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I am a new christian, divorced mother in a relationship with Christian man, help!!

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  • Please Help I am a new christian, divorced mother in a relationship with Christian man, help!!

    Background information: I grew up in an abusive alcoholic home, very sheltered from the outside world so my mom could hide her problem, no extra curricular activities, no friends, very introverted as a child, very naive when entering into the adult world forcible (mom got drunk and kicked me out) at age 16. I was also sexually molested for about four years by an uncle between ages 7 and 10. I was raped at age 17, was a virgin at the time and in my first ever relationship, a couple months into it. At the time, I felt like the only thing I had left to value was my virginity and it was stolen from me. I fell apart, took a shower til my roommate found me frozen and helped me out and went to bed crying and woke up mad at the world. Life had already hurt me so deeply and now, I couldn't imagine anything worse. I had been told about accepting God into my life and heart when I was 10 years old, by my paternal Grandma, so I have always prayed since then, as much as I knew how. I was never allowed to go to church or have a bible, just took Grandma's word for it. Somehow, I always felt Someone beside me as I went through tramatic event after tramatic event. At the time of my rape, I felt hopeless, devastated, like I had nothing else to give, I attempted suicide. I survived, but after that, I ended up starting to have sex with my boyfriend...I found out I was pregnant the next month...I have never really known whose child my daughter is. She's 18 now and her father (who I think it is, if it wasn't from the rape) has been absent in her life and I raised her alone. I've had two failed marriages, one because alcohol became an issue and my husband wasn't coming home at night...being a child of an alcoholic parent, I could not accept this, it was too painful, our marriage ended in a year. My next "relationship" (not marriage) was with a man who I had a feeling wasn't right for me from the start, I suffered from low self esteem and grew up not having a voice and it was almost impossible for me to voice my opinion unless something was shockingly wrong, I also didn't feel I knew what normal was, so I didn't trust my own self. This man lived with his parents and I didn't allow him around my daughter because I didn't want to just bring men in and out of her life, so one night he picked me up for a date and he took me to a hotel. I felt very uncomfortable, and I froze, I didn't want to have sex, but I didn't stand up and say no. A week later, I heard a confrontation between his mom and him where he seemed very cruel, red flag!! I was feeling very uneasy about the relationship, but I still didn't speak up. I thought seriously about ending the relationship in the next couple weeks. Then, I found out I was pregnant. I was devastated. I felt trapped, confused. Two months into my pregnancy, this man choked me and hit me for the first time. The next four years were very scary as the behavior escalated and I felt I had no way out. I was afraid because he threatened my life, was being beat down emotionally and physically on a daily basis, which didn't help my self-esteem issues. Somewhere along the way, I decided to confide in family about what I was going through. Long story short, I found the strength to sign up for some college courses and as I went to school, I excelled (my motivation was very strong), my self esteem gradually grew out of my accomplishments, until finally (even though the situation got 10 times worse when I was spending time out of the home for my own growth), I found the courage to leave the relationship. So, single mother of two children and feeling stronger than ever. I concentrated on school, had moral support from family and prayed a lot and borrowed strength as much as was alloted. I didn't date for a year and a half. I landed a decent job with the state after a year and a half of schooling as a computer programmer, almost doubled my income. My son's father continued to be in his life and has been an okay parent as far as I can see. I haven't heard my son complain, and he excels in school, etc...very good, well-balanced child. A year and a half after that relationship ended, I started to date again and met my second husband. We lived a distance from one another, so we didn't see each other much while dating. He had two children from a previous marriage, never showed any signs of drinking or anything that stood out as red flags, although, I didn't feel completely at ease because we didn't spend time with all the kids and us together while dating. We got married and moved to his home town. He started behaving differently, going out with his cousins to bars, etc...a few weeks after the honeymoon, I caught him with a woman in his truck. I was devastated. I left him. He hunted me down and begged, said he would stop drinking, etc...so I tried to give the marriage a chance. For the next three years, there were a lot of problems with the family blending, he was working on the road and I just never gained the trust in him again even though I tried, I still felt like he was cheating at times, but never caught him. We had a child upon the advice of family members who said it would help with the family blending. HUGE MISTAKE!! I ended up ending the marriage when I suspected he was cheating again and he did not want to seek counseling. I sought some advice from a local pastor and felt like I had a right to leave the marriage. I have since given the child we had to he and his new wife to raise as I moved an hour away and the circumstances were not working for the best interest of the child.

