Seven: Thoughts on Married Life

It’s been a little over seven years since I first met my husband. I was 32 then. How young that seems now! My dear Frank was a youthful 41. When I look back, when I consider the woman I was then it is almost like I’m remembering the life of someone else, so far have I come from that ill-used, halfling creature. It amazes me to think that Frank saw beyond all that jagged brokenness and, more than that, he loved me just for me. He rescued me. I was about breaking into a million sharp shards and this wonderful man didn’t run in the opposite direction when he found out my past, he didn’t even scarper when my then 10-year-old autistic and ADHD son attacked him when he babysat the kids for an evening, for the first time. Frank phoned me when I was in the middle of dance class and asked if I would come home. I confess I didn’t think it was all that bad and wanted to stay (single parenthood not giving me much opportunity for anything). Ten minutes later he called again and I realised that I needed to go home. His voice sounded polite, but strained. Here we go, I thought. I braced myself.

As I walked in the front door and saw Frank’s face, and then took in the fact that he was covered from head to toe in Vaseline and eczema cream, I knew for sure it was over. Who would willingly stay to become the step-father of a child who didn’t sleep, destroyed things and attacked you? Who would willingly desire to be the husband of someone as broken as me? Who could possibly think that we, the kids and I, were worth it? Also, at that point I had had not only the awful, abusive first marriage and the ramifications of that individual’s crimes, but a few months before had fallen for someone – a lovely Christian man – whom I thought felt the same only to find out he didn’t. Ouch. So I had wrapped my heart tightly inside me, to protect it. I had not let myself feel anything other than a moderate attraction to this new man, Frank, who stood before me as I stepped into the hall.

But the rejection never came. Instead, the very first thing he said was “you know that I love you, don’t you?” And I – well, how do I say this? – I began to unwrap the tight bindings of my heart. I can’t say he swept me off my feet or romanced me. Everyday life with two very little girls and a son with ASD meant that we stepped into (grim?) reality straight away. No time for all that lovey-dovey stuff. He stayed. And he loved. I grew to love him, and I also grew to love the ‘me’ that he saw – because I can tell you for sure that I did not even like myself, let alone love myself, and I didn’t see how anyone else could.

So I would like to thank God for answering prayers I never even uttered, and I would like to thank Frank. For being Frank. For being a man of God and a man of compassion and a man of so many other things that will remain unnumbered. Not a day goes by that I don’t tell him how much I love him. I am truly blessed! This post is for my husband. Thank you.

Reblog: Twitter sheds light on non-physical forms of abuse

Abuse has many faces. For many years I stayed with the highly abusive man who was my first husband because of teachings like this (see video below). My children learned that it was ok to be nasty to mummy. They were being brought up in a miserable, soul-destroying home. It is not the abuse towards me that breaks my heart to recall, it is the fact that they were there too. I have no words to describe the abject horror of the seemingly innocuous words from John Piper on this issue. This teaching is not just wrong, it is wicked.

The Beautiful Kingdom Warriors

The Twitter handle #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou, started by the BBC, has given victims of emotional, spiritual, financial and other forms of abuse a platform to share a glimpse into their experiences.

Often, the pain and trauma of non-physical abuse is dismissed or ignored.  Because the bruising to a victim’s psyche and soul are not visible, they do not receive the help and healing needed or the support to leave.  Slowly, they are beaten down to a place of low self-esteem and self-doubt and they begin to believe the lies of their abuser.  They experience symptoms of PTSD or anxiety or other conditions from their distress and this gives their abuser the added ammunition to claim they are the crazy one, they are the cause of the abuse.

Sadly, these types of abuse are very common in…

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You Know You’re Married to a Clever Clogs When…

You know you’re married to a clever clogs when, at the dinner table, your 12 year old asks about the differences between cattle and sheep farming and your spouse launches into a 30-minute lecture on the different types of soil, breeds, crop rotation, etc.

You know you’re married to a clever clogs when his idea of kicking back on a Saturday night is a wee dram of Soplica.

You know you’re married to a clever clogs when he points out that it’s not a ‘wee dram’ because it’s not Scotch whisky.

You know you’re married to a clever clogs when the next item on his Saturday evening agenda is lying on the bed, undoing his shirt buttons and… watching a lecture on ancient Judah (we know how to partaaay).

You know you’re married to a clever clogs when he objects to his daughter wearing the ‘wrong’ type of Roman helmet for Roman Day at school (she’s mixed her centuries – shocking!).

You know you’re married to a clever clogs when your mother-in-law tells you that when he was a little boy his favourite things were dinosaurs and museums.

You know you’re married to a clever clogs when his two favourite tee shirts are:

philosoraptorgrass_fullpic and piberationalnavy_fullpic

both from Snorg Tees.

You know you’re married to a clever clogs when he lets you borrow the Maths one (hee hee – still makes me chuckle).

You know you’re married to a clever clogs when you exclaim, “Oooh! Did you know…?” and he always says: “Yes”.

You know you’re married to a clever clogs when he recalls how he fell in love with your mind as much as anything else.

You know you’re married to a clever clogs when the extended family affectionately know your spouse as the absent minded professor – and it’s an accurate observation.

You know you’re married to a clever clogs when all these things serve only to make him more endearing 😉

From the Montpellier Codex, Anonymous 4

I walked down the aisle to this haunting, beautiful piece. I can’t believe how many years it has been already. I would never have imagined my life as it is now if you had asked me just a few years ago. I am beyond thankful for Frank’s presence in my life. My husband is a gift from God and I treasure him.

 

 

‘Set me like a seal upon your heart, like a seal upon your arm…’

Song of Songs 8:6