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Needing advice. Is this abuse?

Discussion in 'Separation and Marriage Restoration' started by Dimples3130, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Dimples3130

    Dimples3130 New Member

    8
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    Married
    I'm new to this board. I'm a 57 year old woman who has been married to the same man for almost 38 years. We have three grown children. Our last child moved out 5 years ago so we're not new to an empty nest. We were married at 19 (me) and 24 years of age. The early years of the marriage were fine but like most young folks, we had work to do to have a strong marriage. He blames me for not being attentive to him during the years when the kids were young. He turned away from me, became a Born Again Christian, and we've had problems ever since. He says I'm not a Christian if I'm not Born Again. He's very inattentive to me, dismisses me, tells me if I would only be "Born Again" that I wouldn't believe how nice my life with him would be...he'd take me on vacations and things would be so different. I am a Christian. He calls my denomination (Methodist) a cult. He demeans me and make me feel so low. I make far less money than he does and he points that out to me as well. Talks about my "little job" I have. I work as a secretary in education so don't make as much as I likely could elsewhere but I enjoy the work and find it fulfilling. Anyone else out there have the same situation as me? I hate to call it abuse but I've looked at some videos online and they describe my life to a T.
     
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  2. Dimples3130

    Dimples3130 New Member

    8
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    Married
    I should add. My husband was emotionally and physically abused by his father growing up and moved out when he was 15 years old. He has only talked to me about it a couple times in the past 38 years. He has forgiven his father and moved on according to him. His dad is a Christian but doesn't act like it to me. I don't even speak to his dad any longer.
     
  3. Jane_Doe

    Jane_Doe Well-Known Member

    +988
    Mormon
    These are MAJOR problems.

    Have you two attended professional marriage counseling? Would you two be open to it?
    Have you personally attended professional individual counseling? Would you be open to it?
     
  4. Dimples3130

    Dimples3130 New Member

    8
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    United States
    Methodist
    Married
    We've not attended any counseling of any kind. I would be open to it and I'm sure he would too. He wanted to go to counseling years ago but I kept thinking things would surely change on their own. He goes to a mega church in a town 30 minutes from our town and I still go to the Methodist church I was born and raised in and he is also a member of it. He just refuses to attend it because it "doesn't feed him what he needs spiritually". He and his brother go to church together every Sunday, eat lunch together and he comes home late afternoon. I feel so cheated out of a relationship but the only way is his way. If I want to spend Sundays with him I must attend HIS church he attends. On Saturdays he works outside all day so we spend very little time together. If I were to point that out to him, which I have many times, he tells me he doesn't want to spend time with me and it's because I drive him away.
     
  5. Jane_Doe

    Jane_Doe Well-Known Member

    +988
    Mormon
    Ok, you guys MAJORLY need professional counseling. These issues are work-out-able, but it involves WORK. Lots of WORK. And surrendering the bad habits you've gotten into.

    Get a counselor you both approve of, one that's had lots of experience working on martial issues. Commit to going weekly and doing your assigned homework, even if it feels like a time waster-- counseling does NO good if you're not willing to work on things every day.
     
  6. Dimples3130

    Dimples3130 New Member

    8
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    United States
    Methodist
    Married
    Thank you for your replies. I have been listening to Leslie Vernick on abusive relationships. I believe my husband probably grew up watching this same behavior in his parent's relationship. I would even consider going to counseling alone but I'm not sure I can afford it on my income. Our income is divided between us. He has his money and pays the mortgage and bigger bills while I take care of smaller bills. I would put my money in a joint account with his but I don't trust him with money. He is careless with money. Needless to say we have very little savings.
     
  7. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

    +5,576
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    You should speak honestly with him, and with others.

    Proverbs 12:22
    Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.

    Proverbs 19:1
    Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.

    John 8:32
    And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

    2 Corinthians 8:21
    For we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord's sight but also in the sight of man.

    Proverbs 6:16-20
    There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not your mother's teaching.

    What Does the Bible Say About Honesty? - OpenBible.info
     
  8. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

    +5,576
    United States
    Non-Denom
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    You should seek local, not internet chat forum help
    just for yourself, not him.
     
  9. Dimples3130

    Dimples3130 New Member

    8
    +3
    United States
    Methodist
    Married
    You, obviously, have never been in this position I'm in. Listen to Leslie Vernick. A person, man or wife, sometimes doesn't even -know- they are in a mentally or verbally abusive relationship. Physical abuse is pretty clear-cut and even then there are spouses that remain. You always think you can change that person. I was just looking for some support and advice.
     
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  10. Jane_Doe

    Jane_Doe Well-Known Member

    +988
    Mormon
    Counseling is SUPER expensive, no denying it. And how much is your marriage worth to you? Is it worth ditching the cable, bringing a packed lunch to work, and things like that? Spend your money are the things that are MOST important.

    Or look at it this way: how is expensive is it compared to divorce and lawyers?
     
  11. Jane_Doe

    Jane_Doe Well-Known Member

    +988
    Mormon
    YOU can't change anyone. No one can. The only person who can change "Mike" is Mike if he really wants it.
     
