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NachosFlandersStyle

Kindred Grace contributor married at 17- Jessiqua (MERGED)

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thoughtful
When we went to visit Dad at the college, he told us not to pick up the little bags of white powder on the school lawn

6f5Wp0r.jpg

I think the things hanging from the father's waist are tzitzit, and the groom's jacket is an attempt at a kittel, as part of the whole faux Jew routine.

edited for clarity

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Waffle Time
FeministShrew

Damn. I'm two years older than Dad.

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Waffle Time
FeministShrew

Hubby's church page links to Ron Wyatt articles. He's a whole other boatload of crazy. He moved to my area in the 70s & tried to start a fundie utopia near my grandpa's house. I wish I could remember the name! One room shacks, head coverings, long skirts & herds of homeschooled kids. They made the news because homeschooling was extremely rare in SC back then.

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Dizzy
Grimalkin

Wow, they reeeaaaallllly hate Catholics! I am kind of delighted by that.

In that WLC site they say Pope Francis will be the last Pope as he is the eighth King and the world will end very soon. Originaly they thought JPII was the last pope, but then he wasn't, because they somehow calculated it all wrong and it turns out whosiwhatits Benedict was the seventh King which makes Francais the eighth King and therefore the Anti-Christ. Him being an EVIL Jesuite proves it.

Why do they bother having so many children when the end is so close?

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Waffle Time
FeministShrew

What stood out to me is how she talked herself around to believing that imaginary buddy mind reader god was really talking about Blackbeard the whole time.

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Dizzy
Grimalkin
What stood out to me is how she talked herself around to believing that imaginary buddy mind reader god was really talking about Blackbeard the whole time.

Yeah. Lots of crazy delusional stuff going on there. Not surprising though, considering she was homeschooled by somebody who compares worship to shit taking.

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Dizzy
Grimalkin

Anybody else have the intuitive premonition that her stepson being four years younger than her will end badly? Or goodly depending how you look at it.

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LilMissMetaphor

See also: Maranatha and Matthew Chapman and their daughter Lauren for more child brides married off to much older men.

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Jencendiary

So, I'm not a parent. But from everything I have observed from my parents and my sister and nieces, doesn't handing your underage child over to a pervert go against all of that instinctual parent stuff?

I don't even know.

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NotALoserLikeYou
Anybody else have the intuitive premonition that her stepson being four years younger than her will end badly? Or goodly depending how you look at it.

Dude, I thought it was just me with the demented mind :D

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uber frau
Here is Jessica's husband's homemade church (be sure to click on the end times link for fun)

servantsofyeshua.com/resources.html

Oh wow. I stumbled across this last week when I took a few steps too far down a rabbit hole.

I'm planning start a new thread about them when I get around to it.

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Wine time!
crawfishgirl

spokeo.com after looking at Jessiqua's google+ friends. But I think the mom's name is Ahava. I'm not sure if she evolved from Apryl or if that's a sister. The dad probably has a Jewish name now, too.

I would not trust everything on spokeo.com. I looked myself up once, and most of its information was incorrect - including marital status, education, income, kids, and religion, and those are just the items that I remember being incorrect, so there are probably more. At least it had the correct address... :?

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Burris
“The real reason we brought you here,†Dad continued. “Is because… we think that you might be Jessiqua’s husband.â€

Time stopped.

Betrayed! By my own beloved father!

I was too furious to speak, but I started passionately shaking my head.

“Or… we think that you might know him,†Dad quickly finished.

Blackbeard looked at me, then at my parents. I wasn’t looking at him, so it was impossible to read his face.

“I… know him,†he finally replied.

I sat up ramrod straight in my chair and excitedly looked at him.

Maybe this night wasn’t a total embarrassment!

“Is he in your church?†Dad asked.

“He’s… in the assembly.â€

My fingernails clenched the table in anticipation.

Then Blackbeard turned to me. His dark blue eyes were stern and serious.

“Jessiqua, could you leave the room, please?â€

My mouth dropped open. Leave, now?! The arrogance of the man! I wanted to know what he was going to say more than anybody! I deserved to know!

I silently stood and left the room, offended to the core.

Dad and Blackbeard talked for quite a while, then I and the rest of the kids were let back into the room. It was getting late, Blackbeard’s children had school in the morning, so he had to go. He was taking the time to draw a map to his church though. I rolled my eyes when I saw him sketch his house a couple blocks away from the church building. Why would we care where his house was?

When Blackbeard left, I hurried up to Mom and demanded, “Well?! What did he say?!â€

“I can’t tell you,†she said in a goadingly mysterious way.

“Why not?!â€

“It would give you a big head,†she primly replied.

Ohh! This was so frustrating!

I went back to my room to pray and calm myself down.

I don't see it as being so big a problem if a 17-year-old decides to begin her adult life early - although the situation of such a one, in a worst-case-scenario, could end up life-altering and terrible. (And here the poor girl actually thought she could trust her disgusting parents.)

