Tag Archives: marriage

Wedding Bells or Sirens?

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My little brother (22 on the ides of March) is getting married. Tear!

I learned this information a week ago via my sister.  He relayed to her that he wanted me and the kids to be there.  I have a strained relationship with him.  Why I can’t exactly pinpoint. Nevertheless he should have called me himself.

He has been with her around 5 years.  I do not like his wife-to-be.  I have no concrete reason as I do not know her very well nor do I particularly want to.  However, there is just something about her that doesn’t agree with me.

My brother rarely comes around, and the few times that he has and she’s been with him, she sits out in the car. Weird.

She did not come to my mother’s service because she had to work.  It didn’t seem to bother him but it offended me.

She seems very timid around me.  I do not treat her rudely, but I suppose she knows that I don’t approve of her.

The wedding is April 23rd so I have a couple of  months to get over myself.  How do I do this? I try to think about the fact that he seems to be happy with her (can’t he be happy with someone else?). Small consolation.  Also, I’m not the one marrying her so it really shouldn’t be an issue (my rational mind knows this). 

I thought about not attending but changed my mind.  I don’t want to hurt his feelings or deprieve Che and Nicky of the opportunity.  Plus I feel so sad that our mother is not around to witness it so I feel even more compelled to be there.

And I refuse to be like my Satan-in-law.

Wives Behaving Badly

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I thought this article was thought provoking.  Sometimes we are guilty of this.  I remember when my husband would wash the dishes and leave water all over the counter.  That is what caught my attention–the water and not the perfectly washed dishes.

Let’s try speaking words of encouragement to our spouses and see things in the best light possible.  Remember Proverbs 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Do You?

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Some people should refrain from marrying.  Sunday I was most disturbed while watching “On the Case” hosted by Paula Zahn.  This particular episode featured the story of Darren Mack, accused of killing his wife Charla, and shooting the family court judge presiding over their divorce.

Midway through the story Paula reported that one of their hobbies was “swinging.”  I’m sorry, but in my mind this activity has NO place in holy matrimony.  If you want an “open” marriage, why bother getting married in the first place?  Open marriage=oxymoron in my book of life. 

Another pet peeve of mine–people who marry with divorce in mind.  If it doesn’t work out, we can always divorce.  Divorce should be the last resort.  What if there was no such thing as divorce?  Do you think people would choose their mates more wisely?  Or would it create a surge of crimes of passion?  If you are not willing to work through your problems and put effort forth to make it work, do everyone a favor and keep your single status. 

Last week  my boss confided in me (why I was privy to this info sure beats me)about how he told his wife of 18 years he wanted her to move out.  I was surprised to say the least.  Usually the husband leaves the wife in the home.  Since he was in a sharing mood, I asked him why.  He said because she was “getting on his nerves.”  Amazing stuff.  That happens sometimes within the confines of a marriage.  It actually happens more frequently than the unenlightened would imagine.  And it only took him 18 years to come to the realization!

Man I love Nicki Minaj, I told her I’d admit it
I hope one day we get married just to say we f-cking did it
And girl I’m really serious I’m with it if you with it
Cause your verses turn me on and your pants are mighty fitted

 These lyrics are from a song called “Miss Me” by Drake, which I do like.  However, the above lines are just another example of society’s cavalier attitude toward marriage.  The reasons he gives for wanting to take her on as his wife are because she’s good with words and wears tight pants.  I know this is just a song, but I suspect there is more than a grain of truth in those lines.

All we have to do is look at Brittany Spears who married her childhood best  friend for five minutes and other celebrities who marry and divorce based on lust and looks for more evidence of our shallowness.  Is Angelina Jolie going to run off with Johnny Depp? They just made the  movie The Tourist.  Be afraid Brad, be very afraid!

Marriage is hard work.  It is not always pretty. I’m afraid we’ve taken something beautiful and made a mockery of it.  Death rarely does any union part nowadays.  It’s really heartbreaking and makes me terrified of ever marrying again.

Love Is Patient

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For Christmas Morocco gifted Husband and I a pre-order gift certificate of the Christian movie Fireproof.  The movie came out on DVD at the end of January.  With so much going on we had not gotten around to watch the movie until now.

