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Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced

Here are some lies I have come up with that some of us may believe – I’m sure they don’t all apply to everyone, but they may give you some ideas to prayerfully consider as you invite the Holy Spirit to examine the hidden motives of your heart in your quiet time. This is not an exhaustive list! If you recognize that some of these lies are things you struggle with, I invite you to search on a site like www.openbible.com or www.biblegateway.com for terms to find verses in Scripture that reveals God’s truth about these topics. Be willing to REALLY dig into whatever lies are issues for you and spend as much time as you need to hash through what is true and what is not true. Some of these things are not conscious beliefs, but rather unconscious fixed beliefs upon which we have built our lives. Allow God to transform your thinking though the power of His Word! Compare everything any human author said against the Bible. Be willing to trash ungodly thinking and rebuild your life on God’s Word.

Lies about Perfectionism/People Pleasing:

1. I should be able to be perfect in my own strength without Christ. I’m a good person. I am not a wretched sinner.
2. Other people’s approval is the most important thing.
3. If I can do things perfectly in my eyes, I can control everything and I will be safe and can be guaranteed the outcomes I desire.
4. My approval and opinions are more important than God’s.
5. I am responsible for things that really aren’t my responsibility.
6. If I am not worried, afraid, and trying so hard that I am exhausted, I don’t really love other people.
7. I can’t relax and enjoy intimacy with God or with others.
8. My value is in what I do – not in who I am or in what Christ did for me.
9. If I don’t ever make mistakes, other people will love me and never be upset with me. This is a reasonable plan.
10. Perfection, in my definition(i.e.: how clean my house is, or how much I follow a list of manmade rules), is more important than people and relationships.
11. I am the key here, not God.

Resources:

You may also search my home page search bar for things like:

Lies about God:

1. He is not good.
2. He is out to get me.
3. I have to earn His love.
4. God is holding out on me.
5. God’s commands are oppressive.
6. God is small and wimpy.
7. God is evil.
8. God is tempting me.
9. God can’t help me.
10. God won’t help me.
11. God is not sovereign. People are.
12. God is a tyrant. And people are just robots with no choices.
13. God needs me.
14. Jesus is not enough for me.
15. Circumstances are greater than God is.
16. God’s Word is not true or not totally true.
17. I can’t trust God.
18. God is not loving.
19. God is not just.
20. God should submit to me.
21. God just wants me to be happy (by my own definition of temporary fleshly happiness).

 

Resources:

On my site:

Lies about Self:

1. I know better than God.
2. I am worthless/ugly/unloveable.
3. Even if I am in Christ, I am still a wretched sinner, I cannot receive my new identity and new self in Christ.
3. I am not a “real person” or a “real woman.”
4. God’s promises and His Word apply to other people, but not to me.
5. I know best for others. They all need my help and wisdom but I can’t ask for help or need help.
6. I can convict others of sin, that is my job. I am responsible for others’ decisions, choices, and the consequences they experience.
7. My sin isn’t as bad as other people’s sin.
8. God can’t forgive me.
9. I can’t forgive myself.
10. I can’t learn to hear God.
11. I must earn people’s love.
12. I am (or should be) the savior for myself and others. I am sovereign over my life and other people’s lives and circumstances.
13. I am exempt from God’s commands.
14. My emotions are greater and more important than God. They are the source of absolute truth, not God.
15. I don’t need spiritual nourishment from God and His Word.
16. I don’t have to pray for myself.
17. I can cherish certain sins and lies in my heart and be fine.
18. I am above having to forgive or give grace. I deserve to hold on to the “treasure” of  bitterness.
19. I haven’t been forgiven from much because I don’t have much sin in my life and don’t really need a Savior.
20. I can’t be beautiful in God’s eyes.
21. I can’t know God.
22. Other people are important but I am not important at all.
23. I can be close to God and strong spiritually without allowing God full access to the darkest places of my heart.
24. My motives are always good.