I might have made a mistake like this one before I left. After I returned, a few months before turning 21, I would have gone through the whole house (possibly literally) kicking asses if my parents had tried to pull a stunt like this - and the idiot who asked me to leave the room wouldn't have had "a snowball's chance in hell" of ever getting into my pants. He would have blown whatever faint chance he had by basically ordering me, the one whom he thought might be his future wife, to leave the room so he could talk to my parents about whether or not I was mature enough to have sex with: 'I'm too much of a child to ask, and enough of a child for you to order around, but adult enough for you to fuck? Predatory, disrespectful, fucked-in-the-head freak.'

Her friend's mom cared more about her future than Jessiqua's own parents. What - so many mouths to feed that they had no problem auctioning off their 17-year-old daughter to a man twice her age, who had a 12-year-old girl through adoption and by a previous marriage? Gross. Indescribably gross.

For as terrible as Maranatha Chapman's story was, this one might actually be worse. Maranatha's father had at least known the suitor a few years before pawning his daughter off.

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Milly-Molly-Mandy

I thought he had never been married?

Yeah her parents are the worst, it's just creepy the way she was convinced by them that Blackbeard was the husband he had been praying for.

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Burris
Blackbeard started regularly calling our house after that, asking to speak to my parents. I always knew who it was on the phone without asking. His voice was distinctive, I recognized it every time.

Mom was starting to act really weird...she was actually asking about my husband. Sometimes she’d come into my room and ask, “How’s your husband feeling today, sweetheart?â€

I hope this isn't the story theonomists are using to prove "true love doesn't wait."

I wouldn't even know where to begin with deconstructing it.

The parents, playing on their daughter's immature ideas about love?

The future husband sniffing after an under-aged girl half his age?

I’d suspiciously look at her, then think over my intuitions I’d received that day.

Sometimes my answer would be, “Um… good, I guess.â€

Sometimes it’d be, “He’s having issues with his daughter.â€

He's having trouble with HIS DAUGHTER! His 12-year-old daughter. Maybe she was upset he was trying to get her a new mommy who was all of five years her senior.

Hardly a week passed before he bought a couple of old wood-stoves, cleaned, sanded, and painted them, then dropped them off in our front yard.

Dad looked at the gifts with a compromised expression on his face. He wasn’t sure how to properly set them up in the trailers.

Compromised. Perfect word-choice.

Maybe her husband isn't a total creep - but what if he had been? What if, instead of a good man, she had ended up with the creep her friend's mom thought he was? How, in the short time between when they met and when they married, would her parents have honestly been able to figure this man out?

Either the guy wasn’t a very reliable church goer, or Blackbeard had misspoken when he said that he knew who I was looking for.

...or perhaps Blackbeard - God, what a name-choice for a future husband - hadn't been entirely honest when he said he merely "knew" who the girl's future husband should be.

“Well, honey… what do you think of these boys here? Do you feel anything about any of them?â€

I thought about the Bible translations guy, and the long haired, flirty drummer, and the twenty-something dude that thought he was God’s gift to the rest of humankind….

“Daddy, I want a man, not a boy. I need to marry someone I can respect.â€

Yeah - she wanted a man; someone she could respect.

What about Blackbeard; did he want a woman - someone he could respect?

Such mismatched expectations should have given her parents pause.

That night, after everyone left, Mom and I had a talk.

I was supremely frustrated that my husband hadn’t shown up, and I started expressing my irritation to her.

“It’s like he’s on the other side of a glass wall!†I exclaimed. “Or… like he’s just around a corner. He’s so close I can touch him, but I can’t see him! I don’t understand! This is so aggravating!â€

Mom listened to me for a while, then she very carefully asked, “Are you sure you don’t know who your husband is, Jess?â€

“Of course I’m sure! I’d know him instantly!â€

“Are you absolutely certain? Has God told you that?â€

“Well… no…â€

I stopped talking and started thinking hard. Slowly, ever so slowly, the truth started dawning on me.

Mom had never let go of the idea that Blackbeard was the man for me. Somehow it clung stubbornly to her heart. She never pushed me or influenced me in that direction, and Blackbeard himself had never showed even a whit of interest in me, but somehow, I knew what she was thinking.

Yeah, sure no one tried to influence Jessiqua - and except for her brother telling her Blackbeard wanted to marry her, she had no idea he was interested in her. He was just coming over to talk to her parents, and doing them all sorts of favours besides, because he was a stand-up guy.

She knew what her mother thought of her and him, but...yeah...no one was influencing her at all - except for by quizzing her about her instincts, and by 'slowly' but surely addressing and twisting her expectations.

“No! No! Not him! I told you! He’s not my husband! He’s just the door!â€

Mom didn’t say anything. She wanted me to make my own decisions without her influence tainting them.

I ran to my room, dove into bed, and started praying.

“God! You see! This is so confusing! What is she thinking?!â€

Slowly, I started breathing and thinking easier. My prayers grew more direct.

“You said Blackbeard was the door, Lord!â€

“He is,†The Spirit whispered to me. “The man you know is not the man that’s on the inside.â€

“What does that mean?â€

“Blackbeard’s like an onion. You’ve never met the real man inside of him. The outside crust, the only side of him you’ve ever seen, is the door to the inside of him, which is a hidden, tender heart.â€

I feel a little bad about slamming this story because (a) I actually do think instincts can protect a person, (b) I actually do believe people can legitimately love each other, and remain in that state for the rest of their lives, even if they came from different backgrounds and are of different ages, and © it seems Jessiqua is happy with her lot.

