I just realized that I’m living my dream. I’ve got parakeets singing in the kitchen, dogs lying underfoot, cats reclining in surprising places, 6 children playing peacefully in the house, homemade bread in a breadbox, hot homemade soup warming in the crock-pot, chickens in the front and back yards, annual and perennial garden in the front, and goats chewing their cud in their little house, while the temperature begins to drop, and I’m typing words to publish. Since I was a wee child, this was my idea of the perfect adult life. An elderly lady who just left our house this morning mentioned to me, “Everything is always happy at your house! Not every day is a happy day, but everything and everyone is always happy!” What a beautiful compliment–I’ve always wanted to have a happy home for people and children to enjoy visiting.
The only thing missing from the above paragraph was that I wanted the perfect husband to go along with it. I wanted a man who would understand me–know when I’m feeling down or get excited about something I’m excited about–to be interested in me as much as I am in him. At the beginning of getting to know each other, he was very much like this. I felt for the first time that I’d found the perfect Biblical husband. He is attracted to my unexpected impetuous nature, a very hard worker who does 150% of the jobs he’s asked to perform at work, and is very generous.
Within 6 months, I was pregnant with our first child. I was pregnant 6 times before we had been married 10 years. It was a very busy but lonely time of life for me. He became more and more involved and busy with the corporation he worked for and was trying to make sure he never lost a job with all the mergers and acquisitions that kept happening. We moved an average of once every 4 years to keep up with the job changes.
He always stayed with me physically, but his mind was often elsewhere. I could feel this, and some months it was much worse than others. As the children grew older, and my first one left the nest, he became emotionally very distant from me. I don’t want to mention all the stuff that happened since that time. Right now we are in a comfortable era of our marriage–getting close to 20 years. Our lives are very much how we had each wanted them to be. He’s where he wanted to be with his job, and I have the animals, children, garden, and now–because the children are not babies anymore– I’m able to reach out and teach others book and heart knowledge. Unfortunately, as a protection over the years, I’ve gained his attitude toward our marriage. Maybe it’s a protection thing so that I don’t continue to feel hurt. Hoping and then seeing those hopes dashed over and over can really numb a heart.
I have talked with many women in their 40s and 50s. Many have either divorced recently or now have their own enterprises that keep them busy. We are all mostly professed Christians, some further along the path than others. Many of us married ones serve our husbands with willing hearts and make our home beautiful and peaceful, and just like Proverbs 31, our husbands are successful with their work and business. BUT, what about the rest? Why do we feel like our husbands aren’t fulfilling their part of the marriage of protecting us because we are weaker vessels, providing and caring for our physical and mental health, and being the epitome of Christ to us, their wives?? Why aren’t we precious to them after the first year or less of marriage? We have all tried so many things to gain that feeling that we had when they really paid attention to us before we got married…why must it be that they discard interest in us like tossing an old pair of shoes–and why so soon?
Where are the men who follow Christ’s example of a Husband? Very rarely, we’ve seen them in some of the elderly couples who we’ve met. The wives still looking at the husbands with adoring and respectful eyes, and the husbands looking down at them with huge love and gentleness in their eyes for their wives. Our generation and my father’s generation of husbands were never taught how to love their wives, so they are more about gaining respect for themselves than giving love and time and sacrifice.
So what do we unfulfilled Christian wives do in the meantime? We pray, we cry (sometimes to each other), and we learn to devote more and more of our time to serving and loving our Savior–the only Husband we can truly count on and who has never failed us–who has truly been there with us in the hospitals, the grieving, the sorrow, and the loneliness. That is the only solution that I see. Therefore, I must forget about that little part of my dream and just be thankful for all the other very beautiful parts that have come true—and keep being me….keep spreading God’s light and love to those around me…and be grateful that my husband is a hardworking man, providing for his family, allowing me to help others and try my ideas and inventions with what my brain is always brimming full.
Yes, this was a very strange post….I think more of a lecture to myself. 🙂