Things Not To Say To A Divorced Person #5: I Know How You Feel

Do you really understand? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This is one of those statements that applies in so many situations, but it also applies to divorce. There is one exception to this like the others. That is with someone who has gone through a painful divorce. No two divorces will be exactly alike, but at least there is some relationship there.

So if you have gone through a break-up, you do not know what it is like. If you and your boyfriend or girlfriend have been lovers and lived together and broken up, you don’t know what it is like. If you have lost a spouse due to an unintentional and unmalicious death, you don’t know what it is like. All of these may bear some similarities, but they are still different.

What the intent is:

The intent is to show sympathy with the person. That is a noble attempt. The problem is that you can’t do that. If you have not walked in those shoes, you do not know how it feels. I hear across the board from people that divorce is worse than the death of a spouse. With death there is closure and you live on good terms. The love is never questioned. With divorce, the opposite is true.

I think of a friend who a few years ago told me of how his first wife died. Someone meant to have sympathy for him and said, “I know how you feel. My cat died recently.” The death of a pet is hard, but it is not the same as the death of a spouse.

Why it’s wrong:

As said, you don’t know how it feels. Divorce carries with it a personal rejection and a breaking of the covenant. This is something that makes it different from other break-ups. A marriage covenant is a solemn promise to not betray one another and to stay with that person until death. This is not to say that no one can ever justifiably divorce, but I argue in those cases, someone else has already broken the promise.

Throughout the day now, I am constantly reminded of how I am divorced by so many things. A small event could remind me of a joke we shared together. Seeing a happy couple together can remind me of the longing. Going to bed at night and waking up in the morning reminds me that there is no one else there.

Being in society doesn’t always help much. My job is one of the most public places I go to and it can be one of the loneliest places of all. It’s a very real reality to be in a crowd of people and feel utterly lonely. I can say through the two other major trials in my life, I didn’t have the fellowship that I have now, largely through social media. The internet has been a great boon to me in developing relationships.

Do not try to relate if you cannot relate. Accept it. That doesn’t mean that you can do nothing to help.

What to say instead:

I thought originally of “Tell me how you feel”, but then that sounded too forceful. Instead, a simpler answer could be “Would you like to talk about it?” If it could help the person, take them out for a glass of tea or a slice of pizza and just meet and discuss it.

I realize this isn’t the traditional guy approach, but sometimes, I want my male friends even to stop telling me what to do in a situation. Instead, listen. Listen to my concerns and listen to my issues. Perhaps there will come a time later, but speak too quickly and it can seem like my concerns are being dismissed. I certainly realize that is not the desire, but it is what happens.

Sometimes, the best thing to say also could just be absolutely nothing. When my friends want to get together with a game night, that is just fine for me. I think one benefit of something like Final Fantasy XIV is for awhile when I am interacting with people on there, I am not the guy going through a divorce. I am the tank or the healer or one of the damage dealers. This is also one reason gaming can be so beneficial for me now. I get to play a different role for a time than the one I am in now.

Now for those who have been through divorce before, many of our conversations now are invaluable. Right now, I am dialoguing with someone in email who has another similarity to me in that his ex-wife had BPD as well. For those who have been divorced, the more similarities there are in the cases, the better. He too, was accused of abuse. That, by the way, is something that makes it even worse. Everyone who knows me knows I would be absolutely aghast at the thought of hurting her. Unfortunately, after years of giving, this is what I have been given in return. It’s betrayal on top of betrayal.

My plan now for this blog is to go through Scripture and see what it says about divorce. I don’t plan on this answering every question. People like Mike Winger and Craig Keener have done much more on this than I have. Still, I want to attempt to answer some questions people have for me, including about the Bible and remarriage after divorce.

Thank you again, fellow travelers.

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

Things To Not Say To A Divorced Person #4: God Will Send You Someone When You’re Ready

Can a promise of hope be more of a judgment? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I am pretty sure I have been told this one a few times. It is one that when I think about it deeply stings. I remember talking to another friend who has been divorced and is now remarried and he told me the exact same thing. This is when people say “God will send you someone when you’re ready.”

