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This week our Marriage Works (click for all couples) couple is my husband and I!  I LOVE reading other blogs, for fun, information, relationship stuff, mom stuff, kid stuff, and all kinds of other things.  We were lucky enough to be chosen by Dr. Psyche Mom for a fun post about our marriage!  So as the title says…here’s a look into how our marriage works.

I’ve included the post here just as she wrote it because there have been some comments that her link up wasn’t working!  You can read the full text below, or visit her page at http://www.drpsychmom.com/2014/10/31/functional-couple-friday/

Windham (42)

Just us

Here we are! (Her comments are in red AFTER our answers)

Today we have Melissa and David, both 38.  They are Christian and believe in a model of marriage where the husband is the head of the household and the wife supports his decisions, although she does seem to get her say, privately, which influences him.  They also have a blended family, and are co-sleeping with a new baby.  And they met in junior high!  Lots of interesting stuff here, dear readers.  So, let’s meet them now!

1.   How, when, and where did you meet and what is the first thing you thought about your partner when you met?
Melissa:  We met in 6th grade when we attended the same Christian private school, he left in 8th grade and we didn’t talk again for 20 years.  We were in the same grade, so it was the same class of about 24 kids.  I was absolutely oblivious to boys at that age but we all knew each other pretty well and I remember him being tall, much taller than me (he still is), and I remember his gorgeous eyes and blonde “flippy” hair.  The kind you keep leaning your head to the side and getting out of your eye.  I also remember him being told it was too long since it was over his eyebrows, and him being like “whatever.”  He thinks I don’t remember that much about him, because I wasn’t interested, but I remember lots:)
David: We went to school with one another for three years (middle school) then reconnected via FB/text/phone calls. I thought she was out of my league back in 6th grade! Cheerleader in a private school, and hanging with the “IN” crowd. The second time when we actually met as adults isn’t fit to be published! I will tone it down and say I was stuck with her beauty, absolutely amazed that she wanted me! Those 6th grade feelings were still there I guess. Then the lustful wanting to tear her clothes off and defile her thoughts came into the picture…they’re still there.
Again, guys who think they landed a girl out of their league are usually more happily married.  Very cute meeting story!
2.  What is your favorite physical feature of your partner?

Melissa:  Hey! No, um…seriously.  He’s tall, and hot, and he’s got great eyes, and his beard…oh, the beard.  He’s got meat on him, which is really great, because he’s not breakable.  Oh, and his hands, yes, please.  You said one.  My favorite feature is him?

David: Sexually, her butt without doubt, however I get lost in her eyes. It’s a bit of a draw!
Love couples who can’t keep their hands off each other and know how to express that to each other.
3.  What is your favorite personality trait of your partner?
Melissa: He’s got amazing self control (which he often uses with me).
David: She is extremely loving and a caretaker. It doesn’t matter if it is me, one of the kids or my parents.
Women do like men who have self-control, because they are stable and safe.  And everyone likes loving and nurturing partners!
4. What is something your partner does nearly every day that makes you happy?
Melissa: She shows respect for me as her husband and the head of the household. She backs my play in public even if I’m wrong. Then we discuss in private, not arguing for the world to see.
David: He takes care of, loves and pays attention to our girls (16.5 and 1 year next weekend).
Even though they have this head of household thing going that doesn’t apply to everyone, I do think they are right that both partners should back the other in public, and then discuss in private, if possible.  And women love men who love their kids!
5.  What is the nicest thing your partner ever did for you, in your whole relationship?  Describe in 2-3 sentences.

Melissa: There are too many to list.  Two stand out.  First, we are a blended family.  He has raised my children as his own and jumped in with both feet with teenagers, which was NOT easy.  Second, We had a very surprise pregnancy and I was not a happy pregnant woman.  I was miserable, tired, not fun to be around, and overall just blah.  He was a saint.  Waited on me when I was in pain, loved me even though I was mean or whiny, and did everything possible to keep me healthy and happy. Aww very nice.

David: She carried and gave birth to my baby girl! Neither of us wanted more kids but God had other plans.
Well she didn’t have much of a choice but it’s still nice that he considers it the nicest thing!
9. List the top five best qualities of your spouse: physical, emotional, mental, anything.

Melissa: He’s a Christian. He can stay calm when the crap hits the fan and when I’m losing my mind.  He’s awesome at rubdowns.  He’s a caring and loving leader/husband.  He’s an amazing kisser:)

David: She’s emotionally strong (more so than myself actually), She’s smart, strong willed, confident in who she is as a person, and a great mother.
Very nice.  It seems that even if David is the “leader,” he still wants a confident and strong willed wife.  I love couples who bring new dynamics to the table so we can learn about them and not see them as two dimensional; e.g., assume that a Christian “head of household” would prefer a passive woman.
10. What are the top five things you and your partner have in common?  Values, interests, goals, etc.

Melissa: We both agree on our beliefs – to a “T”. We both value health (mental and physical) over material things.  We’re like minded with work. We love our kids.  We have the same sense of humor – aside from the stupid movies I like.

David: We share religious beliefs, core values, political views, opinions on finances, and parenting.
They truly seem on the same page.
11.  Have you ever been in couples counseling.  Why?  Did it help?

Melissa: We have been to counseling separately, but attended together.  As in, he went to help with issues with his daughter, and I went for support to him.  I went for help with anxiety during a custody hearing, and he was there to support me.  It wasn’t couples counseling, but we found ways to help each other or get things out that weren’t being said. I think so for the issues at hand.

David: Yes, about her anxiety and the issues it caused in the relationship. No it didn’t help, but our communication got better after talking about how useless the counseling was! So I guess it did help actually…
I have a suspicion that one partner usually gets more out of counseling than the other, so this is probably normal.
12. How often do you hug?  Kiss?  Have sex?

Melissa: I was going to say “oh, at least a few times a day,” but thinking about it, we don’t.  We need to (hint, hint – I’m sure you won’t mind).  We kiss before bed (at least a peck) and usually if one of us leaves the room for a while (like to take a nap), or if leaving the house.  Totally not enough sex.  With a baby under 1, IN OUR BED (we’re about to move), and life, and every other excuse in the book…I’m embarrassed to even guess.  I’m sure he’s got a count going.

David: Hugs- Daily    Kiss- almost always on a daily basis but the baby, health and sleep schedules have gotten in the way a bit.     Sex- anywhere from weeks to months for the last couple of years. It’s an issue, but again health issues and baby are to blame not lack of passion.
13.  Which of you has a higher sex drive and how do you deal with any differences in sex drive between the two of you?

Melissa: We were well matched at first, for a good year and a half I don’t think we slept or ate.  After 4.5 years of marriage, he’s definitely got the higher drive now, I have the drive, but I have the tired too.  Not that he’s not tired, but we joke that he’d be down even if he lost an arm and a leg. We’re trying, I’m happy that our marriage is strong enough to withstand a rough patch, whether that’s health, or money, or sex.

David: My sex drive is MUCH higher! I could and would have sex with broken limbs (and actually have). We don’t deal with it. My health is better, but we co sleep with the baby, so we’re at a dead end for now.
I would have sex with broken limbs over sex when you haven’t been sleeping because you have a nursing newborn.  Kids, they really change your priorities.
14. How long did you wait to have sex?  Are you glad you had sex for the first time when you did?

Melissa: We got engaged after 3 months of dating long distance, and married 2 days after we got engaged.  We waited long enough to have sex.  Yes!

David: We got married within a month and a half of my first visit with her, you do the math! Yes I’m glad! It solidified our feelings and showed how compatible we were.
Wow, a two day engagement!  Guess you saved on a wedding planner.
15.  What is the number one issue you fight about, and are you working on resolving it?  How?

Melissa: There is not one issue, we don’t fight that often.  I wouldn’t even call it a fight, it’s more like a deep discussion, but each time the discussion turns to my responses to him.  It’s the typical Love and Respect cycle.  I am not good with the “I’m wrong” “I’m sorry” deal and that doesn’t go over well with him.  He’s working on me lol.

David: We don’t fight usually but when we do it’s because she REFUSES to apologize or admit when she is wrong. I’m working on her, but it’ll take time. It’s only been a few years. You can’t change someone overnight.
 
Really on the same page here as well.  I like how she calls the fights “deep discussions.”  There is usually one partner who calls fights “deep discussions” and one who calls them fights. :)
16. What are the top three stressors in your lives?