 

Resources:

On my site:

Lies about Others:

1. I am more important than they are or they are more important than I am.
2. I am justified to sin against people if they don’t do what I want them to do.
3. If I am in a bad mood, I have a free pass to lash out at other people in hurtful ways.
4. People are here to serve me or I am to be a slave to people.
5. I have to avoid conflict at all costs.
6. Others are responsible for my happiness and emotions. If I am upset it is their fault and they better fix it.
7. Others are responsible for my spiritual growth and character.
8. Others should submit to me and do what I want them to do.
9. Others must be perfect by my personal definition.
10. Others should control me. And I should have no voice.
11. I should control others and they should have no voice.
12. Others’ feelings don’t matter or my feelings don’t matter.
13. I have to disrespect myself to respect others or I have to disrespect others to respect myself. I can’t respect God, myself, and others at the same time.

All of these issues require proper balance and biblical understanding. If we swing too far one way or the other, we are living in sinful, destructive mindsets rather than in the truth.

Resources:

 

Much love to you! I am praying for you.

April

 

41 thoughts on “Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced

  1. April,
    I love this all laid out! And I wanted to pose a question especially about the section of lies we tend to believe about other people! I hope all our family here will give any wisdom on the question if they feel led 🙂

    For me personally, it is easy to realize the lies I’ve believed in terms of my husband and marriage (ex-thinking I am responsible for his decisions, etc)—and it’s easy to apply the truth and realize that I’m actually NOT responsible for my husband’s life, choices, sin, etc. and to back away and be responsible for my own life and choices.

    And although it seems easy to see and apply in my marriage—-I struggle with realizing and applying these to my relationship with my child.

    As a mother, maybe some can relate—-I have always felt personally responsible for his behavior. I feel like it is my fault if he doesn’t listen, is rude, acts up in school, etc. etc. And there is no lack of outside observers that tend to directly/indirectly blame me for it all.

    Even so, the Lord has done much good and has worked many changes in this area—- but for me, there still is a lack of realization and applying of the truth in this relationship dynamic.

    I’d be curious to know if anyone struggles with this too, and how they deal with it. Or if they had struggled, and overcame it and is now able to apply the truth in the right way, while still being a responsible parent.

    Thanks!! 🙂

    Blessings,
    Amanda

    1. Amanda, I’ve definitely struggled with that, and sometimes still do with our oldest – and he’s only 6! I’m not sure how old your son is, but if he’s pre-teen or a teenager, I could only imagine that it could get harder. I know when I had this issue (and wasn’t even really aware of it or working on it) I was filled with anxiety, all of the time, and had a very hard time “dealing” with even just his normal tantrums.

      As parents, I think this line gets blurred sometimes, because we are responsible in many ways to make sure they are “raised right,” taught about God and have ample opportunity to have all the access to all the help they would need to make those right choices. But ultimately, we just don’t have control over their choices, and they may choose to reject God or to rebel despite our best efforts.

      You know a good book about that is Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham’s “Rebel with a Cause,” and possibly his book on “The Sower.” Billy and Ruth Graham were obviously very good Christian parents, but even they had a son that was extremely “hell bent” on being a rebel. I’m sure that caused them a lot of heartache and anxiety over his choices and feeling like they didn’t do enough somehow. But I think even Franklin has talked about how amazing his parents were, that it was his choice to rebel, but then he ultimately came back to God and is now used more than ever!

      Thinking of his story and others like it encourages me when its hard to trust God with my kids. Hope it helps you <3

      1. April & Stephanie,
        Thank you both SO much for your wisdom and insights. I am definitely saving your replies and going to be studying about this topic more and learning. I need to get it down and put it into practice and stick to it!!! Everything you both said makes perfect sense and I am so blessed to have both of you speaking words of wisdom to me!! 🙂

        It is a HUGE help!!!!

        Blessings,
        Amanda

    2. Amanda,

      It does get a bit more tricky when we are talking about children or when we have a position of authority. In the post, I am primarily talking about lies we believe about other grown adults. The younger a child is, the less ability he has to make his own choices or to think properly for himself. We have a responsibility as parents to parent and lead our children in a way that honors Christ. We are to set godly examples for them in our own interactions with people and with God. We are to teach them God’s Word and live it in front of them on a daily basis. We are to be Spirit-filled ourselves and we are to pour God’s love and wisdom into our children. We do need to set consequences when they do something wrong or disobey. But as they get older and older there is a process of separating that begins at birth and ends when they leave the house as adults.

