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Thanks 4evr!

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I forgot to mention that last night Z asked me if I would like to watch some of one of our new intensive DVD's. I was surprised because of Z being "finished" with J & K. We watched about half an hour of the first one. Z began to tell me again how he can't bear to hear Joel's voice. He knows he needed to be wakened up by Joel's words back at our intensive but now... I said I don't want to hear him complain about Joel, that it makes me feel like he is going to give up on our marriage. I asked him to complain to someone else, or to God.

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This morning I woke way too early from an anxiety-producing dream. I was getting close to my flight gate when I realized i must have left one of my bags at the opposite end of the airport. I hurried through the long corridors and found it sitting on the floor by a seat in an empty waiting area. Someone had kindly placed it inside a white plastic bag. (To keep it clean, I supposed.)

I woke up, dreading hurrying through those long corridors again and this time having to make sure I find my gate in time!

 

The breathless anxious feeling stayed with me for a few hours. It gradually waned as the day went by.

 

Z and I worked together on digging the ski-doo out of a snow bank today. That was fun! Z was friendly the whole time! Didn't snap at me once!

 

We cuddled on the couch watching curling a couple of times.

 

I rested in bed with him tonight for about 25 minutes. That was nice.

 

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I've been thinking about Z's aversion to Joel . . . and ya know, I think, if it were me, I wouldn't make a big deal over it IF Z. is still otherwise participating in the ministry. Face it, we all have people we don't "click" with. I'm sure there are plenty of people who avoid Monday calls because my approach is too strong for them. That's OK. Get on other calls - Tim and both Steves are good at getting their point across without being confrontational. Read the books. If Joel is running the men's call, Z. can just listen quietly for awhile and then hang up.

 

I think when Z. matures a bit more, he'll get over this enough to be able to receive from Joel. They may never be best friends. But for now, I would rather see him find ways to avoid Joel than quit the ministry altogether.

 

As for the DVDs . . . ummm . . . maybe you could get one of those voice changer gadgets for your phone and find a way to rig it into the TV? :P

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Thank you Looney. I appreciate that very much! I got on here to post and found your encouraging post.

 

I was going to say I feel like there is a deep well of DIScouragement inside of me. I keep thinking, "What if he falters again? I don't think I can bear the slightest slip, now,"

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Thank you Looney and 4evr. :wub:

 

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I woke up after sleeping only a couple of hours. Thought I'd get on here.

 

I'm so used to being VERY careful about what I say, in order to avoid hearing Z's displeasure or disagreement with my thoughts, that I have a hard time telling the whole story about us, anytime there is a "whole story" to tell.

 

To put it another way, I realize I am very used to ignoring what I don't want to know -- for example, Z's responses to me.

 

If I write and write, maybe I'll see our situation more clearly.

 

OK, so I came home last Friday night about midnight, because I needed clothes, and a place to lay my head. (Although I could have returned to my friend's.) Z had not said "Yes" to any of the requests I'd made to him while we were apart.

 

They were,

 

1. When you know in your heart whether it really is God's will or not that you learn how to love me as Joel and Kathy advise, then we can talk.

 

2. that he quit smoking.

 

3. that we talk to each other on the conference calls, only, for awhile -- apart from each other.

 

4. that he NOT come home while I was away for 3 days to a wedding.

 

 

Z's responses:

 

1. He's "finished with J&K". Period.

 

2. He knows he should quit smoking. He smokes outside most of the time now. He has not been smoking in the vehicle when we've driven together.

 

3. I made a concession with him that we get on the Wednesday night conference call just to listen for half an hour.

 

4. He DID come home while I was away! Apologized for it.

 

When I came home, Z was happy because he thought I was here to stay. I told him my real reasons. He asked for a heart-to-heart talk during which we came to the following agreements.

 

Here is what we ARE doing:

 

1. His request was that we pray together every day.

 

Of course, I like that idea. I agreed because I'm hoping the Holy Spirit will be able to "get" to him, to show him what's inside that needs to be broken down and gone from him. He HAS actually prayed for that in one of our daily praying times.

 

2. More cuddling on the couch watching TV.

 

3. He's being friendly all the time (which is BIG).

 

4. I'm lying in bed with him every night while he reads, then I go to my own bed.

 

5. And, of course, there will be the Wednesday night calls, starting next week.

 

---

 

I think that's everything.

