Biblical Boundaries

  • 38 Replies
  • 2766 Views
*

Mary

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 127
Biblical Boundaries
« on: August 09, 2018, 11:15:24 AM »
Hi everyone,
I am new to setting boundaries. I decided to start a list of boundaries that the Bible endorses with respect to PDs, as I think it will help give me backbone (for myself, not for justifying to someone else). I invite anyone else interested to help me create this list.
1. Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go (Prov 22:24):
2. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (Romans 16:17)
3. Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge. (Prov 14:7)

For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

*

Bloomie

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 12956
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2018, 12:29:53 PM »
Hi Mary. You are off to a great start with using God's word as a foundation in learning to set boundaries. There is a great article that I have found really helpful regarding boundaries from a Biblical perspective and I hope you find it helpful as well. It talks about both sides of boundary setting - with ourselves and in relationships with others.

Here is a link: https://bible.org/seriespage/1-boundary-basics

When I first began my coming OOTF journey what I began to realize was that the level of encroachment I allowed others into my intimate circles and gave access to the resources God had entrusted to me was not at all what I had been groomed to believe - loving, generous, Christlike, serving others... in actuality it was unhealthy and un-Biblical and made me prey to those who would use and take advantage of me for as long as they possibly could.

There is great freedom in developing an autonomous and right understanding of what God intends for us in relationship to Him, to ourselves, and to others. What an exciting journey of discovery and freedom you are on! I can't wait to hear more as you continue forward!
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 02:29:16 PM by Bloomie »
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

Bloomie 🌸

*

all4peace

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 7970
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2018, 05:40:24 PM »
I think we can see boundaries in the overall relationships also. God steps away from those violating his laws, and only moves towards them again when they repent and change.

I'm thinking of the verse about forgiving in which it says IF he repents, forgive.

I also think about who Jesus allowed closest to him, even though he loved all of humanity.

*

all4peace

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 7970
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2018, 06:15:05 PM »
Bloomie, what an invaluable link! I wish I had found it years ago, as it is the answer to most of my burning questions. Thank you so much!

*

Starboard Song

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 2253
  • Be good. Be strong.
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2018, 06:32:31 PM »
I'm saying it again today: I'm an engineer at heart. So I take a more practical approach. It is quite a bit soulless, I suppose. But it isn't feelings that make a bridge stand up or a rocket land safely.

Maybe it is worth heaving into the mix.

Option 1 - Passively Allowing Suffering
Allowing an abusive person to continue to erode the ability of your family to prosper at peace. Allowing an abusive person to sow discord, and generate pain that is not only temporary, but alters personalities of yourself or those you love, limiting their ability -- again -- to prosper at peace.

Option 2 - Actively Choosing Suffering
Excluding such people from your life in their entirety: depriving them of your kindness, support, and insights. Likely tearing apart a family, and even some friends, through your choice for estrangement. Leaving a family member alone, and full of more rage and ugliness than before, rage and ugliness that may impact other members of their community, though you have protected your own.

Option 3 - Engineering the Kindest Outcome With the Timber We Were Given
Establishing boundaries that limit your exposure to abuse. Boundaries that do not control others, but control what you will and will not do or engage with, as God's child. Establishing such boundaries to maximize your family's ability to prosper in peace, while hopefully training the better angels of the destructive person in your life. Avoiding the pain and anger of complete rejection, and maintaining the ties that allow for aid and comfort at the ends of lives.

Without or without scriptural support, I have no problem deciding which of these Jesus would commend to you.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

*

Starboard Song

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 2253
  • Be good. Be strong.
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2018, 06:48:25 PM »
Let me add, that I am NC, which is Option 2.  I describe Option 2 in an unfavorable light, but that is only being honest about its ramifications. I don't think NC is wrong: just very hard.

I stand ready for any judgement on my NC decision.

