stay. That's not God speaking either.

I believe that when we make a marriage covenant...that it should be held to...and and I held to that in in spite of our dysfunction, seasons of sexlessness, her emotion affairs, and kicking me out of the house (in order to get space, but really to explore ways to continue emotional affairs). I have to admit, when my wife was teetering on the edge, i didn't handle it well and got very clingy which squeezed her away. After a period of separation, she came around...realizing that she was making a decision that didn't line up with her beliefs...this happened several times...and as much as I can hang a lot of this on my wife's destructive behaviors...I know she lost hope after years of my codependent behavior. We often chalk up how we feel to what we would like to think that God is leading us...but often that isn't so. On the other hand, when feelings are dead they are dead...and it it takes a monumental amount of hope to even get back to the place to try to FEEL for something you gave up on. This is just a natural response to what we go through sometimes...law of the farm sorta stuff...crops failed to get watered, they die. If a marriage fails to get watered it dies.

This summer, I had it and my wife had it. She wasn't getting help and she was going back to messing around on the internet. I felt my heart break...and I stopped fighting for the marriage...convinced that it was done and kaput...that my wife made her decision... I wasn't going to say a word about it other than I didn't believe in it and I wanted to honor my commitment...but if that is what she wanted I wasn't going to hold her back. Two days before our divorce, she stopped in her tracks and wanted to fix it...and then a month later i was diagnosed with an aggressive bone marrow cancer...and I don't know if I'll live for another two years. I can't even begin to try to understand God's will in any of this...but what has indeed come about is that my wife and I certainly are looking at life and our marriage in a whole different light.

This is life...you make decisions, you get consequences (good and bad)...you make oaths and break them, you get consequences (good and bad). If you are a believer, then we try our best to line up our lives to what it says in Scripture...and believe that the tough calls and sacrifices we make is His ultimate will...but as you read in the Bible...people make lots of wrong calls and do suffer consequences, yet God can also restore and heal those things too.
I would suggest a trial separation. Get some physical space away...and then some intense couple's counseling in the meantime...where you can hopefully inravel unhealthy behavior that is automatic and help alleviate your marital claustrophobia. It is hard to think rational about working on things when you keep getting triggered by husband's clingyness.

Last edited by FormerSelf; 11-20-2013 at 02:27 AM.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 04:49 AM
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Re: Being told I'm not Christian enough

OP,

Your husband may well have "found god" and changed his ways for good but whether he has done so in time to save your marriage is not in his sole control. It is a conclusion you must both come to agreement on as neither one of you can make your marriage a success without the other doing their part.

People do have the ability to change and if you believe that he has truly done so then it could be worth giving your relationship another go.

As to what is God’s will your husband is no better qualified to say than you.

Whilst my wife is my greatest love my children are my greatest joy.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 07:27 AM
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Re: Being told I'm not Christian enough

It is in your husband's favor to completely acknowledge the damage & hurt he has caused you over the years...at be at your mercy during this time... I also believe people can change and have a sincere heart....suddenly realizing what they've taken for granted , even emotionally abused...and what can be lost forever.... but then sometimes it is too little too late....how you are feeling here.

Sometimes people have to hit the gutter of life before they look UP... it sounds he has thrown himself into christianity in hopes of keeping you... but has fallen to subtly brow beating you with scripture to get you to conform.... this never works.

He must operate through Love, prayer...doing the "Love Dare" before you would be far more effective than trying to twist your arm though religious constraints, or laying "you aren't christian enough" on you..

And true, this could just be a phase as well.. .only time can reveal the lasting effect on his behavior... I've known plenty of believers who would be on Fire for God... then swing back into the world, then something bad happened, on fire for God again... then sucked into bad behaviors again... then almost died, back in church again... Stability in how we live is a fruit of the spirit... this is lasting.. we may fall here & there, but we always get back up, go to our brother or sister and do our everything to make it right....

He is just now learning this.. and hopefully those type scriptures will be more of an influence over his behavior. You need to see a new life emerge that stirs you to wanting to remain with him.. nothing less will do.


