My marriage needs work. We are willing and able to continually do so. I am an emotionally needy person and like the norm for myself, because my parents were absentee parents. To make matters worse my father was an abuser. I was isolated and alone until I was 13, and then I went to boarding school. So I was raised by television and the world around me.
This has made me overly emotional and emotionally unavailable to my wife because the availability I offered her in my past I was not healthy because I was not receiving adequate professional help. The help I initially sought was a farce and I overburdened her and nearly destroyed our marriage when seeking help for my issues with an emotional affair that was fueled by delusion and substance.
Because my parents were vacant I married an emotionally unavailable woman that I love. Her emotional unavailability when before we were married taught me that unfortunately that still did not have to be accountable and was emotionally seeking a life based in bypassing my pain of my youth.
We are both broken, but are working on it. It’s not her fault. She was raised by parents who were the typical southern family. Her parents were into helicopter parenting before it was a thing. They made their children the center of their lives, and never let their kids touch the ground literally, that is a thing down in the south, and elsewhere I’d imagine. Babies are always in somebody’s arms and getting loved on, even when it’s all about SEC football Saturday and CBS has the 3:30 pm game of the week. In her case it was Georgia Tech football, but I digress.
When her parents passed rather early for her in her life; her mother in 2014, and her father, last November she had to take her life head on. I did the best I could, and spoke love into her heart but truly was available only to a point that only I could considering my brokenness and her need for God to take over. On and off I became unavailable through substance abuse and social media that became like Ground Hog Day with Bill Murray. My life is better now, because I reached out for therapy and it helps a lot when it’s a good fit and they are ethical by not exacerbating our issues for billing sake.
Something happens at this point that is unmistakable. The adult child makes finds anything external because it’s easier. Just like I did, because I really never truly relied on my parents emotionally. It would have been like talking to a mirror which I actually did as a kid. Then I set myself and I became my own God. This set up a weakness that was helped by social media and my own self comparison as an adult. We become emotionally unavailable because: ‘what’s the point? I’ll just get hurt again.’ Their need for one another is squelched by anything else.
That is my truth. I’m honest about it here because it further helps me put things in perspective and reminds me that life can and will be better. Adult children will always look outside of marriage, drugs, books, an over indulgence in exercise, hobbies, sports or more children if given the choice. We replace our lack of intimacy found in marriage with children and helicopter parenting that begets even more emotionally unavailable people. It is bypassing the issues of our heart and mind.
An over indulgence in making sure our children are perfect harms children, and then they cannot give love when always seeking something unattainable or different. Parents don’t let them fail, and learn in a healthy way that mistakes are a part of life. Also then sheltering them to a point that these grown people find it hard to make even the most simple decisions on their own, get stuck in life and eventually give up and when left to their own devices will leave the choice to make improvements in their lives behind. If it’s a tough thing to do as parents; how much do you say or do that may actually be more harmful than just letting them make decisions on their own as kids. Learning in the moment is priceless as are consequences when learned correctly.
Otherwise the search for the external takes over. This happens in most people. If It doesn’t matter, people often want what’s not theirs to have. It’s human nature by living in a broken world. Especially when it’s available and easier. Most people have some reason that they have an emotional hole that they often fill with the seemingly healthy or the obviously harmful things like addiction to bad people, drugs or sex or even pornography. These things never reject us and give us the momentary solace from pain that only leads us further into a life of despair. Kids are not meant to grow up in this environment.
In both cases many will often seek faith and after we understand Church can only fill them to a point we set that same paradigm on God and may say, God has let me down or God’s love was a lie.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. However, when they are immeshed as a family and choose doubt, worry and pain as something to worship and fail to go as Jesus directs in his last words: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”” – Acts 1:8
At that point we may seek problems and set their manufactured problems in some cases as a reason to not ‘feed’ others the bread of life with the Good news that is the Kingdom of God.
People may seek intimacy with God and then if they get burned out, without the church. It’s a perfectly well meaning approach, but it isn’t arming the masses to help others find hope in Christ that can unify brokenness.
Feeding others the first steps into what God offers is this: a relationship that no person, thing can replace. A real relationship with Jesus offers comfort and truth in a world that will offer lies in social media and television which brings us down the rabbit hole of self comparison which will never allow us the strength to stand confidently and step into the person we were meant to be.