Only number 1 strikes me as morally indefensible. So pick your poison, will it be boundaries or NC?
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

*

Mary

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 127
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2018, 06:37:36 PM »
You have all given me so much to think about. I am so humbled that you are taking the time to engage with a perfect stranger as I think through these things. Thank you so so much.
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

*

Mary

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 127
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2018, 06:50:21 PM »
Hi everyone,
I am new to setting boundaries. I decided to start a list of boundaries that the Bible endorses with respect to PDs, as I think it will help give me backbone (for myself, not for justifying to someone else). I invite anyone else interested to help me create this list.
1. Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go (Prov 22:24):
2. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (Romans 16:17)
3. Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge. (Prov 14:7)
Continued:
4. Honour thy father and thy mother (Ex 20:12)-

Note: this is a hard one for me regarding uNPDH. For most of the marriage he has isolated me from them. On the other hand, they have VERY little compassion towards him. So on any given holiday, both sides may be mad at me.  Any ideas on the boundaries that need to be set on both fronts?
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

*

Julian R

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 99
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2018, 11:49:47 AM »
I'm saying it again today: I'm an engineer at heart. So I take a more practical approach. It is quite a bit soulless, I suppose. But it isn't feelings that make a bridge stand up or a rocket land safely.

Maybe it is worth heaving into the mix.

Option 1 - Passively Allowing Suffering
Allowing an abusive person to continue to erode the ability of your family to prosper at peace. Allowing an abusive person to sow discord, and generate pain that is not only temporary, but alters personalities of yourself or those you love, limiting their ability -- again -- to prosper at peace.

Option 2 - Actively Choosing Suffering
Excluding such people from your life in their entirety: depriving them of your kindness, support, and insights. Likely tearing apart a family, and even some friends, through your choice for estrangement. Leaving a family member alone, and full of more rage and ugliness than before, rage and ugliness that may impact other members of their community, though you have protected your own.

Option 3 - Engineering the Kindest Outcome With the Timber We Were Given
Establishing boundaries that limit your exposure to abuse. Boundaries that do not control others, but control what you will and will not do or engage with, as God's child. Establishing such boundaries to maximize your family's ability to prosper in peace, while hopefully training the better angels of the destructive person in your life. Avoiding the pain and anger of complete rejection, and maintaining the ties that allow for aid and comfort at the ends of lives.

Without or without scriptural support, I have no problem deciding which of these Jesus would commend to you.

Thank you so much.  This is one of the most helpful analysis of options that I have read, and really so well crystallises what our options are and the potential consequences.

I for one will judge no-one for going NC!  I am not in your shoes ...

I recognise that personally, whilst in the FOG, the first option has occurred too frequently - yes I have seen the damage  :(.  I am drawn to option - but it is going to be painful, and a bit difficult to see what "boundaries" will look like on my particular situation.

And welcome Mary - we are all just trying to help each other as best we can   :)

*

Bloomie

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 12956
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2018, 02:52:13 PM »
Mary - there just happens to be an outstanding thread regarding this passage in Exodus 20 started by one of our hero members, practical, that might be a big help with understanding what this passage means and looks like when lived out:

http://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=75555.0

Quote from: Mary
Continued:
4. Honour thy father and thy mother (Ex 20:12)-

Note: this is a hard one for me regarding uNPDH. For most of the marriage he has isolated me from them. On the other hand, they have VERY little compassion towards him. So on any given holiday, both sides may be mad at me.  Any ideas on the boundaries that need to be set on both fronts?

What helps me with establishing boundaries is to focus on behaviors and then work backwards... so, are there specific behaviors with your DH and your parents that are hurting you and crossing over into areas of life that belong to you?

Also, sometimes it doesn't even occur to ask myself what it is that I actually want for holidays, in relational interactions... that kind of thing. Maybe begin by letting us know what it is you want for yourself in these situations.

If you are willing, would you be able to share a couple of issues that you are struggling with in these relationships.

It sounds a bit like you might be caught in the middle between them and end up the one hurt with unhappy family members you love on both sides of you. I am really sorry this is happening.
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

Bloomie 🌸

*

LSK1999

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 475
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2018, 09:10:54 PM »
Hi everyone, thank you Mary for this post! I often feel concerned about posting about anything biblical here or about my lord and savior. I am beyond thankful to hear there are others here looking for their answers in the bible and from our heavenly father  :) I recently started a book on boundaries that is written by a Christian and scripture based....I am having a tough time reading it. You see I spent years and years living the way I thought Jesus wanted me to. I always self sacrificed, put others first, was always forgiving, always felt empathy, always tried to save everybody and everything. Finding out now that the way I was going about things is wrong is really kind of frustrating. It was like I had perceived even my faith wrong!! Setting boundaries felt terrifying to me, but I'm starting to learn that boundaries are beyond necessary and that God WANTS me to have them. I have no idea how what I learned about what God expected of me in my life got so distorted?? I guess I thought God loved everyone but me. Thanks so much again for this post...it was very helpful to me  :)

*

Mary

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 127
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2018, 10:21:40 AM »
Quote
What helps me with establishing boundaries is to focus on behaviors and then work backwards... so, are there specific behaviors with your DH and your parents that are hurting you and crossing over into areas of life that belong to you?

