Divorce and the Future

Where do you go from here? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

When you marry someone, you make a promise to them that they will have a central aspect in your life until the day one of you dies. Love is a choice. You promise to love. You do not promise to have a feeling for the rest of your life. You promise to live in such a way to celebrate that person.

When that changes, everything else changes. I suppose the closest analogy I could come up with would be losing a child, and I do not speak from experience. Parents have plans for their children and build up a college fund and everything else for them, and then if that child dies, which is not expected, what do you do with all of that?

So it is with being single again. Now granted because of situations Allie and I could not both hold jobs, but I have to work on a budget again, which that part granted wasn’t hard for me. I have known how to do that. I have heard that in marriages, normally one person is a spender and one is a saver. I’m the saver.

At the same time, you wonder about your future relationships. As a man, one aspect that definitely changes is that you have to learn it’s okay to turn your desires towards other women and realize you could be with one of them someday. You also have to realize as a Christian that unless you remarry, sex is now something that is again forbidden. I understand the temptation to turn to porn for some and I am thankful I have managed to resist that.

For each of us, our personal questions will be different. One of my first goals is getting to be out on my own again. I am an independently minded person so either I find a way that I can afford to move out on my own, which right now will cost $3,000 a month. That’s because average rent is $1,000 a month and you need to make three times that. I do have a Patreon (link below) for that and I ultimately hope to make enough through YouTube videos and writing that I can do that full-time.

What about relationships with other women? This is something really difficult, especially if you’re 41. If you’re in your 20’s or even early 30’s, there are normally plenty of candidates available. It’s much harder as you get older. Put in being on the spectrum and not understanding social cues and it gets harder. I could have someone flirting right in front of me and I might not even recognize it.

Not only that, divorce can be a stigma. Some people could rule me out because of it. I understand it as if someone is divorced, then there is a story and you wonder why. The problem is some people don’t bother to find out what that story is.

All of these are once again, unknowns. It’s tempting to wonder if matters will ever change. Unfortunately, such worry does no good. I have to instead choose to get up and face every day. I will either conquer what lies before me or be conquered by it.

One other aspect I have to consider is charges of abuse. Yes. She has made them, but I really don’t think they will come to any fruition. I have plenty of people, including her parents. Still, if you learn something from the gaming world, it’s that you have to be prepared for every contingency.

None of this also means any animosity towards her. I try to remember that she has some severe mental issues and I hope that she believes what she believes from serious delusion instead of willful dishonesty. I really hope the best for her.

What does my future hold? I don’t know. I never would have thought it would hold divorce, but I have to trust God is still in charge. I still want to play a role in the Kingdom and I don’t want to let anything stop me.

Thank you to all of you who have supported me on this painful journey, fellow travelers.

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

Divorce as Rejection

What ultimately is divorce? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have my laptop back and everything looks to be working fine, so let’s jump back into this topic. When it gets down to it, what is the #1 pain of divorce? If I could sum it up in one word, it would be rejection.

Many of us have experienced a break-up in our lives or have asked someone out and been told no, and those can compare, but divorce is just so much worse. Divorce is when someone makes a promise to you and then breaks it. Divorce is when in a marriage you have given everything you have to someone and they have said that it wasn’t good enough.

For me, this has hit quite hard as if you asked my parents about me growing up, I always wanted a woman in my ilfe, and this was long before I knew about the birds and the bees. I never had that faze in my life where girls were icky and had cooties or anything like that. I can still remember the first crush I had was back in elementary school in Transition and that lasted all through elementary school.

I also had got used to being told no later on when I would ask any girl out. No. No. No. I still want to roll my eyes when I hear a lady say something like “I just want a nice guy who cares about me and my feelings.” Let’s face it. We’re all a bit superficial at times and those looks play a big role in it. I would just prefer the honesty.

