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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am feeling torn and lost right now, and could use some advice. What do you Christian moms think about divorce in a marriage where no actual physical affair has taken place?<br><br>
The situation is that my husband and I are pretty much on opposite ends of the child-rearing spectrum and he represents pretty much everything that I would like to avoid in raising my children. I believe in healthy, sugar-free living, gentle discipline, low-no TV watching, Christian living, going to church, pornography-free home, among other things. He pretty much idolizes his parents whose only method of discipline was spanking (they had a paddle made from a piece of wood with 21 holes drilled in it). He frequently yells and swears around Nathan and I, and he is very disrespectful towards me most of the time (insults, yelling, name-calling, etc...). I won't bore you with all the details...I was just wondering what you thought about divorce in a situation like this. I believe that children are better off with a mother and a father, but what about in situations where you feel a child would be better off without a father....where do you draw the line? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"><br><br>
Another part of this situation would be that I want to stay at home with my children. If I was divorced, I would most likely have to work full time and put them into daycare--something I said I would never do. Might I have more influence over my children as a stay-at-home-mom and just continue to pray for my husband and our relationship? Anyone been in a situation like this and have any advice to share? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/guilty.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="guilty">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I will pass along advice my Christian mother gave me: The only reason to leave a marriage is when a spouse no longer has respect for you or is abusive (physically or otherwise -- again, disrespectful).<br><br>
Do you feel your spouse respects you?<br><br>
I know the other ladies are going to touch on the fact that children need to have loving parents as a model for marriage, and i'm nak-ing, so I'll leave it here.
 

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I'm so sorry you are going through this. Keep in mind that I don't yet have any children (one on the way) and have not experienced anything like this with my dh. I do however have strong feelings about divorce, as I can tell you do too. You didn't mention counselling in your message--have you talked to anyone about your problems? It sounds as though your DH might have anger issues? I would pursue counselling before considering a divorce if DH was willing.<br><br>
Is your DH a practicing Christian? Does he understand what his role in the marriage is biblically? I don't know if you would want to share this with him, but here is what it says in Ephesians 5 about a husband's role:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church– for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.</td>
</tr></table></div>
Obviously acting in a disrespectful way to you is not fulfilling his obligations as a husband. Perhaps couselling with a pastor could help him understand this?<br><br>
I don't know what else to suggest, but I just know that I would want to know that I'd done everything I could to salvage and improve the marriage before considering divorce. But if you feel you or your children are in danger at all I would suggest removing yourself from the situation and seeking some sort of outside intervention in order to communicate with DH.<br><br>
Hang in there.
 

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I am not Christian but I have heard a minister consul a woman and family this way "There is no reason you have to divorce your husband but there is no reason you have to live with him either."<br><br>
I was also reading a conservative Christian sight that gave the advice to a woman with an abusive husband not to get a divorce but every time he was abusive call the police and press charges. He might go to prison but he is not abusing you and you are not breaking God’s laws this way.<br><br>
I don’t think I could live this way bit it is not my life.
 

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I too believe that abuse is a valid reason to leave a marriage, either physical, sexual, emotional or neglect of yours or the child's primary needs. Mind you, I am not advocating it in a situation where a H just doesn't do what you "want", but it sounds like this has really crossed the line (at least in terms that I define abuse in anyway) I am adding you to my prayer list, please keep us informed so we can support and love you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No, most of the time he does not respect me. He criticizes most everything I do, no matter how I do it, he is frequently angry and grumpy and often blames it on me (there are sometimes that I have done something that he could get upset about, but he uses it as an excuse to grump me out about everything all day--he doesn't drop it after an apology), he calls me names, and makes negative comments about my body. A lot of the comments he says as jokes, but I don't find it funny and think that it is in bad taste around a young child.<br><br>
He does have a problem with anger. I give him a lot of leaway because he has been under a lot of stress the past few years and I think he takes it out on us (maybe sometimes unknowingly?) Another thing that I have considered is that he might have a problem with low self-esteem. There are probably a lot of things that I could be doing differently, but it is sooo hard to be a good wife when you are mentally beat down almost every day.<br><br>
I will say that he is a struggling Christian (I could fall into that catagory as well). He will talk to one of his Christian friends one day and will come home all refreshed and there will be a day or two of reprieve, and then he will slip back into his old routine. He really does well when we go to church as a family; however, working as a police officer he ususally works on Sundays. I really want him to be the head of the household and the spiritual leader, but I'm not sure how to go about encouraging that. I really need to spend more time in prayer.<br><br>
I would like to preserve the marriage, I guess that I am feeling mentally beat up and exausted right now. Also, I am more concerned about my son who is starting to mimic my husband's bad behavior. It hurts me greatly when I see my husband yelling or spanking my young son for the littlest things.<br><br>
As far as counseling is concerned, he thinks it is a bunch of bologna and that people should work things out for themselves.
 

