A few thoughts on respect, abuse, how we get along (or don’t) with each other.

I’ve been reading Matt Walsh’s blog, and put a couple of comments in as well. Two recent entries concerned when it’s right for a man to hit a woman (quickie clue: never) and men getting respect from their wives (flip side: wives should be loved and cherished by their husbands). You can see his blog using the link I provided in an earlier post, if I forget to add a link to this post.

I come into this mix from a rather stormy past. I have been married and divorced twice, both times with the same woman– the second marriage being the “reconciliation” marriage. There was about a 25 year spread between the two marriages, I did try dating in between times with rather indifferent results. The last months of the last marriage left me with no desire to ever do that again, and I find that this labels me as “bitter”. Hmmm… I wonder why?

I’m not going to go into a blow-by-blow account here. If you really want to see that kind of thing Reddit has an abundance of “Scumbag Stacy” and “Scumbag Steve” memes that should give you as much as you can stand of every kind of skunky dealings imaginable, and I fancy that should suffice. I will state that I was called some of the worst things, accused falsely of abominations, hit in the face and she demanded that I make the divorce happen.

On the night of March 4th, 2009, I was driven out of the apartment and had the job of finding a place to spend the night. Sleeping in the van– (at that time I drove a 2005 Dodge Sprinter) was quickly ruled out because the Sprinter would not maintain heat at idle. Diesels tend to run cold in winter, while you can get good cabin heat at highway speed it will chill down to nada at idle speed– so sleeping in the van was not an option. That left my sister’s house. That also meant that “fun and games” was over since I could not, in good conscience, put my sister and her husband through a number of rounds of trying to repair my marriage and having to run back to them again. Besides, I’d been through this before and I knew the pattern all too well. Yes, there is a pattern and if you look up “domestic abuse” you can find that there’s stormy periods followed by periods of reconciliation followed by another stormy period and so on. That had to end, it’s just not right to put other people through that kind of shenanigans.

My sister and her husband stood by me, helped me get a decent apartment not too far from where they lived, and between them and friends at the church I attend got me set up in livable condition for the next few years. I finished the divorce proceedings in November of ’09, got through Chapter 7 bankruptcy the following year and I’ve been working down the debt that you can’t bankrupt out on since then. That’s nearly done, next month I write the final check on that God willing.

I stated in some of my comments on Matt’s blog that for me, never again means never again. So it most certainly does, for a number of reasons. One is that I’m nearly broke, and it would appear that women as a general rule don’t like dating guys who are broke. Being divorced twice makes a fellow run a bit shy too. Then there’s a bit of symbolism. I swore that I would NEVER, EVER buy another ring. I won’t, neither, and it all has to do with the way the last ones ended up. She had either pawned or lost her rings, and one afternoon she forcibly removed my wedding band from my finger so she could sell it for money. Now, the set of three rings (one engagement ring and his&her wedding bands) sold for only a couple of thousand so there wasn’t going to be much money on resale for anybody– but in wedding bands, there are two and only two potential real values. One is “beyond price” when it’s on the finger of somebody who really loves their spouse. The other is “not fit to be thrown in the street” when the spouse is forcibly removing it from your finger to sell it, probably at a pawn shop. So, to me, today, diamonds have the value of common gravel and the ring it’s mounted on is a bit of scrap-metal– and I refuse to pay that much for what amounts to costume jewelry. Personally, I won’t be doing that again.

Now, FWIW, I have made an effort at forgiving. I know well that what happened before will happen again if I were to be dumb enough to let it– there’s been no meaningful change there– so I have no intention of letting that happen again. But, I really don’t want to pack that sort of thing around indefinitely. I never could handle deep bitterness well. Fortunately, God placed people in my life that help. One is a woman– I doubt that we’d ever marry because she’s nearly as old as my mother would be, but if we were closer in age— well, I just might have to change my “never again” tune a might. I get called over to her place to help her with the types of things a man does around the house– as part of the mens group at the church some of us volunteer to help out others– and she’s about as sweet a woman as I could hope to come across. Getting called to her house to fix some small issue with a window that won’t close right, or to help her with her TV (too many remotes and it’s an old set) isn’t that formidable a problem, and she’s appreciative– in an appropriate way, we’re church people, remember– so I don’t mind helping with things like that.

Now, don’t y’all get used to me writing stuff like this. I doubt that I’ll throw open the reserves here any too deeply, for one thing I’m very conscious of the fact that there’s much I could say that is better left unsaid. We have “privacy” for a reason after all, and truth is I really don’t want to get into a “revenge” thing by airing stuff that shoulda been left alone. Some things should have been dealt more thoroughly at the time but now five years have gone by since I was driven out of our apartment, four and a half since the divorce became final, and it’s best to leave it alone in the past where it belongs.

Now, I’ve mentioned Matt’s blog several times, he’s one of about half a dozen that I’m following these days. Here’s the link, so you don’t have to chase down to find it:

http://themattwalshblog.com/

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One thought on “A few thoughts on respect, abuse, how we get along (or don’t) with each other.

  1. Yep, I found you via Matt’s blog. I may do a post of my own referencing his, because I’m unsure of how I feel about his stance. In a perfect world, men SHOULDN’T ever raise their hand to a lady. Once upon a time, that was ironclad advice. And even in today’s society, my normal default position is pretty much the same as his, not just morally but for the fact that a man hitting a woman is a pretty much guaranteed lose-lose situation. But I find it hard to condemn someone, male or female, that’s been bullied into a corner to where they can’t escape, and pushed beyond their limits to the point that they fight back. Not good, but understandable. I guess my stance here is that if a relationship has deteriorated to the point where hands are raised to each other, it’s time to end it posthaste. It’s just too hard these days to make some things black and white. But it’s good to hear that you were able to finally extricate yourself from that situation, even if it took many years. And that you had (and still have) the support from friends and family to do it.

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