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Archive for December, 2011

I’ve been wrestling with God these days. Struggling with my faith and my reality. Taunted by theologies, verses and writings that cause more confusion and questions about “suffering” and it’s application to marriage. Realizing that as I am praying for God to show me His will, I have every intention of following His direction . . . as long as it does not involve further suffering or sacrifice. Wondering when my marriage will change from a trial to a testimony.

I do not know how to interpret the Truth I read and apply it to my reality.

I Peter 1:7 These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

Romans 8:18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will give us later.

I Peter 2:21 This suffering is all part of what God has called you to. Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow His steps. He never sinned and He never deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when He was insulted. When He suffered, He did not threaten to get even. He left His case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried away our sins in His own body on the cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.

Is my faith being tested through the difficulties I am having in my marriage? As a Christian woman, am I to continue living in these circumstances because it is what “God has called” me to do?

What have been the reasons I have tolerated my husband’s behavior all these years? Possibly my own lack of self forgiveness? Even though it hurt me and I didn’t understand it – has it been what I subconsciously believed I deserved?

“What we believe is revealed by how we live.”

What have I believed that has caused me to live with such dysfunction for so long? That I am paying for the sins of my past by living in the present with a husband who is an emotional abuser? Is that why I have never enforced consequences for his bad behavior? Feeling that divorce was “never an option”, because of my faith and the failed relationships in my past. Resolving I would make my marriage would work at all cost and hoping God would honor my steadfast commitment? Thinking that one day He would look down and say, “Enough. She has atoned for her past. She has remained faithful to Me in adversity and I will now bless the fruit of her labor.” Is that why I so desire to be hopeful that my husband will one day change . . . and that one day, I will have the marriage and family that I have dreamt of since I was a young girl?

The Truth is . . .
Life is Hard
Marriages Fail
Love is not Enough
And sometimes . . .
Faith & Commitment aren’t either
May God have Mercy on me

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For my own mental health, I have decided to “unfriend” my husband on Facebook.

Here is the latest post on his wall from a new “friend”:

Hey there!
I would love to catch up with you over lunch, but my schedule has been hectic. Hope you are doing well. Let’s go out sometime soon. We could take a long hike or spend some quiet time together over coffee. I can lend you my ears. Sending you peaceful thoughts.
Until then,
Trista

When I brought it up to my husband, he denied the message even existed. He was offended that I challenged him to open his Facebook to prove me wrong, then his fingers suddenly became clumsy as they hit the computer keyboard and it took him several attempts to type the right password. When he finally did, of course the message was there. He claimed to have no idea why this “acquaintance” would have asked him out since he had absolutely no relationship with her other than being co-workers. Eventually, he said it was possible that the message came after she saw him “looking down” over his marital problems, but that they had never gone on a hike or out to coffee . . .

A few days later, he sent me this e-mail:

“I am sorry for what you are going through based on what you feel is due to my behavior. I never responded to Trista’ s invitation and that is the truth. Even if I was on Facebook and I had seen the message before you brought it to my attention, I am not the type of man who would engage in such behavior, but obviously you think I am, and seem to have made up your mind already. I am sorry that you are in pain because of me, when all I want is to be the husband who desires to love you.”

“I am not sure what it is that I can say to you because anything I say will be misconstrued. I have already told you that I was not on Facebook and that even if I had read this message, I have no intention of having any kind of relationship with anyone outside of my marriage. Not once have I ever struggled with the temptation of infidelity. I am not the type of man that you make me out to be, and while you are entitled to your opinion, I find it unjust to question my integrity – not when it comes to my faithfulness. I am only sorry that after all these years, you would put me in such a category of men. I know that I have many faults, but you should know that I will never be unfaithful to you. If you are done with me, please find a different reason. My OCD, my lack of ability to make you happy and communicate, my inability to meet your expectations as a husband and father, but not as a cheater.”

“I feel blessed and at peace to have a clear conscience.”

My husband is adamant about not having a struggle with infidelity, but there is definitely some type of struggle going on with him.

I suspect the truth is being manipulated because he’s afraid. Because he keeps what he’s done wrong in the dark. And in the dark, everything seems worse than what it is. Sometimes being married to my husband can be like navigating a minefield when all I’ve ever wanted it to be is a place of comfort; a place to step without having to look first.

