Divorce and Anger

Does divorce bring anger? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I am starting this blog late on Tuesday night and will publish it when I finish it in the morning. How has my evening been spent? Well, I work at a Walmart and am on self check-out and have customers come in after we are supposed to be closed I take it and I am all set to go but nope, some people have to buy clothes at the last minute and even past it. I am to get off at 11. It’s 11:29 when I leave.

Why do I bring this up?

Because many times, I am angry about how my life is. I have a college degree and I was not perfect, but I strived in everything to be an excellent husband. I did everything that I could for Allie and then some. However, after she told me she was filing for divorce, I stopped watching her Facebook. It was too painful for me.

Some of you have told me that there are a lot of negative statements made about me. I do want to set the record straight on some of those. I will tell you that though I didn’t have money, I tried to buy as much as I could for Allie and take her out for a date whenever I could and sought to praise her.

I still remember when she was exploring Orthodoxy that on the other end, her priest said to her about me, “What you are doing to this man is cruel.” I am certain he was talking about the lack of physical affection that I was receiving. When Allie had tried to kill herself again at the end of August, knowing the reason why, and I won’t go into that here though her brother has alluded to it some, when she got out of the hospital I told her she was staying with her parents. Something had to change after all. I could not go on with her doing what she was doing and then trying to kill herself every time.

One night she called me in tears and scared because she said some people had told her that I was abusive to her.

I honestly chuckled some. Allie says I laughed. I just said something like “Okay Allie. Who’s telling you this nonsense and what are they claiming?” Why? Because usually she’s talking to people on the internet who don’t know a thing about anything going on.

Well, the first way I was abusive was she was staying with her parents which was keeping her away from her cat. Her cat is like an emotional support animal and that is emotional abuse then. By the way, want to know where that cat is now? With me. When I told her I was moving back to Tennessee after I filed I said, “I’m taking Shiro with me” and all I heard back was “Okay.” I’m glad I did. I can afford to take care of him.

The other way was that I was sexually abusive in that I had allegedly guilted or manipulated her into having sex.

Folks. That’s so vague that 99% of spouses, husbands and wives both, are sexually abusive by that definition. A husband could want to be altruistic, but if he stops and gets flowers for his wife on the way home, somewhere in the back of his mind, he’s hoping to get some action out of the deal. What happens, on the other hand, if that husband comes home and his wife greets him at the door in lingerie? Could that be considered manipulative? However, I doubt the husband will complain.

Yes. Believe it or not, a husband wants to have sex with his wife. Breaking news. Details at 11.

So who else doesn’t think I was abusive to her? Her priest, her parents, her brother, my parents, the therapist that was seeing both of us together, many of our friends that saw us all together, etc.

You know what? It stings.

Not only that, but when I moved back, she called sometime in February. I don’t remember the scenario, but I think she thought there was demonic activity going on. I could be mistaken. Don’t quote me on it. Anyway, she started with saying on the phone “I know you hate me now.” “Nope.” I meant it. I don’t. If you asked me if I still love Allie to this day I would say, “Absolutely.” Believe it or not, it’s really HARD for me to be angry with her.

I talked to her about being in Christ and what that meant and then told her I wanted her to contact me in the morning. She said she was going shopping with her Mom so she would be up. I told her if I didn’t hear anything from her by Noon, I would call 911. I just wanted to make sure she’d made it through the night.

Folks. I don’t say that to brag. I really don’t. I say it though because some of you who haven’t heard my side of the matter might think I really was an abusive husband when nothing could be further from the truth. There can be a part of me really tempted to want justice, but I can’t do that with Allie for some reason.

And I thought about this tonight. If I was really involved in some abusive con game, what have I gained? I’m back in Tennesse living with my parents at a job that I wish I was doing more with and I have no physical affection of any kind from a woman at all. I have had dreams where I have got to be kissed by a random woman and my mind can’t even seem to remember what it feels like.

That hurts.

I also want to defend her parents here. Just as I wasn’t a perfect husband, the Liconas aren’t perfect parents and my parents aren’t perfect parents. However, the Liconas have given of themselves consistently. Who was majorly paying the rent and everything else for us all those years? They were. They weren’t gaining anything. If anything, they were losing. Still, they gave.

I really wish I could have done more. I honestly don’t like anyone having to pay for me like that. I have a friend who likes to bless me with games and other computer stuff around here, and I’m often hesitant to speak of things that I want around him because I know he is that generous with me. Now when he does want to buy me something, I usually do accept and sometimes he does it when he knows I’ve had a hard time. The last time, he bought me Skyward Sword on the Switch, a Zelda I haven’t finished and before I started it, hadn’t even played.

For the most part, I prefer to work for what I get. I live with my parents, but I pay for my car insurance, my phone, I pay my tithes, etc. About the only thing they do is get groceries and even then, I try to buy many of my own. I don’t pay for health insurance because I don’t have that yet, but I do have dental and vision. I could get health through my employer soon. I also pay for everything with Shiro. I am working to pay for my upcoming college for my Master’s. I will say that if you want to consider supporting my Patreon, it pays to help me cover that more and more so I can be doing apologetics more freely.

So let’s look at my life now. I have no affection from a woman in a romantic way. I live with my parents. I work a job that I really don’t like, but I have to work something. I have a big cloud of rejection hanging over my head. Things like this.

Again, I gained nothing.

And by the way, for all that alleged abuse, the only time the police were called to our house was when Allie had tried to kill herself. I never once laid a hand on Allie aiming to hurt her that way. Never. I would rather die than do something like that. I still want the very best for her to this day and I pray she seeks out to be a holy woman.

However, I have been told that a time of anger is coming. When it comes, I have been told to let myself feel the anger. Do not try to suppress it. Let it be. I don’t know if I will be able to do this or not. I do know that there are times I have a problem with anger, but so far, anger towards Allie is the exception and not the norm.

Not only that, there were many times I was counseled I should or at least could get a divorce. My therapist and the priest both suggested this to me. Those are just the two that I specifically remember. I am sure other people had done the same. I always refused to do that.

