Monday, February 9, 2015

Working for a Living

I have been employed in my area of education for seven months now.  Just thought I'd leave an update.  Peace and good will, SS


  1. Thanks for the update! I'd been wondering. Congrats on getting where you are!

  2. Thanks, Kristen.

    I must confess, I am not really in any better of a place in my marriage. I still am waiting subconsciously for the "Jesus magic" to kick in and for my husband to be healed, kind, supportive and well, emotionally a mature adult. I am such a believer in miracles, that it is stunning how idealistic and full of wishful thinking an otherwise rational and intelligent person (me) can be.

    My husband is NOT like me, but I insist on treating him as if we share the same values. I don't know what's wrong with me. I keep handing him new opportunities to break my heart and betray me because I just can't seem to wrap my head around the reality that HE IS NOT LIKE ME.

    I could never secretly judge or hate anyone, much less for days, weeks, months or years. LOL. I couldn't secretly do or feel anything for probably more than a few minutes, to be honest. I would have to tell someone! Transparency and authenticity are the cornerstones of being a decent human being. Without those two (virtues? qualities? determinations?) attributes, a person is not a whole person.

    If one is not transparent and authentic, then one is secretive and fraudulent. I can see this clearly for myself, and reject it as something I would never want to be. Taking it a step further, I find it incredibly hard to believe that anyone, ANYONE, claiming to be a follower of Jesus Christ, would NOT purposely be transparent and authentic. I mean without that, how could you possible follow Jesus?

    Well, apparently thousands and thousands of people do, and my husband is one of them. So, looking back at my blog, I have known this, for a FACT, about my husband for six years at least. And yet I still, still, tend to believe that the spiteful, mean, ugly part of his personality is not the REAL man. Yet, if it were me, I would understand that the "hidden man of the heart" was in fact, who I am at my core. Why do I make excuses for others, instead of apprising them with the same cold logic I apply to my own self?

    So you see, Kristen, even though I have money to live on now, I am still tied to this unhealthy marriage and still loathe to protect my own heart and get out. And I am no closer to figuring out why.

  3. Also, Christianity is so predicated on what a person BELIEVES. Clearly one can choose what to believe, or at least choice has some role in it all, or at least that's what I had been led to believe.

    Also, the command to love, that is the first and really the only obedience any Christian must attempt. I remember vividly the series one of my earliest taught on love. It was a charismatic church, and we used many translations. The congregation was urged to memorize and meditate on the Amplified version of I Corinthians 13. You can bet I took those suggestions to heart and put them into practice. After all, my mom had called me rebellious, and the one thing I set out to prove to myself, to God, to the world, was that her accusation was not true. I believed at that time that my pastor was actually in authority over me, and obeying his sermons was right up there with obeying God. I to this day, have no idea, if he or anyone else took his words so much to heart, but I did.

    So, clearly one of the foundational acts of a loving person is the "love is always ready to believe the best of every person". I think this explains who I am, why I am still here, and why it is so hard for me to believe that my husband's ill will towards me is actually a reality. I couldn't hold onto ill will. I wouldn't allow myself to do that. I have just all this time assumed that my husband shared my values. We met in church, he knows all the Bible verses, heck he's a walking concordance. Due to all those Bible drills growing up, he can quote verses with their address, by rote.

    And see, I also know a lot of verses by heart, but I know them because I loved them. I read my Bible or copied scripture verses daily, three times a day at least, for the first four years after I started going to church, by my own free will. I did it, "hid God's word in my heart", because I had found a love, a supernatural Divine Love, that nurtured my soul and gave my life value and meaning.

    If you had asked my husband back in 1987 if he loved God, he would have agreed that he did, with all his heart. He went to church, he went to prayer meetings, he took part in visitation outreach. That's pretty much how we met. If just never, ever, occurred to me that someone would do things out of a sense of duty, and then LIE about their motivation. I just still have a hard time wrapping my head around it.

  4. So, here I am, living honestly, transparently and being always ready to believe the best of my husband. Quickly forgiving is also a major value that I live by. So it is clear why it has been so easy for him to continue to hate me, to think ill of me, to emotionally abuse me, even though he has not laid a hand on me since that night the put his hands on my throat and told me I didn't deserve to live. Of course he has no opportunity to do that either, since I would ask him to leave or leave myself if he starts showing outward aggression.

    But that doesn't solve anything. The ill will, the malice, that he nurtured in his heart long before he blurted out what he was really thinking about me all that time, why is it so hard for me to accept that reality? It's still there.

    I looked up "the hidden man of the heart" and realized now why maybe I am far more concerned with keeping the inner man up to my personal standards than my husband seems to be. That phrase was written my Peter, in his advice to first century wives. I have probably prayed about it, journaled about it and meditated on that phrase more times than I can remember.

