A Broken Man EQUALS A Broken Relationship
Emotional Insecurity from the Pulpit
The cliché “hurt people, hurt people” is very self-evident as we look at relationships in the religious and secular sectors. Often times, we look at the woman as being emotionally unstable, untrusting, unforgiving, and imbalanced. There are an overwhelming number of divorces in America with Christians representing about forty-two percent and non-Christians representing fifty percent according to the Star Tribune. Though these numbers are not completely accurate, even stated in this article, it’s a representation that Christian marriages are no different than non-Christian marriages. Matter of fact, statistics show that atheist and agnostics have a lower divorce rate compared to any faith based entity (Barna, October 24, 2011).
When I look at these statistics, I am overwhelmingly surprised that those who don’t believe in God, a god, a higher authority, or a spiritual being that controls the universe are more apt to survive what Christians consider “until death do us part.” According to Barna and their research, the atheist and agnostic believe in an equal relationship with their mate as opposed to the Christian who believes that the man is the head of the household. This brings me to my point.
I, too, believe that the man is the head of the household or should be because traditionally that is what I was taught to believe as a Christian. I have been failed in this area knowing that I was once the financial head, spiritual head, and the one my children looked to for guidance in various areas including emotional fulfillment and support. Yes, my husband was more compassionate on different levels, but I was the realist who made things happen for me and for the family. His emotional immaturity has haunted him both then and now affecting the marriage because of his lack to communicate regarding the ills that were constantly set before us. Like many women, communication came easy though he was emotionally disconnected even to himself. The whole guys-don't-talk-about-their-feelings characteristic of being a man is actually a huge burden on any relationship that aspires to be a partnership. Generally, a partnership requires both individuals to communicate on any level equaling a healthy relationship. The failure to honestly communicate is setting the relationship up for failure from the very beginning. In order for individuals to be balanced, every aspect of the relationship needs to be fed: spiritual, intellect, physical, and emotional. When there is an imbalance in any of these areas, an individual or the relationship will feel the effects especially in the area of emotions.
It is easy for a single man to remain emotionally undeveloped because he does not have to deal with this aspect of his life; however, if he enters into a close relationship and remains unable to, the relationship has less chances of survival. A woman needs to know that the man that she is involved with is emotionally attached to her and that there is nothing that they can’t share including his emotions and open communication. A man needs to be vulnerable to his emotions so that he can experience a relationship that is fulfilling and life changing. This can be the beginning of a healthy relationship and/or marriage over time.
When it comes to talking about or feeling fear, pain, sadness, shame, or even confusion; men tend to mess around and focus on their feet because they don't know how to identify and talk about those very real feelings and issues of insecurities. Anger is a feeling that can be conveyed through various avenues including abuse which often affects preacher’s wives and other women in the church as well as outside of the church. I must agree that knowing is half the battle, but after we know, we must do. Unfortunately, many men will not do what it takes to have a successful healthy relationship including the preacher, yet he will put up a front because of pride.
What most men don’t comprehend is that as they reveal their genuine nature to the women in their lives, they not only become the men that the woman can trust, but also her friend and her confidant. This particular gentleman becomes the one that she can believe in and look up to because not only has she allowed herself to be vulnerable, but he has also become vulnerable to her needs which ties into her emotional being.
As I review my marriages to preachers, I now realize that they were not in the position to lead themselves, a family, or a congregation. They were broken vessels who hid behind the cross and the pulpit. They were infidels hiding behind scripture, but never studying the Word of God or praying for their families. The pulpit was more of a job than a lifestyle as we are constantly seeing today as people are being pimped out by false prophets, pastors, apostle, evangelist, and teachers. My husbands were emotionally insecure Men of God who were destroying other people’s lives including my children’s and mine.
Griff was never emotionally connected to me as his wife. The sex was satisfying, but eventually sex was not enough to sustain our unhealthy relationship called marriage. My needs as a woman were constantly being unmet though I chose to stay in the marriage which I was frequently reminded of by my husband. I fought a losing battle to his infidelities with other women and his need to communicate with them for admiration and a need to feel important. I also fought a losing battle with his need to get out and re-enter the military three times during the course of our marriage. Whatever he was searching for, he could not find. Though Griff was gentle as a lamb, his lies constantly entrapped him and me in a web of dishonor, distrust, and unfaithfulness. And because he often had an excuse of why he couldn’t find work or why he lost his job added to the frustration that was already present. Every day wasn’t glizt and glamour, but hell.
When I first met Griff, I didn’t realize that I was entering into a relationship of emotional chaos. Our relationship was like a house built on sinking sand. As I reflect now, I now realize that he was a man that was broken with a hidden past that I could not compete with. When we moved to Alaska in 1999, it was supposed to have been the start of something new and refreshing. But as I constantly asked him about his past relationship, I was dragged down the steps into the basement only to be threatened with a knife and the words, “I’ll kill you.” I didn’t understand what had set him off like a bomb striking Hiroshima, but it did. I was afraid and confused because this behavior reminded me of my marriage JR, it was too familiar. The same demons that I contended with in Philadelphia were ever present in Griff and they were called abuse, lies, laziness, and infidelity. I struggled with leaving Alaska, but ended up staying because I simply didn’t want another failed marriage. This was the beginning of my journey with Griff.
