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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Some Mismatched History

I've recently decided to share a piece of our lives with all of you.

I've gone through a roller coaster of emotions due to this marital mismatch we have, and lately I've found myself struggling with it.

I think it's important to tell you a little about our background, so you can understand how this mismatch came to be.

For me, I grew up in the church. I was raised in a christian home, and went to church every Sunday. I was baptized as a child, and never understood what that really meant until later in my life. My parents' idea of a christian home was going to church on Sunday, and cussing and screaming Monday through Saturday. We never really spent any time learning or studying the Bible, but they tried planting the seeds, I guess. It wasn't a strong religious upbringing. It was more of what we had to do on Sunday, no matter what! Church or anything related to the matter was a bore, and I couldn't wait to be old enough to say, "No thanks". My siblings and I would dread the sermon and pass notes the whole time. Once I was old enough to do my own thing, I stopped going and never looked back.

In my late teens and early twenties religion was the last thing on my mind. How I made it through the toughest times of my life without an active relationship with my Savior is only evidence of his grace and love for me when I ignored him. It's still a miracle that I am where I am.

During this time of ignoring God I became a young mother, left a realtionship that was killing me, fell in love with my now husband, and got married. (That really speeds up years of posts, but I have to stay focused here).

My husband and I lived together for five years before we got married. I thought I would be a girlfriend forever. After years of this being a stress for me, I was actually beginning to be ok with the idea. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russel do it just fine, so why can't we?

Until he proposed. Not only did he propose, but he was very old school about the whole thing. Especially after being a "family" already. I was shocked by his traditional ways. He asked my father's hand. He spent months behind my back shopping for an engagement ring with my MIL and SIL. It was wonderful bliss. I was falling in love all over again.

It was during our engagement when I had a tug on my heart to return to God. Of course, I didn't know what it was at the time, but I knew I wanted to foster this "traditional" side I had hiding deep down inside me. Looking back, I know that God was trying to reach out to me before I walked down the aisle. He wanted to bless our marriage. He wanted to be a part of it. Thank God.

I wanted a christian wedding, and part of the wedding package was the required pre-martial counseling with our pastor. We went once a week for six weeks. It was wonderful. I got to know my husband on a whole new level, and this guy I had already loved so much was becoming a man I loved even more. His effort and heart during our engagement was so romantic. He went from being a marital cynic to being a devoted husband. He began to show me ways that marriage was in fact going to be different. In a good way.

Suddenly, the words "my wife" melted my heart at the sound of them. I'll never forget how I felt when I heard him stick up for me as his wife for the first time. There was some drama about certain uninvited guests. My MIL and her sister (my husband's aunt) were making comments about me not wanting to invite this person, who is also a childhood "friend" of my husband. I say friend like that, because he's no friend. He wasn't at the time, and still to this day isn't. No need to go into the history, but I had good reasons for this decision, and hubs agreed it was best. After listening to the squabbling over the issue, my husband said, "If that's what my wife wants, then that's what I want." I've never seen two women shut up faster.

I will never forget how that felt. It's wasn't so much a pride thing. It was just so nice to see how serious he was about being my husband. He made me feel like he had never been more sure about anything. Ever.

During our marriage counseling we learned a lot about each other. Of course, our religious beliefs were a topic to sit on. Although I wasn't active in my beliefs, I still had them. And my husband expressed why he feels the way he does about God, and the whole "bit". None of this was a surprise for me. I knew what he thought, but I got to understand a little more about his upbringing too.

I won't go into too much detail, because this is my blog not my husband's. But his childhood was hard. He went to church a little, but didn't see much of the point because he felt like everything he lived was hypocritical of what he was being told. He stuck to his guns in counseling where religion was concerned, and was resolved to thinking that "if God is real than he'll understand how he feels".

