This chapter is entirely the personal history of author Lori Alexander, and from the way it reads I would venture to guess that perhaps the author has a touch of psychopathy because she seems like she lacks a lot of human emotions in her retelling of her life. There seems like there are lots of red flags for a certain type of disorder in this book. There’s sure no love here for anyone and Lori is sharing many stories that reflect as badly on her parents and others as herself. You shouldn’t have to keep putting down others to inflate yourself.
This chapter also includes the near-rape story.
Lori starts off saying that during the first 23 years of her marriage that she could not take any responsibility for in her words ‘the drama’ happening. Then she goes on to blame her parents constant arguing, the fact that there was no harmony in their home and her mother turning her into mommy’s lil’ confidant on the wrongs of daddy as the reason she could not get along in her marriage. She had no healthy role models. This is just the first two pages of the chapter.
True, it’s hard not to replicate what we see happening in our home of origin in our own marriage. But once you realize the way you lived as a child wasn’t the most healthy most people at least make a strong effort to take a honest hard look at how to change that scenario and move forward in a healthy way. It’s tragic that it apparently took the author 23 years to do that and that she’s still blaming her parents. Once you get past your mid-thirties and start raising children on your own you realize that your parents did the best that they could with what they had and you stop blaming them for everything in your life. Or you get therapy to help you get over it. Staying stuck in that place of immaturity only hurts you.
Now we look at Lori’s dating life:
The first guy to take me out drove use to a drive-in theater, where he immediately pushed me down on the front seat of his car, laid on top of me, and started making out with me.
Actually, he made it known, right then and there, that he wanted a lot more than a few kisses. I was appalled!
Yes, the near rape story. Lori disputes that she was in any danger of being raped in this situation, but I think it’s safe to say what she experienced was a low-level sexual assault. I feel almost sorry for this young Lori because she was obviously too naive to understand what the drive-in represented to many guys of that era. I’m reminded of a certain young woman who was taken on a date to what she thought was the submarine races out at the lakes right off the Louisiana State University campus and was excited about it, leaping out of the car to run to the edge of the lake thinking she was really about to see underwater lights from racing submarines only to find it was a ploy for her date to act like Lori’s did. True story. Both she and I are very lucky that neither of those scenarios ended in rape.
She spends a lot of time in this chapter complaining that she couldn’t find many Christian friends and no Christian boyfriends during her teenage years before going off to college because:
‘My dad thought I needed to have a career ‘just in case’…. All I ever wanted to be was a wife and mother just like Mom.’
And that, my friends, is the entire crux of this bitter tome. Ms. Alexander decided well before she graduated high school that the only thing she wanted in life is that thing that she is currently pushing as the only Godly thing for a woman to do. How convenient for her.
She goes on to tell of meeting her future husband Ken through her college roommate and that Ken had a girlfriend already in his hometown of Miami, but dumped the hometown girl for Lori.
I guess you could say it was love at first sight—or maybe second.
Sorry, it’s not sounding much like love, more like ‘I met a guy, we had a good time, this must be love’ – poor, poor thing, and I mean that literally. What about those fireworks? That giddy feeling that you want to shout from the rooftops that you love this person? The wanting to be by his side every moment of the day? All these things seem to be missing from Lori’s recollections of her relationship with her husband in those first years. She does mention often that they argued and bickered voracious from early on, even after they decided to get married. Not a good way to start a marriage without feeling much love and with constant strife.
I knew I loved him even though I didn’t necessarily enjoy him.
She goes on to say that they went ahead with the marriage because they were attracted to each other and knew they’d make great parents.
None of this bodes well. This is no way to start a marriage and expect it to be successful much less happy or enjoyable. When you marry you could at least like or enjoy your partner because if you don’t you’re just signing on for a pile of misery. It’s okay to have some separate interests, but it’s not okay if you genuinely do not like the other person. Don’t get married if this is where you find yourself in your relationship.There will be times when you don’t ‘enjoy’ everything about your spouse, but you deal with it. This week I had one of the more frustrating experiences that happens every now and again in my own marriage. Our refrigerator died and we had to buy a new one. Jim legitimately hates making decisions about the house and what it needs, particularly if it’s going to be an expensive decision, and will sometimes react with decision by indecision. If I was Lori, either before or after her submission, I would have shut up and squirmed with resentment over his indecision and foot dragging and taken it out on him in other ways, like picking a fight about Ritz crackers. But since I am an adult I told my husband that his indecision was very frustrating to me personally, we needed to just suck it up and pick a fridge and I did it in an non-accusatory way. He’s happy because we got the one that is listed as the Best Buy from Consumer Reports plus it was on sale. I’m happy because it happened relatively quickly, I got an acceptable choice and I’m no longer having to schlep bags of ice into the ice chests while I’m waiting on his decision. Yes, I did that thing that is so incredibly threatening in Quiverfull Evangelicalism. I talked to my husband in a rational manner and solved the problem quickly. There could have been tears, arguing, resentment and stupidity instead if I had followed the supposedly submissive way.
…and we’ve only covered about a third of this first long chapter. Next up: more arguing, Lori thinks she’s perfect and she is forced to teach in *gasp* inner city Los Angeles school and put her baby in daycare. Quelle horreur!
Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin at No Longer Quivering. She’s been out of the Quiverfull Evangelical world for nine years now and lives in the beautiful Piedmont section of Virginia with her retired husband and assorted creatures. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape
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