My brother has just sent through some photos of his new home in North Carolina. He recently relocated there for a job, and he absolutely loves it. I knew he would -- I seriously considered North Carolina (the same location) about two years ago. The Lord had showed me NC as a potential relocation destination, but I couldn't imagine myself leaving my family and moving so far away. I studied NC in great detail, and I came away with a love for the place -- it is probably one of the most beautiful states in the USA!
My brother has been unemployed for about three years. He has worked contract jobs, and tried to maintain a living in No. CA, but with the economy and the state in shambles, found it difficult to find any work. He is a Rehabilitation Counselor, and in his field, the government (state or federal) is the only real employer. With CA going bankrupt, the likelihood of a job was slim to nil. He also tried to return to Nursing school, but the programs were impacted and the cost were upwards of $50K.
The State of NC offered him a good job, and he took it. Unfortunately, his decision also split up his family. His wife didn't want to leave her job as a school teacher, and his son (now 18) didn't want to go anywhere else. It is an interesting turn of events because in this case, my brother clearly was trying to do the right thing -- he was seeking work to provide for his family. Yet, given this strange and upside down world, he was not supported in that decision.
I am in the exact opposite situation here in Phoenix. I have been unemployed for about a year (though my business was declining for about 2 years prior). I worked PT positions at church to supplement my income, but it was never a good fit for me. My DH has worked steadily, but as a consultant, and his business has been a poor generator of income. My DH never attempted to do anything else BUT rely on me to make more money. It was always, "how can YOU make more money from home?" He was supportive of homeschooling our son, so he wanted me to stay at home and work. I did what I could, even when the work literally debilitated me physically (because of my poor eyesight). He never considered getting another job, a second job or moving to another state for better employment opportunities. No, he just continued to work the job he wanted to work regardless of the amount of income it provided.
This is where we are now, at the point of one of us leaving the other. My DH said the reason he didn't want to be married to me anymore was because the last 30 years of his life were so unfulfilling for him. He didn't achieve what he wanted in life, and felt that I was one of the reasons for his disatisfaction. The truth be told, I could say the same thing -- he was the reason why I was disatisfied all these years, him and his unwillingness to work enough to support our family.
Money shouldn't be the reason for divorce -- no, the Bible clearly states that adultery or abandonment are the only two reasons to consider divorce. I can claim right to both of these reasons -- my DH did have liasons with multiple women (via the Internet -- so for the purists who think adultery is only physical, well, they need to carefully consider the words of our Lord regarding the intention of the heart). He also materially abandoned us (and physically at times by not providing medical necessities or other critical needs -- my parents stepped in to do that whenever we were faced with medical challenges). Though he has not left us physically, he is still here, he has not resumed any sort of intimate relationship (by intimate I mean close fellowship -- not in the sexual content) with either me or my son. No, he is here, but the sum total of his conversation is:
- I will be back later
- I will be here for dinner
- I need my prescription (or water or deodorant) from Walmart
- I need ink for the printer
- I need X dollars to pay X bill
You get the gist. The conversation is familial, but not relationship-building. It is content specific, and driven solely by his need. There is no communication about how things are going, what is happening, the plans (mine or his) or even how our son is doing (though those conversations always run toward lack of discipline, lack of self-control, or lack of interest -- on my son's part). No, the conversation is never really conversation at all -- it is simply asking for things that he wants or needs, and then expecting them to be given to him.
I am tired of this arrangement, and I have asked the Lord for His solution. I know that a job (e-gads, that awful request rears it's ugly head again!) because I know that the only way "out" is through a good paying job. Like my brother, a job provided a way out of his situation. It gave him a reason to move, a place to go to, and an opportunity to rebuild his life. This is what I want too, a beginning, a new start, a chance to rebuild my life. I cannot do that until I have the money required to do it -- and that begins with a job (or winning the lottery or a rich aunt dying, etc., LOL!) The latter is not going to happen (first, I don't gamble; and second, I don't happen to have any rich relatives!) so I am looking to the realistic opportunity of a full-time job here in Phoenix (well, anywhere for that matter). I will relocate for a job; yes sir, I will do it. I will go where there is work, should the Lord open a door for me to do so.
I have been hestitant in the past because I didn't want to leave my parents, and I didn't want to uproot my son (homeschooling made moving difficult) in the middle of high school. But, now that he is done with high school (working out this last year -- literally working and not schooling), he is able to move freely. Our timing now is to move before college begins next fall -- unless the Lord chooses to keep us here, then we will still move (to another home) sometime after the first of the year.
