Post Ideas: Fri 6th January 2023

Swiss Mountains

[Sorry, this post has not had even an initial edit. I have been writing it in such a tired state, and now I just want to go to bed!]

Oh my, I’ve been so busy!I don’t think I have ever been as busy in my life as I have been over the last few weeks. I know that countless post ideas have occurred to me, but I did not write them down, and now they are forgotten, perhaps forever 😞

Anyway, here are a few ideas that I have not forgotten, perhaps I will be able to work on some of these shortly:

*The power of veto – when I presented my latest radical idea to my Dad, he instantly vetoed it – as I had known he would. My Dad is the one person who has that power of veto in my life (other than God, obviously!) and sometimes when I disagree with him I will still go along with what he says, because I respect him that highly.  That is how it needs to be with my husband too and to be clear my husband’s power of veto and authority in my life needs to take precedence over my Dad’s.  Gulp! This means that I need to respect my husband very, very highly.

*Rolling the wheel of love (for want of a better name/analogy)

– Different paths into a successful marriage (a diagram would be so useful here!)  I have written at least one post before about this topic, I know:  I am sure that many successful marriages will have the same underlying workings: communication, etc (a complication here is that a marriage is as successful as the partners believe it to be, or the definition of a marriage as “successful” to some extent depends on the tenacity of the partners involved – so it is not entirely objective). So what I might consider an objectively successful marriage can still fall apart, if one or both partners loses hope. Conversely there will be some marriages which look utterly miserable to people looking on, but the partners just refuse to give up.  But to the extent that a marriage can be considered objectively “successful”, in a non-financial sense, I am sure that it will share many characteristics with others that might be considered objectively successful, or less likely to break up.

– Communication, intimacy both sexual and non-sexual, commitment, respect.  I believe that there are many possible paths into marriage that could eventually result in this wheel of love.  So you could enter your marriage through friendship, or a huge mutual crush/infatuation, or even, as is the most beloved trope of romance novelists, surely – through a rivalry or otherwise as supposed “enemies”, or even through an arranged marriage. I believe that if between you you establish the wheel of love, then your marriage has a higher chance of success. Conversely if you don’t establish the wheel of love, then your marriage has a lower chance of success, no matter how you may have entered it. Some modes of entering marriage are inherently more reliable because they already contain aspects of the wheel of love. However, no mode of entering marriage offers any guarantees.

*This is another blog post idea that has just occurred to me as a result of the previous post idea that I just typed out: what if you or your spouse happen to be unhappy in an objectively good marriage?  I read a headline just about 20 mins ago on Medium that a woman wants to leave her “perfectly good husband”.  If you were the husband in that story, how could you dissuade your wife from breaking up a perfectly good marriage, or vice versa for “perfectly good wives” with unhappy husbands?  Furthermore, is there a way you could reasonably pre-empt this before marriage?  Perhaps in your choice of spouse?  Actually, this topic is quite important, for this reason:  On this blog, I talk about ways to pre-empt bad marriages, and make bad marriages better. If there is something wrong with your marriage, then there are things that you can do to put them right.  But what if everything is perfectly OK to start with, what if you as a spouse are going very much above and beyond, but your spouse is just not feeling it?  Off the top of my head, I think that something to be mindful of before marriage might be this:  take care to choose a spouse who can identify the source of his or her frustration, and who blames the right things. And also someone who is deeply committed to their marriage, and will not just walk away when things don’t feel as if they are working. So ideally, you would want someone who might say “Yeah, I’m feeling a little low just now, but I know that it is not the fault of my husband or my marriage.” So ideally such a person would want to deal with the problem in a way that does not jeopardise their marriage. I think it would also be worthwhile to look for someone who will not take out their internal stresses on their spouse or their marriage. I suspect that so many people do this, dump their anger or stress on their long-suffering spouse. I’m sure that this is often at the root of domestic violence situations.

Hmm, next question that occurs to me is this – how do you assess for domestic violence tendencies in your spouse before marriage?