      At first, our children are literally one flesh with us and we are completely responsible for them. Then they are born and we nurse them. But then they are weaned and grow older and begin to make more and more decisions for themselves. The older they get, we transition toward teaching and empowering them to make wise choices for themselves.

      But even when our children are young – we are not responsible for their thoughts and sins. We are responsible to correct them, to love them, and to teach them. But we can’t make them think the way we want them to. We can’t make them become the people we want them to be.

      As they grow older, we will do more reasoning with them and less dictating. Does that make sense? Ultimately, they will be responsible for their own choices in life. Yes, we are accountable for how we raise and teach them. But then they will answer to God themselves for their own sin and faith or lack of faith.

      Great topic!!!

      Much love!
      April

    3. Amanda,

      Also, please keep in mind, your son has his own sin nature. You don’t control what he does in school. Yes, you can influence him, mold him, and shape him. But even godly parents have children who sin and rebel and who do wrong things. Billy Graham is a great example. Now – Franklin Graham is an amazing man of God. But it was a long, painful road to get to where he is today.

      We are only responsible for our decisions, our thoughts, our instruction, our teaching, our examples, our prayers, our healthy love, our getting our children the help they need that is appropriate in God’s sight. Our children have their own minds, thoughts, decisions, and souls. They make their own choices.

      Sometimes, you have a child who never gets in trouble when they are young, they seem “perfect” outwardly – but they are depending on people pleasing or perfectionism, not God. All of us are wretched sinners. All of us need Jesus desperately. We need to be careful to be godly, wise stewards of our children. But we cannot take ownership of their personal decisions and choices. We take ownership of our responses and our teaching and things we control. But we don’t own their souls.

      I hope that helps! We can talk more about it if it is still fuzzy.

      Much love!
      April

    4. Hi satisfied wife. Oh how I have been judged as a parent for my boys by so many. Even by my own family and my husbands family. We do not get together with other families except at church times. I just don’t want the judgment in my life. My boys are older now (will be 12 & 9 next week) and act better but I still have a hard time getting passed it. I just want you to know you are not alone.

      Regarding Franklin Graham and his story I recently read an interesting interview with Anne Graham Lotz. I have not read the book mentioned to you so I don’t know all of Franklin’s story but know bits and pieces of what he’s talked about on tv or articles I’ve read. In the interview Anne said some surprising things that I had not heard before about her growing up. Granted she said that her dad Billy Graham was called by God and that neither she nor her siblings would ever hold anything against him for all the times he was gone. But when Mr. Graham did have time at home he didn’t spend much time with them as kids. He relaxed by being on the golf course. I just wonder if that left an impression on Franklin?

      We are in a different society now where I think people especially Christians see how important an involved 2 parent home is. How important a dad is in a child’s life. I’m so thankful that my husband is such a wonderful dad to our boys. They are immensely blessed to have his calm loving demeanor in their lives. The story just stuck with me and made me realize that truly we are only with our children a short time and the importance of investment in their lives.

      I don’t know if any of this is helpful but I felt impressed to respond to you.

      1. Tiffany,
        Thank you for your insight, and not coincidentally, I have focused on that topic for a long time now. I never married my son’s father (he’s 7), and he was away for the most part because he was in the military. But even now, it is hard to get them together because we live so far away and it costs so much money for travelling. I got married when my son was 5, and my husband has been a great step dad thus far, but with his job, he often is away for long periods of time too, and so it’s just me and my son most of the time, and that’s why I have fallen so easily into taking it all onto my own shoulders, even though I don’t want to and I know the importance of a father in a son’s life. Truthfully, that was one of my biggest things I had to let go of it seems—it seems I wanted my son to have a father and someone to raise him with me more than I wanted Christ at times, and that’s idolatry. I had to really let that go after a long struggle. Even now, one of my greatest desires is to be all under one roof so that my son can have the male presence because he truly responds so much better to his step dad than any woman. I almost let my son go live with his father recently, but my husband and I decided that it wouldn’t be for the best afterall. I still trust God’s sovereignty with it all, and I believe He will bring good from all of this! Thanks for the support 🙂

        Blessings,
        Amanda

  2. Wow. This was really convicting for me. I’ve been struggling with believing God loves me. My life has been…in mild terms absolutely awful. I’ve never thought a human being could be in so much pain emotionally and physically. I want to trust God, but I’m afraid He’ll just always take and take and take things away from me.

