Friends threatening to seperate


#1

Hello all,

I have been a lurker for some time and truly enjoy reading the insight some of you give, and i am hoping you can give me a little now.

My best friend since we were 6 years old is in a lot of pain right now. He married a girl he dated in college, and i was friends with both of them before they even started dating. They got married a couple years out of college and after 5 years of being married, she says she wants to separate.

Now, unfortunately, this is not a new occurrence in our society, but it seems very strange. the reason she gave is that she believe she talked with God, which is entirely possible, but she believes she is called to start a spiritual journey and help third world children.

She does not want to go to counseling, she is not interested in talking with her friends, she is making this decision on her own and feels she is entirely right. I have not had a chance to talk to her, as i am not sure what i would say anyhow. I listened to my best friend for over an hour on the phone last night and he was obviously confused and upset. This happened about 10 days ago, so he has had time to think about it.

I am at a loss, i do not know what i can do to help if anything other than pray.

I don’t get how someone can say they want to start a spiritual journey with a divorce… something is not adding up here, and i am just not seeing it.

He is more than willing to go to counseling, in fact he is talking weekly to his pastor(they are lutheran) and is going to start clinical counseling in hopes that she will join him soon.

Any thoughts on the matter would be appreciated, and prayers are always welcome.

Thanks for reading

Dan


#2

It sounds like he is doing what he can. He should go to counseling, whether she goes or not. I don’t see that there is a lot you can do besides be there for him if he wants to talk about things.


#3

thanks for the response.

I have been searching most of the afternoon and found some good websites.

I feel like i should talk to her as well, as we are good friends too. But i really have no idea what i should say. I just want to know how she thinks she can start a spiritual journey with a divorce, God hates divorce.

thanks again.


#4

I bet there is more to this story. Try putting aside your friendship with the guy for a minute and ask yourself what would prompt someone to leave a marriage and civilization as we know it and go help the poor and unfortunate. Her desire is noble… to seek something greater than herself.

My first question is how materialistic is their marriage? Is it all about a big house and big flashy cars? Is she rebelling at something that is missing in her union with her husband? At some level is there a spiritual vacuum in that marriage? Are there children in this marriage? Her first responsibility is to her own children.

Hard to have an opinion without more information. (Not that my opinion really matters. :wink: )

Yes, God hates divorce. Yes, walking out on your marriage vows is an odd way to grow closer to God. But I’d be fascinated in the real story of how they are living out those vows.


#5

Good points Liberanosamalo, and i have asked myself those same questions.

He told me that about a year ago she started doing an Alpha Group at church, which i believe is a Bible Study/Prayer Group, and she wanted him to come on that same spiritual path she was starting to take. both of them work long hours, but i would not consider either very materialistic. She was switching jobs and working close to 70 hours a week doing two jobs for the last couple months, and he was putting in well over 50 a week at his job. SO part of the problem, IMO, is that they just didn’t see each other. And i don’t think he realized how important her spiritual journey is.

I bet there is more to the story too. to answer your other questions, i can see it maybe she is rebelling on him that he has not made a big effort to become more spiritual. It also seems like she likes to start projects get them to a spot that it is functioning, then move on, this is evident in her career thus far.

no children, they were trying a couple years ago, and were not successful, and with in the last year, she changed her mind and did not want them anymore.

i wish i could see into both of their minds and see how they both see this situation, you know?


#6

Wow. Now I see more of the picture. You work 70 hours a week. That leaves 14 hours a day to fit in all the sleeping, shopping, cleaning, laundry and errand running. Who wouldn’t burn out. After a while, you begin to ask: What for? What is this getting me in the long run? When I die, will I be sorry I didn’t spend more time at work? She begins to ask herself questions. She begins to fill that void that work doesn’t fill. She asks him to join her down a path she is starting toward something more meaningful. They want children. She wants spirituality. He has other things to do. After a while she sees they are not on the same page anymore. Why bring children into that environment. But she is still a mother at heart. She wants to love children. So why not go love children who need it most?

Sounds like hubby missed the bus. His intent may have been genuine to be married, but at least he’ll have his 50 hour workweek to comfort him. Doesn’t sound like they saw each other enough for him to miss her anyway.

Sorry to be harsh. I’m sure he’s in pain. Sometimes you only appreciate what you have when it’s walking out the door.

As for her… did she only ask him once? Was this an issue where she constantly asked him to join her in her own personal sanctification (and maybe his too?) She seems to feel, not wrongly, that marriage should entail the couple growing in holiness. He didn’t seem to be as enthused at that idea as she was. She’s burned out from two jobs in a society that measures people by what they do, not who they are as human beings. Sadly, she doesn’t have to travel across the world to find her soul. She could have stayed in her hometown and worked at a children’s home with foster kids, or disabled kids, or any number of our own home-grown deprived children and still honored her marriage vows.

Sounds like they married each other before they were completely grown up and now they have grown in different directions. Sad.