* Marrying young?[Now what was the point I wanted to make about this?!]

* 2023: My year of ultra humility – setting a new level for myself, for the rest of my life

* A new goal for myself – setting myself a new vision of what I could do/who I could be – overcoming anger

[I have highlighted this next section in this text colour to show that these paragraphs are all part of the same blog post]
*What if a man with high Huggie-Wuggie potential is reading this blog, and failing to be impressed with me? I have always assumed that my future husband would see me as excellent. Other people might not, but I hoped that someone with the qualities I am looking for in a husband would see and appreciate my worth. But it suddenly occurred to me, that this might not be the case! Perhaps there is an excellent man out there, who walks in earth-shattering pursuit of Christ himself, who is all the same reading this and shaking his head and thinking: “Lord, I see what she is trying to say, but I just don’t think that she is there yet!”

I am going to try to identify the various issues that someone could reasonably have identified in me. If there is something else that someone has seen in me, please list it in the comments.
Remember that one of the key aspects of Christlike character is telling yourself the truth. So if you are going to list a criticism of me then I’d ask you to ask yourself whether that is the real issue you have with me, or whether there might be a deeper underlying issue which you might find it harder to admit to yourself, which then you might be pinning on something more visible or plausible or something I have already admitted about myself.

* Possible issues I have identified which Mr HW might have noticed
– The TDA thing/crushes generally: I can obviously understand if a strong Christian were watching this in bemusement, as I wrote a year’s worth of extremely candid posts to someone that I did not even know to be a Christian (and still don’t know, although I am erring on the side of “No”).  As a person crushes tend to hit me in a big way, and I have psychoanalysed myself immensely to work out:
1. Why I am so vulnerable to crushes in the first place
2. What it was about this particular individual that I found so compelling

And you know what? It all boils down to acute loneliness. Regarding this particular individual there was definitely attraction, but there was also a connection of sorts, even if it was communicated in glares etc.
You know what? In my life there is obviously big faith, but equally there is also big loneliness.
Part of the reason I have been so lonely is because I have not been able to find a husband, but it has not been for lack of trying of going to different churches. It just feels as if there is literally no-one else out there who is truly on my wavelength, which has been such a lonely place to be.

In this particular instance faith battled loneliness, and loneliness won. I do have to emphasise however that ultimately, nothing happened between me and Mr TDA beyond my blog posts and that initial letter to him. He never responded to anything. (Although there were a couple of interesting incidents after all was said and done…) All this might not placate the eventual Mr HW, but I am hoping that he will be able to compare all this with whatever deep struggles he also might have had, and simply understand.  Additionally:  I was always saying that I did not know whether Mr TDA was a Christian. But it finally occurred to me that someone such as myself needs a husband who is as outspoken about his faith as I am, so even though I did not know whether Mr TDA was a Christian, the fact that he was clearly not as explicit and forthright as me should in itself have told me that the idea of a relationship between us was simply not plausible.

Why is this so important? I am analysing this for the sake of my future husband, but I am also analysing it for my own sake just in case it happens again, so that I can identify just what is happening within me, and hopefully put an end to it.
I have also realised from reflecting on this whole incident that a crush signifies – absolutely nothing. There is nothing inherently “real” about a crush that gives it any substance as a relationship. The reason I have previously been so moved by my crushes is because they wre always so deep, and I always wondered whether they signified something profound between me and my crushes. However I have learned that for me a deep crush signifies only the deep yearning which is happening within me, rather than anything real or true between me and the crush. What gives a relationship substance is character, communication, commitment, and a ton of hard work.  A crush can certainly be a gateway to a true and deep relationship, but only if those essential aspects are there. From henceforth, I will use any deep crush as a strong and urgent hint to work to develop something real with someone with whom I share true compatibility.

