I Wish I’d Know About Dating is the topic of this
newsletter. Although we looked at this subject previously
in Issue 11, Marie in Georgia reminds us to pay attention
to our heart when
we sense something isn’t right here and have difficulty letting
go of the relationship.
what is new
reader request, Harvest House re-released WHEN HE
LEAVES this April with a new cover
and subtitle: Help and Hope for Hurting Wives, updated material, and an
incredible Foreword by
Laurie Hall, author of An Affair of The Mind. Visit www.HarvestHousePublishers.com to
excerpt of this book. Note that WHEN HE LEAVES is now available online
at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.christianbook.com,
and in bookstores.
recently appeared on the following television and radio
programs to discuss divorce and
pornography’s effect on marriage:
- “Herman & Sharon” on
TV Channel 22 in Tampa, Florida
and Issues” with Bonnie Houston on KVTT radio
and “Point of View” with Carmen Pate on
USA Radio Network in Dallas, Texas
- “ At
Home Live!” with Chuck and Jenni Borsellino
in Fort Worth, Texas;
Radio with Dr. Gene Getz, Plano, Texas - to
air in June
New Harvest Show” with Debbie Moffett on Lesea
Broadcasting, South Bend, Indiana.
Time America,” “The Morning Show,” “Midday
Connection,” on WMBI radio, Chicago, Illinois.
Living” with Jerry Rose on TLN-TV, Aurora, Illinois
- to air in
A New Day” with Chuck and Audrey Meisner on Trinity
Television, Winnipeg, Canada - to
air in June
listen to her interview with Anita Lustrea, host of Midday
Connection, a live call-in radio program out of
Chicago, log on to www.midday.mbn.org.
Click “Online Audio Archives” on the right,
then scroll down to the program for Tuesday, May 10,
2005. To check the availability of programs airing
in June in your area, search Google using the program’s
name and/or host.
Reflection by Marie
been three years since he and I met. So many contrasting
emotions swirl in my heart as I write this and hope
that others learn from my mistakes. One minute I feel
tender inside, thinking of how he kissed me softly
and the way he held me close. Then, the next moment,
I recall the way he pushed my boundaries to the limit
almost every time.
started so innocently. We met on the Internet on a
Christian singles site, emailing each other for almost
a month. We also talked a lot on the phone before we
met. The feelings we experienced as we e-mailed and
talked were intense. We sensed we were “falling
in love.” This sounds crazy, but it felt so real.
was the day after Thanksgiving when we met. I waited
for him on the gazebo in a little town square. Before
he got to the gazebo, he motioned for me to come to
him. At the time, I didn’t think a thing about
it; but now, looking back, I realize this was an indication
of his tendency to control. And to think that I hadn’t
seen a picture of him before we met. Brave, wasn’t
I? We had coffee in a little café and talked
for some time. He held my hand and we smiled and laughed
a lot. I reveled in how wonderful it was. It all seemed
so perfect. Then we drove to the mountains to a place
we’d talked about during our e-mails. It rained
most of the day, so we spent the day talking. He kissed
me for the first time. It was so romantic and memorable.
But now, I see that his kisses were way too passionate
and forward. I told him of my boundaries that first
day, explaining how important it was for me to be pure.
next few weeks were spent mostly talking on the phone
and e-mailing as he was in and out of town. Mistake
No. 1: We went right into the romance and totally
skipped the critical foundation-building stage of friendship.
Red flags went up right and left and my boundary issue
was a constant struggle. “No, please, stop. Don’t
touch me there,” I told him. But he acted as
if he never heard me. Mistake
No. 2: He was very adamant about me not contacting
any of my guy friends anymore. You see, I’d met
quite a few guys who were just friends and I wasn’t
ready to not talk to them anymore—nor was I prepared
for this man to look at the files on my computer of
notes I’d saved about the guys and our conversations.
He was jealous, but wouldn’t admit it.
he would say, “Are you my girl?” That seemed
possessive to me.
day, early in the relationship, I was praying and saw
a spider web in my mind—and I was in it! I felt
the presence of the spider nearby and felt danger.
I now believe this was a warning that I should have
listened to. I asked the Lord if this man was safe.
I asked Him to help me discern his heart. I was now
having doubts. But when you are in an intense relationship,
emotions aren’t always reliable. I subdued my
concerns because of this man’s sweetness.
talked a lot about a business idea he had that he wanted
us to start together and how he wanted me to get a
small business loan. It sounded so good. He would work
for me and I would be he CEO. He wanted me to get the
loan because he wasn’t paying child support since
his former wife wasn’t letting him see his son.
Well, I never did get the loan because I didn’t
believe it was my place; but I did spend hours on ideas
and I bought business cards and sales materials. Now
with hindsight I see how important it is to keep our
eyes wide open—especially if we have a personality
that leans toward being too nice to people.
such a romantic at heart. What an imagination I had
about our future together! I could see him carrying
me over the threshold into our new home ... us dancing
together in the presence of the Lord. I remember someone
telling me once, “Don’t ignore the checks
in your spirit because the kisses are so good.” Yet
by mid-December I was looking for a wedding dress. Mistake
No. 3: He was too insistent that we marry soon
and I was falling in love with him. He said it was
important not to miss God’s timing. Physically
we allowed ourselves to become more intimate than I’d
ever planned. The strong boundaries I had in the beginning
fell. By early January when I shared with him that
I couldn’t continue to break my boundaries, he
said, “Yes, you’re right. We made a mistake.
