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a pic I took of a "wedding cake topper at Wal-mart

But I’m Right! I am the Better Leader. I Should Be in Charge.

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  • This seems like more than I can handle (part 1)
  • When do I get to the “peaceful” part? (part 1)
  • I don’t want to lose my voice in my marriage. (part 2)
  • I feel like I am losing myself. (part 2)
  • I feel so lonely. (part 3)
  • I don’t know how to say things respectfully to my husband, so I am just not saying anything at all. (part 3)
  • My husband isn’t changing at all.   (part 4)
  • Respect doesn’t work on my husband. (part 4)
  • But I’m right!
  • I’m so scared to give up control! I need to be in charge! Everything will fall apart if I don’t take charge!
  • He doesn’t deserve my respect! (Part 6)
  • My husband doesn’t love me and is not on board with this marriage. (Part 4)
  • Why can’t HE change first?  Why do I have to change when he’s the one who is so far from God and so unloving? (Part 7)

9. But I’m Right!

Hold on here, ladies!  This is probably going to be a painful one.  I pray that God’s Spirit will speak directly to you today – as I pray for every post.  My wisdom is worthless.  The only message that matters is God’s truth and His Word.  May we each be prayerfully attentive to anything His Spirit wants us to hear.

I’m going to deconstruct what God showed me a few years ago was really going on in my mind, heart and soul…  and – it was NOT pretty.

Here is what was behind my attitude for those first 14.5 years in our marriage that “I’m right.”

  • I truly believed that I was always right and Greg was always wrong.  Always.
  • I also believed that I understood God’s will and Greg didn’t.
  • I believed I was more spiritual and more spiritually mature than Greg.
  • I prayed daily and read my Bible daily.  Sometimes I prayed for 4 hours/day on my days off.  See how spiritual I was?
  • I told God what He needed to do.  I dictated things to Him.  I could just see it all so clearly.  So – I was happy to tell Him what He needed to do in each and every situation.  Because – I clearly knew best and had such incredible wisdom.
  • I believed that I was a strong Christian and Greg was not.
  • I believed I was “better than” Greg.
  • I believed I made better decisions than Greg did.
  • I believed I was smarter than Greg.  I had the grades and scholarships to “prove it”.  And I could quote so much more of the Bible than he could.
  • I believed I “had” to take over leadership in the marriage because Greg “wouldn’t” lead.  I mean – I asked him to make decisions.  And then I waited all of 5-20 minutes.  When he couldn’t come up with an answer after I pressured him that whole time  – I clearly had to take over.  He should think just like me and make decisions as quickly as I do – or he’s obviously “wrong.”
  • I trusted my wisdom much more than I trusted Greg’s wisdom.  His ideas didn’t make sense to me.
  • My perspective was the only one on the planet that I deemed to be “correct” and “valid.” If someone didn’t think just like I did – they were automatically “wrong.”
  • I set myself up above God, too.  Not consciously – but I believed I was “above” having to forgive people.  I deserved to hold on to grudges and resentment because other people were wrong and I was right.  There were a number of passages in scripture that I just blatantly ignored and did things my way instead – not even acknowledging that I was rebelling against Scripture.

I was blind to my mountain of sin.  I didn’t just have a 2X4 in my eye.  I had a massive forest. 🙁  Turns out I – April Cassidy – am a WRETCHED sinner.  I never truly faced that before.

So – I don’t know if you are able to see it or not –  It’s just so obscure and difficult to notice (ha!) –  but – my PRIDE was through the roof.  I’m not sure how God measures pride.  Mine was off the charts.

Quite honestly, looking at it now – my pride must have been as big or bigger than Satan’s.  He set out to be “equal” to God.  I set myself above God in my heart.  I worshipped SELF.  I trusted ME.  I thought I was an awesome Christian.  But I didn’t actually trust God.  I didn’t understand His sovereignty.  I lived as if I was sovereign and everything was completely up to me to make things happen “right.”

If you compare my line of thought with the Pharisees – I think I would have made a pretty “good Pharisee”  – if women were allowed to be Pharisees.  You know – Jesus had much more harsh words for the Pharisees who were prideful and self-righteous than He did for thieves, murderers, adulterers, tax-collectors and prostitutes.

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.  James 4:6

God didn’t answer my prayers for Him to change Greg all those years.  I would get so mad about that, too!  I would pray for Greg to pray with me.  That was clearly God’s will, right?  And by that night at 11:30pm when Greg didn’t pray with me, I was SO ANGRY at God and at Greg.  They were NOT doing God’s will!  It was exasperating.  I tried to drag Greg and God around to do MY will.  But I didn’t see that my pride caused God to oppose me to my face.

