Click Here For Part 1
Click Here For Part 2
How do you end a book that’s still being written? You don’t. You simply turn the page. Turn the page with me as *Dear Him and *Dear Her of Married Behind the Glass Wall, graciously yet scrupulously open the floor for dialogue! Here’s their responses to a few of your finely tuned inquires below…
What do you admire most about your spouse?
Dear Her: His Joy in the LORD and his freedom that he walks in; he does not have an incarcerated mind. His smile (that is encased with deep dimples omgosh). His touch, yes his hands are wonderful (Lawd have mercy,his amazing touch), his hugs are oooh wee good and safe!
Dear Him: The fact that she is sold out for Jesus, the way she treats people (even other than myself), her tenacity, touch, and BAM!!! That walk!!!
How do you handle disagreements?
Dear Her: Just like the typical married couple. We talk, we pray…I get mad (yes I do, I have even slammed a phone down). But he stayed calm and reminded me that I was not his girlfriend, I was his wife and he was my husband. When this reminder came I regained my composure. Oh yes we do get the chance to make up too (the best part).
Dear Him: I try to keep our goals as a couple in mind, respecting her feelings and point of view. I try to be assertive and pragmatic and listen to what’s being told to me and not necessarily what’s being said to me. I have to keep in mind that men that she has dealt with in the past, have possibly had ulterior motives (read self-serving) which makes her have knee jerk defensive reactions. So I try to do my best to ground and remind her (and myself) of our purpose, goals and that even though we may have a different perspective we are both striving for the best for our team. Outside of that, I say “Yes dear” and then walk it out.
Though your situation is not uncommon, it is untraditional. Would you recommend this path to others?
Dear Her: I recommend to follow whatever the LORD is leading you to do in Jesus Name! Marriage for man and woman has always been traditional. I read a story about a couple who got married in a garden years ago (hint: the book of Genesis) and guess what? The only person that we heard attended was God. So perhaps our location was nontraditional but honey our marriage is more traditional than most these days.
Dear Him: I would recommend that you don’t have any preconceptions as to how God will work in your life.
As a result of your not being able to express your love physically, how would you describe intimacy and how do you attain it?
Dear Her: I am sure y’all want the scoop but in an effort to guard our marriage (as we all should be doing) I will leave HOW we do this for our knowledge only (sorry you’re not invited to this area). I will say this; couples who KNOW how to express their love understand that true intimacy NEVER starts physically. I will leave it at that and hope that it will encourage readers to study this subject to find out what TRUE intimacy and physical expressions are. With this understanding your physical can be off the chain!! (An excellent book to read is – Song of Solomon)
Dear Him: I believe intimacy is something that you achieve before you attempt to relate on a physical level. See so many people go from relationship to relationship and in this they lose themselves. They can’t share on that intimate level until they take the time to know themselves. Once this occurs your intimacy will have substance and it will be effective (this brings out the intimacy in a natural way not forced).
Upon being released, there will be several “firsts” that await both of you. What do you most look forward to? What are you most apprehensive about?
Dear Her: I look forward to no interruptions in our shared time. I am most apprehensive about wearing the right outfit during our “praise and worship session” so he does not ruin it trying to get to me! (oops was that too much? It’s just real talk).
Dear Him: I look most to the time we have to talk and share without the rules and regulations. Time to be intimate together, in regards to sharing the same time and space, No, not necessarily doing the first thing that crosses everyone’s mind, because there is no rush. Some things just can’t be rushed, i.e. a fine dining experience, good Merlot, and an honest lovemaking session. I would be apprehensive about not savoring every moment of our intimacy, and not allowing me to blow her mind so she can see herself, love, and sexual expression in a new light, giving her a refreshing perspective.
Have either of you been married before?
Dear Her: Nope
Dear Him: No
Do either of you have children? If so, how are they handling your marriage?
Dear Her: Yes we have children, they handle it well. The marriage is not the challenge, they are ready for him to be home and they enjoy his qualities just as I do.