So when she came into my life and was interested in me, it was something incredible. I had never once encountered a girl that was actually desiring of me. Not only that, she didn’t get turned off by the Aspie traits that I have. Everyone who saw us thought we were the best couple. My best man at the wedding in his toast said he didn’t think there were two people more suited for each other. The counselor doing our pre-marital counseling said he had only met seven couples he thought were a match made in Heaven and we were one of those couples.

And yet something went wrong.

Did I make mistakes? Obviously. Everyone does. Only a fool says he goes into a marriage and makes no mistakes. Anything worthy of this? Not a bit. The message given is that things were so bad with me that she thought she had to break her promise to God to escape.

Now I realize that sometimes people divorce over issues like divorce and adultery being done. In that case, the party that divorces when their spouse is unfaithful in that way is responding to a rejection already. I recommend trying to work things out if possible, but if the other party isn’t willing, there’s nothing you can do.

Today, I notice that I am very sensitive to rejection. It’s different for different people. A girl I used to go to DivorceCare with said once the ultimate one breaks the promise and rejects, the other rejections don’t really hurt anymore. For me, they do. They remind me of that rejection.

I used to tell people I was on the spectrum and have no problem with it. Now I do it and get nervous beforehand worried that they will reject me. If I make a mistake at my job, I am sure for some time that I will be fired. It hasn’t happened yet, but that is still there. I do try to approach women, but I am still again sensitive to any hint of rejection.

Rejection is so painful because the message given is not just your actions but that you as a person are inadequate. You are not good enough. I find this ironic since what she always complained about was other people saying she wasn’t good enough. Now who is the one saying that?

By the way, I want to stress that while I am honest about her behavior when I speak of it, I am not trying to speak ill of her honestly. For her, I really do want the best for her. I want her to have a holy and happy life eventually. I do have my concerns about that, but I try to eliminate any animosity. That doesn’t do me any good after all.

My DivorceCare leader and I had a discussion a few months ago that covered rejection. I told him that I didn’t understand when he said he wanted me to speak less, but was always praising other people when they spoke. That was one thing among many. He thanked me for sharing and said “I thought you knew that I was encouraging them because they were new. I didn’t realize you didn’t see it that way.” In truth, I didn’t. It felt like a rejection every time.

I also realize that ultimately, this is not an issue with other people. This is an issue with me. I cannot demand that other people change to fit my happiness. None of us can. Anyone has a right and freedom to reject me if they wish. It could be wrong perhaps, but it is their choice. I also have a right to not accept everyone who comes to me. I have a desire to remarry, but I don’t want to remarry someone who isn’t a Christian.

I do know that at my workplace I will soon be able to have health insurance. I have a therapist already, but one of my plans is also to get a psychiatrist then so I can work on the issues that I am dealing with and if need be, get medication. I wonder if I might have a form of PTSD from everything I went through and I think a psychiatrist can best determine that.

Now some of you might be tempted to go all spiritual on me and say “Well God accepts you. Isn’t that good enough?” In a sense, it should be for all of us, but God also made us social creatures. We are not meant to be alone. Even in the most glorious state in creation for man, it was not good for man to be alone. When our Lord walked this Earth, He had friends. Could there not be a hint of the pain of rejection in his words when he says to His disciples in John 6, “Will you go also?”

If I desire friends in my life and don’t want to be rejected, will anyone really tell me that’s wrong? If I desire for even strangers to like me and not reject me, is that wrong? If I also, which I do, desire a lady in my life to share my journeys with, will anyone say that that is wrong? These are all desires that I think are God-given so we should celebrate them and try to meet them.

Can this kind of thing be taken too far? Yes. That is something that I have to work on on my end, but at the same time try to better myself for my interactions with other people. I have read some books on interacting socially lately to try to work on this all the more. I can easily say I don’t ever want to go through the pain that divorce brings and is bringing again.

I say bringing because everything I do around me often is a reminder of it. When I go to bed at night, there’s no one lying next to me or no one who can reach over and touch me or vice-versa. She was the only person who I really craved the touch of. I live with my parents again now and I don’t even like it if they touch me.

