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Old 12-01-2008, 08:37 PM   #1
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My Christian wife wants a divorce... advice?

This all started last Sunday nite. My wife was watching the music awards and I was downstairs. I'd occasionally come up and see her, but she would act strange. So she goes to bed, and I check her phone to see if anything was up. Turns out I was right. My wife and one of her girlfriends are talking about my wife asking me for a divorce. I get scared and head to our room and wake my wife up and ask if it's true. She wakes up shaking her head. She says she's 22, she's too young, we rushed into getting married and feels tied down. She also says she doesn't love me anymore and I've treated her like crap. I've never hit my wife or been unfaithful, but we have had a good couple months of where we'll argue about minor stuff. I have had some insecurities as well that got pushed into the mix too.

But after all this my wife of just one year and 3 months, is ready to be done. I have tried to talk to her about going to counseling, but she stops me right after and says she's done. She expects to be out of the house in a couple weeks and moved into an apartment building she found. This is probably the toughest thing I've had to face. But is this really any grounds for divorce?

So does anyone have any advice? Is there still any hope or is this it?

-J

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Old 12-01-2008, 08:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jaret View Post
This all started last Sunday nite. My wife was watching the music awards and I was downstairs. I'd occasionally come up and see her, but she would act strange. So she goes to bed, and I check her phone to see if anything was up. Turns out I was right. My wife and one of her girlfriends are talking about my wife asking me for a divorce. I get scared and head to our room and wake my wife up and ask if it's true. She wakes up shaking her head. She says she's 22, she's too young, we rushed into getting married and feels tied down. She also says she doesn't love me anymore and I've treated her like crap. I've never hit my wife or been unfaithful, but we have had a good couple months of where we'll argue about minor stuff. I have had some insecurities as well that got pushed into the mix too.

But after all this my wife of just one year and 3 months, is ready to be done. I have tried to talk to her about going to counseling, but she stops me right after and says she's done. She expects to be out of the house in a couple weeks and moved into an apartment building she found. This is probably the toughest thing I've had to face. But is this really any grounds for divorce?

So does anyone have any advice? Is there still any hope or is this it?

-J
I do not mean to be rude, but here are my thoughts.

1) Biblically this is not grounds for a divorce per Jesus.
2) That may not matter to her.
3) I would discuss that you make it clear that you want to remain married to her, and that you will do whatever it takes, and... ... DO IT! I put that in Caps, not to yell but because if you say it, its going to be 100% mission critical.
4) There may be more going on here. In fact I would wager there are definitely other things going on.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaret View Post
This all started last Sunday nite.
You might as well have stopped here, because this is all you needed to say.

It most certainly did not all start last Sunday night. That's never the real story.

What you've described in your post are all of the following signs of trouble:

-physical separation (you downstairs, her upstairs; her going to bed before you),

-emotional disconnection (not knowing what she's feeling, and instead chalking it up to her just "acting strange"),

-ineffective communication (to the point where you feel you have to snoop on her phonecalls to see what she's thinking, and then expecting to have a reasonable conversation about a serious topic when you wake her up in the middle of her sleep), and

-an immature conception of love (thinking that "never hit my wife or been unfaithful" equates to not treating her like crap).

Notice that in your post you only used the word "we" a few times, and all in negative contexts. This may or may not be a relevant observation, but nonetheless I firmly believe in the power of the subconscious, and I think the syntax that you chose probably belies an unstated disconnect.

You used singular pronouns for the two of you countless times, though. You've got a not-so-subtly hidden me-against-her mentality (just like Jenacen unfortunately recommended about a half a dozen times in his post) riddled throughout your story here. That isn't going to help anything.

The proper response to her saying that you've treated her like crap isn't to jump instantly to defenses of how you've never done that, but to stop and think "Dude, have I really treated her like crap? Oh ****." Regardless of what you may have done or not done, she still feels like crap. Not good.

Of course there's still hope. There's always hope. Not if you don't change, though. And not if she doesn't change. And especially not if you two together don't change. Talking about counseling, even going to counseling, isn't going to fix anything. You changing for the better, so that she can see it, might.

No offense to Jenacen, but don't start the losing me-against-her or even me-against-the-divorce battle that he describes. That's not going to get you anywhere. The more you think about divorce and how to stop it, the more you're going to head directly towards it. You might as well just start the paperwork.

What you think, you create, and not in the happy-go-lucky "positive thinking" pop-psychology way, but in the real, nitty-gritty, "under what context am I going to respond to this situation?" kind of way. Don't think "God, babe, I don't want a divorce," but "I want to be a better man and husband."

"Fight," "strong," "build up," "head," "authority," "tooth-and-nail," "mission," "confident," "right," and "wrong" are not words that need to be in your vocabulary. Put the words "humble," "better," "respect," "love," "feeling," "in touch," "communicate," "believe," and "trust" in instead.
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Old 12-09-2008, 02:54 PM   #4
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Nate hit the nail on the head.