– Nidhra and Pradha: OK, I’m finally addressing the question: Should single Christian women write so frankly about sex?!  The truth is that I am stupendously proud of this book that I wrote, (Nidhra and Pradha, The second act) and what it says about love! And yet it is so frank and candid about sex. Part of me still can’t believe that I wrote, and made public a book that so boldly and fluently references the terms “horny” and “lovemaking”. (I am actually blushing as I type out that sentence!) There is one particular scene in the book which is particularly naughty, and yet I so wanted it in the book that I shoehorned it in, even though it does not truly fit within the flow of the book. It could even be argued that that scene relates an instance of non-consensual sexual activity. (This is not as bad as it might sound, I promise!) I am so aware that that scene in particular, and the book in general, contains ideas, sentiments and experiences that I should not be sufficiently familiar with to write about. It all comes from my illicit reading and my big, big imagination. I would even go so far as to say it was somewhat inspired.  True story:  I was actually living in fear that my family were going to disown me for writing this book. I kept sitting there waiting for an angry call…which never came. The truth is that my parents probably don’t know about the book at all – I was hardly willing to advertise it to them. And I am sure that if they did know, they would be shocked, and they would definitely tell me to unpublish the book. I suspect that some family members did know about the book, but they chose to say nothing, for quite a humorous reason – they were secretly relieved!  You know, I am so old now, and I am not married, and I have never brought anyone home and I suspect that people were starting to ask themselves a few difficult questions about me.  This book probably relieved some of their fears, demonstrating that I at least understand normal human passions. On the other hand, as sexually candid as the book is they could hardly endorse it outright altogether, could they?  So I suspect that this is why on balance they chose to maintain a diplomatic silence…

Oh my, I have blushed more in writing this section about Nidhra and Pradha than I have done in the last year, I’m sure!
While we are talking about sexual candour, I would like to make it clear to everyone, including and especially Mr HW, that even though I have written this book, my stance on sexual purity has not changed in the slightest! And it never has done. It was because of the existing relationship between N and P that I was able to take a few liberties in the way they interacted between themselves, and at one point before their re-marriage I even wrote it that they fell asleep, fully clothed, in one another’s arms. It is hard to explain without going into details so I would encourage you to read the book, if you can handle the heat! And yet this does not in any way reflect the standards that I have for my own life and marriage. I intended this book to hint at Christian standards of relationships, while not being overtly “Christian”, and it was also supposed to be real, and recognisably real. I definitely still do not believe even in pre-marital kissing, pre-marital dating, talking late into the night while physically alone with your date, or even your fiance, where there is the slightest risk of falling asleep. And if I ever do to my fiance what Pradha non-consensually did in the restaurant to her ex-husband Nidhra (to whom she was admittedly soon to be remarried)  I would just want the earth to open up and swallow me! (But who knows?! Perhaps on balance Mr HW would be able to forgive me as effortlessly as Nidhra was able to forgive Pradha! 😂😂😂) After our wedding, I cannot promise to be so well-behaved though, although I hope I can promise never to act so naughtily in public! 🤣🤣🤣 (Yeah, I have just discovered that I can use emojis in WordPress posts!)  So please please do not take this book as an indication that I have embraced other standards since I first started writing this blog over a decade ago or I have been sampling worldly delights. Because I have not. Apart from the illicit reading of erotica. I am now working to aggressively stamp out those illicit thoughts from my thinking.

If any potential Mr HW is frowning at the thought of this book, if he read it and his eyes popped out of his head, (especially at that scene!) I cannot even offer an excuse or a defence of myself. All I can say is that I wrote the book, and I am happy to have written it, and I so proud of it, and I feel that it was given to me by God.  I am thinking of writing more romances, but from henceforth I am planning to keep them “sweet”, that is, non-sexual. It feels a little to me as if this particular book was something good and right and said something that needed to be said.  This is definitely not an excuse, but you know I think that Christians need to talk more about sex. Which might sound weird because in a way Christians talk endlessly about sex. And yet they are always telling you what you should not do. And there is often so much negativity. Some Christians seem to regard sex as something inherently bad, rather than the gift of God that it is.  I think that there need to be more voices telling us as horny yearning single Christians how to think of our sexuality before marriage and also what to look ahead to in marriage. As an aside, I have come across a few TED talks talking about sexless marriages, and I have also been sitting thinking about how to avoid that in my own marriage. The issue though is that I cannot categorically state what my appetites will be like in marriage, after the ardour of the honeymoon stage has cooled – could I possibly be the one instigating a sexless marriage myself X years from now?!