When I am at work, I wonder if I would be where I was if she hadn’t rejected me. When I find myself going out there trying to make friends again and trying to win the heart of a lady, i often think about what I have lost. Yes. Despite the wrong that has done, I have lost something.

The Scripture says the two become one flesh. How can you become one flesh with someone and then when they are gone not have a real loss? When you marry, so much of your life becomes integral around another person and then that person says they don’t want you anymore? What are you to think of that? In some sense, does your identity not come into question?

I look through Facebook memories and so many times, I see myself making a post on how much she means to me. In the comments, I can sometimes see her talking about how much she will always be devoted to me and always love me and how thankful she is. Yep. That stings every time I see it.

I had a coworker ask me about animes recently. I don’t remember what brought it up, but that was hard to talk about. After all, the main person I know about those through is her.

When you’re 41 also, it’s much harder to find someone who is in your age range who is still looking for someone for marriage. Put in all my eccentricities and it can become even harder. Still, I think it’s worth it. I have a therapist working with me in this regard, but it is difficult.

If you’re in a marriage and struggling, please do try to work out your struggles. Aside from abuse and adultery, divorce should be a last option. It is a great pain to the person who is being rejected. I have met people who have lost a spouse to divorce and death and to a person, I think aside from just one maybe, all of them said divorce was worse.

Yes. Divorce is worse than death.

It’s worse I think because it’s an ongoing living death. You know the other person is out there and has intentionally acted in this way to get away from you. This person has decided that you are unlovable. Now I still maintain that if you think your neighbor is unlovable, the real deficiency is in you and not in them, but that doesn’t change that it hurts.

Yet I think the more I stay hidden away and don’t get myself out there, the more I am just bringing that rejection on myself. As I go out in the world, will I still get rejected? Obviously. Whether it’s for friendship or a date or a job interview, it will always hurt, but that’s life. You can’t control that other people will do hurtful things to you, but you are in control of how you respond to them. I have to make a deliberate choice to choose to overcome. Everyone has their choice to make. I also have mine.

Thank you for all who have been supporting me on this journey, fellow travelers.

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

 

 

Divorce and Loneliness

How does divorce affect your social life? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

You can be in a room full of people and feel alone. I am not a social being majorly, but I do need to have a few people around. I have times where I want to talk to a friend deeply. I have times where I want to know that I matter to people. Sometimes I can be at work and honestly feel like no one there cares about me.

Something that really changes when you get married is it’s rarely that you get together with your friends anymore. Instead, you and your spouse get together with another couple. When you get divorced, you lose that. All of a sudden, you’re doing things with friends again and it’s just you. It’s not someone else you share with. You don’t drive home from a meeting with another couple discussing how it went. You don’t drive home from church or Celebrate Recovery or a place like that discussing how the sermon was or what happened in group. Nothing.

I come home at the end of the workday and I go to bed. My parents are waiting for me, but I assure you that’s nowhere near like having a wife waiting for you. I remember how amazing it was when we were married and I would bring Allie here for the holidays and go upstairs to my old bedroom and get to be sleeping next to my wife in my old bed. When I woke up in the morning, she was right there. That was nice. I was really living married life.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the joys of kissing, cuddling, and having sex. That’s definitely there, but marriage and sharing the bed together was so much more. Of course, I am a guy and of course, I wanted that and I still wanted it. It would be a mistake to think that was all that I cared about. That was instead a symbol of the unity we were to share together. There was only one woman I ever trusted myself to so deeply and completely.

I feel like she saw all that, took all of me, said not good enough, and rejected and even betrayed me.

That stings.

That even gives me some anger.

Anger is for another post.

When I drive anywhere, i normally drive alone. When I sit in the pew at church, even though I am sitting next to people, it is not the same.

Shiro does something cute at the house? It’s not the same. Allie and I were the only people he truly trusted and he will likely never have that with my parents and even when remarriage comes along, will he relate to a new wife of mine the same way? I don’t know. If I find a roommate while I wait, will he be the same way?