The whole idea is to not be out there trying to find a spouse. Now I was told to wait at least a year, which I have done. However, the whole idea here is to not try. Whether one is ready or not is not the issue. Let’s look further then at this statement.

The intention:

The intention I think is to give hope. It is to talk to someone who wants someone to love and all the joys that come with that and to tell them that there is someone out there for them. It’s to invoke the blessing of God on the person. They are not abandoned. God will send them someone when the time is right, which is when they are ready. What could be wrong about that? Isn’t that good news for someone who wants a spouse?

Why it’s wrong:

Let’s start with an easy one. This is claiming to speak where God has not and promising what He has not promised. Now I realize that most people who want to remarry do and that means that the odds are in my favor, but that doesn’t necessitate it. For example, I could die in a car accident and then God certainly wasn’t going to send me someone when I was ready. I hope that doesn’t happen, but it’s a possibility.

We should always be cautious of people trying to speak the words of God when God has not spoken or trying to give divine authority to their actions, words, feelings, etc. This is one reason I have a problem with the idea of “feeling led.” It can be a way of thinking that our emotions come from God and have divine authority.

However, let’s look at the other issue. What you are talking about is a person who is going through something extremely hurtful and yet if they are thinking about remarriage, they have desires. Speaking as a man, love and sex rank right up there as strong desires. I am also a great admirer of beauty and I miss having the beauty of a woman in my life. I miss being desired. There is something about the male ego that we love the attention of women, starting with our mothers growing up and then moving on to a female partner one day.

A woman meanwhile could long to be provided for and cherished. She can have the exact same desires as a man. I remember well talking about the desire for sex that men have in DivorceCare and one woman saying “It’s not just men.” Yes. Women have desires as well. Therefore, let’s just look and say that whatever the reason, a person wants to get married again.

What this is telling them is that God will get them remarried, but they have to do something to get ready and then God will bless them. Until then, their efforts will end in flames and they’d better not even try. What is this? They don’t know and the person talking to them doesn’t. Therefore, God is giving them some secret goal to meet and they have to find that goal and then meet it to get someone.

Imagine having that requirement for something.

When it’s put that way, it’s like God is dangling a carrot on a stick before them and not letting them get it until they do something that they don’t even know that they need to do. God is in a sense withholding from them a good blessing. Now God can do that and if He wants to withhold a spouse until they do something, that is His prerogative, but it’s quite another for one of us who doesn’t know to claim that this is what He is doing and outright stating it to someone.

I earlier stated this rule to imagine saying something similar to these statements to a Christian couple trying to naturally conceive a child. Imagine if you said, “God will send you a child when you’re ready.” If the idea is to not even try until then, well then the couple abstains from sex. I can guarantee you that they won’t have a child that way and odds are, they could start to break apart too as Paul did condemn withholding from one another except for a short time and by mutual consent.

In this case, it could be God wants to see them reach a certain point before He will open the womb and allow a woman to give birth, but we do not know that and cannot say that. I won’t rule out a bona fide word of knowledge coming to someone, but it needs to be backed by solid evidence. There is no wrong with the couple still trying to conceive a child naturally. I do realize a couple could adopt, but I am explicitly talking about natural conception through intercourse for a reason.

What to say instead:

Listen to the desires of the person first. Understand what they want and understand why they want it. Ask genuine questions if you want to understand and do not ask them in an accusatory fashion. Encourage the person to also seek therapy if need be, and I think most everyone who has gone through a divorce needs therapy to some extent, and yes, that includes me and I do have a therapist.

If the person wants to marry, help them out on how to improve on that path to be a better spouse. I have spent time talking with people to learn more about interaction with the opposite sex and reading books. When I talk to people now, I am making a lot more eye contact and I am smiling a lot more than I did in the past. These are small steps, but they are major ones for me, but I sure wouldn’t mind some other men coming alongside of me and helping me to understand how to interact with women even better.

Heck. If you think they are ready and you know someone who is fitting for them, you could even see if you could set up a date for that person. For some of us, it could be a struggle to ask someone out again because we are thinking about what the rejection was like from our last spouse. I can say on my end, it’s extremely frustrating to not have much income and be 41 and be on the spectrum and be having to look again. It’s never where I wanted to be.