  12. Jane_Doe

    Jane_Doe Well-Known Member

    +988
    Mormon
    Also, about the term "abuse": Your marriage can have MEGA problems, whether or not it's abusive. So the label doesn't really change that.
     
  13. Dimples3130

    Dimples3130 New Member

    8
    +3
    United States
    Methodist
    Married
    I feel so hopeless about my situation right now. I've been in a marriage for almost 38 years and I knew there would be rockier years than others but it's a cycle that we've been in for the past several years that have me worried. Things just look bleak. If I were to tell my husband that I feel his actions/words are "abusive" he would turn everything around and blame me. This is something I heard would happen. What this Leslie Vernick says just hits the nail on the head. Every single thing she says. I know we need therapy. I can't even get him to talk to me for 5 minutes. He comes home from work, sits down at his iPad, watches videos for an hour then goes outside to do outside chores. Comes in, gets on his device once again then off to bed at 9 pm. That is my life. And his. When I talk about how I'd like to take a vacation, even a short weekend to of town, I'm dismissed that he doesn't have time. When we have a big fight and I bring it up again, he tells me that he's not willing to take me anywhere. He says if I were respectful to him or acted like a Christian wife (Born Again) he would be more than happy to take me ANYwhere. I feel so oppressed.
     
  14. Dimples3130

    Dimples3130 New Member

    8
    +3
    United States
    Methodist
    Married
    But it is a form of abuse. Keeping me down. Making sure I have nothing. Not including me in ANY money decisions.
     
  15. Humble me Lord

    Humble me Lord Well-Known Member Supporter

    +3,146
    United States
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    Have you looked up bible versus on what a biblical marriage looks like?
    If he is such a superior Christian, does he even know what his part is in the marriage?
     
  16. Dimples3130

    Dimples3130 New Member

    8
    +3
    United States
    Methodist
    Married
    Yes I have but most of the verses I look up have to do with the wife being submissive. He takes things out of context all the time from the Bible. I can’t tell...are you saying I’m the problem by not being a Christian wife?
     
  17. Tropical Wilds

    Tropical Wilds Lord, beer me strength...

    +1,334
    United States
    Non-Denom
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    US-Others
    Abusive? No. Manipulative? Yes.

    You think you need counseling, you think he would agree to go, you both almost went before... Sounds like the next step is counseling. Best to choose a place not affiliated with either of your faiths and aim for something more neutral.
     
  18. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33 Supporter

    +5,247
    Anglican
    Married
    I think that the label "abusive" is a way to make the distinction between a person that just lacks the right relationship tools and one that fully knows what they're doing (in their destruction of the relationship). An abusive person has a different goal in relationships--it's all about holding power over another person and using them.

    He's found your deal-breaker (it seems)--something he can hold over your head and say, "if only you'd do this.....THEN I would do what you like". The trouble is.....often a person like this will then just find another thing to hold over your head (if you eventually give in to the first).

    You're in a tough spot (and I hope that doesn't sound condescending :( ). I know ideally what would cause you to feel better about your life would be for your husband to turn himself around....but that doesn't seem realistic. He has been like this for over 30 years.....correct?

    Can you maybe find a women's group near you to take day trips with? A few of my friends have joined up with a group called, "Sisters on the Fly" because they have husbands that work a lot and are unable to go away. That probably sounds patronizing.....but it does seem that getting away for a bit of refreshment is what you're missing most (and what's within your control). Would you even ENJOY a trip with your husband (it sounds as if he'd spend most of his time isolated from you anyhow)?
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  19. Jane_Doe

    Jane_Doe Well-Known Member

    +988
    Mormon
    The verses in Ephesians 5 teach that wives are supposed to listen to their husband in so much as they act like Christ would. Not acting like Christ would = such verses don't apply anymore. Likewise he (your husband) is supposed to love you as Christ loves the church-- which excludes any abuse or manipulation.
    NO!!!
     
  20. Dan61861

    Dan61861 7 days without God, makes one weak.

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    Act like a Christian, what is that?

    Paul says, in Romans 3:9-10 what then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, no,not one.

    And Peter says in 1 Pet 4:18 and if the righteous scarcely. Be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear.

    We are all unworthy, it's by God's grace through Christ that we are saved. Christ's righteousness is upon us.

    The problem is that we are quick to judge one another, forgetting our own wretchedness before God. There is only one that is good, that one is God.

    If I were you, I would pick up my bible go to your husband and ask him to study it with you. Ask your husband to pray before you begin, that the Lord lead both of you. Place Christ first in your life, before everything, even your husband. Your life will change, you will change.

    If you are a Christian, you are born again. There is such a simplicity in the Gospel. It simply mean that you believe Christ died for our sins, He was buried and on the third day He rose from the dead according to the scriptures. It was witnessed by many. When you believe, you have died with Christ, you are raised a new with Christ, born again. Baptism represent this, dunked into the water, you are buried, coming out of the water you are raised with Christ, born again.

    Whether saved/born again or not, a husband is to love his wife like Christ loves the church/us. He should be an example of Christ's love, saved or not.

    In Christ
    Daniel
     
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