So Sunday evening Husband and I settled down with two other couples to watch the movie.  The acting was not all that great but the message was positive.  The plot is about a married couple on the verge of divorce.  The husband sought the advice of his father.  Upon doing so the father gave a journal called The Love Dare to his son.  The journal is a 40 day challenge for the husband to show unconditional love towards his wife.

Therefore the husband starts the challenge.  The wife could have cared less about the changes in her husband.  The husband called his father often saying he wanted to give up.  The father persuaded the husband to keep fighting and continue the challenge.

I purchased The Love Dare and study guide for Husband and I to take the 40 day challenge.  We are not having issues like the charachters in the movie but marriage is hard work!  In my everyday battle for self improvement I/we need to work just as hard for our marriage.

                                                    Day 1 Love Is Patient

Be completely humble and gentle: Be patient bearing with one another in love.  Ephesians 4:2 NIV

                                                           Today’s Dare

In a number of ways our words often reflect the condition of our heart.  For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all.  If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything.  It’s better to hold your tongue than to say something you’ll regret.

Even though The Love Dare focuses on married couples there are activities that can be applied to everyday life.  I’m sure I’ll post more of the dares as I go through the 40 day challenge.  I’m on day 3 now and I must say that I am so glad I decieded to take the challenge.

Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.  James 1:19

Twisted Sister

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I vividly recall the day I first met my husband and his sister.  He was quiet and shy, but her, not so much.  It was obvious that he and I liked each other and she thought our crush was the cutest thing.  She wasn’t around a lot because she was too busy chasing boys.  I remember her as his wild big sister, the black sheep of the family.  Back in the day she liked me.  But that was then…

She was never rude to me directly because my husband wouldn’t tolerate it.  So she carefully veiled her animosity toward me in hopes that he wouldn’t notice.  He did.  She resented that I was number one in his life.  It was very clear how much he adored me. 

 The summer we spent looking for our first home we stayed in his grandparents house, who had both recently died.  The heat was sweltering!  I was quite surprised when my SIL came over to take our refridgerator!  She already had one so she kept it on her front porch!  The comment that she made to her brother said it all “Morocco can go and buy y’all  a new one.”   I assume she felt this way because I had just bought a new car.   

During our courtship she started to connect with Eliza because they had a mutual enemy in common: ME.  I asked my husband what exactly had I done to his sister.   He replied nothing, and that she never wanted him to be with anyone.  She always found a reason not to like whomever he was with.  She was iffy with Eliza , too when they were together.  Yet, Eliza tended to cater to her to be accepted so it wasn’t a major problem.  I, on the otherhand, ignored her once I realized that something wasn’t right.  I didn’t see any need to suck up.

When we got married and had Nicholas she was very upset and cried bitterly.  My other SIL told us this.  My husband just shook his head about his crazy sister’s reaction.

She did many other things throughout the years which caused him to stop interacting with her.  He loved his sister but did not like her ways.  We both felt she had a weird fixation with him.  It just wasn’t healthy.  In fact, we even compared her toTony Montana from the movie Scarface because of the questionable love he had for his sister. 

One time we stopped by her house and she took a shower while we were there.  She actually came into the living room with a very small towel wrapped around her body.  However, you could very clearly see all of her vagina and parts of her breasts.  I was very uncomfortable and appalled!  She simply said “excuse me y’all” as she sauntered on through!  My husband also said this freaked him out and was very disgusted by her indecent behavior.  He said she scared him.

And she blamed me that she did not have a relationship with him.  I guess it had nothing to do with:

  • Her smoking “funny smelling cigarettes” in front of the boys.  I’m sure you can guess what she was smoking!  My husband was livid! 
  • She had no control over her tongue and would say whatever came to mind–even in front of the children
  • My SIL told Eliza that she did not like me (Eliza was thrilled with this nugget of information and couldn’t wait to share it with us)
  • She told me that she liked Eliza because “she don’t want my brother.” Huh?…was all I could think
  • When Eliza refused to let my husband get the boys she still allowed my SIL to get them.  If she was mad at her brother for whatever reason, she would not let him pick up his own kids from her house.  Once he tried to do so anyway and she called Eliza on him!
  • She is very materialistic and jealous-hearted
  • She has tried to run his life over the years and is very overbearing
  • She wanted my husband to take care of her and her daughter.  She would often ask him for money and would get angry when he said no.  She also tried to force him to babysit a lot
  • She often badmouthed him to their friends and family and painted the picture that he was upset with her for no reason
  • She thought my husband was wrong for not continuing to interact with his former stepson and often made an issue of it.  She would assert that he was still her nephew and that he was always going to be his son.  I was blamed for this, too
  • Her opportunistic ways
  • She kept drama going with many other people