We can’t sit on the couch together and watch TV shows. If I want to play a game, she used to be there and even if she wasn’t playing, she was watching and seemed to enjoy it. Will I ever find that again?

I also want to say that sometimes people will toss out such stinging platitudes as “Work on your relationship with God and be happy in Him and God will send you someone when you are ready.” Please do not say such garbage to me. You truly have no idea how much such platitudes sting. I will be writing a blog post on statements like that in the future, but for now, don’t you dare say that to me. I don’t know a single divorced person I have talked to who likes to hear such statements. I am sure you mean well, but you are doing more harm than good.

Then you throw in the Aspergers. It’s not easy for a neurotypical woman to deal with. Most women are that. When I am on dating websites, I always wonder if this woman would understand my traits. Will she accept I am not ready to go to some restaurants because of my dietary struggles? Will she understand when I miss social cues that indicate messages she wants to send me?

Allie even told me there were three times at least when she was really in the mood and was trying to send me messages and I missed them.

I hate to think about those three precious times whatever they were….

What if I date an Aspie girl? Well, Aspergers normally hits men more than women and even then, it’s harder to find one who is a devout Christian. They do exist, but it is difficult. That’s something that made Allie seem like such a Godsend. Now that is gone.

Sometimes I go to bed at night and want to cry some. I can be holding Shiro and petting him and thinking of how lonely I am, and yet I still tell him and truly mean it, that right now he’s one of my best friends.

It’s that in losing Allie, I feel like I have lost a part of me. I have died in some way. Not only that, I have lost someone out of intent on their part. They wanted to get away from me. I was not worth it.

It is a pain you cannot understand unless you have been there.

Please don’t understand. This doesn’t mean doom and gloom for me. In some ways, I don’t mind a certain loneliness. Leave me in my room with my books and my games and I can be fine. I can play an MMORPG like Final Fantasy XIV or I can chat on Facebook or things like that.

Put me though in a social situation, like work, and it is painful at times. This is especially if I have to work in a place where I have to relate to people on a very impersonal level. I hate running a regular cashier or self check-outs where I work because I am forced into those social situations. Put me behind the counter where I am talking about financial needs and it is different. Give me work that doesn’t challenge me though and I dwell on my problems for the most part.

You’re there and you wish someone would come up to you and really mean it when they ask about what’s going on with you. I still remember how someone in my line came through and said as they left, “You should smile. God loves you.”

Another platitude. This is what prompted me to write “Be of Good Cheer”. Did it ever occur to you to maybe ask me why I don’t smile so much? Instead of being willing to care about my pain and interact with it and perhaps listen to me, no. You just gave a platitude. I am sure you meant well, but it doesn’t help.

Imagine going up to someone who just lost a child or got a cancer diagnosis and telling them, “Smile. God loves you.” Such a statement would be hollow and uncaring. There is real pain going on. There is real loneliness.

It doesn’t help that the work that I do always leaves me thinking that I want to be doing something more. I didn’t go to college for this. It can be hard when people tell me so many good things online, but when I get offline, people don’t really seem to care.

To get back to the Aspergers, I’m not just a Christian man going through a divorce. I am one on the spectrum going through it. I have a hard enough time understanding what’s going on with me with regular matters. Add this in and it’s harder.

I will say in all of this I am thankful for the blog. I know there have been concerns about me airing dirty laundry. It is not my intent. It is my intent to share real pain in the hopes of hearing someone else out there really say “Thank you. That’s exactly what I’m going through. That really helped me.”

Or even thinking about if someone said to me, “I was thinking about divorcing my husband, but I hear what you’re going through and I really want to give it one more good try in counseling before I do that. The pain of divorce is a death that keeps going every time you are reminded that you are alone. I know people who have gone through divorce and losing a spouse to death. For the most part, they all say divorce is worse.

Think about that.