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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Being told I'm not Christian enough

Thanks everyone for responding. I appreciated the different points of view and it gave me a lot to think about. I guess my feelings/thinking is that for love to be an action, there has to be a foundation of love. Something that one can grow from. But all I can feel when I see H is either a lump in my throat or I feel sick to my stomach. And while I understand that God hates divorce...I Los think he hates to see one of his children hurting at the hands of another..especially with children. I often think (and I'm not calling anyone out here specifically, just in general) that is the abuse was physical, the opinion to leave would be more common.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 06:48 PM
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Re: Being told I'm not Christian enough

Best predictor of future behavior is past behavior

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig

I'm so sorry that you have had to live through this Solis.
I'm even more sorry and saddened that your children have had to see their mother live through it.

Getting out and making a happy, healthy and more NORMAL life for yourself and your children should be your priority. Neither you nor your kids should live with violence, emotional and verbal abuse.

His using God and Christianity to try to further manipulate you is despicable.

MY God doesn't condone maleficent behaviors.

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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 07:27 PM
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Re: Being told I'm not Christian enough

What exactly do you mean when you say you "checked out"?

I'm seeing some indicators (god leading you away, repulsion, resigned that he can't change despite him trying), that there is something external causing you to pull away from your H, otherwise you wouldn't feel repulsion. Also if these things he now doing is meeting your needs, then so what if he wasnt before, perhaps he figured it out, does he not deserve a chance to prove he really wants to meet your needs and make the marriage work?

My concern for you and him, is that once you feel these things your mind can rewrite history in order to help you cope with the guilt of what you are deciding to do.

There is a foundation of love there or neither of you would have stuck with each other this long. Convincing yourself it is all bad in order to take action only helps when its the truth, when it isn't it is very easy to lead yourself astray.

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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 07:33 PM
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Re: Being told I'm not Christian enough

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I'm seeing some indicators (god leading you away, repulsion, resigned that he can't change despite him trying), that there is something external causing you to pull away from your H, otherwise you wouldn't feel repulsion.
I disagree with this. Years of emotional abuse does very often lead to a person being repulsed by the spouse who abused them. Its a natural reaction.

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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 07:39 PM
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Re: Being told I'm not Christian enough

I do believe that a person can change. Some never change. Some take a long time to change. Some change on a dime. The problem is that it takes a long time for them to prove that they have changed.

The indifference and repulsion you feel is a natural reaction to years of abuse and not having your needs met. You most likely have put up a wall around you that keeps you from letting any good he does get in because you do not trust him.. for good reason.

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I've told him this and he will start telling me I'm breaking our covenant, promise to God..love is not a feeling but a choice and done through actions. He will say i need to be like Jesus and forgive him for his past behavior and move forward honoring Gods will. He has become very anxious, desperate, clingy (although i repeatedly asked him for space).
You say that his abuse was emotional/verbal. It sounds like he has just found a different way to channel his emotional abuse. Now hes using God, Jesus and the bible to tell you that you are wrong and to deny your right to your feelings.

His demanding that you forgive him is way out of line. Forgiveness is given of free will, not given on demand.

How long has it been since he changed?

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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Being told I'm not Christian enough

Saying I checked out meaning that I've admittedly put up a wall bc I was tired of letting myself get hurt and I couldn't be a good mom if I was focused on what he said/did to hurt me. He had no interest in the boys welfare, so I put my energy into that.

I have told him over the years, numerous times, that his behavior was demeaning, mean, manipulative and he always told me I was the one w the problem bc I didn't 'listen to him' or do what he wanted me to do, I was raising 'serial killers' bc I wasn't hard enough on the boys' behavior; the house was a pig sty; why can't I fold the laundry right; load the dishwasher correctly..these are just a few examples. When he snooped thru my email, he found the only email I had written about our marriage to a friend saying I wasn't happy. Within 2 days, he was reading the bible, begging to go to therapy, etc. And while he seems to be more patient w me, I see his anxiety (that before came out through anger) comes out as being clingy and frustration w kids behavior. He started taking meds for anxiety prescribed by his pcp. I asked him if he'd be willing to go to psychiatrist for an in depth consult and maybe get meds that were more effective. His answer: if dr diagnosed him w anger problem or anxiety, the govt/obamacare would find out and take away all of his guns and ammo.

It's just all weird and complicated lol
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 10:26 PM
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Re: Being told I'm not Christian enough

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Quote of Solis
Since this radical change, he's done everything to make is work...everything I've asked him to do for the last 7 years. He's admitted his mistakes.
Is it correct that he has done everything you have ask him to do for the last 7 years?






Quote:
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And while I understand that God hates divorce...I Los think he hates to see one of his children hurting at the hands of another..especially with children
How is your husband NOW hurting you and the children?
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