Part of the problem is how she never had a chance to live her own life, to pursue many of her personal goals, or to get anything remotely resembling a well-rounded education. And now she's what, 22 and three children deep with this man. Even if she weren't happy, could she actually admit that to anyone (including herself)? Even if she did feel cheated by her parents, who could she tell? Most of the people who stumble on her story - the sorts of girls who read Kindred Grace for life advice - probably mistake it for the most romantic thing they've ever read.

I won't even slam the messages from God thing, because I think if God exists - and oddly enough, I do believe that - then everyone has access. It's clear, however, that her parents pushed her to the point where she may have stopped paying attention to her intuition and started second-guessing her initial impressions in favour of the tale her parents were spinning:

I sat up and started thinking hard.

“So… he could be my husband then.â€

“Could be.â€

“But is he?!â€

Silence…

No matter how much I asked, God wouldn’t tell me if Blackbeard was my husband. So I changed my question.

“What do you want me to do then? I’ve been avoiding him like the plague. And he avoids me. We’ve never even had a real conversation before.â€

The Spirit’s guidance was the clearest words I have ever received.

“Give him a chance.â€

Give this guy a chance?! A chance with my heart?! My tender, vulnerable heart?!

I balked.

Then a vision came to me. I saw what might happen. I saw the inside of Blackbeard’s heart. The capacity for love was strong in him. We could have a truly beautiful, loving relationship.

Yes - when pressed to admit it, I definitely believe some really unorthodox things can work out for the good.

But warning bells begin to sound when I read something such as what appears below:

Blackbeard’s voice was on the other end.

“Hello? Jessiqua?â€

“Yeah.â€

“Can I talk to your mom, please?â€

“She’s out shopping. Can I take a message?â€

Suddenly, there was a long silence on the other end. I almost thought he had hung up.

Then he confessed, “Well… I was actually going to ask if I could talk to you anyway.â€

ME?!

I felt short on breath. My heart started thumping so loud I could hardly hear.

What could he possibly want to talk to me about?! He had never asked to talk to me before!

“Uh… okay,†I croaked. “What’s up?â€

“Bible Geek rode home with me the other day after we finished working on your wood stoves. And he told me that you two were able to sit down and talk for like, fifteen minutes. And I really don’t think that’s fair.â€

“We… didn’t really talk,†I weakly explained, at a loss as to why he sounded so... jealous.

“Well, I was the one busting my butt and working, and... your list of traits or whatever fits me, not him, right?†he prodded.

Jealous?

He has barely exchanged ten words with the girl and he's jealous because she dared to discuss the Bible with another guy closer to her own age.

RED FLAG.

Was Blackbeard impressed by her knowledge? Her manners? Her kindness? No; he was upset that she wasn't making eyes at a man twice her age who had children nearly as old as she was - a man, who by Jessiqua's own account, had spent no time speaking with her before now.

Thankfully, Blackbeard didn’t wait for my response before continuing, “I know the age difference is awkward, but after we’ve been together a while it won’t be such a big deal. And there’s the whole Issac and Rebekah thing that we were talking about at church last week. That seemed to be perfect timing.â€

That’s about when my raging thoughts tuned out his words. I was in shock.

Was Blackbeard saying… that he had feelings for me?! He had never shown them before! And now he was acting as if they were as plain as day!

He thought that Mom had told me about the content of their recent conversations....

So… do you think that I could come over? So we can talk face-to-face?â€

Yeah - he certainly took a lot for granted, such as that Jessiqua's parents were being as forthright with her as her suitor had been with them; that a 17-year-old girl would be interested in someone twice her age merely because he did favours for family - favours that, apparently, came with a whole lot of strings attached.

She prudently told him she'd have to ask her dad if he could come over.

And I'm surprised he didn't realize this would be her reaction. He wasn't dealing with an independent woman of his own age, after all, but with a sheltered 17-year-old girl.

Dad was in bed. I went and explained what had happened to him. He looked at me with mournful eyes.

“Do you want me to run him off, sweetheart?†he asked, (loathing the idea of losing his baby girl.)

I hesitated, but then remembered the Lord’s guidance to “give him a chanceâ€.

“No. I’ll give him a chance," I replied.

A couple minutes later, I was talking to Blackbeard on the phone again.

“Daddy said it’s okay for you to come over,†I informed him.

“What about you?†he prodded. “Do you want me to come over? I don’t want to come unless you want me to come.â€

Holy shit - about fifty parts into her story and someone finally sincerely asks for her input! Of course, she might have been rightfully afraid of how the man would react if she said no - and after all the work he and his friends had done on their trailer.

I blushed. My face felt hot at the idea of him thinking that I might like him.

“Whatever,†I flippantly said.

There was a pause on the other end of the line.

“Well… okay. I’ll see you in a little bit then,†he replied before hanging up.

As soon as I hung up the phone, the Lord snatched me up and scolded me.

“You hurt his feelings! You need to apologize as soon as he gets here!â€

Okay... Okay...

