Monday, June 18, 2012

A Good Man

Just a little over five years ago, I was sitting in my therapist's office discussing the events of the night before. My husband and I had been having a conversation during which we had been in agreement on some issue when I said something that he didn't like. He reacted by screaming at me until I cried, at which point he threw a bowl of hot food at me and punched a hole in the wall. Just a normal night in my first marriage.

I moved on to talk about how I had been longing to have a child, something I could not discuss with my husband because it made him angry (in fact, on our third date, I had brought up the topic of children and he had screamed at me while repeatedly punching the steering wheel of his car). My therapist looked at me and said, "If you have children, he will treat them the same way he treats you."

My whole world stopped. Her words were so powerful it was as if they were visibly hanging in the air. I realized, for the first time, I really realized that I could not ever have children with this man. Even if, after years of knowing how much he despised the idea, I could convince him to have children it would be irresponsible and reckless to allow him near a child. At the same moment I realized that I was not willing to give up on motherhood.

I tried to change my marriage into an environment suitable for a child. I stood up for myself - not only telling my husband that I would be leaving the house and spending the night away each time he was abusive, but actually following through and doing it. I nagged him to go to marriage counseling - he went once and yelled at the counselor.  I told a couple of close friends and my parents the truth about what went on (because hiding it gave him power to continue). It turned out, he didn't like these changes at all. He told me he wanted the old me back.

My marriage officially ended when I refused to sign a contract. My husband came to me and said that he couldn't live with the "new me" and that he had written up a contract I had to sign in order to stay in the marriage. I wish I had kept a copy of it because it was so unbelievably ridiculous. It included such items as:

1. I will submit to my husband in all things.
2. I will quit my job and stay home.
3. I will never return to Africa for a visit.
4. He will choose all of our vacation destinations. 
5. I will agree to never have children or talk about it.

I refused to sign. I got my own apartment and a lawyer.

After that I thought that I might never have children. I didn't think adoption was even an option for me because who could afford that on a single, teacher's salary? I could barely afford rent and food.

I wish that me could have seen me now, but she probably would not have believed it. I found a man who is not only the most patient, loving, forgiving husband anyone could imagine, but who also displays those qualities with the two beautiful boys who bless our household.

Everyone who knows Stone truly knows him - he doesn't hide anything or have deep dark secrets. He is an open book. It is, therefore, very telling that everyone who knows him also likes him a great deal. He is the sweetest man you could meet - hardworking, intelligent, compassionate, and crazy sexy.

Simon knows how lucky he is to have Stone. He tells me that Stone is more fun than I am - which is true because Stone is much better at playing Batman, baseball, and frisbee than I. But Stone is also good at reading stories, putting band-aids on boo-boos, and  making Saturday morning breakfast. Simon wants to be just like Stone someday, and I sincerely hope he will.

For Father's Day, Simon filled out this great template that I found at Two Journeys: One Life. Here is a picture before I let Simon put the finishing touches on - at which point the camera batteries were tot.

Here is what it says (Simon's answers in all caps):
My dad's name is DADDY
My daddy is 9 years old.
My daddy has BLACK hair and his eyes are BLUE
My daddy's favorite food is KETCHUP AND CARROTS
My daddy's favorite color is DARK BLUE
My daddy likes to wear BLACK
My daddy likes to eat CARROTS
My daddy is smart because he knows THAT I LIKE HIM
My daddy words hard at SCHOOL
My daddy always tells me THAT I LOVE HIM
I am happy when daddy LOVES ME AND PLAYS WITH ME
I love my daddy because I JUST LOVE HIM

So much love...more than I ever could have dreamed of! Happy Father's Day, Stone.


  1. wonderful so happy things turned around for you wish you all the happiness in the world Angela

  2. I am so glad you got out of that relationship and you are brave to share it. And it just shows how good things may be just round the corner and we should never give up x

  3. Aw, I love Simon's list! Stone sounds like a are blessed.

  4. He really sounds like a wonderful man and your son will follow in his father's footsteps I'm sure. I'm so glad you have found peace. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  5. Thanks for sharing. Your story is very inspiring!! Loved the list!!

  6. wow that must have taken a lot, to share that story with us. I'm so glad you stood up for your own happiness, and that you've found true happiness, with a man that deserves your love.

  7. I'm so glad you got away from that and have a beautiful life now! You deserve it. The list is so cute! I love the my daddy's name is . . . Daddy.


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