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Guest Woodleigh

30 Year Fundie Relationship

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Guest Woodleigh

How do you tell them?

 

 

And how do I know I won't change my mind?

 

 

 

I got religion when I was seven, went a little wild when i was in my mid-teens, came back to (G)od, got married in my early twenties and have mentally been in and out of faith for the last thirty years of marriage to my ULTRA fundie wife.

 

 

I can only blame me.

 

 

 

I am the ultimate spiritual yo-yo. I can tell you I can be at the height of it all and walk away. Mentally that is. It is impossible to make a no-show because my marriage would become hell on earth. I have hinted a little in the past and it was enough to know what it would be like making a bold declaration.

 

 

It would be suicide.

 

 

Ok it was suicide when I got married - when I made bad decisions etc etc.... it is all my fault.

 

 

Sometimes I feel that there is just no place to go and then I start thinking....oh yeah..(G)od is just waiting for me to return and we can pick up where we left off.

 

So I get back into it and start thinking "why did I ever doubt?".... then I start to question and end up mentally "leaving".

 

 

So in between being sincere and serious I amacting the part and pretending to play the game.

 

 

Does it drive me a little crazy....? OH yes.... can I tell you...I am the worship leader in my church..!

 

 

Time after time people come up to me and say how blessed they have been by me leading them into (G)od's presence.

 

Hey, it's worse than that even... I have see miracles...something happens....it's never consistent so I feel it's really more up to the individual than any beseeching of the almighty one. I can't explain it and I don't condemn anyone either.

 

 

I have read comments about some so-called christians being selfish and sometimes downright nasty and getting away with it... I have seen too much of that and I am still seeing it.

 

 

 

We have children - one says the bible is nonsense and the other says it is maybe half right but nothing to get involved with and they will go to church when they feel moved to do so. They have seen all the hypocrisy too.

 

My wife wastes absolutely no opportunity to go after them and expects me to back her up.... I try to be moderate... I wish I had my kids' boldness. They have their own lives elsewhere.

 

 

The church has stunted any progress we might have made in life all because any suggestions I ever made had to be presented to the celestial "board". If there was no affirmative reply then she said..." The Lord does not want us to do it" We therefore missed one golden opprotunity after another and are still scrabbling around in poverty because..."this is where the Lord wants us for time being."

 

 

If any of you have been in a similar situation can you make any suggestions as to what I can do before my life ebbs completely into the drain?

 

 

(Thank you for this forum)

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Welcome to the board Woodleigh,

 

The only advice I can give you is this:

 

Often the best decision has nothing to do with what is right or wrong, but instead is determined by what course of action you can live with. :shrug:

 

IBF

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Guest Woodleigh

Thank you both for replying so quickly.

 

 

Yes, I do love her and she loves me. Yes, I am stuck.

 

 

My kids don't live here anymore, they are grown up. I am sure they have been affected by the hypocrisy they have seen but they have their own lives now and just try to deflect my wife's urgingsfor them to find a church etc etc.

 

 

I am thinking about finding a way to get her to consider alternative possibilities for the things she so blindly believes in but this is an awesome task as her mind is shut tight. She sets light to anything that she thinks is "not of the Lord."

 

As I say I have been in and out of faith many many times over the last thrity years and occasionally I have brought home publications on alternative faiths and pagan stuff.

 

Very rarely she has found such things stashed away and has totally flipped - she has both binned and burned stuff of mine. She has hit me before now too. I noticed your picture on the left - the woman with the rolling pin - I have been hit with one. She has taken desperate measures to get me back on track including beating me until I declared that "Jesus is Lord". Most times when I decided that I no longer believed I never said anything but you know its like a pressure cooker and sometimes you have to say something

 

I am not in physical danger as long as I play the game. She is a small person and easily disarmed but to avoid a scene or attracting the neighbours attention with her screams while she tries to beat the "devil" out of me I have usually complied pretty quickly.

 

It has been at least five years since I last made any reference to doubting anything and there has been no violence in that time. But I wouldn't discount it... she has lost both her children to the " world " so I know she won't let her husband go without a struggle.

