HopinginHim1: Bill - I completely agree. My study of scripture has spoken very clearly to me. My H has not abandoned me. His financial resources are completely available to me and the children. We see each other quite regularly and he is very involved in my life and in the children's. So I feel that until the Lord directs me otherwise, I am called to remain a faithful wife and to wait upon the Lord for His clear direction and for the heart change in my H that only the Lord can enable. I see our vows as a covenant and marriage as a reflection of the Lord's faithfulness to His church. Despite our rebellion, the Lord sacrificially chose to die for His bride. Although I am not Christ, I feel called to live sacrificially for the potential restoration of my H to the Lord and as an example of marriage commitment before my children.
Bill: HopinginHim1 the other thing I would remind you of is the nature of marriage and restoration. It is the only relationship in the Bible that reflects the gospel and demonstrates the intimacy that exists in the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). As a result, it is a journey of the heart. This can be difficult news because the heart can be stubborn. It can be good news, however, because the heart changes quickly when it changes. You and your H can go months and years without being connected and then it can suddenly change and restoration can be accomplished quickly. This is challenging because as we wait, we can get to a place where we think it will never happen and then it kicks into gear catching us off guard. Waiting is a very mature skill!
Swan: Bill - I have found over the years of dealing with bullies, that they are actual very insecure people. My husband was a great Marine and could be so effective as a military leader, but the other areas of his life he really didn't know how to be secure and attempted to be in control and if anything didn't go exactly as he wanted his reaction was to try to overpower through aggression and intimidation. Coming from a step father that used abuse to control, I accepted my husband's actions as normal. It was went MLC took over our lives and I found this site (Jim) and reading books by Cloud and Townsend that helped me understand that is was not only OK to have boundaries, but to enforce them with love was beneficial for all concerned. I do find it helps me much more to have boundaries, I have far less resentments.
Bill: Swan: What you just described is information everyone ought to know and every parent ought to teach these skills to their kids. I am convinced that pride and insecurity are cousins. Those who feel a need to control are painfully aware that life is bigger than them but they don't want to admit it. As a result, they bully others and manipulate circumstances all the while feeling they are going to fail at any moment. Knowing how to set boundaries and choosing calm strength is a vital skill that everyone needs at some point in their lives. As a result, those of us who have these skills must keep sharing them with others. thanks for being on the journey.
Swan: Bill - I know people that are in second or more marriages and they say they never think of their ex spouse unless someone brings them up, I just don't understand how anyone can just not think of a person they once shared so much with, especially when there are children. My mother was like that, or so she claimed, we would ask her about our father as we got older and she often said, she couldn't remember as an answer. When I did meet my father as an adult, he often said the same thing. How do you just forget?
Bill: Swan: Weird isn't it? I think people "forget" as a defense mechanism. They actually remember and it is traumatic so their soul causes a fog to roll in to protect them feeling all the pain.
Bill: Swan: Pam and I are working on a proposal for a new book on midlife that will include both men and women in our modern context.
Swan: Bill - that will be great, a modern context is really needed. A couple years back we had a few people in chat that would make comments like "Jim's books were great back then, but..." We would try to tell them that MLC doesn't really change, society does, but if they would read the material they would see that foundation is still relevant. So a book that is more modern and includes both men and women could really be what many are looking for. My opinion is that personal experience is the best wisdom anyone could have, I am glad people like Pam, you, Jim and Sally share that, it helps so much. I thought I was going crazy and everything was falling apart (and I am a compartmental person), just knowing that others had gone through it and sharing it gave me some insight that guided me to the path I am now on.
Bill: All: It is good to remind ourselves that everyone lives out their view of themselves. Someone who believes they are valuable, loving, productive and worthwhile will invest in relationships and pursue strong goals. Someone who believes they are a victim, have been ripped off by life, deserves pain, etc. will be underproductive and will pursue chaotic goals. This is why a close walk with Jesus is so helpful. Embracing the fact that we are God's children will profoundly impact our behavior.
Dogwood: Bill. I recognize that I tend to always need to have family around me, and probably need to learn to have God alone, that is so hard to learn
Bill: Dogwood: In this area, I think balance is a key. When Adam was in the garden, he appeared to have everything he needed. The garden was beautiful and needed purposeful work applied to it to keep it in shape. God was available in person to talk with at any time. And yet, God said it was not good for man to be alone. God exists in relationship (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and we are made in His image. Therefore, relationships matter to us and complete the picture. We can, however, easily become dependent on others to meet the needs only God can fill. My youngest son likes to say, "We get our life from God but we learn how to do life from others."
Little Magpie: Swan/Bill - yes, she is thinking about seeing a counselor on campus, she didn't want to hear suggestions about bible reading or praise song singing. She did see my new counselor one session with me before she left as my counselor said she was open to it
Bill: Little Magpie: With your YD, I would also add that your acceptance is probably the strongest gift you can give her. We so often want to share our opinions and advice because we care so much about them and their growth. It can easily sound like criticism when anxiety is driving. Accepting them can feel like we are conceding or endorsing what they are doing but in reality it creates an environment of growth.
Little Magpie: Bill - Thanks. He is helping to drive there. Swan/Bill - How do you recognize the attacks??
Bill: Little Magpie: Great question. John 8:44 says Satan is the father of lies. The attacks always come in the form of lies. They are usually mixed with some truth since the best way to deceive people is to tell them a little truth and then cap it off with a lie. We see the process play out in Matthew 4 where Jesus was tempted by the devil. Recognizing the attacks means being able to discern when we are being confronted with lies. To do that we have to be well versed in the Bible and "up to date" in verbally renouncing what is false and affirming what is true.
Little Magpie: Bill - I have been praying and trying to take my mind captive. I had to excuse myself from a meeting because the anxiety was getting to me as they were talking about accidents and near accidents. I took a few moments to pray and cry a little.
Bill: All: Another tool God has given us is grieving. Whenever we lose (whether it is a loved one, a cherished opportunity, valued asset or dream of the heart) we get flooded with emotions. Grieving is the process of releasing the emotional energy that builds up through crying, laughing, sadness, anger, etc. The key to grieving is to give permission to let the emotions out. The ancient Jews were much better at this than we are in the modern west. They used to sit in ashes, tear their clothes, weep and wail. They didn't do it forever but they did it long enough to release the emotions that go along with loss (because God didn't originally design us to lose).
Swan: Little Magpie - Are you still seeing the counselor? Does she have any recommendations for how to reduce stress. Sometimes getting a good workout, taking a long calming walk or putting on Christian music and doing something that relaxes you. I know you cannot control the others and they will do what they will, but at least you might be able to reduce you stress leaves.
Little Magpie: Swan- I just started with a new one and yes, my Anxiety and PTSD are high points on what we are going to be focusing on and making friends.
Little Magpie: Bill and Swan- I recently noticed that both my H and I take things personally and if I didn't clarify he thinks I'm telling him that he messed up or did something wrong because he didn't do something the way I had perceived it to be done
Bill: Little Magpie: this stuff happens because your hearts are connected. You have an influence on each other that is stronger than anyone else in your life. In marriage, we need to protect each other's hearts more than we need to pass on the information.