I realize as I write this that you could read this as a rant meant to complain about Allie or me boasting about how great I think I am allegedly. Not at all. It could also be seen as a message encouraging people to pick up pitchforks and go after Allie. Not at all again. Some of you in comments on my wall have talked about your anger towards her, and I get it.

I am not saying that anger is wrong. Anger can be good sometimes. I am saying to make sure you try to avoid acting in it and if anything, pray about it. I often tell people to picture yourself at the foot of the cross with the person you’re angry with telling Jesus how they sinned against you. Does it seem that you should be focusing on your sins to Jesus instead?

I also want to say that I have tried to say very little that is negative about Allie. There is much more that I could speak about here that could do damage to Allie’s reputation, but that would not help. I don’t want to be doing the same thing that Allie is doing to me that I understand she is doing anyway.

Why am I saying this? Because sometimes there is anger and I want to share what is really going on in the experience. I am not saying with any experience that it is or is not justified. It could or could not be. Some of you going through divorce will experience this deeply. I know some who have said they have been tempted with murder in something like this.

If anything, I would just ask you to pray for Allie. I contend that she is seriously trapped in a delusion and I would prefer to say she could really believe these statements she’s making about me allegedly. If you have heard one side, please go and get the other.

Pray for her parents and brother too. This is a hard time for them. I cannot begin to explain what it is like for them. I have no idea as I have no children. Her brother is quite upset about all of this, as you can see on her wall.

And for me? Yes. I know I need it. It’s still hard. I am having to look at dating again now and not sure how to do it honestly. It’s really hard to learn how to interact on the spectrum much less date. If you want to help out in other ways, please subscribe to the Deeper Waters YouTube Channel. Also, please consider donating to my Patreon which is linked below. Even a $1 or $2 donation can help.

Thank you for listening. I really hope this comes across the way that I intend. As I have said, I am not at a place of deep anger yet, but I realize there are seeds of it there and it could happen sometime. I hope I handle it the way that I have encouraged you all to do so.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Divorce and Depression

Why is divorce so sad? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I hadn’t said a lot publicly, but Allie and I had been having problems for awhile. For me, Allie was regularly pulling away from me and there was little affection going on between us. I had been told a few times I could divorce based on things going on, but I didn’t want to. I still maintain that the covenant is meant to be for life.

Back in May of last year, I had got us a pizza at the grocery store and after the meal, I was taking out the trash. My stomach started to hurt so I thought I would just go to the bathroom when I got back. No big deal. Well, it was one. Allie heard me screaming in there and when I came out, if I had said I turned on the shower full throttle and stuck my head in, she would have believed it since my hair was so wet. She immediately told me to go to the ER and I didn’t complain.

After some tests there, I was told I had a polyp and it had to be removed. If it wasn’t removed within six months, it could be come cancerous. Why am I bringing this up? Because at this point, the matters between us were so bad there was a piece of me that was saying “Why bother?” My mother-in-law had to be the one to convince me when she pointed out she didn’t want to see anything happen to me.

By the way, I actually had the procedure, a colonoscopy, done in December which yes, was late, but still apparently close enough. A colonoscopy was one experience I never wanted to have and it was awful. When I woke up though after being under from the procedure, I immediately asked if they got the polyp.

Wouldn’t you know it? There never was one. It was a misdiagnosis. I still don’t know what caused the incident in May, but there is no cancer apparently. However, that is just a taste of what depression can do.

I was at work when Allie texted me saying we needed to talk in December and I knew what it was. I called her and insisted she just go on and say it. Yep. She was going to file for divorce. I had only an hour left, but I asked to please not do any work that put me around customers. I talked with the store manager briefly as well as I wanted to talk to a man. Was I in tears? Yep. Not ashamed of that.

When my friend William came over in January, it was my last day there and again, I am not ashamed to say it was a time of great tears. When my Dad and brother-in-law on my sister’s side and some people from the church were there the next day to help me pack, I was pretty much useless.

I got involved in DivorceCare when I got back here and I remember the leader once saying in a group meeting that everyone there had thought about suicide at least once. From my experience, he wasn’t wrong. Divorce is a sad event. It’s a  kind of death.

The only relief I have in the experience is that it is over and I can get on with my life, but it is still very sad for me. As someone said on my wall, divorce is a kind of death. If you are to become one flesh with someone, it is like mutilating yourself. Part of you has died in some way.

It’s hard also because it is something so constantly brought to mind. When I go to sleep here, I realize that I am sleeping in my bed alone, which is thoroughly depressing. When I see a beautiful woman out in public, I miss the female companionship that I had in the past. Yesterday while at work, I heard “Love Story” on the radio overhead which was saddening for me since that song was played at our wedding.

Being the one being divorced also leads to your own self-doubt. One belief I had was that I never wanted to reject Allie. She had made a major deal of how much it hurt her to be rejected and I knew that it did hurt. I knew that from my own experience. However, I did become the rejected. I still hold that it is better to be wronged than to do the wrong, but it doesn’t change that it hurts a lot.

I look back over myself and over the years and look at all the mistakes I made and wonder “What if I had done that differently?” I look at various traits of myself and wonder “Is this what made it so hard for her to love me?” I think that I gave everything of myself to her and it wasn’t good enough, so would the same sort of thing happen again?

Divorce is a time when someone says “You are not worth it.” Sometimes, I think that is justified, such as in adultery or divorce, but while I certainly have many thoughts and living with someone on the spectrum can be difficult, I don’t think anything justified my being divorced. Still, it happened.

The Aspergers also brings up a new difficulty. Will I find a woman out there who is caring enough and understanding enough to realize that I have some of my own difficulties because of that and can handle it? Am I capable of being the husband that I need to be?

You see, if you asked my mother especially, and mothers usually know this better, all my life I have wanted a lady in my life. When Allie came along it was a dream come true. Then when the divorce came, it was a shattered visage that took place. Everything gets called into question at that point.

By the way, I know some things that could be said to me at this point, and this includes statements about seeking a new wife sometime. I plan on doing a series on things to not say to someone who has been divorced. Many statements people make, no doubt meaning well and wanting to give good advice, are deeply painful.

For me now, the tiniest thing can make me remember some common activity Allie and I could engage in together. I can remember little things she said to me on one occasion. I know that such things are not coming back. Again, it is a kind of death.

