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“How I Became Enmeshed with My Husband” – by LMS

ADMIN NOTE:

An update 3 weeks ago created many technical issues on my blog, unfortunately. Jetpack lost all by a few dozen of my WordPress and email followers. My understanding is that the issue should now be resolved. Thank you for your patience! If you haven’t been receiving emails from me, there are some posts you may have missed:

A Summary of the Stages of This Journey

Can I Be a “Peaceful American” Even Now?

My Husband Isn’t As Involved with Our Newborn As I Want Him to Be 

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A guest post by LMSdaily

I had a dad, but he was a workaholic. I was close to him, but never got enough of him. So, when I met my husband, who was very much into family, promising to adore me, cherish me, etc… he also said it was his job to make me happy….I believed it hook line and sinker.

It was no longer my job to make me happy and I was relieved of the duty in my mind. As I relied more and more on my husband to make me happy, more and more pressure was put on my husband. I was a black hole of need. It was too much.

He failed all the time (in my eyes) and there was no satisfying me. He felt like he could NEVER make me happy… nor could ANY man.

I never understood how this thinking acted like the death of a star…imploding on itself, then a massive explosion outward, until I realized what it meant that I had put my husband as an idol above God in my life. ONLY God can fill that endless need in our lives to help us feel loved, cherished, wanted, needed, worthy, valuable, and accepted. Our husbands are humans too. They make mistakes, have wrong ideas, thoughts, and ideas too. They are have sin issues at times and struggle with idols, too. Even if they are Christians. Understanding the imperfections of ourselves and others is crucial to the humility we need to feel before God. This humility helps us realize how imperfect we all are, and how perfect only God is.

One other thing I realized also was how incredibly “lazy” I was in my thoughts. It was very easy to just let my husband tell me how I should think, what to feel, what opinions I should have or to make all the decisions.

My family felt like I lost myself when I started following my husband’s every thoughts. I looked like a snob to them because my husband was judgmental, but I thought he was right to be that way. At that point, I stopped being his helper in life, or, I liken it to a co-pilot. Rather I was like an anchor, or another passenger he was responsible for. Dragging me along for the ride and not taking any responsibility for myself.

He had no one to help him think through his ideas, thoughts or to even run things by for a different perspective. I was blindly following him.

He may have been questioning his own path, but realized I was no help anyway to him… kind of foolishly clueless and blind in life. So he dragged me along out of responsibility. He didn’t have a helper because I was not interested in doing the brain work of thinking on my own. I am disgusted at my laziness when I look back at it.

Now, I have started to really think about it all. Even subjects I would avoid in the past, like finances, or deadlines, or cleaning out closets. This is something my husband is not used to. He is used to just making decisions and having no obstacles or contradictions. So, now, he sees me as something in his way. He thinks I’m arguing with him, that we think differently, that we are incompatible.

But the truth is, I have good ideas, valid concerns, and viewpoints too. My husband, having to now consider them, is irritated with my concerns. It’s like red tape to him. Of course, I don’t demand my way, but I bring up my concern in a respectful way, then leave the decision to him. If he is not trying to break the law or hurt someone, it’s fair to let him decide, but he gets my viewpoint too, nowadays. Not always. If I bring up a good point he had not considered, he gets irritated, because it was easier to just make the decision and live with it. But my point makes him have to think more, too. His conviction from the Holy Spirit and his responsibility as the head of the family is making him feel uncomfortable and not as sure. As he learns to trust me as a helper instead of an anchor, I hope he will find a value in me again. I’m sure this will take time.

For too long, in many ways, I think we both lived together, physically married, but really thought more as single people… not really understanding what “two becoming one” really meant. If my ways worked with his, or vice versa, then cool…no problems, but if not, he/I complained. That is a controlling attitude. Now, I am constantly thinking on how a desire or idea I have might affect him, not just me, and I want to choose what blesses him first, then me. I think more “married” than single now. Less self-centered, more wanting what is best for my husband and kids. But there is always a balance that needs to be made. I can’t just ignore my own desires and wishes either… that’s the starry-eyed groupie way. More of a doormat. To women, it can feel loving. To men, it feels like we are spineless and weak.

We need to be strong and whole as individuals before we can come together and be part of a unique being in a marriage.

