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Archive for November, 2011

What would you give your spouse if you could give her anything?” our marriage counselor once asked my husband. His answer: “Financial freedom.”

“. . . Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and although yesterday was payday, I will only have $75 left after paying the bills. And that will be needed to put gas in the car for the next two weeks. We have no food for tomorrow and as I walk down the aisles of the supermarket, I am so drained, I could cry . . . not from the lack of funds in my checking account, but from the weariness of feeling so alone . . . ”

This is what I wrote in my journal November 2008. I can’t help but feel that same weariness as I remember my husband’s answer to our marriage counselor, as well as that walk down the supermarket aisle and realize that much hasn’t changed since then.

My husband recently told me that he feels I am the “parent” in the family and he is the “paycheck”. He feels like I don’t appreciate him for providing for us financially – I feel like he doesn’t realize just how dearly I have paid for his provision.

While my marriage has not changed much since 2008, and my heart is wounded just as easily by my husband’s words and actions, I find strength and comfort in a different Source.

“The Truth has the power to set me free and to protect my mind and heart from deceptive thoughts and feelings. The moments when I feel besieged with emotions or thoughts I know are not of God, I need to run to the Truth for refuge.” (Lies Women Believe – DeMoss)

When we are weary, looking at the future is draining and discouraging, but His mercies are new each day – we need to do what is right for today. Weariness leads to discouragement. When weariness sets it, go to the Word and wait (with expectancy) on the Lord to renew your strength.”    (J. Osteen)

My purpose in life is not to pursue all the health, wealth and happiness I can obtain but to glorify God in whatever circumstances I may be.

Isaiah 35:4-6 & 10b . . . to those who have tired hearts, “Be strong and do not fear for your God is coming to save you.” And when He comes, He will open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer and those who can not speak will shout and sing . . . Sorrow and mourning will disappear and they will be overcome with joy and gladness.

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I feel sick. Not the head-achy, stuffy nose kind of sick, but the knot in my stomach, disgust rising in my throat kind. And the more I read the writings of well-intentioned Christian authors, the more sick I feel.

Authors who I find while looking for advice on how to be a better wife, so I can have a better marriage write things like this:

 

Unless your life is in danger, stick it out.”

 

Keep conversations at home “light and airy.” A man will stay on guard if he thinks you’re going to bring up problems. One of your goals is to create a secure emotional climate at home so that your husband will feel it is safe to talk to you. When he is ready to talk, LISTEN. He will think you are wonderful. Let him initiate these conversations.”

 

OBEY your husband! There are few times when it will conflict with God’s will. Have a sweet spirit about you.”

 

God can give you grace to ignore any unkind words or actions from your mate.”

 

Mothers belong at home (1st Timothy 5:14). It’s far better to be burned out at home than to be burned out at work in a plethora of temptations. I don’t care who you are, you cannot rise above temptation. Though God always makes a way to escape, why take chances by walking in the workplace of the ungodly. It surely is no place for a Christian lady.”

 

What the Lord doesn’t change in your spouse, learn to accept and live with—and if possible, enjoy or even appreciate.”

 

Don’t add to your husband’s stresses with demands or pressure.”

 

I can’t imagine under what circumstances any of this advice would ever be helpful, but it is definitely the WRONG advice when a spouse has ADD.

 “It might sound hard to believe, but when ADD is in the picture. The wrong therapy can be worse than no therapy. One long time support group member echoes the group consensus: ‘At best, therapy that fails to acknowledge ADD is a waste of time and money. At worst, it is destructive and can exacerbate everybody’s problems. My fantasy is to put all the couples counselors who blamed me instead of my spouse’s ADD behavior on a 14 day cruise with all our ADD partners. No days in harbor – just out to sea.”

As I read through my journal and this blog, I cant help but wonder, “Where has God been in all this?” . . . “What has He been trying to teach me?” . . . I have suffered much over the course of my marriage and I feel like the only lessons learned are :

1) my husband will hurt me
2) I need to protect myself from him

Shouldn’t there be some higher spiritual application? Something more relevant than this? Instead, I can only nod my head in agreement when I read these word from a non ADD spouse:

 My husband just hurts me and moves on, then hurts me again. And if he is moving on, he thinks I should be, too – He just doesn’t get it, that you can hurt someone emotionally only so many times and then the person stays tensed up waiting to be hurt again.”

Now that is something I can say (shout), “Amen(!)” to. But where do ADD and God and marriage meet? Or any kind of emotional abuse for that matter? The Christian community’s answer seems to be the age-old response of “wifely submission”, but that is of no use to me.

Ephesians 3:14-16 When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from His glorious unlimited resources He will give (me) mighty inner strength through His Holy Spirit.

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When my kids started using Facebook, I didn’t give it much thought after setting down some initial ground rules. When my husband started using Facebook, I could foresee the potential for problems. Lacking his own boundaries and disregarding mine was a guarantee that issues would (soon) arise.

Not sure how long it was before the first incident happened, but it was as he was getting ready for a medical missions trip out of the country. Since we were “Facebook friends” I could see what was being written on his “wall”. Amidst the comments of those wishing him a safe and successful trip was this post from a female “friend”, “Looking forward to our trip to N_____! Can’t wait to see you in your white Speedo!”

Of course, confronting him brought the usual responses of defense. “I don’t know what she’s talking about” . . . “She’s known for her inappropriate comments” . . . “It was just a joke” . . . “I have no control over what other people write.” And the usual defensive responses brought on the usual cycle of questioning my own insecurities, but at the same time, my intuition was telling (yelling at) me that something was very wrong with his behavior. I wondered about the kind of friendships he had with women where they would see nothing wrong with this type of interaction.

The next Facebook incident involved a different female friend of his and something he posted on her “wall”. Again, it was confronted (as I continue to “be the buffalo”) and here is how our conversation went:

Me: “This is a conversation I really wish I didn’t have to have with you, but if I don’t, then you will never know. . . I do not find it appropriate for you to write ‘Happy Birthday, Good Looking! Sorry we couldn’t spend the day together,” on a female co-worker’s Facebook wall.”

The range of his responses was so broad, they included:
1. there was nothing inappropriate about it
2. with the type of friendship they have – that’s how they talk to each other
3. it was meant as a joke
4. he will no longer give compliments to anyone since I find it offensive
5. he’s not a child and should not have to explain himself to me
6. he’s uncomfortable around me – even to sleep in the same bed is uncomfortable for him
7. he feels he can’t talk to me
8. I am just using this as an excuse to fight with him
9. am I in love with someone else?
10. he thought he saw hickey marks on my neck last week
11. he didn’t write the message to hurt me
12. I am just looking for reasons to be upset so I can end the marriage

An unfortunate conversation on so many levels – he feels so justified in his behavior. Nothing I say will change that. Whenever there is a situation with him, I usually react inwardly, but outwardly shut down. And during the times I do express myself, our discussions are never productive enough to resolve the conflict. Instead, my husband becomes defensive and self-righteous. My feelings are then invalidated and my frustration/hopelessness escalates.

I can’t see myself lasting much longer in the state I’m in . . . My spouse’s behavior is going to push me out the door one day, if not soon.

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