Monthly Archives: September 2014

Inconsiderate

Today the kids are out of school and of course I had to work. I asked Matt to go pick up our beef in California and told him that the lady we were splitting it with would be by to pick up her portion after she got finished with her school day.

I called at 4:15 to make sure that he had gotten my text about Ella’s soccer practice tonight. He said that he did not go get the beef. I reminded him that the lady we were splitting it with was coming by to pick up her half. His reply was “oh well I don’t have it”.

Not for a moment does he think about others and the affect his actions have on other people. I asked him if he thought about her plan to come by and get it and he said he guessed not.

I worked until 6:30 and then picked up Ella from soccer practice. I stopped by Taco Bell to get some tacos because I was sure that the kids hadn’t eaten yet. Got home and sure enough they hadn’t. Matt said he was taking a shower, which he did, and then was tucked in bed by 7:30 watching a movie. Each time I went in the bedroom I heard cursing coming from the TV. I asked him what kind of filth he was watching. He said it was a Tom Cruise action movie. I asked, “is it filling your mind with good stuff about how to become a better dad or a better husband or a man of integrity? I doubt it.”

I let my anger get the best of me. Part of my anger is that he is lying in bed with no regard to help get the kids ready for bed.

Construction has been going on for seven months now. Still no floors, still no kitchen. The other part is that I simply cannot continue to live in this mess and still try to have some sense of normalcy when it is complete chaos. It is just not possible.

Key Player

Tonight at the soccer field Carson was playing with the other kids (non-players) at the end of the field. Matt yelled at him in a braggadocious tone: “get back on the bench with our team. You’re a key player and they might need you.” Carson does not even know what it means to be a key player. They are in 2nd and 3rd grade and they aren’t put in the game due to skill but on a rotation. It was as if he was boasting and made sure he was loud enough for everyone to hear. In fact one disabled elderly man turned around in his chair to see who it was that was saying that to his child. I was embarrassed.

Where is the humbleness? Where is the teaching moment for Carson to be on the bench to serve his team by cheering them on, rather than to make him think the team revolves around him being called into the game?

Chicken nachos and kids birthdays

For my son’s seventh birthday he wanted to go to a local steakhouse. On the way there I looked online to see if I had a coupon and I did find one it was for a free appetizer pictured in the ad or potato skins. We had a conversation about how good they looked and explained what they were to the kids because they never had them.

We get to the restaurant and deliberate about the selection of appetizers. Casual conversation occurred such as oh that looks good yeah that sounds good. Chicken nachos sound good and that looks like a big portion for all of us. Everyone said okay and didn’t act like they really cared. Then as the server was taking our order for the appetizer Ella and I are on one end of the table and were talking and then I asked the server, “actually let’s change that nachos to potato skins and then add some fried pickles”. The server took our order and then left.

Matt said asked if we change the order. I replied yes. He asked why I thought we agreed on chicken nachos. I explained that nobody acted like they cared what we were getting so Ella and I were having a side conversation and decided to try the potato skins. He said, “well I was thinking that if you did not order chicken nachos that I would order those in addition to what you were ordering because that is what I wanted…YOU TRUMPED ME. You overruled what I said.”

Ella interjected. “It’s not that big of a deal dad.”

His reply, “yeah it is, because I wanted chicken nachos.”

This banter went on for what seemed like an eternity. I could feel my chest getting tighter and I felt like my head was going to explode the more he talked. Finally I could take no more. I smacked my hands and the table and said, “that’s it”, as I stood up. The restaurant hushed because of the sound. I escaped to the front and found an employee to change our order.

This isn’t the first time he’s caused problems on one of the kids’ birthdays. Four years ago for our other son’s fifth birthday we we all snowed in. I did my best to make sure we celebrated in spite of that even though it was Just us celebrating. The badgering was caught on video.

Selfish, self-centered behavior.

Marital Privilege

After much deliberation about whether or not the repercussions of not having sex with Matt would be worse than having to endure it I decided that I would put my foot down and say no physical contact.

Why would I want to give my body to someone that I cannot run today and I trust my heart with.
The cycle was very cyclical and that he would be nice and very levelheaded when he knew he wanted to have sex. Then afterwards inevitably things would get bad the meanness would return. This has been the pattern over and over and over again.

