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About half an hour ago, I left Z a voicemail. I figure I need to do everything I, personally, ought to do, as far as possible. Here's what I said: Hello. I have something to say. I apologize for not listening closely to what you said on Tuesday morning. That must be why I missed your words -- "right now." (Pause...) I also wondered if you were still coming to The City tomorrow to see Patrick (counsellor). Okay, Bye for now.

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In these last 4 months or so, Z has given me a number of beautiful cards with beautiful words written on them, and flowers. He's been nice and friendly most of the time. It's just that when he doesn't FEEL like comforting me, he doesn't do it. The next morning isn't soon enough. I don't know. Maybe... I don't know.

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So, Z just returned my call and said he could accept my apology. We very carefully discussed the incident a little bit. I told him how I viewed it. He said I need to just say No if I don't want to do something. Wow, I can't feature that! He wouldn't like it. Anyway, I WANT to help him and work with him! He "forgot" about the appointment with the counsellor today and has another appointment near home with a guy selling funeral insurance... I got off the phone and cried because I "can't" really talk to him. He's got lots of work to do cleaning up after the latest tornado-type storm. There's another inch of water in the basement today. I said I should be at home helping. He said, "It didn't work out so well the other day." I guess he's just as happy without me there.

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So now Z called again! This time, apparently, to have a nice general conversation. He told me about killing a snake today, about checking on a $3000 Cadillac he's buying which is at the garage and that he bought a DVD for $4 called "Amazing Grace". He wondered if I'd seen it and if it was any good. I said I didn't think I had but might have heard some sort of fairly good report about it.

After he ran out of things to talk about, he said, not unkindly, "Well, you don't seem to be talking so I might as well go and do something."

I just said, "I can't seem to."

And we carefully hung up.

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Now he called yet again! My apology opened up the floodgate, it seems. Sometimes I think he's afraid of ME!

 

He remembered something he needed to tell me. It concerned the registration on my car. It WAS important and I thanked him.

 

Then, since I had nothing to add he politely closed the call.

 

I'm weepy again because, like I said before, "I can't talk to him." It's very sad.

Edited by MaryJane
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OK MJ.. You are a sweet lady.. I think of you as my friend, though we haven't really "met." I care about you! So I am going to say what i think.. and it might seem harsh to you... But remember, iron sharpens iron.. and i give you permission to do it right back to me.. :)

 

In these last 4 months or so, Z has given me a number of beautiful cards with beautiful words written on them, and flowers. He's been nice and friendly most of the time. It's just that when he doesn't FEEL like comforting me, he doesn't do it. Buying flowery cards really doesn't take much effort or thought. He's picking the way that makes HIM FEEL like he has met your emotional needs when that is not what you have been asking for. This is full out rebellion- disguised as love, because it's what is easiest for him! PLEASE quit doubting yourself, MJ... The next morning isn't soon enough. No, it isn't! I don't know. Yes, you do! You are a smart, intuitive, bright woman!! Maybe... I don't know.

 

If I felt I had to let him go, I would miss the pleasant times we sometimes have. I would miss sharing our bodies. I would miss sharing bits of news about our sons. Totally understandable... and this is what makes it so hard! If

 

If I let him go, I would enjoy the freedom of making up my own mind without experiencing a little twinge of anxiety since I'd be risking his disapproval. This is true. But what I would LOVE to see is that you get the confidence to not worry about his disapproval so much. If your choices are made in love with the best intentions then his disapproval should not matter. That's his problem. And now I am going to say something hard! Don't put his disapproval above God's approval. Fear God - not his feelings!

 

So, Z just returned my call and said he could accept my apology. We very carefully discussed the incident a little bit. I told him how I viewed it. He said I need to just say No if I don't want to do something. Wow, I can't feature that! He wouldn't like it. Anyway, I WANT to help him and work with him!