    Throughout my marriages, sexual encounters were very uncomfortable. I always felt very inadequate, and just very uneasy about the experiences, not enjoyable, like I was "expected" to. At times in these relationships when times were bad, I would shut down in that area, which made my problems worse and my son's father actually forced me a couple times in the end...

    Today: Going into the dating scene again, I was very picky about what I was looking for. I read a lot of self help books during my separation, saw a pastor for counseling a few times and I really wanted to find a life partner with "SUBSTANCE". I turned to online dating sites as I felt it would be easier for me to "stand up" and say "no thanks" if I saw yellow flags, etc... And it worked out perfectly. It was frustrating at first, because even in that scene you have a lot of men not seeking the "right" things. I was very honest about who I was and what I was seeking and was not seeming to get the types of men I would choose to get to know. Then, I met my current boyfriend.

    He is a counselor for disadvantaged adoptive kids and their families. He loves children, is very good with them, etc...he is Christian, more at a spiritual personal level and he has had some struggles with trusting in the churches he has been involved in as different incidences have occurred in people he wouldn't expect to see these things happen, such as infidelity. His step-father enjoyed female magazines and he was exposed at a young age, which he was negatively effected by and he was molested as a child by his step sister. He, like myself, is divorced, and although he had minimal sexual encounters, was not a virgin before marriage, but did wait to marry before having sex with his wife. They were knowingly not in love going in and were trying to "choose" marriage and have the love follow, she was raised bible belt Christian. My boyfriend struggled with not ever developing feelings of love for her and she became violent during their marriage. He left the marriage after several separations and going through a number of pastoral counselors, where the last one told him that God would forgive him if he got a divorce.

    So, now, we are both in pursuit of peace and happiness and "forever". We met a year ago this July online. We exchanged about 750 emails before meeting in person. We got a real sense of what each other was about and built a lot of trust through the emails. We talked on the phone some before we met. I felt comfortable telling him my story, and he nicknamed me "Sweet Pea" The "Pea" stands for Pearl. I am sure you know the pearl story, which pretty much talks about how through adversity a beautiful, priceless gem is formed. And he treats me as a beautiful, priceless gem when it's just he and I.

    We both admit: Our relationship is as close to perfect as we could hope, the match is good, we have a lot in common, beautiful conversation, like goals for the future, we have had opportunity to work together, play together, pray together. We have read couples devotionals, gone through a pre-marital tape series. Everything is beautiful. We have been sexually intimate (which we aren't sure of), but, the amazing part is, neither one of us is uncomfortable as we were both previously. We have gone back and forth, abstaining and then not. Both ways, our relationship is very rewarding and beautiful. We love each other, are very intimate in many ways and feel a potential completion there. We would both say we are great friends and would not ask for more in a partner for life.

    The Problem: My boyfriend met my kids early on, last October, beautiful match there as well, especially with my 11 year old, who is the only child I have at home still. He is a great kid and my boyfriend will tell you he loves him, cares about him very much. Very early on, it was very comfortable, we started family meetings, did lots of activities together from board games to parks to family visits, etc...it was going beautifully in that respect as well.