Also, sometimes it doesn't even occur to ask myself what it is that I actually want for holidays, in relational interactions... that kind of thing. Maybe begin by letting us know what it is you want for yourself in these situations.
OK, here goes.
What I hope to get out of interactions with my parents is to let them enjoy the grandkids and have some fun family times. I also enjoy connecting with them in meaningful ways about life in general. I know they worry about me, and it sets their minds at ease to see I'm doing OK.

The behaviors that cross lines are these:
My husband becomes very malicious when I visit (or even suggest visiting) my parents who live a 12-hour drive away. In the end I see them about 2-4 times a year. Even if my husband agrees to my spending a weekend visiting them, afterwards he usually becomes quite agitated that I "chose" to be with them over him, resulting in long circular arguments, accusations of adultery :wacko:, silent treatment, passive-aggressive against me and the kids, etc. Sometimes it will get bad enough that he will threaten to quit working, leave, or other life-altering consequences. I know these are not just threats because he has made good on threats before.

On the other hand, my parents get really hurt if the whole family does not get together at Christmas. I move heaven and earth, and put up with incredible stress, to visit them. And then I get met with their disapproval and anger because everything's not perfect (not long enough, not on the holiday, etc.)  I share very few details with them about life with uNPDH, but if I don't explain anything, it looks like I'm rejecting them. If I do explain, it will make them even more bitter against him.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 10:24:01 AM by Mary »
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

*

Mary

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 127
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2018, 10:55:46 AM »
You see I spent years and years living the way I thought Jesus wanted me to. I always self sacrificed, put others first, was always forgiving, always felt empathy, always tried to save everybody and everything. Finding out now that the way I was going about things is wrong is really kind of frustrating.

Amen to that. This thread is making me look very long long and hard at my interpretation of scripture. Especially Starboard Song's "Without or without scriptural support, I have no problem deciding which of these Jesus would commend to you." Also SoT encouraged me to read Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend. I pulled out my old copy and decided to have a look. I randomly popped it open, and on the pages before me (160-161) was the discussion of biblical submission which challenges that "slavelike submission" is Godly. I am certain that I must set compassionate boundaries where I have not done so in the past.

On the other hand, I have spent over 20 years standing on I Peter 2-3..."When ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take i patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps" and "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives:" I have experienced many miracles and protections. The lows have been met with incredible highs. And I have been sustained.

So I asked God why on earth He would call me to do both (set boundaries AND submit)! And He said He is making something beautiful.

I don't know how, but I know He is making a way for me to set and keep consistent boundaries, yet to be honoring and submissive in the midst of the grinding control. I guess I won't find out until I put the first foot forward, no?
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

*

Starboard Song

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 2253
  • Be good. Be strong.
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2018, 11:07:39 AM »
Mary,

I want to repeat for others that my support of boundaries over NC presumes you can reliably administer boundaries: an abused spouse needn't stay in that relationship, fruitlessly nurturing boundaries that never work. I hope you've seen my separate thread on this topic, more carefully expressing myself.

My wife and I are NC from her parents, so I've gone the hard route.

But getting here, I developed an appreciation for the boundaries we all live by every day. And for the beautiful truth that boundaries are normally invisible to us, because they are just what we do, and most people in our community understand us so well that none of them are yanking and tugging at the fence: even strangers rarely test our boundaries.

Boundaries are an expression of our morality: as the limits to what we will or will not do or engage with, they may be the fullest expression of our morality.

Like you, I am just figuring this all out as I go. I just know that there is no moral system of which I will approve that requires me, due to the thickness of blood, to be abused and mistreated with regularity. The only choices I know are to tighten things down with boundaries, or -- at last, if necessary -- to give up and move on.