    I’m crying now. I just don’t think I’m ready- I don’t know how to be ready- to trust God. I feel like as soon as I hope, everything will just be taken away again. I know it’s a miserable way to live, and I don’t want to live this way… It’s just how I’ve coped. It really hit me when I was reading this. I don’t trust, God. I’m afraid of what He’ll do. I sit waiting for Him to throw my life into confusion again.

    I read part of a book called Is God to Blame before seeing this post, and it talked about how we should see God as the deliverer instead of the cause of our problems. I want to believe that God loves me and wants to help me. It just hurts so much. Aw man. I can’t cry now. I’m in a coffee shop.

    Anyway, I’m not sure why I’m telling you all this, but this was a good post for me to read. God has been faithfully reaching out to me, trying to draw me close, and I think this post was one of those times.

    1. Kelsie,

      It is so wonderful to hear from you! You know what? When someone goes through a lot of mistreatment, suffering, and abuse, it is pretty easy for a person to conclude that God doesn’t love them. Especially if there was abuse or lack of love and safety at home when he/she was a child.

      This is a process. Especially if you are very spiritually and emotionally wounded, you are not going to flip a switch in two seconds and suddenly be fine. You will have to do some slow, thoughtful, thorough digging into your beliefs, one thing at a time, and see what God’s Word says and what the evidence is that His Word is true and then decide to reject that lie that God is not good and not trustworthy and choose to trust Him as your understanding of Him improves.

      Sometimes we get God’s character and Satan’s character backwards. Satan loves for that to happen! He is the one we can’t trust – along with ourselves. God actually IS trustworthy, BUT – if you have a lot of fixed beliefs that say He is not. It is important to carefully deal with those things, sometimes with a godly mentor or counselor. You can’t deal with all of it in one day or even a month or a year. There will be very small baby steps on this road.

      I wonder if you might be willing to watch David Platt’s Secret Church series on “Who Is God?” Listen carefully. Compare what He says to the Bible. That may be a good place to start. Also, Cinderella and the Gospel, may be another great place to begin.

      Do you have a relationship with Christ? Or have you been thinking about having one? I’m so glad you are here! I’d be honored to walk this amazing road with you.

      Much love and the biggest hug to you!

    2. Good luck with trusting our creator! I needed to see your post because I feel the same way. AWFUL (lol)! I don’t want to feel that way or let my husband and children see me this way but i feel like my whole life has been awful. We have to be grateful and look for the best in the spirit. Expect God to one day some how fill us with Joy!!! Praying and speaking life on us 😊

      1. Evangela Williams,

        I’m so glad you shared, too. I hope you might check out those two posts I shared with Kelsie and let me know what you think.

        Another great post, in my view, is A Spiritual Check-Up.

        If y’all really want to find God and want to overcome the lies and the fear you are experiencing, God CAN and WILL empower you to do this as you hash through your thoughts and seek Him above everything else. You can experience the healing, peace, and joy of Christ! 🙂 No one is beyond His reach and His love.

        I’m here if you want to talk some more.

        Much love! Thanks for reaching out to Kelsie. 🙂

    3. Kelsie,
      I just wanted to confirm what April said and let you know I have been where you are, not even too long ago! And as I took April’s advice and worked through the lies, a lot of freedom came as the Lord opened my blinded eyes to see that HIS WORD alone is TRUTH.

      I have also been learning that these lies about God are a main way that the enemy keeps us paralyzed and under his attack and control. When we believe lies about God, we are admitting a thought into our mind that came straight from hell. And when we agree with this, we give the enemy grounds to our soul.

