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Thank you for that 4evr. Yes, with God, ANYTHING is possible!

 

Driving home from the sons' in-laws' house tonight, I felt almost clinically depressed -- whatever that feels like. I suppose it was mostly because my circumstances appear to stand in stark contrast to theirs.

They are a warm, loving family. Those two sons of mine are in good hands!

I feel better now.

The mother-in-law and I are planning to get together for coffee later this week. I'm looking forward to that.

 

 

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I agree with everything 4evr said. God is using this to take you to new places. It's a bumpy ride, but as long as you hold on tight to the driver, you'll be OK.

 

That big, lumpy thing tied to the back bumper and being dragged along behind you? That's Z. :P

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Yes, with God, ANYTHING is possible!
Plus, God has your best interests in His heart. He's your loving Daddy. "'For I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you. plans to give you a hope and a future.'" (jer 29:11) One of the most important things our Daddy asks us to do is to trust him while he carries us to safety. Do you have any vague memory of a father figure carrying you? I do, and I'm using that memory to help me visualize my trust in God now.
I felt almost clinically depressed

I'm sure! And don't you agree that it would be expected, my friend? mental, physical, emotional, spiritual EXHAUSTION...my friend! While I was waking this morning...God reminded me...that although it FEELS like I'm getting weaker...really I'm getting stronger...and you too. We are getting a spiritual work-out beyond what we could ever push ourselves to do. I'll repeat to you what I felt God telling me....you feel like you're getting weaker, but you're really getting Stronger in Real Strength, Strength that can only come from trusting God.

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I agree with everything 4evr said. God is using this to take you to new places. It's a bumpy ride, but as long as you hold on tight to the driver, you'll be OK.

 

That big, lumpy thing tied to the back bumper and being dragged along behind you? That's Z. :P

 

OMG! LOL! LOL! I can see that!

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While I was waking this morning...God reminded me...that although it FEELS like I'm getting weaker...really I'm getting stronger...and you too. We are getting a spiritual work-out beyond what we could ever push ourselves to do. I'll repeat to you what I felt God telling me....you feel like you're getting weaker, but you're really getting Stronger in Real Strength, Strength that can only come from trusting God.

 

I totally agree with this Crystal!!! I just told almost the same exact thing to my Sis-in-law last night... It's definitely a word from heaven!!

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You ladies are the best!

 

Crystal, you are right, we're not getting weaker, we're getting stronger!

 

Looney, thanks for the mental picture of the bumpy ride. ;)

 

Hi 4evr!

 

---

 

I'm okay. In 10 days I should have connection to the Internet. (The phone company guys can't come before the 16th.) Then I'll be able to use the "big" screen and "big" keys of my laptop. Then I can update properly.

 

Had a nice visit with Looney and a couple of other ladies on the Friday night call tonight! :)

 

Edited by MaryJane
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Ok I'm going to work with these little phone "keys" again.

 

Z came to the city and took in his second men's group counselling session last night. He talked me into going in with him to meet the counselor. It was interesting to meet him. He sat and talked to just the two of us for about 20 minutes. I thought that was pretty good. He'll have a better idea of where Z is "coming from" I guess.

 

Otherwise, Z and I talk on the phone every day. He is ENCOURAGING me to tell him how I feel, etc. That's new. I told him that's one thing I've wanted for a long time -- and asked for it -- and he never gave it to me before.

 

I've been able to voice some of my main complaints from over the years. I've also told him I'm going to need to feel sure that he is REALLY changing this time, before I would ever go back to being his wife. He'd got to get rid of his need to better me, to object and improve upon everything I say or do.

 

We shall see!

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It's nice that you are talking and that he is showing some signs of listening. I think you are being very wise to be cautious and that you have identified a very important point when you say:

 

He's got to get rid of his need to better me, to object and improve upon everything I say or do.

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Z and I had a rather heavy duty conversation tonight. I don't have the energy to try to describe it.

 

One result is I think I'm going to ask him to write out what his up-to-date aims and intentions are for our marriage. I believe I'll need to have that in front of me for reassurance before we get back together.

 

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Z and I had a rather heavy duty conversation tonight. I don't have the energy to try to describe it.

