Longsuffering, like a turtle

My daily Family Life inspirational email came this morning. It actually had a touching anecdote and contained a sound message (one small caveat). I like posting these kinds of stories sometimes instead of just bitching about divorce. But this one came while I was working on another post and I am compelled therefore to do both….bitch and celebrate that is.

Recall, awhile back I did this with another amazing wife in An example of commitment; the abomination of frivorce. Lets celebrate another wife here:

For Better, for Worse

Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Philippians 2:4

I’ve been doing daily radio since 1992, and I can recall only one time when I was weeping so hard I couldn’t speak. It was the day I interviewed Charlie and Lucy Wedemeyr.

At the age of 30, Charlie began experiencing the early symptoms of ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. A successful high-school football coach, he was given one to three years to live.

Even now as I reflect on our time with them in the studio — with Lucy reading his lips and speaking for him — the emotion is profound. They recalled a day when Charlie, his care becoming more and more demanding on his wife and children, whispered to Lucy, “Maybe it would be better if I just died.”

Lucy took a deep breath, asked the Lord for just the right words, and said to Charlie, “We’d rather have you like this than not at all.”

Having him “like this” has meant more than two decades of continual life support. It takes Lucy three hours to get him ready each day!

Lucy is a model of what we promised to each other in our wedding vows. In sickness and in health. For better or for worse. Keeping our covenant means more than avoiding divorce — it means we’ll be there, living out our love, no matter what.

What she does speaks for itself. No caveats there. But I had to take issue with Rainey where he says we have to do more than avoid divorce. As usual, he does not understand that the words he used do not make it to the minds and hearts of the wives reading as he intended. That little sentence is a toe in the door of a rationalized divorce. Because of course we should do more than avoid divorce, we are by covenant to do more than avoid divorce. But, he left no evidence of the simple fact that without a filing….there would be no divorce. Without the threat of divorce, there can be little honesty and “for better or worse” can apply to things that are not a catastrophic as a car accident or ALS. It should apply to almost everything.

But meanwhile at Huffington Puffington Post, the article If Not Shown Appreciation, It Gets  to You shows that, while a woman can tend to a paralyzed accident victim and a helpless ALS sufferer, she simply has to draw the line somewhere.

There is an overwhelming number of women who feel unappreciated by their husbands. I often hear the following refrain: “I just want to feel appreciated. For years I have been the cook, the cleaner, the chauffeur… I don’t feel like we are a partnership… I’ve asked, demanded and pleaded that we go to counseling… I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want to live the second half of my life feeling like this. I’m done.”

times are changing. I have spoken with more women than I can count over the past couple of years who aren’t just complaining about feeling unappreciated by their husbands. Instead, they are doing something about it. These women, most of whom are in their mid-40′s, have decided they want out of their marriages.

The author allows that:

Their husbands aren’t “bad” people. We aren’t talking about men who are abusive or alcoholics. We aren’t talking about men who are dragging the family into bankruptcy. We aren’t talking about men who have lived a double life full of affairs.

Nope, its just that

I just know that I don’t want to spend the next half of my life living this way. Why should I?”

The comments that follow the article are different than I expected. Lots of men chimed in to challenge the frivolity of it all. As expected, though, the ladies were up in arms shaming the men about disrespect, about being woman haters, and asking powerful questions like “if you hate women so much, why does it bother you when they leave?”

Now lets talk about another wonderful wife. She is drop dead gorgeous.

turtle The couple has experienced extreme partner violence. That the marriage can survive this:

According to the paper, zoo staff realized something was amiss when Bibi bit off a chunk of her partner’s shell. When the attacks continued, Poldi was moved to another cage.

and yet have

an impressive 115 years together

is sufficient to be inspirational. But it ended in tears,

two “giant turtles” at an Austrian zoo are refusing to share their cage anymore,[  ] We get the feeling they can’t stand the sight of each other anymore,

and I’m ok with that.

Maybe the unappreciated wives just need to have separate cages from their husbands. If someone bites the other’s shell, well, call the SPCA. Don’t care to bite into hard shell? Try PETA.

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3 thoughts on “Longsuffering, like a turtle

  1. Husbands do not quite so often express the same dismay at the lack of appreciation by their wives. They ‘suck it up’, just as they suck up the daily disrespect and demeanments, the endless drivel on their TVs showing men portrayed as bumbling idiots as their wives, seated beside them, giggle in glee or nod in appreciation whenever a female puts a man down.

    His daily grind of work that provides the wherewithall for her comforts is held against him: “he is never here”.

    The lessons of that wife, her devotion and compassion, are laudable. The Huffington piece seems mainly devoid of either.

  2. Just last evening I was again sickened by examples of this. There is a sitcom called See Dad Run. It was about the dad having to partner with his little boy in a history quiz competition.
    The dad yukked his way through trying to get the boy (who is nerdy) to attend a sporting venue instead, the dad was stuck having to read some history text.
    The line of joking, after the father came home from the library, was something like, “what is that place…how did so many people go somewhere and forget to take their books with them when they left?”
    Then, he holds the book out to his teen daughter and says “I need you to show me how this thing works”

    As male effacement humor goes, frankly, I have never seen a worse example, ever. And, of course the star of the show is the writer and producer. Scott Baio, also one of those gutsy Hollywood men who claim conservatism as their politics. This is the evil tradcon writ large.

  3. “Then, he holds the book out to his teen daughter and says “I need you to show me how this thing works”

    How is that even remotely funny?

    “I just know that I don’t want to spend the next half of my life living this way. Why should I?”

    Sounds like the classic case of an absence of Alpha attributes in the man. She is no longer attracted to him, and that is all it takes in modern American culture.

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