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Hello, I'm Ophelia, married to River's Edge. We began with the ministry in September of 2015, and went to an intensive in October. Kathy has advised me to begin journaling on his forum, and it's finally working and letting me log on! I guess I'll start with a short version of our marriage history.

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I'm finally getting over here. We are in a very bad place, and I guess I'll just put my stream of consciousness in this thread.

 

We've been married for 12 years. We have two children living, a 10 year old, and a 5 year old. I'm a homeschooling mom.

 

We started with J&K in September, and our intensive was in October. We were separated for a month in February and March, on my doctor's recommendation. I have tried to encourage any little effort since he's been home, but the truth is that River's Edge is not committed to anything but his own selfishness. I am very discouraged. He is passive beyond belief.

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Dear lady, I am SO sorry to hear this! It's unbearable!

What is the latest advice Joel and Kathy has given you?

Passive people have two arms and two legs and a good brain same as aggressive people. Passive husbands are not expected to be aggressive -- just thoughtful and kind and do loving actions. That's all!

I feel for you my dear and am looking forward to hearing more updates. Let us know what Kathy's advice is, okay?

Are you on the women's calls?

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Backstory next, I guess? We met at Bible college. I was very young, he was very insistent, we got married. I have never been a healthy person, and I contracted a chronic illness a few months before we got married. I moved 500 miles away from home, very sick.

 

My husband became fully abusive when we came home from our honeymoon. He disregarded me completely, refused to talk to me, was addicted to video games, kept me out late even though I was quite sick, and sexually used me and abused me.

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I got pregnant a year after we were married, and my morning sickness was severe. He had no compassion and didn't help at all, while continuing to pressure me sexually. I gave birth to a beautiful boy, and I was hooked. I loved being a mom, and I wanted more children. River's Edge had told me while we were dating that he wanted a large family, and overnight, said he didn't want any children. Our son was a surprise, and he fought each on having any more. I got pregnant again when our son was almost a year. I lost our second son in a very traumatic birth, during which I nearly bled to death, with dangerously high blood pressure.

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As weak and sick and heartbroken as I was, River's Wdge was unbearably cruel. He refused to get in my hospital bed to hold me when I asked, and when he finally did, he was angry and complaining. I had to lie on my left side because of the blood pressure, and he huffed and wrenched himself around in the bed so I could feel his wrath.

 

When we were home again, he wouldn't lift a hand to help me. I got up with our toddler in the night, because he wouldn't. I climbed stairs, because he wouldn't. He pressured me for sex. He told me to stop crying about the baby and get over it. He told me that if was my fault, that I had killed our baby because I didn't go to the hospital soon enough. He went back to work as soon after the funeral as he could.

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A short time after I buried our baby, I learned I had an autoimmune disease that causes clotting, and a genetic disorder that contributed to clotting. I didn't really understand what that meant. A few weeks later, I found out, when I had a stroke. I was home alone with my toddler at the time, and I called River's Edge at work. I couldn't see straight, and my words were coming out as gibberish, my face drooped, my arm went numb. When he arrived home, he grumbled about how I was making him miss work. It was a terrifying, unsettling experience.

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I was made to feel that I wasn't worth the ER deductible, no matter how much money he spent on frivolous things like tropical fish that died one after the other.

 

We waited 6 months, and got pregnant again. I lost that baby at 6 weeks. A few months after that, I lost another baby at 9 weeks. This was another traumatic incident, as I nearly bled to death. I had again been alone with my toddler when I began to hemorrhage, and my neighbor saved my life. When my husband got there, I had to comfort and reassure him. When I got to a room, finally, he complained about having to sleep on the fold out bed. Later,developed an infection, and had to have a D&C. When I came home, barely able to take myself to the bathroom, and he left me alone, while he spent time with his brother.

 

River's Edge was neglectful and angry at me through each of these times. After that, I gave up the idea of having my stairstep family. It was too much.

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I'll finish the rest later, I guess. I've gone through the five stages of grief at least twice today with just the current issues, so maybe I'd best leave the past alone.

 

The problem now, is that Riversedge won't do anything with any consistency. We didn't make it back to our hotel room on the last day of the intensive before he was right back at it, lying to Kathy and me on the phone, sitting on his bed crying all night. He cries a lot.

 

He loves to talk and think and plan about changing. But never the actual change. He knows the right things to say, he fools even me at times, and I've been doing this a long time. But the actions don't lie. As soon as I get even a little bit comfortable and begin to open up, he's back in the fetal position, scared of the big bad world. His motivation is one of not getting in trouble, and he treats me like his mommy. He does things not to minister to me or to love me, but to keep from getting in trouble. I know the difference. When I point it out, he argues. He argues with everything I say, and does it I'm such a way that he really believes he isn't.

 

Last night's call was good. I think he was exposed on a whole new level. It was good, but hard. Hard to hear my husband scrambling to name even one thing that makes me feel loved. He gets on calls already in defense mode, not really wanting the help offered. Not wanting to tell the truth of his emotional paralysis, his inability to relate, his fear of sex.