Now there are also times of anger, though not so abundant. You see, if you asked me if I still loved Allie, I would tell you yes. I still want the very best for her no matter what. I still have my own concerns for her and I pray that God will help her on the path of holiness.

I do indeed plan on writing something on anger and I have been told there will likely be a time of great anger towards Allie and to let myself experience it. It will be cathartic. Still, there is some anger now.

When I am at work and wishing I was doing something more, I get depressed about that. When I realize I am living with my parents again, the same happens. I want to be out there on my own more. I want to be doing something in the world that makes a difference in apologetics. I want to enjoy my life.

This is also, as I have said, why I am advertising my Patreon and my YouTube more. It is me trying to reach my goals bit by bit, which include living on my own and then eventually dating again. The more I also gain that independence, we are getting closer to bringing the podcast back again.

Something that has been a help is so many of you messaging me and even saying something simple like you’re praying for me. I am also thankful that very few of you have given unsolicited advice. I appreciate you realize that this is a deep time of pain for me.

It has also been great how many of you have told me you have been in the same boat before. Of course, this is far easier with guys. Guys understand what guys go through. I have had phone calls with some of you and it is a relief to know that you are fellow travelers.

I also realize that my parents are giving me a blessing by taking care of me, but I don’t want to be here forever. I will soon be 41 after all. I want to be out there living my life. I want to make the world a better place than it was when I came into it. I don’t want to be a victim.

Part of that is a fighter spirit I think I possess. I have played games all my life and I have always strived as a result to excel and succeed at all that I do. As I have told someone in DivorceCare recently, the only way you can be steamrolled by someone is if you lie down before them. If things get hard, well that just means the challenge level has been upped and that makes it more fun.

So yes, there are times of joy, but there are still times where I want to be by myself. There are still times I’m out in public and wonder if anyone knows what’s going on in my life and really cares about me at all. I have friends on Facebook, but sometimes, I want more. I do have one really good one around here, but that’s one.

When I started DivorceCare, I was asked in the book what is it that you think you can’t live without. Naturally, I put the Jesus answer, but I also put something else. Friends. Even Jesus had friends when He walked this Earth. Friends are a unique class different from family. They are always there because they choose to be. You can say your family loves you because they’re family. Friends are very different.

That doesn’t mean that you all on here don’t matter a bit. You do. When I get messages or see people share my work or subscribe to my YouTube or donate to my Patreon, it always inspires me, giving me the knowledge that I do have supporters out there. Just in the past week, I was asked to come on an apologetics channel and talk about my story, and that’s awesome. I don’t want to stop doing stuff like that.

Still, every day is a battle. It is easy to fall back into depression and it can be tempting at times. Perhaps sometimes, it might sound odd, but it is actually needed. Sometimes you might need to be sad instead of burying the emotion. In Georgia when I worked at Kroger, I resonated with a song sometimes I heard playing with the main theme of “Sometimes I don’ t want to be happy.” A friend also sent me Dallas Holm singing “I Just Don’t Feel Like Dancing.” I think it’s a mistake to say we should always be happy. Some situations should make us sad and we need to experience that rather than deny it.

To my fellow travelers, thank you so much for the support on this journey. I have kept it silent for months as I didn’t want to risk people acting ill towards Allie and honestly, I still don’t want people to do that. It is in some ways a relief to be able to speak about this freely. It is a kind of death, but I am thankful you are there walking it with me.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

On Divorce

Why is divorce such an evil? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So Saturday, I had to break a lot of silence. There was something I had to say publicly that I never wanted to say. It really wasn’t because of my shame, though it is shameful, but because I was trying to protect Allie’s reputation. I did not want anyone speaking ill of her or mistreating her. I realize if you don’t really know me, you have no reason to believe me over her, but I hope you would be willing to hear both sides and ask good questions, but here goes.

Technically, I am now a divorced man.

It hurts to write that sentence.

Allie has claimed that I have abused her. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you want to hear who thinks otherwise, you can talk to her parents, her brother, the priest we saw together at the Orthodox Church Allie was visiting, a Catholic priest we both talked to on the phone regularly, the therapist we were both seeing, or any friend or family member who saw us both together regularly and some who would come to our place to see us.

I also have such a super-sensitive conscience that I would not bear the thought of hurting Allie. In my mind on the spectrum, I follow tightly a list of mental rules. I do not want to break those rules and one such rule is when you marry someone, you love them unconditionally. If you asked me if I still love Allie today, I would say absolutely. That does not mean I want to be with her now, but I do genuinely want the best for her and pray for her regularly.

However, this is the most painful experience I have gone through. I have gone through major back surgery and through a time in high school where I had a suicidal depression with regular panic attacks. The only thing that has cemented me so much now is all the studies I have done on the truth of Christianity.

By the way, with that last point, I want to make a request. I know that I have friends who are atheists and agnostics and people of other religions who read my blog. Please in comments or Facebook discussion, do not make this about the truth of Christianity. I am happy to debate that at other times, but this is about something else.

Going through this has shown me what an evil divorce is. I am not saying that divorce should never happen. Sometimes, I think it is necessary. I think a woman actually being abused by an unrepentant husband should divorce. Why is that an evil? The woman is not doing anything evil, but an evil takes place in that someone broke their vow before God and man to love and cherish and be exclusive. Divorce is not just an action against another human being. It is an action against God.

It is the person who is doing the action that requires the divorce who is doing the evil. If a woman is being really abused and files for divorce, she is not doing an evil. If a man has a wife who cheats on him and he files for divorce, he is not doing an evil. The evil has already been done. The person is in this case protecting themselves. The tragedy is that someone did break that promise that they made and chose to not really act in love.

So what is it going on on my end? Well, I have had to move back in with my parents. I love my parents, but no man who is about to turn 41 (On the 19th of this month) wants to live with his parents. I really want to be on my own again in an apartment. I am working a full-time job at Wal-Mart as the only one I can find now and trying to earn up all that I can and move up the company ladder as much as I can. I would love a full-time ministry job, but it’s not there yet.