I have taken quite a bit of heat from friends and family who think I am quitting on my marriage simply because I happen to be married to a less-than-perfect man. I find that remark appalling, personally, and religiously as well. I have reason to divorce, though this is not my will. I have been patient, and I have waited for my DH to stop this business, to stop looking at pornography and to stop seeking female companionship (through online dating services). He is not interested in a relationship with me otherwise he would have demonstrated it last year or this year or this month or yesterday (get my drift?) No, all he wants is someone to be his worker, his subordinate, who will work and turn over the money to him for his use. I did that for 26 years, and now I am done with that business. I have my own bank, my own money, my own car, and I am taking care of things on my own. I am perfectly able to handle my own money (thank you, Jesus for your training -- you have made me a responsible steward and I thank you!), and I am perfectly able to get a loan (I did in fact -- I got two school loans on my own). I will get a mortgage someday, and I will pay all my bills when they are due. I have good judgment now -- I know what is a need and what is a want. I can also get my son into college -- oh yes -- I already did that as well. I homeschooled him so well that he qualified for a tuition-free program at our local community college. There is nothing I cannot do, so long as I am doing what the Lord directs, so long as I am doing what pleases Him, and so long as I am abiding in Him (as branch to Vine).
I should add this: I am responsible for the lack of communication and conversation just as much as my DH. You see, I tried to communicate, I tried to converse with him, and I tried very hard to resolve our differences. When my words failed to communicate my intentions, I used non-verbal communication (which is what men need) for almost six months. I was kind, overly kind according to family, and compassionate. I bent over backwards to try and make our homelife here as normal as possible, to demonstrate my willingness to be friends -- to offer an olive branch of reconciliation. I got nothing in return except for more trash, and more womanizing, and more general "walking all over your face" business. So I stopped doing everything EXCEPT for being kind. I demonstrated the Lord's kindness, which simply means that I turned the other cheek, I looked the other way, and I disengaged myself from any level of friendship until the Lord determined it was enough. I am at the "enough" point, and this is why I am seeking to move away from Phoenix, move away from my DH and his family, and start a new life elsewhere.
The question is this: I am at the "enough" point, but is this the Lord's timing -- is He at the "enough" point as well. I cannot move without His permission. Well, I can but then I would be out of His will, and I will not do that. Moreover, does the Lord ever get to "enough?" I think He does, though most Christian's will tell you that is not the case -- that God never gives up on us (true and not true). The problem is that the Apostle Paul says the opposite, and even said that he had turned believers over to Satan because they were causing disunion and disharmony in the church. Clearly, believers who are not walking as believers are open to being censured by the church, by other believers, and by God. The lost or wicked are always under the wrath of God; believers in Christ are under Grace -- but they must remain under that Grace. If they are sinning, they need to be turned back to God. If they refuse, then they are to be set apart from the body. It is harsh discipline, but apparently God and the first church thought it was a critical necessity to keep heresy out of the body of Christ.
Hmmm. I have been advised that I am condoning my DH's behavior, that I am actually being co-dependent in allowing him to do what he is doing. I find that rationally appalling as well, but I will conceed, that in some ways this is a true statement. I am, afterall, living in the same home with a man who clearly has no interest in reuniting with me in Christian marriage. I am clearly supporting him with the little I make each month, and I am clearly being kind to him when the Bible says I can turn my face away and be separated.
I believe that I am not being co-dependent because I don't have another choice. To be co-dependent means that you are choosing to coexist, to continue in the relationship even though you know it is not the best thing to do. Most of the time, you choose this behavior because it is mutually beneficial to both parties. Again, within the parameters of the definition of co-dependency, I guess that is true as well.
So whether I am being co-dependent or not, how do I extricate myself from this situation? How do I stop being co-dependent? How do I stop living with a man whom I once called a husband, father and friend? How do I do this, support myself and my son, and walk away when I don't have the financial means to do so?
Well, there you have the rub of my situation, and perhaps that is the crux of the entire problem. Money is what got us into this marital trouble, and it seems that money is what will get us out (or me at the least). The sex and the porn were symptomatic of immorality, and that is purely personal (a personal choice, a personal sin, and a personal disease that must be surrendered at the Cross of Jesus). Money, though, was in our case, the root of all evil. My DH has worshipped the almighty altar of money since before we were married. I thought he was just seeking a good job, I thought he was being proactive and wanting to better our lives. I realize now (and have for many years) that to him, money was his god, and money was what he wanted more than a wife, more than a child, and more than a family (or relationship with the Lord). He is all about the money, still is, and always will be. Money is what drives him, what motivates him, and what fulfills him. Unfortunately, he has never had it, and never will have it. But, he will seek it with his whole heart until the day he dies. My concern is that he will die without the Lord, and will never have achieved the thing he wanted so dearly and was willing to sacrifice everything (including his relationship with the Lord) to possess.
I have never been about the money. I have never sought it (though I do like it). I have never even been career minded or desirous of anything more than a modest home, a modest life, and a modest income. Yes, I would like money now, especially since I have learned how to manage it well, and I know that our state of things requires more each year. I need money for retirement, I need money to pay reasonable bills. I need it because the world revolves around it. But I don't seek it, I don't worship it, and I will not prostrate myself at the altar for it. No, no, not ever.
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:3 KJV