Just when I think maybe the anti-husband’s had just a wee change of heart, along comes an email to set my weary mind at ease.
As I said earlier, I limit contact for various reasons but since our finances are still joined at the hip, I can’t break contact completely. A two hundred dollar purchase loomed on the near horizon. The charge would show up on his records, the man will rave. Predictable but not so much fun..
So I spent an entire day in prayer before crafting a letter outlining the state of our finances here and expenses looming on the horizon. An entire day, people. Let’s take a moment to pause and think calmly about this ~
The kids and I aren’t exactly living it up over here. A brave, dear sister took us in. I slept on a cot in her bedroom for the first six months. She doesn’t ask for rent, I haven’t been able to help beyond food and toiletries. I help out with housework and laundry, she provided a safe place for the little’s to finish school.
The man has an excellent income. He also is in control of a business which brings in cash—lots of cash—every month. A business I started myself and ran until I had to run. Which means, a two hundred dollar curriculum purchase is not going to break anyone. Sounds like whining I know but seriously? When you get to a point you’d rather live in a box under a bridge, things like money just don’t matter so much.
So to recap: Pray all day, get peace, write email mentioning the coming purchase as well as carefully outlining what’s coming up in the next few months (you know, wild extravagances like teeth cleaning and a mammogram) hit send and get doomed to the pits of a fiery hell.
The response came in three parts. If he could just practice a little brevity, but I digress.
Part 1—We’re broke, it’s your fault because you left.
Part 2—I’ve changed. But I would’ve been a perfect saint all these years if it weren’t for you therefore the reason I had to change is your fault. God has spoken to me about many things listed here in this email which proceeds straight from the Lips of Heaven. You should do a word study. I have. Because I’m holy and no way you are because you left.
Part 3—I now proclaim myself a prophet with divine unction and God is telling me, rightthisverymoment, that you had better repent! repent! repent! as your mortal and immortal soul is in danger. (Extra exclamation marks edited out, your welcome.)
Lots of love, the anti-husband
Printed out, this email would be pages and pages, full of half-formed sound bites I highly suspect he heard elsewhere as the man hasn’t had an original thought since he took to pickling his brain in earnest five years ago. Did it bother me? Oh yeah. I hate this sort of throw-everything-in the road and hope-something-sticks type thing.
I spent most of that evening trying to decide exactly what he was trying to get me to forget which is not my favorite activity. In the back of my mind the thought keeps ringing, I have to answer this. I cannot let this jerk say I’ve left Christ by leaving his sorry butt. Another part of my brain said to shut up, hold still, let it go.
I realized pretty quick what all the hubbub was about. A quick search of the online bank statement shows he gave a very large portion of savings away to his church, I’m guessing to buy the position he now occupies as a teacher of the men’s Bible study. Whatever. I’m certainly not arguing about money sent to his church even if I do think they’re nuts to let some guy in off the street and put him in ministry less than three months later. I’ll buy the curriculum, get my breasts flattened and be the bigger person.
And then the forward arrived, a lovely little study on repentance he’d received in his inbox *that very morning* which of course confirmed God had both spoken to him of my need to repent and confirmed his new found role as prophet. The fact this devotional was written to Men Only and spoke specifically of the way men struggle with Pride and Stubbornness seemed to miss his notice. It did not miss mine, however, as I tend to be observant like that.
Which is when I realized I had to answer or I’d get more email altar calls than a pants-wearing Pentecostal.
Time to set a boundary. Good gravy I hate that word. Mostly because I’m so very bad at setting them.
My response, both short and eloquent follows (although I cannot claim divine inspiration as only one person per email volley is allowed that luxury and I had no daily devotionals arrive in my inbox to back up said claim):
“I did not leave my first love (Jesus), I left a man who abused his wife and family. My immortal soul is not in danger. I sent an email on finances and I don’t appreciate your dooming me to everlasting darkness. In all this time, I’ve never once pulled the God card on you and the Lord above knows I could so cut it out already.”
His response was swift. Paraphrased of course: “God did so tell me to say that and I know because I ‘felt compelled.’ None of this is really my fault because you left me twenty years ago in spirit by pulling away in love and affection.”
So the hell of the last twenty years is my fault because—after ten years of verbal/ emotional abuse, threats of violence and bullying—I pulled away? Even if the man were a perfect angel (which he wasn’t, trust) your wife pulls away and you get a free pass to blast the living crap out of both her and your children for two more decades?
Now *that* hurt.
I would say something witty and clever now but nothing comes to mind. This is the sort of twisted thinking that has me in counseling, trying like thunder to sift through the wreckage.
And while the first email might have been laughable in its verbosity interspersed with delusions of grandeur, this salvo helped me remember why I finally gave up hope for a marriage that died way before the funeral.