    The problem arises with my exes and the constant reminder to him of where I've been. He doesn't judge me, he doesn't blame me for HIS issue, he understands how my path led to where it did when thinking of the abuse and trauma I went through and my no sense of value for myself. He can't look at my child without seeing or "thinking about" how he was created (sexually) and is constantly reminded that I shared that experience with another and, knowing my path, even though he isn't dealing with my other children, but knows that he is the 5th man I've been with. He's been with four women, but very minimally as he was able more to stand up and voice his unease at the times he felt them. He knows who I am today and how far I have come, he thinks I am a beautiful mother, person of quality with all of the qualities he has been seeking. There is nothing I could do better in his words, that I go above and beyond. This is a constant struggle for him, he's tried to reframe, we've prayed together...we are seeking counseling now, haven't found anything that has helped yet. This is a man who told his mom that he wants to marry me, that he loves me so much...he wishes he could make this one issue go away or figure out how to have peace with it.

    We are so in love and have so much positive going on for us. My boyfriend has stopped spending time with my son, so my son is hurt now, but it was bothering him so much that he had to set those boundaries for himself to be able to give to the relationship outside of that issue. Please, we would appreciate any advice at all no matter which direction.

  • #2
    girl_murky, I see you are new and if you haven't done so..you may want to introduce yourself briefly in our Introductions section so that others can greet you.

    Posters on this section give advice and counsel and will need some time to read through your lengthy post. Many respond in the evening..so you should be getting some replies to your post closer to then. It is still morning here on PST.

    I need to clarify two things:;


    girl_murky...You do mention that you and your male friend are getting counseling. We are not professional counselors here and we give mainly biblical counsel and advice with a measure of old fashioned common sense and some of our own experiences.

    But just so you'll know right now: We are a bible based Christian forum and as such we take the stance in which we don't condone fornication or justification for it. We do try to listen with compassion.


    Peace in Christ,

    wiseoldowl..facilitator
    "The flowers appear on the earth,
    the time of singing has come,
    and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land
    ." SofS 2:12 (RSV)

    Comment


    • #3
      Your background is heartbreaking. I went through a brutal amount of garbage from the time I was 8 until I escaped my home at 18. My stepfather was an absolute animal and tyrant, treated both me and my sister very badly...and my mother was far too concerned with her own happiness to intercede because of the miserable way my father treated her.

      I'll tell you this...if this guy can't accept the fact that your son is who he is, and not his father, and has gotten to the point where he won't spend time with him...then the relationship will NOT work. DON'T subject your son to this, it isn't fair and he certainly didn't ask for it. It will end badly, regardless of how great you think things may be otherwise. This guy sounds like he has a serious maturity issue and hasn't come to grips with your past yet...inspite of what he might say to the contrary...and you need to brace yourself for the fact that he may never get to this point.

      I don't mean to sound harsh or cold, but when I see something like this it reminds me a great deal of the situation I grew up in, and I'd hate the thought of another innocent kid being subjected to the same thing. You have to tell him how it is...your son is part of the deal, regardless of any issues he may have with how many other guys you've been with or whatever. He can take it or leave it. It won't be easy, and it may very well end things between you and him...but keep in mind...if it does, it wasn't right. If you don't, and you go forward and marry this guy, you will hate yourself and it will fail.
      ...be excellent to each other...

      Comment


      • #4
        To be fair to the man I am dating, he does realize this is HIS issue and has never been anything but kind to my son in his presence. They have even talked openly about HIS problem, which he openly admits he wished wasn't an issue.

        He also, to his credit, decided to try to work on HIS issue in counseling with me and is open to trying anything and has been a trouper, just hasn't had any relief from the grief he feels of what he has lost with me over times of the past.

        He has been trying and set the boundaries because he doesn't ever want to hurt a child with unfair words or otherwise. I think this is noble and I appreciate his honesty that it is difficult for him, and that he owns it as "nothing about us" but about something in him that he is insecure about.

        Thanks for reading and your input, does this change how you would view the situation. I am used to guys that don't want to be open about issues, but when something is bothering them, they want to hit, ridicule or cheat and he certainly hasn't done this. We are just searching for maybe another Christian couple that may have struggled with a similar circumstance and "how" they were able to work through the difficult parts.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by girl_munky72 View Post
          To be fair to the man I am dating, he does realize this is HIS issue and has never been anything but kind to my son in his presence. They have even talked openly about HIS problem, which he openly admits he wished wasn't an issue.