My lack of a daddy figure basically was a hole that needed filling. Ideally, I should have had God fill that father role for us instead of my husband. Then, I could be a help meet in my husband’s life, not a groupie looking for attention from a man. This is why God is the great “I Am”, in our lives. He alone can fill those missing holes.

I will pray that you can seek God as a Dad in your life and feel the love, protection and attention you crave from Him. In this way, the love, protection and attention you receive from your husband will be extra. Icing on the cake – that you can enjoy as a treat – not daily living sustenance.

Look up the following subjects in April’s blog for more:
Oneness in Marriage – Not Too Close, and Not Too Far Away

Closeness in Marriage Looks Different from What I Expected – A Fellow Wife

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

I Was SURE I Hadn’t Made My Husband an Idol!

Fully Trusting God with My Husband – Laying Down All of My Fears 

LMSdaily’s posts

 

 

A Big Lightbulb Moment about True Contentment

 

From WorthyofLove who shared about her husband’s old text messages a few weeks ago…

April,
Wow! I just had serious lightbulb…..and your name kept popping in my head so I just know I need to share it with you! God has been working on my heart much deeper these days since I last shared in your “Share about Your Journey” post!

I became very discontented, and I started expecting things from my husband again, and things got seriously out of hand for about a month. But I did something I should have done a long time ago—I sought a counselor and began meeting with her and just trying to dig deeper into my heart. She first lead me to a book called “Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul” by Stasi and John Eldredge, who also wrote the book “Wild and Heart” which is all about a man’s soul.

There is one part in it that caught my eye – my spiritual eye – about how true beauty is a heart at rest and at peace in the Lord…one that trusts fully in Him and one that does not give way to fear. You already know because I’ve read it on your blog posts before 🙂 BUT, my heart SAW it for the first time reading this book and then this realization lead me to seek out also the meaning of having Christ within – having Christ as my true heart’s satisfaction – and about how He is our source of life within.

Well here I was recently, researching this and just seeking God about it – to know Him and what this means for me – when my husband decided to pick a David Wilkerson sermon for us to listen to together and he picked one on contentment! (TOTALLY GOD LEADING ME THROUGH MY HUSBAND!) We listen to it and Wilkerson starts referencing this book called “The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment” by Jeremiah Burroughs….. it was written in like 1645, when there was a major falling apart of the Church and people losing all they owned and people were just in turmoil everywhere. This man Jeremiah heard from God and he wrote this book and so I of course found it online (FREE!), and began reading immediately.

My jaw dropped as I read over and over the message and confirmation that:

a soul which has the capacity to commune and know God WILL NEVER BE SATISFIED EXCEPT BY GOD HIMSELF!!!!!

And on and on he talks about contentment, how it is LEARNED, how Christ teaches us it and the whole while I’m thinking of you, because I know that this is what you have learned in your journey. You have learned it and it has changed you!!! And it is the key to true heart rest!!!!

So I came to this point in the book where he talks about how the devil comes to those hearts that are DISCONTENTED, and tempts them, because it is the heart that is unhappy with whatever he has, or does not have, or what he wants, etc….it is that heart that will be easily tempted to sin in order to get what it wants!!!!!

Is this not the main issue in marriages?? Pride being the first—which is ultimately (sinful) SELF-love—and it breads this discontentment.  It leads to all the strife, complaints, and just the miserable condition of the soul and heart!!!! And I thought— wow…… if women could see this! It is also in James where he talks about how when we are tempted we are drawn away by our own lusts (or sinful desires)!!

OUR OWN LUSTS—e.g WHATEVER IS MAKING US DISCONTENTED BECAUSE WE DONT HAVE WHAT WE WANT!

I see it now…I SEE! I was blind but now I see!!!

When I am content with having Jesus within me – satisfied with God – when I realize that yes He is the ONLY One who can satisfy my heart – I am at true rest, true peace….and I am content!:)

If you have not read this Rare Jewel book, I reccommend it to you, the Holy Spirit will confirm in your heart all the work He has done in you:)

RELATED:

Contentment Comes from Having Christ As LORD

Things That Fuel a Spirit of Discontentment in Me

Security Comes from My Identity in  Christ

The Idol of Happiness

close up woman's eyes

We tend to think that “idolatry” means someone bowing down to a statue and praying to it in a shrine. It’s really easy to dismiss that practice as not even remotely a temptation to us today in our culture and to discount everything the Bible says about idolatry as being irrelevant to us. Big mistake! Idolatry was one of the most offensive sins that God’s people committed against Him in the Old Testament times and it is one of our most offensive sin against God today, too.