All the best.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

*

Bloomie

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 12956
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2018, 02:01:58 PM »
Quote
Maybe begin by letting us know what it is you want for yourself in these situations.
Quote from: Mary
OK, here goes.
What I hope to get out of interactions with my parents is to let them enjoy the grandkids and have some fun family times. I also enjoy connecting with them in meaningful ways about life in general. I know they worry about me, and it sets their minds at ease to see I'm doing OK.
Are your parents respectful of you and your FOC when you have these visits and interactions with them? You enjoy these visits and it makes sense you would want to stay connected to your family. Can you stay in touch through FaceTime or Skype as another way to share life with them until you can travel to them? Does your H object to any contact or mainly to you traveling away from him? Is it possible for them to come to you, or is that also a no go for your H?

Quote
The behaviors that cross lines are these:
My husband becomes very malicious when I visit (or even suggest visiting) my parents who live a 12-hour drive away. In the end I see them about 2-4 times a year. Even if my husband agrees to my spending a weekend visiting them, afterwards he usually becomes quite agitated that I "chose" to be with them over him, resulting in long circular arguments, accusations of adultery :wacko:, silent treatment, passive-aggressive against me and the kids, etc. Sometimes it will get bad enough that he will threaten to quit working, leave, or other life-altering consequences. I know these are not just threats because he has made good on threats before.

Mary - I am wondering what would happen if you visited (sounds like he does not go with?) and then refused to engage in the circular arguments and refused to attempt to placate someone making outrageous claims and ridiculous accusations who may be manipulating you all the way to Sunday and back.

Does your H respond this way any time you have time with others without him?

Another big help is the toolbox above and identifying the traits you are experiencing... I am gently offering a link to an article with do/don't ideas - this may not pertain to your situation, but if it does it may be helpful:

http://outofthefog.website/top-100-trait-blog/2015/11/4/imposed-isolation

And there are many more great helps at the tabs above. I have been known to open up the glossary and just begin reading through it.

My sense is that this is just the very tip of the iceberg and you are dealing with a great deal and grappling with many questions and a sometimes powder keg of a situation in terms of your H's stability and willingness to behave in ways that are very destructive to your life/marriage/children.

We can and will support you through all of this and at the same time it may be time to find a wise guide to walk through you beginning to learn to set boundaries (or have backbone as you put it) in your marriage and relationships. Often with such an insecure and seemingly paranoid type of person like you are describing, setting boundaries can set off reactions that are not safe. I strongly advise you to get some help moving forward within marriage counseling, meeting with a trusted pastor, finding a wise and steady older couple who you both respect who can mentor you and the problems you all are having can be appropriately exposed and there can be some accountability and reality checks for your H.

It is wonderful you are reaching out for support here and reading articles and books with healthy principles. The link I included in my previous response is also very helpful in terms of understanding Biblical boundaries. I just wonder if you are in a safe enough and empowered enough position to set boundaries with consequences all on your own or if some in real life support would help sustain you?

Another question that you do not have to answer here, but it is important to ask yourself - how at risk would it put you and your children if you implemented something like this..."I am happy to have conversations with you about your concerns, but when you make false accusations against me I am going to leave the room/conversation." And then you leave the room and convo. Every. Single. Time.

How fast would things escalate (again you do not have to answer that here) if you began setting small, simple boundaries in your every day life? I believe that if you are pretty isolated the potential for escalation and the environment becoming unsafe is greater.

Quote
On the other hand, my parents get really hurt if the whole family does not get together at Christmas. I move heaven and earth, and put up with incredible stress, to visit them. And then I get met with their disapproval and anger because everything's not perfect (not long enough, not on the holiday, etc.)  I share very few details with them about life with uNPDH, but if I don't explain anything, it looks like I'm rejecting them. If I do explain, it will make them even more bitter against him.

This is a very tough spot to be put in. It sounds like you are a truly gentle and loving person and this kind of thing is so hard. :hug:

I respectfully say your parents feelings around your visits and the holidays are theirs to manage and deal with. Not yours. I am a mom/grandma and I don't impose this kind of thing on my family. I am grateful for any time they choose to spend with us on whatever day works out. This may be another type of manipulation you are encountering and is another opportunity of boundary setting.  :yes:

I think of boundaries as internal and external. We don't have to ruminate and get caught up in another person's expectations of us and grind ourselves into dust trying to please everyone. You do not have to expose personal matters between you and your H to say something in response to your parent's disappointment that the time and effort you make to visit them is not enough for them.

