A story from a bloke I met at a #shednight
For many years I guess I took my wife for granted. This probably goes back to how I saw my father relate, or rather not relate, to my mother.
There were issues in my childhood home that I just couldn’t seem to overcome. My childhood was a dark place of physical and sexual abuse, violence and despair. I even thought of ending it. Many times I prayed to a God I didn’t know for it to end.
I entered my teen years with one desire: To get away and live my life my way, no boundaries that I didn’t set. I couldn’t trust other people. I had some girlfriends during these years – none real successful. My comprehension on how to relate to them was confused and self-centred.
So I grew up and became a man, fell in love and tried to settle down. We were doomed from the start. Her hobbies were listed as sex, sex and more sex. She came from a similar background to me – a broken and dysfunctional family, removed by community services, raised in foster care and abused by those who were supposed to care for her.
I was 27 years old when we split, and she was pregnant. She knocked on my door, handed me my baby son and left. I set about raising a child on my own with the help of my mum.
In all honesty, I didn’t want any kids. I thought that if I didn’t have kids I couldn’t do to them what my dad had done to me. Unless you have been there you will probably never fully understand what I mean by that, but the thought of becoming my dad in how I raised my kids scared the hell out of me.
A few years later, I met my new partner. We struggled through 11 years of ups and downs. I was a present-absentee dad. I did nothing for them except cook food. I was afraid of being my father so much that I went the other way and left everything to her.
My relationship with my wife was based on the examples I had as a child. My own parents were a disaster. My grandparents were mean, argumentative alcoholics, vicious in thought and deed. My other grandparents had no contact with any of us from when we were very young.
Then we found a spiritual family which helped me to become the man and husband I am now. We met a young pastor who had kids the same age as ours. He started to teach me how to be a dad to my kids and a husband to my wife. Now we really knew who we were deep inside. We knew each other’s fears and dreams.
It was hard to trust myself and there were mistakes – many, many mistakes. I loved my wife so much it hurt but I had to learn how to show it – not through jealousy and possessiveness. I had to trust her – not easy after my first child’s mother continually cheating on me. I had to be open and listen to her – really listen. I had to hear her – not just what I wanted to hear, but what she wanted me to hear.
Maybe you were lucky and had a fantastic family as a child, or if you were unlucky it was like mine or possibly worse (I pray not). These things – our parents, our upbringing, our development in social circles, and our relationship with God, will all effect our entire lives. They will affect our relationships with our kids and our spouses.