 

MJ, MJ, MJ...... what are you doing here? Do you love yourself enough to also ask for - or expect an apology from him? What I am thinking happened- from what you wrote is that he made the coffee for you with the expectation that he was helping you to get up, wake up and come help him. NOT as a gift of love. Because if he had done it just to love you, then he would have been FAR FAR more patient! And if he was being totally honest, he would have politely explained to you: I made coffee but it's because I really need you right away and I wanted to help you get going... He "forgot" about the appointment with the counsellor today and has another appointment near home with a guy selling funeral insurance... I got off the phone and cried because I "can't" really talk to him. He's got lots of work to do cleaning up after the latest tornado-type storm. There's another inch of water in the basement today. I said I should be at home helping. He said, "It didn't work out so well the other day." I see you doing EXACTLY what I spent 17 years doing for Bob... being understanding and loving because you see he has so much on his plate.. and MJ.. it's backwards.. I KNOW you know better than this... You know it far better than I do!! The reason you can't talk to him is because he's given you nothing to talk about. He has invested little to nothing of the things you have asked for.. the touches, the listening, the patience.. I guess he's just as happy without me there. I think this is partially a lie from the enemy. Z. has forced himself to get along without you and shut down his feelings. I do think that in his deepest parts he does want you and is happier with you.. but he wants you for FREE.. with no responsibility, no investment, and no effort at thinking. he operates as if what is supplied in the way of $, food, the home etc.. is the only thing required of God for him to be a good husband. That's so wrong and so selfish.

 

Think of it this way... He tends to the motors and engines he needs to do the farm work, right? He puts gasoline in them.. repairs them.. keeps them oiled with the exact right kind of oil (two stroke or something like that) .. Well, you - in God's design- are created to respond to your husband and multiply back to him all the effort he puts into you. if I take good care of my lawnmower then I have an efficient machine with which to cut my grass and it does the job a hundred times faster and better than trying to use hand clippers, right?? Same thing.. what he invests into you will be multiplied back to him and make his life so much easier! When he lets you sit idly by and get rusted, he will get nothing back.

 

It doesn't take much to cheer me up. I feel better already, just having arranged to have a session with my shelter counselor at 6 pm. :) Yes, because you KNOW you will be really listened to and validated. And that's NOT asking too much of Z.

 

So now Z called again! This time, apparently, to have a nice general conversation. And you let him do that?

After he ran out of things to talk about, he said, not unkindly, "Well, you don't seem to be talking so I might as well go and do something."

I just said, "I can't seem to." Of course you couldn't! He hasn't invested in anyone or anything but himself. PLEASE, quit thinking that there is something wrong or deficient with you because you see him "making an effort to be nice" and you have nothing to say back! And remember, I do care about YOU!

And we carefully hung up.

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Thank you, thank you 4evr! The exhortations of a friend are not hard to take. They are only a blessing! This is SO good! This is what I need for sure -- confidence, so his disapproval won't matter so much. His disapproval is HIS problem, yes! And now -- I've got to print this out in big letters and put it on my fridge! DON'T PUT HIS DISAPPROVAL ABOVE GOD'S APPROVAL! FEAR GOD -- NOT HIS FEELINGS!

I guess he's just as happy without me there. I think this is partially a lie from the enemy. Z. has forced himself to get along without you and shut down his feelings.
Yes, I think that's it! And you're right, he looked after his motors and engines very well. Thank you again, so much, 4evr, for taking the time to write all this! It is good!
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And I'll answer the other side of your unspoken question. I'm talking to both me and thee. Yes, it's ok that you still want to.

It's wonderful actually.

 

God gives hope to the hopeless. Your enduring hope and desire for the marriage is God given. You and I both know how to protect ourself from the abuse that still comes at us...at least we're learning to value our self as God values us and that's very good for us.

 

For some of us ladies sometimes Hope says, I can go on without him by myself.

For some of us ladies sometimes Hope says, I can still want him and want to work on the marriage, despite all the apparent odds against us. It's ok to still want to. ok?