Melissa: 

Me – His health, work, need good sleep
Him – Health, money/work, life (ex’s/custody drama)
David: My health, the Ex situation (mine and hers are both insane, suck as parents, and are horrible human beings), and finances.
Same page.
17.  What is one thing that you’re looking forward to as a couple?

Melissa: We’re moving into a bigger place.  We both think that’s going to help tremendously with not being on top of each other at home.

David: Growing old together and looking back at a wonderful committed faithful marriage!
Very nice.  Congrats on the new place.
18.  Fill this in:  I am glad I married my partner because:

Melissa: If I hadn’t we would not have our child together and my life (and that of my older kids) has vastly improved, we needed him.   (one sentence) A long, run-on sentence?

David: She believes in me.
Men love to have a partner believe in them. And it is good for a man to also feel appreciated and valued, which she does in her sentence about him.
19. Give me one secret thought that you’ve never told your partner. Something you think about them, about the relationship, about yourself, anything.
Melissa: I pray a lot, and he knows that.  When I’m trying to or can’t fall asleep (which is usually every night, or in the middle of the night) I pray specifically for him and it calms me.
David: I don’t deserve her and I know it. I’m reminded of it when she takes care of me, handles responsibilities that I can’t handle, and when I think about my past.  She never signed on for everything we have had to deal with.
 
Thanks for playing, guys. My first one in a while where both gave me an answer for this question!  And the answers are very sweet too.
 
Well, this was fun, and I feel like I know the inner workings of a Christian [insert name for their specific type of dynamic here… traditional?] marriage.  Thanks for writing in and being so open and candid!  You sound like you have a long and happy marriage ahead of you here.
 
If you have a burning desire to be profiled in this column, write in here.  And until we meet again, I remain, the Blogapist Who Thinks I Will Start Calling My Husband The “Leader” And See If He Drops Dead of Shock.

We really enjoyed doing this and it was so cool to get to read each other’s answers for the first time when it was published.  We answered separately and didn’t discuss until the post came out.  Judging by the answers, we are totally on the same page and meant for each other!

~ Mel

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For more information click here VBAC & CS Links

A little background:

My son, Cody, is 20 years old now and was born after I was induced with pitocin (without being thinned or dilated) at 42 weeks pregnant.  At 17, I didn’t know any better or know to question my doctors and the things being done to me.  There were 35 hours of labor total and an epidural, and then when I was told his heartrate was decreasing with each push, they suggested a C-section.  We know now that it’s quite normal to have a decel in heartrate with an epidural and that much labor, however, hindsight is 20/20.

Before Jasmine came along I had a pregnancy that made it to 14 weeks before I had some cramping and bleeding and ended up losing the baby.  This was quite hard and really scary since we had seen the heartbeat and had multiple ultrasounds and every thing seemed fine.

Jasmine, our baby of the family (until Hannah came) is going to be 16 in a month!  She was born when I was 21, labor started all on it’s own 3 days before her due date.  At 8 am, I started having back labor and contractions, got to the hospital and had an immediate epidural and by 4 pm, she arrived via VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) with forceps.  Although her pregnancy had no issues and her labor was a breeze I was absolutely positive that I never wanted to be pregnant again.  I can handle having more kids…just never wanted to have to go through pregnancy or labor again.

Hannah was my 4th pregnancy, we were positive that our best option would again be a VBAC.  Even though my “age” and the fact that it had been 15 years since we had a successful VBAC was a bit offputting to some, our doctor was amazing and said that if it were his wife, he would insist on a VBAC unless there were obvious issues, and then we would consider induction first.

At 37 years old you get slapped with “advanced maternal age” as a reminder that you’re no spring chicken.  After this whole ordeal I am thankful to God that my body did exactly what it was supposed to do for our entire pregnancy and labor.  It is quite scary to be told by every book/article that your body is old and might not work right.  Now, if my body would cooperate and work well on 1.5 hour at a time sleep sessions we’ll be in business!

Our original due date, according to our doctor and calculations, was October 31/November 1, however, by measurement on early ultrasounds we were moved back to November 9.  We were convinced that the first due date was correct.

39 weeks 6 days!

39 weeks 6 days!

October 31, 2013

2:00 AM – David was having one of his insomnia nights, and I was in bed trying to sleep.  I woke up to go to the bathroom and my back was hurting pretty bad.  I called downstairs and asked him to come up and massage it as he had been doing for most of my pregnancy when it hurt…pretty much every night.  I fell asleep, and then he followed.  Sometime during the next few hours I began to have contractions in both my back and my stomach, alternating.

6:00 AM – Contractions were strong enough to wake me up completely and I began timing them and texting my sister to let her know and ask her some questions.  We timed contractions and talked for an hour, and after having some good, strong ones where I had to breathe through them, I woke David up.  We kept timing and with contractions from 7-10 minutes apart, we finally called the doctor at 8:00 AM to see if we should go to his office or to L&D to get checked out.  We were instructed  to head to the hospital to get evaluated.  Gege and Pawpaw came over and took Jasmine to school, and we went to be seen.

8:30 AM – Contractions only showed up twice in the 1.5 hours I was monitored, and we agreed to have a cervical check since the contractions at home were consistent.  I was dilated to 3 cm and 70% effaced.  We were released at 10:30 AM and instructed to go home, rest, eat, relax and return when contractions were 5 minutes apart, or if my water broke, or when I could not breathe and deal with contractions.

7:00 PM – We spent the day resting, eating and timing contractions that slowed and then returned.  Again, they were 7-9 minutes apart, and after about 3 hours of that I was having to breathe and very uncomfortable (I didn’t realize it then, but I clearly was NOT in active labor…even though they did hurt).  We decided that rather than going to bed only to get up or to have to rush to the hospital we would go back in and get checked to see if these contractions had dilated me any further.  My concern was that the contractions would kick in and dilate me and we would be stuck at home or driving furiously to get to the hospital in time.

9:30 PM – Hooked up to monitors again and within 1 hour had 6 contractions, they were alternating from back labor to regular contractions and the back ones did not show up on the monitor.  Hannah was tolerating everything well, as was I, and when checked after  19 hours of contractions and back labor.  I was still 3 cm and 70%…and upset.  We left and headed home after being instructed to “get some sleep.”

November 1, 2013

12:45 AM – Home finally, Jasmine went to bed and we laid down.  David fell asleep easily and according to him I moaned and whined all night.  It was not comfortable or even reasonable to expect me to sleep.

5:00 AM – I had slept about 1 hour total between contractions every 7-10 minutes.  They had gotten to the point that I was breathing, moaning, crying, moving trying to get in a non-painful position.  I woke David up and he was at a loss of what to do, but we both agreed that things were worse/different.  We decided to wait until 8 am to call Dr. Harris’ office (which is 1 mile from our home) and try to get in there first thing to get checked rather than drive to the hospital again to be told to go home.  Jasmine was up at 7 am because of my moaning even though she didn’t have school!  She was trying to help me breathe while I was in pain.  We called the doctor at 8, they told us to come in at 8:45, and we called Gege to come over and stay with Jasmine.

8:30 AM – Arrived at Dr. Harris’ office, and had to wait in the waiting room for 15 minutes.  It was funny to both David and I because I was having contractions about every 5 minutes now, and they were intense.  I had to breath through them, moan, I cried through one, and he was rubbing my back/hips while I leaned on the wall in the waiting room.  All of which would not have been funny had the waiting room not been only men who clearly were concerned for me!  One guy told the nurse “you can take her back before me, she’s struggling…hard. She’s really not doing well.”  Another went and found a box of tissue and brought it to David because there wasn’t one in the waiting room and I was crying.  I think they all felt so bad for me, and all women!

8:45 AM – We were put in one of Dr. Harris’ exam rooms and I tried to relax and be comfortable on that tiny table, I was so tired, but couldn’t sleep through contractions.  I was moaning and breathing through them all, and David would rub my back, I was not breathing quite right and was getting the shooting stars from being out of breath…that sucked.  After an HOUR Dr. Harris walked in while I was having a contraction and said “is the next sound I’m going to hear a baby crying?”  I said, “yes, if you don’t send me to the hospital it will be.”  He immediately checked me and said I was 5 CM and we could go straight to L&D and get a room and an epidural!  We headed back to the house to get Jasmine and mom and went straight to the hospital!

