Sing, sing a song….

by Laura


Now I sing what ever I want…..and I play guitar when I sing…..and no one chooses the songs for me….and my husband appreciates and enjoys it when ever I pick up my guitar. So different…so nice.

I have always been a singer. Some people would say “I’ve got the music in me”. I loved to sing but never had the “stick-to-it-iveness” to learn an instrument. I tried many but they just took too long to learn! But my voice was already there and I already knew how to use it. I couldn’t read music much past “follow the bouncing ball” but that was okay. I sang the lead in 2 musicals in high school and had dreams of being a rock star!

I met my ex husband on the set of our high school’s musical. He was helping out and I was the female lead that year. I loved nothing more than to be front and center, spotlight shining, belting out the tunes from the show.

Now my ex played guitar. He was a fair guitarist and played very mathematically. The music was not in him but he tried. He would play for me and I would try to sing with him but it was so unnatural. It was like we were fighting over the rhythm all the time. I would often point to him to cue when to change the chords so that I could sing along. He just couldn’t hear it. We kept on trying and though it was difficult, we were able to learn some songs to do together in church.

At one point, we were involved in a home church with anywhere from 2-6 families or so. My ex would often play the guitar and I would lead the singing. Or if we were singing a hymn, I just led it accapella. During our marriage I picked up the guitar every so often and tried to learn to play it. It was frustrating to me to not be able to accompany myself. After the 4th or 5th time of trying to learn, I finally got enough chords down that I could actually strum along while singing!

My ex and I would play together and I could now actually praise God while I was singing instead of feeling like I was in a tug of war with the guitar.

One Sunday I asked him if I could play for church and he said okay. It was wonderful. The songs went smoothly, people seemed to like it, I loved it and it felt so good. I was thrilled. At the next opportunity, I asked him if I could play again. He allowed it and I think I played for church 3 or 4 times. When it next came our turn to host church in our home, thus making us responsible for the music, I asked to play again. This time he turned me down. He admitted that I was better at it and that the songs flowed more smoothly when I played. “But,” he said, “it is my only opportunity to play and I want to do it.”

The End

Laura’s Story:

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13

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  • Jadehawk

    well, that actually makes me feel sad for your ex-husband, too. doesn’t look like he got to enjoy himself much, either.either that, or he was hogging all the fun stuff for himself in general.but I’m certainly glad you get to sing and play whenever you like, now. Art is a big part of my life, too (though I’m virtually tone-deaf. I’m a visual person, I paint), and it’s a great relief to just go into the art and be part of that for a while instead of the Real World 🙂

  • Kaderin

    Ugh. Another example of why headship in a relationship is toxic. The thought that someone can just completely overrule someone, over and over again…Unlike in your other snapshots, I actually understand Dan’s desire to play the guitare here. He may not be good at it, but he enjoys it. His wish to play in church even though you’re better is valid. HOWEVER – to achieve his wish he pulls rank at you. With no regard to your wishes.If he’d asked you and you had a mature discussion on this, in a healthy relationship one of you would have shown love and support for the other’s wish eventually. Things like these are small opportunities to strengthen the bond of mutual love.Instead, he felt he was entitled to your support and love. Something that should always, always be given was instead taken.And this is the kind of poisonous behaviour QF paints as proper and acceptable. Sigh.Did he ever let you play again? Because from the top of the post, it doesn’t much sound like it.*hugs*

  • Anonymous

    What is a “home church?”Michele

  • Arietty

    Why couldn’t you both sing? I know I would never have asked my ex-husband if I could do anything in church because that would have required him to mind the children. Minding the children would have inconvenienced him. Inconveniencing him would have meant that once we got in the car to go home he would have dropped his smiling jesussy demeanor and driven home steaming with rage, a rage we would have spent the rest of the day appeasing. It’s lovely to play whatever music I like now. My ex made it clear that he hated anything that was my taste, christian or non-christian. One of the first things I did when I was free was go out and buy some cd’s and play them LOUD, reveling in my freedom to enjoy them.Enjoy Laura!!!

  • Sam

    Sing your heart out Laura!