[Emphasis hers.]

...because nothing in this situation could be more important than the feelings of a matured man who had not just been blind-sided by his love interest.

The trillions-of-years-old creator of the universe would be unaware of why Jessiqua was remote and thus chide her for hurting Blackbeard's feelings.

As soon as he ducked his broad frame into the trailers, I rushed up to him with an apologetic expression.

“Listen, I’m sorry for being rude on the phone. I didn’t mean that like it came out.â€

Blackbeard’s knotted-up, frustrated expression softened. The corners of his eyes wrinkled as he smiled down at me. The sight made me feel a strangely-sweet sort of shy.

“Oh, okay. Thanks,†he replied.

We walked through the nail-studded hallway and went to the dining room. Dad was in the kitchen, working on the sink so that he had an excuse to be nearby and hear our conversation.

...as if he needed an excuse at this point. Given his meddling, her father would have been more honest to sit himself at the head of the table, get nice and comfortable, then shout "Go!" once he'd settled in.

“Well?!†[Jessiqua's mother] demanded, with sparkling eyes.

I breathed in and out a deep breath, then shyly confessed, “I kinda like him. He’s lovable in his way.â€

She tilted her head in a pleased fashion and walked off.

...but no one was pressuring her at all.

What if Blackbeard wasn’t my husband? What if my real husband discovered that I had kept this? That would hurt his feelings, wouldn’t it? I would hate to throw this token of affection away, disappointed, if this whole relationship came to nothing…

It's hard not to feel sorry for her.

If Blackbeard indeed hadn't married her, and she had eventually married someone else, would she really want a man in her life who would be so possessive of his wife that he would be angry that she kept a token that was given to her by a potential marriage prospect?

RED FLAG.

Old keepsakes are good "asshole detectors": Only an asshole would begrudge them.

My husband and I both have some - and, in my case, my husband is the only person I've ever been intimate with. Before him, there'd only been one other I'd considered at all - and that man was 80 years old. (Yes - 80. Yes - seriously.) He was a conference speaker and I met him afterwards. I was 24 years old, and visibly "damaged goods." We ended up spending months on the phone, and I nearly took him up on his offer to "see New York City."

To this day, I don't think there was anything dishonest in his offer.

It's simply that, for as much as I considered him a friend, I didn't love him - and I was frank about it.

My husband was a different story, although we didn't really "click" at first sight or anything of that nature. Like so many good things, our relationship evolved into love and marriage. We didn't marry immediately after meeting. In fact, I was living with my mother and made it clear I had no short or medium-term plans on changing that arrangement.

It's too bad Jessiqua's parents kind of robbed her of the same opportunity to test this thing out for herself. Her dad's offer to run Blackbeard off was totally disingenuous.

There was a trashcan nearby. I quickly tossed the gift into it, as if it was deadly poison.

I was openly misanthropic in my 20s. It would have quite literally scared me off had my future husband expressed jealousy over tokens I acquired before we met. I would have read it, rightly, as over-possessiveness. I've never wanted my husband to discard the good he had accumulated by the time we met. One of the things that endeared him to me is that he felt the same way about the matter as I did.

(My husband claims he got the better bargain in our marriage. I completely disagree.)

After all, Blackbeard was in his thirties, but he had never been married. In fact, a while before meeting me, he had given up on women and decided he would be single for the rest of his life.

Then, he noticed me at Sukkot and felt that I was different.

I remember an incident - I was, again, 24 - when I sat at the bar where my mother worked after my own shift as a desk clerk at the adjoining hotel had ended. This older man sat beside me and offered to buy me a drink. I said no. I had not the slightest interest in speaking with him but he insisted on telling me a tale he was sure would melt my heart: He had broken with his ex in part because the bitch insisted on spending a lot of time with her *snort* friends.

This seemed to be central to his problem with her - she wasn't home all the time to greet him. I remember wondering to myself if he thought this would make me feel bad for him.

Oh, he lamented - if only he could find someone with a fresh view of the world; someone younger (and overweight and visibly disabled and thus probably much more susceptible to this idiot's dubious "charms" than someone he saw as being physically out of his league) would show more gratitude for all the sacrifices he'd made for the marriage.

I don't think my answer - "You make me ill" - before I walked away pleased him. I guess he figured calling me a bitch would bring me to my senses, make me more likely to apologize and then dutifully hop on his dick. Alas, the poor dipshit - life had thrown him another curve ball that showed him just how terrible all women were.

...until he met that special someone, of course - dutiful, obedient, half his age, inexperienced, and capable of melting the ice around his heart and restoring his faith that there is in fact goodness to be found in womankind.

"I'd given up on women...until I saw you" has to be one of the most successful of the cheesy, bullshit pick-up lines that some men use.

It worked on a sheltered 17-year-old girl whose parents should have warned her to dodge that line as if it were poison.

He asked around about me then. But when he discovered that I was a teenager, he abruptly dropped all hope of a relationship.

...until he showed up at her place and shooed her out of the room so he could have a discussion about the matter with her parents - her religious, overly protective parents who believe people leave coke scattered around college campuses - these are the same people, right? - and yet aren't in the slightest bit concerned about a man sniffing around their daughter just so long as he follows the proper channels.