I have a good friend who has been divorced and is now remarried and he told me to get into DivorceCare as soon as I got back. I have been doing that. I have a great group and our leader is very supportive of me. We did have a major rift of trust at one point and I did confront him on that and he realized how I was seeing things on the spectrum and we have improved greatly to have a relationship where I call him now with areas I am struggling with.

It’s a real struggle with rejection. If you asked my mother, she would tell you that all my life, what I have wanted so much is to have a woman in my life. My first crush was long before I hit puberty. All through elementary school, I had a great crush on the same girl.

Now I get rejected and it is tempting to wonder what was wrong with me that I was rejected. I don’t want to say everything going on yet, but I am convinced that it was not a deficiency in me in that major area, at least nothing worthy of a divorce. I’m not going to claim I was a perfect spouse. No one is. I will tell you that I strived to be the best that I could be and that was even when it was hard for me as numerous people told me many times I could legitimately file for divorce and I always refused. I never wanted to be a person who rejected Allie.

To go back now to the whole thing about where I am living and my work, this is one reason if you follow my Facebook you have seen me making appeals about my Patreon, the swag store to buy materials on the virgin birth, which I do affirm, and about my YouTube channel. I have to advertise myself and honestly, I hate it. I wish I didn’t think I had to do that, but I do. I will tell you also that I’m looking for someone who can be a YouTube editor to spice up my videos and in the future if I get to that place of independence, I would hope it would become something I could pay for. If you are interested, please let me know.

I have also tried to avoid acting spitefully towards Allie. I do say things in private conversations to people that I trust where I think Allie has done very wrong things, but they would also tell you in those conversations, I am clear that I want the best for her. Check my Facebook for the past several months when all of this was going on and I said nothing.

Why did I come out? Because last Saturday we thought she was in danger and I knew part of explaining that would sadly be sharing about the divorce. I did not want to do that. I will not be talking about that now though. Just please pray for her. She is in God’s hands either way.

While I have been doing a series on eschatology however, I do plan on doing a series on divorce now to to share what it is like, especially as I am going through it while the emotions are still fresh. I will talk about learning to rebuild my life and about also how yes, I am planning on remarrying someday.

The best thing I would tell you to do is honestly pray for Allie. I have had some of you come to me who have known and said you have to unfriend or ask if you can. If you think you need to, I will not stop you. That is your choice and I bear nothing against you.

For my friends who are happily married now, I hope to be where you are again someday soon. Please do enjoy it and take the time to cherish one another. You have a gift.

I appreciate prayers for me also in all of this and any concern that has been shown. Again, I never wanted to say this. I always strived to be the best husband I can be. As a gamer mindset, whenever I do something, I want to do the best at it and having a wife, I wanted to be the best I could be and love my wife with all that I had. Today, I have no hatred towards her and in all of this, I have tried to act without animosity and trust in God.

I also ask prayers for her family, her parents and brother. They are going through a hard time as well. I was told when they went to her neighborhood Saturday, they were looking around frantically doing anything they could to try to find her. Mothers out there I am sure can especially relate. If your baby was lost and you didn’t know where she was, no matter how old she is, you are going to be concerned.

A divorce series is one I never wanted to write, but now I will have to. I hope seriously it will be a service to someone else going through a divorce and hopefully even better, could stop some divorces and encourage people to work on their own marriages. I have nothing against marriage.

If anything, I am also trying to live my life by this dictum. The best revenge is a life well-lived. I do not want to be a victim. I want to go out and enjoy my life and that includes marriage again. I try to remember happiness is a choice and I am making it my resolve to succeed all the more. I don’t want my life to be a waste.

This experience will not be one also. I sincerely want to help others who are doing the same. My friend who is helping me was helped by someone else who had been there through his divorce, and hopefully, I will someday be helping someone else. Maybe I already am by this blog.

Thanks, everyone for your concern. Please do remember to pray for Allie. Also, I hate to say it as I said earlier, but if you do want to join me on the journey, you can subscribe to Deeper Waters Apologetics on YouTube and support through Patreon. I really hate doing that, but it is the hand that I have to deal with now.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Update on Allie

How’s it going? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So I figured today I would just do a quick thing and let you all know how Allie has been doing. I don’t know how much longer she’s going to be in this place exactly so don’t ask please, but the fundraising is still going on. Some people have sent in checks and those don’t show up on GoFundMe. At this point, we have about $18,000 to go in fundraising. You can make your donations here.

Allie has been in there for about a month or so now. I’m actually incredibly surprised. I was under the suspicion that she would be reaching out to us and complaining about how her experience has been. So far, I have not heard about her doing that. She normally wants to get out of mental hospitals, but this place is quite different.

She posts regularly on Facebook about her progress if you’re friends with her here. I have been pleased to hear about the amount of discipline she has developed while there. I haven’t got to have a family session yet with her, but when the time comes, I definitely want to commend this place on how they’ve done.

She has even got on Instagram, which really surprised me since I thought she wouldn’t want to again, and has created a page. Just look up the name d1v1n3_artistry. She’s doing great work with her make-up. Even better, she’s wanting to work a lot more on Christian character, to which the inner beauty makes her outer beauty all the more glorious.

I remember sometime before Allie went to this place talking on the phone with her and her priest. I was there when he talked to her mother after about how he wanted to do some fundraising as well and said his reasons were very selfish. He wants to see her get well. If that’s what selfish is, I certainly hope we encounter a lot more selfish people.

Some of you have donated anonymously. That’s fine. I understand it. I cannot think you online directly. Some of you, I don’t know. I have tried to make it an effort to thank people who have donated. If you have and I have not, please realize sometimes I do miss people and it’s nothing against you really. I appreciate anyone who has made a donation.

Definitely in all of this, I appreciate your prayers. These go not just for Allie, but also for her parents and myself. We who are the family are going through this walk as well and wondering how the story is going to be playing out from this point.

I have been making it a point to pray not just for Allie’s health but her holiness. My best man at our wedding gave us a toast and said that health is not guaranteed, but may you always be holy. I am working hard to deal with my own issues while Allie is in this place and thinking about what she means to me. My thanks to so many of you who have reached out in this time.