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Thank you, 4evr. You saved me a ton of frustrating, one handed typing! :)

 

Print it out twice, MJ. Once from 4evr and once from me. :D

 

And yes, it's OK to still want to. It's NOT OK to let that desire keep you in a place where you allow yourself to be abused. You have to want to from a strong place where you want the marriage because you want to be with him, not because you're afraid of being without him.

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You're all so GOOD! Crystal, Looney, 4evr!

 

Ok, my lesson for this morning was -- it's ok to still desire my marriage to Zed.

 

I COULD go on without him. The thought of that is sometimes VERY appealing. But, when it comes down to the wire, I know that the last straw has not yet been laid on the camel's back.

 

Really, I want to shake all those other straws off! I didn't knowingly ASK for a load of straw!

 

Thank you for typing out your one-handed post, Looney! Maybe I WILL print out that advice twice -- one copy to keep here and one for the farm. :)

 

DON'T PUT HIS DISAPPROVAL ABOVE GOD'S APPROVAL

 

You know, yesterday, the girl at the shelter asked me what I'm really afraid of. It seemed to come to me more clearly than ever, as I talked to her. Z only got in a rage twice in all these years. I don't think it's specifically his anger that I'm afraid of. I think it's scorn and contempt and disapproval that I am continually trying to prevent. (In my own strength, of course.)

 

He hasn't really been scornful of me for a couple of years now, I don't think.

 

Ok, this is probably what I have to get rid of before Z and I can get any further ahead -- the abject dread I feel deep down inside that Z might show scorn or contempt for me -- or even just disapproval. It's hurts down deep just to think about it.

 

Maybe I'm also afraid that he really and truly DOES despise me.

 

Whatever, I've GOT to get before God and deal with this.

 

Thank you, Everybody!

 

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Well, here I am back at the farm. My secret real reason for coming back was to get a couple of things to take to The City, so I would have everything I "needed" to stay there for a LONG time!

 

I really didn't want to have interaction with Z at all. I knew he would desire "interaction" and I told him I wasn't ready for any the first night ( last night). He thanked me for letting him know!

 

This morning, he questioned my cool mood. I said I was going to have to talk to him -- later. He went on an errand to town, preparing himself.

 

With everybody's encouragements ringing in my ears, and calling on the Lord for help, I talked to Z about how scared I am to tell him how I'm feeling because he so often reacts badly. I told him I'm feeling hurt deep down inside still from the past. I said he has written me some wonderful apology letters but I need to FEEL his love and approval all the time. He asked me if I was "like this" before I got married. (Today, I was able not to be offended at this question.)

 

I said marriage turns out to be unlike any other relationship. I said I desire my husband's love and approval way more than I ever desired even my mother's! (And I sure wanted hers.)

 

Z told me to just come right out and tell him when he's doing something that hurts or bothers me. He said it's unsettling for him too to feel like there's something wrong and not know what it is. He said HE feels like he's walking on eggshells a lot of the time!

 

What I'm trying to say is, something has been different today. I did not read into things Z said and decide he was being obstinate. I simply took him at his word, making sure he agreed he would do his best to "handle" my pointing things out to him, well.

 

I'm feeling much more relaxed now than I have felt for, oh, a couple of months.

 

My aim, of course, from now on is to keep up my strength in The Lord, to point things out to Z from that position of strength, and to remember that God's approval is the kind I need most -- not Z's!

 

Thank you, all!

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

You're welcome, 4evr. So, you and I have both been away visiting family and having heartfelt interactions!

 

I think I'll work backwards with this update.

 

Yesterday, when Zed went to town on errands, I took the opportunity to return his '22 (The Gun) to it's place on the wall in his work shop. This indicates how safe I now feel with him. It's been hidden in such an interesting spot for the last 8 months! He'd be so surprised if he knew where it has been all this time!

