Why I’m Weird

Natalie Jaranowski   -  

I’m weird.  I know it.  In fact, I own it.  But I have a good reason.  Infidelity in marriage is such a threat, and one that I am all too familiar with from my previous marriage. When John and I got married, I was determined that I would never let that happen again. I believe infidelity starts in the mind. Entertaining a thought about another man can lead to dangerous thought patterns. When times are tough in my marriage, I don’t want to escape to a fantasy world where I am thinking of another man. Dangerous thought patterns lead to slippery slopes. And if you don’t want to fall, don’t walk in slippery places! There are a few practices I follow to keep my thoughts on my husband. I think of them as my “Don’ts”:

Don’t touch.

If you know me, you know that I make it clear I don’t want to be touched. But here’s the thing—I am not an antisocial freak. It is a very intentional thing I do to protect my marriage. Like all people, I have an emotional need to be touched. I have resolved that my husband will be the only man who will fulfill that need. I want to crave his touch. I want to long for it. And I refuse to get it anywhere else, as a way to protect this longing. Yes, even a hug from a well-meaning male friend is something I avoid and shy away from. Now, I know that a guy who comes up and gives me a polite little side hug is not coming on to me. But it’s a boundary I have put into place for myself. I never want the thought in my head to be, “Wow, I wish John were more affectionate like so-and-so…”

Don’t seek attention.

Bret said something recently in one of his messages:

Inside your smart, secure wife lives a little girl who deeply needs to know that you find her beautiful, and you only have eyes for her.

Um…ouch. Get out of my head! But seriously, this is spot on. I, like most women, fight the battle of my mind about my appearance. And yes, the insecure little girl inside of me wants to be found beautiful. So much so, that I can be like a parched sponge that will soak up even the tiniest drop of it. So if another man tells me I’m beautiful, I like it. Too much. But again, the only voice I want to hear in my head, for my own purity of thought, is that of my husband reassuring me that I am pretty, smart, fun to be around, etc. I don’t want to be at a low point and even have the option of thinking, “John probably doesn’t even appreciate me. Now so-and-so, he thinks I’m beautiful. He thinks I’m great. I wish John were more like him…”

Don’t look for a hero.

Bret didn’t mention the princess that lives inside of some of us women, but I can promise she is there. She is sometimes trapped in a tall tower and searching for her knight in shining armor to come along and rescue her.   And she will ride off into the sunset with him, happily ever after.
Boy how I wish this one wasn’t true. I don’t want to be weak. I don’t want to need anyone. I am a strong, confident, able-bodied, intelligent woman. I will do all the rescuing!!! But sometimes I am in that stupid freaking tower, looking out into the distance, waiting for my knight in shining armor.
I have often wondered if this is something that God put inside of us to make us long for the true saving power of Jesus Christ, and because of our sinful nature we are trying to fill this with other things. We look for a knight when we should be looking for the King. Either way, when I need to be rescued, I want it to be my husband. I want to ride off into the sunset with him. And marriage is supposed to be a reflection of Jesus, right? So as Christ gave himself up for the church, so my husband will give himself up for me. And in rescuing me, he is showing me an object lesson of how Jesus Christ has saved me. I need this reminder. We all do. 
My “don’ts” get made fun of a lot. When a guy tries to hug me and instead I offer a fist-bump, I get some funny looks. When a man says, “You have pretty eyes” and my response is, “yep, that’s what the Amazing John Jaranowski thinks too!” I get some chuckles. And I’m quite certain it’s annoying to some guys that I resist their well-meaning offers of help in certain situations. But that brings me to my last don’t:
I don’t care if it makes me weird.
What is normal is for marriages to break up. It’s normal for people to fall out of love. It’s normal for women to fantasize about what their life would be like with another man. I don’t really want to be normal. I love my husband. And he loves me, weirdness and all.