 

 

Thanks again for the quick replies...if anyone else has any ideas please let me know...

 

Best wishes to you all,

 

 

Woodleigh

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Hey Woodleigh,

Where's Neverland? Hah! It would be so nice just to be able to wake up, and see that you're still seventeen and you just got a good look at what your life would be like if you made certain choices...but, instead, you get the good with the bad.

I was the Prasie & Worship Minister at my last post in Christendom. The closer you move to "the head" of the church, the more of its lies become evident.

I know what you mean about - "The Anointing is so Strong on you", and "deliverances" and "miracles"... I also know that when instances of "deliverances" and "miracles" are reported in "Heathen Religions", they are ascribed to Satan and Demons and Witchcraft... But, that really goes in contradiction to the dogma preached...being..."The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy".

You do have a predicament, though. While you may look at your path as one of hots and colds, another explanation could be - the life that you're supposedly connected to, isn't in "the church".

I love my wife...and we've had numerous explosions...simply on account of - regardless of the evidence, she can't accept that what she's been trained to believe is a lie...

Likewise, her entire social world (and, she is a social person) revolved around the church. And everytime I tell her - "You believe whatever you choose to believe. I'm not trying to convince you of anything." Which always results in her starting to pack up...(to see if I'll try to stop her)...but then, when it's apparent that I'm letting her do what she chooses...she returns to the battle, and starts asking "Why do you believe this?".

Don't you find it interesting that every Christian's "conversion" experience, is different?

Wouldn't you think that something as "miraculous" as the New Birth, would show some kind of verifiable proof?

I mean, I was 6 years old when I was Saved...(not counting the twenty million prodigal son journeys back)... I can remember it. It was at a "Kid's Camp"... "GOD, I'm so sorry that I've been such an evil person, and that your son had to die because of me... Oh God Oh God Oh God..."... Six years old. When my children were six years old, the worst thing they'd ever done was fight with each other. I can't imagine that I was much worse...but however bad I was, it deserved Hell.

Do what you choose...but consider this... If the reasons you haven't been "blessed" with abundance and the lot...is that "Your season" hasn't yet arrived...or because "You haven't become holy/submissive/faithful/disciplined/whatever-enough"...you're never gonna get there.

My father is 76 years old. His whole life (whole life) has been DEVOTED to Jesus/God/The Church...and his last fifteen or more years, he's seen that with all his effort and study and prayer and worship and giving and tithing and fasting and teaching and ministry - he's no closer to what he "believes to be real" than when he was a youth.

Good Luck to you and your family.

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Guest Woodleigh

Hi Minstrel,

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

Much of what you say clicks with me.

 

You have even said some things that I didn't realise the importance of before.

 

It might just look as if I have to stay put and suffer so if anyone has any ideas on how to cope with a hopeless situation (until a miracle happens, of course - lol) then I would love to hear from you.

 

 

Yours in torment.

 

Woodleigh

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Very rarely she has found such things stashed away and has totally flipped - she has both binned and burned stuff of mine. She has hit me before now too. I noticed your picture on the left - the woman with the rolling pin - I have been hit with one. She has taken desperate measures to get me back on track including beating me until I declared that "Jesus is Lord". Most times when I decided that I no longer believed I never said anything but you know its like a pressure cooker and sometimes you have to say something

 

I am not in physical danger as long as I play the game. She is a small person and easily disarmed but to avoid a scene or attracting the neighbours attention with her screams while she tries to beat the "devil" out of me I have usually complied pretty quickly.

 

It has been at least five years since I last made any reference to doubting anything and there has been no violence in that time. But I wouldn't discount it... she has lost both her children to the " world " so I know she won't let her husband go without a struggle.

Woodleigh, this is spousal abuse. It may be true that you love her, but listen to yourself; "I am not in physical danger as long as I play the game". You are allowing yourself to be controlled; a relationship like this is unhealthy. The last paragraph that I quoted from you shows that you still recognize that, if you don't behave, she could strike again. You need to immediately contact a marriage counselor for advice. As long as she is capable of violence against you, you are in danger. I struggle to see how you can love someone who hits you, especially if they have used objects like rolling pins. Are you sure she loves you? Because love would include respect. Please get some counseling from a secular source, and if she ever hits you again, call the police.