Really – although I never consciously saw it this way and would never have SAID any of these things to myself or out loud, what I really expected was for:

  • Greg to submit to ME
  • God to submit to ME
  • other people to do MY will
  • other people to obey ME
  • people to admit that I was always right, wise and good
  • people to see that they needed my help and my wisdom desperately

I expected, basically, to be worshipped – because I worshipped myself.

UGH.

You know – when you see it all broken down and written out like this – it looks REALLY, REALLY AWFUL!

This is what in my heart when I was disrespectful, controlling and contentious.  

  • Idolatry of self.
  • The belief that I am sovereign, not God.
  • The belief that it is my RIGHT and my DUTY to make other people do what I think they should do.
  • The belief that it is the responsibility and duty of others to do what I say to do.

This is why I could get so angry if people didn’t do what I wanted them to do.  This is why I believed I should and could control others.  This is why I had the right to be disrespectful – because I had myself in my heart as god.  Other people owed me obedience and reverence and respect.  They would face my wrath if they wouldn’t cooperate with my leadership and my self-appointed “authority.”

  • Is there any sin that is worse than idolatry?

I am truly the chief of sinners.

I committed idolatry every waking moment for probably 30 years.  I thought I trusted Jesus.  I said I trusted Jesus.  But the fruit of my life and reality was that I didn’t trust and obey Jesus.  I was not full of His Spirit.  My sinful nature was in firm control and I broke the 1st commandment constantly.  Thousands and thousands of times – hundreds of thousands of times or more.  I was an idolator and didn’t even know it.

That is why I had no peace or joy.  I was worried, afraid and very lonely.  I was trying to carry the weight of God on my shoulders.  That is STRESSFUL!  And I was trying to carry the weight of the marriage and family on my shoulders that God designed Greg to carry, not me.  That was too much weight for me!

My pride repelled God and repelled other people.

  • Is there any sin that is worse than pride?  

That was the sin of Lucifer (who became Satan).  It is a root sin for practically every other sin – my thinking that I know best and my wisdom is higher than God’s and I am exempt from having to obey God’s Word because I am above God.

I am SO VERY THANKFUL that God humbled me.

THE TRUTH THAT SET ME FREE:

  • God is wise.  I am not.  God’s wisdom is infinitely higher than my own.  My wisdom is foolishness in God’s sight.
  • God is God.  I am a sinful, weak, small human made of dust.
  • God is good.  I am not.  My best attempts at holiness are like “filthy, bloody menstrual rags” in God’s sight. (Isaiah 64)
  • I am desperately wretchedly sinful on my own and I NEED the blood, mercy, forgiveness and grace of Christ.
  • The wages of sin is death.  Romans 3:23 – that is what I earned.  I deserve separation from God.
  • I didn’t just owe Him $2000 sin dollars or something small.  I owe Him BILLIONS.
  • I have sinned MUCH.  Now I have been forgiven MUCH.  Now I can love Jesus MUCH.
  • God’s Word has wisdom.  I need the wisdom of God and His Word.
  • God’s Word says that my husband is to be the head of our marriage and our home.  God designated Greg to be in charge, not me.  I Corinthians 11:3.  That is God’s wisdom for me.
  • Greg has wisdom to offer to me that will bless me.
  • I do not always know best.
  • I am not always right.
  • God always knows best.  He is always right.
  • Greg may know better than I do.  He may be right sometimes and I may be wrong.
  • Humility is beautiful and is the first step of this journey.  I must be “poor in spirit,” able to recognize my utter spiritual poverty before a holy, righteous, just JUDGE and King of the universe.

Submission begins for every disciple of Christ when we submit ourselves totally to Jesus.  Then, out of reverence and submission to Him, I then obey His commands to me as a wife to respect my husband and submit to (honor his leadership).  God is God.  I submit to Him!  Not the  other way around!

10. I am the better leader.  I have to be in charge.

That picture at the top of this post makes me REALLY sad now.  But it accurately portrays my attitude earlier in our marriage.  It is not a beautiful picture of marriage!  I made a selfish mess out of things.

God does not designate the husbands to be the leaders because they are “more valuable” or “better than” wives or because wives are “second class” somehow.  He designed marriage to be this way out of His wisdom and in order to showcase the profound mystery of the relationship between Christ and the church.  In Ephesians 5:22-33, God intends the husband in every marriage to represent the selfless, unfailing love of Christ for His church.  And God intends the wife to represent the reverence, adoration and submission of the church for Christ.

