For me, it’s my husband.
I know what you’re thinking… Glen is not scary. He’s cuddly and overexcited.
You’re right. Yet my husband scares me more than anyone else.
I like being in control. Straight lines and neat edges. Immaculate and ordered. My life, my way. Glen can visit – if he takes his shoes off and leaves the guitar in the car.
This works in my head. Or a homeware catalogue. But it’s not a marriage.
On our wedding day, I gave Glen more than the keys to our house. I gave him me. ‘Walk on the grass’ I said. ‘Open all the cupboards and make a mess’. ‘Help me – when I don’t want to be helped.’ ‘Speak the truth, when I want the lies’. ‘Trespass on the boundaries I’ve dug round my heart’.
No wonder I’m scared of him. He has the power to hurt or heal me more than anyone else.
But perhaps I’m not alone.
Yesterday I was reading an article about the things that scare men. Top of the list was their wife’s anger.
‘Glen’, I snorted ( in a sexy not piggy way), ‘Isn’t that ridiculous?’
‘Glen’, I shouted ( just in case he hadn’t heard). ‘SAYS HERE MEN ARE SCARED OF A WOMAN’S ANGER. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. YOU’RE NOT SCARED OF ME ARE YOU?’
I was laughing till I saw his face. Then I stopped.
‘Yes’ he said: ‘I’m petrified. I’ll do nearly anything to stop it’.
‘Really?’ I was genuinely shocked. ‘You’re scared of my anger?’
‘Of course. Why else would you use it?’
Which made me angry. So I went to put the kettle on. And I had a think. Both of us are scared, but of different things.
I’m afraid of Glen. Seeing me and taking away control.
He’s afraid of my reaction to him: my anger if he tries to lead. My disappointment if he takes the initiative and it doesn’t work out.
My anger protects me, gives me control and keeps my husband at bay. But instead of challenging it, Glen is tempted to retreat and to protect himself from feeling like a failure.
But if we have a mediator, we can approach each other with confidence. If the Lord is at the centre, then we can dare to meet half-way.