She had to beg for underwear.

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Don’t try to convince other people that your way is right. In my first marriage, my ex had two guy friends who were married to these women who were completely squished. Stomped. Walked on. Walked over. Walked around.

I remember we were over at this guy’s house we’ll call Jimmy. I wanted to go out with the wife and get pizza while the men were going to stay with the kids, and my ex said, Sure, Jimmy and I can watch the kids and give them a bath.

It turns out Jimmy had never been left alone with his children let alone give them a bath. My ex had to do the bathing and getting them into the jammies. Jimmy gave his wife $5 a week spending money and sometimes he asked for it back. He did all the grocery shopping. He was a marathon runner and they were super Christian so they had this idea that he should be able to do anything he wanted and she should have to just bow to his wishes.

The other guy was Mormon. His wife had to beg for underwear. I think I gave her some of mine at one point. She was a beautiful blond girl and they lived in, you guessed it, Utah.

Here is the funny thing: At the time, neither of these women seemed particularly unhappy. Sure they complained a bit, but don’t we all? They were in their twenties, they thought they were in love and they were living out their lifelong dream. A male had asked for their hand in marriage. They now had a husband and children. They were inside the right story doing God’s will. They were inside the story they had always aspired to be in.

I wanted to tell them that they were wrong, that they were actually miserable, that begging for panties was a bad thing. My ex agreed with me that this treatment was wrong, but even in our idiocy then, and it does amaze me looking back to think of what we did not see, even then, we knew that pointing out to someone who is happy with her life that you would hate her life is not helping to make her life better. Both those women eventually grew up and left those men. In their own time. Having too much information dumped on at once just gives you more than you can process.

I know a couple women now who I want to walk up to and say something. I want to say, Every time he takes a trip without you and leaves you behind, take a trip of your own and leave him behind. Go out in the world, get the job you dream of. Fix up the house the way you want it to be. Cook the food you like. Take time to take care of yourself: Get a massage, a manicure, a pedicure, a facial, a new hairstyle, flying lessons, trapeze lessons, go fishing, go ice fishing, never let a man be the hero of your life. Be a hero in your own life.

But I don’t. Because being a hero requires finding the hero in yourself. I am a hero, I left the cult when I felt God rising in me. I cannot give you hero. You have to find that for yourself.

Published in: on April 15, 2014 at 11:42 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. While my wife can purchase anything she wants, she keeps an eye in all my purchases. It used to irritate me because most of the things I bought without her consent were presents for her and I had to end up return them.

    She stays at home with both our kids and saving is the way she thinks she contributes to the family income.

    It does not bother me now because I realized it helps the family, it makes her happy. Sure, I have to ask permission to buy new socks or shoes, but they are just things.

    You are absolutely right. When someone is happy in their own dynamic, we should not interfere. At some point they will mature and perhaps make different decisions, but in the meantime, why to spoil the happiness of someone “for their own good”?

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