      And it is ONLY by admitting the TRUTH into our minds that we can be delivered.

      The purpose for the enemy to gain ground through our minds is in order to take over our will. It is time to rise up and put on the armour of God and tear down these lies with the WORD OF TRUTH sister!

      Blessings,
      Amanda

  3. You forgot one so commonly heard in the church. ….”God just wants you/me to be happy.” (Often used as.an excuse to sin…)

    1. Cs,
      That is a very good one. I left out a lot, actually – because it was getting so long. But maybe I will need to add that one in there. It is such a common one!

      1. Cs,
        Here is a great post by John Piper – Does God Want Me to Be Happy or Holy?

        It is important that we define “happiness.” If we are talking about fleshly pleasure and temporary worldly happiness based on circumstances rather than joy in Christ – then happiness is not God’s primary goal for us. But I do love how Piper points out that we are commanded to rejoice in Him and to have joy in Christ. Of course, “joy in Christ” and earthly happiness are very different things. So helpful to define what we really mean in these important discussions.

        Much love!

  4. April,

    Thank you so much for this post. I have been struggling a lot with personal boundaries in terms of others because I have a natural tendency to want to try to “fix” everyone’s problems. Part of my walk with Christ has been learning to relinquish the control that I so tightly clung to in my life before I became a believer. I learned some troubling news about family out of state this week and my old habit of wanting to jump in and carry the burden of other’s sin came creeping back in. I have made note of each lie that “spoke to me” on this list so that I can journal about it tonight and discuss the topics with God. Thank you for providing information on such thought provoking topics.

    Tessa

    1. Tessa,

      This is the first step to healing in Christ – is to be able to identify what we are actually thinking and to compare our beliefs and thoughts to God’s Word. I’m so glad you are planning to really spend some serious time looking at your thoughts and examining your fixed beliefs under the light of God’s Word. That is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

      Let me know if there are any issues you get stuck on and need help with or need more resources for.

      Much love to you!

  5. I can definitely relate to soooo much of this. I’ve also been on a journey where God has been revealing the lies I’ve believed and it’s truly transformed my life. I think the only thing we have to be careful about is believing we are still “wretched sinners.” The bible says we were crucified with Christ. He doesn’t call us sinners but he’s our father, he calls us friend and even in the midst of our sin, he doesn’t view us as wretched sinners. As a mother, if my child sin’s I wouldn’t call them a sinner because that’s no his/her identity. We were made in the likeness and image of God. God loved us so much and saw so much value in his creation that he sent his son to die for us. For his children so that nothing could stand in the way of us having a direct relationship with him. Our identity is no longer sinners but children of God. None of us are wretched sinners even though we may fall sometimes.

    1. ethomp2690,

      We were wretched sinners before we knew Christ – that is what I intended to communicate. I will see if I can clarify that. We were enemies of God. (Rom. 3:23, Isaiah 64:6, Romans 5) BUT then when Jesus changes us, we take on the identity Christ gives to us and we no longer live as prisoners of sin. We died to our old identity as wretched sinners and now we are alive to God in Christ! Now God looks at us and sees Jesus’ holiness and righteousness. He has given us a new Spirit and a new identity in Him. WOOHOO!

  6. This is so encouraging to see so many women working through their lies.

    I would like to ask for prayer, because I’m realizing something about myself. I’ve been helping to care for a relative who is quite ill, and we’ve been spending a lot of time in the hospital and trips to the ER. It’s incredibly stressful. I’ve noticed that the more stressed or concerned I become, the easier and quicker the lies come flooding back.

    I really want to move forward as opposed to slipping back, so if you could say a prayer I would appreciate it so much! I’ll be praying for you all, too!

    Love Becca

  7. This is an excellent read. I am really struggling with Lies about my husband or more specifically the purpose of a husband. My current thoughts are that the purpose of a husband is to 1) make babies 2) make me unselfish 3) force me to 100% look to the Lord for everything because the husband isn’t going to satisfy physically, mentally, or spiritually in any way – learn to be content in HIM and only HIM. Is this true?