If you want to send Allie something directly, you can do so at the address below. Remember that anything you get is I’m sure opened by the staff there before Allie can see it, so don’t worry about any wrapping. Even something like an Amazon gift card can greatly help her.

Allie Peters
1961 N DRUID HILLS RD NE
ATLANTA, GA 30329-1807

Thank you all for your consideration in this time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Ten

What’s going on today? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters.

Ten is tin. That might sound like a weird playing of the English language, but it’s actually an accurate statement. I looked it up not too long ago. A marriage anniversary for 50 years is the golden one and 25 is the silver. Ten is the, well, tin.

Today marks ten years with the love of my life. It’s been an interesting ten years. Those years have had good times and bad times. We’ve had romantic times and hard arguments. We’ve had love and hostilities at times. In other words, our marriage has been much like anyone else’s in so many ways.

Marriage changes you. You learn about love and sacrifice. You learn what it means to give and what it means to receive. You learn in many ways also what you are really like. Someone said years ago that when you marry, God holds a big mirror right up in front of you and says “This is what you’re really like!”

And in some ways, I have seen what I am like. When I am upset with Allie over something she has done to me or something else in her life, I am reminded before too long “And how are you any different?”

You learn a lot about beauty as well. For me, for several years, I have been a big fan of natural beauty. I still am. I never understood make-up. I never cared for it. Now I’m married to a woman who after marrying decides she wants to study cosmetology. What have I found? I have grown to appreciate what she does with make-up. Why? Because that is her and she is working on bringing out her beauty. I always stress that make-up can never make her beautiful. It just brings out the beauty that is already there.

I have also realized what it means to truly be captivated by a woman’s beauty. A few years ago we were in a Wal-Mart and Allie saw an inexpensive dress and wanted to try it on. I had no objections! I love a woman in a dress and I hadn’t seen Allie in one in years. I’m waiting outside the dressing room and when she comes out, my jaw drops. I can hardly believe that this is my wife.

She still stuns me. We recently got a romper for her and she’s stunning in it. She also recently got this shirt that has a nice lace pattern on the top of it and I just look at her so many times and wonder what on Earth I did to get such a beautiful woman in my life.

That can also bring us to intimate matters. Some guys have the idea that sex is better than intimacy. This is false. You can have sex conceivably with someone and have it just be a physical action and not intimate at all. I have come to see sex as a gateway to intimacy or a result of the intimacy we already have. I have learned to see what it means to respect and treasure a woman’s body. It is always a gift. Anytime I get with Allie is always brand new and I am always amazed by her.

Let’s also talk about our faith in this. Allie has recently been exploring Eastern Orthodoxy. At first, I was not a fan of the idea. Now, my attitude has softened. I’ve come to know her priest well and there is a great mutual respect between the two of us. One thing I like is that he was hesitant about receiving her into the church because he didn’t want to come between our covenant. She’s still not received, but I appreciated that. I consider her priest a friend. I disagree with the Orthodox community still in many ways, but I also see them as my people. I can go to the church and get along and enjoy communicating with the people. They can know I’m the token Protestant and that’s okay.

My wife’s spirituality is something I admire. Lately, she has been reading more of the Bible and I have heard her reading it out loud as she does. This is a new approach to me and I get something out of it. I admire her willingness to set aside this time.

Generally when we pray at night, I lead it, but I really love it when she prays out loud. I’m sure if she’s reading this she’s feeling embarrassed now, but her approach to God is just so real. My temptation is always to talk like a theologian and bring in my theology. She really approaches God like a child.

When God seems absent in her life, she really feels it. When things seem wrong and she’s angry with God, she’s really angry. I get jealous of that sometimes. In either case, she is taking her relationship with God super seriously and I really admire it.

Allie is also a great listener. One of our friends back in Knoxville once said to us together, “Nick. I love you man and you’re a great guy, but if I need an ear I’m going to talk to your wife first because she’s so much better at that.” She is. I don’t dispute that. I say that in our marriage, I’m the head and she’s the heart.” If you need an answer to your problem and want advice, come to me. If you want an ear, come to her.

This isn’t just with her friends. If someone hurts Allie, I’m usually ready to dispense with them and I’m tempted to plan out how my revenge will be. Allie isn’t like that. Recently, someone at our apartment complex hurt her greatly, but I know that if this person called and was in a crisis state, Allie would drop everything she was doing and rush over there and help.

By the way people, with that, if you have a prayer request also, present it to her before me. She will remember it better than I will and when we pray she will remind me of it. She will also take it much more seriously. Allie does have much more of a heart for the hurting than I do.

Many of you know about our cat, Shiro. The reason we have him is her. She had that great compassion on him and wanted to give him a home. So far we have also provided one home to a stray cat here by finding someone at my church who took him in. Allie has a great love for animals.

She’s also been getting into cooking. This is something I need to work on because I have a food phobia honestly, which can happen on the spectrum. Therefore, I don’t eat much of what she cooks, again, what I need to work on, but what I need is great. Allie makes the best pizza I know of hands-down. She makes breadsticks that give Olive Garden a run for her money. She’s recently got into fixing grilled cheese sandwiches again and now they have become a staple of my diet. I haven’t had it, but her mentor told her on her first attempt at making chicken alfredo that she had never had some that was as good as what Allie made.

Let’s return to that thing about make-up and talk about her heart there. What’s one of the goals she has with make-up? She wants to be able to go to the hospital to children who have burns or other conditions like that and be able to make them feel beautiful for a day. Honestly, I wouldn’t have thought about something like that. I suspect there are many people in the field of cosmetology who haven’t considered that. For Allie, it’s one of her very first considerations.

So today marks ten years with a woman who is still amazing me after all this time together. I anticipate she’s not done yet. Everything we have gone through has been worth it. Just yesterday I went to the mailbox and saw an anniversary card from my parents addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Nick Peters. It’s a reality. This woman shares my name.

And today, she has shared it for ten years.

Happy Anniversary, Princess! You are the most beautiful woman I know inside and out.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Why is such a day important? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Some of you hate this day, and I get it. I used to as well. Then in 2009, Allie came into my life. We spent our first Valentine’s Day together with some snow on the ground and having her Dad take pictures of us outside of her house. I got her a Kingdom Hearts necklace and we went to see Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief.

