We are reviewing April Cassidy’s “The Peaceful Wife”. Several weeks ago was the Introduction with its stories of women blowing up or just making the men in their lives feel disrespected in silly scenarios that could have easily resolved with partners talking to each other. This chapter is supposed to be about the author’s young marriage life, but I would have labeled it ‘From Dreams to Harsh Reality’ because it’s ridiculous how quickly things soured for her.
April starts her chapter with her bonafides, her momma and daddy’s solid marriage, how she and her husband Greg start dating at 16 years old and starting to talk of marriage quickly. Except for a very short span of time April and Greg are sort of Evangelical Christian joined at the knee until their marriage. Five years. April says this:
“In my mind, Greg and I were totally prepared for marriage. No, we didn’t have premarital counseling, but why would we need it?”
Spoken like a good little innocent 21 year old lamb being led to the slaughterhouse. I remember that feeling of being so young, in love and thinking that nothing could ever come between us, only to be disabused of my girlish notions. Very few people are genuinely mature enough to actually successfully pull off the double balancing act that is marriage at 21 years old. So what’s the harm in going through a little marriage counseling before you make that commitment. It’s wise, just like it’s wise to lay it all out on the table, your expectations, needs and wants. Which leads me to the next bit of her marriage story – expectations.
On a side note. Dating only one person, in single dates or group dates isn’t such a good idea either. If you are not exposed to a variety of different people how on earth can you determine what does and does not work for you. And I’m not talking about sex, I’m talking about learning how to deal with other people. This is why life experience is so important!
The author goes on to talk about how her wedding and three day honeymoon were heavenly. Here is where she lists all the expectations she brought into her marriage. It’s a list that you might expect a starry-eyed 12 year old to make when dreaming about her future wedding to a member of 1Dimension or Justin Bieber, not a very realistic list. What would a list like that contain? Talking for oodles of hours a day, the undivided attentions of the husband, daily sex, daily verbal affirmations from her husband, no money struggles, no unhappiness, no fights. I would laugh except that I know from reading on that holding these expectations, that no other real person could ever meet, have hurt the author.
Which she figured out when things went haywire quickly. Her husband Greg worked 8 hours a day followed by the rest of his waking hours in the fixer upper home they lived in. He had no significant time for April. She was miserable before throwing her back out one week after the wedding severely enough to take to her bed for months. A three month depression, lots of crying to momma and both partners having one very bummer of a time.
This is unfortunate, but not surprising. No marital counseling beforehand, two very young people and zero life experience mixed with no real discussions or realistic expectations. When the problems hit no talking to each other, none of that ‘Hey, this really sucks! What could we be doing differently here?’ He had expectations that he had to provide a fine home right away, while April thought they would be what sounds like best girlfriends.
This is all followed by April deciding Greg didn’t lead right in their spiritual life, and that she had to take over, followed by a job for April and a lot of complaining about a checked out tv watching husband. Again, no discussion, just lots of simmering resentments.
The only helpful bit in all of this is the last line of the chapter:
“Those of you who are married are probably laughing already”
Well, yeah, there is that. Most people that manage to make their marriages work realize that they have to give their spouse space and freedom to be who they are and that communication is vital. It’s just that simple. It’s not a lack of respect or submission, it’s maturity that matters.
In Chapter 2 April discovers the book ‘Love and Respect’ by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I see where this is all heading. Ugh, le sigh, I think I’m going to have to break out the anti nausea medicine for the next chapter.
Here, have something funny, Weird Al poking fun at the selfishness of some guys in ‘If That Isn’t Love’. Still less toxic than the ways more guys act in Quiverfull.
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