Last night after the Bible study devotion he commented that we should go to counseling. I rebutted and said that it is not a marriage issue that it is a an abuse issue. When was I emotionally abusive today he said.

In Sunday school the lady commented that she had read an article about her boys being able in order to look at a real woman she let her boys see her naked body on occasion so that they would have a true vision of what a real woman would look like as they got older. So that they could see her fat jiggling… then Matt humorously interjected and said yeah we have that at our house too.

Everyone in the room made the sound like, “Oh like you shouldn’t have said that.”

And I did I laugh because it does happen however he should not make humor out of a situation at my expense. This is happened all too often. In fact my sister did not speak to me or my family for almost six months because of Matt’s insensitivity and the way that he made fun of people. When we finally talked about why it was that she would not return my calls or let the kids play together, she finally was forthcoming and told me the reasons. She said her kids didn’t like coming over because of the way Matt yelled at them. And she didn’t like being around him because he was just plain inconsiderate of others feelings.

That really made me angry. I realized that I wasn’t the only one that was suffering because of his behavior and I wasn’t keeping it hidden like I thought I was.

So back to last night. I again told him that for years I asked him to go to counseling with me. He refused. And one comment that he made during that time was, “sure I’ll go to counseling with you maybe it will help you”. I used to laugh about that but now that I have become more keenly aware of narcissism and manipulation I realize that it is not funny at all. I have continued to work on myself through counseling reading books Bible studies etc. and I do feel that I have changed and grown spiritually. Last night I told him so. And he made fun of my comment with some snide remark and then said “I don’t think you’ve changed at all. If anything you’ve just gotten meaner”.

The conversation began to run in circles and I started to become frazzled and I told him that we were speaking in circles and that I was no longer going to engage in the conversation. He kept pressing. He said one last question one last question. So since you are a changed and have fixed yourself it’s all my fault right. Go ahead and say it it’s all my fault isn’t it. I remain silent.

Soccer Saturday Centers Around Him

We’re at soccer this morning and one of the things that Matt does that makes him think that he has to be the center of everything is to make sure that everyone knows where he is at all times before we start walking. He gets this look of contempt about him when I start migrating with the kids to another area instead of it if I don’t say Matt come on we’re going then he just stands there with this look on his face like I cannot believe you leaving

Disclosing the separation Jan 12, 2014

Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2014 e-mail sent to friends:

Ladies,
I have some news to share with you. I have made a difficult decision. I want to share with you some information that will help you understand why I made the decision to separate from Matt.
During the time I attended the Apples of Gold Bible study last fall it became even more clear to me that our marriage was not the idea of what God had in mind for marriage. I was searching on the Internet for things or ways that I could change even more than I already have over the years because I kept hearing the same messages of everything that is wrong with me. While searching for examples of exactly what it was I was saying or doing that was so critical, I ran across this article in October: http://m.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/life-with-dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde-the-verbally-abusive-marriage-11597290.html. After reading that article, I had an epiphany. After you read it you will see why.
On Oct 31 I had an appointment with an attorney to explore my options of legal separation, not divorce. This was not the route I wanted to take. Over the years I have set boundaries. They are violated. I’ve been told to pray. I have. I have asked for intervention from people at our church. Most who I have spoken with tell me to keep praying. I’m told that I can only change myself and to keep working on myself and let God do the rest. However, in spite of the changes I was making, things continued to be terribly difficult in our home. And not just difficult but destructive, as I have since learned.
Then on Nov 4 I read the below article that is forwarded below. I receive this weekly email and have not read or even opened any of them. Divine intervention. I began to read some of Elisabeth’s blog posts and articles and it was if they were meant just for me.
It is hard for me to sum it all up as well as these articles have so succinctly so I hope that you will read them so that you can understand this situation better. If you have never been in a difficult or destructive relationship, some of the behaviors will seem very foreign to you and may be difficult to understand what one endures. I have read so much in the last month or so that I want to share it all but I know it would be impossible for everyone to get through it all.

