Weekend Wisdom 10.25.15

Sometimes this journey of separating or divorcing an abusive spouse feels overwhelming. It’s incredibly painful. At times, it’s hard to explain to those who haven’t been through it. But I believe there is so much to learn from it, and God can give us beauty from the ashes.

It’s when we are broken beyond what we can imagine that we turn to God, and God alone, and find His love. And a new heart, and a new way of living.

I liked this quote and wanted to share it as we journey down this path of restoration and healing together.

Love and blessings,

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What Does the Bible Say About Divorce?

As I was deciding whether to separate from my verbally and emotionally abusive husband, I wanted to know what the Bible really said about divorce.  I knew the words “God hates divorce” and I had read what Jesus said about divorce in the New Testament. But I also knew that what I was experiencing was death.  It was unbearable. Untenable.

I knew in my heart that this could not be what God wanted for my life.  

As I talked to more people, read more books, and understood some of the context behind the various scriptures, I gained hope. Perhaps God valued me as an individual as much, or more, as he valued the institution of marriage. Perhaps he valued my safety and my sanity and my heart. Perhaps what what some churches have taught in our current-day culture (“marriage at all costs”) is a simplistic view that doesn’t look at the culture or context of Jesus’s words. Perhaps we aren’t expected by God to stay in relationship with a spouse who is contemptuous, deceptive, manipulative, controlling, full of rage AND unrepentant and let them continue to sin against us. The Bible says a lot about not associating with unrepentant sinners.

One article on what the Bible says about divorce that was enlightening and gave me hope was this one by David Instone-Brewer. Hopefully it will be meaningful to you. Continue reading

Weekend Wisdom – Stop Pretending

I lunched today with a dear friend 5 years ahead of me in the post-divorce healing process. Over fabulous Tex-Mex, we shared both our food and our hearts. I shared that I had been afraid to tell my friends what was REALLY going on in our marriage and get help. Coupled with my shame was the knowledge and fear that the slighted provocation would make my husband all the angrier. There was a prescribed silence I was unwilling to break. So I carried on for years, pretending that life was fine, finding ways to cope, numbing my heart, and creating a false self.

So now, I stumble forward on this journey towards healing my heart and finding God. And not pretending anymore. I think this post by John Eldridge hits the mark:

The journey forward

click here for the full Ransomed Heart blog…..

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Scriptures Supporting Separation from an Abusive Spouse

“God values the sanctity of marriage, but not more than the safety and sanity of the individuals in it.”  Leslie Vernick

I think author and counselor Leslie Vernick has some great advice, experience and counsel for women in destructive relationships.  I recommend her book and website on my Helpful Resources page.  In her excellent post below, she provides a plethora of scriptures supporting separation from an abusive, unrepentant, sinning spouse.

Scripture Supports for Separation from a Destructive Spouse

Reblogged from Leslie Vernick’s website

The Scripture that most people use to discuss grounds for Biblical separation is 1 Corinthians 7:10 where Paul writes, “To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord), the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.”

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Difficult Days During Divorce

When going through a divorce with an abusive spouse, it is not a “collaborative” divorce. That is simply not possible. Everything is a battle. Everything. He will not be reasonable or fair. He will not care how you feel. He will have zero empathy for you and for the kids. He will use them as pawns to get what he wants. He will be vindictive and hurtful, and he’ll thrive on it.

Narcissists do not negotiate. They win.  

Sooooo…… there will be some days that are really tough. It’s hard to get through the day. It’s hard to put one foot in front of another. It’s overwhelming.

Those are the days when I ask Jesus to help my anxious heart breathe. I pray for God to scoop me off the floor and help me take one step at a time. I pull scripture out of my foggy, fearful brain: Continue reading

The Narcissist and Parenting Coordinators

WOW.  I wish you could be a fly on the wall during our last session with our Parenting Coordinator. It was amazing.

The Parenting Coordinator (PC) is a person assigned by the courts to help couples going through a high-conflict divorce do a better job at co-parenting. The PF can help negotiate changes in custody time, interpret custody orders, settle disputes regarding parenting issues, suggest better means of communication between the parents, and do a variety of other things that the court has defined as their duties. This helps keep issues out of the courtroom and legal system.

I am soooo grateful we have a strong, bold, experienced PC.  I was nervous going to our first few meetings.  I did everything I knew to do to prepare for a tough meeting. I exercised, prayed, reviewed my favorite scriptures, texted my friends to cover the meeting in prayer, and wrote down a few key points that I wanted to discuss.  I printed out some email and text exchanges between us that were particularly difficult, hostile or harrassing. I walked into the meetings not knowing what my narc X2B would say or what route the conversation would take.  But I also walked in with a peace that passes understanding because I trusted God was good and sovereign and that he loved me and my kids.

I usually walk out of our PC meetings tired but grateful.  Grateful that the PF has spoken bold truth, grateful that someone else is seeing what’s really going on here. The narcissist may not change much, but at least I have a credible professional who has seen the patterns and can try to help.

In the last few meetings, the PC told my narc X2B a lot of tough things.  He said he was controlling, negative, manipulating the kids, and needed a therapist. To be totally fair, our PC had feedback for me, too.  He told me to try to use the words “parenting time” instead of “custody time”. Check. I’ll work on that. Continue reading

Denial and Fear in Abusive Marriages

“The first step in dealing with an abusive spouse is to get out of denial.” Dr. David Clark, Ph.D

Why did I stay so many years in a marriage that was increasingly abusive? Fear, denial, and a misunderstanding of the Christian concepts of forgiveness and submission kept me emotionally hostage in a destructive marriage.  Mostly, I was scared to death to make a change.  Scared to rock the boat, scared of his rage, and scared of the impact a divorce would have on my children. But now I know the truth:

Scared is no way to live.

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