 

He claims that he doesn't remember anything from our intensive, and I believe that. He was defending himself in his mind the entire time, so nothing could break through. Now, his manipulation is to tell me or the call moderators that he never understood (whatever it is at the time), and now that he does, that makes so much sense, and it helps so much. The problem being, he does this over the same concept with different moderators, all of which have been telling him the same things for the last 7 months, not to mention what I tell him. How much longer does he think that can be believable?

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It all comes down to doing. That's what was preached to him on last night's call. Do it. I know that's the answer. Joel is so right about how doing changes. When Riversedge is doing, his whole demeanor changes. He's not depressed, he's not fearful. But he quickly burns out and goes back to thinking and curling up inside himself, and I'm not a cherished wife anymore, I'm mother to a dysfunctional child.

 

I have tried to be patient and accept his efforts since he's been back, but then things started to drop off. I would call him out, he'd give me a great apology, and I'd feel listened to and give him a good report on the call. But then he wouldn't do it, whatever it was. Apology letter. Watching the DVD. Not pushing back. Initiating sex. Planning dates. A girl can only take so many sincere apologies before she expects her man to actually DO the things he said he'd do.

 

So I brought it up on a call last week on a Saturday night, then a Sunday night. I got a short reprieve before he dropped the ball again, and I was on Thursday's call last night. He's still inwardly focused, childlike, crying, depressed, freaking out, and generally being a giant pain, all while telling me how much he's working on things and how different he's going to be. Same song, same raggedy words. I've been doing this for seven months, not even mentioning the 12 years as a whole.

 

I've just stopped talking to him for now. I got Kathy's permission to not participate in his date until we get on tomorrow's call with her. I am in a holding pattern for the moment. I have not jumped ship, but I need to know that I don't have to live this way for much longer before I emotionally invest again. So I'm keeping a low profile until then. He is visibly shocked and surprised that he is punching all the usual buttons and the robot wife is not working correctly.

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So I'm keeping a low profile until then. He is visibly shocked and surprised that he is punching all the usual buttons and the robot wife is not working correctly.

This is good! EVERYTHING needs to change in your marriage by the sound of things -- including your reactions! He needs to find out by actual experience that his style of living does NOT work anymore.

After you have talked to Kathy tomorrow night, I hope you will be built up and ready to carry out your part in making changes. That will have to include what you are doing now, as well as, "coming from a position of strength" when you state firmly but fairly what you need him to do -- no explanations allowed.

 

He may think he doesn't know what to do in the moment, but the information really is there in his head. You will simply remind him that you need a hug, for example, no explanations, no listening to his objections, and no further interaction with him until he does what HE has need of doing.

 

You will not be insisting on his treating you so that you feel loved, in order to have your own way, or because you are selfish. You will be calmly insisting that he actively love you because you will be carrying out your calling of being his helper! He needs your help to grow up.

 

If you can think of it this way, it may help ease your feelings of frustration. I totally get how extremely frustrating, humiliating, and oppressive your situation can be!

 

Try to see yourself rising above it all in the strength of The Lord, and performing your duties of Strong Helper from that position of inner strength and security and confidence in God's Love for you!

 

God bless you, Ophelia! You are strong and healthy because of Jesus!

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Oh, he's always visibly shocked and dismayed or crying and confused about something. I have been consistent about calling him out. Especially since our separation, I have played hardball. When we started with Joel and Kathy, I knew it was what we needed, because I had already been calling him out for a long time. Everything they were saying made complete sense to me. I believe in their method completely. Since we've been working with J&K, my voice has gotten even stronger and clearer.

 

I'm honestly disgusted. He is behaving more childlike and effeminate every day, and it's repulsive. The constant crying, the perpetual surprise at my needs, the endless quivering. I can't take much more. The only reason I'm sane is because I'm ignoring him and making him leave me alone for the present.

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He's asking me for lists. He wants to know my ground rules. He wants a list of all the ways he's immature. Sigh. I've been here before. Abusers love lists. He always wants a list when he feels he's losing control. He wants a guarantee that mommy won't leave him, so he's asking for his list of chores. Funny how 7 months of Joel and Kathy hasn't shown him the ground rules. Funny that after 7 months of phone calls and books and teaching and talking that he doesn't know any of the basics. He doesn't know what it would take for me to stay. I'm not buying that. If he's such a great student, and he's doing so well, as he tells me, how does he not know. He's panicking. I've seen it one too many times, and it doesn't touch me at all.

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He's been pressuring me to talk to him *before* phone calls. He is trying to get the situation under control before he has to deal with Kathy. He wants me to say something he can use against me. I wish he understood that I see the tired old tactics, so he would stop using them.

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I heard you and your husband on a couple of phone calls lately. Sounds good!

 

As your husband continuously and consistently shows you love as he is doing these past couple of days you will feel the wounds of your heart healing one by one. And, because I know you are looking to God for His Help, one day, both of you will sense a breaking off of old dysfunctions!

