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September 21, 2020

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Wives: How to help and understand your husband’s FAS…

7 min read

SHARED WITH PERMISSION – on the chance it could help someone else who is quietly struggling…

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On Fri, Jul 11, 2014 9:43 AM, a Mom wrote:

… when I get mad at him he just shuts down and stop responding and goes away to la la land in his mind. That’s when I start realizing that something else is going on inside him that he is not able to process mentally and emotionally that I guess is probably typical of people with FAS. I keep telling him that it seems like something is broken inside of him how he just shuts down and stops thinking or caring about what he is doing.
If it’s FAS, does it cause him to tell lies all the time though? Especially when it comes to gambling and money issues that he tries to hide from me….

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On Fri, ‎Jul‎ ‎11‎, ‎2014 at ‎10‎:‎23‎ ‎AM, A Grandmother wrote:

They struggle with understanding “cause and effect.” They aren’t always able to think ahead and figure out “if I do this, then that will happen.” Further, they are very into “feeling good” at the moment. They are prone to doing what pleasures them most at the moment, without the ability to see outcomes.

When he gets caught, it is like a deer in the headlights. He doesn’t know what to do. He realizes he messed up, is grieved by your anger, but doesn’t know what to do to fix it. So he lies in the hope of getting out of trouble. Yes – like a child.

He craves pleasure. The FAS plus the way he was raised leads him to think that he needs and deserves constant pleasure. “That is the way life is supposed to be.”

But God knew all this when he created him. And God has also put something very special and beautiful in him. A skill or characteristic. You probably already have a feeling for what it is. As his wife, you can nurture that special thing and help him to grow and walk in it.

That’s exciting. What an adventure that can be for both of you.

We are all so much more content and fulfilled when walking in the gifts and purpose God has given us.

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On Sat, Jul 12, 2014 at 6:22 PM, a Mom wrote:

I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this with me. For the last years of my life with my husband, I have been guilty of emotionally abusing him in order to get him to change and realize how his behavior is hurting us all, never fully realizing that it was a physical impossibility for him to change.
Whenever I would try and confront him he would shut down and not respond, he would withdraw and literally fall asleep and the more mad I got the more he would explode in a rage, destroying anything and everything that got in his way. I always knew there was something mentally broken inside of him but no one ever confirmed with me what I was seeing …It really is heartbreaking looking back at all the years and the misery we have been through because I was trying to get him to change. I think this is why God protects my husband so much from all the mistakes his makes also because God knows my husband is trying the best he can with what he has. He tried to do good but it seems impossible for him at times to make the right decisions and force himself to do what is right. My husband really is like a child inside a man’s body not only in the way he thinks but in the way he acts.
I just wish I had known somewhat when I met him at 14 years old, but how could I have? …
I just hope and pray that God can save our family. I know I have done a lot to really screw things up for us… the great thing is, that his mother has always been there to help us, especially her son, no matter what it is, whether it be food, money, clothes, taking garbage to the dump, running errands….
God bless you. Thank you sooooo much for taking the time to write me and help me see things a little bit clearer.

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On Sat, Jul 12, 2014 at 7:16 PM, A Grandmother wrote:

You’re welcome.  I just wish I had understood a lot about FAS during our more difficult years.  It is now, after my husband is gone and the relative’s children that we raised are grown, that I look back and see where I could have been more patient.  It is only now, with the stress of all of it gone, that I can see their hearts better.

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On Sat, Jul 12, 2014 at 7:43 PM, a Mom wrote:

I was just wondering if you could please share with me the prayer you said you were told to pray for your family. I would like to make it my personal prayer along with so much forgiveness for how insensitive I have been towards my husband and his mother over the years.

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On Sat, Jul 12, 2014 at 8:35 PM, A Grandmother wrote:

It was a very simple prayer.  All Scotty Butterfly told me to do was to ask Jesus to save my family – and then immediately thank Jesus for having done so.  (Even though you haven’t seen the miracle yet, give thanks to the Lord for all things – knowing in faith that He has heard your prayer and is responding.)

So even though I wasn’t a Christian yet, that is what I did.  It wasn’t until 4 years later that the miracle happened – but it undeniably happened.

I will ask others to pray in agreement for your family as well.

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On Sat, Jul 12, 2014 at 9:35 PM, A Grandmother wrote:

We realize his limitations, but we still need him to become better at things.
1.    We do need to explain truth, but in a gentle way.
2.    Understanding his need for entertainment and pleasure, we can look for healthier ways he can achieve that.
o    Help him find his pleasure at home, with family, doing good things.  We can look for fun things to do as a family – picnics, fishing, camping, etc.
o    We can look for his skill area and encourage and support everything he does in that area. Is he a craftsman? An artist? A hunter? A musician? A mechanic? A good listener?
o    We can be wives that complement our husbands. We can help him feel good about himself and his family life so he has pleasure in being with and doing well for his family. Pour it on about every manly thing you enjoy.  “Wow – I love the way you chop wood.”  (Sounds silly – but another wife told us she did just that – and as simple as that kind of thing was – it made a tremendous impact on their marriage.)

Also, the Bible has some interesting advice for husbands and wives.  It tells men to “Love” their wives the way Christ loved the church (be willing to lay down their lives for them) But… the Bible doesn’t tell women to love their husbands.  It tells us to honor them.
Interesting difference.  Of course, we KNOW God wants us to love our husbands.  So why wasn’t it said?   Perhaps the Bible is giving us encouragement in the areas we are generally weakest?  Men need to be reminded to show love to their wives, as their wives hunger for that more than anything.
Women, on the other hand, generally love their husbands, but struggle with honoring them – something men have a deep need for.
It is true that our husbands have shortcomings.  WE are usually the first to point that out   But God is the one who knit them together in the womb, even while knowing their mother was drinking.  I don’t believe God wanted for the damage to happen, but as with every other sin issue that affects humanity, the parents had free will and with that, made the choice.  People hurt each other in all kinds of way, in all stages of life.
But God still has a purpose for and a gift in every child.  Kind of like the Snow White story.  The evil witch cast a curse, and the good fairy came behind and altered it.  God (a whole lot better than a silly fairytale witch) has a special gift in everyone.

Praise God my husband found his purpose – things of God that gave him true pleasure – and walked in it.  Yours will, too.
ONE other thing I might note…  for a long time, in our early years in the church, I resented what I saw as weakness in him.  I kept comparing him to other men in the church and wondering why he couldn’t be as Godly as this guy or that guy.  Finally someone told me… those men have always been in the church. They were raised in the church and their father was a pastor, etc…  They have had their entire lives to walk toward the line of perfection.  They haven’t had very far to walk, but will never actually reach that line prior to dying.
Now look at your husband.  He came out of the gutter.  He has come ten times farther than any of those other men in just the short time he has been walking with the Lord.
Think about that. He might still be way behind those other men, but look how incredibly far he has come.  He has traversed things those other men have no clue about.
What a Godsend those words were.  They turned my entire perspective around.  It was the beginning of my appreciation for him.