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Woodleigh, you are being abused. Get thee to a non-Christian counsellor or to one of the many abuse-counselling forums on the Internet. (I mod at one; PM me if you want the URL.)

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I noticed your picture on the left - the woman with the rolling pin - I have been hit with one. She has taken desperate measures to get me back on track including beating me until I declared that "Jesus is Lord". Most times when I decided that I no longer believed I never said anything but you know its like a pressure cooker and sometimes you have to say something.

 

Like many Christians your wife is acting out fear when she physically threatens or assaults you. It mimics anger very closely but I have the suspicion that if you asked your wife what she was afraid of rather than what is making her angry you will likely get a reply that you can really address. Acting out like she is doing is reprehensible but understandable for a person in her mental state. I am not excusing the behavior at all, but we are mammals and her fear response is rather typical. :shrug:

 

By the way, my avatar of the lovely lady (Brini Maxwell) with the rolling pin is actually a man in drag. He/She has her own decorating program on cable TV.
:grin:

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She is a small person and easily disarmed but to avoid a scene or attracting the neighbours attention with her screams while she tries to beat the "devil" out of me I have usually complied pretty marriage guidance/cousequickly.

 

Firstly, I'm in complete agreement with those who've said that this is spousal abuse. The fact that she is "a small person" is completely immateial! Abusers use what they have at their disposal, and "small" abusers take full advantage of the fact that you won't fight back because they are "small" which is taking advantage of your good nature as well as abusing you. Having suffered at the hands of a mentally abusive man, I would hate to have anyone go through any form of abuse. It won't get better if you just "play ball", that's just pushing it under the carpet. For your peace of mind I would definitely urge you to seek some form of external help.

 

All the best.

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Guest Woodleigh

LOL... a man in drag ?....trust me not to know the difference... too innocent by half...thats my problem - story of my life..LOL

 

 

 

Yes... it is abuse...and yes, I see that it is generated by fear.

 

 

You wanna know something ironic?

 

 

I got her into this in the first place.

 

 

I led her in the sinner's prayer.

 

 

You can see what it would do to her to see me reject what I offered to her as a crutch all these years.

 

 

 

Further irony :

 

 

She is the ONLY person I ever led to Jesus.

 

 

 

 

Thank you to Ex-COG, Astreja and I Broke Free for your replies.

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Guest Woodleigh

SWISS MISS...

 

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

 

You are completely right...and I should do something because if it was the other way round i doubt that "fear" would be an acceptable excuse.

 

 

By the way...

 

 

If you have not already done so... go here to see Eddie Izzard in a video on stage... video starts immediately in its own frame....

 

 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=24...;q=eddie+izzard

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Thanks for the link Woodleigh, I have that one on video as well as several others. The extract on my sig comes from Circle which has some other gems about the whole Jesus myth; making comedy of it all really does the trick with putting it in its proper, ridiculous place.

 

I know I've said stuff like this before but at the risk of repeating myself, I'll say it again: fear is a terrible thing, it keeps people locked in the prison of behaviour patterns long after logic would have freed them. The worst thing of all is that it is always up to the victim to learn to let go of the fear and therefore remove the power of the oppressor.

 

Good luck, Woodleigh, I'm thinking of you. :)

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LOL... a man in drag ?....trust me not to know the difference... too innocent by half...thats my problem - story of my life..LOL

 

 

 

Yes... it is abuse...and yes, I see that it is generated by fear.

 

 

You wanna know something ironic?

 

 

I got her into this in the first place.

 

 

I led her in the sinner's prayer.

 

 

You can see what it would do to her to see me reject what I offered to her as a crutch all these years.

 

 

 

Further irony :

 

 

She is the ONLY person I ever led to Jesus.

 

 

 

 

Thank you to Ex-COG, Astreja and I Broke Free for your replies.