 

One result is I think I'm going to ask him to write out what his up-to-date aims and intentions are for our marriage. I believe I'll need to have that in front of me for reassurance before we get back together.

 

I LIKE this.... He writes it.. he can't argue with it.. you get to hold onto it... :)

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Thanks 4evr!

 

Well, he's still eager to learn how to talk to me, from this men's group counsellor. That's good.

 

Z came to The City yesterday prepared to stay a week, at our son's. It's because so many events and appointments are coming up. Last night was his group session. He showed me part of his notes. There were two columns. One was a list of aggressive ways to have a "conversation". The other listed ways to speak which will promote intimacy!

 

I love it that he's taking notes. I told him I appreciate it.

 

Tomorrow night we are attending the first of two meetings with a healing evangelist. He also operates in the word of knowledge, they say. His name is Mel Bond. Friday morning, he is doing a healing school, on seeing in the spirit, I understand. Z and I are both looking forward to these meetings. I expect we will be going forward for prayer for the healing of our marriage.

 

Then on Monday is our first appointment with the marriage counselor that I booked about three weeks ago. Then Tuesday is Z's final group session night.

 

Z and I are meeting every day to talk and generally spend a couple of hours together. We are both being quite cautious with each other. I don't know whether that's good or bad. It's beginning to seem unnatural or something like that. I think the healing meetings will perk us up.

 

I went to a group session at the shelter today. It's interesting how companionable we can be with each other when we are from such varied backgrounds and of different ages. Women are women. They experience the same relationship difficulties the world over and in every culture!

 

On Monday, I babysat two little children! Haven't done that for years! It was great! The 3 year-old girl calls me Grandma Muffin, or Grandma Raindrop. :) Her little 1 and a half year old brother is CUTE! I met them and their mother at the shelter. There is also an eight year old girl who was in school when I was babysitting. I've taken to this little family almost like they were my own. The mother is renewing her salvation experience which had been suffering under the abusive marriage. Her husband has filed for divorce, since she escaped from his clutches. He didn't like that. She has a lawyer who believes, along with me and the child social workers and others, that her husband will NOT get the children! This is her biggest fear, but she is learning to trust God -- AND to fight like a mother bear!

 

It's so good to have this outlet!

 

God bless you all!

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I LOVE that you and God are taking this mama and her children under wing...

 

I'm glad you and Z. are talking...

 

You might- if you feel like it and the time seems right- talk to Z about the caution you feel... because it makes me question if Z. is is seeing this like two people who have both been hurt and are uncertain about whether or not they will make it..

 

IF that's what is happening, then Z still doesn't get it... He is NOT being hurt by you... he is being hurt by his own arrested development, his failed expectations that you will meet his distorted picture of wife... and his failure to sow into- invest into - his most precious asset, you! I hope he is getting THAT message whether or not it comes through this ministry or another.

 

When you pray, I would be prying for the dismantling of the structures that have Z locked up into the mindsets that make this thinking possible. That is, if you talk to him and find out if he still feels afraid and let down.

 

Anyway, I am glad you posted and we get to hear from you!

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Oh, 4evr, I surely appreciate your insightful post! Thank you!

 

Now, I'm going to consider making two major points in a conversation when it seems that the time is right. These would be,

 

1. Does he feel that we have hurt each other, or, does he realize it is his arrested development, etc. that has hurt US?

 

2. Maybe we should both write out what we plan to DO for our marriage, if we get back together. I especially feel I need to see his plans and intentions on paper.

 

4evr, thank you again!

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I like that too. :)

 

I wonder if you might like to write down those two questions and have him answer them on paper. Then you could discuss them. Maybe it would help him collect his thoughts. On the other hand, it would give him more opportunity for him to craft something that he knows you want to hear, as opposed to whatever is really in his heart, so I don't know which way would be best.

 

Just an idea - use it if it works for you, flush it if it doesn't. ;)

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A hearty thanks to 4evr and Looney for your above posts!

 

Here's what I did tonight. I forgave Z in my heart, for every single time he ever hurt me over the 31 years we've been married! This was practically a spiritual experience! Nobody was talking about anything like that at the meeting, either, (except maybe God).