    I know the devil is the author of confusion, but my husband hasn’t been my friend or lover for 10 yrs or so (married 24). I have been reading this blog for many years, and honestly believe I’d be divorced without it (in conjunction with the book, “The Excellent Wife, Martha Peace”. I guess we are in the process of him trusting me again, seeing me as this new woman. But, it’s really hard waiting to be loved – actually I should say that he’s got the “act of service love language” nailed and that’s not my love lang.

    It’s really hard just existing together “doing life”, so honestly I’m thinking that God literally meant “be fruitful and multiply” and maybe we are taking the bible out of context. Where are the examples of Godly couples or marriages in the bible, or are there?

    1. Peace,

      There are many purposes in marriage, my dear sister. 🙂 A healthy marriage is supposed to represent the relationship between Christ and the church and draw people to the Gospel. It is supposed to teach us about God’s love and about the connection He longs to have with us. It is to be an example of the one-Spirit relationship Jesus has established with His people – which is portrayed in the one flesh relationship. It is to set a godly example for children. It is to be a place where we learn to extend grace and where we learn what it means to love unconditionally and to love with the power of God when it is beyond our human ability to love.

      The things you have described can be some purposes God may have in marriage at times. God does use our spouse’s sin kind of like sandpaper to smooth out the rough edges in our own souls and to expose our sinful motives and attitudes. And yes, all of the difficulties in life should point us to the fact that we need Christ and that we can truly only find contentment in Him. Marriage did that for me. Singleness can do it for some. All kinds of trials can teach us these truths.

      Is it possible to consider learning to receive love the way your husband is showing love? It is entirely possible! I have learned to do this, because my husband is also more of an acts of service guy not a gushy words guy. I used to get upset about that. Now I can hear and enjoy love the way he gives it and I can be content in Christ and in my husband’s love. Maybe you don’t have to wait to feel loved – but maybe you do have to learn to receive love in new ways?

      How is your walk with Christ going, my dear sister?

      What is it the you believe you need from your husband to be content?

      I would love to invite you to search my home page for:

      – discontentment
      – husband idol
      – happiness
      – contentment
      – 23 signs your husband is beginning to trust you again

      Why do you believe it is so hard existing together? What is it that makes it hard – if you would like to share? That would help me get a better pulse on what is going on. Is your husband withholding himself from you physically? Does he not talk with you at all? Is he hateful or abusive? Is he completely shut down?

      How do you approach your husband when you are feeling unloved?

      The Song of Solomon is an example of a fairly godly marriage. Proverbs 31 is an example of a godly marriage – that focuses primarily on the wife’s end. Priscilla and Aquila were a godly couple in Acts. I Corinthians 13:4-8 is how marriage and all relationships between believers should be. Galatians 5:22-23 should describe us as spouses if we are believers. I Peter 3:1-6 describes a godly wife and I Peter 3:7 describes a godly husband. Colossians 3:18-19, I Corinthians 7:3-5, and Ephesians 5:22-33 describe godly marriages. There are many other Scriptures about godly marriage, as well.

  8. Hi April,

    I think you did a two-part post on birth control a while back? I was reading your post on “How a Wife’s Decision about Birth Control Greatly Blessed Her Family,” and it had links to two birth control posts. I was really interested to read them, but it said “page not found” when I clicked on them. I tried the search feature of your website too, but I couldn’t find them with that either.

    I would be really interested to read these posts, so if you are willing / have time to either re-post or re-link to them, I would greatly appreciate it. 🙂

    Much love!
    Flower

  9. I have a question unrelated to this post, but regarding the topic of being enmeshed or co-dependent with husband. My husband is a grumpy, negative, anti-social person, and he has affected my emotions and general outlook on life negatively for so long. I also believe he has emotional abusive tendencies. I figure I’ve been enmeshed/co-dependent so I’ve been working on detaching. Well, I’m feeling really good…so much freer, joyful, peaceful. But it feels like I’ve divorced myself from him emotionally. I don’t feel close to him at all. So it’s all very confusing, like I’m doing the right thing but yet not doing the right thing. Any insight on this?