Divorce is worse than death.

So many readers have got in touch with me to share encouragement. That means a lot. Looking at my blog stats, I have seen the numbers have gone up a lot on this topic. That means a lot to me. I also think it means the church needs to do more to reach people who are divorced.

That definitely means not shaming them. Sometimes, people are wrongfully divorced, and yet they are treated like they are the villain. They are not allowed to hold an office in the church or anything like that. There is a scarlet D on their chests.

Don’t think I don’t think about that with redating. I wonder what happens when I meet a girl’s parents someday. “Oh? You’re divorced.” What assumptions will be thought of about me? What if a girl has the same assumptions?

You see, I don’t want to be alone, but there’s a part of me that is also fearful of getting close again. In some ways, I have two great fears with asking a girl out.

One is that she’ll say no.

The other is that she’ll say yes.

But hey, no guts, no glory, and a woman is definitely worth it. They are the most beautiful aspects of creation and definitely worth treasuring. Love is a gift and I want it again.

Yet until then, there is the loneliness. I know I have rambled some in this, but I think the readers appreciate it and understand it. Sometimes when I am at work, I am humming a tune. Someone, I think it was Sunday night, said they recognized it and asked me what it was.

They did recognize it.

It’s from Final Fantasy IX.

It’s the opening theme.

It’s called “A Place To Call Home.”

It’s something I dream of again.

And I resonate with the statement made about Eiko in it who represents solitude.

“I don’t wanna be alone anymore.”

I realize I have to live with my parents for now, but I want a place to be on my own and independent. I want a place I can call my own. I want a place where my cat can roam inside freely. I want a place to call home.

If I get to share that home with a special woman who loves me for me and who I can love in return, that is even better.

I hear you, Eiko.

I agree with you.

I don’t want to be alone anymore either.

Loneliness stings because it is a kind of rejection. It reminds me of that rejection regularly. It feels like a failure. I may be anti-social in many ways, but there are ways I do need other people in my life and as I have said before, having a lady would be oh so special again.

Thanks to all who read this and comment. It’s good for me to do this too. I hope it helps you. I know it helps me. It’s a cathartic moment and I feel like a cross has been lifted from me to some small degree every time I post on this.

I hope it helps you out too.

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

 

How Far Is Too Far When Dating?

Is there a place to draw the line? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I host a men’s group on Facebook for Christian men who are married, engaged, dating, or hoping to date and marry called “As Christ Loved The Church.” I had someone last night ask about oral sex. Is that going too far if someone has oral sex with their girlfriend?

Fortunately, the consensus seems to be yes. Naturally, that is one that I agree with. A good rule of thumb I gave the person in private conversation is to not share anything that would go beyond what a swimsuit would cover. Some people might want even less and I respect that decision if that’s what you think. I definitely think that you should be careful if you’re not doing something like swimming together.

If you ask where I draw the line, it’s with kissing. I think it’s good for a dating couple to kiss. There are some who want to save that for the altar, but I think doing that can make it too difficult to move straight from being able to kiss to being able to have total sex together.

One reason to stop there is because temptation beyond that is way too powerful. Once clothes start coming off, it’s really hard to put the brakes on at that point. (That’s another reason if you have a swim date together, make sure it’s a public place, like your local YMCA) If you spend time alone, make sure it’s a place that anyone can walk in. When I was dating Allie, while we were in the basement area of her parents’ house for the most part where her bedroom was, we also knew the door was open and anyone could come down at any time. This helps put the brakes on temptation.

Ideally, as I told this guy, it should be the first time you see your girlfriend naked, or any woman naked for that matter, is on your wedding night. For the latter part of any woman, few guys will be able to say that that will be them even if they avoided watching pornography. It can pop up in a movie or anything these days and even those who make it a practice to avoid porn can still get pop-ups from time to time.

