Tag Archive: married


This is Craig’s adaptation of someone else’s comments:

Ten Things Your Single Friends (like me) Are Tired Of Hearing

1) “You’ll find it when you aren’t looking!”

This is typically where your advice starts. ”It’ll come along when you least expect it,” is also “You’ll find it when you aren’t looking“ This is a ridiculous and retarded statement. We’re programmed to look for it. It’s in our genetic make-up, God make us this way. That’s like saying, “hey, you know that dream career you want? forget working at it. It’ll happen when you least expect it. One day you’ll be walking down the street and BAM you’ll be a CEO. And it’ll be success after success for years after, but don’t work for it or anything like that. Just maybe chill out on this couch. It’ll come to you.” You need to stop telling us not to look for it, because let me tell you something, there have been times I have been looking for a pen and instead some serendipitous moron came along that I thought could have been my princess (but turned out instead to be the ugly step-sister) and there have been days and times and months and years where I wasn’t looking for it, and guess what came along? A jar of Nutella and a few bananas between some slices of bread.

2) “You can’t be happy in a relationship unless you’re happy with yourself first.”

This is true. BUT even though there are those of us who ARE actually happy with who we are, God make us to be part of a couple. Brett. I’m happy with myself. I’m so happy with myself I actually wake up every morning and brush my teeth with rainbows. Seriously though, “finding yourself” is a process in life, and I don’t think you’re ever really “done,” per se. Am I completely different person than I was in college? Not entirely. Have I gone through a ton of real world experiences that have changed my outlook and made me stronger, happier, more independent, and more of a catch? Yes. Am I happy with myself? Yes. Will I continue to grow and change and all that stuff that humans do until they die? With God’s grace, Yes. Consider that it’s not that all of us happy single people need someone in our lives to dote on us and make us happier, it’s that we’re finally happy and we want someone to share it with. Also, a lot of you “happy” people in relationships seem like you need to have a few weeks on your own to evaluate yourselves. The incessant need for your boyfriend to text you back within thirty seconds after a text may not be the best proof surrounding your statement. Try again.

3) “You’re still young, you got all the time in the world.”

You’re still annoying. We don’t give care how old we are. Age isn’t really what we’re complaining about. And although many of us are young, we still have examples of people who are old and alone every day. And that’s terrifying. So your logic is moot.

4) “You deserve someone who wants to give you everything.”

Hey, I couldn’t agree more. Actually after hearing this a couple dozen times it makes me feel like you’re just saying it to avoid the conversation about how depressing it is that no one has come along yet. You could list a million reasons why I’m worth all the love and unicorns and mermaids in the world, and I would be on your page a hundred percent. As a matter of fact, I would have written more pages after we were both done being on your page, so that we could also be on those pages as well. So now that I know what I deserve, what clever thing do you have to say that will make me feel better about the fact that I still don’t have what I deserve?

5) “You’re looking in the wrong places.”

This one’s particularly good. Because then I get to ask the follow up question of “then please tell me where I should be looking.” Tell me more about this magical land that you found your significant other? OH, was it CHURCH? Or WORK? Or was it the GYM? Or The running or Cycling club? Or were you SET UP? Please tell me, because I guarantee, I have had some type of dating experience with someone from each place you say is the “right” place to look. You people seem to think that all of us single people just go out to bars and get trashed and try to marry the first thing that comes along. I don’t even visit bars, although I am considering it to drown out your stupid advice!

6) ”You should try online dating!”

And you should try seeing how much of your head you can fit into an oven. I’ve tried it. Internet dating is essentially Craigslist missed connections with direct messaging and a few more pictures from 10 years ago. OKCupid, Match.com, Christianmingle (WHY GOD, WHY) all of these sites are probably the WORST place to find real love. Love isn’t something that you should have to read manifestos and “6 things I can’t live without” sections to find. It’s probably one of the most inorganic ways to find someone, in my opinion, and I’m not knocking it (my sister found her husband on internet dating), but one grows tired of the likes of “Your dream girl”, the recently divorced mother of three, (from 3 fathers). The rest are too busy to even get together for coffee.

7) “You’re too picky.”

OH, I’M SORRY. Please, lead me to your lair of Boyle look-a-likes and Frankenstein’s with kind hearts. Let’s be clear, I’m not picky, but I’m not going to settle for the wrong person either. I’ve asked out plenty of women, just because it doesn’t work out doesn’t mean I’m too picky!!!!