It always reminds me that love is a gift. Some of you who aren’t married might have various thoughts about it. Many guys will think to the idea that it’s okay to have sex now. That’s an awesome gift, no doubt, but there is more to it than that.

I also enjoy many simple things with Allie. Sitting down and watching YouTube or Hulu together. Going on a Pokemon raid with her or playing some other game. A drive together where we just talk about meaningless matters sometimes. It can be enjoyable sometimes when she gets into a Facebook debate and I jump in and we do it together. Just run of the mill teasing every day is a delight. As I said, while sex is great, just getting to sleep together in the same bed and wake up together is a gift.

Scripture says we become one, and it’s absolutely right. Many of you know a few years ago we had a car crash where it was sadly my fault and someone ran into the car on Allie’s side. We went to separate rooms at the same hospital and when she came to me the first time there, I was in tears I think and kept saying “I could have lost you.” Sometimes after that, she would hear me crying some and ask what was wrong and I would tell her I was thinking about that and how I could have lost her. It really opens your eyes to what someone means to you.

Allie has also become my standard of female beauty. She is the woman who truly takes my breath away. I look over at her sometimes and just think “How on Earth did I get such a beautiful woman?” Amusingly, I’m not the only one who thinks that. I have been told that when my sister was with my mother before my mother ever met Allie, my sister showed her some of Allie’s pictures on Facebook and my Mom said, “Good grief. How did he get a girl like her?”

I take it as a compliment. I still don’t know.

Today, it is a great gift to have love, but as Christ says, it is even better to give than to receive. I love that I have someone I can share all the love I have with. Allie has done so much to teach me what it means to really love someone and made me a better Christian and a better man in the process.

Happy Valentine’s Day to the love of my life. May we have many more together.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The One Year Chip

What does it take to overcome? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Last night was a momentous night for my wife. She and I are part of Celebrate Recovery and my wife has a battle against self-harm. This is where you take a blade of some kind such as a pair of scissors. You then cut yourself. Why would anyone do that? When I first heard about it, it made no sense, but for people like this, it becomes a way of releasing endorphins and short circuits any anxieties that they have. Of course, there are dangers. Those in the medical profession could say more, but one I have frequently been told about is staph infections.

Allie has been in a battle with this and while many times she came close to the one year mark, she always fell short somewhere along the way and had to start all over again. As the time drew closer to this, she got more and more nervous afraid she was going to blow it. Fortunately, she did no such thing.

Yesterday, we went to see a friend of ours from our Protestant Church who is a cosmetologist. She had agreed to help Allie with her make-up for the big presentation last night. Allie said later it was one of the rare nights in her life that she felt beautiful. She took a picture of herself on the way to the event.

We got there and I opened the door to the church telling everyone to greet Miss America. So many people were amazed with how she looked. For me, I told her regularly to remember there was a man who said she was beautiful all along and that was without make-up.

In the end, Allie did get her one year chip. She had been of the mindset many times that she wouldn’t make it. At one point, she was really tempted and said, “Who cares about a stupid chip?” At times last night, I told her, “Well, honey, isn’t it just a stupid chip?” She knew what I was talking about and had to concede it wasn’t.

Some of you might be thinking it is just a stupid chip. It’s not. It’s a symbol. It’s a token of a victory that one has had over temptation and sin. Let’s be clear also that definitely addictions come from sin and cutting is such a case. So let’s see that one year chip.

Her Dad also came for the event.

And here she is again with her chip.

If there’s any great lesson I told Allie to get from this, it’s one we all need to hear. Tell that inner voice to shut up. We all know that voice. It’s the voice that condemns us and tells us to give up and that we’re not good enough and that we’ll never make it or whatever it says for you. Last night, Allie showed that inner voice that it was wrong. Hopefully, it will happen consistently.

And that can happen for you as well. If you are struggling with an addiction of some kind, please go to Celebrate Recovery and enroll there. If you are struggling with cutting, definitely go and do that. You are loved just as you are by God, and Allie would tell you it was only through reliance on God that she got this chip.

Princess. Please also know that your husband is super proud of you and remember that he has also always said you’re beautiful even before the make-up. Your true beauty comes from within and it makes your exterior so much more amazing. You are the woman who captivates me to this day still and I love you greatly.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

My Wife And Emotional Commitment

What does it mean to connect? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I hate to tell you all this, but I am not the husband I should be being. If you watched on Facebook and wondered why I stopped posting to my wife, it’s not because my love died for her one bit, but it’s because it seemed to be more of a show to her and the substance behind the scenes wasn’t all I thought it should be. As it turns out, she hasn’t felt emotionally connected for years and it has been heartbreaking to realize this.

Allie had a hard day yesterday and when we went to bed, we prayed and then we just started talking. Allie takes medications at night and one purpose of one medication is to help her sleep. Because of that, we don’t do anything that will go against that, so that means that once she takes her medicine, nothing sexual will happen. That is then off the table.

So what did we do? We found ourselves just talking. Allie goes to bed early and we went to bed at 8:30. I normally stay up and do some work after that. While I do value that time, tonight, I got a lot more.

As a man, I can too often be pushing for sexual fulfillment way too much. Allie insists I need to wait and let her come to me, but I sadly have a tendency to be boneheaded and not listen. When it was off the table, I found I got something incredibly fulfilling in just talking together. That doesn’t mean I didn’t from time to time give a hug or a kiss, but it was something simple, something that could have been done while we were just dating.

I found my wife amazing in so many ways. She is really one of the strongest women I know if not the strongest. She recently shared on her Instagram a picture called Healer’s Journey. Take a look for yourself.

This is my wife. No matter what pain she is going through, she has care for so many people who come to her, much more than I do. The reality is many of you don’t know what goes on with her. Inside her head every day it is a battle. Every day she has the hardest voices tearing her apart. She resists temptations so much that you and I never really can think about.

Sadly, she takes upon herself the weight of the world often and when she sees people around her in pain, she feels personally responsible. She feels used to being neglected and abandoned and alone and sadly, I fear I have treated her the same way at times unintentionally. Many of you don’t really know what is going on inside of her, but rest assured when she is giving to you, she is often in a place of pain herself.