For both sexes also, offer to help them maintain sexual fidelity too regardless. That means definitely no pornography. I can say on my end that I have avoided it even after being away from her, but I can also say there have been times I have been strongly tempted and I have had to just wait for it to pass. I can say there are times that I want to scream internally because maintaining the proper lifestyle can be hard. It’s probably one reason I’m doing so many other things.

While historically men have been the biggest users of porn, women are using it more and more nowadays. Both sexes need the help of that. I know that when I remarry, I don’t want any future wife of mine to have to compete with several images that I have seen in my head before. Part of abstaining from pornography and any other sexual behavior is maintaining faithfulness also to a woman I haven’t even married.

Overall though, when you see someone going through this, again, be Jesus to them. Expressing caution about a desire I think can be fine, but I don’t think any good comes from throwing cold water on it entirely. That desire can be something that is keeping them going. Find a way to help them please Christ with it.

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

 

Divorce And What Lies Ahead

Where is the blog going? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As we near the weekend, I am doing my last blog of the week. So what lies ahead? One first series I want to write on is what to not say to someone going through divorce. Some of these I have heard in some variant. Some I have heard from others. I do not doubt that many of these are from good people who are well-intentioned, but they do a lot more harm than good.

After that, my plan is to look at what Scripture says about divorce. Many people have seen me posting about a desire to remarry and have asked if I have biblical approval to do so. Please understand that I am also doing this from a classical Protestant perspective. How the Catholics and Orthodox handle this will be different, although I have friends in both camps who do agree I can remarry within Scriptural grounds.

I have gone through the three views book on divorce and remarriage and I have gone through Mike Winger’s series on this on YouTube. I do plan on reading Keener’s book on one who marries another. I hope I will deal with most questions on this topic by the time the end comes.

From there on, I plan to go on the route that I have been taking in healing. Now I have heard that we who are on the spectrum respond to trauma better than others because our brains have a higher degree of plasticity. We do learn to adapt, but that doesn’t mean it’s always healing. Just a couple of weeks ago my DivorceCare leader who has been remarried for several years and had his marriage ended years and years ago based on a comment said he found some memories he needs to heal of. Thus, if anyone ever says you need complete healing before you move on, I don’t think so. There are some events one never completely heals from.

I hope that while doing this, it will help you out as I am writing this when I am going through the process. I am not just reflecting on this years later and what it was like. We can consider it a kind of real-time.

I also do plan on doing what I normally do in writing my candid thoughts out. Many of you have said that you appreciate that because it is real. One advantage of dealing with me on the spectrum is I can be an open book. That can be a disadvantage at times, but my hope is one of you will read this and be able to say, “Yes. Someone at least understands.” When that is encountered, it can tell a person that they are not alone in what they are going through.

I do want to thank so many of you who have reached out to me in this time as well. I also like knowing that I am not alone through every aspect of the divorce process. We have been fellow travelers on this journey and it means a lot to me.

Thank you.

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

 

Divorce and Friends

Do I get by with a little help from my friends? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

If there has been one great blessing in all of this, it has been friends. Sometimes, when I post a message of sadness, my friends are right there. So many of you I wish lived nearby. It’s very hard for now to find people in this area I can hang out with and yet another reason I want to earn enough to move out.

Friends have been there and I’ve had to rely on them in ways that I never have before. I remember well a friend around here taking me out for Mexican one night and talking about things in life, especially my desire to remarry someday and how he had to tell me, “Nick. You are a guy. Stop beating yourself up for being a guy.”

Many a friend I have called when I have been in a bout of depression and not known what to do. When I first found out she had the money to file, I was crying my eyes out and had to call a friend from DivorceCare. My friends have accepted that I have been weak.

Sometimes I fear that people not in ministry look at those of us who teach and/or lead in some capacity as people who have all the answers and our lives are just great. This is not always so. Many a time, we struggle. I do not have all the answers. My life is not always together. There have been times I have had to take multiple medications to get to sleep due to anxiety attacks in all of this and since I should be getting health insurance through work soon, I plan to go see a psychiatrist.

