I Married My Dad
January 14, 2018
by Rick Love (husband to Sue J Love)
I would love to tell you about when I first met Susan Jane Thorn at college, who I fell in love with and who eventually became my wife. I would love to tell you how I was swept off my feet by her captivating heart, her gentleness towards others, her servant attitude, and her great beauty. I was.
I would also love to tell you I instantly saw her great value and treated her as God’s precious daughter, that I rode in on my white horse and rescued her from the dragon father she was living with, and I married her, and that the last 45 years have been a great love story, where I have cherished her and protected her, but that isn’t true… and that one day we will ride off into the sunset together, hand-in-hand, taken to heaven to share in the joy of being in the presence of Jesus Christ. We will.
A Sex/Lust Addict
Sue was all that I said and much more, but I was a selfish college guy with a sexual/lust addiction already raging in my heart, and I was thinking about myself when I lucked into finding her. I was a Charley Brown geeky guy who didn’t wash his face very often and had a bunch of bad habits, so I didn’t exactly have girls lining up to go out with me. Sue was a sweet, attractive, talented girl in the choir who had beautiful eyes and who smiled politely at me in the bass section, and somehow, I got up the nerve to ask her out, and for some reason she said, “Yes”.
Where it Started
Early in my life I was exposed to a variety of sexual experiences that shaped my life and formed a set of ideas and expectations about females that were false and destructive. Additionally, I was exposed to pornography several times, and as a college guy, I had even greater access to porn and the many lies it delivers to you and your thinking deep inside your soul.
Also, in a previous dating relationship in high school, an aggressive girlfriend opened the door to more than a goodnight kiss on dates, so that fire was heated up in me, hoping to find satisfaction in the next girl. But Sue wasn’t a next girl kind of girl – I could tell early on she was the one I wanted to marry, if I was able to win her heart.
Impact on Dating and Marriage
Nonetheless, the raging hormones and the sexual addiction hammered away at our relationship. This was against her wishes and pleadings, and was with my full knowledge that it was wrong and utterly selfish on my part. This set the stage for a long hellish nightmare for her, rather than a godly marriage.
You see, marriage didn’t change my addiction and wasn’t able to feed it adequately, and so I soon began to seek other ways to take care of myself when she wasn’t able to meet my unreasonable expectations, regardless of the cost to her or the risk to our family.
Telling Her Story
Sue will tell you enough of her story of abuse and pain and abandonment in the first three chapters of this book to help you understand the depth of both her pain and my depravity, but it is just a subset of what she went through. Yet she stayed with me, tried to be a godly wife and mother, and tried to protect me and my reputation while she struggled through her own issues from a childhood that had devastated her and left her deeply wounded even before I showed up.
She truly walked as a woman of God would walk during our years together, other than a short time when I trapped her into my evil world – something she never would have done if I wasn’t there, and for which I am particularly ashamed. Her walk of faith was real – there is no way she could have weathered either her childhood or her marriage apart from the love and grace God showed her, and the growth and maturity he built within her, especially while she was married to a selfish, lying, adulterous, abusive shell of a man – me.
I have no excuse for what I did. I made the choices, one at a time, to take care of me and to take advantage of her and others to get what I wanted. When I didn’t get my way, I threw temper tantrums and was mean and a bully and pushed back and lied to protect my world and keep my addiction going. I deserve a special place in hell for what I did and how I treated her. But she continued to love me and forgive me and pray that God would one day get ahold of my heart and at least save me before I died and went to hell.
God is Sovereign
However, God is God, and he is able to take what is ugly and make it beautiful, he is able to make what is hopeless and redeem it for his glory. He has taken this humble and gentle daughter of his and given her brutal on-the-job training for life and marriage, and along the way healed her over and over and met her needs, many times alone. She would do anything for him, including die for him, and God knows that.
Through the years he has trained Sue not only to personally face many of the deep hurts and scars other women are facing today, but to understand his own sorrow for their pain, his compassion for their despair, and his hatred for those sins committed against them.
She also understands what it is like to face strong temptations and the shame of sin, and she is compassionate towards those of us who have struggled for years. Her wisdom and advice are warm and loving, but also strong and necessary to set things on the right pathway and to bring about change. Her experiences give her a unique ability to understand and communicate God’s words and his direction for change and restoration in people’s lives.
Blessed Beyond Measure
I have been truly blessed to still have my wife around to help me after all she has gone through. Even when the light was barely flickering, she was standing in my corner, fighting for me and my redemption and real changes. I could not have made it without her. I realize that is because it was God who worked through her to love me and to be patient with me and to eventually bring me to my senses.
Help for the Hurting
I hope that many of you will find hope and encouragement and comfort from her wisdom and love as she shares her own heart through her pain and healing. I also hope that others who were like me might have their eyes opened to the destruction they are causing to their wives’ hearts and to their marriages, and will find help for their addictive or cruel treatment of them. And for those who, like me, are aware of their sinful legacy and desire to climb out of the hell they are trapped in, I hope you will find help and encouragement and forgiveness and direction in these chapters in this book.
At this writing, our marriage has a long way to go. The damage I did seems insurmountable. Yet we are both hopeful because we know the God who is able to do all things well, and for our good. Our trust is in him, and I pray you will learn to get your comfort and love and trust in him as well.
Here is a link to my blog where I am recording my walk on this journey:
Rick Love’s blog: Searching My Heart