Monday, November 17, 2014

Parasitic Marriages

Do you know what an anglerfish is?

They are these fascinating creatures that live deep, deep in the dark sea and I only know about them because of Finding Nemo. Many years ago, I decided to see if that light-guided gross-looking fish was real… and it is.

What’s most interesting about this fish is not that they have translucent teeth or that they can swallow prey up to twice their size… but the relationship between the males and females. The male is smaller than the female and when one encounters a female, it will use its teeth and latch onto her. Eventually he is fused to her—he is connected to her “skin and bloodstream and losing his eyes and all his internal organs except the testes”. A lady anglerfish can have up to six or more of these males latched onto her.  (

That’s crazy and gross and weird and PARASITIC.
When I read it to my husband, he was appalled at the male’s lack of ability to do anything for himself. He may have even commented about how opposite to marriage it was, which of course left himself wide open for a jab about how men are absolutely the inferior species and I should probably write a blog on it. Our banter continued… and now, here I am… writing a blog.

As I think about it (and since over-thinking is what I do best), I’m not sure we ladies are as different from Mrs. Anglerfish as we think we are. Maybe he’s not latching onto us with his teeth and literally becoming fused to us… but, he kind of is (whether he knows it or not). We get married and we become “one”.

It isn’t long before we start raising our eyebrows when he starts acting up in public, making comments under our breath when his stories go on too long, correcting him when his information is slightly inaccurate. Over time, we might find ourselves with a blind husband who is lacking passion and only seems to care about sex (sound familiar)? 

That’s crazy and gross and weird and PARASITIC.
And yet, sometimes, I think we do it.
Sometimes, I see myself starting to do it. When my husband yells randomly and spontaneously and I fear for my life for a brief moment, I scold him. When he tries to be close to me when I’m feeling particularly introverted, I push him away. When he says something to someone that I think sounds weird or wrong, I widen my eyes at him with a warning look. And I can’t help but wonder if those “little” things might increase over time and eventually I’ll be serving to suffocate his soul and spirit.

I’m this controlling woman who thinks things ought to be done a certain way (my way)…and when he doesn’t do everything that way…………

Fortunately, I married an opinionated man who is free-spirited and unwilling to mold himself to my petty expectations and demands. A man who is quick to call me out on my controlling nature and urges me to see the beauty in allowing him to be exactly who the Lord created him to be—boyish-ness and all.

I laugh more.
Enjoy life more.
Let loose more.
And when I don’t, he quickly snaps me out of it or we dialogue about it until we can reach a common ground.

In the end, I’m reminded that those things that I can’t control are a lot of the reasons why I love him. I don’t want to break him, change him, or drain him. I don’t want him fused to me, I don’t want to lose him as he dies a slow death of foregoing his identity as we become one.

I want him to remain him.
And me to remain me.
And be one, as two individuals saved by grace, united in Christ--growing toward Christ.
But never controlling.

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