In early December, Matt found an email to a friend that I had sent disclosing my plans to separate so I had to tell him my plans earlier than expected. By the time he found the email I had already made a deposit on a duplex and paid the first month’s rent. Since then he has been very repentant and seems ready to do the work to make the changes that we need in our marriage…the things that I have been asking and praying for for so long. His epiphany moment came when he was listening to a radio program where the author Leslie Vernick was speaking. She was speaking about her book How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong. He reached out to her by email and let her know how much the radio program meant to him. She replied and suggested that he get her other book The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. A month prior on November 4 when I read the email blog from Elisabeth Corcoran I emailed her to let her know how much of an impact her article had on me. She too responded. I thought that the name Leslie Vernick rang a bell because looking back at her email I saw that she also suggested the book The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. I would say that God is at work, wouldn’t you? I am currently reading it and it is like a breath of fresh air to know that someone understands what I have been experiencing for so long but unable to put into words.

It has been a whirlwind for the last couple of months. At the present time, Matt is so committed to make a fresh start and make new memories that he is ready to sell our house. We have found one that was not even on the market yet – but does need a lot of work. We only put our house on a couple of web sites and had not yet listed it through an agent but have had four people look and one couple has presented an offer to us. We feel like God is opening doors for us so we are trusting Him. The scripture Romans 8:28 keeps coming to mind through all of this: “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.

I made a commitment to the duplex I am in through March so if our house does sell, we will be able to live there until the house we buy is finished, as it needs a lot of work.

In the meantime, I am cautiously optimistic. Things have been better than they have been in a long, long time. We are attending an intensive marriage workshop this month in Nashville. I am skeptical but willing to go. In the last few years we have been to many workshops, retreats and attended classes but not a lot gets applied afterwards. I’m praying this time will be different.

I’ve tried to be very selective about the articles that I send, because like I said, I know many will not be able to read them all but if you only read one of them, please read this one that will help you to help other women who may be in my same situation: http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2013/november-online-only/out-of-darkness.html?paging=off.

Also, the material by Leslie Vernick is absolutely amazing. She really hits the nail on the head with everything she says. I implore you to listen to some or any of her videos on her website; especially if you know of anyone who may be in a marriage that is difficult or destructive. http://www.leslievernick.com/

I would appreciate your prayers. And while Matt and I transition into this new phase of our lives toward reconciliation, I will need to devote time to do the work that our counselors recommend.

Blessings,
J

Begin forwarded message:
From: Weekly ReFill
Date: November 4, 2013 at 10:37:32 AM CST
To: j
Subject: Out in the Open
Reply-To: info@fullfill.org
Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

Out in the Open

By Elisabeth K. Corcoran

“Here’s the thing I can’t say out loud to anyone who knows me: I’m in a miserable marriage and I don’t know what to do.” I have heard this sentence more times than I can count in the past ten or so years and it never ceases to break my heart. But there’s an even deeper sting when the secret-teller is a pastor’s wife or women’s ministry leader, which I come across more often than you want to know.

And I get this, I really do. Not only was I a woman in a difficult Christian marriage, but I was a Women’s Ministry Director for ten years, part of that time holding a staff position at my church, all the while fighting – and hiding – my marriage demons.
I didn’t want anyone to know, for so many reasons.

I didn’t want to ruin my husband’s reputation as a good Christian guy with a heart to serve.
I didn’t think anyone would understand or believe me.
I didn’t think my situation was all that bad (turns out, it really was).
I didn’t think anything could be done about it.
I was trying to be an example to other women and this would blow the lid off of that. (Who would want to follow my example if they knew?, I assumed.)
I didn’t want my precious little Christian life to be exposed.

Does this sound like you? Are you a leader and your marriage is falling apart, but you are expending every ounce of your energy keeping the façade in place?
Can I tell you something that I believe with all my heart?

Jesus doesn’t want you to hide anymore.

He sees you. And he knows your heart. And he cares about your pain.

There is nothing that will shock him. There is nothing too broken that can’t be mended. There is nothing too far out of his reach.

He can help you.

Now, I’m not saying this as if he’s a genie in a bottle. My marriage did not end in reconciliation. But God absolutely did help me deal with the mess, look it full in the face, and surround me with a loving, godly support system to walk me through a reconciliation attempt, and then, sadly, my separation and divorce. But I’ve seen just as many marriages turnaround.