An age gap of nineteen years between partners is not common for couples in this country.

I love the addition of the words, "In this country." What's good for the Saudis is good for everyone, I guess.

But no, seriously - obviously, given what I said earlier in this post, it's not the age difference in itself that bothers me; it's the experience difference, and how this man seems to have taken advantage of it.

In fact, it’s severely discouraged most of the time. People can be very ignorant, or even cruel, when stating their opinions on the matter.

Oh it's true - and even of my own comments in this very post.

But is it cruelty that drives such harsh comments, or is it the honest belief that this guy preyed on his wife's lack of experience rather than dealing honestly with her from the start? (The "perfectly-timed" sermon on Isaac and Rebekah? The visits to her parents? The possessiveness over someone with whom he'd never had a conversation before? His conviction that women were worthless until he found this one?)

Judging by Jessiqua's post, I suspect she's a decent person (and, perhaps that her husband may be decent as well, although I'm of two minds about it). But the way everyone who allegedly cared about her handled this situation invites harsh comments.

Was it really such an imposition for this man to wait for his true love to mature a bit more? Was it really such an imposition for her parents, who benefited from her skilled and unpaid labour as a babysitter, to wait until she was 18?

Yes, she was understandably impatient: She was 17! But what about everyone else; what are their excuses?

However… a couple weeks after Sukkot, my parents felt like God directed them to invite Blackbeard to dinner, so they had called him.

...and who can argue with God? I mean, once God has spoken on the subject, why wait?

I'm sure Jessiqua really doesn't understand the cruel-seeming comments; that she would be disgusted to find this page and see what we've written about a life she claims to enjoy with a man whom she loves. (I would be pissed were our places reversed.)

The problem pretty much settles down to this: Her 'happily ever after' tale is a story of how a man twice her age was moved to abandon his blatant misogyny - I'm sure his view of women was plenty good for his daughter - by the sight of a girl who opened his mind to the possibility that perhaps not all women suck. Too bad for him she was underage and he'd have to break off his pursuit - at least for a few minutes.

But what would happen if God had it all wrong and, in the time he waited for her to reach legal age, she were to fall for someone else who wasn't him? That's a chance he just couldn't take, so he dropped by her house and asked her to leave so he could follow up with her parents.

The first time he talks to her directly, he angrily quizzes her as to why she was speaking with another man when he, Blackbeard, was out busting his ass to improve he trailer? I mean, how could she not consider his feelings?

Seriously?

SERIOUSLY???

The age difference in itself is not the biggest issue here.

Apparently, the night before my parents invited Blackbeard to dinner, he had finally broken down and stopped telling God that he didn’t need a woman. Instead, he had admitted that he needed a wife, and he asked God to help him pick one. He had been in mostly bad, painful relationships in his past, and felt that he was a bad “chooser†for himself.

How could a girl be expected to handle someone so much older than herself who had, up until then, been in damaging relationships?

Why was it so damned important that they not only meet and speak, but marry, right away?

There seems to be a belief among the hyper-religious that two people - any two people if they're of the same faith, and good - can make any relationship work through force of will.

It's as if both men and women are interchangeable.

It's odd, considering how pro-life most of these people claim to be - they believe God made each individual, and gave each person a unique task in life - that they're so fiercely anti-individualistic.

Over the next few weeks my parents remembered all the things I had told them over the years about “my husbandâ€, and they quizzed Blackbeard on every point. He jumped through every hoop. He didn’t realize they were checking off a list in his favor. He was just talking.

After Mom was convinced on Blackbeard’s true identity, she let him in on the secret.

...and herein lies at least a portion of the problem: Her mother didn't let her in on the secret.

She was old enough to marry and bear children, but not old enough to handle the knowledge of a suitor? This is a problem with a lot of fundamentalists: They believe their minor children are, in theory at least, old enough to take on every adult responsibility currently borne by their parents, and yet they send their children out to court under the watchful eye of a chaperone and they treat these kids as kids until the day they wed.

After that, and without any transitional period at all - a lot of fundies deny the existence of "young adulthood" - they expect these kids to behave in a mature manner.

That's bad enough when both partners are inexperienced and are forced to grow up together. It's even worse when one potential partner has a serious advantage in age and experience over the other - and especially when one potential partner is under-age.

And then Jessiqua's parents, who have treated her as a child until this point, keep her in the dark as they negotiate a potential marriage with a suitor - a man who, until very recently, had decided he couldn't stand women.

Abraham's servant spoke directly to Rebekah. A lot of these parents just sort of gloss over that part when they play these mind-games with their daughters - and it's always daughters: I've never heard of a case in fundie-land where a woman preys on a boy. Men after under-aged girls, though? God forbid anyone should seriously and closely question the wisdom of that arrangement.

So he had stayed away from me. And my parents had left me out of the loop. They knew that I had a connection with my husband and with God. And they felt that if God wanted Blackbeard and me together, He could orchestrate it without their help.

...which is precisely what didn't happen.