God has assigned us parts in as if in a “play” – that our children and the world around us might watch and be in awe of this relationship that points clearly to Christ and His salvation that is available to us all.

This is not about who has a higher IQ or a better college education.  It’s not about who makes a better choice about individual decisions.

This is about God’s wisdom that is infinitely higher than my own.  It is about His purposes being fulfilled in my marriage.  It is about His glory.  

It is about HIM – not me.

  • If God will be greatly glorified by me following my husband’s leadership – great!  I accept His will and His design.  I want to be the best follower I can be.
  • If God wants to show me that He is able to lead me through this imperfect husband of mine to accomplish His will – who am I to tell God that He is wrong and my way is better?  I humble myself before Almighty God and seek to obey Him in all things whether I understand it or not, whether I agree with Him or not, whether it is politically correct or not, whether anyone else is obeying Him or not.
  • If God wants to draw people to Christ through this particular design for marriage, and He is my LORD – then I am on board all the way.  “Lord, tell me what You want me to do.  I’m on it!”
  • If God wants to teach my husband to be more like Christ by having him lead in our marriage – I will support all that God wants to do in Greg’s heart and life.  I will be a teammate to Greg, cheering him on and blessing him as he seeks to fulfill God’s role for him.
  • If God wants me to be a servant to my husband and family and to others – that is what I want to be!
  • If God wants to teach my children and model for them how to submit to God-given authorities in their lives – then I want to set the most beautiful and God-empowered example for them ever and leave a godly legacy for them to follow.  I want those who come behind me to find me faithful by God’s power working in me.

This marriage thing is not about Greg and April.

It is about God.

It is about His kingdom.

It is about His glory.

What a blessing, honor and privilege to be God’s daughter, to be free from my sin, to have access to the riches of heaven, to be able to play the part God has assigned to me with passion, joy, thanksgiving and honor.

When I do things God’s way – He is glorified and I am blessed.

52 thoughts on “But I’m Right! I am the Better Leader. I Should Be in Charge.

  1. April, I am really loving this series! I am seeing things about myself that I didn’t see before. God is really opening my eyes and heart, more and more!! Thank you so much! 🙂

    1. Bridget,

      These are some tough things to face. Very humbling things. But we have to see this stuff before God can change us. There are so many blessings on the other side of this painful step.

      I am glad God is using this to help you see things more clearly. 🙂

      Much love!

  2. Yes,yes! I echo what Bridget said. Looking at the idols and pride in my life.. Wow. Seriously, I didn’t know the level of sin. No wonder peace hasn’t been my companion very much.

  3. That was great! I’ve actually said this to my husband thinking it made total logical sense! That I was the more experienced leader and had a better education / higher IQ.. And then I was completely confused when that caused an argument! 🙂

      1. Thank you April. I really love reading the comments as well as the postings. It’s nice to know that even “mature” Christian women have struggled with things like pride, trust and disrespecting their husbands. I don’t actually have the spiritual vocabulary to pull scripture into my head at the moment I need it. So, I’m keeping a handy list of one’s I know I will need. Because.. I know me and I know I will most definitely need them to prevent any type of anerysm that could occur whilst keeping my sarcastic comments to myself.

        Fortunately for me, my husband has been similar to when you tell the dog you’re taking him for a walk or a car ride.. 🙂 Although, he is confused by the fact that now everyone in our blended family is coming to him for what they need or for a decision on something.. That’s just an added bonus for me. And I am positive that he will adjust to it.

        Looking forward to reading more, learning more and growing more..

        Gail

        1. Gail,

          I just love you to pieces already. I sure wish I could hug your neck! I think you and I would just be the best of friends. We still can be – we’ll just do it online. 🙂

          I kind of enjoy that part when the husband is confused. That is probably awful. But – it is kind of fun when husbands don’t know what on earth is going on and expect their wives to be mad – but the wife responds with respect and faith and trust and the husband just stands there not knowing what just happened.

          So glad we are on this road together, my friend!

          I LOVE my husband handling all the questions from everyone. It takes a lot of stress off of my mind! Yes, your hubby will adjust and he will love it!

  4. I especially like the “play” metaphor. I used to want to “play” the lead AND the supporting role. As though, if say, the play was Jesus Christ Superstar, I would want to play Jesus AND Judas… at the same time! Hilarious and confusing! Firstly, I am a woman. Secondly, I should only stick to ONE role — TWO roles at once makes for a bad play wherein I would be exhausted and the audience would be unhappy AND confused! 🙂

    Thanks for the daily posts, April. Your blog plus the Bible are my daily source of strength. My spiritual Vitamins. :)God bless you, dear sis!