The night he died I had a sneaking suspicion that she would not handle it well and act crazy.  I braced myself before calling.  I attempted to reach her but couldn’t.  My BIL tried as well as his aunt to no avail.  I even waited at the hospital for close to seven hours in part for her to get there.  She never made it and I was blamed for this, too.  She claimed that I did not try to call her at all.

From the day he died (Saturday) until Tuesday, she behaved very poorly to say the least.  She was running around foaming at the mouth with her hatred of me.  She told several of her family members that “she manipulated him away from us.”  They countered her point of view because of course, I had not.  She managed to do that without my help because he interacted with everyone except for her.

It really bothered her that she was the only one with these feelings of rancor.  His aunt told me that one night after Nicholas and I left her house,  my SIL started crying saying to her “You love Morocco, don’t you!”

She assisted and encouraged Eliza’s family in taking the boys away from me.  She also stated that they should be with “family” and provided the name of the hospital in which Evan was located.

What blew my mind the most was that she called the coroner’s office and asked them NOT to release the body to me because we were ONLY related by law!  That crushed me more than anything!!!   She also thought I was going to have him cremated and wanted to prevent that from taking place.  I found out about the call from the funeral director.

Enough of my in-laws finally got fed up with her and chastised her callous, immature behavior.  I suppose they let her carry on as long as they did because she was grieving the loss of her brother–who knows?  On  Tuesday I went to make the funeral arrangements and she came along with my BIL (much to my dismay).  When the funeral director addressed me by my last name; guess who answered, too?!  Granted she had only been married for a week (she did not invite or call to tell her beloved brother about her small wedding), but still, she should have known that he was referring to me!

After I finished and was leaving out, she stopped me to apologize.  She then started to cry saying ”  Morocco, whatever it is I’ve done, I’m sorry.  But I should have never taught my brother how to live without me.”  I had no idea what she was talking about, but I replied “All he did was get married and have a family.  He was still your brother.” I had no fight left in me as I limply tried to comfort her. 

Since that day she has been full of praise for me.  Over the course of the last two months she has called many times saying what a wonderful wife I was to her brother, and mom and stepmom to her nephews.  She has left so many sickeningly sweet messages that half the time I can’t bear to listen to them. They are filled with phrases of love, admiration, and kinship.  It makes me soooo uncomfortable!  How can one change their heart so rapidly?!  I can only think of how she betrayed me with her Judas kiss.

But when the boys were in town two weeks ago and at her house, do you think she called me over for a visit?  I haven’t heard from her in almost three weeks.  And she knows that I am aware that they were in town.  Maybe she feels bad.

My husband would not be surprised by her behavior in the slightest.  He knew his sister well.  And he would be in a rage about the way she treated me.  If she thought he had disowned her then…

She is one of those people that I have a hard time loving.  I definitely struggle with forgiving her.  Do you see why?  During my time of deepest sorrow I had to deal with both her and Eliza’s crazy clan.  The state of shock I was in definitely preserved my sanity that they so desperately tried to break.

Life Wife

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I’ve been thinking a lot about being a “second wife.”  Personally, I really don’t view myself in this manner.  I like to think of myself as a “life wife.”  After all, we are in this thing together for life.

Eliza used to remind me that she was married to him first as if that made her the winner of some contest that I didn’t know I had entered.  I have no idea why, as I have never had a problem acknowledging that fact that she is his former spouse.

At the inception of our relationship, she had attempted to get me fired from my job several times.  Once she went as far as going down to the superintendent’s office to air her grievances.   When Eliza soon realized that the school administration would not get involved in her personal vendetta against me she grew irate. My boss finally cautioned Eliza that she was trespassing on school grounds.  She also advised her to leave us alone and move on with her life.  She responded that my husband would never really belong to me because she had him first!  I was truly astonished by her immaturity.