10:30 AM – Got to L&D and had to check in for the 3rd time.  I was listening to music to try to help and it worked in the car, but things picked up again and by the time I was standing to check in I couldn’t sign my name on the papers because of the pain.  We got taken to a room right away, and from there it was clothes off, in bed, monitors and lots of questions and bloodwork.  Three blown veins on one arm and my nurse had to put my IV in finally (she rocked).  We had to wait for an hour for the bloodwork to come back before they could get my epidural ordered and in.  David and Jasmine ate some breakfast while I was still trying to breathe through contractions, and not enjoying it.

11:30  AM – They said that the anesthetist was “busy” in another procedure so I’d have to wait.  Totally sucked.  By this time contractions were about 3 minutes apart, and both back and normal contractions.  I was not very happy, but there wasn’t much I could do but try to breathe and wait it out.  Jasmine, David and Judi took turns rubbing my head, arms, holding my hand and feeding me lots of ice chips since my throat was SO dry!  Oh, and chapstick, had to have that.

12:30 PM – My nurse, Lisa, said that everyone had to leave for the epidural, which freaked me out, but I had no choice and I was in pain so everyone had to go.  Remember, this is almost 4 hours after being 5 cm and being told by Dr. Harris I could have an epidural! The Dr. came in and read me all the side effects of the epidural, which are all scary and totally not something you should focus on or listen to when they do it (why they read that to you at that moment is beyond me, it is not relaxing or helpful to labor).  Then Lisa sat me up and had me lean over and she held my shoulders while I relaxed my head and neck and bent as far as possible.  I kept feeling faint and like I was about to fall out, mainly from pain, and being scared of the epidural, and not having anyone in there with me.  She kept telling me that my bp was good, baby was good, and waving alcohol pads in front of me.  The Dr. got the needle in after about 5 minutes, but couldn’t get the catheter to thread – it took her 3 tries with 3 caths.  All of which I felt in my spine, which is really freaky.  She said “I may not be able to get this” to which Lisa said “you will get this for her.”  After 15 minutes of trying she got it in, and did a test dose, I was told to let them know if I felt weird, or pressure or anything…I felt my ears and head kinda squeeze, almost like when you go underwater or when you have an ear infection and can hear yourself talk.  They both looked at each other like “oh crap.”  That passed and she got one dose of epidural meds in and it started to take, then Lisa laid me down and let everyone back in.  My epidural finally took totally by 1:15 pm.  I was checked again and was 8.5 CM dilated right after she laid me down!  So essentially I made it to about 8.5 CM with no meds, which was not fun.  My epidural was more like when your legs are asleep – not fully numb, but tingly and not painful, and my right leg was TOTALLY numb, I couldn’t move it at all.

While I was getting meds, David was a tad worried:)

Jasmine also used the time that I was getting medicine to ask for some prayers.

Jasmine also used the time that I was getting medicine to ask for some prayers.

1:40 PM – Lisa checked again and I still had a small “lip” on my cervix, so she had me do some pushing to help bring Hannah down and dilate me to 10 cm.  In about 3 pushes I was 10 cm and we were ready to go.  She was pretty impressed with my pushing (weird), but that proved to be a good thing since I wanted Hannah OUT!  Lisa called Dr. Harris, who was sitting right outside my labor room, and told him it was pushing time.  He came in, broke my water and Lisa’s face dropped.  There was meconium in the water, and she thought there was also some blood.  Her concern was that I was  VBAC and if there was blood it could have been due to a uterine rupture.  David picked up on her concern, and heard Dr. Harris tell her “we’re ok, it’s fine.”  To which David replied to both of them “she damn well better be ok.”  A few days after Hannah’s birth, Lisa and David both admitted that this was the only time they were majorly concerned about me and Hannah.  I had no idea they were both worried since they were all cool and calm the whole time.

1:55 PM – Legs up to my head, hands behind my knees and only a sheet covering me, it was time to push (and leave all modesty behind)!!!!!!  Jasmine and David were on my left, Jasmine was by my head holding it up as I pushed, David had one hand under my back as I pushed and was also holding my leg with me.  Judi was on my right and had her arm behind my shoulder.  I pushed for about 15 minutes and looked down to Dr. Harris who was not ready yet.  I said “you better get ready, I’m pushing her out now.”  As she crowned I felt it on my left side, not painful, but I felt the pressure and it wasn’t pleasant.  David decided he was going to watch, which was not our plan, but that all went out the window as he was so excited and ready for Hannah to be here!

2:15 PM – Hannah Grace, our unexpected, perfect, beautiful blessing was born, weighing 7 pounds and 1.5 ounces and measuring 20.5 inches long!

Hannah is here (and came out crying)!

Hannah is here (and came out crying)!

IMAG3505

Where am I???!!!

Booboo lip

Booboo lip

We welcomed Hannah with tears of joy and family surrounding her.  She was placed on my chest and Jasmine took pictures while David cut the cord (which he also wasn’t going to do).  Hannah was a little goey and needed to be cleaned up and checked because of the water, so Jasmine went over to look at her and take pictures while I was fixed up, David remained by me to make sure I was doing well while the doctor finished up.  We all got to hold her within minutes and remained in the room for another hour to let her eat and get some skin to skin time.

7 pounds 1.5 ounces

7 pounds 1.5 ounces

Footprints

Footprints

Swollen, but cute.

Swollen, but cute.

Our baby girl!

Our baby girl!

Daddy is toast

Daddy is toast

Jasmine and Hannah, our babies!

Jasmine and Hannah, our babies!

Love this!

Love this!

My loves!

My loves!

Hot...

Hot…

Yum!

Yum!

hannah blog 3

Jasmine’s FB status 1

hannah blog 5

Jasmine’s FB status 2

hannah blog 4

Jasmine’s FB status 3

One Week Old

One Week Old

~Mel

A husband/daddy’s point of view:

After 48hrs plus of Mel being in horrible pain, I was ready for her to have a reprieve. Honestly it was killing me seeing her in so much pain and knowing I was at least partially to blame…although she was there for the decision making!

The back and forth to the hospital was a little annoying because the nursing staff knew she wasn’t ready, but she was MORE than ready to have this baby. She was just so exhausted and wanted things to be happening and so did I. Now, I am always one to err on the side of caution and it had been almost twenty years since either of us had a child so I would have made 100 trips to make sure everything was alright and both she and the baby were fine. The nurses were sweet but I wanted a bit more sympathy for her than I saw.

When it was time, we both knew and there was zero doubt in our minds that Hannah was on her way into the world. I could have killed Dr. Harris for taking so long to see her once we arrived in his office. Watching and being helpless is truly torture when the one you love most is hurting so badly. I’m not a violent man, but if he wasn’t the one delivering the baby, he would have needed a doctor himself. Of course I had to play it cool for her and be Mr. Level Head as any good husband should in any crisis.

I was so relieved that we were headed to the hospital and she could get some relief! Unfortunately it took much longer than either of us expected and they gave me the boot as hospitals seems to have a habit of doing. Melissa and I spend 24/7 together (how it took so long for her to get pregnant I will never know), and it really does bother us when others tell us we have to be apart for no good reason. I worry and hate not being there for her, especially when she was in so much pain. I have bragged how my wife is a badass several times since having Hannah. I have broken everything there is to break and seen some things, but she handled birth like a champ. She forever has my respect as most people would not have been nearly as strong or graceful through it all.

Things moved really fast once I was allowed back in the room. It was maybe an hour, if that long before it was truly TIME. I was present for the birth of my daughter Brianna, but promised myself that I would be more than just present and in the room for both Melissa as well as Hannah. I’m much older now and much more aware. Honestly I was much more worried this time. I know all the stats, and have seen all manner of medical emergencies. My former career forced me to see and assist in some pretty gruesome stuff. I was scared for her.

When the doctor broke her water, Lisa’s body language changed completely and Dr. Harris had a moment of pause. I had some idea of why, but not completely. What I did know is that Melissa couldn’t see me worried. I do remember saying “She damn well better be alright or I will hunt you both down,” and they both knew I was serious even though I said it lightheartedly for her sake. From that time it was literally a few pushes and Hannah was here!

There was a buzz of movement around Hannah, but I refused to leave Melissa’s side until some time had passed and I knew she was in the clear. That turned out to be after we were moved to a private room. She was perfectly fine pretty soon thereafter, however I was still shaken.

