I am The Time Keeper, The Enforcer and The One Who Begs.
An excellent evening can quickly subside due to a whisper in my ear, “You’ll fight tonight”. The whisper, from God or from the devil, feels like a death sentence. I know what follows that breathy short command, The Bad Place. It’s the place that sucks me down a deep black hole while I try to claw onto my lifeline for rescue, the clock.
709 days ago I entered into a polygamous marriage, me, Nathaniel and my alarm clock. I am tied to the clock by my own choosing. But, it is a relationship I am unwilling to break-up with. When I proposed this streak of nightly intimacy with my husband one of the few rules was sex had to occur before midnight, or it did not count for the day. Let me tell you, we have stuck to that rule like glue on the easy nights, on the tired nights, and on the bad nights.
On the bad nights when the whisper breathes out its nasty demand I quietly slip into our bedroom and pray asking God to be with us this night. But it still comes, the raging storm that is us in a battle. The whisper of the fight, prayer or no prayer, we battle. Is the whisper a test of God’s that I eventually fail or is it a taunt from the devil? Either way I have yet to successfully restrain myself and pass through the argument unscathed.
Whispers of fights can occur at any time during the day, but the fights usually begin within two hours of midnight. Words are spoken, misunderstandings occur and assumptions are made.
Ding. Fists up. Fight!
By 11:00 p.m. I start getting antsy. The clock sits glaring at me. I notice and make a mental tally mark, one hour left, less than really. More like 57 minutes left. By 11:45 p.m. we are both spent, worn from debate, I am tear stained and groveling. Begging. Enforcing. It is time and I refuse to give up the streak on a fight. I refuse to end on a bad note. I refuse to end on a non-mutual note. Even in the midst of a bad fight I still want us to be on the same page regarding intimacy. But at 11:57 p.m. I am begging to continue and he is indifferent. I feel unwanted, though I know it is not true. I feel cast aside, though I know underneath the fight I am loved. I feel mean and stupid, unlovable and unworthy of my husband’s affections. But underneath I know different.
Dear 11:57 p.m. , I am over you. We are breaking up!
Frankly and with disdain,
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“ Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Because anger is my thing, my addiction, my weakness it is the topic I am most often looking up in my Bible. It is the topic my ears perk up to at church, or T.V., in books and magazines and songs. I relate, I listen and I try to learn. Learn what though? I learn why I am angry. I learn where it originated and I attempt to learn how to handle it. Although, at times I do not think I am doing any of that very well. Reading 1 Thessalonians led me to read James.
James 4: 1-3
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle with in you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight, you do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask you do not receive because you ask with the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
This passage is mostly referencing the desire for more things, more money, high status in life, or more recognition. But I connected it to intimacy and my personal struggle with anger. It is typical for spouses to pray for God to fix the other person in the relationship, the one that may have caused the fight or the one that added the most negativity to the fight. Fix him, God, I am fine. But, that is the opposite of what the passage is talking about.
Praying for God to fix my spouse, so he would listen to me better, or that he would not allow negativity in life to overwhelm him, never worked. While it seemed that I was praying for the betterment of our relationship I was seeking an end that would benefit me through fixing him. Wrong motives, no matter how prayerful, pull couples apart. Instead I had to start turning my prayers toward myself. Toward fixing myself so that I align with God instead of human. As a co-dependent, it is quite easy to align to humanly ways, mine and my husband’s, over God’s at times.
I accept your invitation to be in a relationship with me. I am ready for a new three way marriage, me, Nathaniel and You! Please lead me to be just like you.
Gratefully, Prayerfully and Lovingly,