Need Christian Advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2005
Need Christian Advice
11
Sun, 08-27-2006 - 8:12pm
My husband and I are both Christians, actually leaders in our church so I cannot share this with anyone there. Anyway, we are considering divorce. Actually he is more so than I am, I am a stay at home mother with no income so I could not file even if I wanted to at this point. The problem is that he feels as if I am unwilling to submit to his leadership. We have argued constantly over the four years that we have been married about various decisions that he has made, sometimes without even asking my thoughts on it. He says that I have a rebellious spirit and that I have torn our marriage apart by being an evil person, wife and mother. One of my major issues with this is that we have an eleven month old daughter and I am seventeen weeks pregnant with our second child. As far as submitting to his leadership is concerned, this is what he wants: If he makes a decision and I disagree with it, he only wants me to make my personal opinion known once. At that point he will make an executive decision and I am not to question it or object to it no matter how I feel. I am to at this point take all of my concerns to God in prayer according to him. Maybe he is right, I really don't care at this point. I just want my children to have their father in their lives, but I was not raised in a household like the one he is describing. Which makes it hard to even attempt to live my life this way. His attitude is now abrasive, abusive, hateful and harsh. He has called me names, a bad mother, an evil wife, a horrible person, and says that I am the most horrible person that he has ever met and that he wants to get as far away from me as possible. He sleeps on the couch. He has not yet decided on what he wants to do I guess. He says that he thinks he wants a divorce, but he says he can't make a decision right now because he is under too much pressure. My problem is that his inability or unwillingness to make a decison to go or stay is causing issues because he ignores, or speaks harshly to me, he doesn't wear his ring and he constantly avoids me. I just want this to be over one way or another. Should I go ahead and leave since that seems to be the inevitable anyway?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-2004
Sun, 08-27-2006 - 11:02pm
Marriage is a hard hard road. The question is how you run the race, not if you win. I always think you have to really earn your way out of the deal. That means that you do all things possible to restore and repair it before you throw in the towel. Have you considered counseling? Even if you can't get him to go, you can go for you. It will help to guide you through this journey and God can honor your actions. I think that separation is nothing to do lightly. Seek those whose counsel you trust, those who have a vested interest in seeing you succeed. Listen to what they say. Pray on it. It is amazing what can happen when just one person is working. You can have success in it. My marriage has been to hell and back again. If God could repair my destroyed relationship, I know it can be done.

 

Kristi

You can't change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying over the future.

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Mon, 08-28-2006 - 10:43am
I think he is the evil one here. How can he say such terrible things to you? To call you EVIL??!!. Clearly he does not want to be in this marriage anymore. I don't think you do either. He has got some serious issues to work out for himself. I am sorry, I know there are people here that will disagree with me on this, and I am a male by the way, but I think that sort of dictatorial power by the male in a marriage is flat wrong. Its ridiculous. You are every bit as able to make decisions and have input on decisions as he is. No one knows it all, everyone has their own special abilities and strengths and weaknesses. There are things you know about better than he and things he knwos about better than you. I think its reasonable for each of you to rely on each other strengths and make decisions together. Anyway, at this point it is all moot. Things have progressed beyond worrying about the head of the household issue. How can you possibly ever feel love for a person who calls you evil and horrible? You sound like nice and reasonable person and deserve much more than this. I hope he does not show this side of himself to your children. I think only an evil person could say such horrible things to their spouse. You may as well get out, start the divorce proceedings yourself. You will never, ever, be happy in these circumstances. That is clear. Question is do you want to continue to be miserable and for who? For you? For your kids? For your facade at church? I know your children are too young to know anything now, but years from do you think they would fault you for getting away from this kind of tyranny and abuse? I don't think so, I think will admire you for standing up for yourself. Your husband does not want a wife and equal partner, he wants a doormat. Is that what you want to be? I am so sorry for your situation and this will not be easy in the least. I am sure everyone here will be praying for you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2005
Mon, 08-28-2006 - 11:46am

Actually, I wouldn't hesitate to leave, but I am a product of divorce and my mother has been married and divorced 9 or 10 times. He uses this information against me, saying that I am just like all the other women in my family (possessing and independent and controlling spirit) and that he should have known I could never be the kind of wife that God desires me to be because I was never taught to. Some parts of that are true. I was not raised in a Christian household but I was taught some Christian principles. I just feel like such a failure already and to divorce would just make his accusations true. He says that I should basically follow him blindly (he didn't use those exact words) but that is the gist of what he is saying. He thinks I should because he was raised in a two parent household and they went to church together every Sunday. And I was raised in a one parent household most of the time and we attended church sporadically at best. To be perfectly honest, I feel horrible because I have really tried to change the way that I live my life for the better. I dreamed of getting married and having children and raising them the right way. I wanted my children to have a better quality of life than I did, with a mother and father who love God, love them, and love each other. And now the possibility of that happening is slipping away from me. He says that I married him with no intention of ever submitting to God or him, and that I don't love my children or care for anyone but myself and this is simply NOT TRUE. I have not been a perfect wife, and I have not always done even what I knew was the right thing. But I honestly didn't know that I was as bad as he says I was. To hear him talk to me, you would think that I needed to be stoned in the streets. It's difficult to live under this type of pressure ant still think clearly. Thanks for praying for me.