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I havent read any replies....<br><br>
I could have written what you wrote two years ago.....every piece of it. I finally did leave. It was hard and I carried around more guilt than you can imagine. I left just in time tho. I thought I got out in time, before it hurt our kids, but it took leaving and putting my children in a stable and peaceful environment for me to see how hurt they were. That was the hardest part of it all. My kids were indeed scarred, but I couldnt see it thru the fog of my own pain. I did what you did for three+ years....stayed with it hoping for change, prayed, over compensating to make up for his "faults", i did it all. I ended up very sick physically in the end, but somehow found the strength to take my children and move us to a more stable environemnt. One of my greatest concerns was the whole SAHM mom thinig...but with support and planning I have been able to be a WAHM and I returned to school last semester part time. It sounds like alot of work, but its just as much or less work than it took to try and co parent with someone who was unsupportive of my parenting and our marriage. I had no conclusive evidence about a physical affair either, but an immense amount of emotional battering. I could go on and on and on. But I will just say this one thing-God gave you maternal instincts for a reason, partly to protect and care for your children. You serve them now, as much as you serve God. Please dont use your fear about returning to work as your means for stayoing...things happen for a reason, miracles happen and there are resources that you probably dont know about that are there to help you financially. You dont HAVE to return to work, full time at least, there are other options. But please think about the emotional scars your children may have now....and children are good at hiding them and pretending they are ok. Im not trying to scare you, but reading what you wrote is almost scary because its so close to what i wrote years ago.<br>
Please pm me if you ever need someone, for anything.<br>
Peace!
 

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My paternal Grandmother was an Irish Catholic immigrant. She came to the US by herself at age 16. Shortly after arriving here, she met my Grandfather, a first generation Irish-American, also Catholic. Also a raging, mean, abusive alcoholic. They were married for several years, and he was physically abusive towards my Grandmother and their children (my dad and his siblings) for most of that time. Finally, Grandma had had enough and she kicked him out of the house and filed for divorce. In the late 1950's. During a time when divorce was not spoken of, but whispered about in dark corners. She was, of course, the talk of the town and the church. She struggled for many years afterwards, and I wouldn't say she ever had a happy life (I think that's just how it was destined to be, divorce or no divorce), but she stood up to him and she protected herself and her children. She took the road less travelled and it was the best road she could have taken. My dad and his siblings grew up to have immense respect for their mother for doing what was right, regardless of what The Church said. I can't imagine they would have had the same respect for her or for women in general if she had stayed married to him. They would have loved her, no question, but the respect would have been deeply comprimised.<br><br>
I personally feel that we have an obligation to ourselves as women and to our children. The Church may have it's opinion about how we should live, but we must ultimately make the choice. We are the ones who have to live with the outcome.<br><br>
I'm sorry you are finding yourself faced with this decision. Best wishes to you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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heldt123, my heart goes out to you!<br><br>
As a Christian, I agree that you should do all you can to try and salvage your marriage, as long as you are not physically abused or cheated on.<br><br>
Have you gently told your DH that his behavior upsets you and hurts your feelings? Has he been resistant to change?<br><br>
I notice from your sigline that you are expecting. Has DH's behavior gotten worse since the pregnancy, or has he always been this way?<br><br>
My DH is not a believer, and in fairness to him, I became stronger in my faith after we were married. I continually pray for his salvation and I struggle with the fact that we are not equally yoked. He is a smoker and loose with the language, but he does respect me and respects my wishes to raise a Christian child, though he will be more of a spectator at this point in that arena. While that saddens me, we do love and respect each other and that is important.<br><br>
Here is my favorite Bible passage to help with unequally yoked marriages (yours and mine):<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">1 Corinthians 7:13-16<br>
And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.<br>
But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?</td>
</tr></table></div>
You may be the only testimony your husband gets. Unless you feel that you are in personal danger, I would encourage you to stay. However, you should seek the help of your pastor and support from your church family in this sensitive situation. Encourage your husband to go with you to marital counseling. Pray before you approach your husband for discernment. If he is not willing to stop hurting your feelings and support your desires, you may want to consider some temporary living arrangement with other family while you two get things worked out.<br><br>
Another option would be to attend a Family Life Marriage Conference. This is a weekend event which will help you and your husband communicate and express your love to each other better. You can find more info at <a href="http://www.familylife.com" target="_blank">www.familylife.com</a><br><br>
Please let us know how things go. I pray that God would open your husband's heart and provide healing in your home.<br>
In Christian Love,
 

