If You Love Someone….

Sting wrote the song “If You Love Someone (Set Them Free)” in 1985 in response to the popularity of the previous Police hit “Every Breath You Take,” which was not a love story as the public took it, but the story of a stalker watching and obsessing over his prey.  He was chagrined at how popular the song became and realized that people were taking it in an incorrect context at some point on the song’s meteoric rise to popularity.

His answer to this phenomenon was to scribe a song about loving someone and setting them free.  The antithesis of the intent of his previous hit.

This song has new meaning for me these days – in a good way, albeit a hard way.

I’ve been ridiculously busy – God dropped a new job in my lap, and as I learn the ropes and try to do my best at it, I’m continuing to homeschool our son and try to keep up with the house (it’s a work-from-home position).  It’s a great company, but leaves me frazzled, as I’ve not got the freedom to run the vacuum during the day, fold laundry, or empty out the dishwasher – all things I would normally do in the course of a regular day.  My husband has been a great help, but it’s also taken away some of my time to write, to ponder, and to just feel “balanced” in life.

Such is life.  The job is a blessing and I’m grateful for it.

But in the course of this new adjustment came news that a friend of ours is dealing with an undesired situation:  his wife has decided that she is a lesbian and is embracing her new identity.  They have several kids and this has up-ended his world (to put it mildly).  I understand where his wife (soon to be ex-wife) is, what she’s dealing with, and how joyful she is at her newfound “self.”  I also understand the devastation her husband is dealing with, the doubt, the fear, and the worry about rejection:  would people at church reject him?  Isolate his kids?  Reject his wife?

And as much as I want to be a support to him, I can’t seem to find time to think, much less to have him over for dinner so we can listen and be a support to him.  It’s agonizing, and honestly, her decision seems to have rocked my boat a bit.

It’s almost as though her choice has planted seeds of worry in me.  She doesn’t want pity – she wants people to rejoice with her.  And yet, as she & I have talked, she doesn’t seem to recognize that this is a hard transition for others.  Other people have known her as straight, as her husband’s wife, and as her kids’ mom.  Her “being gay” never entered the equation and if people will continue to love her for who she is (not necessarily for who she loves), it will take time and adjustment on their part.  We’ve talked at some length about it, but more than anything, it sets me on edge and makes me understand exactly how precious and perilous my life is.

And so as we sat in a tiny cafe in a nearby town tonight (our weekly date that coincides with our son having Awana at a church in this town), I broached the subject.  I did a ‘status check,’ as we’ve come to call them and asked point-blank questions.  And based on what our friend is going through, I was able to say the words, “If you ever decide, as ____ did, that you need to embrace this identity, you need to tell me.  If you ever want out….” and my voice trailed off.

It was agonizing to let those words hang in the air.  But my husband vehemently shook his head and said, “No.  Never.  I have no desire for that….”  I was grateful for the reassuring words, but at that moment, I knew I had said the right thing.  I know I cannot control my husband or his actions – I can love him, support him, and pray for him and let him make the choices that will steer our ship.  And I heard the words to Sting’s song.

If you love somebody If you love someone
If you love somebody If you love someone
Someone – set them free

And then we moved on in the discussion.  I wrote a while ago about the changes that he’s undergoing – he said tonight that his attraction to men is down to about 25-30% and before it was in the 80-90% range.  That’s a huge reduction, and as he continues to heal and as he continues to let God make the things in his life complete that he strove to complete on his own, he hopes and expects it to continue to reduce even further.

Comforting at some level, but our friend’s situation reminds me that nothing is set in stone.  If we want our relationship to continue in the manner it is (healing, bonding, cleaving our hearts together and away from his addiction and proclivity), we must pursue it.  We cannot be afraid to talk about these things, to deal with the past wounds and their lasting impact on our lives, and to create a new reality for ourselves and our little family.  I believe it’s part of God’s plan for us, but it reminds my husband not to get prideful and think he can’t stumble, and it reminds me not to be complacent about our marriage.

You can’t control an independent heart
You can’t tear the one you love apart
Forever conditioned to believe that we can’t live
We can’t live here and be happy with less
So many riches, so many souls
Everything we see that we want to possess

Incidentally, he did say that a year-and-a-half ago, he would have considered my words and appreciated the offer, possibly even taking me up on it.  That hurt to hear, but it also reminds me that he’s not the same man he was before.  And even back then, it would’ve been the right thing for me to do to relinquish my attempt at controlling him and to allow him the freedom to choose – even if it devastated me.  His reminder to me was, “I didn’t know what was driving me at that point – where the woundedness came from.  Now I know, and I’m at peace about it.  God is filling that void.”

I’m so grateful – but it doesn’t make the words to that Sting song any less poignant for me.

His and his,


This entry was posted on 082053H Nov 2009 and is filed under Forgiveness, Path to Healing, Pornography, sexual abuse, Sexual Brokenness, SSA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

  • http://www.yourmarriagerestored.com Annalea

    Dear Eowyn I (Cori),

    I was so glad to see a new post on your blog….I’ve missed you!

    So much of what you posted really hit home with me…Michael’s first wife made the same declaration as your friend’s wife did during their marriage. Of course, he was completely blindsided just as your friend has been and while their children were quite young then, it’s definitely affected them in many ways.

    I can’t help but think that a decision such as the one these ladies have made is a selfish one; it’s not as if they’re single and there are not other lives and hearts at stake. At the same time, I’m sure they must be struggling deeply with making such a declaration. It’s upside down.

    Sometimes the free will that God’s blessed us with doesn’t seem like such a blessing. And yet I know that only God gets to say, “I AM that I AM!” The rest of us have the ability to change.

    I’m so proud of you for continuing to have talks with one another in which you both chose to “go there” as painful as “there” may be. You’re growing so much stronger and closer because of it and it’s wonderful to see.

    Eowyn II (Annalea)

  • Hiswildcherry

    So good to read from you again, Cori. Will post when I have more time…Seeing you posting again, made my day… really ‘-)

  • http://www.sensuouswife.com/blog Shula

    I’m so proud of you.
    .-= Shula´s last blog ..The real deal =-.

  • http://www.sensuouswife.com/blog Shula

    Pssst!! I left ya a little somethin’ on my blog… Cori, Twentyten is your year of a sensuous you. I just know.
    .-= Shula´s last blog ..Twenty-ten, the year of a sensuous You! =-.

  • cori

    thank you, Shula! I love your post – and the encouragement. :)

    2010 is my year of a sensuous me? why, how do you know, Shula?


    you just know, don’t you? 😉