The advice that I would give to fathers or husbands is truly be there in the moment. Take it all in and participate as much as possible. It really is a life changing experience if you allow it to be. You’ll only love your wife more. Believe me guys it hasn’t caused any issues in the desire department…

David

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Because I want to write more…my “draft” section holds nine, half written, barely started posts.  So I’ve decided to blog about things I like to talk about, my marriage to D and something new I have wanted to try, a gratitude journal.

Whether you are married already or researching vows to use in your wedding, you’ve heard the old standby lines:

I, ______ , take you, ______, to be my husband/wife, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, (and obey,) till death us do part, according to God’s holy law.

Short of a few more personal “how I love thee” type statements and the ring exchange, that’s the gist of most vows.  Like most people, I don’t really ponder those vows on a daily basis, or even a weekly one.  Most of us think about what vows we want when planning a wedding, but once they are said, not much thought is given to them until you experience or are forced to live up to them.  Even then, many people fail to understand and even have the desire to stand by the words that are what binds us to each other as spouses.  These are the same words you longed to say to the person you chose to be with, the words that probably choked you up, brought a tear to your eyes, and the words that make your marriage your best bet to survive the good and bad of life.

I’m no saint here, I’ve said these vows more than once, the relevance and meaning at the time, for me, was no different.  I meant them, no matter who was standing next to me, when I said them.  Life, feelings, circumstances, and selfishness (you and your spouse) changes you, and lots of us don’t make it through that as graciously as we’d like to think we had.  The difference is what you learn and how you grow through those things.

Casting stones…

Big Daddy and I have almost been married for 2 years now (it has flown by, I can’t believe it), and through those 2 years we have experienced so many things that most people don’t ever have to deal with in a marriage.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all hardship, but the good times and loving family come at a price, and that price is  job changes, anxiety, insomnia, health problems, ex’s, teenagers, grandkids, in laws, children with absent parents, being forced to be an absent parent, depression, normal growing pains of a new marriage, hurt feelings and overall tough times.

For us, it’s the harder parts of the vows have shaped our marriage into what it is, and what we wanted it to be.   We are by no means rich, yet we have all we need.  Shelter, food, medicines, entertainment, animals that we love (and love us), family, friends and a home.  I wouldn’t say we are living the poorer – we are in the middle, but if you ask D we have been close a few times.  He can’t stand to have a hard day/week with the bank account, and I have to remind him that “it’s been one day that we have a small balance…we get paid Friday.”  He’s pretty funny sometimes about it, yet I am totally comfortable and happy knowing that just because we may not have money one week, we’ll be back on track next week.  It’s also amazing to not feel the strain of fighting over money.  Whether we have it or not, doesn’t change how we treat each other, it’s never been an issue.

D’s health led us to him working from home with me, not a bad trade in my book.  We have been together 24/7 for almost 1.5 years now.  Yes 24/7.  Both of us have been told and heard “I couldn’t do that, how do you do that?” (I’m on FB chatting with a friend who just said “So you’re both home together all the time. Sounds terrifying to me”) We do it because it works, because it’s comfortable, and because why would you marry someone you didn’t want to be with all the time?  When the kids are gone, when the power is out, when you’re sick, when you’re bitchy, when you’re lonely, mad, upset, when you’ve been anything other than “OK” who else do you want to be there with you?  I want him.

It’s not just D’s health that troubles us at times.  We both have our share of insomnia, anxious moments, migraines, moods, and life in general.  Through all of these things we have learned more about how to lean on one another, care for one another, love one another, trust one another, and it has only served to strengthen our bond, which carries throughout every aspect of problem solving for us.

Coming to this marriage both divorced and both with children from previous marriages was something we both signed up for, but really, you can’t prepare for something like that.  While dating we talked it out, we tried to prepare each other, and yet, the real thing is more annoying, trying, and hard to gracefully saunter through than one would hope.  Yet through it all, neither of us has turned on the other because of a situation with an ex or the parent of one of our children.  We are now and eternally, on each others side.  If that were not the case, the court, jealous ex’s, custody, lies, “secrets,” ex’s that feel they know things your spouse doesn’t, and games in general would easily shoot down any shaky relationship or one that didn’t mean those vows.

Neither of us has experienced the level of love and security we have now.  With us both being mid 30’s and having multiple marriages, that is a sad, yet accurate picture of many marriages and relationships out there.   Not only should you mean what you say, but you should be sure that the person you are choosing to say it to means it also.  There is no reason to enter into something as serious as marriage knowing that the feelings and promises do not hold as much truth to your other half as they do you.

We have made a choice not to make our marriage harder than it has to be.  With so many outside influences and “drama” already being thrown at us, we had a choice to make.  I am proud and thankful that we have chosen to enjoy each other and to have the marriage we’ve always wanted regardless of what comes our way.

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Well, we all know I love talking about marriage, and submission/love.  It’s not that I dwell on it, but it always interests me to hear how other women view it.  There are so many women out there, married, single, Christian, non-Christian, happy, sad, all kinds that all have questions or have different variations on what they believe and practice when it comes to marriage vows/commandments in the Bible.

I’ve posted many blogs on it, if you haven’t read them here’s the links:
Husbands love your wives (more than just a little)
Submission…when he’s lovin’ you better be submittin’

This is what I think most women that don’t agree with submission view it as. Truth is, it’s much more than that.

Last time I posted a blog about it this conversation ensued on my FB page.  I’ve changed our real names, but it was with a friend who decidedly disagrees with me, at least that’s what I thought at first.  In the end, I realized that she’s been hurt before, and like most women, has changed her mind about how a marriage should work.  I am ever grateful that she opened up and allowed me to ask her some questions to further understand her.

