Don’t Destroy Your Marriage Before It’s Even Begun

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Rose

Rose (Photo credit: kewing)

Since I have been separated and working on myself and walking with God, as they say, I have learned a great deal about how we relate to each other in couples. I’m not saying I have it sussed but hindsight is a great teacher as are self-help books, Christian books, Bible study groups and talking with your friends, Christian and non-Christian alike.

What I see a  lot of is educated couples – often not married but in LTRs, sometimes with kids too – talking badly to each other, disrespecting the other big time! I cringe. In fact, it breaks my heart – for them and for me. I can see their mistakes loud and clear because I made them too! And that’s one of the reasons I’m getting divorced. My mistakes. His mistakes. And a whole lot of mess.

OTOH, I do see couples who seem to work together beautifully. Not saying it’s a bed of roses for them but they are truly trying to do what’s right for the other rather than self.

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The Man Situation – Hot or Not

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Struggles with The Man Situation, or lack thereof, continue. Cloud’s book, Get a Date Worth Keeping, has revealed some of my ambivalence about putting myself out there forcefully. The Manless Situation hurts though. Post-marital break-up I am back in the position I was in as a teen. This situation looks like this:

Guys Various: “Yeah, PrayerWalker is really hot! She’s exotic! Wow! I wouldn’t mind a piece of that. But go out with her, like, as a girlfriend? On proper dates? Erm, no, wouldn’t do that.”

Guys Various 2: “PrayerWalker is such a great mate. Yeah, she’s terrific. Such a good, good  friend. What, ask her out? On a date? Oh no, I wouldn’t do that. I tell you who I DO like though, XX… I’m thinking of asking her out on a date!”

That’s my man life! 

There have been three men in my fairly long life who have treated me like a real woman/proper lady. P, my first boyfriend, when I was 15 going on 16. I met him at a club (he was 19) and he simply asked me to dance. He treated me like a girlfriend – not a mate, or someone he just wanted to get physical with – from the start. He was lovely. I ended it as we did not have enough in common.

Then, when I was 18 I met N. N thought I was great company, hot AND the one for him. We got together quickly and the relationship lasted quite some time. I ended it after a year and a half as I felt too young to get married (he mentioned marriage). 

Then there was my husband. He seemed to want the whole package: physically, mentally, emotionally, and I guess, at that time, spiritually (though neither of us was religious). We were together for well over two decades. He ended it. 

Since then I’ve had lots of guy interest but only of the ‘She’s hot’ (mostly outside of the church) or ‘She’s a great mate’ variety (mostly within the church). You can guarantee that if I even have the most fleeting thought that someone looks nice/interesting and just happens to be single – the next day they are suddenly ‘in a relationship’ –  with someone else! 

 

 

 

 

 

Loneliness and Neediness

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I was struggling with what my friend J calls The Man Situation this week when this meditation from Henri Nouwen popped into my inbox. And lo! here it is again on Cristi Murgu’s blog…

ON THE WAY

How many people feel into this trap, so often?
If it’s within the realm of friendships – there is always another one.
But it becomes so much more tragic within marriages…This is very helpful advice:

‘When we feel lonely we keep looking for a person or persons who can take our loneliness away. Our lonely hearts cry out, “Please hold me, touch me, speak to me, pay attention to me.” But soon we discover that the person we expect to take our loneliness away cannot give us what we ask for. Often that person feels oppressed by our demands and runs away, leaving us in despair. As long as we approach another person from our loneliness, no mature human relationship can develop. Clinging to one another in loneliness is suffocating and eventually becomes destructive. For love to be possible we need the courage to create space between us and to…

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Getting Chained No More

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English: The lions were chained, but he saw no...

English: The lions were chained, but he saw not the chains (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

We have had two sessions of this  Chained No More course at my church. It’s going well. I have not told my story in full – well, no-one has; that would be too much for anyone to take and we have a limited amount of time.

 

 

 

Speaking of which, I am at my mother’s house at the moment. I’m not sure why parents faff (fuss) over you to what seems like an infinitesimal degree when you are middle-aged yet seem oblivious when you are a child.  Maybe it’s because as they near death they worry how you will manage when they are gone. Or maybe they just read the Daily Express* newspaper too much!Maybe when you are a child and they are younger, in their prime, they feel invincible themselves, thus don’t feel the need to worry about you, the child. Or maybe they are like children themselves. Bafffled.

 

 

 

*The Daily Express is a highly right-wing newspaper, sort of between a tabloid and a broadsheet, read mostly by the elderly, and which favours doom-and-gloom headlines about killer rain/hail/snow/sun and reports on dementia. I am not a fan.

 

 

 

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Not Going Out (to Church, for once.)

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A cat pacing in the darkened hallway. Always l...

A cat pacing in the darkened hallway. Always looking forward to comments about improvements or just what you think! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Great shock – I am not going to church this evening! I feel massively guilty! And sad to miss Pastor 3’s words. However, my weeks are becoming very full and I decided to try and rotate my activities somewhat in the interests of pacing for my health. I am putting pacing and improving my health first for six months (1 month down, 5 to go.)