 

I've been vaguely aware for a few months now, that something along that line needed to be done. Tonight, at the healing meeting, it became clear to me!

 

What I have noticed over the past year or so, is, that often when Z said or did something, even if it wasn't directly to or about me, and often even if it wasn't anything negative, I would internally sneer. It feels awful to admit such a thing, but that's pretty much how I have to call it.

 

I feel quite confident that this will free Z, at least somewhat, to forge ahead and keep working on his changes -- even BEFORE I tell him about it.

 

Tomorrow (Saturday), we are planning to get together around 4 PM to spend some quality time together, here in The City.

 

:)

Edited by MaryJane
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I feel quite confident that this will free Z, at least somewhat, to forge ahead and keep working on his changes

 

I know you know this, I'm saying it as much for me as for you, but forgiving will BENEFIT YOU. We seem to feel like we do things for his growth. Forgiving him is your healing. Letting go of that internal "sneer" (and I know what you mean!!) is a step in your healing and being able to is a result of him initiating healing toward you by continuing to pursue and for desiring a better relationship with you. You being able to move on to that step of letting go and forgiving is a result of him initiating. I think we need to also let go of thinking our healing washes him. If we've learned anything these past 4-5 years, you and me, it's that our heart changes don't effect him, but that our husband's heart changes DO STRONGLY effect us. Do you think so too? It's a beginning of trusting him with our hearts....we haven't been able to do that ever, except maybe when we were dating...we have thought we had to take care of our own heart and his too. Now...we have to learn to trust him with our heart and that's hard. Our little hands are bent stiffly into a tight fist grasping tightly to the reins of our marriage. Stepping out of the marriage has helped relax those contractures....trusting God so that we can actually do what we were created to do which is to respond positively toward love, God's love and if Z and FD choose wisely, toward our husband's love too. It's as scary to write as it is to do.

 

It's up to Z now. It's up to FD now. And you aren't slave to that fear of "what if he doesn't?" because you stepped out in faith and know God is there even if Z doesn't. God is still there with you and still there for Z no matter what EVER happens.

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I agree with Crystal! And I also think there is a freedom that does come to other people when we forgive. And I am so proud of you MJ!!! for recognizing the sneer and giving it up. Yay! for you!! :)

 

And one more thing... looking down on women and trying to keep them in their place and keeping them behaving in a certain way is a form of sneer, too. When there is a lack of honor and understanding, there is a degree of contempt hiding somewhere. So maybe you were - as Crystal says- able to let go of something that had been- at least partially a reaction to his contempt toward the value of women.

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I LOVED your post, Crystal! Read it three hours after you wrote it, but needed to savour it for awhile before replying. :)

 

I know you know this, I'm saying it as much for me as for you, but forgiving will BENEFIT YOU. We seem to feel like we do things for his growth. Forgiving him is your healing. Letting go of that internal "sneer" (and I know what you mean!!) is a step in your healing and being able to is a result of him initiating healing toward you by continuing to pursue and for desiring a better relationship with you. You being able to move on to that step of letting go and forgiving is a result of him initiating.

 

It really is a benefit. I feel so much freer, not needing to internally look askance at him at times, anymore. (Just looked it up: "askance" means with suspicion, mistrust, or disapproval.)

 

My heart change of last night affected how I responded to him when we said Goodnight at the door. It was with a little warmth -- which he noticed. Otherwise, I haven't thought enough about whether my heart changes would affect him much or not. I agree HIS AFFECT ME!

 

This sentence I just love!

 

Our little hands are bent stiffly into a tight fist grasping tightly to the reins of our marriage. Stepping out of the marriage has helped relax those contractures....trusting God so that we can actually do what we were created to do which is to respond positively toward love, God's love and if Z and FD choose wisely, toward our husband's love too.

 

I love this one too!

 

It's up to Z now. It's up to FD now. And you aren't slave to that fear of "what if he doesn't?" because you stepped out in faith and know God is there even if Z doesn't. God is still there with you and still there for Z no matter what EVER happens.

 

 

4evr, this is it, exactly! Thank you!