Dear Him: My wife answered perfectly.
How do you keep the romance alive?
Dear Her: Always surprising each other with something; he is VERY creative in all situations.
Dear Him: I think romance and a happy marriage are inseparable. If you love someone you want them to feel it, when you are a considerate person, spouse, and lover, you are going to want to give. So I give to her as much as I can even in this temporary circumstance. Now if you are stuck thinking that what you have going on between your legs are the end all and be all of a romance, then you are always going to be lacking. So you need to see your spouse as an instrument and pay close attention so that you will understand the music that they are making. Its a beautiful thing. These are just a few of the little ways that I show her that she is love and desired.
What does your support network look like?
Dear Her: It has been built over time as people have realized that this is real. But its not a very big circle which is not a bad thing either. Our church has always supported us. Our true friends stood out during this time, you can tell because they are the ones still standing with us! I am glad for the shaking up because it reveals who really has your best interest in mind. The praying folks are the best supportive network we could ever ask for!!!
Dear Him: My wife jockeyed that answer, thank you baby well said.
How does your faith play a role in marriage?
Dear Her: HUGE!!! Can’t do marriage without my trust in the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. If you are free or locked up…gotta have faith no matter what.
Dear Him: This is probably my favorite question thus far because without Christ, there would not be us (for real). I want to give HIM all the praise right now!!! Thank you Father!!!!!
Do you plan to have a wedding ceremony upon release?
Dear Her: Yes we are planning it.
Dear Him: Yes.
How have you changed or perhaps grown as a person since being married?
Dear Her: I have grown deeper in my faith and I “see” people now for who they are by looking at what they do not just what they say.
Dear Him: Wow, I have learned how to listen better without defense. I can see how I have become more compassionate, empathic, and patient. I can honesty say marriage is NOT FOR BOYS. This is a grown mans lane. Believe you…me…wifey will remind me (If I happen to forget).
Did the type of infraction Dear Him was convicted for play a role in your decision to marry him?
Dear Her: No, I married him for similar reasons people get married for (prayed about it, loved him, wanted to spend my life with him).
Was there correspondence with other women prior to meeting Dear Her and if so what made her different?
Dear Him: Yes there were two others that I knew before being locked up. We tried for a while but it didn’t work. However after Christ impacted my life I really became so deep in the word that I honestly saw myself following the foot steps of the apostle Paul – no wife. I had been wrung out by the women I had been trying to work things out with. It was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole situation because see, she (they) were not my wife, so they didn’t work because they didn’t fit.
There is a Bible verse in Joel chapter 2 that speaks of God restoring our years. What comes to mind when you think about the phrase “restoration of years”?
Dear Her: I will let my the head of my home answer this one for us.
Dear Him: Sacrifice is for purpose!! Wow, many others verses come to mind for cross reference in the terms of struggle and renewal also. There are a few things that come to mind. First it exposes the position of favor. Second, the struggle that we had to endure was to season us so we can travail in our renewal in a more profound way. Finally after the struggle, we are new people with a new dynamic in life.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Dear Her: I again turn it to my husband.
Dear Him: I would like to thank Mrs. Ericka Arthur of authenticitee for the opportunity to share (speak) on not only my struggle but my blessing (marriage). It is my hope that by chance someone reads these words and perhaps find God, sees God in a new light, and or allows God to reveal his Son in a new and abstract way in their lives. I pray that you will read the light (of Christ) in between these words. That you will be renewed, encouraged, and restored. Thank you.
+++ S E L A H+++
e: Whew! (Exhales) Talk about authenticity?! LOVED IT! Honored, humbled and again beyond grateful to have been entrusted with this real life page turner. Thank you Dear Him and Dear Her for exclusively and transparently sharing your story in this space!
Till next time authenticitee family…
* Dear Him and Dear Her used to protect their identities.
© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content
Photos submitted by Dear Her.
Photo credits: https://unsplash.com/