 

 

It sounds like you believe its ALL your fault....& maybe feel like you 'deserve it'...?

 

That's a common reaction.....btw.

 

however.....if I can say....it can also be quite 'ego' based....that to feel 'responsible' for the actions of another can cause a person to get some kind of personal 'reward'.....personal stability etc.

perhaps to stay stuck in that relationship - (30 years is a very long time). Stuckness is a decision - that people often make but don't realise it is still a 'decision'...

 

all the best.

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Interesting. I read your post, and except for the part about being worship leader at church, I could have sworn you were my dad!

 

My parents will be married 26 years in about a month. My mom is a very staunch conservative, and always has been. She might give an inch or two on some issues, but she is definitely a fundie. My dad, on the other hand, likes to put on a big show of being a fundamentalist, and he has most people convinced except me. I think he does it just because of his "wild days" back when he was a teenager, and he is just trying to compensate now. I could totally see him having questions about his faith, though it would be extremely hard for him to admit it if he did. One thing is for sure, their marriage would definitely become "hell on earth" if he did.

 

Even where you talk about your kids it sounded just like my sister and I. I think the Bible is nonsense, and while my sister still professes to be a Christian and will go to church occasionally, she has her own questions about it, questions that she hasn't revealed to many people besides me. When I left my faith, leaving my fundie fiancee, my mom was horrified. Every time I talk to her (which isn't often anymore) she somehow manages to bring up religion and give me guilt trips about having questions. My mom can sometimes be a very manipulative bitch, both to her children and to her husband. I love her deeply, as I always have, but she has a very poor way of reciprocating it.

 

It is a hard situation, I am sure. I have a lot of sympathy for my dad, and as a result, I can see some of what you are going through. I have also felt the pain of having someone say they love you for who you are, and then reject you when you show the slightest hint of change. It is basically a no-win situation. Either you come out and have your marriage go to shit, as well as have many of your so-called friends in the church leave you, or you keep it inside and just slowly rot away for the rest of your life.

 

It has to be an extremely hard decision. You face some pretty serious hardships either way. Personally, I could never live with myself if I wasn't honest about what I feel and believe. If you have questions, I say get them out in the open, and if anyone gives you grief about it, just tell them where they can go.

 

There are people on this board who care. All of us have our own tales of how we deconverted, and many were in very complicated situations like yours. We don't have all of the answers, but we can offer a listening ear and some friendly advice. You are among friends here.

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Guest freebird

Woodleigh, your post could have been written about my dad also. After converting to A of G in order to marry my mother, he believed for about 10-15 years, then had the usual questions that intelligent people have. Well, she wouldn't have that. So he kept playing the game, and I think he really envied my brother and me when we were able to leave the church at 18 (not without scars).

 

What's horrible is what came later. At age 62 my father had a brain tumor. You can probably imagine the scenario: prayers for healing, pastors accusing our parents of "insufficient faith," God is testing him, blah, blah, blah. He was in horrible pain, emotionally, physically and spiritually, and he was terrified. He didn't want to die yet, heaven or not. Instead of supporting him, my mother accused him of having "a bad attitude." He felt abandoned by his God and by his entire church. He told my mother; she told him he would go to hell for saying that (this after 30-plus years of religious devotion--what kind of God would eternally punish somebody responding in agony to the suffering from a brain tumor?)

 

Of course the day my father died, everyone closed ranks and at his funeral, the pastor preached that God had given him "peace in his final moments." Guess what; I was there and the pastor wasn't, and it wasn't peaceful.

 

My greatest pain in life was that my father never was able to break free. He couldn't even socialize with his coworkers because my mother wouldn't set foot in an unbeliever's house. He died a bit too young, but he also died without having really lived.

 

My mother believed that grieving was the sign of insufficient faith. (She had lost her first husband to a brain tumor also, before I was born, and I believe for her, the church was a way for her to stay in denial and never really grieve that loss. When a cousin committed suicide, she wrote in her journal that it is hard to see the parents grieving because it shows they have an inadequate relationship with the Lord.) So she wouldn't grieve at all. She thought God didn't want her to be sad.