He hasn't apparently noticed it's back yet. ;)

 

I got back from my trip to Ontario late Sunday night, 7 days ago. Z picked me up at my little apartment in The City the next morning. He was quite welcoming! Took me out for brunch.

 

I've been spending more and more time out here on the farm with Z over the past couple of months (except for the 2 weeks in Ontario). Now, I feel like I want to make this my full time home again. Will keep that bachelor suite in The City, though.

 

Z is giving me lots of smiles, affectionate touches, a few hugs and kisses, and even a compliment now and again!

 

We seem to be relaxed with each other. This is pretty much a first in the 31 years we've been married!

 

For my part, I think it was when the Holy Spirit helped me to definitely forgive Z for every single time he ever hurt me, that I began to relax. I was freed from all the sarcastic feelings I had for him almost every time he did anything or said anything. Inside, I had become nasty!

 

This freedom in me is also making it easier for him to show me love, it would appear. Whatever works!

 

Yesterday, at one point, he started to show signs of going into one of his grouchy phases (breaking the bond). He had a nap and changed back into the affectionate husband I'm getting used to.

 

Well, that's it in a nutshell. It's a little hard to believe and I'm not pinning all my hopes on this improvement, but am accepting it and putting my HOPE in God!

 

 

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That's a GOOD report... and one I am so glad to hear!   I am curious about any thoughts you have concerning how to keep things on track. Will you still follow the responding that helps him to see where (and if) he's mistreating you? Or doing it right- of course that's the easy part!  :)

 

The reason I ask is that I don't want you to put too much importance on the forgiving... that actually sounds dumb to me.. because forgiveness is such a cornerstone of our faith and so important... but I just don't want to see you believing that somehow because you had not forgiven, that was what was holding him back...

 

Anyway, I am really glad you did forgive- and do see how it affects us when we don't... I have been learning to add to that.. I pray for the LIGHT of Jesus to heal any associated wounds to my soul... from my own sins or those of people who have sinned against me. I am experiencing more freedom - and more quickly.

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I believe I know what you're saying, 4evr. What seems to be happening as a result of my new -found emotional freedom is that I am going to be better able to "come from a position of strength" when necessary.

 

That's what I think.

 

I just got back from a weekend Aglow retreat. Went with my good friend, L. The 3 days and two nights were definitely spiritually and mentally refreshing!

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I believe I know what you're saying, 4evr. What seems to be happening as a result of my new -found emotional freedom is that I am going to be better able to "come from a position of strength" when necessary.

 

That's what I think.

 

I just got back from a weekend Aglow retreat. Went with my good friend, L. The 3 days and two nights were definitely spiritually and mentally refreshing!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I guess Z's true colours have come out. Here's what just happened:

 

Friday, Sept. 20, 2013

4:00 PM

 

There's something not quite right between Zed and me today. I was thinking maybe it's just that we have both been forgetting about showing affection.

 

We went to town together, but there was awkwardness between us.

 

A few minutes ago I sat down beside Zed while he watched an old western. I leaned against him, which he didn't object to but he didn't put his arm around me either. After 5 minutes or so, I tried to pick up his arm and put it around me. I've done that before with no real ill effects.

 

Today, he recoiled, and said, "I don't feel like doing that. I'm not taking orders from 'them' anymore. I've told you that!"

 

I said, "I'm not giving you orders."

 

He said, "That's where it's coming from!"

 

I said something like, "There's something wrong. I just need your touch."

 

He said, again, "That's where it's coming from."

 

I left the room.

 

---

 

Up until today, things have been going reasonably well. Z has been giving me affection, we've been working together cutting wood some, and watching a movie together every evening, often together, on the couch.

 

Yesterday, I unpacked my bags, in other words moved back in. Still have that little apartment in the city though.

 

My oh my. I really don't feel like packing all that stuff up again.

 

I'm not afraid of him anymore. I can say that.

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