    1. Veronica,

      Yes- one person attempting to play two parts would be confusing for the audience and exhausting for the actress. So true! 🙂

      I continue to pray for you and for your country!! You are all on my heart all day every day.

  5. This. THIS. If you wrote nothing else, April, this post in and of itself contains the wisdom and the biblical perspective that would revolutionize Christian marriages if it were taken to heart by Christian wives. As you know, my own marriage was very similar to yours, but without the awakening you (thankfully) experienced. In most other Christian marriages I’ve observed over the years, the story is similar. At best, even if the wife doesn’t insist on being the leader of the two, she insists on being co-leader and has at least some significant areas in which she disrespects her husband. As a result, after my divorce I was very skeptical that your teaching would find much of an audience; not that it isn’t both critical and true, but because it goes against the grain so much. So I’ve been blessed to see the number of women who have responded to your writings (with God’s help, as I’m sure you’d say). God bless you and keep it up.

    1. David J.,

      I agree! This entire series of posts this week have been very much God-inspired, from my perspective. But this one, in my view, is one of the most important posts I have written.

      It is not until a wife is able to clearly see the depth of her sin and really understand the debt she owes to God, that she can truly humble herself and mourn properly over her sin and realize just how much Jesus paid for her sin on the cross.

      We must come to Him being “poor in spirit” – that is the first beattitude. It means that we acknowledge our utter spiritual bankruptcy before our holy God.

      I used to think I maybe owed Jesus $2000 or so, if that. Now, I know I owe Him BILLIONS.

      It is terrifying to me to realize that I accepted Christ at 5 years of age, grew up in the church, believed I understood grace, thought of myself as a strong Christian, read my Bible daily, prayed up to 4 hours per day and did not see ANY of this sin in my heart.

      I was not confronted with it at church. Almost all the verses that deal with marriage and women in the New Testament were ignored, it seemed to me, as “culturally irrelevant.” No one dissected my line of thought to show me my sin. I had no idea the sin that powered my ideas and beliefs. I was deceived. I deceived myself.

      Our Baptist church taught a lot about our responsibility and free will, but I totally missed the sovereignty of God in my life and in the world. I took on all of the responsibilities of God upon myself from the time I was a young elementary school aged girl and my warped views of God and myself continued on unchallenged.

      I can trace back my complete lack of understanding of where my responsibilities end to when I was 8 years old. I cried every night because people were starving around the world and I wasn’t fixing it.

      How I wish someone had explained God’s sovereignty and the limits of my responsibility and led me to pray for those in need and to save up money to give to those in need. I believe that could have helped to steer me more toward truth and healthy spiritual growth, humility and faith in God’s sovereign hand.

      I also believe if I had received constructive criticism and rebukes for my prideful, disrespectful attitudes growing up, that could have prevented me from going down this path. That is something I consider very carefully as we raise our own children.

      Now I am an adult. So it is my responsibility to trash the lies and misunderstandings of childhood, the culture and the church and rebuild on solid doctrine and scripture.

      I pray that God might speak to many women through this post and draw them to Himself.

      Thanks for your support and prayers.

  6. Wow. I saw myself (thankfully how I used to be) in your post. I too saw myself as always right and the better person in my marriage. The fact that my husband and I have just celebrated our 30th anniversary is, first, because of God’s love and mercy, and second, because my husband is such a good, gracious man. For the last few years I have been learning more and more about how to be the woman God wants me to be. Your blog has so much God inspired wisdom. I truly thank you for sharing!
    It feels so wonderful and yes PEACEFUL to release my death grip of control and relax in God’s and my husband’s care. I am truly feeling “the peace that passes all understanding.” My husband is smiling now and being sweeter to me more and more every day.
    Keep the posts coming!

    1. W.,
      Congratulations on celebrating your 30th anniversary! What a blessing! 🙂

      I am so excited about what God is teaching you and all that He is doing in your heart.

      Tell me something, W., many women in the early stages of this journey are terrified to give up control – looking back now – do you feel like you had to sacrifice anything that was actually valuable to do this God’s way? It sounds to me like it has been more than worth it to you. 🙂

      I love that you are living in God’s supernatural peace and resting in His love and your husband’s love. I know I NEVER want to go back to my old ways of doing things! You could not PAY me to do that stuff anymore!

      Much love to you my sister!