Jessiqua's parents had Blackbeard over for dinner. Jessiqua's parents had him over to help rebuild the trailer. Jessiqua's parents accepted expensive gifts from this man. Jessiqua's parents continually quizzed him on how his life was going.

They knew this man had an interest in their daughter. They followed that up closely and quickly.

Jessiqua and Blackbeard, who had never so much as had a conversation with one another, had fallen in love with the idea of love; they had unreal expectations, regardless of Jessiqua's protestations that she understood her future husband's flaws.

Those unreal expectations were cultivated - fed and watered and nurtured - by Jessiqua's parents.

Blackbeard and I weren’t officially courting or anything, but we were a lot closer to that type of a relationship than we had been a mere three days ago.

Three days?!

What. Was. The. Fucking. Hurry?

My great, great grandmother went into a coma while we were at Blackbeard's house that night...After hearing the news, I turned to Blackbeard...I was going to test his affection for me. Would he be with me in the bad as well as the good?

“Will you go with me to see my grandma and meet my extended family tomorrow?†I asked.

He stuttered and stalled for a little while. That was a big commitment for him. He would have to take off work, and face the discomfort the scrutiny of my family.

“Yes,†he finally said. “When?â€

If he was uncomfortable in that position, perhaps he should have considered how his future wife felt when she discovered he'd been in negotiations with her parents to marry her.

Why had I asked Blackbeard to come with me to meet my family? Were we really getting that serious?

The better question would be, "Was she really getting that serious?"

He had been "that serious" for a few weeks already. Her "test," however morbid she saw it, was more than fair. The fact he hesitated for fear of what his family might think causes me to wonder just how mature he was. Even if he weren't interested in her as a marriage partner, he could have gone as a friend of the family.

His first thought, however, was in how this trip could negatively impact him...and yet he was preaching sermons and, at least sometimes, taking on the role of pastor to the church-goers in his own faith community.

How did he react when one of them asked for companionship when a family member was dying?

My shock had finally worn off. Reality careened over my soul in waves. In our first phone conversation, Blackbeard had compared us to Isaac and Rebekah. Obviously his intention in this relationship was marriage. And that meant… that he loved me. He loved me in a special way that no one ever had before.

Someone cared about me that much! Someone… that I didn’t care for back in that way, at least not yet. (Awkward, I know.)

What a lot of pressure for her to reciprocate.

“Is she… happy about this guy?†I could hear my aunt ask Mom in a concerned way.

“Yeah… she’s happy. Just… a little overwhelmed,†Mom replied, with a sympathetic look at me.

“I’m happy, I’m happy,†I whispered as I stumbled out of the room, heading towards my eternal solace: bed and prayer-time.

My own experience might be entirely unique - but I don't remember trying to convince myself I was happy ahead of when I got married...and, in fact, our compact was not really all that concerned with personal happiness: Each of us had something the other needed. It's not terribly romantic, but it was how things started.

I think it's great when someone finds happiness.

If one can find happiness, and at no one's expense, then s/he should chase after that and grab it with both hands and enjoy every second of it.

There's enough sorrow in the world. Damn it, yes, if you find someone who makes you happy and they feel the same way, then go for it.

The problem in fundie-land is that there is no room for mistakes: Broken engagements are stigmatized; and divorce, even more so.

Blackbeard went with me to visit my great grandma. Things were awkward. We told people that he was a “family friendâ€, but I’m not sure anyone was convinced about that.

This is a clear sign of immaturity on both their parts. Why couldn't he just be a family friend? Wasn't he at least that?

But people needed to believe it? In the midst of mourning, gossip!

“I want you to go with me to the funeral,†I told him. “Can you be there for me?â€

He grimaced and looked away. It was hard enough for him to come meet my family here. We weren’t even technically girlfriend/boyfriend yet. This was a high demand to make of him.

“It depends on the day and how much work I have to do,†he non-committedly answered, keeping his eyes averted. “Tell me when and where, and I’ll try to be there.â€

He’s not going to come, I instantly thought. He’s going to fail this morbid test.

I sincerely hope Jessiqua has realized by now that life imposes its own tests - so many that for either spouse to devise additional hardships is unfair.

That said, I don't know why her intended would be so concerned about attending the funeral. Acquaintances and distant relatives and former accountants (etc.) all go to pay their respects at funerals. A family friend, however new, would not generally be out of place.

“Then, if you decide to back out of this, you wouldn’t feel so bad, too,†he added.

“I wish you’d stop saying that,†I mumbled.

“You need to keep it in mind,†he persisted. “I don’t want to ruin the rest of your life. If you ever feel like this relationship needs to end, do it immediately. Don’t think about me; just do what’s best for yourself.â€

“I know, I know, you’ve told me.â€

“And I’ll keep telling you, until we’re married at least.â€

“You had better stop then!â€

“I will, I will, I promise.â€

To be fair, I had the same conversation with my husband - except it was me saying he should end this thing if he had doubts. I was sincere: If he wanted out, I wouldn't have tried to stop him - although I would certainly have wanted to do so.

I'm happy that things worked out. I'm happy with our relationship in part because he is happy with it. If one of us were unhappy, both of us would be.

It was fair warning he gave her.

I knew that Blackbeard had a plan on how to ask my dad and brothers for my hand.