Jesus says in John 8:32 that “…the truth shall set you free.” He wants you walking through your life with integrity. He wants you to be open and free. He knows it’s terrifying – as do I. He knows you do not want to upend your life – as do I. But Jesus and I know something you might not yet know: authenticity in ministry is the best gift you can give to the women you’re serving, to yourself and to God.

It may be a mess for a time, but sweet one, Jesus will walk you through it. The dark will not stay dark forever. Your best life waits on the other side of you telling the truth about who you are and what you’re hiding. It’s time to be free. It’s time to stop hiding. It’s time to tell your truth.

Elisabeth Klein Corcoran is the author of Unraveling: Hanging Onto Faith Through the End of a Christian Marriage, speaks several times a month to women’s groups, and is a member of Redbud Writers’ Guild. Visit her online at http://www.elisabethcorcoran.com. If you are in a difficult marriage or find yourself going through a difficult divorce, she has created two private groups on Facebook – for more information email her at elisabethkcorcoran@gmail.com.

>>Comment

Pick up Elisabeth Corcoran’s book
Unraveling: Hanging on to Faith Through the End of a Christian Marriage today!

Buy it now!

Like FullFill today on Facebook!

Forward email

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Out in the Open Dec 30, 2013

On Dec 30, 2013, at 11:37 AM I sent this message to close family and friends:

I read this article in October : http://m.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/life-with-dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde-the-verbally-abusive-marriage-11597290.html
I ran across it as I was searching on the Internet for things or ways that I could change even more than I already have over the years because I keep hearing the same messages of everything that is wrong with me. After reading this, I had an epiphany. After you read it you will see why.
On Oct 31 I had an appt with an attorney. This is not the route I wanted to take but I feel like I am not protecting the kids like a mother should. I have set boundaries. They are violated. Our pastor’s wife tells me to pray. I have. Bless her heart for trying but she has not been a difficult situation such as this. I have asked for Our pastor’s intervention. They have told me to change and keep praying.
Then on Nov 4 I read the below article. I receive this weekly email and have not read or even opened any of them. Divine intervention.

It is hard for me to sum it all up as well as these articles have so succinctly.

I would appreciate prayers.
Talk to you soon.

Julie

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Weekly ReFill
Date: November 4, 2013 at 10:37:32 AM CST
To: julieg@jeffcityahg.org
Subject: Out in the Open
Reply-To: info@fullfill.org

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

Out in the Open

By Elisabeth K. Corcoran

“Here’s the thing I can’t say out loud to anyone who knows me: I’m in a miserable marriage and I don’t know what to do.” I have heard this sentence more times than I can count in the past ten or so years and it never ceases to break my heart. But there’s an even deeper sting when the secret-teller is a pastor’s wife or women’s ministry leader, which I come across more often than you want to know.

And I get this, I really do. Not only was I a woman in a difficult Christian marriage, but I was a Women’s Ministry Director for ten years, part of that time holding a staff position at my church, all the while fighting – and hiding – my marriage demons.
Pick up Elisabeth’s book today!

I didn’t want anyone to know, for so many reasons.

I didn’t want to ruin my husband’s reputation as a good Christian guy with a heart to serve.
I didn’t think anyone would understand or believe me.
I didn’t think my situation was all that bad (turns out, it really was).
I didn’t think anything could be done about it.
I was trying to be an example to other women and this would blow the lid off of that. (Who would want to follow my example if they knew?, I assumed.)
I didn’t want my precious little Christian life to be exposed.

Does this sound like you? Are you a leader and your marriage is falling apart, but you are expending every ounce of your energy keeping the façade in place?
Can I tell you something that I believe with all my heart?

Jesus doesn’t want you to hide anymore.

He sees you. And he knows your heart. And he cares about your pain.

There is nothing that will shock him. There is nothing too broken that can’t be mended. There is nothing too far out of his reach.

He can help you.

Now, I’m not saying this as if he’s a genie in a bottle. My marriage did not end in reconciliation. But God absolutely did help me deal with the mess, look it full in the face, and surround me with a loving, godly support system to walk me through a reconciliation attempt, and then, sadly, my separation and divorce. But I’ve seen just as many marriages turnaround.

