I'm part of a small group. It's composed of mostly couples and last night was our first meeting since the summer break. As this was our first meeting, the gathering was large. Several new people joined this fall. As the group kicked off, the introductions began. "This is my wife... This is my husband."... “We’ve been married ….. Have two kids….. etc. etc.”
I watched as the introductions went around the room knowing that it would be my turn. I was second to the last and as the introductions moved from couple to couple, slowly approaching me, I grew increasingly uncomfortable.
I sat there alone. A married single.
I almost started to panic a little because I was searching for the appropriate introduction. No one was going to look at me and say, “This is my lovely wife.” In fact, I was going to have to explain, again, my marital status as the social dynamics demanded in that moment. And for some reason, I didn’t have a defusing quick quip spring to my mind. My tension escalated.
It’s my turn. “Hi my name is Lynn Donovan and I am married and on occasion my husband attends small group. But that’s a story for another day.” That is all I could think to say.
Good grief. Why after all these years can things like this still make me crazy? Why do things like this still hurt?
The crowd laughed at my introduction and the promise of “the” story for another day and thankfully, introductions ended. Sheesh! I needed a drink of cold water, which someone passed to me. And I was hoping my antiperspirant was holding up under the strain. *grin*.
Hear me now. My friends didn’t do anything wrong here. They are right to introduce their spouse with love and affection. They wouldn’t purposefully make me uncomfortable. But, sometimes these moments spring upon us when we least expect them. Even after nearly 20 years of marriage, there I sat, surprised, uncomfortable. Irritated maybe? No, embarrassed.
The study moved forward and all was well. Finally, we prayed, I hugged a few necks and walked to my car alone to drive home. But I couldn’t shake my feelings.
And this is where I get into big trouble. That quiet drive home where I visit the “if only” place. If only, he was a believer, I wouldn’t be embarrassed like that. Is it so wrong to want a husband to attend small group with me. If only, I didn’t go tonight, I wouldn’t be in this kind of situation. If only….
I arrived home after my brief trip to the land of “If only” and brought home with me one of my oldest and worst “friends,” anger. I sat on the couch and stared at the TV.
My husband walked in and asked in a very normal and conversational way, “How was home group tonight?”
Well, what do I do with this question? I could lie and say, fine. I could ignore him, rude. I could answer vaguely, which is my normal MO. But tonight, perhaps spurred on by anger I replied, “It was difficult for me tonight as everyone introduced their spouses as, “This is my lovely wife” and I sat there alone.” I continued, “I don’t know why after 20 years these kind of things still hurt, but they do. AND, I don’t want to talk about it.”
I’m still processing it all. I’m still not certain why I reacted the way I did. Today as I rethink all this, I remain angry, confused, hurt. So, I don’t have it all figured out. I don’t know where to go with this today. I have prayed and asked God about it and I wait for His reply.
I still puzzle about a great many details of living unequally yoked. I hurt just like you. I have setbacks as well. But somewhere down in my soul, I always have hope. And that ALWAYS gets me through.
I guess the reason I’m sharing this story with you today is to remind you that situations such as these will continue to pop up unexpectedly and they bring emotion. You’re not alone with those emotions. I “get” you. And second, anyone have a good one liner I could have used at introduction time? Help a girl out.
I love you my unequally yoked friends. I hold a special place in my heart for each of you. Hugs, Lynn