Her dad and her brothers? Fundie-ism gets more restrictive by the day.

Could one of her younger brothers really veto something like that?

(With the Biblical potential for Levirate marriage, she should have been asking Blackbeard's brothers for permission to marry him.)

“My friends say you’ll leave me,†Blackbeard quietly said.

I lifted my head off his shoulder. “What?!â€

“I was telling someone about you and me, and they said that after we get married, when you’re older, you’ll get bored and leave me for a younger man.â€

“That’s just… cruel!†I blustered. “That person doesn’t know me! They don’t have a right to say that!â€

He looked away. “They say I have five years at the most.â€

I shut my mouth and closely looked at him, then asked, “You don’t believe them… do you?â€

“Oh no!†he assured me. “You’re too good a woman to just… leave somebody.â€

He looked down at his feet. Silence hung heavy in the air.

“You’re worried that I’ll be unhappy and suffer silently though,†I quietly said.

He dismally shrugged. “You’re a great woman, Jessi. You could have your pick of any of the young men around you. What am I?â€

“You’re who God gave to me. You’re special. I’m thankful for you,†I emphasized.

It's interesting: My husband and I had a similar conversation. He figured I could find some other person; he didn't assume I would, but merely pointed out I could. My reaction was much as hers: I didn't give a damn what other people were out there. I was accustomed to make choices, for good or ill, that were irreversible. I saw the compact the same way, and still do.

I'm all for divorce to end a bad marriage. I wince at people who talk about tossing one another with about as much concern as they'd use to describe garbage, however: I'd be really wary of someone who sees other people as disposable. (If they see other people that way, how do they see you? It's grim but in some ways amusing to hear young women / men arrogantly assert they can change someone like that. No - they can't. They set themselves up for pain if they try.)

Mom came in on us in the middle of everything.

“What’s going on in here?†she asked.

I showed her my ring. “He asked me to marry him!â€

“Oh!†she giggled, then hurried back into the kitchen.

“So… when do you think the wedding should be?†I asked Blackbeard.

He shrugged. “I’m willing to wait as long as you want me to.â€

As I read, I find myself warming to Jessiqua's husband - or at least to her favourable description of him. I hope - and I assume, based on her optimistic view of the marriage - that she's as happy with her husband now as she was when he first asked her to marry him.

“He what?! You know the reasons older guys go after little girls, don’t you, sweetheart? He’ll abuse you and your kids until you finally leave him! I’m telling you!†the woman declared.

I stuttered, trying to find words to explain that Blackbeard was definitely not that kind of a guy. The lady would hardly let me catch my breath though. She went on and on about the dangers of this relationship, and had all sorts of advice to give me. When I finally, respectfully, hung up the phone, I breathed out a deep, long breath through my nose, and then slumped my head on the wall.

Oh Lord… they judge him before even knowing him…

Well, yeah - just as his friends judged her before meeting her. People - here, there, everywhere - are going to offer opinions based on their experiences. And most of their experiences involving relationships of this sort are bad.

That's certainly the case here on this forum.

Dad said that Blackbeard needed to come over so that we could talk over wedding plans.

Surprisingly though, when I called Blackbeard about coming over, he didn’t seem very enthusiastic.

“Aw… Jess… my stomach hurts. I don’t think I can make it tonight.â€

I winced, got off the phone, and went to Dad. “Um... Blackbeard says he can’t make it tonight. He doesn't feel good."

Dad had some choice words to mumble under his breath about how Blackbeard better not be getting cold feet. Then he glared at me. “You tell him that he better get his butt over here, or else I’m going to go over there and have some words with him.â€

Again here is her father, now more blunt than ever, standing over the couple as if they'd done something "indecent" and pushing the whole thing along as if there were some great hurry.

The idea he was afraid the man might get cold feet, and was pushing for a quick wedding to avoid that, says something unpleasant about his priorities.

Most people would be at least somewhat happy if the person got cold feet before the wedding dress had been fully sewn rather than after the vows had been said.

Suitcases of clothes were already packed and sitting by my door. It was hard to believe that this would be my last morning in my family’s home. Tonight I would be moving in with my new husband… weirdness…

It's bizarre that fundie parents, most of whom met and married in a more conventional way, don't recognize how unfair it is to make a girl go through such a massive change all at once. She'd never lived apart from her parents until the day of her wedding, after which she'd never live with them again.

I stood there in shock, illuminated by the glow of camera flashes. My wedding was almost over. There in a blink, gone in a blink, it was almost time to go home. And home wasn’t with Momma and Daddy anymore…

I can't snark on their wedding clothes. We bought a jacket for my husband and then sent it out to be altered for his anatomy. What we got back was a hot, sick mess.

Our wedding lasted 15 minutes. We drove there together, walked down the aisle together, and left together for a home we had already started building together. I would do some technical things differently now, if I had to do the wedding preparations again. Aside from that, however, I wouldn't change a thing.

If Jessiqua was happy with the clothing and the other arrangements, that's pretty much what counts.

What other people think - any people, anywhere - is immaterial. It doesn't matter.