  • HERE WE GO! (It is edited for names, irrelevant content and length – yes, it was longer)
    • MM I read your blog. I don’t disagree with what you are saying… but I don’t agree either. It could be that I was raised by hippies…. it could be that I have HUGE feminist viewpoints, or it could be that I’m just one big ol’ control freak. I’ve always felt that any partnership is equal.. with both parties pitching in, in all areas of the relationship. I truly don’t think I would ever be able to let go and just let someone lead me.
    • Mel Our marriage is very equal – ask Big Daddy. I think most non-Christians feel like you do. I don’t even know if you are a Christian…I’m just going with what I hear(in your words)! As always, everything doesn’t work for everyone!
    • J What does Christian versus non-Christian have to do with it…did I miss something? And the term “Christian” is veryyyy subject to interpretation and some interpretations are quite interesting. I’m not arguing…I’m asking because I’m curious.
    • MM you make a good point J. I’m not trying to argue either… just found it very interesting. oh, and I’m a christian. 😉
    • J I’m not…but I promise I’m a long way from a heathen devil worshiper, too.
    • Big Daddy Equality and submission are more closely linked than most would think. The christian vs non-christian is more of a point of view of the situation in general. Following biblical doctrine is why Mel is submissive. So if you don’t follow the teachings of the bible, your view point is completely different than her’s.  I actually seek her council on most everything, so it isn’t like I am “Lord of My Domain.” When she is submissive to me and I am submissive to God, then she is submissive to God through me. Believe me I always have her best interest in mind. Part of being submissive to God is having the best interest of her and the kids before any of my wants or desires.
    • Mel Sorry, I’m not answering, I’m over here doing family tree! D can answer for me…not because he rules but because I’m busy:)  Or they could read the other post about your duty to God and me! https://justalittlemel.wordpress.com/2010/10/08/husbands-mine-especially-love-your-wives-not-just-a-little/Check that, his commandment is much harder in my view!
    • Mel J, I say Christian/non-Christian, because it’s normally a huge difference if you don’t believe as a Christian does. It’s not any reference to who is better, simply the belief system/chain of command of a marriage is different between the two.
    • MM Very interesting. I thank your husband for his input. 🙂
    • Big Daddy If you really look at it, I am submissive to my family and especially my wife. The word seems to have a bad connotation, but anytime you put someone before yourself you are being submissive to their wants, needs and desires. It’s what we do every day for the ones we love. It’s an exchange of respect.
    • Mel Not to mention, if you don’t want to read that other post…he has to love me…he’s commanded to. All the time, no matter what, even to the extent of making me happy and taken care of BEFORE himself. What’s not to like there? MM – I would love to ask you some things without offending you…just to hear your take – is that ok?
    • MM Absolutely! go for it, and… for the record… my responses are not to offend anyone. Just my opinions. 🙂
    • Mel YAY! OK. So most people I hear from on this topic are either:a) not Christian, which I think makes a huge difference on how you view the household chain of command (God, husband, wife, kids)
      b) men who just want their wives to shut up and listen
      or
      c) Christian and agree with me.You stated you are a Christian and don’t see how you could let go and let someone lead you. I’d like to know what vows you used, and without sounding mean, did those include “love, honor, obey” or anything with biblical reference in your vows or how did you come to agree to vows to use in your ceremony? I guess what I’m asking is, being Christian, do you choose not to believe those verses (mentioned in the blog) or what’s your take on that part of the Bible? What do YOU view submission as, and how do you view the alternate command that your husband “love your wives as Christ did the church.” Do you feel your husband should love you that much, in the way that Christ did – dying for our sins?That’s pretty much it, I would also like to add, that when I was single and a mom, working full time, and doing everything…I felt VERY much like you. I couldn’t imagine letting go of the reins – nothing would have gotten done. I can make decisions, I can call all the shots, I can multitask, and I always think my way is the best way, we are women…it’s just how we are. That has not faded a bit! Someone said that women shouldn’t be submissive because when and if the husband ever leaves or dies she will have no clue how to handle life. I’ve been divorced and had a husband die…both not fun, but unless you are remedial, you can handle life. I have willingly given things to D that I used to stress over, or hate doing, or not want to do that I had to do…and now, I get to relax and enjoy life and things that I couldn’t before because I have a partner and husband that handles things for me. It’s quite freeing to not HAVE to handle everything!
    • Mel Oooh girl…. I’m going to have to smoke first. 😉 give me a few minutes.
    • Mel LOL, I hope that didn’t come across bad, I am truly asking. Just as many people don’t see how I or anyone could “agree” to submit, I want to know different views.
    • MM Ok…. here we go!! 🙂 Well… when I was married (getting a divorce I asked for) our vows said “to love and honor.”  I specifically omitted “obey” for a reason. See… we were originally going to get married in a catholic church. However, we had to do this like 500 question test thingy. In this test, it had as one of the questions “the MAN will be the head of the household…. agree or disagree” I not only circled disagree a 1000 times, I put “not a chance in hell.”  Of course, that got flagged by the priest. He asked me why. I told him what I told you earlier. He said what you said earlier. I said that I feel it should be 2 people working together to accomplish one goal. He said you can’t do that without leadership… I agreed and said God will lead us and together we battle the decisions. We got a letter later that week telling us the priest refused to marry us b/c I needed to prove to him “on a constant and continuing basis” that I was a good catholic. Yeah… that didn’t go so well for me. I have a sailor’s mouth… but I digress.  In my opinion, the Bible is viewed differently by each person who reads it. Take for instance some of the Morman’s believe that polygamy is not only the right thing to do…but the ONLY way… and God’s way. While having another gal around the house to do the cleaning and laundry would rock… I couldn’t see my husband sleeping with another woman. EVER. I’m too jealous for that. So, to them, I’m not living the way of God.
    • Mel Again, just asking questions here, and if it’s not something you wanna answer say so, and D said to make sure you know I’m not questioning your “Christian-ness” at all. I’m asking what you believe. Also, if you’d rather answer NOT on here, I’d be fine talking in PM. Got it, was it THAT guy or just anyone in general you don’t feel is “qualified” to be the head besides you? Where does your belief that it’s ok NOT to agree with the man as the head come from? Meaning do you feel there is some biblical backup for what you believe?I agree with what you said, 2 people under God’s leadership – hence what I said about if I didn’t like how D handled something I have backup…he has to be in line with God, and if he’s not, I go to God, I can go OVER D’s head. I guess it comes down to what you feel you can handle as a couple, and what you are ok with, I’ve just never known a Christian woman that openly said she didn’t agree with the verses, so thank you for letting me ask:)  I totally love Sister Wives…we watch it every week and on Netflix. I see an issue with that though, where Kody has said that he thinks it’s sickening and vile to imagine one of his wives with multiple husbands…really? However, that is their belief system, I also don’t believe in the book of Mormon, so I don’t know what it says but I do know what the Bible says, and Catholic or Baptist (or whatever) we use the same Bible…that has the same verses, so I wanted to know the…um…justification for not agreeing with it on the submission part.
    • MMMy husband took me for granted.. practically ignored me and I spent 12 years of my life trying to make it work b/c I do (or did) not believe in divorce. I signed up for this deal. I prepared to share my life with someone forever. I spent 12 years feeling more alone in a marriage than I did when I was single. So… as hard as it was for me… I left him. Shortly after. I met a most amazing man. He loves me, my kids and we take amazing care of each other. I believe God put him in my path. Is our situation ideal? Hell no. Would have this been the path I chose for myself? Hell no. However… I feel because I didn’t just submit and resign myself to “this is my life” and submit to my husband… I was given a new lease on life. I feel as if I tried every avenue with my husband to make it work, to make us (or should I say myself) happy. I guess that’s how I feel about the submitting to your husband thing. I feel that doing so…. you can loose a part of yourself by working so hard to please someone else. I feel I lost a bit of ME by trying so very hard to get him to be pleased with me. (which… I’m a HUGE people pleaser by nature and that’s not always a good thing).

      Now that I’m with this new person… I “spoil” him as I call it. He’s treated like a king. And equally, I’m treated as a queen. However… if we were to ever get married, I’m positive we would do things as a team. I want as much input as he does. And no one gets the final say. Not that I don’t trust him. I feel that we are both walking down this path together and we can both show each other the flowers and amazing things that we each see from our sides of the road. I want to learn from him and vice versa. I don’t feel that can happen if one person has the final say… even if it’s been discussed first. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with my upbringing. My parents discussed everything together. They also weren’t really into the whole religion thing. Ever really. (as a side note… I ALMOST became a nun. For real.) So, my examination of the bible tells me that what I do for my boyfriend is how I should be doing it. That’s my interpretation.
    • Mel We are very alike. I was in a relationship for 9 years, married for the last 3…he was a non-Christian and did not exhibit any type of leadership besides “you should do what I say.” I did not submit simply because he did not lead…had he led and not just demanded I do what he said, it would have been fine. I did all I could to make that marriage work, in the end he chose to try to cheat…I left. I do not allow anyone to treat me bad, there is no excuse for it. I met D, and we clicked immediately. He was a gift from God. (See ,we are alike) However, I was most ready and able to submit because D leads because he is led. He does not simply sit around telling me to clean and cook him dinner and shut up. He provides guidance and we together provide a happy home. I know happy homes can be achieved in other situations than ours. I feel like I gained back SO MUCH OF ME, because I am free to be me with D…and know I am loved through all of my “me-ness.”  Thank you for your insight! I wish you all the best in your marriage, and encourage you to step a little outside and see if it could be even better with the good man you have now!  Don’t be offended, but I think you have a submissive heart and don’t want to label it as that. There are not any differences in you and me through what you have said, except I admit to agreeing with the verses. I can’t tell you how many times my idea is the one we go with after talking about something. More often than not, D says “you know, you are right, I think this is how we should handle ____.” And it was my idea! We council each other. Submission has nothing to do with him having the “last word.” It’s about how I act/react to him.
    • MM I’m a hell of an enigma. But I LOVE talking about this. It is interesting and I get to learn something about others! 🙂 I think my reactions depend on the person I’m with. And I definitely don’t do labels. Except freaking AWESOME. Just because I am. ;)‎(and it takes a LOT to offend me)
    • Mel Me too! I really don’t see one bit of difference in our relationships or even our backgrounds (I was raised strict Baptist – no pants, no rock music). I think that there are some women, like yourself, who don’t truly “get” the submit and what it means. Or have been through a bad relationship and use that. You can ask anyone to describe me…headstrong and bossy is top of the list. D calls it “forceful opinions.”
    • MM  ROFL… I call it “my way or the highway.”  The only tattoo I have I got when I was 19. It’s a yin yang. It’s suiting for me. It shows balance, equality and that’s how I feel about all of my relationships.
    • Mel So, that is why I say I don’t think people “get it” it’s not about being shy, quiet, meek and mild…it’s about how to treat him and how he treats you. Also, to reference your post about your ex – I said it in the blog, and an old blog…you are not responsible to submit to someone who is devastating you. It is not a commandment to suffer. When you are with a man who looks to God, and loves you so much that he does everything for YOUR good and your betterment…there is no suffering or devastation. As I said, D is here as an extension of God’s love for me, he takes care of me in a human capacity as he is led by God. To me that is just amazing and I don’t get how someone could not want that?