I also do not have shame in saying that. I know when I need help. I know my emotions can get out of control at times and my anxiety can be overwhelming. If I have to be on something, even if it’s for a season as I work through this, that is fine. Too many Christians in the church look down on this way too much.

Speaking of which, not all my friends in this have been Christians on here. Some have been non-Christians who are still showing love and support. I know a number of intellectual opponents could be tempted to use something like this to make a cheap shot against me. I am thankful that these skeptics of Christianity have not and I hope they are seeing Jesus in me in how I endeavor to treat my ex-wife in all of this.

I have a small group of friends who have experienced divorce and I call them regularly. Many times I can be at work and need to talk to someone on the way home. You see, my job doesn’t do much to challenge me intellectually and so I spend a lot of time brooding over matters. I wind up being more depressed and I am not pleased with where I am in life.

Fortunately, I also do have others to call and I plan on trying to do that more often when I’m not listening to audio books. I also have a friend who I knew in Elementary School who wants to get together with me again. I would like to do some meetings with a group of 30+ Christian singles here I just joined on MeetUp, but unfortunately, it looks like the days that they meet are the days that I work.

At the same time, sometimes matters seem different. I have friends who I think don’t really know what to do with me. Some of my friends still want to get married and thus can’t entirely grasp what it means to be married and lose it to divorce. There are some aspects of life I know I can’t talk about entirely, such as dealing with issues involving sexuality.

I wonder about new people also. I can tell co-workers that I have been divorced and they don’t believe it when they hear I was accused of being abusive as I am nothing like that, but I am still hesitant. After all, there was someone I trusted once and that ended in tragedy. I don’t doubt that I have serious issues now involving rejection.

I am thankful also for friends that I can do online gaming with, such as Final Fantasy XIV, and if you do play just look up Phoenix Skywing. I have a friend who donates to my ministry and says that part of his donation has to go to keeping my account running. For him, World of Warcraft was the big deal when he went through his divorce. Gaming has been a great way to keep my mind off of things. I have now decided that in addition to prayer before bed, I’m also going to get out my Switch and game or 10-15 minutes. If I have panic attacks at night, I could consider doing the same as well.

Part of this also is all of this is bringing to mind about how hard it is to relate to people. I don’t understand social cues and in some banter meant to be humorous, I have no idea what to say and I get caught flat-footed. These are areas I am trying to work hard on as I don’t want to get married again only to have it end in flames. I never want to go through this experience again.

Thus, there is still one positive in all of this. You learn a lot about your friends and who’s there for you. Being a gamer all my life, I have learned the value of friends seeing as in most RPGs, your main character having friends is essential to defeating the enemy. Yes. I still want to find someone special again one day, but I am thankful that until then and even beyond then, I do have friends.

When I signed up for DivorceCare and was going through the book, we were asked what can you not live without. I gave the Jesus answer, but I also added in one other answer. Friends. Not even Jesus was without Him when He walked this Earth. Who am I to think I want to be without them.

Thank you friends and fellow travelers.

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

Divorce and Social Media

Is it different being on the internet after divorce? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In January, I left Georgia and moved back in with my parents. It wasn’t until September that I let the news out in a situation where I thought it had to be done. That meant for that for eight months, the majority of people had no idea. There were a few who knew and one private group that I shared in, but most people knew nothing about it.

That can be a sting in itself. Sometimes, people would tag her and I in something and I would get that reminder. It wasn’t that I really forgot, but it just made it more real. I remember seeing at one point that she had changed her name back to Allie Licona. I had hoped some people might ask me what was going on, but no one did, at least no one that I recall. I understand that a lot of people want to mind their own business, but sometimes, it would be nice if they didn’t.

I used to watch her page regularly and turn on notifications of her posts to make sure no one was mistreating her. After she announced the divorce, I stopped immediately. She has thought that I had people spying on her and checking in on her. Not a bit. Sometimes, some friends would come to me who knew what was going on and tell me things that were happening, but for the most part, nothing was told.

I have been told she made posts saying that I was abusive. I do not have firsthand evidence of this, but I trust what was told me. I had a number of friends when they found out say, “Do you care if I unfriend and/or block her?” I always told them it was their decision. They didn’t owe me anything.