#7

This is really to bad, sounds like she wanted children of her own at one time and all that work being an employee can seem empty. l am a little surprised she did not try and work on her marriage more rather than tossing it aside like yesterdays newspaper. Maybe the disappointment of not having children sent her over the edge and if she leaves for a distant land she can bury her grief in helping others and getting lots of gratification that way.

She had a man that took care of her, loved her and dedicated his whole future to her, but she willfully threw it away. I would really be surprised if that was God’s preference for them.

“It also seems like she likes to start projects get them to a spot that it is functioning, then move on, this is evident in her career thus far.”

“no children, they were trying a couple years ago, and were not successful, and with in the last year, she changed her mind and did not want them anymore.”

MN, You may have hit the nail on the head. She sounds like someone who works at something for a time period and if it does not workout, just moves on to something else never really staying for the long haul.

God gave us all free will and if she chooses to abandon her marriage to her husband and the covenant before God, what can anyone else do.


#8

:eek: What a heartless comment. The OP mentioned that the man is “confused”, “upset”, and “in a lot of pain”. So you believe that he’s faking these emotions?

A 50 hour workweek really isn’t a big deal in today’s society. 50 hours a week is normal. It might even be on the low side.

Why are you trying so hard to find ways to absolve the woman and transfer blame for this situation to the man?


#9

Why doesn’t your friend suggest that the two of them go on a missionary vacation for a few weeks? Years ago I had a friend who went to Romania for three weeks to work in an orphanage and basically held babies all day or played with the children. I hope to one day do the same.

A missionary heart is unique and those who do not have one will never really “get it”. It sounds as if the female has a missionary heart and well, she feels like her marriage is holding her back. She doesn’t see the selfishness in throwing her marriage away to do missions.

As to assuming that her inability to stick it out until the end with a project as being a sign that she wouldn’t be able to stick it out until the end when it comes to children, that is a complete misunderstanding. When people are not doing God’s will for them, there will always be disconntentment. Me personally, I went to four colleges (still managed to graduate in four years), have had four jobs in 7 years, have moved back and forth between two states all due to discontentment. Yet, the minute I had my dd, I finally knew that being her mother was part of God’s will for me. I have never tried to flee from her and have never had the desire to flee. I am now waiting for her to be old enough to introduce her to my love of the homeless by bringing her to volunteer at soup kitchens and shelters. I have tried other volunteer outlets, and the feeling of contentment and that I was doing God’s will just wasn’t there like it is when I work with the homeless population. Never assume that every job hopper is just a quitter. Some people aren’t happy unless they are doing God’s will for them.

OP, I think that you do need to talk to the wife and bring up the fact that marriage is a vocation, so her duty is to her husband first. Also, talk to the husband and let him know about mission vacations that he may consider taking with his wife. They should try to compromise by maybe going on a month long mission vacation/trip and upon their returning, see a marriage counselor (or do it the other way around, but definitely have the tickets and dates for the mission trip set so that the husband can’t back out). Also, maybe you and she can volunteer at a local girl’s home. The girls there need love too and if your friend sees children who locally are in need of love, maybe she’ll start to see her life and marriage as she should. Remind her, she can start praying for those souls she longs to meet. Maybe introduce her to the lives of a few saints (Francis of Assisi and Therese are two that would be good for those with a missionary heart). Just because she’s Lutheran doesn’t mean she can’t learn about the saints. I had many friends who were Pentecostal but had great admiration for many of the past and present Catholic saints (Francis, Mother Theresa, etc.).


#10

ack… I’m not cold and heartless. And I didn’t just blame the man. If you read my whole post, you will see that I made comments about how the wife could live out her desire to help and stay in her marriage. I never said the man wasn’t upset or sad. My comment on the 50 hour work week was because that coincided with the wife’s 70-hour week. There can’t be time for any meaningful interaction with two people on such schedules. Obviously, the wife felt something was missing. They had money, maybe, with two salaries and all that overtime. But money isn’t what makes her boat float, obviously.

Any blame I laid on him was because his wife did seek him out to pursue something spiritual with her. And he didn’t make time for it. What else in his marriage didn’t he make time for? He made time for his boss.

She made time for her boss too. They grew in different directions. Whose fault is that? Both of theirs. If I were him and I really loved her, I’d be scrambling to fix this, find a way for them to be united in charity work together, and do it before she gets on a one-way plane to Borneo.

The fact that it got to the point where she wanted out and he’s surprised, angry, sad, upset or whatever… didn’t he see the signs? Was he so involved in his life and so disconnected to her that he didn’t notice? (Most women I know are not very good at hiding their emotions or feelings of dissatisfaction.) She gave up trying to have a child a year ago. That should have been a clue for him there. (Check the mommy threads on this board for women who will never quit and then tell me this man’s wife’s behavior wasn’t a signal something was seriously wrong a year ago.)

As I said in my first post, there is something going on here, and a piece of the puzzle we don’t have. Yes, I feel sorry for him. And I feel sorry for her, that she feels she has to leave a husband who still loves her in order to do God’s will. She is mistaken. But that didn’t happen in a vacuum. The supernatural, like the natural, abhors a vacuum. Happily married women don’t chuck it all to go work with the poor in a foreign country. Until the husband takes ownership of what it was that made his wife go off in that direction, he has no hope of convincing her not to go. Patting him on the head and saying “Poor you. She’s horrible!” won’t solve his problem. Telling him what he wants to hear, not what he needs to hear is the ultimate lack of compassion, in my view. The OP is looking for different perspectives. I gave mine. Now I’ll shut up.


