Many people who move in together and do not marry often have often said to me, “Who needs a piece of paper?”
After two failed marriages, I did not argue with them, maybe I sometimes agreed, but I sensed they were not getting something I really wanted to believe in … a marriage with no end.
To be fair, my first marriage failed because I was sixteen, running away from home with problems bigger than him and I, though three years my senior he wanted to be married because most of his siblings were married. It was what one did. Between both of us, our immaturity and the baggage our brief histories added to the combustible fire of our relationship was too much for both of us. Within a few years I was hitchhiking to my parents new home more broken and broke than when I had left.
My second marriage failing I now hold myself mostly accountable for because he really was/is a nice guy. I knew I was also a nice girl too underneath the brokenness resulting from my traumatic child and teen years, but the other big problem was the nice girl I became was what people wanted, not who I vaguely believed I could be … the person I now am … which complicated my problems and eventually also began affecting my professional performance.
And then the worst … best thing happened. Just as I knew my second marriage was ending because he wanted what I had become for him and everyone else, not who I was discovering I really was and wanted to live as, I met someone at a new place of employment. Smitten like a teenager, but a very confused and broken one, I made not just a personal mess, but a professional one too. And in the end, I either pushed away or left anyone who cared about me, including him, no longer trusting my sense of judgment regarding people and relationships.
A nomadic life of twenty-years filled with rooming houses, small apartments, and sharing space with strangers provided the freedom I needed to heal, to learn, and to change. Plus a place to hide in my shame, while I strove to understand. Self-directed studies of psychology, sociology, philosophy, pop culture, and spirituality flooded the open doors of my mind, slipping down into the crevices of my cracked, broken heart.
Discovering my personality type and its uniqueness, combined with my experiences, I was able to connect the dots to really see the big picture of what went so wrong and why.
Raised a Catholic, but broken by my experiences with broken Catholics, I had turned away from God and the Bible, but people like Joyce Meyer and her husband Dave, gently nudged me in the direction of God again. This time though I decided to read the Bible for myself, though I chose an amplified version that also included comments and teachings by Joyce.
Reading a few of Joyce’s other books and listening to her speak on television is where and how I discovered a role model for marriage.
Joyce and I have a lot in common. Strong personalities, hunger for knowledge, and a compelling need to help people. We also shared deep wounds from early to adulthood traumas, the resulting lack of trust in men, and therefore a once overwhelming need to be in control to feel safe. However, what we didn’t have in common for years was faith.
Unlike Joyce’s second marriage to Dave, a devoted Christian, my marriages and relationships pushed me further and further away from God for a number of reasons.
And speaking of her husband, Dave Meyer, Joyce often talks about how peaceful her husband is and as a result, over time how he helped her to become peaceful because of their faith in their marriage, each other, and God’s hand on their marriage.
Initially Dave thought he was going to be the speaker Joyce now is, but God showed him his job was to be behind the scenes supporting his wife in the spotlight because God wanted a woman to reach out to others, especially to the women.
Joyce readily admits Dave supports her professional goals behind the scenes, yet when it comes to their marriage decisions, Joyce yields to Dave because she knows he not only knows he is to lead, but that he is also to cherish his wife because she is also a reflection of him … of how her husband treats her. What an amazing thing for me do discover.
And this is what Joyce and I also have in common. Because of the many traumas I have gone through, my next and last husband needs to be a husband like Dave … someone who understands and appreciates his wife’s life purpose without feeling threatened or competitive, while also doing his part to support the important purpose of helping people and making the world a better place in the ways I have come to understand is mine to do. Like Joyce too, I also look forward to being able to lean on someone day to day, whose love is unconditional as mine is for him … to be able to believe with all my being that no matter what comes, he is there for me and I for him … for the sense of security with a person I have not yet experienced with anyone … and to give the same to him.
Years ago, I sensed the man I met at work as my second marriage was ending could be that man, but I was nowhere near ready to be the kind of person, let alone wife, I needed, wanted, and knew I could be. I have had to work hard to overcome the thinking and habits my experiences created in order to become the best version of myself, though of course, I am still a work in process.
So it is with much much gratitude I am thankful for my marriage role models Dave and Joyce Meyer. Their marriage keeps the hope that the type of marriage and husband I desire is possible … that one day I may marry someone and be the kind of wife I have learned to be, prepared to love unconditionally … my husband … and myself.
Of course, I thank God too for showing how he loves me unconditionally and for the empowerment his love has given me to love myself … and others unconditionally.
Kaitlin Ann Trepanier
CONNECTING THE DOTS WITH THE RESPECT PRINCIPLE
Founder Entrepreneur Author Artist and Speaker
© All Rights Reserved 2018
September 8, 2018
NOTE: Kaitlin’s Smashwords interview and Ebooks available at www.smashwords.com