There was also one friend who told me that he unfriended her after he saw what she posted in August for her birthday. She had a fundraiser set for victims of domestic violence. He knew that was a charge against me and he wanted nothing to do with it. If anyone wants to know about the charges, feel free to ask, but I can assure anyone as can several others that I never abused Allie. I certainly wasn’t perfect and certainly made mistakes, but nothing that equalled abuse.

Facebook memories can be painful to look at. Yesterday at work I heard Kryptonite being played by Three Doors Down. I used to like that song. For me, it was just painful this time. “Will you still call me Superman?” That was her name for me. I can show you posts on Facebook where she refers to me as her Superman.

I look back at old posts where we interact and wonder what was the truth and what was a lie. It’s painful to see someone say how blessed they are with you and how much they love you and what a great man you are for them and then have them divorce you. You could say to not check your Facebook memories, but I want to see what’s going on in the past in other areas and I don’t want fear to hold me back.

I understand she has a YouTube channel from others. I have never watched a video. In this case, I don’t think I could. Seeing someone is very different. The visualization brings back the memories.

I remember seeing a picture of her recently in my memories after she won the Miss Shining Star Beauty Pageant here in Knoxville. It was put on by Joni and Friends and every girl in it had to be disabled. It was the first one ever and we went all out to get her a good dress and my sister came in from Nashville to do her make-up.

When she won, I cried more than she did. It was one of the happiest moments I’d had. I remember seeing it and thinking, “In your face” to all the bullies of the past. I remember coming home and going next door to see my parents first and opening the door and introducing them to Miss Shining Star.

It’s sad when that which brought you joy now brings you sorrow.

You look at this and wonder why it was all thrown away. That’s exactly what it was. Ten years of marriage with nearly a year of dating prior and then it was just tossed out. You can say abuse, but again, whenever the police came to our apartment, it wasn’t because of abuse. It was to stop her in another suicidal phase.

There’s also the other side that you can see other couples happy together and you wonder why it can’t be you. This is still something I long for and so far in the world of trying to get out there and date again, I haven’t had much luck. I am working on getting out there and meeting more people. I am trying to interact even with people I don’t know and just ask questions. It’s never the generic “How are you?” It’s always about something.

It’s also been awkward asking for donations from people. I hate having to do it and yet I have to do it. When I get a new one, it reminds me that someone actually cares. Believe it or not, sometimes, you wonder if anyone really does or not. I have been thankful for friends who have called me or contacted me and asked how I am doing. Sometimes I can’t talk, but when I can, I usually try. I am also working on getting together with a friend from Knoxville I met back in third grade. He’s the friend I have that I have maintained a working friendship with the longest.

On the more positive side, there has been a whole lot more interaction with people on social media for me and a lot of people visiting my blog. I have been told that people appreciate how candid and real I am. With these blogs, I honestly don’t have scripts. I just prefer to sit down and write out and let the thoughts flow.

Usually on social media, we post our best, but I have been posting some of my worst states of mind. I have been posting from places of agony. The downside of this is different people give different advice and sometimes contradictory pieces of advice at that. I do have a therapist I work with who knows all about the situation and was our marriage therapist for some time. He has been guiding me through every step.

Overall though, for now, interactions are very different on social media and there is still a loneliness there. That’s another reason I hope to earn enough soon to move out. I want to go out and get a place to live in the city where I will be near people and near events that I can go to. Even where I am, it takes me half an hour to drive to work and of course, to drive back.

Thanks though to all my friends on social media who I have not yet met, but who have stood by my side. Thanks for any support you give prayerfully, relationally, and financially. I also thank all the men I have spoken to who are or who have been fellow travelers on this journey.

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

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)

The Stigma Of Divorce

Does Divorce carry a scarlet letter? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

There is a stigma our society sometimes has with divorce, and this is abundantly so in the church. Thankfully, my church has a heart for the divorced so I haven’t seen this yet, but I have been told about this from others. Someone in my DivorceCare group the first time was a former Baptist minister who could no longer preach. Why? He’s divorced.

