Going through a divorce and an-over-three-year-long court process has been anything but fun. But as is His nature, God is redeeming everything by allowing me to encourage others going through similar things.
My heart could faint a little at the stories I hear from both men and women. You see, girls, this is not just a male problem. I’m hearing of far too many women using the same nasty tactics on their men.
Narcissism is a human problem, not just a guy problem.
One man writes of his wife leaving him after years of neglect.
A young woman writes of her husband blaming her for not trusting him after he actively broke her trust.
Another wife asks me if she should have sex with her husband if he’s with another girl.
Humanity is groaning under the weight of a heavy humanistic mantle that shrouds the beauty of simple goodness.
“I don’t love you anymore, so I’m not going to have sex with you.”
“I’m not happy anymore, so I’m going to divorce you.”
The things we experience and are told really do affect us. I’m not here to tackle all of it, but the one thing on my heart to take us toward is how to clear our minds from years of psychological manipulation where we’re told things we know aren’t true, yet lodge in our heads as if they were.
Does that wake you up a little because you can relate? If so, this series is for you.
I’m going to walk you into personal scenarios of my own or others (anonymous) lives so you can see and relate clearly. Then, I’m going to take you step by step through the experience and out of it to the other side with the opportunity to have your mental sanity restored or intact.
The grace and goodness of God promise peace rather than confusion.
I don’t have a counseling degree. I simply share my experiences with those who ask advice, what I’ve learned, how I found freedom and clarity after years of confusion, and of course, the Jesus I know and love Who talks to me personally and through His written word.
God is the author of peace. Let’s take a look at that peace when our lives have thrown us the opposite.
How does a person keep mental sanity when someone throws curve balls that spin us into confusion because we can’t reconcile what’s being said and done one day, to the person who does the opposite the next day?
Being held and hugged one day to being torn apart the next day is confusing and doesn’t line up. We desperately want to believe the problem lies with us because we know we’re the only ones we can fix. We’re ready to repent and ask forgiveness.
For some of us it may take years to see that the problem doesn’t lie with us, and there’s something we can’t fix.
As ready as we are to shoulder blame, as much as we’ve done it for years, it seems a foreign idea floating somewhere in outer space that maybe—just maybe—it’s not our fault after all.
But that sends us into greater fear because at that point, we realize how powerless we are to change anything.
I remember reading some blog on narcissism and being blown away that I could relate so readily to what was said. Like someone finally gave a name to my experience. I took a page of notes, then threw it all away.
Like a cancer diagnosis, realizing the truth of what’s going on in your marriage can be more terrifying than closing your eyes and going about your day.
It can be easier to give, give, and give than to wake up to the truth that no matter how much you give, you will never be enough.
If you have to admit you’re married to a narcissist, you also have to realize they probably won’t change.
Remember, sin is not a gender problem; it is a human problem.
I was a bit like the person who knows she has a tumor growing on her chest but avoids seeing a doctor because pretending is easier than getting a scary diagnosis she may not be able to heal.
But the tumor is still there, and it is growing.
In the same way, faking peace in your marriage without dealing with the real issue is like turning a blind eye to a tumor while it grows steadily into something fatal.
It didn’t matter that I cried alone while my husband went out to bars at night, nor that I shut my mouth when he told me to submit to it. It didn’t help, save, or heal our marriage; it merely pacified him while the problem festered and he knew I’d always do what it took to keep his disgust at bay.
There was “peace” but there was no peace. I lived with a gnawing knowledge that there were deep underlying issues we needed help to get to the bottom of. That didn’t happen, and once again, I was told to submit rather than bring up the need for counseling one more time.
Everyone’s situation is different. But the underlying theme I keep hearing is what prompts me to write this blog series. Men and women are suffering greatly with spouses who pull off abnormally wrong behavior but want to be treated as if nothing is wrong.
This does a number on people.
When a man breaks a woman’s trust by asking for a threesome, then treats her as if she’s stupid for not trusting him, that’s a wrench on her mind.
First of all, she has to come to grips with the fact that her husband actually wants other women in her bed. (For the record, ladies, not all men want multiple women. I know a lot of good men who would cringe at the thought of a threesome because they wouldn’t want to wreck the special connection with the woman they love.)
And secondly, she automatically wonders if she’s the problem. She’ll most likely double up on sex, buy new lingerie, and try her best to “trust”–all the while taking responsibility for something that is not her problem at all.
Did you know it’s humanly impossible to trust someone who hasn’t earned it? Like, that’s not even something you should try to do because you are incapable of doing it. Not because you’re incapable as a person, but because two plus two is not five; two plus three is five.
If your spouse is giving you two plus two, wanting you to say “five” as the answer, you cannot honestly say “five”, but will say “four” instead.
If your spouse at that point gets upset that you are not giving them a “five”, whose fault is that? How can you possibly give a number that is not honestly feasible to give?
At that point, you will need to express the impossibility of what they’re asking. If they become upset with you, you will need to calmly ask for a two plus three so you can give them their desired “five”.
The truth will set you free regardless of their anger with you. This is what I want you to see in the blog series I’m giving over the next months.
We will be rerouting our brains into truth.
We will be owning the truth of all things, whether it’s the truth of our pain, their wrong, our faults, our fears, or simply our utter incapability of giving them what they’re asking, and how terrified we are of losing them.
No denial can exist in a healthy brain.
I didn’t realize how unhealthy my brain was, how I had never learned to think for myself, and how that only fed into the problem in my marriage.
A man may want control and he may want you to submit when he’s wrong, but deep down he will respect you far more if you’re not desperate to keep him. My addiction to my marriage was sickening and it wasn’t broken until long after he packed his bags.
My desperation to please my husband put me in an impossible wrench. We must never be desperate for anything other than Jesus and His truth, allowing light to shed clarity on even the most painful things we’d love to avoid.
We are going to draw a line in the sand between ourselves and falsehood.
Until next time, stay in grace. To those who are asking me, I promise you there is help, hope, and peace.
God is who He says He is—even when, and especially when, people are not.