Been doing a lot of introspection lately.....so, guess what? All my thoughts'll get dumped *here*. :grin: Aren't you so lucky? :snerk:
Some of the sites I frequent have talked about "Finding the Right Mate", or "Finding your Biblically-mandated Mate" or "Biblical Marriage" or whatever. Thing is, they only have 1 perspective on it - either they married Mr. Right (yeah, they're all female.) or....they didn't.
Me? I did both - Mr. Right first, then Mr. Not-at-ALL-Right. (I fixed that mistake as soon as I realized what I had done. :sigh:) (And no, this has NOTHING to do with anything going on IRL - it's just been on my mind a bit, and I need to get it Out Of There. To get over it, finally. Hopefully!)
When I first started husband-hunting (what, I'm the only girl that did that? Don't give me that - it's something we ALL do! I'm just being honest with myself here!) 13+ years ago, I sat down and made a list of all the things/attributes I wanted in a man. It was a pretty lengthy list, too - things like "Must have sense of humor" "Must enjoy the things I like, but MUST have outside interests, too" "Must want kids" - you know, *important* stuff. I prayed over that list for a good 6 months, if not longer - but I also prayed that I find what I *needed*, not what I thought I needed - there IS a difference! (And all of that *was* important, to me - think about it. If *you* want a passel of kids but your mate doesn't, what'll happen? SOMEONE will be disappointed - and it could lead to divorce down the road. Some of the "important" stuff wasn't, really....see next paragraph :grin:) I also made a "MUST NOT HAVE" list - No abusive tendancies, No control issues...stuff like that. It was, surprisingly, much shorter. :grin:
I got exactly what I needed - a sensitive man who wasn't afraid to show emotion, didn't believe in ANY type of abuse (physical/emotional/verbal), wasn't intimidated by me and my talents...and who had LONG hair. (That was on my MUST NOT HAVE list - to this day, I HATE long hair on men - they can have it, but I don't like it. *ugh*.) God knew I'd get over it - and I did! I told Steve he was NOT allowed to cut his hair - it was part of him, and he looked good with it. (Still hate it on other guys, though! :grin:) (One of the other things on my MUST HAVE list was "Must be at least 6' tall. Steve was 6'2". I still like tall men...but I've learned that height isn't that important - I'm willing to....downsize now - *IF* I ever start looking again. :twisted: Besides, big men are very intimidating...I didn't use to think so, but now...I do. :sigh:)
Oh, he wasn't perfect - neither am I. But, he was perfect for *me*. We had some doozies of arguements, too - the most memorable lasted over 6 months, and involved nothing more important than a small "scientific fact" in ST:Generations. (The villian has this weapon that, when fired into a sun, will stop the reaction in the center of said sun. In the movie, said sun *blows up*. *I* said that that was impossible - if you stop the reaction in the center of a sun, wouldn't it *implode*, collapse, instead of *explode*, go boom? 6 months later, Steve finally admitted I was right. :grin:)
Anyway, it was a good marriage - no major arguements, we got along great, we completed each other...the way, Biblically, marriage is supposed to be. Submission was *never* an issue, because I willing did whatever he wanted/expected me to do. He did the same - if he saw something that would make me happy/make my life easier, he got it/did it for me, with no discussion necessary. *That's* the way it should work - both partners should be looking out for the other's welfare above their own.
Too bad it doesn't always work out that way. Mr. NAAR came on strong. I was at the wrong point, I think - I was very vulnerable for some reason (to this day, I still don't know what was going on.....I thought I was doing OK, but I guess, subconsciously I wasn't.) and fell for all his lies. He was *very* good at saying the things I wanted/needed to hear - after all, I *had* to be careful, I had 2 children to watch out for now.
He came on just like another Steve. I wasn't the only one fooled - I introduced him to my co-worker, and the first thing she said to me was "OMG! It's like Steve reincarnated! You are SO Lucky!". :sigh: Yeah - he deceived a LOT of people. (That's taken a load off of my mind, to be honest - it *wasn't* just me thinking with my hormones!)
What few warning bells I got were easily dismissed - it's a new relationship, I'm older now, I'm factoring in my kids and before I didn't have to - and I got snookered. He told me he owned his own business, he was a Master Mechanic, he made big bucks (disclaimer: Money isn't everything. I said it, I meant it, and I still - to this day - hold to that. Money is nice, but it isn't a dealbreaker for me - TRUTH and TRUST are dealbreakers.), he was Mr. Big Shot...the list goes on and on, but I'm not going to keep going. It'll devolve into character assination, and I'm *not* going to go there (he's done that to me already, thanks, and I refuse to play that game). Now, I did do a quick internet background check, and came up with nothing - but he's good at hiding his tracks and not getting caught. (oops...yeah, I'll stop now.)
