::::: : the wood : davidrobins.net

How could our family be restored?

News, Theology, Baby ·Sunday January 24, 2021 @ 10:28 EST (link)

There is nothing I can do on my own to restore our family; I can keep working to bring my son home (but that will be a long time, they have delayed as much as possible even being able to ask), but there does not seem to be any way I can, myself, restore wife to sanity and Christian behavior and bring her and my son home and work on this family. If there is, I would like to know; as an elder at church this morning pointed out, all I can do is be a positive witness and testimony to her, and hope that if she is a Christian, she will act like it once again.

I do not have a lot of hope that any of these situations will come to pass. Honey has shown stubbornness to continue to do evil and is adamant in her silent treatment (after she strung me along long enough to get the legal advantage she wanted), and won't talk to any counselors, Christian or secular. I say that to note that while I know God can do this, I do not know that he will; and that I am not rejecting reality, which is ever-present with my son being withheld from me and the destruction of our family, but considering what good things could be.

There are a few different scenarios, depending on various things like Honey's mental condition. A psychologist who has spoken with her a few times and counseled me believes there is a personality disorder present, and has suggested Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD) or others, as a good fit. That may be so; in fact, I hope it is so because otherwise my only explanation for her harmful acts is "evil". Not "evil" because she wanted to leave only (although breaking vows that were supposed to last "until death" counts as that); even if you forget Christianity and vows entirely, the deception she engaged in, and abusive silent treatment, and especially withholding my son from me are evil acts whether or not a mental condition helped her justify them to herself.

The easiest, of course, is simply that she, like the prodigal son, "comes to herself"—realizes the great harm she has done and continues to do, and realizes there is no justification for it nor can be. Let us suppose (she won't say) she had some anger or hatred against me and that is what she uses to justify the harm; perhaps she sees it was false and unjustified. So then she wants to restore the marriage and family, not just me. It would be simplicity itself, although involve a lot of following work, to just come home—show up, surprise me. One day, "We're home!" Or to just begin to talk about things, sit down to lunch while I'm there to see David, figure out how we can all go home together, and enroll in some counseling for the horrors of the past few years. But this seems the least likely of all the things, in part because it hasn't happened, and could have so many hundreds of times.

Another is through her getting the mental evaluation she needs. She has previously been diagnosed with OCD and hypothyroidism (which can lead to depression), and I went through some very difficult times with her issues (like harming herself and other "bad thoughts") there in the past. Co-morbidity of OCD with other disorders is high, or it could be OCD was mis-diagnosed when it was part of a larger PD. So suppose she gets the evaluation, either voluntarily or court ordered, and they find, let's say, Dependent Personality Disorder. (As an side, I got such an evaluation back in 2019, figuring (1) that the court would order hers more quickly and (2) that when they did, her lawyer would demand I get one too, so might as well be done with it. No disorders present. My cheese is firmly on my cracker.) She enters therapy for it (none of these disorders go away on their own, and some require therapy a couple times a week for life to manage), and whatever beliefs or imaginings that caused her to do and continue this harm are treated. Like above, she "comes to herself" and talks about the problem, and we bring David back home to Indiana and continue to work on being a better family.

What if she doesn't "come to herself" on her own and an evaluation doesn't find any mental issues except the old ones? That seems really unlikely; it just doesn't fit, and some of the disorders match what she has said and done so well. It also doesn't fit with the harm she has done keeping David from me; in fact, her persistently doing that lead me first to wonder if she had a conscience at all, and wondering about psychopathy/sociopathy (formally, ASPD), which the psychologist did not think was a good match, and that's when we started talking about the others that she did.

If she "just" decided she wasn't happy and was going to run off and live with her parents, there would be no call to keep David from me; it would be enough harm to destroy the marriage, why maximize the harm? If her paranoia had included a belief that I would harm him, she or her lawyer would have objected to me getting even the limited time I have with him (well, the lawyer might not have, seeing no basis for it, meaning she still might have unsubstantiated beliefs along those lines). So the coincidence of her choosing and viciously maintaining so many evils seems to rule out a "simple" separation that a non-Christian might engage in, a "this isn't working out let's amicably part ways" type of thing, ignoring vows and such for convenience. But she hasn't denied being a Christian, although she does not seem to be attending a local church any more; and a "practicing" Christian (there ought be no other kind!) does not do this kind of thing.

Or perhaps there is another way? God's ways are higher than our ways. He may have something better to bring our family back together.