8) “There are plenty of fish in the sea.”

I don’t even have anything to say for this. There’s too much rage from number 7.

9) “You need to put yourself out there more.”

Unless I need to be naked on the corner of Monument and Dan Rd. throwing money in the air and simultaneously holding a puppy, I think I’m doing a pretty good job. But hey, if you have any more advice on REALLY putting myself out there, let me know. Maybe existing as a human being and going places and meeting people in the world just isn’t enough.

10) “I’m Engaged!”

Ja, well… whoopy!

[To hear some thoughts from Chantelle Finaughty on the topic of what she would like her Married Friends to know, click here]

Married? Single? Other?

My friend Jess is a beautiful, single blonde girl who has been a missionary in Italy for 10 years and is the same age as me. One day, an Italian woman, let’s call her Mamma Carmen, came up to her with a little charm necklace that had a picture of a saint on it.

“What’s this?” asked Jess.
(Cue in accent of Italian mama who doesn’t speak much English)
“A necklace for you. A picture of Saint Anthony. “
“Who is Saint Anthony?”
“Is-a- the patron saint of lost-a things.”
“And what have I lost, Mama Carmen?”
“Oh, you know sveetie. “
“No I don’t know. What is that I have lost?”
“You lost-a your husband.”
“Mama Carmen, isn’t that usually the saint you pray to for a lost sock or car keys-things like that?”
“Yes, but not for you. For you, pray to him for husband. More important than sock.”

Mama Carmen’s Formula:

“Lost Husband + Praying to Patron Saint of Lost Things + Ten Hail Marys= 1 wedding, 5 socks, 2 spoons, and 1 bracelet you thought you gave to your friend Jill.”

I had my own formula concocting conversation with a ministry leader of mine a few years back. Let’s call her Emily. The conversation looked like this:

“Kate, do you remember our babysitter Joann? Well, she went through a season of really struggling with being single like you are going through. She cried and battled and finally brought her burden to the Lord. She let go.

Two weeks later, she met her husband. And he looks just like Ryan Gosling. “

I said,”Emily, I am really happy for Joann. But she is twenty freaking years old.”

“So? What does that have to do with anything?”

I respected and loved this leader, but I just couldn’t brush the comment off this time.

I said “I have had a decade longer than her of wrestling with God over this issue. In all my wrestling, I have had several seasons where I have been content as a single person, embracing the thought of God as my husband. But often, those seasons fade, and I’m struggling again. It is a cycle that happens. I don’t think God laughs at my cycles of frustration. I think he understands. I think He wants to meet me there. “

Emily continued to argue with me, saying that I just needed to let go, insinuating that it was my own fault that I was still single.

I said, “Em, please understand me here. If you had a friend who was not getting pregnant or who was having multiple miscarriages, someone who had been struggling with barrenness for fifteen years, would you say to her ‘If you just trusted the Lord more with your barrenness, he would give you a baby?’ You would never say that! You recognize how much she is mourning that loss, and so you careful with her words. You don’t want to hurt her even more by making her feel like it might be her own fault.

Well at times, I feel barren. Not only barren in my childbearing, but barren as a lover as well. I don’t have children or a husband, and so I really have no immediate blood family. Please, please, be sensitive to this barrenness in me. Please don’t tell me that I have done something wrong in not letting go, and the result of that shortcoming is my barrenness.”

I know that sounds pretty heavy, but it is how many of us feel at times.

In the very thick book of popular theology that is not actually in the Bible, a book I like to call “First Assumptions” , we have this formula:

“Not letting go=being single.
Letting go= being married. “

Most singles I have talked to have had this formula given to them in one way or another. Many of them dozens of times. Almost every time I mention writing my book on singleness, single people give me some kind of version of this story.

Most of us, when we first heard this formula as a young person, grabbed our journal and bible and went to a quiet place. We turned our sweet young faces to heaven with tears in our eyes and said “Lord, I let go. I give my husband to you.”

Do you know why we were saying this? Because we wanted a husband. And according to the formula, if you wanted a husband, you had to let go of him first. So we were letting go of him in order to get him.

Quite ironic, isn’t it?

But as years passed, when that formula didn’t work, we started cringing when someone told us we just needed to let go. We couldn’t put our finger on why it irked something deep inside of us, but it did.

I have a theory about why it frustrates us so much. At the root of this formula is the idea that all single people have done something wrong and all married people have done something right. Married people, I know you probably never meant to make us feel that way, but it is the nature of that formula.