 

The praying together is wonderful. Today (Wednesday), it wasn't so great for me though, because I felt angry for all the past marriage.

 

I don't feel good. I feel worried, or maybe it's anxious, or maybe it's depressed. I feel overwhelmed by the thought of having to hold him accountable to anything anymore.

 

I don't know. I don't know what to think.

 

I think I'll go see my friend tomorrow (today, after I get some more sleep). Maybe I'll look into talking to that Christian psych nurse I met last week. My friend knows her too.

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MJ...

I think Z really loves you and enjoys being with you..

 

However.. it's still very much his way or the highway.. He's firmly back in control in his house and you need to be aware of that...

 

IF you decide you can do that with the concessions and agreements you have made, then I say Go for it! But here's what I see from what you wrote..

 

He broke ALL 4 of your initial agreements.

 

He's finished with J& K?? but still is saying he will listen to the call on Wednesday? . It doesn't have to be all or nothing.. as Looney said earlier.. this is a good start... Listening to the call is GOOD.... But still, that doesn't add up...

 

Praying is GOOD, and yes the Holy Spirit may be able to get to him... but not without your help....

 

I'm very distressed about you lying in his bed and then going to your own.. very distressed! Where is his sacrifice in that?? you get to be in his presence while he reads???? I'm sorry, MJ, but this does not sit well with me....

 

B. and I had this same problem for most of our marriage. And I learned to prefer (yes, enjoy!) to sleep alone...I didn't feel deprived of cuddling or closeness... I was actually thankful for the good rest I got because he snored so much... and because I knew we still had the other part of our relationship... You and Z have to make the arrangement that is right for you.. but sleeping apart does erode the relationship... I encourage you to really pray about this and ask God what is right... because when i look back on it..there was no reason for B. to reach out to me.. to sacrifice or anything else...

 

FINALLY.... I pick up a healthy dose of self-blame still.. I hope I am wrong... but I'm just saying... I don't know that I agree with your final assessment..

Maybe things are actually better and I don't know how to handle THAT. Yes, you do!! You are responding to his friendliness and cuddling... You are doing quite nicely in handling this...

 

You doubt your own anger and feelings over the past because it's an intrusive and uncomfortable feeling that can rock the comfy boat you are in now...

 

I don't feel good. I feel worried, or maybe it's anxious, or maybe it's depressed. I feel overwhelmed by the thought of having to hold him accountable to anything anymore.

 

I don't know. I don't know what to think.

 

MJ.. you don't have to rock the boat right now... You don't have to go 'gung ho' -- black or white all the way or no way...

 

But you do have to pay attention to these feelings. They are real and they are a good indicator of what is going on...

 

I pray that you would find complete peace today in knowing that Z does love you and you do love him and God loves both of you... Some men have to go a slightly alternate path... but the end goal and the Captain (Jesus) and the play (model) has to be Ephesians 5. - whichever way the cat is skinned!

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Thank you, 4ever. Once again, you have saved me a whole lot of typing.

 

MJ, I agree 1000% with what 4evr has said. Z. Is still firmly in control. If you can be content enough right now to keep working with him, that's fine. Just be aware of how things really are. He has not yet done any hard dying to self.

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Thank you, you two dear people!

 

I just got up. It was 12:00 noon. All I feel like doing is crying.

 

I think the main thing I need for now, that I didn't get, is the talking to him on the phone, with help, from two different houses. I don't know, maybe I'm just being a big baby. I ought to just talk to him face to face!

 

He gave me two touches so far. He also asked me if I slept and is otherwise being friendly.

 

I'm getting ready to post an example of how he reacts to what I, or others, say.

 

 

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MJ, I have been praying for you today and two times I got the same impression... I think there has to be a shift in your understanding of who you are, how valuable you are- what a gift to Z,. you are... I keep feeling that deep down you don't really see that..

 

Yet, inside yourself you know that the J& K message is right... and so you are holding on for dear life to the message.. Z. is rejecting the messenger which feels like he is rejecting both YOU and the message..

 

In a sense he is doing that... but he doesn't realize that because you haven't realized your true worth...

 

I think Z needs to see YOU standing up for YOU... YOU loving YOU enough to have the confidence to know in your knower that his laying down his life in sacrifice is a great big GIFT to him! He will be so abundantly blessed by the FLOOD of God's grace and supply to him when he does that... THAT's the gift you want to give him.. You are requiring it of him because you LOVE him and want to see him prosper!

