Marrying Outside 2x2s
A letter of a woman who lied to her boyfriend and then married him and now regrets it.
Spelling has been corrected for readability.
Dear Family and Friends,
We've often heard that the young people are the future of our kingdom. I have come to understand how true that is. With this thought in mind I want to share with you some thoughts and experiences that have been on my heart. Many of you have in the past, will in future, or are currently dating someone who does not enjoy God's way the same as you do, or have at some point in your life.
I have traveled down this path, leading me to a marriage of a little more than 10 years, with a man that still as yet has not been willing to serve God. I have been among the luckier ones that married outside the truth, and fortunately I can tell you that as marriages go we have a very happy and healthy one. We have a strong love for one another and have two beautiful children that are the lights of our lives. It has been a long 10 years to reach this point with many painful struggles along the way. It is of those sadder days that I write you about - not in the spirit of talking you into or out of any decisions in your life, but allowing you the opportunity, through my experiences to make an informed decision. Many of you might look on my life and think that I have the best of both worlds. I also used to see it this way. "I can still profess but I have a good excuse for all that's wrong in my home and life because my husband does not profess."
Believe me when I tell you that I have the worst of both worlds. It all begins in the dating process. So many little minor and subtle things don't amount to much standing alone, but a few years later they add up to be huge. When we are dating, at first I never believed it would go to the point of marriage. Initially I was just dating and having a little harmless fun, I had the power to control and stop things. While we were dating I was a little bit ashamed of the truth. I did things, went places, wore things, said things, etc. that I might not have with a professing boyfriend. When he asked questions about the truth I tried to sugar coat it and make it look a little more interesting than it is. Not remembering that it is the simplicity of the way that is the most interesting. Then as our relationship became more serious I convinced myself I could handle this, maybe even change him. I could make things what I wanted them to be. This is the most dangerous and deceived place you can find yourself in. I had now taken control of my life away from God and given it to myself. It is between that person and God for them to ever see and be willing for truth, not through anything you can say or do.
And oh the lies - how they flowed. I lied to everyone I loved, and even to my boyfriend. I told so many lies I believed them myself. By now his family is getting to know me. I did not uphold the standard of truth before them and now some of them have passed on never having seen what they should have in my life. I am often very burdened by these thoughts. At this point I had already lost sight of so much, yet I still had far to go. Now things have gotten to the point of marriage after all, and my most vivid memory of my wedding is walking down the aisle with a bothered conscience, thinking "am I really doing this?" Not what you would expect from such a happy occasion. We go on a wonderful and fun honeymoon and return to set up house.
A few weeks later I realize my husband has yet to see me pray or read my bible. I have quit saying the blessing, something so small, but one of those things that add up. I realize I've missed quite a few meetings- with very good excuses of course, and I don't even know who the workers are in my field. I realized that in a few short weeks my house was far from in order. I went to portions of conventions and special meetings alone. I cannot even put into words how bad I felt there. I was not a single person enjoying the company of other young people anymore. I was not a couple because my husband had no desire to be there with me. I had no children, so I didn't really fit in with the young mothers. I have never before or since felt so alone in all my life. Consequently, those conventions and special meetings I had grown up looking forward to because something I wanted to avoid at all cost. I used to enjoy so much going to get togethers, picnics and sings with the friends. Now when the invitations came I found myself making excuses because I knew my husband would be uncomfortable about going. Since we were newly married at this point, I didn't want to go alone.
We didn't visit and do things with other young couples that I had always dreamed of doing. There was the issue of Christmas that came up a few months after we were married. Something I had not given any thought to. My husband had very fond memories of his Christmases growing up complete with Christmas trees, Santa Claus, and the works. It has been difficult to reach a medium on what our traditions will be. By now the truth was becoming so uncomfortable for me that I basically went to some meeting just because I couldn't seem to get away from it. I felt like I was in a state somewhere between married and single ,because I was married but alone a lot. Being married to someone not professing can be a very lonely relationship. We hear a lot about marriages in the truth having a common bond that holds them together.
