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Cher, Relationship Enthusiast
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 21422
Experience:  Extensive experience as Educator/Teacher, M.A., Counselor, Spouse, Parent, Psychic Advisor
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My problems are so complex..but the main problem is that my

Resolved Question:

My problems are so complex..but the main problem is that my husband and I have been married for almost 17 years. We have known the pastor of our church for about 5 and we have been attending our Pastor's church for about 3 years. But my husband has become too close to the Pastor. He believes every word that comes out of his mouth. He says they are like brothers. They have done many financial deals and we have lost money in the process. I did get along to with his wife until 3 weeks ago when i said that I did not want to teach Children's church anymore, and she has not spoken to me since. Our families and our kids get along. We have been on vacations together. But my concern is that my husband will follow the Pastor in anything he says to do. He will not listen to me. The Pastor took a loan out on the church and got behind in payments. His family and our family have similar financial problems. We were fine until we met them.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Hello,Customer and thanks for your question.

It does sound from your description of the circumstances, that the Pastor has some sort of 'hold' on your husband, and has convinced him that whatever he suggests your husband do, is correct. If your family has already lost money by making financial deals with the Pastor, and you're now experiencing financial problems, your husband's alliance with the Pastor is endangering your relationship and your financial stability.

If your husband won't listen to your advice, you need to convince him to see a counselor or therapist who will have an impartial view of the situation, and hopefully, your husband will realize he must distance himself from this Pastor.

It might be a good idea to find another church in your area, where you would feel more comfortable, especially since the Pastor's wife now seems upset with you, since you mentioned to her that you did not want to teach Children's church any longer. If you're unable to continue that job, she shouldn't seem angry with you and not speak to you; that's childish.

I'm sorry to say, it sounds like the Pastor and his wife are taking advantage of you and your husband's good nature, and you really need to make a clean break, so you can get on with your life and protect your marriage. It certainly is putting a strain on your relationship, if your husband will listen to the Pastor, and not to you.

Try your best to get him to just visit a couples counselor. You can speak to the counselor (it should be a man, since your husband seems to respond better to men) first, to lay out the aspects of the problem, and then both of you will attend a session, together.

I hope things improve soon, for you and your family!

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
My husband will be loyal to our Paastor no matter what. He already told me that he and Lamar, the Pastor's first name, will be business partners forever. I doubt that my husband will see a counselor. We were going through another problem a few months ago and saw a counselor for a few months. But my husband decided we should not go any more when the counselor said some harsh things which were true but he did not agree with.   My husband says all I do is complain about everything and am never happy. Then he will always quote these biblical scriptures like he is better than I am or something. He is an Usher at the church and everyone just loves him. I requested as his wife that he not have any more financial dealings with Lamar but he said that was not possible. What made me really offended was that one day out of the blue, Lamar sent 6 different text messages to me saying that the devil is out to steal kill and destroy our family and we have to keep praying against this. I asked Lamar why did he send me these messages out of the blue and he said God put it on his heart to text me. I did not tell my husband until 4 days later and I specifically told him that he did not have to tell the Pastor how I felt offended. But my husband called the Pastor, and went over to his house and viewed the text messages that the pastor sent to me since he saves all messages. I felt like my husband did not believe what I had told him and had to see for himself. Also, the pastor had said before that anything he shares with a church member is always confidential but now I feel like I cannot trust my husband nor the pastor.   What can I do or say to let my husband know that he is so blind he cannot see how much of a follower he is?
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks for your reply.

Those text messages certainly sound inappropriate for the Pastor to be sending you. It's a shame your husband didn't believe you and felt the need to see the outgoing text from the Pastor. You can tell your husband that your feelings were hurt very much, when he did that. You're his wife, and he should trust you to tell the truth (and vice versa) all the time. Tell him that you feel Lamar has come between the two of you in your marriage and this is something that should not be happening. You need to strengthen your bonds to each OTHER and Lamar needs to take a back seat, in your husband's life. Maybe your husband looks upon Lamar as a father figure or older brother (even if they're similar in age), as he felt an authoritative male figure was missing from his life. It certainly is a shame when a man will believe a 'friend', over his wife. You can tell him that if he continues to blindly follow wherever Lamar leads, it will cause severe problems in your marriage and you will not tolerate it. A marriage is between a man and a woman, and Lamar has insinuated himself into your lives in an inappropriate manner, and is causing marital strife between you. A good Pastor HELPS couples rediscover their common goals and SAVES marriages; this Pastor is tearing your marriage apart, by 'pulling the strings' re: guiding your husband's actions, and it really is not a healthy association.

