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What to do?

Discussion in 'Marriage and Relationships' started by jcpbutl, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. What to do?

    I'm asking this question on behalf of my brother-in-law, we'll call him Jim, concerning he and his wife "Nancy." I'm not a nosy person, but Jim is asking my advice, and I'd like to hear opinions from other Christians. TIA. :)

    In 2007, Jim and Nancy started dating. Nancy and her mother decided that she and Jim should move in together, which Jim didn't want to do. But after much argument, Jim gave in. A few months later, Nancy decided she wanted a baby. Again, Jim didn't want to, but eventually gave in. So they got pregnant and had a baby. Then she decided that since they already had an apartment and a baby that they might as well just get married...

    The rest of their marriage has followed in this pattern. Nancy wants something, Jim doesn't, but Nancy argues until he gives in.

    They're literally at a point where he has no idea what to do anymore. He's a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who, praise the Lord!, has rededicated his life to Christ and is really getting back on the right track. Nancy, however, wants nothing to do with it.

    They're basically in a loveless marriage. He's not "allowed" to kiss her, hold her hand, put his arm around her... They sleep in separate rooms. She allows her dog to sleep with her, but not her husband. Needless to say, they have LITERALLY had no intimate life since they're 15 month old baby was born. Even yesterday, Nancy made the comment that they're not having anymore children. Jim said, "Well, God may think otherwise," and Nancy's reply was, "I can control it."

    Jim has no idea what to do. She refuses to let him have a say in how they raise their child. Everything is her way or the highway. She says she loves and supports him, but she continues to bring alcohol into their home and even drinks it in front of him, even though he is a VERY recently recovering alcoholic. Yet, if he messes up, she holds it over his head. She refuses to go to church, so he just takes the baby and goes without her. She refuses to go to counseling. She'll barely even talk to him. He's tried to sit down with her and discuss their issues before, but she stays silent.

    Of course, I 100% believe that any marriage can be saved. Our God is that big and that powerful. But I also believe that marriage is two-sided. Jim wants so desparately to save his marriage, but I also believe that she has to be willing to do a little work herself.

    Jim's parents have been married for 43, and for about 35 have absolutely not been able to stand each other, and I know that 40 years down the road, Jim doesn't want to look back on his life and realize that he's turned out the same way. He just feels like he's tried everything, and she refuses to budge at all.

    He's asked me for advice, and I honestly don't know what else to tell him. I'd love some insight or thoughts from fellow Christians. Thanks in advance for anything you could share. :)
  2. she needs help.maybe they could go away for a week or so just the 2 of them,leave baby with relatives to get back on track.
  3. I think that would be a wonderful idea, but she would never leave the baby with his parents. But he refuses to leave the baby with her parents because they smoke around her.
  4. I don't think a weekend away would cure this. This woman's problems go way deeper. Based on the comments you told us she has said, she may not want to go away with him anyway and if they did, maybe she still wouldn't sleep with him. They (she) need deep, deep counseling. She doesn't sound like the type of person that would do it, though. Is the husband in a fellowship where he can possibly seek advice from a pastor or other godly, more experienced men? That would be good for him.

    If things don't work out in the long run for the marriage, I would tell him to make sure to get joint custody of their kid so that the mother doesn't play a bunch of nasty tricks on the father....she sounds like the type that would do that.
  5. He's been cofiding a lot in his twin brother, my husband, who is a good Christian man. But I still feel he needs a non-relative that he can go to for encouragement and wisdom. He has been getting closer to our church's youth pastor, who has been married for over 20 years and comes from a lot of the same background as Jim, so I think that will be good for him.
  6. Also, our church has a recovery group program that he has become interested in. I know SHE wouldn't go, but I told him that it would probably be a good idea for him to, even if he has to go alone.
  7. ok, let me start off by saying that God hates divorce. It is ugly. It rips and tears at the very fabric of society and God's plan. However, these are my comments regarding his state.