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Sorry heldt123,<br>
I just read your second post about your husband's resistance. Since he is already spanking your son and still emotionally abusing you, I would look to find a temporary living arrangement apart from him for the sake of safety.<br><br>
Please post back, I am deeply concerned and praying right now for your family. Please also seek the support of others. You do not have to go thru this alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, I tell him all the time that I feel hurt or that he doesn't have to yell, etc... The problems all started...literally on our wedding day. I was left feeling like--what happened to the man I was dating and who is this man I married? We were required to take 6 hours of premerital counseling, but the pastor let us go after an hour because he was so impressed by our relationship.<br><br>
The last thing I want for our family is a divorce. I feel ashamed even talking about it as it feels like I am lacking in faith.<br><br>
You guys are so great. Thank you all for being here, I really needed to talk about this with someone as I don't know many people in this area. Been bawling my eyes out and need to go to bed.
 

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showe that Christina ahve the same divorce rates on average as other Americans. Protestna more than catholics and born again Christian at the same levels as other Americans. So, if God send people to Hell for divorce...then at least you will be in good company. At any rate, I am not a Christian but I remeber in NEw Testament some word to the effect "Dahmnes are those who shed tear of innocent children". IF you jsut stay by and use your religion as na excuse to live with an abuse who beats your child, you will be no better than an abuser<br>
Really, I would rather go to Hell than let my child suffer any kind of abuse.<br>
IF he verbally abuses your little boy lalready, he will proceed to beathing him.<br>
You can try amrtial cousnelingas a lst resort ot see if it helps, but I would also plan exist stategy. Resume, job etc. Really,t here is alot ofnegative thing said about day care and working moms .....but million of momw work and raise wonderufl chidren. You can work as nanny for while and take yous kid along.<br>
You can work fromw home. It worked for me.Get high paying part -time postion. There wonderufl caring day cares with loving teacher avialbale in this country, you jsut ahve to look hard.<br>
You can doa job share at some place and you can also share a nannsy with some other parent<br>
Good luck
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><b>Yes, I tell him all the time that I feel hurt or that he doesn't have to yell, etc... The problems all started...literally on our wedding day. I was left feeling like--what happened to the man I was dating and who is this man I married? We were required to take 6 hours of premerital counseling, but the pastor let us go after an hour because he was so impressed by our relationship.</b></td>
</tr></table></div>
This really raises a buncha red flags for me.. Many abusive types keep their behavior hidden until after they "own" you on your wedding day.. If his change in behavior was that abrupt.. I would suspect it was purposefully done.. Talk with your minister yourself if you must, but I would be inclined to leave.. I know that it can be hard with someone like this.. People are going to have a hard time believing your reality when the one your h presents to them is soo different..<br><br>
Best of Luck..<br><br>
Warm Squishy Feelings..<br><br>
Dyan<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="heartbeat">
 

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Hugs sweetie. In your heart, what do you feel you need to do? Does he realize that you are thinking about leaving him? Also check out a site called marriagebuilders. They have been helpful in getting dh and I back on track AND for my friend in finding the strength to kick her dh out.<br><br>
HUGS
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I guess that I would like to make a few more comments. Before I got married, I sort of looked down on women who stayed in abusive relationships. I always thought " why don't they just leave?" It always seemed like you would <b>just know</b> when you should leave. I really don't know...my gut says go and my mind says stay. I guess that when you are in a relationship, it is difficult to be objective and see the whole picture. Does that make any sense for anyone else? It's like you think maybe I am just imagining things or is it really <i>that</i> bad? Am I just being selfish? The biggest thing for me right now is that I really, really don't want my son to grow up and be like his dadddy. Or to grow up feeling squashed, intimidated, and emotionally damaged by an angry man. When his parents came up to visit this summer, they got pretty upset at him for being so mean to me and had some talks with him. He did ease up after that, but the crabby times still show up. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/crap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crap"><br><br>
On the other hand, he has a lot of good qualities too. And he isn't overly controlling. For instance, I take care of the finances for the most part and pretty much do my own thing. It just seems that I can never please him.
 