It kind of reminds me of the story of Job. Here is the formula we can get out of his story.

“Tragically losing everything+wife that is pissed+hideous boils all over your body+annoying friends telling you that you must have done something wrong to deserve this+being totally frustrated and not getting why you’re going through this+God’s booming voice telling us humans that we don’t know nothing and He doesn’t fit in our formulas and boxes+ praising God even through horrible circumstances and singing “Blessed Be Your Name” = even more stuff than you had before.”

Sound familiar? (Except for the boils part, hopefully.) That story is one of the oldest in the bible. One of it’s lessons? Don’t make formulas. Meet Him, wrestle with Him, praise Him even when you don’t understand, but never, ever, put Him in a box.

As Donald Miller said, “As much as we want to believe we can fix out lives in about as many steps as it takes to make a peanut-butter sandwich, I don’t believe we can.”

My married friend Becca, who is incredibly dear to me, explained to me that married people don’t often have bad motives in their formula making. She said that when human beings don’t understand something, they make formulas. They want to feel like they are giving their friend some control over the situation. They even make their own life journeys into formulas. Sometimes we singles cling to the formulas given to us because we want some control over the situation as well.

I really appreciate that we had this conversation because it reminded me that married people are not the enemy. They love us.

But out of love, I want our married friends to understand why these formulas are so hard for us to hear.

These formulas makes us feel like our being single has nothing to do with God’s will or our choices or the enemy or any other theory you have on why hard things happen.

It has to do with our lack.

We already struggle with feeling like we lack when we wonder why we haven’t been chosen. Please don’t cut that wound deeper.

This formula also makes us feel like our not being married has to do with our relationship with the Lord, which evidently is wanting.

For most of us, our relationship with the Lord is the most sacred one that we have. Please, please, don’t criticize that relationship as well. Don’t tear down the one relationship where we feel loved and accepted. Even if you mean well, just don’t do it.

I think a good rule of thumb for both parties is to do less formula making and pat- answering and do more listening. Listening to what the Lord has to say, and listening to each others journeys with compassion.

Restrain yourselves from formulas. But don’t restrain yourselves from giving each other a hug. We probably both need one.

Be encouraged that we all have our own journey, and that all of our journeys our valid.

[Kate Hurley writes a blog called ‘The Sexy Celibate’ which you can read here. Among other things she is a singer, songwriter, worship leader, writer, and teacher and has contributed worship to Enter the Worship Circle. I also encourage you to head over to her website and sample some of her music.]

[To read the Singleness story of my friend Kate Sherry, click here]

i said to my beautiful wife Valerie the other day something along the lines of ‘what do people write statuses [stati?] about on Facebook if they are not entering into a relationship or having a baby? [or these days in americaland making some kind of staunchly pro this party or anti that one political statement] as it just seemed like the majority of statuses [stati?] i was reading were about one of those…

two things come out of that, the one for those of you who are celebrating is this:

for people who are single and don’t want to be or those who have lost a child or been struggling to have one, these must be incredibly difficult posts to read – depending on the amount of friends you have and how filtered or not your feed is – because it is hard to celebrate someone else’s status when you are mourning your own…

and so it becomes a tough one – because you don’t want to, and shouldn’t minimise your excitement merely because someone else has gone through a hardship… but i think being aware, and even intentionally so – making some kind of motion towards someone you know who your status may be hurtful for – is a really life building thing to do… acknowledging [in a behind-the-scenes personal email or a live take-them-out-for-coffee invitation] that they might be going through a hurtful time and is there anything you can do or be aware of that might help…

realising that while your new relationship or engagement or new baby is the focus of attention for you now and is the center of your world and rightly so… that for some people out there it is simply one of six new relationships, two new engagements and five new babies that they are seeing…

this is a tightrope and a tricky one and i don’t know that there is any answer beyond awareness and sensitivity and possibly taking a step when it is someone you are really close to that is that person who might be hurting… i do imagine that being straight with them [in terms of how much they may want to hear about your new relationship or baby] could be a healthy thing or just giving them space to speak about their situation and hurt or loneliness or current vibe.

this all sounds a little morbid. but it’s not. or doesn’t have to be. i think this is an incredible opportunity to discover and celebrate community. that somehow, at the same time we can celebrate with those who celebrate but also mourn with those who mourn [or just be bummed with those who are bummed].

anyone else have any thoughts on this..?

