A Year of (Dis)Unity

I tend to express myself better with words. I am recently going through some crazy transitions in my life. Within the last year I have dealt with more drama than I have in my last thirty years of living. It’s crazy how much you can do for someone you love. I was married to someone who was an emotional and verbal abuser, however I still kept my vows and took them very serious. Almost immediately after our honeymoon we began to encounter problems, and well…eleven months later she’s filing for divorce. I know God is definitely working in my life and I know that sharing my story will help others who are struggling throughout my marriage I have endured the following:

  • Emotional and verbal abuse
  • Manipulation
  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Seperation from my family
  • Depression
  • Self worthlessness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Many more personal struggles which I will unfold throughout this story…

I had met my wife working for a successful restaurant chain, she had just been contracted to work in Richmond, VA for about a year. I had to go into her restaurant to borrow some product that my team needed the next day. They were incredibly busy and felt compelled to help out. I saw a leader in the front that I didn’t recognized and asked if I could help. In hindsight she probably thought I worked for the same restaurant. Once I started bailing water I began to hear a super southern accent and that’s always been turn on for me. I have some family for North Carolina and I have an affinity for that type of southern draw.

After I helped out and left I texted the General Manager that night. I began to ask her about the woman with the southern accent. She was contracted from Georgia to help out the store train and develop the new staff which was transitioning from a mall store to a free standing restaurant.

My wife began to borrow more things from my restaurant and I eventually got the courage to ask her if she would like to check out the sights in Richmond with the other new girl. She had told me yes but she couldn’t speak for herself. From there it was about three months of pursuit. I began to pursue her and she either bailed on me or stood me up on several occasions. I finally gave up and distinctly remember asking her on a date on a Friday night but I was going to go backpacking on the Appalachian Trail but was willing to stay in town to meet with her. She ghosted me and I was frustrated. I remember hiking that trail and blowing off some steam while I was listening to a new album by ODESZA.

From there I began to focus on myself until a couple months later in December she randomly asked if we were still on for a night on the town. I was bitter and I told her that I wouldn’t be able to do so until the beginning of the year. She then followed up and asked me on a date on New Year’s Day 2017. I obliged and picked her up we went to dinner.

Richmond is known for its food culture. I had taken her to one of the nicer restaurants with an eclectic menu. We began to open up with each other and she began to convey that whatever’s God’s plan was for her she was trusting Him and if it was his will for her to be a leader or owner of the same restaurant chain then she was going to trust God. This was extremely refreshing for me, I was looking for someone that wasn’t ashamed to call themselves a Christian express their faith.

We began to have many more dates and on the third one, I had the Define the Relationship talk. I told her that it was my intentions pursue her more as just a friend. I envisioned us being a power couple, she was super strong and independent and I had accomplished many things; summiting literal and metaphorical mountains in my life. She agreed enthusiastically and we decided to court.

One thing that has been unique about our relationship is that we saved ourselves until marriage, from the get-go we wanted to wait and honor God. We never were alone together in private, we never slept in the same room, or put ourselves into an opportunity where we were tempted. Hindsight is only 20/20 and I should have known that our relationship would suffer from intimacy problems. She was always very apprehensive to hold my hand, kiss in public, and even hug. I had concerns about this, as my love language is sense of touch. I am not talking about anything sexual but I feel most loved when someone hugs me or comforts me with a sense of touch. This is just foreshadowing what’s later to come…I can’t give away everything in the first post :wink:

Hey RVA_Ninja,

Man, super bummed that the story ended up where it is now after what seemed like a redemptive start.

I am curious – you made a list of what you’ve endured. Can you make a similar list of what you’ve made your wife endure?

Part II
Opposites do attract but are they meant to be?

We began to go on more dates, we both had crazy schedules because we were both leaders in a restaurant. She began to open up to me a little about her father. Her father and mother were in the midst of a second divorce with each other. Her father had been having an affair and completely cut off her and her brother. I thought it was kinda unusual but I never really pressed onto to the situation.

The more and more time we spent together we began to realize how different we were culturally. She was a southern belle that enjoyed country music, netflix shows, and friend foods. I am Richmond hipster that enjoys all kinds of music but mostly anything metal, I prefer to read over watching TV, and I love cooking and eating new foods. We chalked it up to God putting together two people that were very different for all good reasons. Tony Evan, who appears on Focus on the Family, talked about celebrating your spouse’s uniqueness. He conveyed that if you and your spouse were the same then there would be no reason for you both, because you are the same person.

At times it bothered me about how much we were different but I never seemed to disable her from doing the things she loved. I know that marriage is about a cycle of service glorifying the Gospel. I wanted her to be happy and do the things she loved, I didn’t mind putting my needs behind her.

I remember being at a Circa Survive concert and telling her about my music tastes. She had told me that she wanted to be by my side at every concert. I was like, “haha, ok but I go to mainly metal shows.” She didn’t care, and I thought that was absolutely wonderful. I took her to the next Circa Survive concert in a neighboring city. We enjoyed the openers but as soon as Anthony Green came out people rushed to the stage and we were being pushed around in the front. She said never again, lol. For those of you who do not know, Circa Survive is a Neo-Progressive Punk band, nothing as intense as ABR.

When I started to travel to Georgia to meet her family it started to really hit me. I was definitely a stranger in a strange land: slim fitting jeans, plaid flannel, beard, tattoos, I made guacamole and sometimes I preferred to eat vegan/vegetarian meals.

One thing I did really enjoy though was how often their family went to church. We had morning and evening service on Sunday’s and a Wednesday night service. The church they attended was a Bible preaching one, and I had just leave my church in Richmond because I didn’t like the way the leadership was shifting.

Albeit my wife and I are very different personalities, we were sound on one particular thing: God. When I had met her I began to really start pursuing God like I had never done before. 2016 was a crazy powerful year for me and it included some pretty heavy stuff…