      1. Thank you, April!
        The changes in me did not happen overnight. You speak of a journey. That is exactly what it is and the destination is personal joy and peace.

        As far back as I can remember, being in control of my own life was prominent in my attitudes and actions. My father left my mother for another woman when I was five. I was home and witnessed the horrible verbal and physical fight that culminated in his squealing car tires as he left. I saw my Mom weeping and begging him not to leave. I guess this was my first lesson in self-reliance. I’d never put myself in a position with anyone where I would need them so much I’d fall apart if or really WHEN they left.

        I truly thought that self-reliance was evidence of personal strength and was a laudable trait. Asking for help was a sign of weakness. Being too attached to someone was just asking for trouble. I was saved by Christ and believed the Bible but I had no understanding of my own sin: arrogance, pride, and distrust of everyone INCLUDING God. I was blind to my own sin and was convinced I was better than most people. This spilled over into my marriage in a poisonous tide. I grabbed onto the steering wheel from the passenger seat all the while thinking I knew better. And the most incredulous thing? I thought my husband would be pleased that I wasn’t a needy woman, that he would be happy that he didn’t have to see after me! Boy, oh, boy.

        So, have I given up anything of value? No, I think I have FOUND that treasure in a field that Jesus spoke of. I have traded my ashes for beauty. I have a growing relationship with Jesus that is real. I trust God to take care of me. My realization that I am as you said a “wretched sinner” was the best thing that ever happened to me! Because of this, the poisonous tide in my marriage has changed to the sweetest water. I am not perfect in this journey but I want my life to be a testimony to what following God’s plan can do in a marriage. My husband responded positively almost immediately to the changes in me. Where before he never mentioned God, now he occasionally reaches out to take my hand to pray over our meal. Where before he was sullen and absent, now he plans things for us to do TOGETHER.

        But the greatest change has been in me. I am calmer and more joyful. I have discovered that from the passenger seat one can truly enjoy the scenery! I can rest when I get tired or dance in my seat if I want to! 🙂 I look forward to the rest of my journey.

        I am thankful for your blog. It is such a blessing to have this helpful resource readily available. You and your husband are on my list of people I thank God for in prayer.

        1. W.,

          Wow! Your experience with your parents BREAKS MY HEART!!!!!!!

          You learned to expect men to leave and to expect to have to take care of yourself. That dramatically impacted your understanding of God, men, marriage, masculinity and femininity… I can’t begin to imagine how big the scars would be from that devastating experience.

          I LOVE your story! Gives me chills!

          I wonder if you might allow me to share these two comments anonymously as a post? I think that many other wives might be greatly encouraged.

          I am so excited about what God is doing in your life and marriage!!!!! WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!

          Yes – this is the treasure Jesus was talking about- it is worth giving up everything else in the world to have it.

          Much love to you my precious sister! Thank you for shining for Him and allowing Him to work in you!

  7. Love this post April!!! Such incredible life changing truths!!! And I’m a testimony of that!!! Praising God for you! And praying each wife that reads this will allow God to let these truths change them and their marriage and bring Him Glory in the process!! I think one of the biggest changes I’ve experienced as I’ve done this journey is I have an unshakeable trust in God! I truly believe He is sovereign and I delight in waiting on Him in every situation. He is faithful!!

    1. Angelique,

      It has been quite a ride since July of 2012 with you! 🙂 I am in AWE of all that God has done in your life, in your husband and in your marriage. I praise Him that He opened your eyes and for the beautiful work He is doing in your life. You are a treasure and a blessing to me my friend! Thank you of praying for the other wives. This week – I have seen God move powerfully in so many lives. I can’t wait to see all He has in store! 🙂

      That is the most important thing – our walk with Christ, our trust and faith in His sovereignty, our obedience to Him. 🙂 It’s pretty amazing to be able to say, “I delight waiting on Him now!” I can remember when I was the WORST wait-er EVER! 🙂 But now – I trust Him. How I pray that my trust and faith will just continue to grow exponentially. 🙂 I pray the same thing for you. He is so very good and He is faithful. AND – His timetables are perfect.

  8. God gave me a test on this one today. Yesterday, my husband had to make a decision. I knew he was making the wrong decision but I didn’t push my opinion. I told him that I trusted him to do the right thing. Today that decision turned out to be wrong and cost us money we didn’t have. In the past, I would have insisted he do it my way in the first place and if he didn’t I would berate him all day for not listening to me. But, instead, I just didn’t say anything and just planned a nice afternoon for us. I am not happy with what happen and I want to question God why He allowed this to happen but I am trying to be at peace and see it as a test that I am passing.