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Thank you so much for praying for me, 4evr. I'm honored.

 

how valuable you are- what a gift to Z,. you are... I keep feeling that deep down you don't really see that..

 

I don't think Z sees me as a gift, so it feels just as bad as if I didn't believe it either.

 

It's true that I love him and want to see him prosper, but there's no way I can talk to him and tell him a bunch of stuff that's on my heart. No way! It's impossible! I don't see how God or anybody else can require it of me. Z is too scary! And I'm too pitifully intimidated by him after all these years.

 

Don't pay any attention to this. I'm just feeling sorry for myself -- like some of the guys do.

Edited by MaryJane
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MJ, I am so glad you have this forum to vent in and share...

 

And I am not at all sure you are feeling sorry for yourself.... though you do know yourself better than I do :)

 

when I pray for you... I sense that it's you who doesn't really know how wonderful you are...

 

because people who know their value... know that they are gift - don't let others intimidate them.. don't take abuse and control...

 

now having said that, I need to look in the mirror.. because if B. walked in the room right now i might rage or dissolve....

 

So take my words with a BIG grain of "Hmm, I think I'll take that one to the Lord and see what He says about that!"

 

You are DIVINE!! and special and fun....

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One more thing...

 

In the last week, someone has been praying for me because I have very deliberately and intentionally walked past several barriers that had me very intimidated....

and in doing so I am starting to feel the shackles of fear fall away...

 

and I am finding that it's not the things that are so scary.. it has been my perception of them....

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and I am finding that it's not the things that are so scary.. it has been my perception of them....

 

That's wonderful! Thank you for two more posts of encouragement, 4ever!!

 

---

 

I went to The Next Town this afternoon, for a change of scenery. Sat in the grocery store parking lot, read your posts, replied, and cried (carefullly, so people wouldn't see me). Then phoned my friend. She and I and another friend went out for supper.

 

They let me talk and talk until I felt more like myself.

 

They laugh heartily at some of the things I say when describing what I think and feel concerning certain situations with Z. That makes my troubles seem a little lighter. So that's a good thing.

 

---

 

Z gave me two touches today, before I went to the next town. When I was ready to go out the door, he was heading for the living room -- INSTEAD OF COMING TOWARD ME AND GIVING ME SOME KIND OF GOODBYE! I spoke up and indicated, somehow, that I wanted that. He said, "Do I have to come all the way out there?" I nodded, "Yes." He begrudgingly moved himself back out to the kitchen and gave me a lukewarm hug.

 

One more incident. Yesterday, we received a note in the mail, out of the blue, from a man we used to know somewhat. He goes to the church where our Son 2 goes. He's older than us and has Parkinson's. Here's what he wrote:

 

Dear Folks,

Hope you are both okay. Just want you to know that we think you both did a good job of raising your boys. They are well mannered and good to know. We admire them. I think (Son 2) will be a good preacher.

The best to you both.

Love,

(The Man and His Wife)

 

Z and I were very surprised and pleased!

 

Today, I asked Z, in a conversational way, using wording he normally uses, "Are you going to write (The Man) a note?"

 

Z replied, "Not right now. HE'S the one who WROTE." His tone, to me, meant just because the man chose to write that note doesn't mean Z has to follow some kind of RULE of etiquette and write him one! What an imposition!

 

You can tell how I'm feeling. Angry and sarcastic. And I apologize to God. I don't seem to know what to do with these feelings. I feel like such a sinner or something.

 

(Thought I already posted this about an hour ago. In the meantime, I had a good chat with Steve and Julie on the conference call.) :)

Edited by MaryJane
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MJ..

In both of those two little stories that you shared I see the same thing,,,

 

Z is comfortable being alone and comfortable with just letting the world come at him. He doesn't feel the need for connection..

 

Most women are relational and driven by connection.. To you, responding back to such a nice note or expecting a hug are NORMAL.. because you are attached emotionally to yourself and the world and others.. and you are female.

 

No matter how you slice the bread, it seems like (without being there and actually hearing Z) that he took your conversational comment as one more reminder of what he's supposed to do and reacted defensively. That smacks of mother-son!

 

Your feelings are NORMAL!!! not bad ..NORMAL....

 

i would feel exactly the same way as you....