to become aware of the unique amidst the deluge read this one

if you are a single person, then embrace that, completely. hope to be married if that is your dream, but be absolutely content with where you are and living in it, til the opportunity arises. don’t live where you’re not.

if you are a married person, then embrace that, completely. be content with what you have, while always striving for more. if you are not constantly working at your marriage, then you may soon discover the rut beckoning. in any relationship, the rut is a terrible thing.

ever since the beautiful val and i got married, God has put relationships [and especially marriage] strongly on my heart as something to pour into, not only for us, but others as well… so i asked a bunch of my married friends [who i think are married well] for one thing that they see as vital/helpful to having a good marriage:

Hey Brett,

Great to hear you doing that!
Barbs & I head off to El Shaddai tonight for the 2nd of 3 “laugh your way to a better marriage” evenings – not because our marriage is in crisis, more because we don’t want it to go there. Can highly recommend the series btw.

In our humble opinion:

Communication, communication, communication.
Might sound trite, but it is #1, #2 and #3 in our book.

A marriage is a living, changing thing (like a tree maybe?) as any relationship is. If you’re not feeding it, nurturing it and actively working at it with intent, it weakens, fades, withers and dies.

It is the small things – trivial acts of kindness & consideration as well as feeding each others dreams.

Expectation of 50% give + 50% take = doomed marriage.
Expectation of 80% give + 20% take = great marriage.

Always helps if you start as good friends and not just lovers.

… look forward to your thoughts.

[Dave Gale, married 21 years]

to continue to part ii, click here...

what is with people and ‘the next big thing?’ – you’ve been single forever and you finally get yourself a girlfriend and within a month or two (especially if you’re older) people are like, “so, when’s the big day?”

you get married and within a month or two (way before the plans settle on any kind of one year wedding anniversary preparation) it’s the knowing smirks and, “so, kids hey?”

and so on, and those are just two examples… too many people spend too much time in the future (shtupidt time travellers, but besides them!) when actually all we are trying to do is enjoy the life-to-the-fullness of the now…

i know people are going to be tempted to respond with something along the lines of how interested in you people are just trying to be and i would imagine that is the case sometimes, but more often than not it is people panic’ing and filling space kind of like a “how are you?” “I’m fine” when no-one is ever fine… you’re good, you’re bad, you’re ugly, there is no fine… you say it cos you panic, the question was asked because someone in a shopping centre bumped into someone else in a shopping centre they weren’t expecting to see and panic’d…

anyways my point being, for someone who is in a relationship where they are really struggling about whether to continue the relationship or not (cos of issues unseen to the casual observer) an innocent-intentioned question like “so when are you getting married?” is a piece of bamboo shoot (the thin sharp piece) under the fingernail… for a couple who has maybe just miscarried or who can’t have children or who – heaven forbid – don’t particularly want to have children (or maybe not want to have them now) the “when are you having kids?” question can be a highly insensitive question that adds to the frustration, pain, desperation, annoyance, whatever…

ha ha, if you follow me and tbV’s statuses on facebook you can guess which of these connect personally, but i’m trying to think bigger than us… one of the things i have enjoyed from i think possibly the last 4 weddings i’ve been to was the absence of the “throw stuff at single people herded into the centre” tradition – and i know some people dig it and good for them but i particularly don’t and that’s okay – and in each case the marriaged couple had an alternative – like giving the bouquet to the longest married couple in the room [which i completely dig!] which was rad… for a lot of single people who don’t particularly like being single [some do and i applaud that – contentment in all situations is the key] it is not cool for the focus to be put on them and their singleness…

and so the point of this blog is can we please just enjoy this big thing first? why rush the future? it’s gonna happen, and when it does we will want to celebrate that and not be rushing ahead to what the next further thing is.

i realise this is actually a huge, huge topic, because to really be able to enjoy this big thing, we also need to be able to let go of yesterday’s painful thing, but that’s another blog. live to the full today and celebrate life with me, us, now!

if you liked this check out part ii: can’t i not just start enjoying this big thing now [on looking backwards]

If you are married: Tell her you love her. Tell her often. Don’t ever get bored or tired or let it become a cliche (or a quiche cos that would be weird) and so mean it every time. But say the words. Don’t assume she knows. Tell her again.

If you are dating: Don’t tell her you love her, til you really mean it. And that might mean different things to different people but love comes with commitment. And so until such time as you are committed to her (and that doesn’t necessarily mean a ring on her finger but it does mean you know she is at least potential for it) in some way or form don’t say the words. Don’t rush to say ‘i love you.’ It is too important a statement and reality to just be blurted out. If you say it when you mean it she will appreciate it more. The relationship will benefit more greatly.

