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Marriage | Reflections of a Marriage

HI-Michelle-Davies-1An open letter to the husbands of Christ-Quest Institute from a wife on the one-year anniversary of suffering the sudden loss of her husband during the early weeks of their second semester of class.

My husband, Lee, and I began to take classes in September 1997. Lee was beginning to make progress. But eight months in to the classes he died suddenly. CQI graciously allowed me to continue in the classes, for which I am deeply grateful. So now I am a sophomore and learning much that can be applied to all relationships; especially my relationship with God.

A few weeks ago, one of the ladies in our class was pouring out her heart. She was in a great deal of spiritual pain. As I listened, I realized she was telling my story. I have experienced all the pain and frustration and hopelessness that she was describing. Then the anniversary of Lee’s death caused me to do some intense reflecting. I feel compelled to share with you my reflections.

To the casual bystander, our marriage seemed to be fine. Lee was a pleasant fellow. He was helpful; a server and a teaser. Many people told me how nice they thought he was. One woman even said that it must be easy to be married to him.

Well, there were some very unpleasant moments. We enjoyed traveling together, dining out, and going to movies. I miss having someone with whom to do these things. But those three things were about all we did together.

You see, even though I miss his physical presence in my life, I don’t at all miss the way he treated me. I don’t miss the lack of intimacy, the lack of attention. I don’t miss the inane, shallow, and meaningless conversations. I don’t miss being neglected, rejected, dismissed, overlooked, ridiculed, and forgotten. I don’t miss the utter frustration when, after a heart-wrenching, one-sided conversation in which I thought we had made progress and come to a better understanding, nothing changed. His solution was to buy me off with a new dress or something expensive that we couldn’t afford. Or he would reduce this baring of my soul to a simple “need to vent.” Once I was done, he thought we could go back to business as usual.

But you know something? I’m free from all that now! But many of my sisters in Christ are still suffering. My heart cries for them. So I want to pose a question to the men:
Do you want your wives to long for widowhood so they can be free Like me? Or do you want to stop making excuses and stop justifying yourselves and make a decision and a commitment once and for all to just be Christ-like under all circumstances?

So men seem to wonder why their wives don’t have to change. When is she going to be Christ-like, they ask? The answer is simple: You’re the leader. Leaders go first and show the way!

I’m free, but I’m left with a lot of bad memories and feelings that can’t be resolved. My daughter asked me if there was ever a time I was head-over-heals in love with Lee. You know what? I can’t remember. I was so unhappy for so long that I can’t remember how I felt as a new bride.