 

Praise God!

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I am in a really good place. I feel free. Free to love and be loved, or free to love and let go. Yes, the dysfunction is tiring and frustrating and hurtful, but it doesn't define me. Jesus defines me.

 

Riversedge is back on the good part of our 4 week cycle. We had the 2 weeks of full arrested development, and now we are back to the Christlike part. I won't consider this to be progress until we make it through the full month with minimal issues. We have been talking about the cycle, and Riversedge asked to read some notes I've made about the behaviors and cycle. He says it helps to see it in print.

 

He's asked me to remind him every day that this happy easy part of loving me will wane in the next week or two, and he'll want to chuck Joel and Kathy and me out the window and give in to his baby girl feelings. If he doesn't give in, and acts like a man despite his arrested feelings, then we grow a little and get stronger. Maybe the daily reminders will help. I've don't quite a bit of reminding that way, but I can step it up.

 

I'm responding as much as I can to any good he gives me. It feels easier and more natural this time, on my part, because of that feeling of freedom. I will be just as free to respond with bad when the time comes!

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I like the feeling of freedom you are talking about! Jesus defines us, not anybody else. It's easy to fall into the trap of allowing others to control our emotional reactions. Yes, I agree, freedom in Christ makes all the difference -- for both husband and wife, actually!

 

God's blessings to you, Ophelia!

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We've had 4 good days, and I injured my hand today and Riversedge put an end to his good streak.

 

I was cutting an avocado, and stabbed myself between my fingers pretty deeply with a sharp knife. I hadn't eaten yet, and the pain was making me light headed. I asked Riversedge to help me while I held my hand over the sink. He looked at it briefly, and then stood behind me in the kitchen. I thought he had left to go get some first aid supplies. I said "My hand is dripping blood in the sink", and to my surprise, he was standing right behind me, doing nothing, and he replied, "That's okay, we'll just wash it down." ???

 

At that point, I knew he wasn't going to help me, so I grabbed a towel to apply pressure and stop the bleeding and told him to go get me some supplies.

 

As soon as I was hurt, and asked to help me, using those words, he was done being a man and back to being a helpless little boy who's scared when mommy gets hurt. When I called him out on it, he stonewalled and sat there silently, not replying. When I pointed that out, all he would do was tell me what he was thinking and feeling and what he should have done, over and over and over.

 

I told him that he was focusing on his feelings and not even paying attention to the fact that I was physically hurt, and then emotionally hurt. I sent him away a few times, and each time he came back, still talking about his feelings and explaining himself, so I sent him away again. He was back to arguing with every blessed thing I said, and frantically trying to do chores so his mommy wouldn't be angry with him anymore.

 

Thankfully, I had somewhere to be, so I left him to his childish self centered pity party, and had a lovely time with my SIL and our kids. I refused to talk to him any more about it, and I'll be taking it to the call in a few minutes.

 

This is our status quo, good days as long as nothing happens that requires Riversedge to put my heart before his fears. We only made it 4 days, so the good times are getting less, as they have been over the last few months.

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I wish I had heard you in the call tonight. Did it help?

 

All may not be lost. Hopefully he will use this as a learning experience and hopefully he will learn FAST!

 

I'm glad you were able to get away and enjoy some girl time!

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The call was good. Whether or not it helps will be up to Riversedge. He's still talking about his feelings today, and then telling me how I'm feeing. So I'm letting myself be hurt and withdrawing. He is not invited to dinner tonight. I'll fix it after he leaves for work in a little while.

 

I see certain things as getting worse. He's becoming more infantile in his behaviors, like freezing and not doing anything to help me yesterday, and then manically doing chores and treating me as his mommy and bombing me with calls and texts. Sexually, things have gotten worse since our separation too.

 

I'm much more at peace. As soon as I feel the anger and frustration start to build up, I shut it down and refuse to talk to him. Instead of correcting the behavior that made me withdraw, he escalates it and panics because I'm not engaging anymore. He wants to talk talk talk, endlessly talk, and not do. I'm working on removing myself from the situation entirely until a phone call. He pushes that boundary every time, even telling me he "needs" to talk to me before the phone call, so he's in the best place possible to get help, so he tells me.

 

I'm glad for those 4 good days. They were really fun. It was wonderful to feel loved, even for a short time. As soon as we hit a bump, Riversedge bailed, which I expected. It still hurts.

 

When we watched the DVD today, he asked me if Joel had taught on a certain thing during our intensive, and he had. He doesn't remember much at all from our intensive. He wasn't at a place to receive it, I guess. It was worth it for me, and the things I learned I can pass on to my kids as they get older.

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I think he's back to trying to force the situation, pull the response he wants from me with his bare hands, scrambling to make everything okay again, instead of loving me. The things he chooses are poor substitutes for love. Real love. Jesus love. He can't decide if he's my baby, or my owner. He swings from one to the next, and back again, and neither is what I want.

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