I don’t see the glory in being involved in a failed marriage.  True, it is a fact of life but not much to brag about.  The best thing that came out of that particular union are the kids.  That’s it.

At the last court date, Eliza must have gotten tired of hearing the judge refer to me as “his wife.”  She quickly switched from calling him by his first name to “my ex-husband.”  Well, your Honor, my exhusband…My ex-husband said…When my exhusbandI asked my exhusband…we both found this peculiar considering how much she detests him.  Why would she want to lay any kind of claim to him–past or present?    This was my first time hearing her use the term.  Again, she simply threw it about as a reminder to everyone that she was “The First.”  But I think she failed to take into account that the husband she had is not the one I have.  It is afterall, his second time around.  His experience with her has helped him be a better husband to me. 

In our society we are consumed with being number one.  Everyone remembers the first man to walk on the moon, as well as we know that Martha Washington was the first First lady.  Don’t forget that must people want to fly first class.  We live for firsts because we are such a competitive society that second place just won’t do.  I mean look at the world of sports today. It’s only about the title.  But I can say that this is one situation in which being second is the best.

Sister Act

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Several days ago I was told by a couple of family members that my 21-year-old sister got married last week.  I felt so distressed hearing that! I assumed that my sister was playing a joke; but was shocked to find that she wasn’t.  I am bothered that she didn’t bother to call me.  Plain and simple my feelings are hurt!

I must begin by telling you all that I am the oldest of five siblings.  I have two sisters and three brothers.  Chloe, my youngest sister was born when I was nine. 

She was a gorgeous baby.  When I first saw the chubby bundle of cafe au lait that mother held in her arms, I was in love.  Her face was even shaped like a heart!  Chloe had dark, thick wurly (a mixture of waves and curls) hair with big doe-like brown eyes and a tiny button nose.  Her skin was soft and smooth.  She stared into my eyes as she sucked daintily on her petite thumb (a habit that she has not abandoned).  In a word she was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on.  Even to this day, there are not many babies that I would place on par with her.

Chloe was a good, quiet yet spoiled child.  My stepfather doted on her.  “Baby Girl,” as she was called by him, was the princess of the house.  She could do no wrong.

Shortly before she turned nine, I headed off to college. Therefore our time living under the same roof was brief.   I was also very involved in school activities, ballet class, and I worked part-time.  Plus, I spent a lot of time at my grandmother’s house so I really wasn’t home much. 

But I still made it a priority to spend time and do things for her as she was growing up.  To highlight her 13th birthday, I gave her a slumber party at my house.  I wanted her to know that she was valued as my little sister.  I took her on many outings and even involved her in my volunteer efforts as a “sisterfriend” to pregnant teenagers at The Birthing Project

As the years progressed we grew distance.  I am not sure how or why because I certainly loved Chloe. However, the older she got, the less she would interact with me.  As a teenager she developed a wild streak.  I didn’t like a few of her boyfriends which didn’t go over well with her. 

For a while she was a student at the high school where I taught.  I let my colleagues know and asked them to get me abreast of her progress.  Chloe, however, seemed embarassed that her big sister was a teacher at her school.  She would barely speak to me in the halls and would try avoid being in the same vicinity as me.  I guess she didn’t want me keeping such a close eye on her (considering that she liked to cut).

I tried to keep her on the right track, but I think this only served to increase the distance between she and I.  Thankfully her wild days were fleeting.

Over the years I talked to my mother often about how four of my five siblings seemed to view me.  She summed it up by saying that they just didn’t understand my good intentions. My mother knew that I had pure motives.  She also reminded me that they did not like being admonished by anyone, including her or their dad.  While this was certainly understandable I was still at a loss.  What else was I to do?  I always thought that they were too lenient with them.  She was a lot stricter on me growing up.  So I took it upon myself to get the job done.

As the first born I always felt obligated to set examples for them.  I viewed it as my  sisterly duty to correct them when they were headed in what I felt was the wrong way.

It always rested heavy on my heart that it was “me” and “them.”  Not only were we seperated by time, we were also divided by blood.  My mother’s first husband was their dad.  I often wondered if this was  part of the reason I was so hard for them to swallow. I felt like the wicked, half-blood sister. 