  • aimai

    I agree with Arietty and with Jadehawk,The original “No” is really pathetic if it resulted from jealousy and envy. On a secondary level the original “No” is pathetic because it was the end of the discussion. Why *couldn’t* you both have done it? We call that “turn taking” in the regular world and “sharing” when we help our children grasp why we might want to take turns. Why *couldn’t* you both have worked happily at playing and singing together? I’d say that this is one of the differences between a marriage in which two people genuinely enjoy each other and a marriage in which one or both of the parties think its a zero sum game in which one person’s enjoyment positively detracts from the other person’s pleasure. Music sounds like it was just another place where your husband experienced himself as neglected our out of control and choose to assert an absurd, fake, control to regain the upper hand.aimai

  • Dove

    And this is the kind of poisonous behaviour QF paints as proper and acceptable. SighKaderin,I don’t see this as QF but controlling and selfish. The others have great comments about how in a healthy relationship this could have been resolved to everyone’s advantage. I think it is important not to paint all ills as QF but differentiate the behaviors in this sharing. There are many QFers who are blessed in their marriages. They are not all disfunctional. I also find that much of the abuse here is not only spousal abuse but church abuse. It is doubly painful to extricate oneself from the fellowship we trusted and allowed ourselves to be vulnerable before. I willingly went to the older women in the church for advise. I willingly went to pastors for teaching and counsel. This is what we are told to do. When my questions went beyond exegesis and turned personal all of a sudden I was treated as a fake, a liar and questionable source. I no longer played the part. Just my perspective.This may be a misunderstanding on my part, but I dont see that all QF followers think having an absolutely open womb no matter the consequences is ideal. Some desire the fullness of large family life. Is this a misnomer. Are the latter just large families and not QFers to be technical? There are many shades of gray.

  • mhlia (a lurker)

    This is only tangentially related to this post, but I notice you’ve both mentioned “home church” a lot and how that played into your isolation. Can you explain (perhaps in another post) more about what a “home church” is (other than what it sounds like?) I guess, I’m wondering if there is an actualy ordained pastor (Vyckie, I think you’ve mentioned one) and why if there is an ordained pastor might you have a home church vs church in a… well church? Thanks!

  • aimai

    Dove,I agree that its not all “QF” and that not all large families are either necessarily QF or authoritarian. And not all of them are nested in their churches, either. In fact the QF blog I had been following before I started reading here was and is full of a kind of rage and anger at other Christians within the QF’ers own church (as far as I can tell) who either dont’ subscribe to the full QF “open womb” policy or don’t subscribe to other of the believer’s closely held beliefs. As far as I can see arguments over TV/not TV, schooling/not schooling, home baked bread, missionizing, clothing, etc… are endemic to the movement.My own opinion, based on a lot of reading about American christian movements, is that *movement* is the key term–that is, there’s a kind of centrifugal force in some protestant christian denominations/communities that continually forces some men and their families towards the fringe of their own churches. To my mind that is because of the emphasis on1) solo scriptural study2) patriarchal models of the father/husband as jesus3) texts that are read as promoting withdrawal from society, politics, or the non believing world.4) emergent paranoid views of science and especially medicine and education.5) hybrid notions of american exceptionalism crossed with john birch/mormon notions of libertarianism and anti communism.Families that start out pretty average for modern america can find themselves self isolating, turning inward, insisting on performing all communal roles for themselves (from priest to teacher to doctor to lawyer). The end result can be frightening isolation for the women and children, who become the new religious and political subjects of men who think of themselves as in the position of divine or divinely inspired.aimai

  • Kaderin

    DoveOne of the biggest components of the QF lifestyle, apart from having many children, is “The woman has to obey the husband at all times.” As the snapshots illustrate, once the husband makes up his mind, the woman HAS to go along, no matter her own wishes.If one party of a relationship is granted this kind of power over the other, he is bound to abuse it as Dale does here. And within the QF mindset, it’s not wrong for him to be controlling – it’s even expected. I imagine selfishness is looked down upon, but it’s been described in other posts how ultimately it’s always the woman who is counceled to change her behaviour, to be more meek and submissive…So.. Ex-QFers, correct me if I got this down wrong…?

  • Gem

    That’s accurate, Kaderin. I’m very concerned that teaching which makes marriage the equivalent of a king/slave arrangement is not unique to QF circles. Its becoming mainstream in the church:Here’s some links-this is from a “Focus on the Family” outreach to singles-Driscol from Mars Hill Church preaches the same list of areas the husband controls (minute 23)-Husband as Prophet Priest and King by Bob Lepine, another national radio figure (Family Life). They run marriage weekends all over the country to indoctrinate mainstream evangelical couples.aka Charis