 

Within six months, my mother was completely gone mentally, hallucinating (too long of a story to tell here), refusing to eat. Soon she became aphasic (stopped speaking) and completely immobile. Medical tests revealed nothing. Her weight plummeted. Within two years she, too, was dead in her sixties. The autopsy revealed nothing.

 

So much for the blessings of the Lord--after a lifetime of devotion. But once again, at the funeral, the whole family closed ranks. She was such a model Christian. She lived an ideal life. We can't understand why this has happened...but others whispered that her faith must have been inadequate, or she would have been healed.

 

My second greatest pain in life is that my mother never really lived either. Not only did I have to bury my parents, but thanks to this toxic belief system, at some level I never really had them to begin with.

 

I inherited some of my mother's journals in which she wrote extensively about my father's "backsliding" and 'inappropriate questioning," and she really believed God was punishing them for asking questions. My dad was a scientist. Obviously he was going to have problems swallowing all of this. It saddens me that he couldn't break free--and neither could she.

 

I save most of my anger for the system that brainwashed both of them.

 

Woodleigh, this is a longwinded way of saying "break on through to the other side." Get free. Life is short and you've only got one to live. You're not doing yourself, or her, or your children, any favors. I wish I could have done more to help my dad. And I wish my mother could have freed herself from that mental prison too. Ultimately, the rigidity of her belief system drove her insane and then killed her. And she took a lot of us down the road with her.

 

Paradoxically, I've never felt so touched by grace as when I stopped believing in this nonsense. It's psychological, social and political poison.

 

I envy my son, who doesn't have to grow up as I did, suffering nightmares about the Antichrist, Satan, Armageddon and hell. Unlike me, he's never drawn pictures of The Devil. At age five, his eyes are still bright. I fear his recruitment by evangelical Christians far more than I fear the "recruitment" by gay people that Christians are so paranoid about.

 

Sorry for rambling, but I could go on forever on this topic. Woodleigh, you are a victim of abuse--not just by your spouse but by the whole structure. I sincerely hope you can break free.

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Guest Woodleigh

Snookums...

 

 

...thank you for your observations, they have been noted....

 

 

 

 

...and to my two long lost sons.... (lol)...

 

 

 

... thank you both for your comments...

 

 

 

Ironically my own father died at 62 and my mother frowned upon grieving( she felt it was too unbritish)... neither of them were christians in the committed sense and my father was pretty much athiest but had a heart of gold. He turned no-one away ever.

 

 

It has always been impossible for me to envisage him being in hell for simple unbelief. He had seen two world wars and more suffering in those scenarios and in his own family through those times to last any one a lifetime.

 

 

But wouldn't you know it... I often beat myself up about it and tried hard to tell myself that was where he was and acknowledged that if I couldn't comprehend that then I was lacking in faith and maybe going the same way.

 

Today I have no doubt whatsoever that he is no place like it. If he has gone anywhere at all then it is on to the next phase, whatever that may be - I guess we all have to wait and see...or see nothing.... but eternal punishment serves no purpose...it does not even give opportunity for correction.

 

Besides, nobody in the old testament ever mentioned hell.

 

 

Breaking free is the all important decision for me to make....and then comes the "how?" of it.... but somehow I must and then make good use of whatever time I have left.

 

 

Thank you everyone...... please continue to post here if you feel anything may be relevant or point me towards any other area that might hold something i need. Bye for now... Woodleigh.

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Guest spawned

I've seen this before...

The men who are married to really dead marriages and stay.

They think they are being committed, when in fact, they are being controlled.

 

I would rather be single, and alone, than in a bad marriage.

 

And, you're not trapped. You just choose to be there.

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Two things struck me.

 

The first is that you say you've been in and out of faith several times. It seems that you might benefit from spending some time studying the history of arguments for and against the existence of god - that might make you feel more grounded. Your library will have books from both sides, and there are internet sites. http://www.infidels.org is one of the ones on the rationalist side of the house, and there are others.