 

I do feel sad to miss the service though but I was getting almost rigid in my adherence to activities or doing stuff to escape emptiness and that’s one of the things that made me ill in the first place.

 

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I Am a Woman. Not ‘one of the lads’.

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The Invisible Woman

The Invisible Woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am following a health programme and one essential is to deal with emotions as they arise rather than letting them fester. With this in mind allow me to emote!

Friendly Guy – my friend in the church. He’s gone outside of the church to find a relationship (and succeeded) because, in his words, “There’s no-one for me at this church.” This he has told me three times.

Sorry, love, but that’s a rubbish thing to say to a woman even if she is not your type/age/remotely of interest to you. I’m still a woman. Not a bloke. Not “one of the lads”. Not invisible.

Another friend, let’s call him D, who is (or was) like a nephew to me met his now wife on one of the naffest websites known to daters. He was bound to succeed cos he has everything going for him – as does his now wife. Some people will be snapped up immediately. As D got into his new relationship I was dropped like a stone! Maybe that’s how it should be. I don’t know. But it did hurt.

Friendly Guy has already turned from  being the most sociable and proactive church group member to one who is focused on new love. That kind of hurts too ‘cos we, the ones left behind, are who accompanied him on his difficult journey.

I am being selfish. We should be prepared to let our brother go – and, like a family, be there for him when the difficult times come or if it doesn’t work out, or be there to celebrate with him when it all goes brilliantly. That’s how it should be.

What’s the underlying emotion here that I am feeling? Resentment. Hey. Just getting it out there!

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The Single Option

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Ann Widdecombe Gives One Year On Lecture in Bath

Ann Widdecombe Gives One Year On Lecture in Bath (Photo credit: Catholic Church (England and Wales))

I only caught the tail end of a  conversation about singleness last night at Life Group but I have been thinking about this issue a lot today.

Being single makes one much more ‘a citizen of the world’. I mean by that that we are more engaged with the world, we look outward as well as inward, we seek to make connections. We are fluid!  When someone becomes part of a couple they begin to turn inwards, somehow, forming their own little world. I am not saying that is wrong, it is just an observation.

I was impressed by something Ann Widdecombe said. (I am not prone to supporting her in other way!) In her 30s she wanted to be part of a couple again, in her 40s she was okay being single but now she actively relishes her singleness and would defend it to the death! If I never meet A.N. Other I would like to be like that!

 

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All the Pretty Things

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Symmetry

Symmetry (Photo credit: Scarygami)

The cruelty of Facebook!

Beautiful people get even more validation of their good looks on Facebook. The people involved might not know that’s what is happening but I see that when very attractive people change their profile photo they get a flurry of ‘likes’!

One contact, a former model, gets tons of likes when she changes her pic (frequently).  A young christian woman/girl I know got 55 ‘likes’ for her picture the other day! And I was one who contributed! How we flock to the beautiful. It’s natural for us to gravitate to that which is pleasing to the eye yet how sad as well, I feel, when it filters out others who may not have such symmetrical features.

My ex, no Plain Peter himself in the looks department, used to rant on about the tyranny of symmetrical faces. He had a point!

 

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Chained No More – Release the Fetters!

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A broad metal chain.

A broad metal chain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have started a new course at church called Chained No More. It is for the adult children of divorced parents and helps participants to explore and address issues that arise within us ‘children’ (even though we are grownup) resulting from that divorce and other childhood brokenness.

While my own divorce is still throwing up issues I realised that really it is pain and confusion from my childhood that

  1. led me to marry my STBX spouse in the first place and
  2. is impacting greatly on my own ability to recover from the separation and move on effectively.

See http://robynbministries.com/chainednomore for more details.

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One Year Anniversary of This Blog

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It’s my one year anniversary of blogging Just a Closer Walk With Thee. I started out tentatively but now feel much more confident about my journey within the church. My faith is ‘getting there’ and I am more at ease in describing myself as a Christian, though I don’t go on about it, much as my evangelical church would love that!

“I Seek Wife in Yonder Valley”

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Mountain

Mountain (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

One of my church guy-friends, who I met through the divorce group, has just started dating.

We have known each other for a few years and we have become closer this year. This man has got it all – looks, a lovely demeanour, godly, witty, quietly confident, part of a great family… I could go on! He is 14 years younger than me; we are in the ‘friendzone’

He has met someone through a Christian dating website. Now, this guy is such a great catch that the minute he was ready to meet another woman I knew he would be snapped up. And she has.

Mmmm… I am a little disappointed that he went online to find a potential partner. This is due, partly, to my own issues and lack of confidence that I will ever meet someone else BUT there’s more to it than that.  Going online seems almost primitive/feudal/fairy-tale-like. Village’s favourite son turns back on the womenfolk of his parish and travels across high mountain to yonder valley to seek wife.

I find it hard to believe that he could not find someone to date from within our large church. But maybe I am talking about dating – i.e., going out  a few times with someone, hanging out, getting used to being with someone of the opposite sex again (but with no sex involved). Maybe he is looking for something more serious.

But here’s the thing: there are many more single women in our church than there are single men. If the few men that remain go online to find a partner that could push us women to have to go online too. I really don’t want to do that. (See my next post for reasons).

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