#11

[quote=gmarie21;2998021 Maybe introduce her to the lives of a few saints (Francis of Assisi and Therese are two that would be good for those with a missionary heart). Just because she’s Lutheran doesn’t mean she can’t learn about the saints. I had many friends who were Pentecostal but had great admiration for many of the past and present Catholic saints (Francis, Mother Theresa, etc.).
[/QUOTE]

I agree with that. A campus (Protestant) minister I know (he heads the interdenominational Christian group that I am part of) has a lot of admiration for St. Francis of Assisi and some other Catholic saints. He always hears me talk about them and expresses his own admiration for them.

I can see the wife’s perspective about missions because I myself have a missionary heart and want to be active (right now, I’m in college but I plan to go on college missions and such). Honestly, I wonder how the husband can be so blind? She has tried to reach out through prayer and other spiritual activities but it seems he’s pushed her away. If she suddenly stops trying for children and changes her mind about them, shouldn’t that clue him in? It’s good that he’s going to counseling and she should go to. Maybe the missions is a plea for help? The fact that she’s willing to go away, maybe she’s trying to call attention to something? Maybe because of their schedules, they’ve spent so much time apart that they’ve grown apart?

Whatever the situation, I will be praying.
[/quote]


#12

“If I were him and I really loved her, I’d be scrambling to fix this, find a way for them to be united in charity work together, and do it before she gets on a one-way plane to Borneo.”

It looks like he did tried and reach her, but God gives us all free will. If she has issues or developed issues their is only so much another person can do. She is abandon the marriage not the husband.

MNdan, do you know if she has had a medical check lately? If she is baron for what ever reason her hormones could certainly be out of whack.


#13

I think it’s right there to see, just how you said it here. You have put it succinctly. I would hope that taking apart what God has put together isn’t something God would call a person to do. Personally I think a divorce is a spiritual form of abortion.

He is more than willing to go to counseling, in fact he is talking weekly to his pastor(they are lutheran) and is going to start clinical counseling in hopes that she will join him soon.

This sounds good.

Alan


#14

Sometimes women who cannot have children move on with their lives and may even try to convince themselves that children are not that big a deal, that they don’t really want them and that life is easier without them. It is a defense mechanism to keep themselves sane. This might also explain the long work hours and the drive to devote herself to new projects.

I say this from full personal experience after nearly 3.5 years of infertility. If I hadn’t lost our unborn child, we wouldn’t be able to do what we’re doing now in our lives, but if I could go back and save that pregnancy from miscarriage I would do it in a second. However, dwelling on that is the start of a descent into depression for me. I don’t know if people who have never tried to have children or who can easily have them can even begin to understand the heartbreak and despair of infertility. I really wish people would attempt to be compassionate and not to assume that we are just being selfish and flighty when we decide to move on and not force something that is apparently not in God’s will.

Because you are apparently of the opinion that she is wishy-washy due to this, I would not attempt to discuss any of this with her unless you can listen to her side of the story without prejudging her.


#15

thank you all for your opinions, i will try to respond to your questions but not sure how much time i will have. But i do appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

To give an update, nothing much new. I was hoping to meet up with my friend on Saturday, but he decided to stay in and would call me this week sometime. I have not had any contact with him or her since then.

Thanks again

Dan


#16

good points, and i cant answer all your questions throughly as i do not know the answers. He was more than willing ti help her professionally, they moved 40 minutes out side of the city so she could start take a job in a small town where she could thrive. This added about 40 minutes to his drive everyday, but he did it for her. he was there for her in a lot of ways, obviously not ALL ways though.

To my knowledge she tried to get him to come a long on a spiritual path only a few times, i do not think he realized how important it was to her. he does now, but it is too late for her. At this point she is not willing to let him back in.


#17

He would give up his job he has had for the last 5 years and join her if that is what it would take. She doesn’t want him part of her journey.

i do want to talk with her, and i want to help them mend their marriage, but i am not sure how to go about talking with her and helping her understand. You ave given some things for me to think about, and i appreciate it. thank you


#18

I do not know this, however it would be a missing piece of the puzzle, but my friend never mentioned this, so he would probably be in the dark on this too if it were the case.


#19

To my knowledge, they attempted to have children but were not successful, but neither were tested to find out if they were physically able to have children. But i do agree with you, and i apprecaite your words.

The initial shock is nearly a week old now for me, so i am hoping that i am able to talk to her with an open mind and listen to her side of the story as fairly as possible.

I will still be happy to take any other thoughts or suggestion on what i can say to either person in this situation.

Thank you all, God Bless

Dan


#20

Alpha course is Protestant, the people there will not recognize the sacremental nature of Marriage. I’d advise both to get away from that group!

Perhaps Retrouaville?


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