    1. Great job, DaisyMae!

      This is part of God teaching your husband to lead. It is by his mistakes he will learn the most. I hope he is willing to learn and grow from this experience. I am so proud of you!

      If this continues to happen, you may have to address it – but right now, let’s see what God does! 🙂

      keep me updated, please!

    2. DaisyMae and April,

      I can really relate to that. A husband making a bad decision with consequences that impact us to a major degree.. I went along with a decision my husband made concerning a grandson we were raising. He was 4 at the time, he’s 5 1/2 now. For the last year that our grandson lived with us his parents (my daughter and son in law) were going thru a divorce. Prior to that they all lived with us. They had fallen into addiction and neither of them were around much. In fact, there were weeks when I did not even know if my daughter was alive. Her husband was always gone for days at a time, he was having an affair with her best friend. Eventually, they both moved out leaving our grandson with us (Thank God for that because they were a mess).

      We cared for our grandson and prayed for the best with my daughter and her ex-husband. Despite everything I love my daughter and my ex son in law. I was angry that he introduced my daughter to meth. I was disappointed that he could never keep a job more than a couple of weeks. But his father introduced meth to him and had the same work ethic. So, I felt like I could not blame him solely. We wanted to help them both be solid parents.

      Fast forward a year, my daughter was in her last week of a 30 day in-patient rehab. Her ex husband had not seen his son in 6 months. He called out of the blue and asked if he could spend the weekend with his son. He seemed to be sober again and I wanted my grandson to have time with both parents. I did not know that he married the best friend like 2 months prior and that her parents were very wealthy and very controlling. Hence, I would have never, ever expected malicious behavior from my ex son in law. I spoke with his mother almost daily and she spent tons of time with our (her) grandson too. She also had no idea he had gotten married or what he planned to do. Whatever his issues were he knew we loved and took good care of our grandson.

      Well, he didn’t return my grandson. Instead he filed emergency papers to take him from my daughter and us. He hired a very high dollar attorney that his new inlaws paid for. This little boy had been our entire lives for almost 4 years. And he was ripped out of our lives and his home. I wanted to hire an attorney right away. My husband wanted me to wait and let him and my daughter go to court. My husband kept telling me that our ex son in law would do the right thing. He threw a lot of “be still and pray” and “wait and trust God” and such at me. I did that. Reluctantly but I did that. I wanted to handle it and I did not want to be still. I really felt like this was a time to act. A time to do something. I wasn’t opposed to one of my grandson’s parents stepping up to the plate to care for him. I was opposed to us not being able to see him. And I wanted to fight for that. But we waited.

      It got worse and worse. Eventually 3 1/2 months later he agreed that we should hire an attorney. But the court said we could not ask for even grandparent visitation at that point because we “waited too long”. If we had filed within the first 60 days he would have heard it but we “waited too long”. So at this point it would be up to my daughter to get her life together and get visitation or placement back. I had no idea how the hell that was going to happen since after court she really slid downhill.

      Up until a month ago, I literally felt like I hated my husband over this. In fact, my exact words to him that day were, “I hate you and I will never forgive you”. I was mad at him, I was mad at God but didn’t feel like I could express that. So, I went out of my way to do every single thing contrary to what my husband said or wanted. I threw myself into work so that I would not have to spend any time with him. Even on the holidays. I was literally beligerent to him at every request, suggestion or even if he questioned why I did something. I didn’t ask him to do stuff, I just told him to do it. He didn’t respond positively to any of it of course. And when we argued, I made sure that I dropped the “F” bomb because I knew it upset him. I think deep down I wanted to entice him to fight with me. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t want him to be happy either. I did not tell him how I felt about his decision, how it hurt me, what I was going thru or even cry in front of him.. But I acted on every bit of it. It really all just came to a collision in October. It literally was turning me into a little ball of hate and rage that was so not me. Eventually it was easy to skip church and I did not open my bible up since Feb of this year. Until, last month. It was a very dark year for us.

      It’s been 18 months since I have seen my grandson, hugged him, spoken to him, read him a bedtime story or tucked him into bed. . I get choked up even when I type that now. But now I do realize that God’s plan is always perfect. I don’t understand to this day why it happened the way it did. Taking my grandson from me was probably the only thing that could crush me. But it has altered my daughters entire life.