 

When there is a lack of honor and understanding, there is a degree of contempt hiding somewhere. So maybe you were - as Crystal says- able to let go of something that had been- at least partially a reaction to his contempt toward the value of women.

 

It's time to print out your two posts now.

 

God bless you both, lots!

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Things are happening here, left and right. Good things. Interesting things.

 

On Saturday, I went to Son 2's house (where Z has been staying for the week), to meet Z so we could go for a drive. Son 3 was there visiting. It turns out something big had just happened!

 

Son 3 had been telling Z that he had been having bad dreams and that there was something ("painful?" I forget how he described it) on the side of his head. Z offered to pray for him according to how the healing evangelist had taught us last week. Son 3 was very open to that. Z prayed, commanding the evil spirit to leave our son (and leave the planet). Then he advised Son 3 to relax and allow the healing to take place.

 

Son 3 told us that it seemed like he (or Someone) began swinging this "thing" around his head, reminiscent of David and his sling. He kept swinging it faster and faster until finally he let it go -- and the "thing" went flying off into infinity! Son 3 felt fine afterward!

 

On Monday, he spoke to his dad briefly again and said he was still feeling fine!

 

I was SO pleased to hear all this! Both for my son's sake and for Z's. I'm pleased that Z had this result because I've been observing him getting away from the closeness to God he used to have. I'm pleased that he listened to the preacher last week and didn't nitpick about him and his message, so was able to receive the message!

 

Also on Monday, we had our first appointment with the marriage counsellor that I found through the shelter. He's a psychologist. He was good too. Talked a lot like Joel. Z even said so, to him. He told Z that I have cared for him, put him ahead of my own desires all these years, now it's Z's turn to care for me! He even talked about Z putting me first! You would almost think he had read Joel and Kathy's books! He says he's not a religious man. Doesn't go to church, but "prays to God all the time." Not sure exactly what he meant by that.

 

When we mentioned the marriage ministry, he asked if it was the kind where they advise people to just pray. Ha ha. I guess he has had some of those kind in his office. No no. We assured him we've been learning things more along the line of what he was saying.

 

I was pleased to have this opportunity to sit there with a third party and talk openly in front of Z about how I have felt and what I need in my marriage. It was a bit like having another private session with Joel and Kathy. Z was able to talk fairly freely too. And yet the guy was not one to beat around the bush. Hard to describe properly.

 

Another thing, because I was referred from the shelter, we can have 12 sessions (or more) FREE! He normally charges $120 or $130 a session! He seemed eager to work with us -- if we want to continue. He said he doesn't mind charging the government. We've been paying our taxes all these years.

 

I've left a message at his office to make another appointment in 3 weeks.

 

Z is still going to finish out his men's group counselling sessions too. He seems to really like them, learning how to communicate with his wife to promote intimacy -- not to make sure he proves himself right. (What an idea!)

 

He went back to the farm yesterday evening (Monday). Before he left, I invited him to come and see my apartment and I would make coffee for us. I made sure, as kindly as I could, that he knew it would only be for coffee. He was disappointed, I know, but handled it well.

 

Before he left, I did imply (and might as well have written it in stone, because I'm sure he has taken it that way) that I would invite him to spend the night next Monday when he comes to The City again. It feels like a big step for me, but I figure he's been doing a lot of good stuff. Might as well do a test and see how he handles my "responding warmly" a day or two after the fact.

 

He began the initiating positive with calling me every day at the shelter without any response from me -- which I appreciated. He has been doing all this travelling back and forth to The City, which isn't normally his favourite thing, to attend the men's counselling. He's been reading some quality material on quitting smoking. He saw the marriage counsellor with me, went to church here in The City more times in one week than he has done anywhere for three months, I'm sure. And he has apologized several times for treating me so badly over the years -- sometimes, specifically.

 

I think I was going to make one more rambling sentence, but forget what it was.

 

Oh, this wasn't it, but I wish I could tell you all about that young mother I've come to know. She told me more of her childhood story today. What a mess and all the people involved looked so normal and upstanding! I think I'll go to court on Monday morning at 9 AM to add to her support group there. It's about keeping her children.

 

I remembered... We haven't been "physically intimate" for about 7 weeks, I think. Z knows exactly. ;)

 

Good night!

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