Monday, November 24, 2008

Keeping It All Together

It's hard to know what to do and who to believe in today's hysterical economic climate. It seems that every morning, we wake up to hear the news that another bank, credit card company, or the automakers are begging the government to bail them out of their bad financial choices.

Meanwhile, news commentators wax eloquently about Barak Obama is the reincarnations of FDR and/or JFK, and how he'll rescue all of us from economic hardship from that "bad" president George W. The stock market continues to take a nosedive downward while folks whisper on the radio about the possibility of another Great Depression.

Being a political conservative rather than a political liberal, I'm starting to feel hopeless about which direction this country is taking. And it's not the fear that the trade magazines that I write for may start cutting back or that my husband will experience a layoff. Instead, it's the whole climate of our culture. Where are we going? What are we doing????

I worry because 50 percent of the country loves the idea of living off the government. Because of their ignorance, these needy/greedy people, who act like spoiled children, don't realize that our taxes will skyrocket due to these federal bailouts or freebies. It's not only the rich that are punished, folks. It's us, the middle class, too. Only the poor, who don't make enough for the IRS to bother with them, are better off with rising taxes.

Food, clothing, and taxes are going up, up, up. How does one raise a family in this climate? How do we keep our family together--cherishing each other, while raising the next generation with the same values that we believe in. This is what we'll explore in upcoming blogs. Stay tuned...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Marriage Isn't for Sissies Part 2

Con't ... did something that could potentially destroy your marriage?

Last week, I attended my first support group for addicts and partners of addicts. While I don't want everyone in cyberspace to know what addiction my husband suffers from, I will acknowledge that we've been stuck in a dark period of our marriage for the past 10 years due to his addiction. It's like that picture of a kitten hanging on for dear life to a branch and asking God to help him/her.

We got to the place for the support group. There were all types of men and women there--and all kinds of addicts ranging from alcohol, drugs, and sexual addictions. I took one look in the room for women (they separate men and women) and I backed away. I told my husband, "I can't do this. I'm not like that. I'm better than this!"

Yikes, I was in denial--big time! I tried to back away, running away, anything to get out of there! In my mind's eye, I prepared myself for a perfect marriage--I went to pre- and post-marital counseling, and I dragged John along. I thought we were prepared for any rift in our a relationship, and we wouldn't need anymore help!

The clock got to 6:00 p.m., time to close the doors, and begin group. I finally gathered up my courage, and said goodbye to John as he went merrily to his group. I beelined to the nearest chair to the door. Women kept pouring in...and in...and in...until there were three to four young women sitting on the floor. The woman next to meet was squeezed into the corner, blocking the door. It definitely wouldn't pass a safety inspection, or an easy escape for me. So, I sucked it up.

Everyone went around the room, introducing themselves. When it came for me to say, "Hi, my name is Wendy, and my husband is a ____________." In reality, it wasn't like that...but I was pithy to say the least. I said, "My name is Wendy Komancheck. My husband's next door," indicating that he was the reason I was stuck in this room of damaged goods.

After an hour, I started to relax, and I realized that I wasn't alone. There was another angry wife there; there was a woman who has made it with her husband in recovery (and they're still married); and women who confessed their struggles ... even struggles that I've dealt with. I felt that I was in a room of friends. People who've been in my shoes and have survived the storm. I had hope ... hope that I could survive this trip with my husband. We can do it...

And that's why marriage isn't for sissies.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Marriage ISN"T for sissies and other news

Okay, first I put up my picture. Aghhhh! But Molly, my part-lab/part-Border bollie, is a real beauty, ain't she? I think so.

Like most nosey women, I like to look at the social pages. Who's engaged to who; who just got married; etc. And I when I read the blurbs under the photos, I wish all of them the best, but I worry for them too. Do they realize the challenge marriage is? Do you?

Marriage isn't about's about commitment. It seems that once you say "I do," life changes for better and for worse. Think about--the work is just starting as you walk down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs. But during the magical times of first meeting, the first kiss, the dating, the engagement, etc., life is bliss. And the realization that reality begins on Day 1 to Day Last doesn't really dawn on the couple until the first fight.

Then it becomes, "It's your fault!" "No, it's your fault!" and the hubby, because this is typical, not gender bashing, is shocked at the yelling, so he walks away. Meanwhile the wife, cries, feels sorry for herself, and calls her mother/best friend/ sister to belittle the husband. And this is just the start...Wait until

  1. The economy goes down and one of you gets laid off...
  2. Your child is born with special needs
  3. Your mother-in-law has boundary issues between her son and you
  4. Finances are tight, and you can't buy your daily grande, skinny, double-espresso at the local Starbucks on your way to work
  5. You exchange Nordstroms for Good Will
  6. You drive an old car rather than a brand new SUV
  7. Your spouse is addicted to alchohol, drugs, and/or porn.

What are you going to do? Stick with the marriage or bail? Sometimes, it's easier to bail, but it's not always right.

See these are the things that starry-eyed lovers don't think about. If they do, they look at it in a far-away attitude that love will cover a multitude of the lover's sins.

But when it hits the fan, after the honeymoon is a distant memory, will you stick it out for the long haul? Will you see it to the end of your life or your spouse's life (and I don't mean suicide or murder).

These issues are dire, and all couples will experience these relational earthquakes. As statistics paint the picture, half to over half will bail out of the marriage, with at least a kid or two in tow. Then we remarry, and remarry, and shack up because we're attracted to the same type of person, but we're the victim--and the new and previous spouses are the sorry losers that we constantly flutter to because we're destined for losers. Wouldn't it be better to stick with the original spouse and work it out---for better or worse? I think so...more on this post later...

For instance, do you ever think about your beloved

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Why I stay married

This is an excerpt from a prayer letter that I wrote tonight. I won't go into the details for this discussion, but if you're suffereing in a marriage, here's some encouragement:

“Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, ‘Why?’ It is because the Lord is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. I hate divorce, says the Lord God of Israel, and I hate a man covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says the Lord Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.” Malachi 2:13-16.

Thanks for your prayers. When we walk with Jesus with live in what I call “Opposite World.” God allows bad things to happen to us to develop our character, which the end means being more like Jesus. I’m reading an excellent book called How to Live Right when Your Life Goes Wrong by Leslie Vernick. She shares, “Sometimes God reminds me that Sydney (her pet parakeet) and I are not that different. I am small. I am limited. I am bound by time, space, and my human flesh. I know nothing about eternity or the bigness of God. All I know is what I experience. But my experience does not define the boundaries of reality. No---there is more to it, beyond what I can see or even imagine. Just because I do not know it doesn’t make it less real or true. God offers us glimpses into this ‘true realit’ (as I will call it) if we will take the time to see through the lens of his eternal perspective.”

And God says in Romans 5:3-5-“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perserverance; perseverances, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love inot our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Amen!