          He also, to his credit, decided to try to work on HIS issue in counseling with me and is open to trying anything and has been a trouper, just hasn't had any relief from the grief he feels of what he has lost with me over times of the past.

          He has been trying and set the boundaries because he doesn't ever want to hurt a child with unfair words or otherwise. I think this is noble and I appreciate his honesty that it is difficult for him, and that he owns it as "nothing about us" but about something in him that he is insecure about.

          Thanks for reading and your input, does this change how you would view the situation. I am used to guys that don't want to be open about issues, but when something is bothering them, they want to hit, ridicule or cheat and he certainly hasn't done this. We are just searching for maybe another Christian couple that may have struggled with a similar circumstance and "how" they were able to work through the difficult parts.
          While I think that it's great that he's trying, I would SERIOUSLY not commit yourself to anything long term until you are both satisfied that he will be able to handle this situation. He needs to understand that the past is just that, the past. I'm happy for you that you've been able to find somebody this decent after all the garbage that you've been through, and I know that God wants to bless you. Just remember, it's His will and His plan, not ours. If this is in His will to be, it will be.

          I'll pray for you on this, and remember, if you want to talk to me about it at all, feel free to. I'm obviously far from perfect, but I'll be willing to help in any way that I can.

          Bless you
          ...be excellent to each other...

          Comment


          • #6
            You've been through hell and back and met the devil, himself, in your life of trials.

            For that, I am sorry.

            Your experiences with men from an early age is still affecting you, no doubt.

            Take what I say, not as professional advice from a licensed counselor because I am not, but as words from one woman to another.

            It's natural for men to sometimes "balk" at the idea that their wives or future wives have been with other men, even though the men have possibly been with other women themselves. It's just the nature of a man. It's the old "double standard".

            But, there are countless wonderful men who can rise above this and face life with their wives or future wives with confidence and unconditional love.

            I can't tell you what to do....I can only tell you what I would do.

            (1.) I would not sleep with this man again unless I were married to him. I know that this is easier said than done. Something like is VERY DIFFICULT for women who have been abused and believe that they have finally found solice in a great man. For us women, sex means something different than it does for men. Nothing better, nothing worse....just different. Sex, for us women includes making us feel loved and worthy whether he actually loves us or esteems us or not. We crave the physical attention because we need to feel like everything is going to be alright. We need security as women - mostly emotional security. Examine your heart very carefully. Are you sleeping with this man because you gain a sense of self-validation? There's nothing wrong with gaining a sense of security or self-worth when a wife has sex with her husband. But for the woman with emotional scars from hellish childhood and young adult years, the sex act which brings a temporary falling away of the pain cannot be substituted for what sex is really supposed to mean between a husband and his wife.

            (2.) I would not continue the relationship with this man nor marry him, if he showed the slightest twinge of indifference towards my child or me because of a "past" of mine. Period. He may love you very much. But you can't live on love. There also has to be mutual respect, admiration, encouragement, forgiveness, and a mutual unconditional affection that buries the past into a sea of absolution. He MUST forgive those who abused you. He MUST forgive you. And he MUST beg your forgiveness for treating your son this way and for treating you this way. And he MUST move on and put the past in the past. This is his burden.....not yours.

            (3.) I would spend some time working on my worth as human being all by myself. Just like the woman at the well whom Jesus so lovingly showed her a worth that she had never known, even when having to chastise her for her indiscretions, seek God's face and let God show you what is means to be loved unconditionally. When you can stand alone and live alone (with your child) and be completely happy and content alone.....then seek a mate.

            I will pray for you, your child, and this man.

            Under no circumstances must you allow your relationship with this man who has shown scorn to your child to supercede your child's emotional needs.......otherwise, the vicious cycle will continue in your own child's life.

            God bless you, sister.
            sigpic
            ".....it's your nickel"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by girl_munky72 View Post

              We are so in love and have so much positive going on for us. My boyfriend has stopped spending time with my son, so my son is hurt now, but it was bothering him so much that he had to set those boundaries for himself to be able to give to the relationship outside of that issue. Please, we would appreciate any advice at all no matter which direction.