This did not raise any red flags for me. None of it was a surprise. Of course the pastor touched on the subject of religious differences, but didn't spend that much time on it. Which, now looking back, I find very odd. I knew we thought a little differently about God, but I didn't see the problem. My relationship with God at the time was non-existent on my end, so I didn't recognize this as a major issue. We continued in the counseling, and prepared for the big day. The rest of the engagement was more bliss. I was about to marry the love of my life. What could be better?

We got married on October 4, 2003. After our wedding, we were the sickening newlyweds you don't want to be around. If anyone tells you that marriage after living together isn't any different, they're dead wrong. It's wonderfully different. Secure. Safe.

Once we were no longer living together living in sin, and actually married, I felt like God was with us. I felt our marriage was blessed from day one. I will never forget how different I felt. From the second we pulled out of the reception parking lot. We were different.

For the first time in my life, I think I was beginning to recognize God's presence in my life, in our lives.



To read more posts about our Spiritual Mismatch click on the label "unequally yoked marriage" at the bottom of this post.

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At December 28, 2010 at 9:54 AM , Blogger Shell said...

What a stunning pic!

And I love getting to know more about you.

At December 28, 2010 at 5:32 PM , Blogger Craig said...


Your husband? Awesome. A man I’d like to know. Would it be ok if I prayed for you two where God is concerned, or should I not?

At December 28, 2010 at 11:29 PM , Blogger Impulsive Addict said...

What a gorgeous wedding picture. I hope that things will work out for the better. Please keep us posted.

At December 28, 2010 at 11:51 PM , Blogger Losing Brownies said...

I have a very similar feeling. Gadget Guy and I lived in sin too before we got married, but then afterwards, it was full of amazing and wonderful. Being a wife is amazing.

At December 29, 2010 at 9:17 AM , Blogger TV's Take said...

Congrats on finding a great guy! Also the photo is beautiful. Thanks for sharing a personal story with all of us. Happy New Year!

At December 29, 2010 at 9:49 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

#1 - We have the same wedding anniversary!! (almost) 10-4-01 here

#2 - I'm learning a lot lately that there is a big difference between religion and having a relationship with Jesus. Religion includes the going to church b/c that's what we're supposed to do thing.

I hope to get something right and at least not have my kids ready to flee the church scene once they have free choice. I did the same thing.

At December 29, 2010 at 9:49 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

And I love the picture!

At December 29, 2010 at 12:18 PM , Blogger Pam Williams said...

Oh Adrienne,

I have so enjoyed your testimony about marriage. And I was doing fine holding back the tears until you said "Once we were no longer living together living in sin, and actually married, I felt like God was with us." You melt my heart girl! Your words are obviously straight from your heart.

I am so happy to see that you have done what pleases the Lord. I pray God's continual blessings to you and your family as you walk with Him.

At December 29, 2010 at 2:27 PM , Blogger Rachel Cotterill said...

Interesting reading. Our premarital sessions were just a couple of chats over coffee with the vicar - not much of a "process" - so it's interesting how different places do things differently.

At December 30, 2010 at 11:16 AM , Blogger Heidi said...

You shared your story so well. :)

It is difficult when wives are not on the same ground spiritually as their husbands especially since God calls men to be the spiritual leaders of the home. Take heart and don't loose hope - keep praying for that hubby and stand by him through his journey, girl - Be confident that the Lord hears your prayers and He is pursuing the heart of your husband.

He sounds like a fabulous hubby - keep reminding yourself about the GOOD things and continue expressing your gratitude like you have done so beautifully.

Have you read the book, "The Power of the Praying Wife" and/or "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" ??

They've both got some great encouragement and insight.

I am STILL so thankful for our pre-marrital counsel. We had a few of what I like to call "10 yr tune up" counselling sessions over the summer which was also really good for us. Life changes you over time, and it was nice to take time out to address those together - communication is key.

At December 30, 2010 at 5:12 PM , Blogger Ashlee @ The Zombie Housewife said...

That photo is just gorgeous!

I'm so glad that you left a comment on my blog! Because I've had such a lovely time reading around on yours, I'm very happy to have found it. (=


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