Oh and if you are married, why not tell her right this moment – phone, sms, email, write it in sand with your feet on the beach (in sand on your bedroom floor will not go down as well but you might!), but don’t think your actions are ever just enough. You have to mouthe the words.

that is all.

and that ends this series – however if you would like to be linked to the post on how to Love your man better, click here.

so i have been married for about 14 months yesterday and i still completely highly recommend it if it is to the right person – it is not always easy – it is sometimes really hard – but it is incredible and the pros definitely outbeat-up-and-leave-bleeding-behind-the-shed the cons… and i love the beautiful Val – really feel privileged and lucky and amazed that i have someone like her in my life… yay.

the one thing that i have noticed and i was just wondering if it is an us phenomenon or whether other newly married couples have discovered this ‘gem’ is the bermuda triangleness of time that occurs once you get married [married people with kids don’t even bother posting responses cos my brain can’t even stretch this scenario to adding more people into the mix, especially little ones, with poo and stuff]

before we got married it felt like i had a lot of time – we saw each other a fair amount of time i think and i did a whole lot of stuff and had time for church and people and hockey and theatresports and silly computer games and and and…

and then we got married [and please don’t see this as a complaint – it’s not a complaint – more a general musing and a wondering if it’s just us or if others have noticed this as well] and for starters there were the dishes which i am convinced are procreating in our sink (at precisely the same time as aliens from another dimension are warping in and first beaming out all the teaspoons and then other clean things) and so we have a meal and we wash up (i love washing up most of the time so it’s really not a problem – i understand a lot of other people hate it) and then we turn our backs for 18 seconds and WHOOSH!! – full sink of dirty dishes, no clean teaspoons…

wash up seven times a day, make two cups of coffee and suddenly we have an overflowing sink of dirtiness – anyone nodding, smiling, sympathy crying?

and then there is the washing – tbV is a lot more diligent with the washing than i am altho i do try and take opportunities to fill the machine and throw in the powder and flip it on and take it out and hang it up on occasion – but you do a whole crapload of washing (three loads) after maybe a weekend away, and then you take two steps away and as you gasp in bemusement at the post 18 second WHOOSH!! that has just occured in the sink, your peripheral vision is starting to bleat out, “Mayday! Mayday!” and you’re like, “Don’t be silly, it’s mid-September” and pv is like, “no dude, seriously you got to see this” and you look around and BIG FILLED-UP-WITH-DIRTY-CLOTHES-WASHBASKET OVERFLOWING…

it’s a never ending cycle, and there are two of us now working at it – don’t get me started on cleaning the house (no, i mean really, don’t get me started on cleaning the house) and restocking toilet rolls and the bathroom and emptying the trash bags and buying electricity and shopping and and and…

then in terms of spending time with my wife, i absolutely love it and we spend quite a lot of time together, hanging, watching dvd’s, playing scrabble on- and off- line, and other games, talking, working together, etc etc but there just seems to be not enuff time to do all of it justice

like i could spend a week just playing games with my wife, or a week just chatting to her and dreaming out loud about the future and hearing where we are struggling and talking through family stuff and chatting what’s happening in the world or trafficking stuff or thesis stuff, i could spend a week watching dvd’s with her, i could spend a week listening to sermons and doing sodukos and laughing and a bunch of other stuff we like doing together (yes, yes, i’m talking about having settlers marathons) but there is just no time for it all so we sneak in a game of scrabble here and a few episodes of scrubs there and then we have to make a meal [left that off the list – love it, absolutely love cooking for her and with her and you do this whole marathon process and make a pretty amazing meal and it’s gone in ten minutes and the sink is crying out your name] and the dustbins need to go and there’s a meeting and oh wait she has a family and i have a family who kinda want to see us from time to time and she has friends and i have friends and we have mutual friends and just hanging with God needs our attention and there is still so much out there like mashie golf and skydiving and going away for a weekend and bigscreen movies and meals out and hip hop classes and the beach that needs our feet on it and robben island and the theatre and standup comedy and and and

is there any other new couple experiencing this bermuda triangle of time, because it certainly wasn’t around before we got married, but now it seems to… what? a full sink? but i didn’t… we didn’t… i’ve just… argh, gotta go… VAL, CLOTHES BASKET STAT!!!

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