Thursday, December 6, 2012

I don't know how to do this.

This isn't a funny post; I've just got to get it out.

There's this couple that I know who wanted to get married while still teenagers. She had just graduated from high school, and he just finished his junior year. She had a full scholarship, and he was a lock for one. Everyone told them they were crazy. So they picked baby names, got pregnant, and got married. He got his GED & went to work. She tried to go to college, but that didn't work with a newborn, so she quit school. Then they got pregnant again, when the first was only a few months old. So 18 year old dad joined the reserves. And in basic, he started messing around with porn.

Now, a year later, with a 2 year old & and an almost 1 year old, he's not working, smoking weed, and looking at porn, and his poor sweet wife is ready to give up. My husband's been trying to talk sense into this young man and told the wife she should talk to me, since I had to get through him having a porn addiction when we first got married. She of course doesn't want to talk about it, but she knows she needs to talk it through with someone.

I'm more than willing to counsel her through it. Except I've got a problem. Even though it's been years since my husband looked at porn, he still does plenty of other douchbaggy things. I'm constantly thinking that we'd be better off without him, and am constantly struggling with the desire to just pack up the kids and leave. But then I'd be the one responsible for making the kids have a dad just every other weekend. And I don't want that on me.

They love their dad, even though they don't really like him a lot of the time, either. He's slowly improving, slowly growing, slowly becoming a better man. But it feels like it's too little, too late. I used to be a doormat people-pleaser, but being married to him made me have to learn to stand up for myself and do what I know is best even though it defied him. I'm stronger for it. I'm a better person and better mom for it... because he's a giant dick, and I can work around him.

But that's not what marriage is supposed to be. I worry that we're being a bad example for the kids. I let the kids talk about how they feel when dad loses his shit, how they don't like being yelled at or criticized all the time, and tell them to remember that feeling so they don't do the same to others.

When he was looking at porn, I was in an accountability group with three other women my age also struggling with their marriages, and one who had been married for like 40 years. The mentor said that if wives got their way, no man would ever reach their second anniversary because they'd all die in car crashes at some point in the first two years. They're all idiots who do something incredibly stupid in the first two years. But then they grow up and learn to be a real man. We all nodded, because we'd all prayed for that car crash. Yeah, yeah, I know, that's not very Christian. I think God understands, though. Of the four young wives in that group, I am the only one still married. I want to ask the others if they're happier, but I am afraid of their answers.

So now I've got this beautiful 20 year old mom of two with a husband who claims he's quit looking at porn & quit getting high, but he also doesn't think he's really done anything wrong. He won't apologize. He won't try and understand why she feels like she's been almost-cheated on. And all I can think of to say to her is that she's right to feel hurt, and that she's got to suck it up. They had kids together on purpose. They ditched their scholarships on purpose. They got married on purpose. And sometimes it sucks the big one. It's harder than they could ever have imagined, and then one day, things will be a little easier. But the kids need their dad, and she's got to give them time to heal. Men are idiots, and some take longer to grow up than others do. She needs to give him time to figure this out.

Scripture says "All things work toward good for those who love the Lord," and that seems like such a BS platitude most of the time. I don't see any good in the pain that my husband has put me through or the pain hers is putting her through. But I'm willing to give the time to see what God's going to do. I can see the turtle's pace of growth in my husband. I hope it speeds up. I hope my young friend can give the time, too. Her husband seems like a good guy, and with time he could be a great man.

Counseling her is bringing up a lot of my old pain that I'd buried deep, so I'm kind of struggling right now. I'd appreciate some prayers.

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