Jesus says in John 8:32 that “…the truth shall set you free.” He wants you walking through your life with integrity. He wants you to be open and free. He knows it’s terrifying – as do I. He knows you do not want to upend your life – as do I. But Jesus and I know something you might not yet know: authenticity in ministry is the best gift you can give to the women you’re serving, to yourself and to God.

It may be a mess for a time, but sweet one, Jesus will walk you through it. The dark will not stay dark forever. Your best life waits on the other side of you telling the truth about who you are and what you’re hiding. It’s time to be free. It’s time to stop hiding. It’s time to tell your truth.

Elisabeth Klein Corcoran is the author of Unraveling: Hanging Onto Faith Through the End of a Christian Marriage, speaks several times a month to women’s groups, and is a member of Redbud Writers’ Guild. Visit her online at http://www.elisabethcorcoran.com. If you are in a difficult marriage or find yourself going through a difficult divorce, she has created two private groups on Facebook – for more information email her at elisabethkcorcoran@gmail.com.

>>Comment

Pick up Elisabeth Corcoran’s book

Unraveling: Hanging on to Faith Through the End of a Christian Marriage today!

Buy it now!

Like FullFill today on Facebook!

Forward email

This email was sent to julieg@jeffcityahg.org by info@fullfill.org |
Update Profile/Email Address | Instant removal with SafeUnsubscribe™ | Privacy Policy.
FullFill™ | PO Box 461546 | Aurora | CO | 80046

Pushing his buttons.

I began reading a book by Lundy Bancroft that is called Why Does He Do That? I read a lot of it last night. I got to one part near the end of the book that helped so much….a section called The Abuser In Couples Therapy. It hit the nail right on the head for me and I know others here have shared about difficulties with partner in marriage counseling. Here is part of what it says~Attempting to address abuse through couples therapy is like wrenching a nut the wrong way; it just gets even harder to undo than before. Couples therapy is designed to tackle issues that are mutual. It can be effective for overcoming barriers to communication, for untangling the childhood issues that each partner brings to a relationship, or for building intimacy. But you can’t accomplish any of these goals in the context of abuse. There can be no positive communication when one person doesn’t respect the other and strives to avoid equality. You can’t take the leaps of vulnerability involved in working through early emotional injuries while you are feeling emotionally unsafe- because you Are emotionally unsafe. Couples counseling sends both the abuser and the abused woman the wrong message. The abuser learns his partner is “pushing his buttons” and “touching him off” and that she needs to adjust her behavior to avoid getting him so upset.This is precisely what he has been claiming all along. Change in abusers comes only from the reverse process, from completely stepping out of the notion that his partner plays any role in causing his abuse of her. An abuser also has to stop focusing on his feelings and his partner’s behavior, and look instead at Her feelings and His behavior. Abuse is not caused by relationship dynamics. You can’t manage your partner’s abusiveness by changing your behavior, but he wants you to think that you can….and even if that worked, is that a healthy way to live? Couples counseling can end up being a big setback for the abused woman. The more she insists that her partner’s cruelty or intimidation needs to be addressed, the more she may find the therapist looking down at her, saying, “It seems like you are determined to put all the blame on him and are refusing to look at your part in this.” The therapist thereby inadvertently echoes the abuser’s attitude, and the woman is forced to deal with yet another context in which she has to defend herself, which is the last thing she needs. I have been involved in many cases where the therapist and the abuser ended up as sort of a tag team, and the abused woman limped away from yet another psychological assault. Most therapists in such circumstances are well intentioned but fail to understand the dynamics of abuse and allow the abuser to shape their perceptions. The therapists’ reassuring presence in the room can give you the courage to open up to your partner in ways that you wouldn’t normally feel safe to do. But this isn’t necessarily positive; an abuser can retaliate for a woman’s frank statements during couples sessions. (the author gives some examples of this…scary) If couples therapy is the only type of help your partner is willing to get–because he wants to make sure that he can blame the problem on you–you may think, “Well, it’s better than not getting any counseling at all. And maybe the therapist will see the things he does and convince him to get help.” But even if the therapist were to confront him, which is uncommon, he would just say: “You turned the therapist against me–” the same way he handles any other challenges.