If your husband will not see a counselor again, I think your only choice would be to see someone on your own, lay out all the problems that Lamar has caused your family since you first met him, and get some good behavior modification techniques to try to lessen your husband's faith in him. I also think it might be a good idea to get the opinion of another clergyman in your town who WILL be discreet and treat your problem with confidentiality, in any case, but especially if he happens to know Lamar. You don't have to use any names, actually, just speak of the 'Pastor', and see what the other clergyman has to say.

One additional suggestion might be to 'report' Lamar's behavior to whomever is his 'supervisor' in the church hierarchy, and concentrate on the text message he sent you, which was highly inappropriate. You can also mention this 'hold' he seems to have on your husband, and ask for help in 'freeing' your husband from Lamar. While I understand that it's your husband's choice to remain Lamar's friend and be loyal to him, it's not appropriate for him to continue to do this, forsaking his own family. Maybe the church has had some other 'reports' on Lamar doing this with other parishioners, and he's been disciplined for it. You don't know until you ask.

You really are up against a difficult problem and I hope things begin to improve, very soon.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Our church is very small. Lamar took over the church from his dad 3 years ago. My husband will never stop following him and his ideals. Another thing is that Lamar believes a husband is the true head of the house hold and whatever he says goes. My husband seems to be acting like that too. This must not go on.
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
I don't know what denomination your Church is, but isn't there some sort of hierarchy for churches? Is Lamar an ordained religious leader, or just sort of inherited the church from his father? I know sometimes, that's how it works.

Well, Lamar certainly sounds like a male chauvinist and that's what he's turned your husband into, as well. As you said, definitely not acceptable, especially in THIS day and age of rampant feminism!

I don't want to advise you to do anything rash, but if you say "this must not go on" (and I completely agree), do you think threatening to separate from your husband if he doesn't start treating you as he used to, and make him see that you are equal partners in this relationship, and decisions must not be made unilaterally, will he STILL choose Lamar's way, over keeping you? I'd like to think NOT.

Your husband's actions sound almost like he's been 'brainwashed', and he needs to be 'deprogrammed', and get out from under Lamar's grip. Perhaps you should contact a professional 'deprogrammer' (usually a psychologist) who works with former cult followers, etc., to find some proven techniques you can use, to shock your husband back into reality.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I do feel like my husband has been brainwashed. I h told my husband today that he was slowly losing his wife and he is so blind he does not realize it. I have told him times before that I feel like getting up in the middle of the night and just leaving with our three sons 8,10,13. I feel like now he really would not care. I would hear him say, God would help him be at peace. That's what he says about everything. He has been unemployed since August and just got offered an Ortho sales job this past week so now he thinks he is the sh**. I have been the one so stressed over him not working....him listening to Lamar...causing our credit scores to be messed up because he either was not paying things or paying them Lamar. I have been really quiet towards him tonight. He cooked our family dinner which he usually does not. Tomorrow I will be taking my oldest son to a bball game so I will not be at church. I feel like I should say something to Lamar but then I would never hear the end of it from my husband. So, I do not want to keep going over the same thing but give me a list of three things that I should do or say in your professional opinion
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Well, you certainly have been shouldering a lot of the problems in your life and your marriage, by yourself, and that's not right or fair to you.

I agree; at this time, don't say anything to Lamar, as I feel it will just make things worse.

I'm glad to hear that your husband cooked your family dinner tonight, which was very thoughtful, and it may have been his way of showing you that he really does love you and doesn't want you to leave. There may be hope, after all!

I think you should repeat to him some of what you already have said, that he's slowly losing his wife and he doesn't even realize it; he follows Lamar blindly, while his marriage is crumbling, and it seems like he doesn't care whether you stay or go, so either he straightens up and flies right, stops having his life run by Lamar, and starts paying closer attention to his marriage/family, or you will make arrangements to live elsewhere, with the children. Unfortunately, at this point, you'll have to give him an ultimatum, if he refuses to listen to reason (your reason) and refuses to get help from a professional marriage counselor, in person. I think he'll find that God will not bring him peace, if he loses those who are dearest to him.

I do hope everything works out well for all of you.

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