Mr. Wrong or Mr. Right?

8 Feb

Ladies, I am in a little bit of trouble where my friend RN is concerned.  Unwittingly I find myself casting him in the role of best friend and confidante.  Which is bad enough considering that what I really, truly want is to open myself up to be a best friend and confidante only to the man who will one day be my husband (whoever he might be).  But what is worse is that I’m starting to consider RN as a potential husband.  Which feels stupid and groupie-like and so very much like a replay of 1999-2000.

RN is unemployed and has been for quite a long time.  I do not think that he is actively looking to be a member of the general work force.  He is clergy.  But he doesn’t earn a salary, only unscheduled “love offerings.”  He basically works for his church in whatever capacity is needed for little or no money.  How he manages to support himself, I do not know.

The other problem is that RN is not a studied preacher.  Not only does he not have any kind of degree, he is not interested, it seems, in self-study concerning doctrine or theology.  I do not know him to be a man who has investigated precisely what he believes and why.  Also, he’s Pentecostal . Which means that he enjoys service where dancing and crying out, etc., are a regular part of worship.

The really big problem, though, is that RN is a commitment-phobic man.  He runs at the thought of committed relationship.  Runs fast and far.

Knowing all this, why am I contemplating a relationship with him?

Partly, it’s that he is a man of God and a worshipper. My only friend who will reason through the scriptures with me for fun. Partly it is that he is kind and good to me.  But also, I know that the openness I feel to RN has a good deal to do with WB getting married. 

There is a kind of man who marries down. Yes, down.  This kind of man is whatever he is and he marries someone who is decidedly less–less educated, less spiritually mature, less financially secure, less intelligent, less ambitious, less attractive–simply lesser, in some meaningful way to him.  It’s not enough that he is a Man.  His chosen love must be intentionally weaker so that he Feels like a man. Women who are his equal, in some meaningful way, are deemed “too” whatever.  So, getting hip to the game, some of these women dumb it down or soften it up.  They show these kinds of men weakness, so that such a man’s need for strength will be appeased.  And the game of love plays on.

I am astonished, and sad to say, that WB falls into this category of men who marry down. From all accounts, WB’s wife is equal to him only in height.  He chose lesser in almost every way. I never thought he would. And his choice redefines him in my eyes.  Maybe all these years later, my exalted memory of him no longer fits the real person.

But more than that, WB’s choice cements forever and for always his rejection and repudiation of me and all that I represent. (His wife is not even born again but Catholic). This is heart wrenching to accept.  Yet in accepting it, and moving forward, I find myself moving alongside RN.  He is the one who is right here with me.  Sharing my heartbreak and sorrow and my questioning without fatiguing.  He is the one who wants to get together with me for dinner, who wants to talk to me on the phone, who wants to hear about my family life struggles, and my work anxieties. He is a man who has not repudiated me, and who does not need to choose a woman who is lesser so that he can feel like more.  RN sees me, the real me, and offers only love and acceptance.

So now, having been invalidated by one man that I respected and loved above all others, now more than ever, I treasure RN’s acceptance and love.  I am seeing him differently, because of how he sees me.

So I’m in trouble here.


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