I must add this: you are young. Don't get it into your heads that this will be patched up by some counseling sessions and we go on our merry way. Unless you want to look back in ten years and say "Wow, we should have called it quits, now we're into our thirties..." then you must educate yourselves on what it takes to be a Godly, strong, faithful, loving, humble, caring, loving spouse. There's absolutely no way to fully grasp it at age 22, but it can be learned in time to begin a lifelong happy marriage. And we never stop learning how to truly love someone, so don't ever stop.
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:06 PM   #5
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It has only taken me twenty years of marriage to figure this out, and I still battle with this to this day, but here it goes.

As much as I love my wife, and I do, dearly, I cannot look to her or to our marriage for my security or significance. I have to look to God for those things. Men yearn for a feeling of significance, I know I do. When we look to our wife or to our careers, or money, or fill in your blank for that feeling of significance, we will always fall short and be disappointed. If my connection to our Lord and Savior isn't enough, then what could ever be? If we focus on God and look to him as the center of our world, we will not be looking so desperately for someone or something to make us feel worthwhile. This takes tremendous pressure of of our spouses. I am free to love my wife without looking desperately for that sense of significance. I would be lying if I said it doesn't feels great when she goes out of her way to make me feel loved. But that doesn't define my existence. My relationship with Jesus does. It's putting into practice the example of God's love to us.

Conversely, most women look for security in their husbands. They want love, acceptance and significance too, but mostly they look for security in their lives. It sounds like your wife may feel like she is missing something, excitement, freedom, adventure or those could just be symptoms of the lack of security or significance she is feeling. If she is a Christian, I know this will sound so simple it almost seems ridiculous, but if she looks for security and significance in her relationship with Jesus, she will not look so hard to find them in the world.

My wife and I were married at 22, and yes, looking back we were very young and immature. We almost broke up several times during our first few years together. I am so glad I put my pride aside and stayed with it. We have both grown up over the years, and it hasn't always been cake and ice cream, but I would do not trade my life for anyone's.

A Christian counselor that focuses on a Christ-centered life would be my suggestion. You may ask your wife to go just for this reason. Even if she decides to leave, if she keeps looking for significance or security somewhere 'out there' she will chase after it and in a few years or decades from now, she will be right back where she is. Empty and looking for 'something' or someone to make her feel happy. Another spouse, wealth, adventure, 'freedom' and chasing after a good time is a very poor substitute for the peace of knowing Christ's love and His acceptance.

Christ is enough, if He isn't, you have more to worry about than your marriage.

A great book to read would be Effective Biblical Counseling by Dr. Larry Crabb

Praying for you.
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:17 AM   #6
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Thanks all.

It's been a busy time with the holidays just passing so I haven't had much time to answer back. But just thought I would to clarify everyone's questions:

My wife is 22, but I'm 26. When we started dating two years ago, she seemed really mature for her age. Living by herself, and she seemed determined what she wanted. We started out as friends because at first I didn't really see anything that peaked my interest. But the more we started hanging out and having fun, I fell in love with her.

So what's going on now? She has moved all her stuff out of the house we just bought 8 months ago, and is living in a apartment. She told me through myspace, since she just dropped our phone plan, got her own and won't call to speak to me, that I should be getting the dissillousion (sp?) papers sometime this upcoming week. Part of me wants to believe that God can work this out, but part of me is done. Even if we did get back together, it would take me a long time to trust her again. But I still hang on to hope.

Thanks for the prayers all. I really appreciate it.

-J
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:44 PM   #7
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Hi Jaret,

I went thru a similar situation as you, my ex-wife left me with two children about nine years back. My daughter was only 18 months old. She meet another guy at her work and decided that this guy was better for her than I was. We seperated for 15 months after a 12 year time together. For 15 months a did everything I possibly could do to make the marriage work. Prayer, seeking God's face, tears, fear of the future without her, every emotion that one could have. Was it God's plan for us to get divorced, No I do not believe so. God does not like divorce, but He also gives every person He created a free will. What I found was even though I really tried to get our marriage to work, my ex-wife did not what too. The free will that God gave her she was excercising. She knew God, she had great experiences with God, but she had made up her mind that the other guy was better for her. He made her feel better that I did.
You see Jaret, the problem I believe in marriage today is that both husband and wives do not obey the word of God. We profess to be christians, but sometimes this is just lip service and not a way of life. We have not learnt to die to our selfish desires and let God's desires for us to work out in our lives. You see, my ex-wife wanted everything for herself, even if it meant leaving a 7 year old boy and a 18 month old girl to do what she wanted or felt was better.
God answers prayer, no doubt, but He will not change your wifes mind regarding you and your marriage unless she submits totally to God, then His desires for both of you together will come to pass.
So in my humble opinion, unless she submits to God, I would let the process of divorce take its course, because nothing you do will change her mind. Pray God will touch her in a way that she submits to Him because even if you had to get back together and continue in the marriage, unless she can submit to God, she will never submit to you as the head of your household.
Jaret, you keep you eyes on Jesus and God will sort things out. It might not be what you want, but God will sort it out. Trust me

Wayne
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