by Amy Meyer Allen
Here is an excerpt from chapter one of my book, "Snapshots of a Redeemed Marriage." Email me if you'd like to have a free copy emailed to you. firstname.lastname@example.org
I considered myself to be a pretty liberal woman. I accepted Tim’s interest in looking at Playboy magazines ever since his Naval Academy days; I even allowed them on our coffee table. I didn’t even think twice when he and a friend visiting from Omaha went to a strip club. But this was too much—a picture he had posted on the Internet from a camping trip we went on together for my birthday a year prior. He was tastefully posing naked in front of a waterfall. It was my picture of him. Now he had perverted it—barely attempting to blur out his face. I felt sick.
I never did have pity for women who had been cheated on by a spouse or boyfriend. I considered it a character flaw if a woman stayed with her man. “Dump the jerk as fast as you can, and move on” would have been my advice. Now, being confronted head-on with that very situation, I realized life isn’t so black and white. Mix in emotions, dreams, feelings of betrayal and love, and it is more a muddy brown. I journaled some of my feelings:
July 6, 1997
Tim is going through a tough time right now, and I don’t know how to help him. It seems like the more I try to get close to him and help him, the more he wants to run away. I think he sees me as his ball and chain. I’m tying him down. I hate that. I don’t want to be anyone’s ball and chain. I want him to be happy and fulfilled and in love with me. Maybe that’s the problem. I’m trying too hard. I can’t force anyone to love me. I’m just scared. I’m afraid that if I leave him alone he’ll find someone else. I’m confused. I don’t know what the right thing to do is. I do know that I’m feeling miserable and sick to my stomach and making myself get zits on my face. But I don’t think the right thing to do is avoidance. I feel like we need to talk, but it’s so hard. I’m afraid of what his answers will be. I don’t want him to leave me, but I don’t want him to stay just out of guilt. I have never felt so out of control. This is something he has to decide. Our future is up to him and what he decides. Maybe that’s why I’m so miserable. I can’t control how Tim feels about me. And if I try to, it just makes it worse. But this is my life, too – I need to know what’s going on. I need some answers. I haven’t felt this hurt and confused since Tim broke up with me in high school. I know I just need to leave it in God’s hands, but it’s hard. I’m afraid.
I was born in 1970 in Omaha, Nebraska. Although I went to church all my life, I didn't make Jesus Lord of my life until I was 29 years old. My real relationship with Him began when my marriage fell apart.