Don’t settle. Please.
This story has been on my mind for a long while now. I am finally in a real marriage with someone who truly loves me.
Someone who believes in me. Believes in my goals. Our goals. Goals that we crafted – together – through conversations and specific discussions over time. We have set out on a course TOGETHER. I cannot begin to tell you what it is like to have a REAL wife. The words AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, INSPIRING come to mind. How did I get here? Let me tell you the story.
I grew up in a stable, traditional family on a farm. Life on the farm was maybe even better than they tell you in the movies or on the 1960s TV show “Leave It To Beaver.”. We all sat down together for meals. We had ready access to both parents because they both worked on the farm. They both took time to participate in our education and our outside school activities. My father ran the farm business and my mother ran the household business. There was never any question in our minds that she believed in my father and believed in his goals. THAT was the template I grew up with. Now… off to the school of life I went.
What I went through was a series of dating experiences with all of the excitement and emotions of a young kid. There was something missing from the very start. I had an assumption that what and who I was as a person was in plain view. Even with the added conversations, I assumed that the girl knew who I was deep inside and agreed with my goals, and wanted the same. I was not really listening to them either.
What is wrong with this picture? I was focusing on myself. I went through marriage number one. It rapidly failed when the challenges of life struck. Neither of us had the skills to confront issues and have the deep conversations. We did not seem to be connected enough to believe in a common dream.
Marriage number two… Well, it lasted a while, but… constant struggles. Eventually, it was very clear that the issues were because of silent disagreement with the dream and direction. When one person is working with all their might, and the other one is not (or, in fact, working in the opposite direction!), things are destined for failure.
Well, I was not done yet. I stepped too quickly into another relationship where the other was only in it for what they could “get” from me. A taker. They took a lot – financially and otherwise. I was now starting to really feel like I was a failure.
I lost a lot in all this. Financially, through mismanagement. But more than that – a loss of confidence in the ability to form a team – a pair of true believers in a common dream. Well, just when ones reaches “the bottom”…
I began to seek out and listen to God.
Interesting how HE works. One day I was moved to just give a longtime friend a simple hug. That hug led to a rekindling of that friendship and conversation. Wait a minute! Isn’t this just starting over the same old story? No. I had reached a point where I was not going to put God second. As soon as I mentioned that God was the most important relationship in my life, this new relationship blossomed. We both listened to the other. We shared with each other some of life’s pains – some of our mistakes. We learned about each other’s dreams. Funny thing… those dreams were not so complicated as they were years ago. The core essential of those dreams was the desire to share life with someone who believed in the other. When we both mentioned God being important, it was as if a fuse was lit. Comfort. Confidence. Belief. All of those things flowed into the relationship. Today, a little over two years after “the hug” we are happily married. We have endured some life together. Bonded through some common experiences. On a mission. Together. Our goal now… a family legacy.
This is a difficult story for me to tell. My work life had a series of successes and achievements. My personal life seemed to lack that co-pilot. Once you understand that role and its influence on your life, there is no going back. I craved that influence, but had not stopped to let God be in my life. At least not enough beyond lip service. Outside, all looked great. Inside… empty. I finally let God take the controls. Oh boy… I had no idea. Today, the two of us are not perfect people, not a perfect couple. But let me tell you… the final common denominator in our marriage is God. We both pray that WE will be used. We both want similar goals in life. Our primary goal – FREEDOM.
This is not meant to be marriage or dating advice. I can only tell you that doing relationships my way just did not work. God’s way… incredible. I have my Princess by my side. The King led me to understand more. Never settle. Seek God first. Then seek someone who looks to Him for the same leadership. Then, you have a team on the same side.
Written from the heart by my dear husband, Fairfield Bain.
Until Next Time,