    It seems to me that this man needs to "grow up" and realize that the way he was "suckered" into a relationship was neither godly nor the right choice for him to make. (he should've seen all this coming LONG before he said 'I do' - as is obvious from the above story) That the way that he is living and the power that he allows his wife to have over him and the family is damaging to him and to his child. It is neither healthy nor right.

    My advice to the man is:

    1. seek godly counsel. Talk to his pastor and explain the situation to him and work through EVERYTHING that he does with him. This way there would be no legal lash backs... and he would be sure to handle everything godly.

    2. talk to a lawyer about the divorce/legal separation options and what he needs to do for both.

    3. file with the court.

    My opinion and the way that I see this is beyond hope. There is nothing that can be done on his part but doing the best he can to get himself and his child out of the situation. Until SHE experiences a deep transformation of character and learns a thing or two; the situation will not change.

    What he is enduring.. and allowing his child to endure.. is abuse. And I also see "refusal to make love" without physical or spiritual reasons as the same "marital unfaithfulness" as cheating.
  8. I completely agree here. It's not fair to say, "This is all her fault!" He is to blame, too. He had several people telling him it was an unwise choice, but unfortunately he was at a very low, ugly point in his life, and he didn't WANT to hear the voice of God.

    I'm actually glad to know that someone else feels this way. I consider it abuse as well, especially considering that she is not only unsupportive but completely detrimental to both his spiritual and substance abuse recoveries.
  9. The whole relationship started with a curse by them moving in together.

    If he wants to save anything, he needs to put his foot down and tell her that they are going to do what the Bible teaches and that’s that.

    It won’t be easy, but if he asks for support from other Christians, they can help him through it.
    And it just might get her to see the light.

    It would also be a good idea for him to repent of all the sins they did together before they were married. It would help if she joins him with this, but as the husband, he should have the authority to repent for them as a family. But he definitely needs to repent for moving in together… having a child… and anything else he did before the marriage.
  10. I will keep both of them in my prayers, and will especially pray that God will get ahold of Jim's wife and save her. It sure sounds like that's what she needs. And please let Jim know we are praying for his family.
  11. Thank you, Donna. All of your prayers are so greatly appreciated!
  12. I agree. But he still has to accept responsibility and repent before he can move forward. If he has not... than he can move on but not in a godly manner.

    Believe me, after my divorce, I had to learn about the whole accepting responsibility, forgiving self, forgiving her.. etc.. it is a hard process and one that I would not wish upon another. I do not envy him.

    It is absolutely abuse and should be treated as such.

    Not only that it is absolutely disrespectful and ungodly.
  13. Well, I don't think that "putting his foot down" in the relationship will do much good. I think it would just lead to a war of words and more. I think the best thing he can do is to get out of the situation... after all the time and love he has invested.. all the counseling.. and the fact that nothing has changed. He really doesn't have any other choice.

    I wouldn't go in and tell him "you MUST divorce her and run away" .. but I would tell him that he shouldn't be living in a house with that woman and neither should his child! Get a legal seperation... pray for her.. love her. But do not allow her to keep you from going closer and deeper in Christ.. do not allow her to tempt you... to usurp your God-given authority (and ultimate responsibility)...

    He should have other christians on his side... and should be in sessions with his pastor... but it is only Christ Who can and will give him the strength and wisdom to do what he needs to do.

    And yes, I did forget one piece of advice for him.... GET CLOSER TO GOD. Read your Bible, pray, spend time with God.. that is the ONLY way that you will have the strength, courage, and wisdom to know what to do and how to do it. :)

    Also, yes, he must forgive. Himself. Her.
  14. I would never advise someone to seek a divorce, unless God Himself says to do so.

    1Co 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

    This may be from Paul, and not the Lord, but it is still a revelation from God.
    No disrespect, but I would stick with this one.
    I don’t know of any verse in the Bible that would tell a believing husband to put away his unbelieving wife, other than unfaithfulness.

