tiGer: Bill- I know I have a problem with FB. I’m addicted to watching H's every move. I know I try to analyze everything. I look at what he likes, what OW likes and posts, what his mom does. I think I’m going crazy
Bill: tiGer: I appreciate your honesty about FB. This is such a common struggle. If you don't mind, I would like to use this as example of our need to pursue God's grace in the midst of our struggles. Are you okay with that?
tiGer: Bill- I keep thinking about what you said quite awhile ago. Everything can change in a blink of an eye.
Bill: Tiger: It is one of the key thoughts to keep in mind. The human heart operates different than every other part of our being. One of the characteristics is that the heart is quick. We are quick to get angry, quick to fall in love, quick to be resentful, quick to correct itself, etc.
Little Magpie: Bill - He has said more than once that I have "strong reactions" even though I may not be aware
Bill: Little Magpie (and all of us): We are talking about powerful forces here. The reactions you are describing were programmed into your soul when you were young by the most influential people in your life. They are deeply rooted, intensely emotional and useful in creating "safe distance" from others. As a result, they require focused, rugged decisions. Your example of THINK is a good example of how we can choose our responses rather than allow our reactions to run but we have to be intense with the application, practice the new response when things are calm and talk to ourselves like an aggressive voice coach or athletic coach to make it stick.
dumbfounded2: Bill - Completely H's idea and he had mentioned having our son come help him with a work project in an earlier call a month or so ago, but I didn't think anything would come of it being he is so forgetful. I am not sure why he comes to me. I am the only one that he reaches out to, maybe he was testing to see if I would be receptive to him seeing our son hasn't seen him since last August.
Bill: dumbfounded2: Thank you for the response. My first thought is to say you think this is a great idea and that H ought to call S15 and talk about it. It will most likely be a difficult conversation but I see no need for you to mediate the discussion or buffer it in any way. My second thought is that your S15 needs your support not your protection. As he interacts with his dad, he will form his own opinions of who he wants to be and what kind of relationship he wants with his dad. IF there is no interaction or if it is all "shielded" by you, it puts off your S15's need to make conclusions.
dumbfounded2: Bill - I think that Finding Nemo had zipped her lips. I haven't heard from my H in a while. I did want to ask you about my H's recent behavior. He seems to have withdrawn very deeply from all his family. My in laws have been reaching out to him over and over with no response for a few months. I have contacted him a couple of times and once he was angry when I asked for money, then he called later trying to smooth things and then I called to invite him to a program for our son, he talks with me a good bit, but seems very withdrawn
Bill: dumbfounded2: My read on your H's current withdrawal is he is reacting to something. He may have experienced a disappointment recently which caused regret or resentment and is avoiding everybody to avoid the pain. He may also have had a recent realization of the pain he is causing and is trying to avoid the reality of it by avoiding everyone who might bring it to the surface. It is also possible he is wrestling with himself considering another self-imposed sabotage which makes it hard to face anyone significant in his life. Just guesses on my part.
Dogwood: bill I am doing pretty well during the day. Still struggle with my feeling of disappointment, and sad when I drove home after work finding H absent for the evening. So, I tend to stay at work late, and turn on Christian programs or news on TV and make dinner for myself. I have to talk myself to live with it without too much bitterness against H. He comes home around 11:00 pm. He goes to the same group for ball games, or TV every night.
Bill: Dogwood: Can I ask you a pointed question? If you H was not in the picture, what would you do with your evenings? I hate to even ask it but it is a question we should all entertain at times. I ask this question once a year since I know life is fragile and I have no guarantee Pam will outlive me. I don't want to face it but it is good for me to face the possibility. Anyway, I ask this because I think there is wisdom in you doing some of what you would do if H faced a tragedy. What do you think?
Little Magpie: Bill - How do I know that the Holy Spirit is still within me? There was a time when I could sense God but it is few and far between. The last time I sensed HIM was Feb 2013 when Pam out in my area. That was a couple years ago now. When I was a young college age person, before my violation, I actually felt God's presence and was gifted with some of the spiritual gifts, but that was another life ago. Will I ever be able to know God again like that?
Bill: Little Magpie: There are two truths about the Holy Spirit that we all need to keep in mind. The first is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. When you received Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit took residence in your life. He became a part of your life and is committed to never leave. We know the Holy Spirit is within you because it is the work of the Holy Spirit that caused you to be born again and you cannot be "unborn." The other truth is the filling of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 makes reference to this when Paul compares it to the influence of alcohol. Someone under the influence of alcohol will say things she wouldn't normally say, do things she wouldn't normally do and will have a boldness that is not characteristic of her everyday life. The influence of the Holy Spirit works the same way. When you chose to err (as you described it), you took over the control center of your life, rather than let the Holy Spirit guide your life. He is still there - the real issue is getting Him back in control of your thinking, feeling and deciding.
kiki: Bill - my husband left my daughters are I at the end of July. When I confronted him about his now 3rd affair in 2.5 years (the other 2 were emotional not sure about this one) he told me that it's not adultery since we don't live under the same roof. I told him we're still married, his response it's only a piece of paper.
Bill: Kiki - Your husband's reasoning sounds like typical midlife "logic." Part of the midlife transition involves moving from a life of high productivity to a life a interpersonal influence. Many men are intimidated by the fact that others will want to follow them now that they have real experience and wisdom so they sabotage their influence by doing and saying things that everyone else knows are silly.
Finding Nemo: Bill - He believes his dad is a narcissist, either that or a sociopath. I think that's the right term. A sociopath is someone who is abusive and manipulative, right? He's trying to learn how to deal with his dad better, yet he isn't sure how to deal with him so he's trying to give it a name so he knows what he is dealing with. I hope that makes sense. He's kept me busy - that's for sure.
Bill: Finding Nemo: A sociopath is way beyond abusive and manipulative. Sociopaths defy all social norms, write their own rules and destroy lives around them because they believe they are the equivalent of a god. It sounds to me that it is sufficient to say he is abusive and manipulative. Titles aren't going to help as much as boundaries.
Little Magpie: Swan - I haven't been offered anything. I have just been seeing connections like puzzle pieces come together. I am continuing to pray and I want to be "All IN" to TRUSTING in God's path for me.
Bill: Little Magpie - As you look back on your life, When God directs you to make a change like this, how has He lead you in the past? Is there a pattern God typically follows in leading you through significant changes?
Little Magpie: Bill - It is easy to fall into your addictive behaviors. Last night, I "self soothed" by going to get a Peppermint Mocha and make the excuses and anger to defend why you needed that mocha. Sometimes reframing things not to be about the "mocha" or "gaining weight" (examples) could work but it is best in my case to talk about other things and let me address it myself and come to my peace about it so I can let it go. Does that make sense?
Bill: Little Magpie: It makes sense and I think this is okay as long as it is not directly causing damage to others in the family. As you know, some addictive behavior puts the whole family in danger, not just the addict. Your comment is a good reminder that different issues need different approaches and that we all need to take responsibility for the change we are willing to entertain.