    1. Anon,
      You are not alone, that’s for sure. When I went through that detachment, I found that I was easily influenced by my husband’s negativity. He worked away during the week, so when I was learning about all that, I was totally joyful and peaceful while he was away, then he would come home and be negative, and I could literally feel the negative emotions welling up in my soul, and the belief that it was MY fault that he felt these ways. But the truth was, I’m not responsible for his feelings, and only he can change that, I can still be happy whether he is or not.

      But you are right, that was also a time where I was completely like aback from him. I didn’t really share anything I was learning, struggling with, having a hard time with, etc. etc. I offered myself to listen to HIS problems, and when he was negative, I would just hear him out and let him talk and I would usually jsut say “yea…I feel you…I understand…”…..but I rarely shared what I was going through.

      I think you’re doing the right thing by stepping back and getting your own emotions in place and realizing that you aren’t responsible for his emotions. I think over time if your husband realizes his negativity (mine did), he will try to stop and then you will be able to talk more about things. That’s what happened, kind of, with my marriage. I am able to withstand any blame for his feelings/actions now, whereas I wasn’t before. I am also able to share my feelings, and if he doesn’t respond or acknowledge them I don’t really get upset, or if he gets upset when I talk about something that bothers me, I just tell him he’s not responsible for my feelings and that I’m allowed to have my own feelings.

      It’s a tough place, but if you stay back and find your own joy and peace, it will be worth it, rather then taking unneccessary blame for other people’s emotions!

      Hope this helps! I’m definitely not an expert lol.

      Blessings,
      Amanda

    2. Like Amanda, I think this is normal. I also feel much more peace and joy with the detachment. I totally understand how it feels wrong in some way. Especially being enmeshed and codependent, that newer sense of healthy separation will feel very strange at first but I believe is necessary.

      In the beginning, I would feel great the times I was away from him and then would feel a heavy sense of confusion and negativity when he came home. I believe a lot of that was spiritual attack and the enemy not liking what God was doing in me and wanting to keep me from growing and living in this new freedom and joy.

      Those feelings levelled out for me and aren’t as intense now and the changes God worked in me have brought good changes in my marriage.

      When you are in a stronger place, you might want to pray about whether it’s time to be very honest with your husband about how his moods affect you and others. Learning about how to set proper boundaries will probably be necessary, too. The truth could be just what is needed to propel some change in your husband that will be good for him, for you and your marriage.

      Enjoy your newfound freedom, sister! I am so thankful for God taking me to the hard places that He had to so that I can be truly free in Him!

    3. Anon,

      I would invite you to search my home page for:

      – separation leads to greater intimacy paradox
      – oneness
      – closeness

      What is your definition of “feeling close” to your husband? What is “emotional intimacy” to you, my dear sister? This is an important question! So glad you are bringing it up.

      Much love!

      1. Ok, I read through some of the articles. (By the way, just FYI, the Separation Leads to… article was “not found.”) They are always so good. I think the best think is knowing my struggle is not unique and it’s helpful to see how others handle similar situations. And of course the answer is always to abide in Jesus and find all fulfillment in Him!

        And thank you to Satisfied and Content for sharing your experiences! They were helpful.

        April, I think both “feeling close” and “emotional intimacy” would be defined by things like having a mutual interest in each others thoughts/feeling/endeavors; caring for one another (“weeping with those who weep and mourning with those who mourn”); solving problems and conflicts together; back and forth conversation; doing activities together like going for walks; and physical intimacy that is more than just a physical act but a celebration of a healthy marriage.

        We naturally feel close to people who make us feel heard, cared for, and loved….with whom you’re able to do those things I just described Likewise, we naturally feel repelled by people who are mean, angry, uncaring, and don’t listen. And so in this process of unmeshing, maybe I’ve been doing it wrong, but I just don’t think about him much. Thoughts of him can be painful and don’t lead me to thinking about the Lord. So it just feels like we’re roommates. And so I’m not really up for physical intimacy. I cannot grasp having physical intimacy when there is not emotional intimacy. And that’s not good, either. What do I need to do here? Where am I going wrong? Are my definitions of feeling close and emotional intimacy off or unrealistic? It just all feels to me like we have a hopelessly dysfunctional marriage. Probably part of the answer is that while I’m unmeshing I’m still supposed to respect him and care for him and I’m not doing that. It’s just so incredibly hard. Honestly, it just feels like Stockholm Syndrome with someone who can be so uncaring!