      In May she found out she was pregnant, in June she moved back home. 2 weeks ago my granddaughter was born and she is perfect and healthy. She’s been clean since she found out about the baby. She is working hard to see her son. Working hard to get her life back together. I think eventually we will have to go back to court to enforce that visitation but that will most likely not occur until early next year. I don’t like it, it makes me crazy especially during the holiday’s but i do know now that timing is important. Not just my timing. 🙂

      One thing I realized a few weeks ago was that my husband lives with that decision on his heart just like I do. He was very close to our grandson. I work, my husband does not. So he was the one that took care of him and spent time with him every day / all day. He just dealt with the loss differently. The hardest thing for me to remember is that I need to at least give Mark the grace I would give a stranger. Really more than that but it is harder to do in the marriage vs giving grace to strangers. Odd I know. I know in my heart if we could go back, I would not have to force a different decision. He would make a different choice.

      My being the financial support of the family also makes it very hard for me to always follow him at times. Because even tho my husband is a better steward of our money than I am, I feel like earn a living that allows us to be very comfortable. And I do hear it from family about how I earn it and how can I let him “control it”. Except my mom because she knows I would never save anything.

      We still argue about money from time to time but he makes sure that the budget allows the support of our grandkids and our kids. Because it’s important to me. As long as our daughters are doing what they need to be doing to get their lives in order. We also had to change their habit of coming to me for things they need and to ask him directly. That has helped the arguments some. I know that if I do it, they will do it. If I don’t, they will not respect what he says. So I do it, even if I have to make myself do it sometimes right now. It does not come natural for me.

      Now he also makes sure that we have what he calls “homeless people” money put aside. I talk to homeless people and sometimes after talking to them for awhile I feel like they really need a specific thing or specific help. It still bothers him because he thinks it’s not safe but he understands that I will literally lose sleep over it if I don’t at least find out what’s going on with them. I don’t know why it bothers me so much, I have never been homeless, no family that was homeless but it just hurts me at a deep level to see it. But I digress 🙂

      In short, (too late I know), I have no idea how to handle disagreement when it comes to the things that have a huge impact on our lives. I just don’t throw a tantrum anymore. Or at least not every time. Well, at least not in the last month. Not externally anyway, it’s more of an internal tantrum in my own head now. Hey, that’s still progress.. 🙂

      Now that I have been on this “journey” and he is changing too, even the little mistakes he makes impacts him. I can see it in his face. He takes it a lot harder when I trust him and he fails than I realized. So, ultimately, he does not ever want to or intend to let me down. Much less see me hurt. It just happens occassionally because he’s human too. I can only guess at what the result would have been if I had been in charge. I don’t really know. My decisions could have also been bad ones.

      I have to remind myself that he is human. I have to remind myself that 95% of his decisions are good. I constantly have to remind myself that God’s plan is always a perfect plan. Whether I understand it or not. And I have to trust God to bring us out of this. Without reluctance but with genuine faith. Which is hard because even tho I don’t think he would take my grandson from me forever, I did feel like God was picking on me alot this year. I don’t feel that way anymore but I sure did feel that way.

      There is still a big hole in our lives but at least we talk about it now. It probably would have ended our marriage if I had not gotten to a point of forgiving him for this decision that ended up with an unexpected horrible consequence. In hindsight, I think the minute I decided that I was not going to follow what God wanted me to do, Trusting God, forgiving my husband, praying to God instead of worrying to God, doing everything with reluctance instead of out of faith, etc, etc (the list is huge). My relationship with Mark started to fall apart too. I didn’t realize that was what I was doing. I’m sure I turned away from God at the moment this happened. I’m not even sure my anger was ever at my husband. I’m pretty sure it was just easier to direct it there instead of God.

      I know it’s a long story but I always enjoy reading other women’s stories on here because it makes me feel like I’m not so abnormal with this being so hard at times.

      1. Gail,

        Wow.

        The consequences of that one decision would be extremely painful to live with. Goodness. I cannot imagine! I am sure your husband grieves over it every day himself. I am so thankful that God has given you the power to forgive your husband. That bitterness could have destroyed your marriage. I don’t know God’s plans for your precious grandbaby. But I am so thankful that you see God’s sovereignty in the midst of all of this.

        I pray for God’s will and His glory for you, for Mark, for your marriage, for your daughter, for your former son in law and for your daughter.

        Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to see what God has in store!

        Much love to you!

        1. April,

          If I post it you can use it. 🙂 It doesn’t have to be anonymous. I used to think we were the only ones dealing with this type of thing. I was surprised lately to find out how many couples deal with stuff like this. No matter what economic status or religious beliefs or area they live or what family dynamic they have or whether they went to private or public school. It literally has zero boundries.