I will say that I feel, after reading again and again (for editing), that my main question was not answered.  I’d love some input and answers from those that feel willing to do so.

My question is: if you are a Christian, and choose NOT to like/believe/live by/adhere to the submission part of your marriage, how do you justify that?  How do you just ignore those verses?  Also, do you feel your husband should love you as he is commanded to, if you do not believe in submission?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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This is a second piece, in what I can only assume is going to be an ongoing topic, on my blog.  The first post I did about this was Husbands Love Your Wives (not just a little) and speaks about the Ephesians passage.  I’ve updated this with the third post To submit…or not to Submit.  When I started blogging I didn’t know what I was going to write about, or how often.  I just do it as it comes and it seems that this topic comes up often in my life and those around me.  From Facebook posts to Michelle Bachmann, it seems too many people don’t get it.  So, since you’re here and reading, let’s get going.

I kid with the title, kinda, but it was meant to be funny.  I in no way think or believe God commanded us as wives to submit, no matter what.  So, don’t start with me on the non-Christian husband, the one who doesn’t respect you, the one who doesn’t treat you right and argue that you don’t have to submit because he doesn’t act right.  I’ll cover my thoughts on that (and you probably won’t like them) at the end of this post.

The main reason I love talking about this subject is to testify to how well a home works when it’s run the proper way.  The proper way being when you have a man that looks to God for his leadership, a wife that looks to her husband for leadership and children who know they have parents that love and care for them, and more importantly that love and respect each other.  Yes, this can be achieved sometimes outside of a Christian home, but more often than not, it’s neglected and unattainable in that forum.  I have plenty of friends that don’t get how “submitting” is in their best interest, or that can’t imaging allowing their husband to call the shots.  To that I ask – if you don’t think he’s smart enough or a good enough leader to call the shots why did you marry him?  Seems like a huge lack of good judgement on your part.  I’ve said it before, D has proven more than once before we married that he was quite capable of making good, correct, sensible decisions, and that his ideas were worthy of me agreeing to submit and hand him the last say/control in our relationship.  Ultimately God is the one calling the shots in our marriage, but since there are 3 of us in this boat, there’s got to be a chain of command.

There is more than the Ephesians passage to support the order of the Christian household.  I’m not going to cover the husbands role in full again, because I want to really get into the command the wives receive in these passages.  We see in the following verses that it’s not just one passage, for this post I’ve pulled four that I will discuss and reference all from my favorite translation the King James Version (KJV).  I am going to discuss just the verses with the submit reference, but encourage you to read the rest of the passages because they speak volumes as to WHY you should have a submissive heart/attitude.

Here’s the first one we’ve all heard:

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

33Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

A second to help remind you:

Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 20Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. 21Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Didn’t like those two?  Let’s try another approach:

Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Really?  It’s not a suggestion, it’s a direction, stop questioning it already.

1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. 3Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

I really don’t know what to say if you don’t like that.  It’s quite clear how we as wives are supposed to act and interact with our husbands, but, let’s look and discuss.

As Christian women we have no issues submitting to the Lord (Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord).  I believe we can all agree to that.  He loves us, listens to our prayers, answers them, chooses not to sometimes, has mercy, shows us He cares and ultimately we feel His presence in our daily lives, what’s not to like here?  We trust in Him.  After years of bad relationships, starting a career, living life, waiting for the “right one” and countless other reasons we should now thank God that we have a good Christian man. I know in my own life God has more than earned the respect and love we are to give Him.  He brought this man to you, He’s given you a partner to be here with you so you can FEEL that love, comfort, caring, burden sharing, leadership, and enjoy life with someone.  Not at all that God feels or thinks He alone isn’t enough, but He knows what we as women need, a partner, a leader, a lover, someone to tend to us and make us happy, God wants us to be HAPPY!  How much is it to ask that you respect, listen to, confer with and submit yourself (head, heart and body) to that man that He chose for you?  Not much I say.

Maybe we should clear up what submission/submitting means.

Submit: verb (used with or without object)

1.to give over or yield to the power or authority of another (often used reflexively).
2.to subject to some kind of treatment or influence.
3.to yield oneself to the power or authority of another: to submit to a conqueror.
4.to allow oneself to be subjected to some kind of treatment: to submit to chemotherapy.
5.to defer to another’s judgment, opinion, decision, etc.: I submit to your superior judgment.

Submission is not once described as mindless following, doing whatever you’re told, having no say, having no voice.  None of the definitions even remotely sound like most of the arguments I’ve heard against submission.  It’s simply what we as humans have wrongly come to interpret this one word to mean.  In God’s plan, submission is simply about giving yourself, as a willing partner to the man He chose to place above you in the chain of command of your home.  Just as there are bosses and employees, too many cooks in the kitchen, too many chiefs and not enough Indians – there has to be order.  If you’re trying to call the shots and your husband is trying to do his God assigned duty and call the shots, things aren’t going to be cohesive.

Wrong...try again.

So far there has only been once that I felt strongly that D was acting against how he should or acting in an unloving way.  I won’t get into incriminating myself specifics, but I may have played a part in his reaction…or not.  Truthfully, it was a mixture of me feeling that he was not holding up his end of the bargain and him feeling that I was undermining/disrespecting him in my reaction to that.  We were both wrong, and still he would argue that I was the cause, and I would point out that he “did” the deed in question for me to react inappropriately.  Which brings me to my point here, if he decides to act in an unloving way that doesn’t afford me the right to do the same and throw God’s plan out the window.  The opposite is true.  I am not free to tell him off, or take over, jump ahead in line, or treat him any differently than God has told me to just because he has forgotten his duty to me.  I CAN speak lovingly and inform him that I disagree with how he is treating me, or how he is talking, and that I believe he is going against the plan.

Barnes states this on the matter:

(4) if she is constrained, however, to differ from him, it should be with mildness and gentleness. There should be no reproach, and no contention. She should simply state her reasons, and leave the event to God.

In other words, if I disagree with D (because he is being mean, or rude, or not leading in a Godly manner), I have a backup plan.  God.  Since D has someone to answer to also, if I disagree or don’t like something I am more than free to pray and ask God for His guidance.  I don’t know how much more absolute you can get when looking for the correct answer.  The bottom line is that if D isn’t cutting it for me, he better hope he’s acting right because he answers to someone way more powerful than he or I am in our relationship.  I do have backup!  There are clear limits and rules over the husband and a huge responsibility on him to lead with my best interest at heart.  If he doesn’t, he’s going to have some ‘splaining to do.

In the beginning I said I would address the women who question the absoluteness of the plan.  I do not condone or think anyone should stay with an abusive man, or with a man who does not wish to live in alignment with God or the Bible.  I think there is always a limit to what one should put up with in any relationship, friendship, family dynamic etc.  You allow people to treat you bad…or you don’t.  If it’s not changing, and if someone is not trying or does not wish to learn how to be in a relationship/marriage the right way, then I believe it’s time to seriously re-evaluate whether you need to be there or not.  However, if you choose to stay there, then yes, you should still act in submission – see the following verse (again).

1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

All Christian women know, and even non-Christian women can see clearly that men, tall-short-big-little-loving-happy-unloving-sad-Christian-working-non-Christian-unemployed men, all beam with pride when they know they have earned the approval and have pleased a woman.  Do you want your man to do something more than once…thank him and praise him the first time he does it.  The look on a man’s face when a woman is proud of him, when she supports him, when she looks to him, listens to him, asks him his opinion, listens to his words, praises his decisions, loves him, respects him, wants him to be a good man, and brags to those around her about how wonderful a provider and partner he is…that look, that pride he feels, is no mistake in God’s plan.  A man that feels the love and respect of his wife can and will do anything to make her happy, to keep seeing that reaction and feeling that emotion.  There is no quicker way to defeat a man than to let him know you are disappointed in him or that you don’t think he is worthy of your respect and worthy to lead you or your family.  If you are looking for the queen treatment there is also no better way to get loved and protected, and to be lifted up as wives should be according to God’s plan, than by submitting to your husband.

I’ll leave you with another wife’s interpretation of what submission means in her marriage.  I think she is dead on also.

I am in full agreement with Barnes and his interpretation on the Ephesians passage.  I may continue with more on his notes, but I think we’ve learned enough for today…get to submittin’!