She lives with a constant perfectionism for instance inside of her and never thinks she’s good enough. This can affect her Christian walk as every sin seems to be unacceptable. In a sense it is, but she does have a struggle with grace. Still, when I see her hungering for God so much and praying for more of Him, I can often think there is something missing in me. It’s easy for me to just come to God with my list of the things I want. Allie is different. She truly wants to come to the table just for the one seated at the table.

This is causing me to look at my own prayer life differently and my own Christian walk. Seeing the way I have unintentionally mistreated her over the years is causing me to look at how others are and have more grace and mercy. Some things Allie has said to me lately would normally get me in anger immediately, but they haven’t been. I’ve had to look at myself a lot more.

I’ve told her that lately, she has given me a great gift. She has given me the opportunity to humble myself. I stress the opportunity aspect because she can’t humble me like that. Humility has to be an act on my own part. I can assure any reader that I take no delight in any sort of self-humiliation on my part here, but I do take delight in getting to tell you more about her.

The thing about her is she really cares. I am convinced that one day she will be a beacon of hope to so many people. I have apologetics and it’s good to answer questions and they need to be answered, but she has a story and I think a story will connect a whole lot more for many other people. She has a story that it will be very hard to argue against.

So today, I want to give this as a tribute to the woman I love so much, my Princess Allie Peters. This is a woman who is giving me an opportunity to have a deeper walk with Christ and take a look at myself and sacrifice my own pride for a greater cause. This is a woman who makes me want to be a better Christian just by being herself. This is a woman who still loves me for some odd reason though I have done much to not deserve it. Her love is a gift that I could never earn, but like I plan to do with God’s love, may I spend the rest of my life showing how much it means to me.

Love you, Princess. Thank God for what you are being used to do in my life and thank you for your willingness to be used by God.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Should we enjoy the gift of love? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I used to hate Valentine’s Day. I really did. It was a reminder that I was single and alone in the world. I know you can all say you have friends and you have God, but even when it was man and God, God said it was not good for man to be alone. That was me. I was alone.

Last night, I was getting ready for bed and thinking that I am not alone. For the past 9 prior Valentine’s Days, I have not been alone. I go to bed next to my beautiful wife every Valentine’s Day now. We have spent the past few years building our lives together.

Love is a gift. It is a gift between two people who seek the good of one another. Interestingly in marriage, the good of one another is the other person. In friendships, we can say it’s the company the person provides or a function we serve together or a hobby we enjoy together. In marriage only is it directly that the other person themselves is the gift. It is in marriage that we have the most embodied love as marriage needs the two bodies to come together.

I often tell my wife that my favorite Valentine’s Day gift is her. I mean it. As a man, no gift compares to the love of my wife, but it is more than her physical being. Her physicalness comes with her emotions and her trust in me and her desire for me. All of this is quite powerful.

This is also the idea of God. God designed love and He designed marriage. This isn’t some dirty effect of the fall that we need to move past. The systems were designed for this purpose and God made man and woman to love one another in a unique way.

The romance between the man and the woman also is a picture of the love of God for the church. Everything that we see here is in essence God flirting with us. Picture any good that you have and this is just a clue. It is a hint of what God has coming for us.

When you read accounts of people who have near-death experiences an aspect of Heaven that keeps coming back is beauty. So it is that even here in romantic love, beauty is such a great draw. When I have to think of what is the most beautiful sight I have ever seen, it’s no contest. My wife is the most beautiful sight I have ever seen and I admire the handiwork of the creator when I see her.

As it stands, I gave Allie a board game and a game for the Switch for Valentine’s Day today. We had an early lunch date earlier this week and today we’re going to go see Alita: Battle Angel thanks to the donation of some Fandango gift cards to us by a friend of our ministry. Whatever you do today, celebrate the one you love. For those still waiting and wanting, have hope please. I know it seems hard, but I was there once and it seemed hopeless too. Still, it happened, and there is some truth that it happens when you least expect it.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The Importance Of Connection

What does it mean to really connect with someone? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Some time ago, I wrote a blog post on how I realized I have not been the husband I need to be for my wife. My wife has told me that she hasn’t felt an emotional connection on a regular basis for a few years. This has been very hard on me as a husband who thought I was connecting with my wife, but I have learned a lot from it and I wanted to write some more on it.

You see, we all have something in us that we need and some things that we want. Man was not made to be in isolation. Even if a man or a woman never marries, isolation is not an option, especially for a Christian. There are no Lone Ranger Christians. In Christ is a community of people. It is supposed to be that when one of us hurts, all of us hurt.

When man is created in the garden in a pristine paradise place, he has all that he needs except companionship. Notice that this is in a state when one could say his only companion is God. Even then, God realizes that the man wants something different, and God is not giving in to a sinful desire. There was no sin at the time on man’s part.

Now we live in a fallen and sinful world, and sometimes, those desires that are good are still there, but they can get out of order. Now there is the great danger of using people. When a normal man sees a beautiful woman, there is the desire on his part to have sex. I am not saying that the desire is itself wrong. What you do with the desire, say lust, can be. Sex is a good thing and God made it to be desired.

The problem for us men is that we can very easily use a woman like that. Even if you’re married, if the only time you really show affection to your wife is before the bedroom when you’re expecting sex, in the bedroom during, or afterward, you’re likely to make her think that’s all she’s good for. Now I don’t think that’s what I was doing honestly, but if my Allie feels that way, I want to take it seriously.

So I have thought a lot lately about connection. There have been times now where I have come to Allie and just listened to her. The touching at these points is non-sexual. We’re just talking. I also try to use the SET UP principles for her with BPD. I try to sympathize, empathize, and then give the truth. I have enjoyed these times really. They also tell me that when the times of physical connection return, they will be deeper.

You see, I read something in a marriage book years ago that told husbands that before you touch your wife’s body, you must touch her heart. Now silly me, I thought I was doing an excellent job of that. Turns out, I wasn’t. We men usually want that physical connection first and then we feel the emotional connection. Generally, for women, it’s opposite.