“Our love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah

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I am guilty. Of many things, be assured. And in thinking about the ways I have contributed to the issues in my marriage, I acknowledge that I have been desperate in seeking the affirmation of my husband. I have been driven to gain his approval, thinking, if I could only improve myself in some way, I would stop being invisible to him. But because of the state of dysfunction I have been in, it has taken much time to realize that no amount of affirmation would ever be enough. I was letting his lack of attention determine my worth, and fell for the lie that without his approval, I was worth nothing.

“One of the most common actions of an ADD spouse is that he stops paying attention. A wife will then feel abandoned and ashamed that she is no longer attractive to her husband. But what is really occurring is the defining symptom of ADD – distraction.”

Regardless of whether a husband is intentionally ignoring his wife or being ‘distracted’, the results are the same. His actions are speaking louder than his words. The hurt caused by his behavior elicits a series of bad feelings and behaviors on her part which compound the problem.”

“Loneliness is a key component for the non-ADD spouse. It comes from many things:
1) the distraction of the ADD spouse which makes the non-ADD spouse feel ignored and unloved
2) a sense of never being heard since so many patterns of bad behavior are repeated
3) the fact that few people outside the marriage ‘see’ what is going on

After so many years of living with this cycle of behavior in my marriage, my self-worth has inevitably become a casualty. Only through this blog have I been able to realize that.¬†And through the information that I’ve learned about ADD have I gained an understanding I did not have before. But having realization and knowledge is not where I want to stop. While I don’t think I could have reached this point without realization and understanding, I now want to heal. And as I heal, I want to become stronger, I want to move forward, not in circles, I want the realization and knowledge that my worth is given to me from God and not from man to become my reality.

I John 4:9-10 God showed how much He loved us (me) by sending His only Son into the world so that we (I) might have eternal life through Him. This is real love. It is not that we (I) loved God, but that He loved us (me) and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our (my) sins.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not calamity, to give you hope and a future. In those days when you pray, I will listen.”

Psalms 139:17-18a How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!

(Excerpts taken from ADHD Effect on Marriage by Melissa Orlov and Is It You, Me Or ADD by Gina Pera)

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The words of a song can sometimes speak the feelings of my heart when my own words are inadequate. This song speaks the words of my prayer today:

Oh Lord You’ve searched me
You know my way
Even when I fail You
I know You love me

Your holy presence
Surrounding me
In every season
I know You love me

You go before me
You shield my way
Your hand upholds me
I know You love me

And when the Earth fades
Falls from my eyes
And You stand before me
I know You love me

At the cross I bow my knee
Where Your blood was shed for me
There’s no greater love than this
You have overcome the grave
Your glory fills the highest place
What can separate me now?

(posted on the day of another uncelebrated wedding anniversary)

 

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“As God is my witness!”

Words that used to work in convincing me that he was telling the truth. Why would he bring “God” into our conversation if he wasn’t telling the truth? I mean, if he were using that phrase AND being dishonest, I would have expected lightning to surely come bolting out of the heavens to strike him down . . . right? But there had been no lightening . . . or had there?

When I recently caught him in a bold-faced lie and he used that phrase in his defense, while looking me straight in the eyes, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. Not only did I KNOW he was lying, but his use of that phrase brought to memory every other time he had used it . . . and I couldn’t help but wonder if he had been lying those times too.

I felt scared. For myself and for him. Where was his fear of God? The One he so vehemently called on to be his Witness as he denied the accusations . . . even as I presented the proof that countered his exclamations of innocence.

I have never been a “name-caller”, but realizing that my husband was a liar and that this was probably not the first time he had been dishonest with me left me shaken. I felt like an idiot for believing his deceit as truth, when my intuition (the Holy Spirit?) had been telling me otherwise all along. Mistaking lies for truth can leave one’s mind clouded with self-doubt and confusion. Whether his behavior was intentional, compulsive, or self preserving, his deception resulted in me believing more than just the words that came out of his mouth. I began to believe what his denial of reality insinuated about me. Crazy . . . Insecure . . . Demanding . . . Suspicious.

There may not have been a visible bolt of lightning illuminating the sky that night, but denial in the face of unmistakable truth is just as jolting.

If only I had learned to recognize it sooner.

Psalms 119:66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Your commandments.

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