There is nothing like seeing the body of the person you love and when you are married, there will be times you see that body and don’t get to do the deed as it were. That’s when you have to practice self-control. Generally, you’ll have to have it in marriage because there are other things you’ll be doing in married life besides having sex together. Some couples are surprised that there are other things you’re doing on the honeymoon besides having sex together but, yes, yes there are.

So what happens if you make a mistake? Well, you made a mistake. It doesn’t mean you have to end the relationship, but it does mean you need to agree together to not repeat this mistake again. Falling in mud is an accident, but if you stay in it and roll around in it, that’s another problem. It’s not to say you won’t be tempted. Actually, if you’re not tempted with sexual sin with the person you’re with, you could say there’s a problem. You are going to want to be with them. Anticipation is very sweet.

Overall, remember it’s possible to love the person you’re with in a dating relationship without having sex or doing anything remotely sexual. If you’re unsure, it’s probably best to not do it until you check and talk to some wiser people who have been there. You want to go into your marriage with as little regret as possible, but if you make a mistake, have grace, since God has that for you.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Sexual Ethics Foundation: Dating

So how do you go about your life if you don’t plan on staying single? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Okay. I’ve written about life for the singles. What about those who do plan to marry? For that, dating in our culture is a necessary action. Now some might prefer a different name like courting or something of that sort. By dating, I simply mean getting to spend regular time with a person of the opposite sex that you are considering as a candidate for marriage.

I also think that you should really not consider dating until you’re old enough or near old enough to be getting married. A lot of young girls especially want to date early, but it’s my opinion that starting too early in our culture could also lead to the possibility of sex which for the Christian, is taboo until marriage.

Also, I want to make it clear that I am not condemning physical interaction before marriage. I think couples should. I don’t really care for the first kiss at the altar movement. That’s denying our physical attraction way too much and will lead to too big a rush. How do you go straight from first kiss to all-out sex?

Of course, in the dating relationship, one should be careful. When one looks at the twelve steps of intimacy I really don’t think it’s wise to move beyond #8. Allie and I certainly didn’t in our dating relationship. Why? Once you get to a certain state of passion, it’s incredibly difficult to put the brakes on. Yeah. It might sound like a shock to some of us but those hormones can very easily overpower reason.

Of course, enjoy the physical that you can enjoy for the time being. We certainly did that as well. There’s a funny story about our first date. Allie and I went to the Georgia Aquarium on our first date and came back to her house, where she lived with her parents, to watch Beauty and the Beast that evening.

We were downstairs in the living room together on the couch watching with Allie snuggling up against me. Her parents’ bedroom and her younger brother’s were upstairs. Her brother was thinking of coming down and getting a snack but her parents said we were down there and he might not want to go down. He didn’t. Of course, we weren’t doing anything immoral, but we were a really cute couple together, and still are I contend.

So here are some tips for purity in this time period and other important tips.

First off, I think it’s extremely important that you honor and respect the parents entirely. When I went to meet Allie it was “Mr. Licona” and “Mrs. Licona” until they gave me permission to go by a first name basis.

When I took Allie to meet my parents, they lived in a different state which meant I had to take Allie out of state over night. I sent an email to Mike and let him know about what I was doing, why I was doing it (Allie needed to meet my parents), what the sleeping arrangements would be, and how I would take the utmost care of his daughter.

There was no problem with my request then.

In fact, when it came time to propose, and this is something I wish more men would do more often, I made sure to call Mike and Debbie first and tell them what my plans were and let it be known that “I want to marry your daughter, but I don’t want to go forward with this unless I have your blessing.” They readily gave it. It is a decision I am sure they have never regretted. It doesn’t mean I’ve been the perfect son-in-law. I haven’t been. It simply means they know I always try to have Allie’s best interests at heart.

More on engagement later.

Second, try to not put yourself in tempting situations. Yes, they will come up naturally. If you don’t think you’re going to be tempted sexually, you’re just fooling yourself. It is going to happen. It is not a sin to be tempted. It is normal and in fact healthy. It is a problem if you’re not tempted!