You do need that common goal. After the thrill of the chase is over and you're married, you and your perspectives change. You start to want to do better serving God and when your partner does not have that desire it is like trying to swim upstream alone. Now the things that were so much a part of me and were important to me were not at all important to my husband. Even though I had said I knew what I was doing, I started to build up a lot of resentment. This along with other things brought us close to divorce more than once during the first 3 or 4 years of our marriage. This makes me sad even now to think how close I came at 23o r 24 to being married and divorced and no way to go back and change anything. After I finally backed off and quit trying to force my husband to go to meetings etc. with me things started to improve. And although we were able to save our marriage, we were and still are, to a large degree very separate. There is really no possible way you can "become as one" when one of you would like to have salvation and the other one does not even realize it's importance.
A good friend of mine shared this little story with me and I believe it is so true. Imagine a triangle with God at the top point and the husband and wife at each of the bottom points. As you BOTH put God first in your life, or as both lines more up toward God, only then do you become closer as one. Now we have a family and I want my children to be raised in a professing home. It is difficult at best to get myself and two kids ready for meeting. My house is noisy, it is very difficult to pray and again I am doing all this alone. So all of the joy of the family going to meeting together is gone. Our children beg to stay home with their dad or beg him to come. They too are now feeling the separateness. Often times he will not go to meetings and we enjoy having him but there is nothing for he and I to share beyond the ride to and from meeting.
There are so many small hindrances that I have never before thought about when you try to raise a child in a home like mine. For example, my daughter asked her father if she can get her ears pierced. Although he did support what he knew were my feelings on this it was obvious it was no big deal for him. My husband's parents give her jewelry, lipstick and fingernail polish to play with. She does not understand why I don't want her to wear them to meeting. My husband wants her to take dance and ballet lessons. He would allow her to spend the night with friends and miss meetings. These are just a few small examples of what I have already encountered and I know now as my kids get bigger so will the problems. If things continue on their present course, it saddens me to think that if one of our children were to choose to go into the work someday, their father might not understand and could be disappointed in their decision.
One of the things that kept most of us in the truth is the fact that, as children, there was no choice about going to meetings. Already my children feel there is a choice. The workers come to our home for brief visits but they are not a part of our lives like they were when I was a child. My latest disappointment comes as life has moved us to a place where there is a need for a home to have meeting. I have such a strong desire to be able to fill that place. My husband has no such desire. Not long ago I came in contact with someone who expressed and interest in finding out more about the truth. I had no one to share my excitement with. The lady wanted her husband and herself and me and my husband to get together and talk a little about what we believe. How do you explain this situation to someone like her without causing her to wonder why my husband did not want this way for himself. I guess I now see that trying to have a life with such a division can be such a great source of frustration.
I understand now how permanent our decision s are and there is not going back and changing anything. I have been able to come full circle now and have taken a strong stand for truth in my home. It has taken more than 10 years for me to come to this place in my life. I worry daily for you young people who may not get the 10 years that it took me. Still today small things can be uncomfortable, like saying the blessing and struggling to find the right words, getting on my knees, singing a hymn around the house, etc., because I have no one who understands or shares its importance. I am constantly self conscious of the truth and this can be tiresome. If you find yourself facing or in this situation I would encourage you to take your stand early in the relationship. It becomes easy to miss meetings because in young love you would rather spend time with you partner, but I have found meetings to be my source of strength. Be faithful in the place of prayer. Be honest with yourself and with your partner. Realize you cannot make anything something that it is not, you alone cannot change things. Allow God to Guide.
We can justify ANYTHING and although there is hope for everyone you may not necessarily be this person's only hope. If they have an honest heart God will guide them in the direction they need to go to find truth. They will probably ask a lot of questions in the beginning - my husband did. I now believe that if nothing comes of it they are likely asking our of curiosity and wanting to know what they are getting into, not because they want it for themselves. These situations call for great courage. I write this letter not to judge or condemn in any way. But again, so that if you find yourself in this situation you will have given some thought to these things and can hopefully not go into it as blindly as I did and avoid some hard times. I have not signed my name to this letter. Many of you will however know how I am. I ask that you respect my family and that your feelings toward my husband remain unchanged, as I do love him and have a lot of hope for him. If you know of another that you would like to share this letter with that will be fine so long as you not share my name, because I have shared many things in this letter that have until now been only between God and myself. My dream is that someday I will be able to show this to my husband myself when the time is right. So read this with an open heart and then pray to God about all that might be on your own heart.
With much love and concern
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|To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. - Jesus Christ speaking to Saul, see Act 26:18, see Salvation through Jesus Christ.|