Today we will be looking at the introduction of Lori Alexander’s pal April Cassidy’s book ‘The Peaceful Wife’ There has been a lot of speculation on other boards that Lori and April are the same person. I can say with a degree of certainty that is very unlikely. The tone of their marriage books, “The Power of the Transformed Wife” and “The Peaceful Wife” while very similiar ideas are actually executed very differently. Lori loves putting everyone else around her down. April does not do that. The verbiage is very different from the introduction on.
It does not mean that April Cassidy’s book is geared to a more mature audience that Lori’s book was. It points out anew how many people in the realm of Evangelical Quiverfull are apparently stuck in middle school thinking and behavior. The introduction has three primary scenarios involving couples, fighting and issues. I read through those short paragraphs, shaking my head and muttering, “Wow!”, unable to think that the reactions of the husbands and wives were anything but petty, selfish and just stupid. No wonder she needs ‘Peace’!
Most of the introduction is the standard Christianese boiler plate of peace, love, joy through submission. Yawn. But I’ll take that any day to the shaming and blaming nastiness of Ms. Alexander’s book.
But the stories are pretty revealing….of people too immature to be married any length of time. Fodder for future divorces.
Because everything in this culture is so petty I’m going to explain what I think mature people not busy keeping score with the other person’s ‘sins’ can do to de-escalate these situations.
Scenario numbero uno is a husband grilling outside and fighting a swarm of flies who asks his teen son to go fetch the flyswatter for him. Reasonable, right? The wife tells the son in front of the father not to bother getting the swatter. Son blows daddy off and daddy decides to pout for the rest of the day.
I know what the author is reaching for in her heavyhanded way. That a nasty woman disrespected her husband by countermanding his request.
What this amply illustrates is that in Fundy-town there is no communication in marriage at all. No one bothered to talk to anyone else. Dad didn’t jump in and say ‘No, I do need that swatter now.’ The wife didn’t address her concerns to the husband by asking him first, ‘Are you sure you’ll be able to man the grill and swat flies at the same time?’ or even be helpful like ‘Honey, let me worry about the flies because you have your hands full.’ and nothing in between.
She could have also said nothing, figuring if the swatter was just such a bad idea that her husband would figure that out for himself soon enough. She wasn’t put on this planet to make life ala carte for her husband or to function as his personal Don Rickles type punisher.
Bonus immaturity points for Dad. He didn’t turn to the wife and discuss with her how her words made him feel lower than dirt, or that she’d disrespected him or eroded his parential authority. He sulks like a toddler.
Talk to each other people! Don’t sulk, don’t undermine each other because you are supposed to be a partnership and partners do not treat their other partners like idiotic boobs.
Scenario two involved a wife trying to get ready for work while preparing breakfast for her husband’s visiting relatives. She’s overwhelmed and asked her husband for help. He tells her to just leave it all, let his relatives figure out breakfast on their own, and it spirals into an enormous fight with insults thrown.
While I just have to point out that this could have all be prevented with a little planning and organization, sometimes essential for hosting guests I’m not sure why the wife didn’t just toss in the kitchen towel, and say ‘Okay!’ before leaving for work. He said don’t bother, so why bother?
Instead the couple wasted time they could have used preparing breakfast together, likely had relatives overhearing this dumb argument that wasn’t really about tight time management but division of labor. Again, something that likely should have been discussed, but earlier, before the trip as in, ‘I have to go to work early on Tuesday. I am going to try to put together breakfast, but if I can’t will you take over cooking/buy them breakfast/put out the Wheaties/announce a involuntary fast/whatever.’ Him ‘grunts to indicate he heard’ and later there needed to be a discussion on how the working woman feels like the full burden of the household running falls on her with options on how that can be resolved. But only if they are capable of talking in an unemotional rational ‘let’s solve this’ adulting fashion.
The final scenario is makes me feel bad for the husband, which I think is the point of her little stories. Husband comes home from work, cooks a lovely meal for his wife. She comes home and raises cane about the amount of dirty dishes. Pouting ensues again!
Aaaaaaand no one really talks about what the real issues are. I don’t know about you but if my routine included coming home from work, cooking, serving, doing the dishes and pots and pans I’d have been very happy to have part of that taken over by someone else who was clearly trying to bless me. Happy enough about the cooking and serving of the meal that I would be glad to load the dishwasher, be able to relax with a book before bedtime all the sooner.
While I agree with Cassidy’s assertion that having a peaceful home and peaceful wife is a good one, I do not agree on how to accomplish that. It’s certainly not by repressing any and all emotions and groveling like a good slave. It comes from communication and not acting like spoiled children!
Even disagreement in marriage is alright if you handle it right. We’re all human and there are days when your spouse is just going to push those buttons and you’ll react. The sooner you don’t take offense at the other person, and talk it out the better your marriage will be. Say you are sorry when you’ve behaved like a jerk. It really is just that simple and will create that peace the author is craving.
Sometimes when your partner is in a mood and ready to fight at the drop of a hat you’re better off just asking them what that’s all about. Why are they so frustrated and angry? Did something happen at work they are processing? Are they feeling sick? Tired? Hungry? Most times it has nothing to do with you so it does not pay to get offended and think it does. Just talk to each other!
The final story, the one about the meal, is the author’s story and she follows up with talking about how depressing it is to have expectations in marriage and then see them unfulfilled. Do you see where this is going?
Next up: Chapter 1 – The author’s own love story involving getting engaged as teens and having very little experience in relationships before marriage. Marrying that first love is usually a set up for disaster because you have zero experience navigating the opposite sex.
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