He was Mr. Smooth when we were dating - yeah, we did things HE wanted to do, instead of what *I* or *we* wanted to do, but......OK (There was no *we*, BTW.). That goes back to the submissive wife thing - yeah, we weren't married, but I was used to doing what Steve wanted (even after 4 years). Thing is, Steve factored in *MY* desires (and later, the kids) when he set up dates and stuff. Mr. NAAW? Nope - HE wanted to go here, so here we went. Sometimes, it was stuff I'd want to do too...but most of the time? Nope. I simply ignored it - it'll get better, right?? (This doesn't mean I didn't enjoy myself - but, y'know, it would have been nice to have been *asked* first. The times we did go someplace just for *me*, it was because it happened to be on the way to something HE wanted to do. :sigh:)
So, I jumped in feet first.....and rapidly realized my mistake. See, I tend to take people at their word - you tell me you are good at what you do, and I'll believe you. Why not? MOST people don't feel the need to lie - embellish, maybe (we all do that), but not out and out lie about things that can easily be disproven. What's the point? You are who you are - unless you're lying.
His idea of submission was for me to be a doormat. He informed me shortly after the vows were spoken that I could quit my job now. Bear in mind, that he was only bringing in MAYBE $100/week. Um. I had an $800/month housepayment (still have that), a $300/month tractor payment (it's paid for now! Whee!!), a $500/month van payment (which is now a $600/month truck payment - but the truck actually RUNS. Fancy that!)...plus all the normal utilities/groceries/animal feed/school expenses (and let's NOT count the $700/month daycare bill - once I quit it goes away) - does anyone else see a problem here? I refused (on the grounds that we couldn't afford me to quit *just then*- not that I *wouldn't* quit, mind you, just Not right then).....and immediately got thrown into Hell. (And in the name of fairness, the kids *do* get SSI benefits - they are *just* enough to pay the car and house...with maybe enough left over for gas. :sigh:)
I won't go into it - but because I refused to quit my job, I was an unfit mother and unfit wife. I was incapable of loving anyone but myself. (Yeah...O...K) It got worse - I refuse to go there. He isolated me from my friends - I wasn't even allowed to answer the phone! - and he browbeat me constantly. But - enough of that. Arguements? Oh, yeah - over the stupidest things (ah, yes - the infamous chocolate milk incident. :lol:)
Hey - I'm a big girl. I figured it was what I deserved, since I jumped into this feet first. I did request counselling (within the first month :sigh:) - it took him 5 months to decide we needed it (Did I mention we were married right at 7 months total when I filed for divorce?). Didn't help - he denied everything, and when I'd try to bring up our problems (always taking the blame myself, of course! He's the husband, and is obviously *right*) he would talk right over me, about how good and wonderful he was. I quit trying - why bother? - and just sat and fell deeper and deeper into a pit of my own making. :sigh:
I decided I had to live with it (marriage is supposed to be forever, y'know)...until he started dragging my children into it. Understand, my children have been thru a LOT in their short lives - their father murdered, their mother stalked, being forced to move for their own safety - and I am *very* protective of their emotional/mental state. The day he told my 7 year old son that "I don't know why your mother decided to quit loving me" I snapped. (It got worse before he finally got his ass OUT of MY house - MUCH worse. :sigh:) Even then, it took him 3 weeks to finally get out.
I mentioned lies, earlier? Turns out, he DIDN'T own his own business ("Well, I'm a *partner*" When I mentioned all the partnerships I had helped set up AT MY JOB, and how the money issue was set up) it became "Well....*I* own all the tools!" :snerk:). "Big" Bucks? $300/week - GROSS. *AFTER* I asked him to try and find a job "closer to home" - what I meant was "that actually pays SOMETHING each month". "Master" Mechanic? He told me my van was safe to drive - when the transmisson was slipping like me in the mud this morning. :snicker: Mr. Big Shot? (not that I care) - Couldn't prove it by me - or anyone I talked to. In his own mind, maybe.
Oh - and my mistake I mentioned earlier? I didn't pray over it like I should have. Instead of asking to meet Mr. Right, I said "Is this it? Please? Yes? Cool then!" without waiting for an answer. Stupid, stupid, stupid!
It took 3 pastors telling me to give it up before I'd listen. :sigh:
Anyway, I've been on both sides of the issue. *Biblical* marriage is something special, and something that should be searched for. Settling for something less is doing yourself (and your spouse) a disservice - and will make your life a lot harder. Not necessarily as bad as mine was, no - but not as great as it *could* be, either.
It has taken my children 3 months of councilling to even begin to heal. Me? I'm working on it. This should help a bit.
So: Moral of the story? DON'T settle for less than you deserve. DON'T jump in without a lot of thought and prayer (yes - PRAYER.) DON'T think you have to settle for an abusive relationship, just because marriage is forever - it's supposed to be, but NO ONE has to put up with this shit. It's taken me quite a few months to get to this point - and I still have a *long* way to go. I am second-guessing myself on *everything* - even when I *know* it's the right thing to do. :sigh: I'm working on it......
DO find someone of your religious leanings. Seriously - he claimed to be a Believer....but his actions proved otherwise. :shudder: NEVER again - life is too short to be chained to someone of polar opposite beliefs!