    My husband could care less about the inside of his "cup". His religion, while also called Christianity, is so completely the opposite of what I believe, and who it has made me. And yet that life command that I internalized, "love is always ready to believe the best of every person" has kept me not just in this marriage physically, but praying for him, forgiving him and really, considering him not for who he really is, but treating him as if the idealized version of him that only exists in my head, is the "real" person.

  5. If I use the same critical standards on my husband that I use on myself, I have to admit that he is not transparent or authentic, as a rule. Not saying he never is, the diary I read full of hate, that for sure was authentic and real. I just have not fully accepted that as reality. It just goes against all I am and every standard I have for my heart, so it is hard to accept that I could LIVE with someone, for over twenty-five years, not not really know them.

    My religion demanded that I believe that all that nastiness which he filled in page after page, was only a temporary thing. Yet if that were MY journal, I would have understood that this was the reality of the hidden man of my heart, and *I* would never have allowed that to take root and grow in me. Every entry would have ended with a plea for God to change my heart, were that journal mine. His journal has no such page in it anywhere. Not then, not now.

    It is so hard to accept that this man I am married is not who I believed him to be, and will not ever be that idealized person, no matter what I believe about him. Even when it is in front of me in black and white, I find it hard to wrap my head around it as reality.

    I lived so long believing that love never fails. Having to admit that my love hasn't affected him at all, that his values, his real core values, do not line up with his stated values, that is so hard. Because, I am a loving person, and love is always willing to believe the best of every person. Gullible is not written on the ceiling, it is written on my heart.

    All of the core values I thought we shared, we only share in spelling. Loyalty to him, is not physically leaving the marriage. Loyalty to me, was/is being always willing to believe the best of my partner/family.

    So two problems here, my character, my life rules, will only be smart and safe when I am in relationship with someone who shares those values. Otherwise I am just setting myself up to be taken advantage of and abused.

    And yet those same life rules, have demanded of me that I ascribe my values to the people to whom I have pledged my love and loyalty. What a Catch 22.

    I am caught in this cycle of trusting only to find out that the ill will in my husband's heart never went away. It IS the hidden treasure of the heart, it is what he nurtures and keeps secret, and out of the abundance of that ill will in his heart his mouth overflows.

    But only on occasion. Not because it's not always there, it is. It is because he does live a transparent and authentic life. If there is one thing a boy of fundamentalist parents living in a fundamentalist Christian boarding school learns, it's how to hide his true feelings and say all the right things.

    And this, I am still learning to accept as real. Because it always comes back to, what kind of person do I want to be, and being a loving person, and intending to stay a loving person, denial of what is honestly real about my husband is far better than the reality of who he actually is and what he actually believes, about me, about God, about himself, about life.

    I just still find it so hard that anyone I thought was a good person would treasure such wicked thoughts about the ones he claims he loves.

    1. And yet, consider my life commandment to always believe the best of every person, who could that NOT happen? If I am to believe the best of every person, even though clearly not every person will have the "best" attributes, what other end could there possibly be but abuse and betrayal? What are the odds, right? So high in favor of being wrong about the other person, so slim that the other person would ALSO be always willing to believe the best of me.

      I am such a dork.

  6. I'm sorry, I didn't see this until today, coming back to check on this blog as I do every month or so. I think that "believes all things" in 1 Cor 13 doesn't necessarily mean "believe the best of every person" -- not, at least, if that means believing something untrue about a person. I'm so sorry that your husband has not turned out to be the person you hoped he was and wanted him to be. But I think "believes all things" has to mean something more like "believes in the person and therefore gives the benefit of the doubt rather than defaulting to skepticism or cynicism about a person's motives." But that doesn't mean we can't be realistic about a person, or that we can't ascribe ill will to someone when it simply turns out to be a fact.

    It must be very hard to let go of a long-term marriage, and I certainly don't think you're a "dork" for giving the guy every chance you could. But I believe that in the end, if a marriage partner has broken the marriage vows beyond repair, if he does not and will not love, honor and cherish his spouse, then the wronged spouse has the choice whether or not to divorce. And it's entirely your choice, with no one else getting to tell you when enough's enough. So don't be down on yourself for trying longer than many others might. Just do what you feel is best, here and now. I'm pulling for you.

  7. I'm so happy you got a job in that field!

    Your blog actually helped me some in my own journey to find a man who could be a good partner and in an attempt to return the favor, I suggest you read some posts on Natalie Lue's Baggage Reclaim site. She has a way of teaching you to think through emotions and get clarity and strength.<3


  8. Glad to hear it! (Don't feel obliged to update again, but I hope you are still well.)