          I can tell you that a child falling into drug abuse (especially as an adult) is a very hard thing for a couple to remain on the same page about. You can’t put a bandaid on that. It’s not like when you have a child (adult or minor) that has a serious illness. The natural response for people is to comfort in those cases. Nobody brings a casserole over when you find out your kid’s a drug addict. Some friends and family are supportive emotionally and other friends and family become actually distant, judgemental or even hostile towards you. And if you had a nickle for every person that said, “If it were MY kid….. ” you’d be filthy rich. Most of the time there is chaos and in the moments where there isn’t you are waiting for the next emergency to happen.

          Mom’s and Dad’s deal with it so differently. As a mom, I wanted to drag her out of it. I went places looking for her that I should never go at all, much less alone. Every accident, shooting, drug house incident where a young woman was mentioned I wanted to make sure it wasn’t my daughter. I literally would have gone to hell and ripped her out of the devil’s mouth. There wasn’t a place I wouldn’t go, a person I wouldn’t confront or any amount of money I wouldn’t have paid to save her. I prayed about it but I don’t think I really had (at that time) the faith that God could handle that particular trouble. At least not without MY help.. Besides I was a new baby Christian and didn’t really feel like I had earned the right to ask God for big things like that. I couldn’t quote the bible and didn’t know all of God’s nicknames or even how to “pray right”. I didn’t know that prayers and miracles didn’t happen on some priority system.

          My husband felt that was crazy. Which actually made me crazy. His way of thinking was that there wasn’t anything we could do if we found her. We could not force recovery. To top it off, my husband is a large man (6’7″), very strong and with an intimidating appearance. I felt like he could make “those people” stay away from her. His logical self told him that even if you drive that circle of friends away there will be new ones. Better the devil you know I guess. In his view she was an adult and her consequences were her own to deal with up until she was ready to be helped. And he felt like I kept running interference on God’s plan for her. But in my defense, I felt like God had one son who did everything he was asked to do. He did not have experience with a daughter who was lost and being rebellious and troubled. Do you see the irony there? I did not see it then, but I sure do now.

          We fought about money spent on rehab, money spent on legal fees, money spent on just trying to find her and make sure she was safe. He didn’t like thinking or talking about it, for me it was all there was to talk about. I had to put it away and work and take care of my grandson but the rest of my time and emotional energy was all spent on her. And we fought about that. I had nothing left for him and he felt cheated. Last year, after my grandson was ripped out of our lives, I even tried to cancel Christmas! Which we of course fought about.

          We lived in total chaos for 2 1/2 years. The last year with me being hateful and angry at him. And we’ve only been married for 4 years. In outward appearence we were handling things very well and seemed normal. You would think at this point, now that we feel like we are out of the darkest part of the storm, that we would have some perspective and not fight about the small stuff. To some degree, I would say we are getting there. I think the biggest mistake we made was that individually we neglected our relationship with God. Especially me. And when that relationship is being neglected, I swear it seems like all other relationships (on the ground) are in chaos.

          In the end, I don’t think my husband was ever really “wrong”. We just are different. I try to think about that before I respond now. I make an effort to appreciate that he is trying to give me a different perspective. My husband doesn’t demand that I do things his way. He will say things like, “try it my way for once”. I have no idea why that angered me. He wasn’t asking me to change how I felt or do something horrible. He was asking me (still asks me) to “try” to do things “different” based on what he thinks would be in “my best interest”. Somehow I always translate that into he’s trying to make me do everything his way so that he can be right all the time.

          Now, I stop and ask myself. If one of my female friends, that I respect and love gave me this advice would I feel threatened and defensive or would I think it was good advice? You wouldn’t believe how many times the answer is yes, I would think it was good advice.

          1. Gail,

            Goodness, how heartbreaking!!!!!

            As a pharmacist, I have seen many people and families go through dealing with various addictions. Meth has to be one of the worst – and is very prevalent in the area where I work.

            I cannot begin to imagine what a strain this put on your marriage. I am thankful for you sharing your story – and I think you describe a pretty normal dynamic where a mom is more tempted to try to nurture and intervene and fathers are more likely to try to allow the child to suffer consequences of their choices and learn from their mistakes.

            You are right that there is not the support for parents of children with addictions that there is for parents of children with serious illnesses. That is extremely unfortunate – because families in a crisis like this need more support, love and prayers than ever.

            Hmmm… you give me much to think about. Thank you so much, Gail!!!!

            And thank you for allowing me to share more of your story. 🙂 I have a feeling God has plans to use all of it for GREAT GOOD.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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