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About Holston

Spouse Stories

Spouse Stories

SOME SPOUSES’ STORIES: I’ve been there . . .

“When I heard of Partners in Crisis, I was in total support . . . years earlier I had two friends who struggled on their own because there was no one . . . they could turn to . . . In my wildest imagination (or nightmare), I could not believe I’d ever need such a program.

In the blink of an eye, I . . . hit rock bottom and the top was nowhere in sight. I was overwhelmed, frustrated and homeless and did not know what to do. In a situation that seemed hopeless for my children and me, Partners in Crisis made it possible for us to keep our dignity and establish ourselves. I will forever be thankful and grateful.

I hope no one ever goes through the nightmare that my children and I have gone through, but I’m so glad that Partners in Crisis is there to help through crisis situations.”

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“None of us goes into a marriage thinking that one day you may divorce. I sure didn’t. I knew that my husband may die someday, but then I’d have insurance to help me find a place to live . . . As a minister’s wife, divorce put me in a terrible position. God took care of me, but the Conference needs to have a fund or some other ways of helping us.

Thank God I have a career and was able to provide for myself with the help of family, but what if I had not worked outside the home . . . and not had a family [to help]?

I was informed that the parsonage was the pastor’s; I could either stay in a separate room for awhile or move out. I lived with friends for three weeks and carried my clothes and belongings in the car. I even stayed with someone I didn’t know for a week. I felt like a bag lady.

When I moved to an apartment, I had no furniture, not even a bed, because we had always had parsonage furniture. All the expense of moving into an apartment was not easy, although the church gave me an offering. I hope we can do something to help other wives who go through the same kinds of hardship . . .”

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One spouse didn’t press charges of abuse by her pastor-husband, “because of the children.”

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“You can’t tell your congregation . . . friends that your marriage is in trouble. Counseling didn’t work because I couldn’t identify or express my feelings about what was going on within myself. Clergy families are often well-educated and brought up to focus on thinking, so are less in touch with feelings. [We] don’t want to show feelings, because it’s not professional. Pressured to be thinking people, we get cut off from our feelings. Those feelings build up and cause problems . . . it’s essential to be in touch with one’s feelings. . .”

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“I feel that the church blurs the lines about sexual policies and creates confusion in situations of adultery, sexual abuse and sexual orientation . . .”

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“Too often a spouse’s contribution to the ministry of his/her partner is forgotten when there is a divorce. It’s unfair to overlook that . . .”

Read about Spouse Stories in this story from The Call

See our March 25 email edition

Here are some of the links and stories in our March 25, 2016, e-mail edition of "The Call": > 90-year-old laywoman still runs her church> Pray for General Conference on April 12> Ministers' spouses sail ...

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