Yes, but what are the circumstances? Doesn’t matter. He’s divorced. End of story.

Someone else messaged me on Facebook to say that when their wife divorced them, they were not allowed to hold a position in the church. Why? Because an elder must be above reproach according to 1 Tim. 3. Never mind the person the letter is attributed to was a murderer of Christians in the past and called himself the chief of sinners in the first chapter. All of these are minor details.

You see, I can imagine trying to speak to a church one day about doing apologetics work for them and being asked if I’m married and my replying that I’m divorced. Now I could just say I am single, but if they look me up at all, which is likely, they will see I am divorced so no need to hide it. Then the obvious question will arise of why. I can give my side, but it is only my side. What reason do they have to believe me? I can tell them they can even contact my former in-laws, but color me skeptical that that will be considered a worthwhile use of time.

I wonder if the same will happen when I take a girl out on a date. Let’s suppose things get serious and she wants me to meet her parents. I go to do so and immediately, they want to ask me about the divorce. What if they say they hear that I was an abusive husband, for example?

This happens and it’s a real concern. It’s one of the reasons divorce is so destructive. There is a real split and it affects both parties and often people they interact with. There’s even a reality that if you have a large group of couples that are friends and one gets a divorce, the others are more likely to get a divorce.

I have a friend who has gone through a divorce because her husband was abusive. What if the same thing happened if she was wanting to work for a church. Never mind that her husband was a danger to her and could have been one to the kids. Nope. She’s divorced. Move along there.

End result of this overall? Christians who are already suffering rejection because of a divorce, and I am talking, in this case, about those who are wrongfully divorced, are further rejected by the people who are supposed to show love and grace to them the most and meet them in their suffering. Is it any wonder some people don’t want to go to church?

The church already tends to look at single Christians who are of age as if they are lesser Christians. Now picture those who are divorced. Some of us who are divorced, like myself, want to remarry. Others are just fine with staying single and have no interest. For those who are like me, it is often thought that until we get married again, we are second-class citizens. In the case of a pastor who is divorced prior, they suddenly become redeemed and useful for ministry again sometimes if they remarry.

There are ways the church can show love to the divorced regardless of if they want to remarry or not. I will get to that eventually. Before that, I do plan to do a series on what not to do and that includes statements that should never be made to a person going through or who has gone through divorce.

For all readers also, I want to let you know that these writings are coming from me after months of going through this and for the most part, carrying it privately. I have enough friends who knew what was going on, but on social media, I did not make it known publicly. I have had some of you get in touch with me making sure I am okay. For the most part, I am. Sometimes, I do have anxiety and depression hit for an acute moment. It’s one more reason I want to get health insurance. Overall, I have enough in my life to keep me going and I do plan to write eventually on what divorce is like today.

I am thankful the stigma hasn’t hit me so hard yet. I hope it never does. Most people who have only just met me seem utterly stunned when I say I have been accused of being abusive. They can tell I’m not that type. I try to remember that whatever is going on, God will use it for my good if I remain faithful to Him. I don’t know the future and how this will work out, but I never have before either. Why should now be any different?

However, my sincere thanks to all of you who are reading these posts and reaching out and contributing. Some of you have become donors on Patreon and that leaves me thankful. Some of you have subscribed to my YouTube channel. I hope also some of you have been blessed when reaching out to me as I want to help you if you’re going through divorce as well.

But to the church as a whole, please keep in mind this stigma. Not all marriages are equal, and neither are all divorces. No one is a perfect spouse, but in many cases, one spouse can be wronged greatly and be the party that is unjustly divorced. Do not treat them like they have committed the unpardonable sin. All of us have sins. Some of your sins are not mine and some of mine are not yours. All of us need grace. That includes those who have been divorced. Even those who have wrongly divorced someone need to be shown love and grace to work them to a place of forgiveness and repentance.

Please remember the divorced in your midst. It is extremely difficult for a man to have been faithful to a wife and then told he can’t help his church in the way he wants because of what was done to him. That man will be a victim twice over then. Divorce is a great evil and I still hold to that, even when it is sadly necessary due to something like abuse. Don’t compound that by adding rejection to it further.

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

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 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)

 

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)