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This is a rant…I wanted to say it, and it’s just the way it came out.  Reading someone’s thoughts and opinions is a privilege and should be exercised with common sense and extreme caution by those who cannot handle it well.

While I realize that blogging is a choice, and I am allowing my thoughts and opinions to be “out there” – where is the line of decency/privacy/common sense? Where do we go from getting thoughts out to bashing others, or defamation? At what point does it become a show of what we SHOULD like, think, want, experience and less of who we are for real because we have to mince words to please others or to not upset them?

Bluntcard.com

In the last few weeks it’s been hard for me not to blog about what’s going on in our lives.  D is dealing with custody issues and we are looking at a long road of recovery be it B (his daughter) or him.  They are both in critical situations, and both in need of healing.  Which one is going to get that much needed healing is yet to be determined.  The ride so far has been stressful, sad and shows no signs of where it is going next.  With all that said, I’ve done fairly well with keeping my thoughts to myself (and not on my blog) about people involved in this and how utterly evil they are.  It’s hard.   Yes, it’s my blog, yes it’s all my opinion, my thoughts, and yes, I TRY to speak and think with love, but we are all human and no matter how much you pray, you still have your opinion.  I’m doing all I can not to put my true opinion of things out there.  I don’t want to in any way hinder the chance that B can be helped.  So, I haven’t said much about it. It saddens me that what we’re going through cannot be brought to light so others (and there are hundreds) can recognize the signs.  Had D been warned or had the chance to read a blog with the telltale signs like we are seeing now, he may have been able to keep B from having to endure this.  Live and learn.  I do plan to blog about that situation in a responsible way, which will be to educate others without expressly pointing fingers.

 

 

Bluntcard.com

It’s stressful to hold on to all these things, and yet have a place where I can get them out.  A place I created to help me work through things and get them out of my head, to help me heal, and deal.  I feel that it’s both my right (which it is) to speak my mind, and anyone else’s right to do the same.  If someone disagrees, or feels that I’ve painted them in a bad light (even with no identifying names) then either they should make their own blog to dispel my portrayal, or act differently so as not to be perceived in a bad light.   On the other side, I have been wrong *GASP* and if it’s on my blog for all to see, there’s a slim chance that from the comments or feedback of others I may see things from a different point of view.

On the privacy issue…I have people that read my thoughts that aren’t so much forbidden or unwanted, but that have found it because they are nosy or through less than ideal ways.  I always knew this was a possibility and in fact, started my blog and made sure that it was anonymous (other than those that know us from seeing pictures) from the beginning.  No one can identify my ex’s, D’s ex’s, our children, or anyone in general,  from any information given via my blog.  I did it for a reason, this reason – so I can freely speak my mind, good, bad, happy, sad, opinion, observation, right or wrong. I wanted to be able to let those that piss me off know that they did, I wanted to talk about what I’ve learned in many years of good and bad marriages.  I want to talk about my kids and how great or how annoying they are.  I wanted to create a place for feedback and conversation about everything whether it’s agreed on or not.  That is what I’ve created:)  It goes without saying that those that KNOW me or our family already know the stories and what we all feel and think about people in our lives.  Having it on a blog, or in print doesn’t any further damage/or create a defamatory light on what my friend might know I already think about another friend, or something of the like.

Savagechickens.com

I have a choice, to put things on “paper,” to tell what details about people or situations I wish to divulge, I have the options in my settings to allow this to be public (search engines), private (just those I give the link to) or closed (password protected).  I have chosen to put things on paper, I have chosen not to use names and no identifying statements on the WHO when I talk about my family or people I know/knew, and I have chosen to allow my blog to be open.  I want to share things I’ve been through and to have feedback and be able to hear other opinions.  Yes, it’s my blog, but what good is it if it’s just me and no input?

So, whether you were invited here, found me on a search engine, heard from a friend, or are reading because you are nosy and feel the need to spy…welcome.  I’ll be here all year (and the ones to come).

~Mel

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Today I’ve been thinking about how my friends have changed through the years.  I’m always saying there is a reason we are where we are, and how all events have shaped us and brought us here.  The same holds true for our friendships.

If you know me, or have read my blog for a while, you know that I was divorced about a year and a half ago.  It wasn’t the first time, but I feel like it was one of the most eye opening things that happened in that relationship.  How it ended, solidified my feelings about what I was willing to do for that marriage, and where I already knew I was, but just needed one event/item to teeter me toward working on it or bailing.  Yes, it was at that point.  I’m not going to delve into that marriage and how it ran downhill, because I don’t feel it’s something worth talking about.  There were events that are pertinent to what I’m about to blog about, and I’ll state those throughout the post, so that’s the reason I mentioned it.  As a side note – I  don’t care to devote anymore of my life to that person, nine years (three married) was way too long to deal with that relationship.   That relationship did more than teach me how not to live with BS, it taught me who my true friends and family are.  So, that’s where we’ll start today – the week I left.

If you don’t know about bluntcard.com – go now

I can count CLOSE friends on one hand.  I’ve never been a real social creature, and even when I did like to party, I had lots of “peeps” and a handful of CLOSE friends.  At the close of business to my last marriage they were, my sister, one BFF (I’m using that instead of writing it out, but I’m not 12) of 17 years, another of 11, a sister-in-law, and 2-3 great friends that I’ve never met in person.  Each story of where our relationship now is different, and deserves it’s own post, since this is my blog I’ll just type and we’ll see how long this gets.

My sister, has always been my best friend.  She taught me, whether directly or indirectly what to do, and what not to do, or what I didn’t want to do in life.  We are completely different, even though we sound alike on the phone.  We are also alike in very creepy ways.  For instance, I can walk into her house to visit (when I lived 4 hours away and hadn’t seen her in a year) and walking into her bathroom I could find every product I had in mine.  Same brand, same scents, same type.  We don’t talk about those types of things.  We also will both tell you that we are totally different (especially when it comes to raising our kids), but my kids have said that I say the same things she does, and hers have told me the same thing.  I trust her with my kids and she does the same with me.  Our children have always known that we love them as if they were ours.  We have disciplined them interchangeably and loved them interchangeably.  That has created an amazing bond for all of them.  I love getting calls about new jobs, boyfriends, texts about shoes, and the 3 am phone calls from my Lu telling me something she just has to laugh about or just chatting when she can’t sleep.  I deeply love my sister and her family.  With that said, she is easily the one person who can piss me off the most, because she knows me…but that’s what sisters do.

My best friend of 17 years met me through C’s (my son) dad.  We met while I was 16 and about 6 months pregnant.  She always told everyone that she knew C when he was in my belly and making me type in typing class with my arm straight out because I couldn’t pull up to the table.  She was, by far, my best friend throughout the majority of my early adult life.  We had been through birth, death, boyfriends, husbands (mine), moving, friends coming and going, and just life in general.  When I moved to Atlanta, we lost touch, but each time we talked it flowed, like time was never lost.  My kids called her their aunt, and until C was 15 he had no clue she was not related to him…didn’t matter that she was Korean and he was Mexican.

My other best friend met me by default…we had joint friends and had met, and then when I moved to Atlanta, she and my sister-in-law to be were the only people I “knew.”  We quickly became BFF’s because of how much we were alike.  There was no where that we would go that the other didn’t want to.  Our idea of fun was exactly the same.  I could look at her and say “I want to do” and she would say “_____” – it would be what I was going to say.  If she wanted to leave somewhere she’d say “I’m done here” and I would have been thinking the same thing.  We had some crazy times, and she knows more about me than anyone on the earth.  We don’t live near each other and haven’t physically seen each other in about 5 years…however we talk regularly (not as much as I like) and we just pick right up.  I love her – she is my sister.

My sister-in-law (now ex) and I were introduced before I moved up to Atlanta in 2001.  When we met, we hit it off immediately.  Throughout the 6 year dating relationship of her brother and I, we remained friends at times that he and I were not together, we just carried on as friends normally do.  We have endured many things, her divorce, my marriage to her brother, her lowest points and recovery, the death of my mother, and everything in between.  My children love her dearly, and were very close to her. Our relationship is one of the most important I’ve had.

Again, bluntcard.com

These 4 women have been my staples throughout life and now.  I’d include my mom, but she was not a best friend, she was my mother.  She holds the most special place in my heart and life, even in her passing.  I was lucky enough to have my (ex) mother-in-law at the time my mom passed, and as hard as that was, she became just like my own mother and I felt the same way about her.  She was a huge influence and kept me going most days and through many tough times.