It was an accident, but I like it.” He said he
loved me so much that he wanted to express it. When
I told him that it caused me to lose respect for him,
he didn’t handle it well. We had a major confrontation
and I was thinking about bailing out of the relationship. So
why didn’t I? Spiritually, our relationship
wasn’t growing. He wasn’t taking the lead.
When I shared this, he said he wasn’t used to
praying with other people.
a phone conversation one night, I asked myself, “Do
you feel closer to the Lord now or further away?” I
wrote in my journal: “Something
isn’t right here.” During this
time in my life, I was thinking about selling my house
after 15 years. He was praying with me about this.
But after I asked a married friend of mine to also
pray about my situation, he was really offended. On
Valentine’s Day he took me to a romantic antebellum
home for dinner. The next thing I knew he proposed
and I accepted. We planned a June wedding. By April
I’d broken up with him because I had a gut feeling
that this wasn’t right. But within days the weak
woman in me who loves to be loved gave in to his kisses
and hugs. I would think, “Well, maybe this can
work.” So I gave it another try.
broke up with him so many times. Then I gave in again
and again, believing he was willing to work through
anything. My problem is that I loved him and didn’t
want the relationship to fail. After all, I’d
just gone through a divorce two years ago after being
married for 22 years. When I didn’t talk to him,
I missed him terribly. I was grieving the loss of a
dream. I was adjusting to being alone. I didn’t
like these feelings at all. Now I wonder if perhaps
our relationship had become addictive. When we become
physical with a man at a deep level, even if we don’t’ literally
have sex with him, we bond in a deep way. This kind
of spirit-mind-body connection is only meant for marriage.
I never understood what was meant by “soul ties,” although
I’d heard the term. Now I do. I had allowed such
ties and it felt almost impossible to let go and move
on without him. Believe me, it may feel impossible,
but it isn’t. We don’t ever need to be
depend on a man for our feeling of self worth or need
to be validated.
a few weeks I heard from his previous roommate that
he’d moved to South Carolina. My brother-in-law
said that wasn’t far enough, that he was “slick” and
he’d never liked him. Only now do I realize how
important it is to listen to family, friends, and pastors
and take into consideration their opinion about the
men in your life. A month later I learned that he missed
me. That made it more difficult to let go. I wanted
to call him, as you can imagine. So I did. After several
long telephone conversations we realized there were
still strong feelings between us and we wanted to see
each other. I went and visited him out of state and
we had a lovely time worshiping at church together,
having lunch, and talking. I don’t know what
I was thinking, except that I still loved him and wanted
things to work out. I kept hoping he would change.
It was June now.
July, he moved back and we started seeing each other
regularly again. He was having difficulty finding a
place to live without a job. One night he came for
a visit, along with another couple he knew. When it
was time for him to leave, he said goodbye to them
and stayed. I said, “No way. You’re supposed
to stay with them.” For some crazy reason, I
agreed to let him stay with me—on the sofa, of
course. Well, that quickly evolved into him staying
on a regular basis. I hurt my back and he wanted to
help me and take care of me. I knew better. Although
I wasn’t working because I lost my job due to
the back injury, he didn’t get a job to help
with the finances. I borrowed money from family. During
this time, I went to the mountains for a short vacation
and he stayed at my place. We’d been saving our
change for a trip together. While I was gone, he took
the money and bought coffee and cigars. I was quite
I made him leave, setting a date in early October and
telling him he had to go. It was like kicking a wounded
puppy out the door. His going and coming went on for
months. On November 30, I journaled: “...I
didn’t realize the full power of this situation
until recently. This guy has been really hanging on
and I’ve been struggling with letting go. A friend
said to totally sever the cords that are dangling.
She’s right. Amputate would be a good word. If
I don’t amputate, I could lose a vital part of
me.... I’ve learned so much. I should be in the
Guinness Book of World Records for breaking up with
the same man a record number of times!!!”
I WISH I’D DONE DIFFERENTLY
a long period of friendship rather than moving
right into romance
on my spiritual senses and not my emotions
to my convictions and boundaries and not given
in to my flesh
a closer walk with the Lord; then I would have
been more alert to deception
to friends and family; they see things
and confirm gut feelings I experience.
I wish I had not let the ending of this story go
on and on and on . . .
important it is to keep the Lord first in all relationships.
my flesh can be very strong, especially when
I am not feeding my spirit with prayer
Bible study and fellowship on a regular basis
trust my gut feelings or intuition which
is the Holy Spirit trying to speak to
me. I need to listen
and obey—“Don’t ignore the checks
in your spirit because the kisses are good.”
it is easier to break up earlier in a relationship
when you know it is n’t a God-thing. Then
you’ll stick to your convictions even when
you miss the other person terribly. Instead of
contacting them, you’ll pray and call a friend.
the Lord doesn’t want us physically intimate
with a man before marriage since it creates a strong
bond between two people that is difficult to pull
away from. It creates soul ties. You are connected
to that person in an intimate way and you carry
that into the next relationship. Yes, God heals
and restores; but there are serious consequences
that we deal with.
for today by Kari
has said it all so well through her poignant story.
In conclusion, let me pass along her recommendation
of this book: Safe People by Henry Cloud and
John Townsend. She shares
these passages for contemplation:
is the ability to detect, to recognize, to perceive
beyond what is said. It is the ability to ‘sense’ by
means of intuition. It is insight apart from the obvious,
outside the realm of facts. People with discernment
have the ability to read between the lines.”
people admit their weaknesses. Safe people are able
to be confronted, not defensive. Safe people are spiritual,
not religious. Safe people are humble, not self-righteous.
Safe people change behavior, not just apologize.”
promise you can trust
Holy Spirit ... will guide you into all truth ...” John
16:13 - Living Translation
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by Kari West