 

The second is about your relationship with your wife. In my mind, the question you need to answer is not "do I love her?", but "do I want to live my life like this?" By staying, you're choosing the kind of life you want.

 

I've known several couple who loved each other, but ultimately couldn't stand to live together.

 

Hope that helps

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Guest Woodleigh

Thank you Eric...

 

 

You have shown me an interesting perspective from which to dwell on this problem.

 

 

Infidel org was one of those I wiped from my computer during one of my "great comebacks" so thank you for reminding me of the site.

 

 

Woodleigh

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Hi Woodleigh, I can only express my sympathy for you given your current situation. I know it must be hard for you. However, after reading your first post I began to think that there could be some people in your same situation and feel there's no hope of escaping. The only advice I can give is perhaps you should spend some time alone sorting out your thoughts and what you believe. That's only if you haven't done this already.

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Guest Gooneybird

I love my ex-wife.

 

I don't want to be with my ex-wife.

 

I love not being with my ex-wife, whom I love.

 

I love loving my ex-wife, whom I don't not love.

 

I don't know what I'd do without her not being there.

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Woodleigh,

 

I think you've been given some great advise here. Though I don't feel I can offer much adivse, I can appreciate your given situation.

 

I was the fundy wife, and I regret with all my being what I put my husband and only son through. My husband was the more sane one (although I didn't know it at the time), and I'm grateful to him for meeting me on a more reality based common ground to help in healing our relationship. Although, I still have to live with snide remarks from my son, due to the fact that he holds some resentment towards me, because of what I feel I was responsible for putting them through.

 

You've put your time in, now find a way to truly live, instead of just coping.

 

Best to you, sir.

 

Alex

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Guest zarathustra

Woodlweigh,

 

Maybe you should not worry about trying to to de-covert your wife to atheism/agnosticism. Instead mabye it would make more sense to soften her fundie approach by working on her from a liberal christian perspective. There are many books (for instance see Bart Ehrman) which don't attack chritianity so much as shed light on its history and theological develpoment. If you offer this to her as a a way to learn more about christianity she may not have such a hostile and averse reaction to reading it. Maybe, just maybe, she will recognize the folly of being a fundie christian.

If you need book ideas let me know.

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Dude, if you are serious that your wife beats you with a rolling bin, then I say get the fuck out of there. I can't talk now. BUt I am ex-christian, and wife is still major fundy. Talk more later.

 

Thank you both for replying so quickly.

 

 

Yes, I do love her and she loves me. Yes, I am stuck.

 

 

My kids don't live here anymore, they are grown up. I am sure they have been affected by the hypocrisy they have seen but they have their own lives now and just try to deflect my wife's urgingsfor them to find a church etc etc.

 

 

I am thinking about finding a way to get her to consider alternative possibilities for the things she so blindly believes in but this is an awesome task as her mind is shut tight. She sets light to anything that she thinks is "not of the Lord."

 

As I say I have been in and out of faith many many times over the last thrity years and occasionally I have brought home publications on alternative faiths and pagan stuff.

 

Very rarely she has found such things stashed away and has totally flipped - she has both binned and burned stuff of mine. She has hit me before now too. I noticed your picture on the left - the woman with the rolling pin - I have been hit with one. She has taken desperate measures to get me back on track including beating me until I declared that "Jesus is Lord". Most times when I decided that I no longer believed I never said anything but you know its like a pressure cooker and sometimes you have to say something

 

I am not in physical danger as long as I play the game. She is a small person and easily disarmed but to avoid a scene or attracting the neighbours attention with her screams while she tries to beat the "devil" out of me I have usually complied pretty quickly.

 

It has been at least five years since I last made any reference to doubting anything and there has been no violence in that time. But I wouldn't discount it... she has lost both her children to the " world " so I know she won't let her husband go without a struggle.

 

 

Thanks again for the quick replies...if anyone else has any ideas please let me know...

 

Best wishes to you all,

 

 

Woodleigh

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Heh Woodleigh,

 

Your friends here would love to hear from you. How are things going?

 

Your story resonates with us. We've been there.

 

Eric

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