The day I left, rather, the week I left my home (and ex) I learned how much friendships and family can hang in the balance of one decision.  I’ve said before that, in fact, there is a line of how much crap I will put up with.  I’m all for hanging in there, but when you are the only one hanging and the someone else thinks they can just act like they don’t care, what’s the point?  We had been through a rough year of marriage, from work, to money, to the final straw and me deciding I wasn’t up for seeing how far he was going to take a “friendship.”  I can deal with many things…and yes, I have been guilty of many things, however, I won’t sit by and have something flaunted in front of me and act like it’s ok, and I don’t know about it.  It’s not.  So, with that, I found the proof – right in front of me in real time, and decided that I was out, done.  I didn’t want to act to quickly, and I made it through one night.  One night of no sleep, pounding heart, wanting to stuff a pillow over his face while he slept like a baby, me smoking like a chimney and sneaking outside at 4 am to call my BFF of 17 years.  She sounded surprised, but with the history between he and I, I don’t think she realized how NOT OK I was.  She told me to calm down, think it through, and confront him. I didn’t do that.  I kept quiet while I figured out what I wanted.  It was apparent that he was not thinking of “us,” so why would I “talk” through it with him and believe that he was going to have an epiphany and suddenly care?  The rapid downfall of the marriage signified to me that I was not willing – so I found the opportunity to change things since they weren’t changing on their own.  The day I left, was probably the last time I really talked to my mother-in-law.  I talked to my sister-in-law once or twice later that week and soon after we were cut off.  She was in recovery, and my best guess was that his family had a lot to deal with and it was probably best for her that she not have to choose sides and deal with the stress so soon.  I never felt mad about losing touch with her, I felt it was best for her to not feel the wrath of her family because she was still talking to me like we had always done when he and I were not together.  This time, it wasn’t that simple.  It was over, and apparently, depending on how you look at it, family does not mean the same thing to all people.

Throughout the marriage, it was apparent that HIS family and HIS friends were superior to mine.  Aside from a month that my mom lived with us in Atlanta while she was seeing doctors, it was always a fight to have time with my family or friends.  He never wanted to go to my sisters house, even though his family’s house was the same distance.  He hardly knew about family functions, as his mom called me, or I called them to set up when we were to meet, or what we were doing.  He simply showed up when I dragged him out of the house.  He used his family for hunting and when he needed them.  I was the one to initiate contact and it was out of my desire to have closeness that we actually had friends and family to be with.  Since he didn’t want to see my family, I made him take me to his.

Back to my one friend of 17 years and how that relationship ended. We only went to functions of his friends, I had to drag him to my BFF’s wedding.  Subsequently he made great friends with her husband, and for the time we lived near them, they became close to him also.  He hired her husband to work for him, and ultimately, sides were chosen again when we separated.  He had built up a force of people that were “HIS” and I was left as the one who gave up and abandoned him, leaving him a hot mess.  Live and learn, but had I not left, I would have been the hot mess with no support system via those I thought were closest to me.  When I left and headed 45 minutes away to stay with my sister, my best friend and her husband became his sitters.  The realization that we were done, took a huge toll on him, I will probably never know how much, because I didn’t care to find out…he made his bed.  I quickly realized that once I left the realm of that relationship, I left all that I knew.  I didn’t hear from her for days, when prior we had seen each other at least 3-4 times a week, shopping, hanging out, visiting, movies/dinner at home.  When I did talk to her she was busy, or just didn’t answer, and told me once that “we had to take him to the hospital, he had no one.”  Well, gee, I wonder why he has no one?  Could it be that he was attempting to meet another woman while he was married?  Maybe she can come take care of him?  My initial thought was that my friend was torn, and didn’t want to choose sides, when in fact, it came out months later in her own words “what am I supposed to do, he’s my husband’s boss?” So, there is where that 17 year friendship ended.  I had become concerned about information reaching my ex, via what else? Facebook.  So I sent her a message and asked if I had anything to worry about since her husband and he worked together.  She acted appalled that I would suggest it.  I had been in the office with both of them, and know for a fact that the FB of one, was not off limits to the other.  Since he was her husband (and my husband has full access to my FB), I knew that if he had her password, then my ex could easily get info.  I was completely justified asking her because on 2 occasions I had him show his ass by sending me a message and commenting on things.  I had narrowed our “joint” friends on FB down to 3 people.  I am still friends with 2 of them and I simply needed to hear that she was not going to allow that type of behavior.  The message I got instead was one of disbelief and support for him.  She unfriended me and to this day, we haven’t spoken.  Needless to say, since that day over 6 months ago, I haven’t heard from him once.

The divorce and weeks leading up to it turned his entire family, against me.  While he was calling my family to try to aid him in reconciling, and my friends were consoling him…his family was cutting ties.  I again thought it was that they had to support him, no matter what, in our 9 year relationship, I had that pounded into my head by his mom.  We are a family, we stick together…she really meant that, I should have listened.   Apparently, even wrong, blood is thicker than love.  I had said it many times to friends that had it not been for his mom, I would have bailed on the relationship long before we even got married.  She was an amazing woman, and as I said earlier, when my mom passed, she immediately stepped in and took that role in my life.  I will always be thankful for what she did for me.  I am still shocked and sad that not only did her son ruin a marriage, but he took away the family that I was forced to embrace.

I recently started talking to my sister-in-law (ex), who I guess is now just a friend…I used to say to her, “I need to talk to you as a friend, not my sister.”  Funny how that works out.  She and I talked for a few weeks via email and just recently chatted on FB and I smiled and enjoyed the whole conversation.  Aside from catching up on each others lives, it was normal, it flowed, it was not at all tense.  It was refreshing to know that to true friends time lost doesn’t mean you lose anything.  I look forward to becoming as we once were, which was laughing, jokes, love, advice and more.  I am more than thankful to have her back in my life in whatever capacity.

In just under 2 years I’ve lost a (bad) marriage,  a sister, a mother, and a close friend.  I don’t fight for things that don’t want to be fought for.  There is no use.  As with anything, if you’re the only one fighting to keep it…you’re going to be the only one holding it there.  My sister can tell you, I have no issue “cutting” things out that are unhealthy (just ask her about my aunt), or that I don’t agree with.  Didn’t say I was right to do it, but I have no second thoughts about it.  I learned early that life is short and I don’t have time for BS, toxic people are just that.  If you want to deal with it, then go for it, I won’t be.  It’s also very freeing to let someone know that the train has stopped, and I don’t have to stay on it.   I’ll continue to live like this, because for me, it has proven to be effective and eliminate a ton of stress and drama.

So, we are current on friendships, or the main ones I have.  I haven’t even mentioned my friends that I look to in daily life.  Ones that I knew when I was younger and have reconnected with, some that I hold certain hobbies or interests with, and those that I know through other people.  It is a blessing to have such a diverse pool to choose from now that I am not limited to someone else’s friends.

Let’s talk about my best friend now, it’s not any of the people I spoke about earlier.  It is my “newest” friend, yet the one who knows as much as all the others combined.  It would be no problem for them to speak to any of my lifelong friends, sisters or family about me and know what they were talking about.  He has learned more, asked more, heard more, and listened to more than any of them.  He’s not trying to one up anyone, but he truly has become the closest person to me.  In most friendships, you give some and get some…you’re there to enjoy the good times and balance out the bad.  I always thought that best friends were for outside of marriage, you know, to talk about the marriage with…I have never been in a relationship with someone that was my best friend.  Good, bad, right, wrong, he knows it all, yet still loves me and lives every day to get to know me more and for us to be support for each other.  I have again been blessed with an amazing family (through D) and have again gained a mother figure.  No one can replace my mom, but a girl/woman always needs a strong, loving woman to talk to, and I am blessed to have been given that twice now, aside from my own mother.  D’s mom has taken me on just as my ex’s did and if you didn’t know we’d been married for just over a year, you’d never guess it by how she and I talk.  She is truly a blessing.

Those that are in our lives, whether it’s for a day, or for years  are definitely there for a reason.  Some are to teach us what love is, some are to teach us about ourselves and some are to bring us to others we haven’t even met yet.  Those we lose, whether to death or the death of a friendship are to be thanked for all it is they brought to our lives after they are no longer in it.

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