You can speak up for yourself by letting them know this is what you are able to offer at this time and it is at great effort, expense, etc., you are packing up your family, making the long trip, and you treasure the time and look forward to it. My wonderful T gave me this very good advise with this kind of nagging and complaining from family members... say it once, firmly and then when the subject comes up again let them know you already addressed them about this and then refuse to engage further. Every. Single. Time.

Feelings are not = to facts. It may "look" to them like you are rejecting them...but, in fact you are not. Each of us is 100% responsible to manage our own emotions in ways that are not hurtful and oppressive to others - including your parents.

With kind respect...It seems like maybe you are the burden bearer in all of these situations with those around you that you love that you will carry and be responsible for their feelings, their unrealistic demands, wants, needs, false accusations, insecurities, holiday happiness, and any other expectations they foist onto your burdened back. That you will soothe and make it all better in the name of love, loyalty, gentleness, kindness.  :no:

Maybe you are buying into the notion that in all of this you do not matter. God says something very different. He says you do matter.  That you have been called to an abundant life in Him and through Him. Not a endless circling of striving and never meeting the mark with an unreasonable level of expectations upon you.

Circling back to Biblical Boundaries we are called to freedom in our relationships - with God and others. Freedom and human flourishing that comes from having healthy boundaries around our life. Not reckless disregard for others or to express our freedom in harmful ways, but I suggest that someone not liking us visiting another or someone getting hurt because our visit was not on the "right" day is not harming another and trying to accommodate that is bondage and not required of us. Freedom is living our life in the way that works best for us, that considers our limits and needs, and those of our family. We have the freedom to choose those things and not be emotionally abused and bullied because of our choices.

"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

Bloomie 🌸

*

Mary

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 127
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2018, 06:08:19 AM »
Can you stay in touch through FaceTime or Skype as another way to share life with them until you can travel to them? Does your H object to any contact or mainly to you traveling away from him? Is it possible for them to come to you, or is that also a no go for your H?
Yes, and I do stay in touch remotely. When they come to me or I visit them, he does not accompany, but controls the visit--how long, what we do together, etc. I'm finding it's best to go on an out-of-town excursion so as to get a little space.

Quote
Does your H respond this way any time you have time with others without him?
If he notices that I am developing a close friendship or finding support from someone or group (ie church family), he will act out in ways such as circular complaints about them, at times forbidding me to speak to them, leaving the church, etc.

The exception is my work (he has said he will spend all I make, and that he does). But tries to control that too if I share too much about it. If I disagree on any of the above, he takes an adversarial stance that I'm not "being submissive", not "leaving & cleaving".

Hi believes that if there is anything about my life he doesn't like, I should without question jump to his conclusion.

Quote
Often with such an insecure and seemingly paranoid type of person like you are describing, setting boundaries can set off reactions that are not safe.
Yes, I am very fearful of the reactions that may follow.  I have walked on eggshells a very long time to placate his anger, so I don't know quite what to expect.  I believe that if he got mad enough and left (or if I did), he would destroy the children through manipulations against me, not to mention any sort of joint custody he might charm a judge into. I must carefully guard what I do and say in front of them as they can sniff out the alpha dog. I work hard at maintaining their relationship with him, and it seems to have paid off with my one adult son who is now loving towards his father (and me), but keeps him at arm's length. On the other hand, I worry that I'm messing up their future relationships by letting them see him run me like a train.
Quote
Freedom is living our life in the way that works best for us, that considers our limits and needs, and those of our family.
I am finding such freedom from guilt in realizing I don't need to try to JADE him out of his twisted/paranoid reasoning. Just because I can't find the words or scripture to successfully defend my position to him does not mean the matter is settled in his favor. I can have my own interpretation, and as Starboard Song says, express my own morality through the boundaries I am setting. As I look back over the years, I see that I have implicitly set boundaries, but with a boatload of guilt and insecurity that what I am doing is right.