Shawanna

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-2004
Mon, 08-28-2006 - 12:24pm
I think your heart is in the right place with wanting to be a great wife. Yes a husband does lead the family. However, it is to be lovingly. This is a process. He needs to learn how to do it, too. It isn't, "I said. It is this way." Pray. I would not recommend calling it quits just yet. You can learn to set boundries for him. My husband was similar to yours. He thought if he yelled, intimidated and guilted me into things he was leading. I started to say not ok. Over time, it worked out ok. Seek some guidance. God does hate divorce. His desire is to see marriages succeed. There are some cases when divorce is ok. Until God tells you it is ok to go, then you have to stay and work.

 

Kristi

You can't change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying over the future.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Mon, 08-28-2006 - 2:40pm

This is what the Bible says about husband/wife relationships. Doesn't sound much like your husband has been acting toward you.

Ephesians 5:

21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

(Notice the "one another" here - and notice for whose sake we are supposed to submit.)

22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

(Jesus Christ - as the head of the church - never berated the church for not being "perfect." Rather He has lovingly guided, directed, encouraged, supported and built up His church for His glory.)

25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God's word.

(Again, Jesus works to build up his church, not tear her down.)

27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body.

(How does your husband treat himself? Does he have a poor self-image? Or is he stuck on himself - always more worried about outer appearance than inward character?)

31 As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one." 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

(Nowhere in this passage are wives commanded LOVE their husbands the way husbands are commanded to love their wives. But how the husband treats his wife should make her love for him a natural response.)

It is very, very, VERY important that you get to marital counseling as soon as possible - with your husband if at all possible. If he won't go, then you need to go yourself. These kinds of problems don't fix themselves and you need to have the support and biblical counsel of a trusted Christian advisor.

See my response to the other poster regarding Christians and divorce. I think a lot of it applies to you as well.

God be with you during this difficult time.

-- Gayle

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Tue, 08-29-2006 - 11:39am
I certainly wouldn't suggest divorce lightly, that at the first sign of any hardships that a person should bail out. A person/couple should try and save their marriage if it is possible. Marriage is not easy, and it is expected you will have disagreements and even arguements sometimes. I guess I just take strong exception to the language and attitude he seems to be taking with you. In my book those are very hate filled and vile words to say to your wife who you supposedly love. If you can somehow rise above that and still truly love him then you are a very strong woman. I still don't see how one can say the husband should have the final say with everything. I mean what if he is a complete moron? Are you going to let a moron have the final say on everything? I say there are many women who are smarter and better leaders than some men. All im saying is why not have the best person for the job, do the job.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-29-2006 - 2:51pm

Kristi and Gayle, I stand behind you both. Marriage can be hard especially when it seems one-sided. A man is not to hold his leadership over you like a tyrant. He is to serve his wife and treat her as the gift she is from God. Wives are there to serve their husbands, plain and simple, to love him and build him up. The thing most people forget is that "I" has no place in a marriage. Many men are under the misconception of just how to fulfill their rolls as the spiritual leader of the home. Today's society teaches all kinds of misconceptions when it comes to our marriages and families. The Bible is very clear and direct with its teachings. Christian couceling would be very benficial I think. sjones2005, I'll be praying for you and your situation. Please know that God is a God of love and will be with you through this if you only seek Him first.

Robin

Robin

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2003
Wed, 08-30-2006 - 11:16am
Hi, Shawanna, and welcome to the board. I thank God for all those who've posted, and they all have good words of wisdom for you. I pray that you'll seek God's face and, find counsel amongst those whom you trust.




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WeatherPixie

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2005
Wed, 08-30-2006 - 1:28pm

Thanks for your welcome. I am believing God for a resolution to this problem. I am praying and leaving it in his hands because I feel like I have done all I could do at this point. Thanks to everyone for their prayers.

Shawanna

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Fri, 09-01-2006 - 12:32am

Ive been thinking about you and your babies for days now...I've just been so SHOCKED that I havnt really known what to say. I think I have questions more than "something to say"...

First of all, what is your reaction to his verbal, menatal and emotional abuse? What do you say or do when he is abusing you?

Secondly, how do you rate the strength of your self concept? What do YOU think of you?

Wether or not to divorce someone is a tough one; Im going through that question myself at this point in my life. I know this: HE loves me and my family, nomatter what the result might be down the road. I ALSO KNOW, that HE created a strong woman when he created me, and one who puts her children right up there with herself. You are setting an example for your children; that this is what marriage is. Your primary responsibility right now is to yourself and your children (even babies suffer from stress in the home). Yelling and screaming, saying HORRENDOUS things; this is abusive to you all. This is not how families walk with Christ, this is not love; this is dangerous.

Okay, so I guess I did have "something to say", but Ive just been stewing over this, searching for the right words...there are none, really, they are all within you.

Please take care of you and yours. I'll be praying for your family, that you may ALL find peace and bring the Lord back to the center of your family unit. Stay strong, put your hand up and say "STOP", and WALK AWAY when he starts in on you (there is nothing that you have done to deserve this). Be with HIM right now; use your strength and free thinking to make the best choices for yourself and the health of you all.

Blessings,

Mia

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