              For goodness sakes, if you are both Christians and willing to make a fresh start and do it God's way, then by all means get married. Don't look back - just look forward. You can't change the past and neither can he.

              Jesus forgave us of ALL our sins (past, present & future) and we need to try and be as merciful to others and Christ is to us. You let this man know that you are a different woman today than you were before and if he wants to marry you, then he will make a committment before God to love you like Christ loves the church.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you all for your replies and the beautiful support and prayers offered. I appreciate any and all replies and really feel God's love!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by girl_munky72 View Post
                  Thank you all for your replies and the beautiful support and prayers offered. I appreciate any and all replies and really feel God's love!!
                  On behalf of all here..you are most welcome. So glad you found the support helpful.

                  peace and blessings,

                  owl
                  "The flowers appear on the earth,
                  the time of singing has come,
                  and the voice of the turtledove
                  is heard in our land
                  ." SofS 2:12 (RSV)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    same here

                    i do sympathise with you i myself have struggled with the men in my life before i got married... i remember my sister when i was about 4 or 5 having sex with me when she was 14 she committed suicide.. i have never had a normal relationship since then.. at 16 i got pregnant and my mom made me have and abortion . i have had 3 or 4 abortions since then i have lost count.. my younger sister slept with my then boyfriend when she was sixteen and 5 years later they are still together.. i stopped talking to my sister for a while but God's grace allowed me to move on .. i have since gotten married to a non christian.. there is so much more but i know that Christ hears and knows all.. i have unfortunately fallen into a trap where i go to porn sites and as a woman that is some scary stuff.. i do ask that i be prayed for........ and girl murky no you shouldnt make it appear to your son that you prefer your boyfriend over him your son may be fine now in appearance but he WILL have emotional scars.. trust me i'm an expert in that department. when we look for love it is so easy to make justifications for our wrong doings.. but God knows the beginning and the end, take some time from this man and spend it with your son only, talk to your son and see how he feels about the situation.. remember we have to give God account for how we raised our children.

                    be blessed...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have read through your post this morning, and i have to say my heart goes out to you, as you've been through much.
                      I have read the following responses and replies.

                      What i see is that you have an honest man, with a confessed issue. I'm not sure how to help you, but i have some thoughts i can share.
                      It seems to me that mostly he is troubled by your past? Or is it specifically the last man and child that came out of that relationship?

                      For the biggest thing what disturbed me is that he has issues with how your son was created. Perhaps the main issue for your boy friend/fiancee is that he cannot see him as a product of love.

                      Have you asked him what exactly his fears are concerning this disgust he feels? Perhaps if he could express it better it could be worked out easier?

                      Maybe he is afraid that the negativity behind your life could rear it's ugly head once again?

                      Let's put things in perspective:

                      1 No matter how your children were created, they are a gift of God.
                      2 The circumstances you were in were not ideal, but circumstances lead us to react in certain ways.
                      3 We all grow with the experiences life throws us, whether that be good or bad experiences, it's up to us to improve ourselves instead of letting things get us down.
                      4 With both of you having found God and looking to Him, the past experiences are a stepping stool to much improvement for the future for the both of you, your children and others around you.
                      5 The past cannot be changed, you can only take it and use it to improve and learn from.

                      Your boy-friend/fiancee will need to turn to God and the scriptures, in order to find the root cause for this issue and or come to terms with things in order to safely tie the knot with you. I appreciate his honesty, and until he's figured things out, you need to see what you both can do to resolve this before you enter marriage.

                      Also keep in mind that love is a verb, it's something you do, not something that just hits you. See if he can little by little work this out of his system. Ask him to focus on the positive and not the negative.

                      I hope that helps and feel free to give me feedback on my thoughts.

                      Shalom,
                      Tanja
                      Jer 6:16 Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.
                      2Jn 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
                      If it's not done out of unselfish love, then it's hardly righteous.
                      http://disciple2yeshua.wordpress.com/



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