So my very biggest boundary to date has been that I am refusing to go back to work full time in order that he can have a cache of spending money (thus leaving me with precious little time to parent and enjoy friendships among all the Caretaking). As he jabs "unsubmissive", I know that I am doing the right thing for me and the kids. So far he has not left, and we are not bankrupt. But dealing with the fallout from that boundary has been and continues to be a bear. The good news is, it has pushed me to OOTF and to seek out outside counsel. And I think you're right that I need someone f2f who understands what's going on should something go extremely awry.
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

*

LSK1999

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 475
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2018, 03:53:40 PM »
Hi Mary, I wanted to share a few things about my experiences with you, if only to give you a way of looking at things differently. You are a clearly a great woman. You love your family, you love God, and you are extremely concerned about doing everything right. It is highly admirable that you seek biblical guidance and I do as well. You said something in an earlier post that rattled me a bit as to your husband talking about you submitting. This is a super touchy topic but I want to point something out to you, it sounds like your husband may be picking and choosing which scripture to follow , his interpretation of it, and how to use it to manipulate you. The bible also gives reference to a man treating his wife with utmost love because she is his greatest treasure, is your husband treating you in this way? Scripture has been used as a tool in Narcissistic abuse for many people and in many relationships. To me it is the most heinous of all forms of abuse, using the word of God to control, manipulate, and condemn another person for their behavior, all the while engaging in behavior that is totally abhors the teachings of Christ on how to treat other people. Must we forget the golden rule, do unto others? It seems insane to me that you are trying to fix all of this, while he seems to be telling you that you are the one with the problem.

I too lived with this type of holier than though behavior. Everything I did was under scrutiny, yet the man I was with for 14 years was never responsible for his OWN poor behavior. There is nowhere in the bible that states Christ expects you to take abuse, it's because he doesn't.   After 14 years this man destroyed me. I had nervous breakdowns, PTSD, and am still 10 years later dealing with the aftermath. I am going to say something here that no one else seems to be saying, but I need to say it none the less. Mary, you are being abused. I lived very similarly to you and I realize know I was like a chew toy between my family and my EX. Only my PD mother lived much closer and it was a constant battle over my time and attention. The problem really became glaringly obvious to me when coming OOTF, none of them cared about MY well being. I promise you that this treatment of you is not what God wants for you and no amount of what you do for your H will fix it. I live now in a state of regret that I did not leave sooner. The destruction this type of horrendous behavior of the PD's in my life has taken a toll that I will NEVER fully recover from. The destruction it has done to my children is the hardest part I have to face everyday. The worst part is I can see clearly for the first time in 42 years, God never wanted this for my life, this was not truly my purpose.

Love does not manipulate, control, or abuse. God is love, and he intends love for your life. He intends for us to have a husband that treats us a his greatest treasure, not one who treats us like an object he owns. Your H is very ill and without admitting to this and submitting to the fact that he is harming his wife emotionally, you are in this alone. I hear your pain, I have lived it, I feel it with every fiber of my being. NONE of this is your fault, you are a great person, greater than you can even see. You do not deserve this treatment and you should not accept it. Saying that and doing it are two totally different things, I am aware of this. I just want you to see that you are being treated very badly, and it's NOT okay. You deserve so much more. Sending you love and hugs...God Bless You and give you strength.


*

Julian R

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 99
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2018, 08:34:28 AM »
Hi Mary and all

I am a christian man and husband but I want to say that I agree wholeheartedly with LSK1999 - the Bible's / Paul's teaching on the submission of wives to husband has all to often been twisted and used by men in a controlling or abusive way.  I agree that such control is wrong and that such a use of scripture is wrong and brings Christ and the church into disrepute as well as damaging untold numbers of lives.  The whole context of this teaching is that, as LSK1999 says, the christian husband should be loving his wife as Christ loves the church - compassionately, mercifully, generously, selflessly, sacrificially and in a way that contributes to the flourishing and fulfilment of his wife - wow what a challenge!

Whatever submission looks like (a subject of debate) it will look very different for a wife who has a loving husband from a wife whose husband is controlling and abusive.  Certainly, under no circumstances does the "submission" of the Bible mean blind unquestioning obedience and it certainly does not require acceptance of abuse.

For me I guess the shoe is on the other foot - how is love different for a wife who is not submissive? ( does not like listening to even well meaning advice and often reacts nastily to it, takes decisions in her own interests first without thinking through impact on marriage, family life and children, can be overly demanding, sometimes controlling, sometimes verbally abusive but not in any way reaching the degree that many here suffer).