“The human heart is an idol factory.” – John Calvin

I don’t know if y’all realize this – but happiness is one of the biggest idols in our culture today.

An idol is anything we put above Christ in our hearts. It is something we worship, are desperate to have, will give anything to try to obtain, will sin in order to get, will give up lots of money and time to pursue, will sacrifice all other relationships for and believe we can’t live without. It is something we believe will bring us true fulfillment and satisfaction that is not God. If we are desperate for something/someone, are terrified to go without that thing/person and are willing to sacrifice anything to have it – and that thing is not Jesus – it is time to do a very deep spiritual evaluation of our motives.

How many times have you heard someone say (or have you said to yourself – consciously or unconsciously):

  • Well, I am just not happy in this marriage, I feel unloved right now, my needs are not being met – so I need to get out.
  • I’m not happy, so I am totally justified in treating my husband this way (sinning against him – disrespect, name calling, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, control, contempt, hatred, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, malice, gossip, slander, violence, sabotage, flirting with other men, adultery, etc…).
  • I’m not happy in our marriage, so it’s ok if I destroy my family, no matter what the price may be to my husband and our children and extended family (and ultimately, to myself and to my relationship with God).
  • I deserve to be happy. If I’m not happy, then my husband must do anything and everything I believe he should do so that I am happy. My happiness is entirely HIS responsibility.
  • I have the right to demand things from  and control my husband as much as I feel is necessary until he submits to me and makes me happy. I have self on the throne of my life and I demand my husband must bow to me, as well. I will have my way.

Let’s remember, there are only a few biblical reasons for divorce that may possibly be justifiable (and still, divorce is never a command for believers).  Unhappiness is not one of them!

Some trials may be quite painful and difficult, absolutely. I don’t intend to minimize that some struggles in marriage, and in this life in general, are HARD. They are. And, in very severe situations, there are times when a wife may need to separate from her husband, at least for a time, praying for God to work and for reconciliation.

We have a COVENANT before God and our husbands in our marriages. God can and will use our greatest trials to help us grow and mature in our faith and become more like Christ. Nothing can touch us that has not passed through His sovereign, loving hands. When we love Him wholeheartedly, He promises to use ALL things for our ultimate good (by His definition) and His glory (Romans 8:28-29, and, see the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-39).

No fault divorce may be legal in our culture today – but it is not of God, my precious sisters! And it is sin. No fault divorce hurts and destroys everyone it touches. God hates divorce.

If you have never read about what a covenant truly means, please check out this guest post – Brides and Butchers. Or, please read John Piper’s two part series on the marriage covenant “What God Has Joined Together, Let Man Not Separate.” There are several interpretations about what believers should do if they are already remarried – Piper explains his position in Part 2. There are other possible interpretations to prayerfully consider, as well. But most of all, I pray we will each seek to listen to God, His Word and His Spirit. (If there are very serious issues in your marriage – adultery, drug/alcohol addictions, severe pornography addictions, actual abuse, uncontrolled mental illness – please, please seek godly, biblical, experienced, wise counsel and compare everything your counselor says to the Bible. If you are not safe, please seek help right away! I do not condone abuse in marriage of either spouse. Please click here for the National Domestic Violence Hotline)

OTHER IDOLS OFTEN COME WITH THE IDOL OF HAPPINESS

As we idolize happiness, it has been my observation that we also tend to idolize self, feelings, romance and control (having our way).  This leads us to pride, self-righteousness, disrespect, resentment, bitterness, jealousy, ungratefulness, discontentment, arguing, complaining and all kinds of other sin. When we are involved in idolatry of any kind, we tend to trust our own wisdom instead of God. We tend to focus on “ME” instead of obedience to God and dying to self. We easily rationalize and justify our own sin in order to get what we really want – HAPPINESS! All the time! We want what we want when we want it. God becomes more and more distant. We won’t let anyone get in our way of us getting what we want. If we hurt someone else in the process, oh well … we need to be happy.

As long as we are happy right now this moment, that’s all that matters in the universe, right?