If your brakes were to come off, it would be much much harder to be able to stop again. Sex changes both parties. The changes are not just physical but psychological and hormonal as well. You have already formed a bond with that person. For more on that, I recommend listening to Dr. Freda Bush who was on my show. That link can be found here.

Third, I also recommend you don’t go to the movies on a first date. Movies are fine for a later date, but for that first date, you two don’t need to stare at a screen like that. You need to be watching each other the most and talking to each other and learning how you relate to one another.

Fourth, I actually don’t recommend praying together in person. Praying is a very intimate activity and that could lead to further wanting to continue that intimacy. Allie and I took care of this by praying on the phone.

Fifth, this brings us to the phone. Make the most use of it. In our dating time, we would often spend hours on the phone staying up till the late hours of the evening, sometimes not getting to bed until 1 A.M. or so. Can I remember a single thing we talked about? Not one. We were just talking, and that was fine. (Note: Communication is great once you get married as well. Never stop it.)

Sixth, I also recommend watching how you treat your other friends in this time and listen to their advice. Also, try to not exclude them still. I was pleased to surround myself with friends at my wedding and have them be an active part of my life. Even today, I try to keep in touch with them.

Different friends could respond differently. I remember it was hard for me watching my friends get married before I was. If it was the same for some of mine, I don’t know about that. I do know they have been supportive and have noted the greater happiness that I do have in my life since marriage. I also try to spend some time with them and invest in them and encourage them.

It was exceptionally fortunate that things worked out for my roommate. While we din’t have a “roommate agreement” such as on The Big Bang Theory, we did have matters worked out that we split the bills for living together evenly. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a clause of “If one of us happens to get married” and as people who know Allie and I know, it all happened very fast! I especially remember my roommate messaging me while at work saying he’d been offered another place to live and he figured since he was reading the tea leaves right, Allie and I wouldn’t want him to be around when he got hitched. I told him instead he wouldn’t want to be around. (He has been a great friend to both of us as well, including being my best man and giving the best wedding toast I have ever heard.)

In fact, I am told that for him and another one of our good mutual friends, when I had returned from the first date the talk was “We’d better go ahead and prepare the wedding chapel.”

For friends, if you know someone who is getting married, if you think it’s a good relationship, I do encourage celebrating with them. It’s important for them to know that you highly value their good even if you know that your relationship with them is going to be different from now on, and it most certainly will. Every single friend in the world has to take a backseat to the marriage relationship.

Also, in these relationships, men need to be the ones to take the lead. The man should be doing the asking and should be making arrangements and paying for dates. To this day in fact, I still go and open the car door for Allie and get her in first. There is no excuse for not being a gentleman. Get that fact in your heads men. Always be a gentleman.

Mainly, the dating time is a time to get to know the other person and learn good communication with them. Get to know the family as well. This will be your family as well and you need to establish a good relationship with them. There will be times of disagreement. It happens. In fact, my in-laws and my parents both know that if I think that they’re wrong with something about Allie, I let them know. Of course, they always have Allie’s best at heart as well, but that does not mean that it’s done in the best way. I contend that in fact this shows everyone my devotion to my wife.

When Allie and I were engaged, there was a time that her mother and her and I were in Knoxville together to visit my mother for something and we stopped at a pizzeria before we each went our own way. Her Mom made it clear that when the time came that I had to stand up for Allie to my own mother (Who by the way, loves my wife dearly so don’t be thinking otherwise. Both of my parents would die for my wife if they had to), that I would do it immediately.

I hope I have demonstrated that.

People who know us know that I call Allie my Princess. That is still a name I call her to this day. Remember men when you’re dating that before that woman is your Princess, she is someone else’s. Her parents have both treasured her and since I hold Christians should only date Christians, she is a child of the King as well. Treat her accordingly.

Overall, have fun and enjoy yourself and if you decide to propose, well I guess we’ll have to write more on that later. Right?

In Christ,
Nick Peters