  15. I stand with you on this one...good advice here.

    Firstly I believe that this man must establish very firmly that he is head of the family and act on that whether his wife finds that acceptable or not.

    As head of that family it is his responsibility to ensure that their home is governed by Christian principles. The alcohol should be thrown out and he needs to make it very clear that it is not brought into the home again.

    Since she refuses to speak to her husband or listen to him why not have some Christian music playing at home ..The Lord is able to use that to speak to her heart.

    Perhaps he could buy her a small gift or flowers with a scripture verse attached and say how much he would love to get their marriage on track...just keep putting out a hand of love because we know that "love never fails".

    If he hasnt already perhaps he could get some Christian books for their child and read some bibical stories and try to draw her in that way as well because when their child begins to ask questions she will have to give some answers and show some interest.

    He needs of course to get together with his Pastor and talk this over with him. He would need to get to grips with the scriptures himself and spend much time in prayer because ultimately its The Lord who will be his rock his strength and help in this time of need.
    I will most definately hold this family up in prayer.
  16. What to do?

    It's all very well to tell Jim to "put his foot down" and be the head of the house, but it just may not be possible, as his wife does not see marriage and godly relationship in the same way. Many of the suggestions given are excellent, but a person can only live in scorn and rejection for so long. If Jim finds he cannot stay with his wife because of her attitude towards him, I would completely understand. The child is also in an unfortunate position, being exposed to a loveless relationship between his parents, and the contempt and disrespect shown by his mother towards his father, which is very damaging for any child. However, I do not think that legally, this would be adequate to give Jim custody of the child.
    I can only pray that God will intervene in this situation, mainly for the child's sake.
  17. jcpbutl
    There is one thing I forgot to mention.
    It is one thing to ask people for advice… “What do you think I should do?”
    It’s another to ask… “What do you think God would have me do?”
    And for that, we need to always turn to the Bible to see what God says.

    With God all things are possible.
    God said that, not me.
    But of course for that to happen, you need to follow what the Word says. Not what people say.
  18. Well, my father in law has apparently been looking at houses and pieces of land for Jim and Nancy because he thinks they should buy a house. My husband told him that he didn't think it was a great idea right now, and my father in law actually said, "I think getting out of that apartment would solve most of their problems!" :confused:

  19. At this point , I would say Jim and Nancy need to seek professional advice and some one who is a Christian .... whether it be his Pastor or A Christian councelor . It is very unfair that he got you involved .

    This already started to spiral downward when he accepted all the demands from her parents and has no backbone to say " No " . He also needed to say no to his wife even before they became married . They could have waited for marriage before they moved in and had a child . But that is done and they cannot cry over spilled milk and cannot turn back the clock .

    Now this poor child is caught in the middle and I am feeling very sorry for the child . Does no one think about the kid in all this and are they just thinking about themselves ?

    And for any one to suggest ..... divorce .... I also think that is not for them to say as with the right council and direction ..... God can and will turn this whole situation around .... It will take a lot of prayer and willingingness on the part of the the two parties ( Nancy And Jim ) but in the end ..... it will be worth it all ..... just for the sake of this child , if nothing more .

    Marriage is two people working together not two people working against each other . It takes a lot of work and effort but when two are joined together this is what needs to take place .

    They are together now and God ordained, so they both need to accept that they need help and tell the- in laws to " butt out "

    That is the whole problem when extended families get involved . They need to pull together and not listen to in laws or out laws or whoever.

    Is any one thinking of the child here ?

    God Bless and I am praying :groupray::groupray::groupray:

  20. I mean no disrespect here, but that statement is borderline insane thinking.

    If the apartment had a leaky tub, or bad wiring, or rodents… it would fix those problems, but a geographical change will never fix personal problems.
    It’s no different than if someone went to see a counselor because they have a leaky roof.
    It just aint gonna work.

    And the Bible talks about that as well.
    Jonah tried the geographical change.
    It didn’t work for him.

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