Do we ever stop to realize – this is the mentality of a two year old? I had this mentality for a long time, myself. When God finally showed me just how sinful my attitude and my motives were, I was MORTIFIED! I spent weeks on my face before God repenting of all the sin He revealed to me. This is NOT the mentality of a spiritually mature, godly woman! We have unknowingly absorbed some of the most ungodly messages ever from our hedonistic, humanistic, secular culture!

The scariest thing to me is that I didn’t even see my own sin. Not at all – for many, many years. How could I have been so blind and deceived?

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MY HAPPINESS AND EMOTIONS?

Sadly, as we idolize our own temporary happiness, we also tend to make other people responsible for our emotions and happiness instead of taking responsibility for our own emotions and spiritual well-being. Here are a few questions for us to ponder:

  • What if my husband is NOT responsible for my happiness?
  • What if each person is responsible for himself/herself emotionally and spiritually?
  • What if my circumstances are actually a tool in God’s hand – a chisel –  to help me mature and grow?
  • What if my circumstances are a spiritual test for me to learn to respond to with a godly attitude through the power of God living through me?
  • What if only Christ Jesus can give me real contentment, peace and joy and things/people of this world can never bring me true satisfaction?
  • What if I am expecting my husband or marriage to meet needs that only Jesus can actually fulfill and satisfy?
  • What if I can have contentment right now in Christ no matter what my situation may be?

What if my temporary happiness is not God’s biggest goal in my life?

GOD’S PERSPECTIVE

As believers in Christ, we can see clearly in the Bible that:

  • Happiness is not the greatest and most ultimate goal in life, our knowing God is the greatest goal and our becoming holy and more like Jesus, being totally submitted to Him, obeying Him, loving Him and bringing great honor and glory to Him are to be the ultimate goals in our lives (John 17, Matthew 22:38-39, John 14:22-24).

The amazing thing is, as we focus on obeying and loving God and others with all our hearts, and as we fully yield ourselves in total submission to Him, He fills our souls with His Spirit – and the results ALWAYS are His supernatural: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control (Galatians 5:19).

Paradoxically, when we seek God first, He blesses us with real joy and supernatural peace that are so much more fulfilling than any temporary happiness that this world or anything in it could ever offer.

We CAN choose to be content as we focus on being thankful, focus on the good and the blessings God has given us and as we allow Christ to empower us.

  • Rejoice always, pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18
  • Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
  • I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11b-13

FROM A PRECIOUS WIFE:

I bought the lie and worshiped it for so long, never bothering to notice how the more I pursued happiness, the harder it was to attain. I find it is much easier to simply be content with what God has given you and where He has placed you…..to find and celebrate His goodness and blessings every single day.

As I practice contentment, I experience happiness.

Isn’t that interesting? I spent so many years chasing happiness, instead of being content, I failed to enjoy the blessings God had given me and missed out on so much. I know for a fact, it was this attitude that led to the breakup of my first marriage. Make no mistake…

Seeking your own happiness will eventually hurt everyone around you.

My heart breaks for the hurt I caused my daughter and first husband, but I know that God is changing me and I trust Him with that process and the healing He is bringing to all I have hurt in the past.

I was just talking with one of my friends yesterday about the idol of self. It’s so easy to slip into that mode of worshiping self and doing whatever self tells us will make us happy. My theory is that it’s a natural human, survival mechanism…..maybe something that we’ve been stuck with since we we tossed out of the garden of Eden and had to fend for ourselves in a rough world?  (From Peacefulwife – this is our sinful nature!) Even then, in God’s infinite  grace and love, He is there for us…..He fights the battles for us when we can’t do it. All He wants is for us to give it to Him and let Him do it. I think sometimes, He allows difficult situations in our lives so we will give up and give it to Him. That’s how he strengthens our faith.

 

SHARE:

Have you had happiness as an idol? How did God reveal this idol to you?

How did you repent?

How did you learn to look at life differently in a way that honors God?

What have you learned about the sufficiency of Christ and finding all of your contentment in Him if you have been on this journey for awhile?

We’d love to hear your insights and the gems and pearls that God has shown you through your trials.

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE:

I hope to be able to respond to comments this evening. 🙂 Y’all are welcome to discuss as much as you would like. I will join in when I can.

RELATED:

The Real Secret to Contentment Is Having Jesus Christ as LORD of My Life

A Huge Key to Contentment! By Still Jennifer

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

The Idol of Control

How to Stop Idolatry and Truly Live for Christ

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