 

Jesus (and God) doesn't tell us not to feel.. He tells us not to judge... and that means that after we feel what we feel if we progress to condemnation or cynicism or arrogance.. if we separate ourselves from that person or from loving them... then we have sinned.. but we have done nothing wrong if we just have feelings...

 

And as for judgment, we are also instructed to judge a righteous judgment.. go figure.. how are both true??

 

In my experience and understanding, that means we are to know that God is the Master Gardener and He alone knows people's souls and motivations - so we are to draw our conclusions about why people do what they do from Him.. We draw our life from Him... not just through our husbands.

 

What that does for me is keeps me reminded that when i get upset over how someone talks to me or by what they do- or don't do- I don't really know what is driving them... so I try to remind myself to stop and listen to God's perspective on things.. I'm not always good at that, but it sure has been a blessing when I remember to do it!

 

And it has been an absolute lifesaver in what I am going through now...

 

 

I would like to suggest something to you, if I may..

 

The note was written to both of you... Maybe in a situation like that you could say to Z something like this..

 

I am thankful for this note.. I would like to respond. I want/think we should do it together since it was written to both of us...Would you come share that with me? OR This would mean a lot to me if you would share this with me...

 

(and also... depending on his answer, would you like to do that now or later today?)

 

Then it's clear where you stand and what you want. He can refuse or he can participate. If he refuses you can go on to tell him how that makes you feel. If he participates, well then, you've had a good day!!

 

That way you are not in any kind of self-imposed bondage to get done what needs to be done.. which is a kind note back to that man and his wife!

 

Oh, one more thing... that note.. was it obviously written by the man? was it inspired by him? or was it written by the wife and signed by both? Did you feel that if that man with Parkinson's could take time to write such a nice note, that Z ought to respond back? Those are all the invisible ways that a woman thinks and feels and that then come out in our innocent conversations.. we have to be careful of those!! And I don't mean those are wrong.. I mean we need to be aware that we are experiencing them and decide how we want to share, or not share them when we talk to our husbands..

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I was on the call with Looney Fri. Night. She was nice and encouraging. Thank you Looney, again!

 

Then I got on the couples' call last night "for a few minutes" and was encouraged again!

 

Looks like I need some sort of encouragement every few minutes lately!

 

I FEEL confused. Z is being very nice and friendly and patient since I came back home "to get clothes..." Except for Thursday when he was hesitant and dragged his feet somewhat about hugging and touching me. That fits into his usual cycle, so for these past 3 days when he's being so friendly, I don't trust him.

Today, I see a note on scrap paper, sticking out from under his Bible. It's apparently a quote from a TV show he must have been watching. It says, "Earning trust only goes so far. Wife must trust her husband to let go of fear in her heart.

 

Bob and Audrey Meisner"

 

I'm presuming he wanted me to see it.

 

Also, last night he happened to come across Mark Gungor on TV. He suggested I come in to watch. i did because i wanted to know what Z was hearing. That guy said, emphatically, "Don't let anybody tell you husbands that you can heal your wife's emotions!" Z took notice.

 

He's praying with me every day. This is something I asked for a couple of years ago. I got right into it with him the first couple of days after I got home. Now, I feel like a heathen, with no unction to pray with him.

 

I feel confused because he is mostly being so nice, so it's like, "What is my problem?"

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Z. will always be able to find someone who will say what he wants to hear. The bottom line really is whether or not he is willing to live with you in understanding. Is he willing to love you the way YOU need to be loved, or not? From where I sit, it's looking like no. He's willing to go only so far. There is a line he will not cross.

 

You need more than what he's willing to give you, MJ. Your confusion is coming from the fact that you are not yet convinced that your needs are legitimate. I think you know it in your head, but your heart isn't quite sure. And until your heart knows, you will keep wondering if you're being too picky.

 

It's OK to be YOU, MJ, and to need what you need. You don't need the same things I do - but then I don't need the things you need. That doesn't make your needs or mine wrong. They are just different, and we both have the right to expect the man we are married to to meet them. If he won't, we have two choices - leave, or find a way to enjoy life despite the marriage. I chose #2 until I couldn't do it anymore, and I suspect you've hit that point as well.

 

As you said, you can still pray - so do a bunch of that and work things through on whatever timetable God gives you. We love you and we're praying too.

 

That baseball bat is sounding better and better, though. ;)

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