Who can blame them? We men normally have the higher drive and guys, in essence, your wife is the one who is putting herself in a vulnerable position. She is the one having something enter into her body. Not you. Women also are often put in the position of being victimized for their beauty. It’s not a fair position, but it is the position that they’re in. The pornography industry hasn’t helped that.

And women, you need to realize this. To us men, you are gorgeous. There is no site more appealing than the human female form. Any time I get to see my wife’s body to me is all-new. I am amazed and it’s natural to thank God that He made women so beautiful.

But there’s more beauty to her to me than that. my wife is just that lovely. I can look at every inch of her and be delighted. It’s also more than just the body. I have seen her inner person and see her as beautiful there.

And you know what? That connection makes me want to be a better person. There’s something to that. Whatever you form a connection to, you will truly become more like.

In my experience as an apologist, it’s really easy to emphasize the intellectual. Some people I know who are like this have said they can’t imagine being married to someone who is not an intellectual. Now Allie is not an idiot of course, but the intellect is not her strong suit. She’s much more emotionally centered. It would be easy to look at her and think she doesn’t know all the theological stuff I do, and I think it could help her to get more of that, but I have to realize there are ways I don’t hold a candle to her.

For example, when Allie feels like God is absent in her life, it’s unbearable for her in many ways. She longs for that so much. I think the Psalm about the deer panting for the water describes her well. I look at her and think “Why don’t I have that?”

I also like it when I hear her pray. Allie praying is just like a child talking to her father. It’s sweet and it makes me think that’s how it should be. I took this so seriously in Allie that I started contacting someone and told them I wanted them to help me be better at prayer.

I still have a lot of work to do to get to that level.

Allie is also the most real person I know. She might not tell you the whole truth, but she won’t lie to you either. She tells it how it is.

She’s also someone who genuinely cares about others. Just last night we were walking in a comic book store before a group we were going to go to and I see some people playing the new Super Smash Brothers. I ask to play one of them. When we’re done, (By the way, it was close, but I sadly lost) Allie wishes them a Merry Christmas. I hadn’t even thought of doing that. Later on when I tell her that impresses me she says, “I’m just trying to give them a little bit of Christ in my own way.”

Yeah. Here I am the one in ministry and I think often she thinks about this more than I do.

When we used to see her psychiatrist together, she would always ask him “How’s your back?” He has some back pain. Honestly, it never occurred to me and if it did, I hate to say it, but I probably wouldn’t care enough to ask. Allie does.

And when I see this in her, I want to be more like that. I already have made some changes. Allie I hope would tell you that I am not being the way I have been in the past. Normally, I tend to be all over her. Why? Because as a man, I think about sex a lot and to me, that is a great expression of love for my wife and the biggest one I think I can make. She doesn’t think the same way.

This whole thing has also taught me about something. It’s easy in a marriage to blame the other person for what goes wrong. I was here thinking that Allie just wasn’t interested in me when she wasn’t eager to be with me. It wasn’t that. Allie just didn’t feel emotionally close and when she doesn’t feel that, it’s hard for her to want to give herself. She feels used.

Pro-tip then. In a relationship, no matter what kind but especially marriage, always look at yourself first and see what you can do to change. Also, try to do the loving thing anyway. Why do I establish an emotional connection with my wife? So I can go to the bedroom? No. Because that is what she needs and she wants to feel close to me. The physical connection is how I feel closest to her. On her end, she needs to do that. On mine, I need to do that. It’s always easy to look at what will work out best for us and what will help us and protect us and meet our needs. The way of love calls us to do otherwise, to seek to meet the needs of the other first. I am to establish an emotional connection with her regardless of what she does with me.

On friendships, we often connect on a deeper level. C.S. Lewis said many friendships begin with “You too? I thought I was the only one.” When I lived in Charlotte, I had a roommate with me I had met on TheologyWeb. How did our friendship begin? He saw me post a post there that impressed him and sent me a message with an avatar he made for me with a message like “I don’t know if you like Final Fantasy, but this is a character from a game in the series.” I am a huge Final Fantasy fan and we formed a fast friendship. Even this morning, we have been chatting on Messenger. What about? Final Fantasy.

We all want these connections. Of course, we have to be careful with how much we give someone. No matter how much I might value the friendship of a different woman, I will not improve that relationship by giving myself physically to her. That is only reserved for my wife.

And what about connection with God? I said if you seek to connect with someone, you will become more like that person. I think that applies to God also. Do you want to be a person of love? Seek to connect to Jesus. How about hope? How about truth? How about justice? Whatever virtuous quality you want, you can find it in Him.

If you connect with Him, you will be more like Him. After all, if you want to be hot, you go sit by the fire. If you want to be wet, you take a shower or go swimming. If you want to cool off, you step outside in the snow or turn on a fan. If you want to be holy, you go to one who is holy.

You also go and hang out with people who are what you want to be like. That’s one more reason friendship is so important. It’s also why my wife is so important to me. In many ways, I do want to be like her. I want to have more of a heart like her’s. Now is her heart perfect? Of course not. Could she bear to have more emotional strength to not be hurt by so many other things? Sure. But if she had too much, she could be cold. It’s a fine line.

And I think honestly in our marriage, we have a tendency because we are so different to build each other up where we are weak. I often say in our marriage if you want an answer to a question, come to me because I am the intellectual one. If you want sympathy in it, you need to talk to her. One of our friends has bluntly told me this. Allie is a better listener than I am.

I think Allie does need more of a foundation intellectually for how she lives, but I think I need more of her heart. The good news is I have her and that can help me get that heart that I need because as much as my ego doesn’t want to admit it, I think her heart is in many ways more like Jesus’ than mine is.

So to my married friends, realize the importance of connection. Guys. Make sure you’re not treating your wife like just a body. You want that physical connection and that’s good and right, but don’t give that to the exclusion of all others. For women, please realize how important that physical connection is to a man. Many times if you want the other stuff, it can help your man to meet the physical needs, because otherwise, that could be all that he’s thinking about.

And whatever you do, follow the path of love. Do the right thing. If your spouse doesn’t reciprocate at times, that’s their problem.

After all, Christ does the right thing by us always and we don’t always respond as we should.

Show that grace to others.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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