        1. Anon,

          Hmm… I don’t remember deleting that Separation post, but I sure can’t find it. I’m sorry that one isn’t there. Although, the other ones about closeness and oneness should be pretty helpful, I hope.

          If your husband is generally negative, critical, distant, hateful, etc… it can be pretty difficult to feel emotionally connected to that. So there are some things on your end you can work on to move toward emotional connection, but then he has issues, too. You don’t own those. Does that make sense?

          Did you ever feel that you were emotionally safe and connected with your husband? What were things like in the beginning or when you were dating?

          When you are becoming un-enmeshed, it is normal to swing too far one way and then too far the other way. If you are detaching from him and harboring bitterness and not seeking to bless him or to love him with God’s love – it is possible you could be moving away from enmeshment toward apathy. Apathy isn’t the goal, either.

          How is your walk with Christ going?

          I don’t really know where your husband is right now emotionally and spiritually and I don’t know exactly where you are emotionally and spiritually so it is difficult for me to tell if your expectations are unrealistic. It may be that right now they could be unrealistic until there is more healing on both sides.

          What does your husband think about you avoiding sexual intimacy? Is it possible that is as painful for him as you not receiving emotional intimacy from him?

          I’m not sure how much you can share here. I understand if you are limited about how many details you may share with us. But if you are able to share a bit more about where you each are, it could be helpful for me to get more of a spiritual pulse on each of you.

          Have you found any resources that have been helpful in dealing with a husband who is more harsh?

          Would you be interested in doing a spiritual check up with me?

          Much love!

          1. Hi April,

            Wow its been a while….but I thought I would write in after reading the above comments. My wife and I separated eighteen months ago and whilst I have been through a lot of changes which you have been aware of over this journey she wants to be divorced. There were no big big reasons but that emotional disconnection was major and for such an emotionally connected woman this was a really big problem.
            I’m writing to say that as a husband I had no idea firstly that I was emotionally disconnected.
            I’ve spent eighteen months really getting myself pulled apart, found a bunch of child abuse issues that were all down the bottom and totally forgotten even though they were really heavy but now that I am so emotionally transformed i have no idea how she put up with such emptiness for so long. But the really big thing I learned was how ridiculously easy it is to leave the plethora of lies that I have believed about myself for all my life but that’s all they were, just lies – like little switches they get simply get switched off or on and life all of a sudden gets so flipping amazing it is ridiculous.

            So I am so so thankful for all the pain that necessitated separation and even divorce because whilst our marriage still needs healing it is a lot easier when there are no lies, no secrecy, no deceiving on my part. You mentioned about separation above and it has been so important to enable me to focus ion getting sorted.

            So I know this sounds so weird when you are trying to keep marriages together but honestly, everything with relationships is just so easy now. We have to work out a settlement ( i don’t know what you call it in America but splitting assets) but I have decided just to give my wife everything. She earned it through putting up with some very tough times…actually the property (which is a pretty expensive one) still has a mortgage so I am going to give her the property and keep paying the mortgage until it is paid out, give her money to live on and actually treat her better than when I first met her and who knows ….Gods pretty clever…!!

      1. Hi April,
        Things are pretty much the same..Im learning not to let my husbands choices and actions affect me in such a way, like it was last month. Im hoping to learn this healthy detachment well.
        I realize daily, that I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT make him do what i want him to do….Im laying down ALL exprectations.
        It is lonely at times. But I am in no way going back to this miserable and fearful state, that was ruling over me last month. NO WAY.
        God is testing me and teaching me….I am thankful for HIM.

        1. NB,
          This makes me smile. I can see God changing you just in the tone of this comment and it is beautiful already! PRAISING GOD for His work that He has begun in you!!!! Keep clinging to Him, my precious sister! I pray for His continued healing for you!

          Much love to you!

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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