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Just a couple of questions to consider..<br><br>
Why does he need to control any of those things if he already has control of you??<br><br>
Is it possible that he wants you to do these things so he can DISapprove of the way they are being done there by keeping you under his thumb??<br><br>
You say you don't feel respected.. You have told him and he disregards you..<br>
And here I will tell you where I am coming from with all of this..<br><br>
My mother has bipolar disorder, and paranoid schizopherenia.. She has been married 3 times.. The longest to my father.. Her behavior got much worse after she divorced my father.. RIGHT AFTER she married each of her next 2 husbands her behavior changed almost instantaniously for the worse.. She didn't need to be on her best behavior any more.. She "owned" them now.. They were hers to treat as she pleased.. (Any of that ringing any bells for you??)<br><br>
I have been in a relationship with a man who has hit me and was verbally degrading to me.. I was younger and it didn't occur to me that he was abusive... It didn't occur to me that it was wrong because I am not a woman to be hit, so I would hit him right back.. It was still wrong.. It took me getting out of that relationship to see who awful it was..<br><br>
I was in an emotionally manipulative relationship for 3 years.. We planned to get married.. He would cheat on me and somehow it was my fault.. He would call me names and somehow I believed I deserved it.. Again.. I didn't see how bad it was until it was over..<br><br>
Sometimes it is impossible to see what you are in until you are out of it..<br><br>
I am not a "pro-divorce" person.. I think it should be avoided anytime possible, but if your husband will not go to councilling I think that you still should so that you have someone else helping sort things out..<br><br>
Also for your own well being keep a log of everytime your husband belittles you or makes you feel disrespected.. Look it over at the end of the day... Is that what you deserve.. What your children deserve.. Does your husband deserve to be allowed to treat you this way?? The answer to all of these is a resounding <b>NO!!!</b><br><br>
If your husband isn't hearing you when you are telling him he is being disrespectful, and you think it would help keep that log.. Keep it safe.. Make a couple of copies of it.. And sit him down alone when the kids are asleep or away and SHOW him his behavior...It's harder to ignore the written word for some reason..<br><br>
I wish you all the best.. I hope you can make your marraige work..<br><br>
Warm Squishy Feelings..<br><br>
Dyan<br>
:heatbeat
 

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I like what the pp said about keeping a journal of all the incidents that accure and then reviewing them periodically.<br><br>
As someone who grew up in an abusive home, I would encourage you to seek refuge for your child's (soon to be children) sake. We kids would hide when we heard our stepdad's car drive up and I don't think that's how any child should live.<br><br>
Please don't minimize the effect of verbal abuse. The scars can last for a long, long time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for suggesting a log. I have thought about doing it before, but never got around to it. It might even help in case there was a custody battle, right? I have even thought about recording some of his anger outbursts and grumpings and playing it for him. I might still try that sometime.<br><br>
Also, it is interesting that you mentioned bipolor. I did some quick research on it and the symptoms seem to fit a lot of his behavior. The only difference I could see is that his behavior changes from day to day. For instance, yesterday was a bad, yelling, crabby day, and today was totally different--he was polite and lovey. Or there will be five bad days in a row, then a good day, etc... The website I looked at said that it goes in like weekly cycles or something like that. He definately has the depression part; I've known about that since we started going out. It is just the anger part that showed up after we got married. I think I might bring the idea up to him sometime.<br><br>
Has your mother had any experience with any type of treatment that helped?
 

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jamie<br>
My heart goes out to you. I am a christian too and I know that divorce is a scary idea.<br><br>
First of all, You are LOVED by your creator because he chose you, not because of anything you do. This is a hard broken world we live in. Our God is the God of the impossible. He is not ever going to leave you or forsake you, No matter what happens. Remember Abraham and Sarah...Sarah laughed and yet God still blessed her with her son. He preserved Isaac even up at the alter.<br><br>
God isn't leaving you no matter what happens ....Divorce or Not.<br><br>
Okay....That aside. You deserve to be treated with respect and dignity from your husband. There are deal breakers in marriage even as a Christian.<br><br>
I do not believe God wants us to be married for Marriage sake. I do think that if he will not go to therapy, you should go. You will get some insight that can help you decide what you need to do.<br><br>
If you are in danger you need to leave. You can have a time out and let him make some choices that are healthy for him and you and your family. You don't have to make long term decisions just to get to a safe place now to find some perspective.<br><br>
I feel like this isn't making any sense as I am rocking my baby to sleep while reading and typing.<br><br>
I will just say that you are loved so much by your Father.<br>
Im praying for direction for you.<br>
Sarah
 

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i would urge you to follow your instincts as well which is the voice God gave you. i might also suggest for your sake that you seek counselling for yourself to help you through this and also that you think about what dr bruce fisher calls a healing separation (it might be on the internet) where you make a 3 month commitment to do everything you can to heal yourself and take responsibility for your part in the marrital breakdown so that you can understand why the 2 of you ended up where you are and how to heal yourself (most important) and hopefully your marriage as well. this will give you a good indication as well as to how your husband feels about you and making the marriage work and if he is actually willing to make lasting changes rather than just say he will. you may like to buy or borrow the book from the library. i'm sorry, i personally understand what a painful and confusing time this is for you. please take care of yourself.<br><br>
mandi
 
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