I would certainly find it easier to love a wife who did not display PD trait, easier to love if I hadn't endured years of frustration and hurt.

*

LSK1999

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 475
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2018, 04:39:00 PM »
Hi Julian, thanks for coming in with the perspective of a Christian man. You bring up a fantastic point that the shoe can be on the other foot too. I often forget as a woman how many men have suffered in abusive relationships as well. The bible offers us beautiful perspective on how to treat the people we love, and I couldn't agree with you more that it's these twisted perspectives that damage not only people but the church as well. I would go even further to say it ultimately spiritually damages people as they are told that Christ is expecting them to tolerate abuse, and this is his will for their life. It turns people away from our lord and savior, and I cannot think of anything more painful than that. It took me years of abuse to finally truly turn to Christ and beg why?? The blinders came off and so began my journey OOTF. It has been painful, scary, and harder than anything I have ever had to do. What knowing my heavenly father did for me was show me that he intended me for love and never wanted for me what I had lived through. It always deeply concerns me when I hear something that seems to distort the teachings of Christ in an abusive manner and I was always too scared to weigh in. I am finding my voice through Christ and his love, but it really was nice to have another Christian (better yet a man  ;)) say what I know in my soul is true.

*

Julian R

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 99
Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2018, 09:19:42 AM »
Hi Julian, thanks for coming in with the perspective of a Christian man. You bring up a fantastic point that the shoe can be on the other foot too. I often forget as a woman how many men have suffered in abusive relationships as well. The bible offers us beautiful perspective on how to treat the people we love, and I couldn't agree with you more that it's these twisted perspectives that damage not only people but the church as well. I would go even further to say it ultimately spiritually damages people as they are told that Christ is expecting them to tolerate abuse, and this is his will for their life. It turns people away from our lord and savior, and I cannot think of anything more painful than that. It took me years of abuse to finally truly turn to Christ and beg why?? The blinders came off and so began my journey OOTF. It has been painful, scary, and harder than anything I have ever had to do. What knowing my heavenly father did for me was show me that he intended me for love and never wanted for me what I had lived through. It always deeply concerns me when I hear something that seems to distort the teachings of Christ in an abusive manner and I was always too scared to weigh in. I am finding my voice through Christ and his love, but it really was nice to have another Christian (better yet a man  ;)) say what I know in my soul is true.

Hello LSK1999
Thank you for your kind and affirming post following mine.  I have re-read your two posts and am sorry for all that you have suffered, for the long and painful journey you have had, but i am glad that you are now in a position to give real support and advice to others.

I hesitate to write what will follow as it will kind of digress from the original thread and put the focus on myself rather than Mary - I apologise if this is not appropriate, but not sure where else to put it or if better to start a new thread (?)

I feel a bit churned up - perhaps by your implied but possibly unintended inference that I might be in an abusive relationship.  I think part of my problem is knowing whether I am in one or not and perhaps the fear or pride of facing up to that if it is true.  Certainly I do not have to endure some of the clear and flagrant abuse so many here have to endure but at the same time the nature of my uDPw behaviour has been damaging to me, our marriage and our children.  I cannot escape that fact. I feel in a bad place.

She can be somewhat verbally abusive - if I press the right buttons - but I am learning to avoid this, to avoid JADEing and so this doesn't happen often but it is a bit like walking on eggshells.  What I find so wearying and has drained me is her,what seems like almost relentless negativity - not so much about me - mainly about other people and events, things said and done that she perceives as unfair - and some were - but she just doesn't resolve or move on and virtually daily she will complain lengthily about someone or something - a victim mentality - and she just dumps it all on me, expecting me to listen and to agree but not wanting advice or to be encouraged to resolve..  So on the whole she is not, I don't think being deliberately abusive, but she fails to see how her way of being affects me  - I am seeing it is quite toxic.  She can be quite demanding and impatient as well - very focused on herself, but also the children, with little regard to how I feel or my well being.

I am not sure how I would react if someone defined this as an abusive relationship.  Certainly there is so much not right and I am also far from perfect.

I think I have still a lot of progress to make on seeing how this affects me spiritually and understanding how it all fits in with God and how I have understood the Bible and how that is evolving or may need to evolve.  But I had best stop here. 

Again apologies if  have hijacked the thread.