So we look outside of the intentional relationships that God does love, as fake as it seems from the outside looking in. Friends are important with whom you can speak to about real world problems and seek to understand how they deal with these problems and possibly offer your solutions by offering advice rooted in biblical truth.
God belongs in our marriages. He wants us to get know each other and actually relate, so we don’t have to out spend, out drink, out hobby, out travel, or out drama our friends by people we never spent any real time getting to know.
When my wife and I were the happiest is when we were walking together almost every day. We made strong, assertive decisions that built a stronger couple. We understood our priorities, and dreamt of purpose and a better life. God was watching, but we were not battle tested. When the weather changed it tested us and we failed. Her dad got sick, and what temporarily brought me out of it was my hard battle to try with everything I had to save the father I wanted, and never had who was my father in law, because he was a good, well meaning father. He was dying of COPD as his many struggles with pneumonia.
When he passed we drifted apart without truly knowing it. Until God literately in a way that was unmistakable. I suddenly had a real taste for what living for the square life was all about. Having my life together never felt so good. It still does. Until I realized that the reason I was a person who couldn’t be satisfied in a marriage, until we decided actually to make an purposeful decision to redirect our time together in an intentional manner, to make our time together a desire it and get greedy for it again.
Because I had pretty much no parenting so my freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted was only aided by my wife whom wanted everything but the work to go with it. Also, not her fault.
We want it now, or yesterday, whichever comes first in our fantasy world beleaguered by self comparison.
In this social media world with everything is perfect and so is yours to while we all go behind the device which becomes our God, and input another x, y or z until we decide we are either living the romantic dream or we dissolve into a place of blithering pain and land eventually into the abyss. Millennials are lost, confused and angry for a reason, and that is because devices became parents. Again, kids are not meant to grow up in this be environment.
We wonder why the birthrate is falling at a near catastrophic rate in developed nations. Call if a correction if you are misunderstood, but not me, because kids are what’s called wonderful and called winning, no matter what the situation.
We have no kids, we want them, and if you love them, let them fail, but don’t murder their psyche and self esteem so that they end up needy and looking to latch onto people without being discerning.
Does that mean I jumped at the first girl who actually cared about me? No, I jumped at way more women than what is healthy, some whom may have may even not been interested in premarital sex. I was a young womanizer, but was somehow still blessed with a woman that together we will build a stronger relationship and will always go through ups and downs. Am I perfect in looking at other women? No, but I do everything I can to keep other women at a distance and when I see another beautiful woman I don’t lust, and go back for seconds with my eyes. I don’t use pornography because of the harm it does to people and my marriage.
I love her to the point of making a conscious decision to having to put God first, and then her. When we are both more healthy things will be better.
My father is currently in hospice and even though her dad passed less than a year ago, we will be better. I know because she prays for me, and I pray for her.
I found the right person I know this because God put us together.
I care enough to get my hands dirty in this mess called love, and nothing will tear us apart, not even character flaws by people who are trying either too hard or not hard enough. Her parents were well meaning beyond compare and my mom did the best she could given the circumstances. Never let circumstances put God in the backseat, because God will help you make the decisions that are best. But it’s about a relationship with the eternal word of life and a counselor in the Holy Spirit who guides us in decisions on what to say and do, when the timing will be perfect.
As far as marriage, drop the facade get real with each other. Talk about your needs and understand that her likes will eventually be your likes or there might be problems ahead. Intimacy is very important. People need to feel emotional and physical love. Marry her all over again. Go on walks together, make breakfast for her in bed. Read and talk about what you are reading. Love each other for who you are and nothing else.
It is what God intended and it is what will give you a family that will be a hope for this world. This world is broken. If you would wonder why children should be a part of it, then know for all the pain that you mistakenly think God does, instead of an enemy who wants to kill, steal and destroy everything you build; especially your marriage; then know you and your children are here to right the wrongs of this world.
Life doesn’t have to be painful but it will be until you decide to be intentional in how you love your spouse. The absolute truth in your purpose is to answer the issues in this world and nobody knows the actual time to when it will beyond hope and Christ will come and truly say, no more tears.
Grace and mercy to all.