This is the thing that really counts:

Thankfully, I wasn’t scared of that somber thought. When Blackbeard clasped my hand and leaned down low to whisper in my ear, telling me how much he loved me, I felt perfectly safe and secure.

Obeying God and giving this man a chance was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life.

Our wedding day was over five years ago now, but I've never regretted marrying him.

However it turned out for them, I'm never going to think that kind of speed or that kind of pre-marriage are good ideas for anyone, ever.

The following, for example, is one unfortunate effect of doing as Jessiqua and her husband did: She had to put aside her most important personal goals not only to pay due attention to her husband but also to take care of a child born a spare 11 months after the wedding.

They knew each other, sure, but not as well as they could have - and while Jessiqua's husband had a real chance in his life to explore what he actually wanted, his teenaged wife did not get anything like the same opportunity.

As Grandpa Thomas would say, (paraphrased,) “If you have romance, adventure and drama in your life, you get too frettingly busy to write.â€

And man, getting married and having a baby in the same year is definitely an adventure, especially if you add crazy teenage hormones and mood swings into the mix. <-- not fun

No - not fun, and not...dare I say it...fair either.

I had always thought that I would just share it with my family, but my friend declared that more people could benefit from it and that I needed to stop hiding my talent.

I may be alone in this here, but I agree: I enjoyed her writing style, even if the content disturbed me at times.

I hope Jessiqua understands sharp criticism is one price of sharing. (Any time I tell anyone about my life, I pretty much expect an almost inevitable - sometimes phrased delicately; other times, more candidly - variation of, "What the FUCK...?" (Heh.)

Jessiqua and her husband didn't do anything wrong - or, if they did, it wasn't wrong enough to screw up their lives.

Unfortunately, other girls who follow the pattern outlined in Jessiqua's story could end up far from happy. Her friend was apparently wrong about him being an abuser - but what if she hadn't been wrong?

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Burris
I thought he had never been married?

Yeah her parents are the worst, it's just creepy the way she was convinced by them that Blackbeard was the husband he had been praying for.

No, you're right; I was wrong. He'd never been married. I assume he had been in a long-term relationship before, however, to have adopted someone's kids.

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thoughtful

Blackbeard - God, what a name-choice for a future husband

Could've been worse -- could've been Blue Beard! :shock:

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MissBeaufort

Could've been worse -- could've been Blue Beard! :shock:

I actually thought that it WAS Bluebeard the first 20 odd times that I read it in this thread (just goes to show that I spend most of my life skimming) and was amused about what a good nickname my fellow FJers had chosen. Then I realized it was Blackbeard, and was the name Jessiqua had given him... Awkward...

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NachosFlandersStyle

Burris, I had many of the same thoughts. If, after six years, she attests that he's a good man, I'm willing to trust her judgment. She knows him and I don't. But if I were her six years ago, would I believe-- with enough certainty to be getting married-- that this was a good man? Hell no. Especially not with the jealousy and secrecy he displayed.

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Dizzy
Grimalkin

I believe it's possible they are happy, content, and in love. I would like to see if she feels the same at 30 though. She was isolated and homeschooled and taught to fear the world. Based on the links from the church site they rule by fear and hatred too.

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hoipolloi

Good exegesis, Burris.

Still dumbfounded though that Jessiqua is considered to be a perfectly fine member of the Kindred Spirits team but Natalie Nyquist wasn't.

Does Gretchen Acheson REALLY think that Jessiqua's story is one for the KS readers to emulate?

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Mermaidgrrrl

"Suitcases of clothes were already packed and sitting by my door. It was hard to believe that this would be my last morning in my family’s home. Tonight I would be moving in with my new husband… weirdness…"

This sentence screams TOO YOUNG to me. Just using "weirdness" at the end of a sentence about a life long commitment is worrisome.

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Deist woman

No, you're right; I was wrong. He'd never been married. I assume he had been in a long-term relationship before, however, to have adopted someone's kids.

I'm leaning to the notion that those kids were his, born out of wedlock, with some of those women that made him give up on relationships with women........ Was there something I missed reading that would rule that supposition out?

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JHeathen

I'm leaning to the notion that those kids were his, born out of wedlock, with some of those women that made him give up on relationships with women........ Was there something I missed reading that would rule that supposition out?

But if they were HIS, he would not have had to adopt them. How/why/in what universe does a single 40-something man adopt kids?

edited to add: Well, he was probably younger when he adopted them, but still...

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Mischievous
nelliebelle1197

She said that he adopted them in one part of her story. I would bet it was some sort of relative caregiver situation - a niece and nephew or cousins. Also, her FB has lots of pictures of her three children but the adopted kids are nowhere to be seen. They should be 17 and 18 now- but not a single picture.

Marty's FB only has a few pics, too and none of the adopted kids. I found the adopted son through Jess' FB and he has a different last name than Jessiqua and Marty. That makes me think they were not formally adopted.

eta: I found the son' s FB page and his mother's page. He has a different last name than Marty. The daughter is shown in a graduation picture on the bio's mom's page. This looks like either these are Marty's kids from another relationship or a relative/ friend caregiver situation. The mother is definitely in their lives and while she looks somewhat religious, she is also a fan of a lot of secular pop culture.

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