Griff and my marriage was very similar to that of a rollercoaster that never plateaued. Every time the ride appeared to be coming to an end, there was always another situation adding to my insecurities. As I was presented with each moment that made me feel insecure, I would share my feelings with him, family members, and my friends. Everyone else seemed to listen, but him. His mother would always tell me that he was a good man and my friends listened with compassion, but after a certain point, I got tired of talking about his infidelities because we all know that the same information gets old after a while. I reminded myself of a broken record that kept skipping saying the same things over and over except it was a different woman in the same situation with a new lie.
As I reflect, even now, what hurts me the most is that I informed Griff of my past including my abusive marriage to JR. He knew our history though it didn’t seem to matter. He knew that JR moved all my furniture out of our Delaware apartment into another woman’s house as I was recuperating from having our daughter in whom he has had nothing to do with, even now. Griff knew that I spent hours in jail praying that God would perform a miracle because my brother and I had turned the Oak Lane Diner in Philadelphia into the Wild Wild West as we beat up JR and his mistress Lisa as the people in the diner disbursed screaming and hollering that someone was going to get killed as chairs, signs, and JR went flying through the air and as I was kicking Lisa in her face again and again and again until blood was running down her face and out of her eyes. She escaped the wrath of Cheron by managing to get up and run out of the diner only to be the laughing stock around the town and amongst the church goers. On that night, I snapped. I was emotionally tired and physically drained. My daughter was three months and on that day and I realized that there was a thin line between love and hate. As my brother and I proceeded to handle our business, I heard the police sirens getting closer and closer. I proceeded to yell at the top of my lungs telling everyone what JR had done to me. Instead of running out the diner, my brother and I simply waited for the police. Handcuffs on and escorted to separate vehicles, there we were. As I sat in the back of the police car, two older women proceeded to tell me “good job” and asked if they could call anyone for us. Through the window, I mouthed my grandmother’s number and said thank you. My family met us at the station only for JR to tell the investigating officer that I was the girlfriend and that Lisa was the wife! He was immediately corrected by my cousin who spoke on my behalf. And as I look back, I am ever grateful that there were no knives or sharp objects around because I do believe that I could have killed JR and/or Lisa on that night only to leave my children in foster care or with my family members. Life had fallen apart. I can honestly say that I sympathize with the many women behind bars because of the situations they find themselves in. I could have been an inmate just like the woman we watch on the television show called SNAPPED.
My story is one of many and brokenness and emotional immaturity is running rampant from pulpit to pulpit; church to church; and house to house. As Christians and those of other faiths, we preach and teach a word that is contrary to what God has for his children. God came so that we could have life, and life more abundantly, but there are many who are not experiencing God’s best. I believe that we are to speak life into our situations, but I also believe that applying that which we know is essential to healthy living. Many of us are waiting for a miracle to fall out the sky and I do believe in miracles, but I also believe that God has given us wisdom to go get help if we need it. There are professionals that have the knowledge to help men and women to deal with certain areas of their lives. Though everyone doesn’t have a mental illness, please know that one in six Americans are dealing with one. Sometimes counseling is enough, but in other instances, medication is essential for daily living. Everything is not a demon and everyone isn’t mentally ill. The church has failed to provide its’ people with balance and many Christians are simply focused on spirituality only. Whether you are a preacher or just a regular man, it’s time to stand up and be the man that you were born to be. Do away with the excuses of yesteryear and put away childish and immature ways of your youth. Your wife and family are depending on you. You cannot get yesterday back, but you can move forward as a whole and healthy individual who can effectively communicate with his love ones even about your darkest hours and hidden secrets. I understand that facing reality can hurt, but what hurts more is living out all your years under false pretenses and/or losing your spouse because you failed to face the demons of your past. Every woman is not out to hurt you or destroy your character. Griff often suggested that I did not treat him like a man and I now realize that I couldn’t. He wasn’t worthy of this type of treatment. A man loves, honors, respects, cherishes, walks in truth, and is faithful to his wife. Emotional maturity is essential for healthy living and a broken man equals a broken relationship.
Very Powerful this should help someone!
Greetings Apostle. My purpose is to promote health, hope, and healing across the world! That is what I was born to do. I understand that God allows us to go through tough situations so that we can help someone else. My approach is generally considered unorthodox, but I do not believe in religion, but relationship. I'm not old school, but radically gifted to reach those who are considered unreachable! If I had to be considered like someone in the Bible days, I would compare myself to John the Baptist! As we know, he paved the way for Christ!
Greetings Kim. Yes, I have a WOW Word for REAL PEOPLE! My message generally offends the religious sector, but it changes the world. No bars held back and loving God. I hope that you enjoyed the read!