I know this concerned my mother as well.  A year or so before she died I promised her that I would always look after them and would not let their attitudes about me get in the way.  I know it troubled her to see us so fractured.  

When she died I thought we would all magically grow closer.  Of course, this has not been the case.  Don’t get me wrong, when we see each other we are social and civil.  In fact, a few months ago my husband and I had lunch at the restaurant where Chloe works as a hostess.  She seemed genuinely happy to see me.  She ran and gave me a big hug and chatted with us for a spell.  But I didn’t hear from her after that.  I called her once or twice but she never returned my messages.

Sometimes I get the impression that Chloe (and probably my other siblings as well) thinks I will have “something to say,” about what, I don’t know.  Since they are now adults I don’t try to fix them anymore.  I haven’t “said” anything about how they chose to conduct their affairs in many moons.  Now when hear about something that I don’t necessarily agree with, I immediatedly send a prayer up for them.  I now know that God is much better suited to correct them than I am.

I have spent the week pouting about her selfishness.  But today I sucked it up and headed to the store to buy a gift for the newlyweds.  I am going to invite my sister and my brother-in-law (one of the boyfriends from her youth that I did not like) over for dinner as well. 

Afterall, I will always be their big sister and I have to continue acting as one.  I won’t give up on them!

Criminal

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Sometimes I look back and wonder exactly where I went wrong in this whole ordeal with Eliza.  Now that I’ve had to time to figure out what my “crimes” were, I must say that I am guilty as charged.

 

In hindsight I realize that I was a little too eager to make our relationship known to the world. I paid little attention to how she might have felt.  I mistakenly assumed that she had accepted the divorce and moved on with her life.  Boy was I so wrong!  From her point of view I’m sure I came off as Ms. Goody-Goody–ready and willing to step in and take her place.  

 

The first time I met her I smiled and extended my hand in greeting.  Eliza glared at me disdainfully and ignored my gesture.  She declined to say hello.  In that moment I understood I was the perceived enemy. I was a little alarmed by her lack of decorum, but at the time, I really didn’t take her rebuff to heart.  In my ignorance I figured she would eventually soften when she saw how well I treated her children.  Wrong again!!!  This approach had the opposite effect.  It seemed the more I bonded with the boys, the more irate she became.  Later down the line Eliza accused me of wanting her boys for my own. 

 

Another offense I committed was my refusal to be scared off.  I have to give it to Eliza; she really had some creepy, morbid, desperate weapons in her arsenal that would have caused a saner girl to break camp.  I know that my diligence puzzled her especially considering she had successfully ran off several other women he had attempted to date.  My dogged determination to stay with my husband only served to fuel her fire.  She was willing to do anything to get rid of me.

 

 Any time that they had court dates, save one or two when I just couldn’t alter my schedule, I was there.  It didn’t matter that my husband had actually requested my presence.  My presence was a constant reminder to her that she was no longer his wife.  My courtroom cameos were an affront  to Eliza.  It meant that I was overstepping boundaries and “meddling in her business.”  She told my husband several times “out of respect do not bring your wife or whatever you want to call her any where near me.”  Seeing us together must have seemed like I was rubbing salt in her wound of a failed marriage.  This was not my intention; but now I can see why it could have felt that way to her at the time.  Really, I was simply a thorn in her side.  She and my husband had many separations during their short time together.  As long as he was single, there was always a chance for reconciliation.  Our marriage was the end of this ever being a chance again.

 

However, I was not content to be a shadow in my own life.  I didn’t feel that it was realistic of her to expect me to be invisible for the sake of her insecurities.  My most felonious crime was being lovable in the eyes of my husband.  Our marriage aggravated her obviously low self worth.  Her solution to this problem was to compete with me.  While he might have had me, she had their two children.  Even though he divorced her, he could not truly cut ties with her because of the boys.  She constantly reminded us both of this. 

 

So what would I do differently you ask?  I think I would have made my self less visible—not invisible.  Perhaps I could have been gracious enough to give her the space she desperately needed to come to terms with her situation.  This action could have saved us a lot of stress down the road, who knows? 

 

Today I read a beautifully candid post by Thirty Something Mommy of Two Boys that details her journey at the other end of the spectrum.