– The erotica thing: Definitely no excuse. The candid truth is that I should have known better. This was not an issue for so many years, and then for some reason I just embraced it wholescale. The thing about giving in to sin, which is what that was, is that at the time, on each instance I always knew that I could have resisted harder, if I had truly wanted to. Also as I write this it occurs to me with this particular sin that I always minimise how dangerous it is. When I can clearly see how dangerous it is, I will avoid it. However I am more likely to embrace it in those instances when I manage to persuade myself that it is not that bad really, after all I am a human being with human needs. This is an understanding that I really need to plant deep within my heart: erotica is not benign. It is not even an lesser evil, compared to actually having sexual relationships. Rather it is literally deadly. If I allow myself to cultivate it any further, it will eventually cost my life. But I quite like my life, and being alive! So my priority now is to uproot whatever roots remain in my heart, and physically run away from it as far as I can. If Mr HW is reading this, and is not impressed, I cannot say that I blame him. I hope that he can forgive me for this and that we can move on together.  This is also all a reminder that no matter how holy we try to be, our sinful nature is real and not to be trifled with. Also, sex is so powerful. In my life, I have avoided being careless around sex. And yet I cannot allow myself to grow complacent, but I have to keep mindful that if I allow it to be, it can be bigger than me.

– The anger thing: Yes, I have really struggled with anger, especially towards other Christians. My aim this New Year is to mentally clean the slate, lay all that anger down, and embrace truth, light and love instead. And forgiveness. I also understand that I will have to mentally douse myself with light and positivity on a regular basis concerning other people, to not let myself get reinfected with toxicity. However, there are certain people regarding whom I have made up my mind that I am simply not going near them ever again. Considering who they have consistently demonstrated themselves to be, this is just sheer prudence.

– Why it might seem as if I am always bragging: I know that this is another thing that a potential HW might be upset or unimpressed about – the truth is that there is a way in which I am objectively different to practically everyone. However, I hope to share this as yet unique characteristic with Mr HW, in two ways: I hope to explain to him just what the characteristic is, and I also hope that he will embrace it as I have done. This is the reason why I am single and why I have not yet found a church, because of this unique characteristic. It is so unique, apparently, but over the last 20+ years of cultivating this characteristic, I have been left in no doubt that this is the correct way to live. I am not deliberately being evasive – I promise! However I am reluctant to publicly spell out what it is because I already put so much of myself out here, and the thought of spelling out this one particular characteristic that makes me so different from everyone else makes me feel so vulnerable!

* “All my friends/churches/pastors are crazy!” It is apparently a big red flag if someone says that all their romantic exes are crazy. How much more so if someone says that literally, practically all their friends and most Christians they have ever met are crazy/bad. In case anyone is reading my posts, and thinking “Hmm, big red flag Tosin!”  I was thinking of drawing a table to anonymously identify the characteristics of many people, to explain why I am always complaining about so many people, to explain what each person did without identifying them. And then you can judge for yourself whether I am exaggerating with my constant complaints. I will also add to this table people who have not been bad or crazy, but who have rather treated me excellently.

* Ways in which I am working to be an excellent wife: this needs to be an ongoing post, to show that it was not just an idea which occurred to me once, I expressed it as a blog post, and then I forgot all about it.
– * Aspects of my character that I have worked on, and am working on, aspects of my character which I know need work

*Further criteria for my husband: A man who is genuinely committed to simple living. The Christian gospel largely rejects a status-oriented mindset. And yet, let’s face it, so many Christians are as obsessed with material status as everyone else. There was another criterion for HW I think which I have currently forgotten, but I think it was quite powerful, as always I wish I had written it down!

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