Demonstrate Love To Your Spouse -- Lynn & Terry Fredrick

Complimentary Story
April  2024

   Among men, I believe myself to be the most blessed to have Terry as my wife. My wife says that she is the most blessed  of women to have me as her husband.

   We both are in a second marriage and had very bad experiences in our first. I had zero trust that any woman wouldn’t turn on me and do everything possible to make life miserable, at best. Terry had zero trust that any man would be faithful to her alone. We both could write a book on what a really bad marriage would look like. Although neither of us had been the perfect spouse either. 

   How we met was, I think, a God thing. My father had passed away and a mortician friend of both of us did the funeral. At the funeral, he told me he had forgot to tell Terry about the funeral. His wife had informed Terry about my father’s terminal cancer and she wanted to attend the funeral like we had come to her father’s. Years before, a group of families knew about each other and on occasion did some social functions together. We had all attended Terry’s father’s funeral many years prior to my father’s. Terry had moved about 75 miles away from the area and was living alone near her mother and brother. We had not seen one another for many years. I had gone through a divorce and she was in the process. 

   After my dad’s funeral, I found Terry’s phone number through a mutual friend and called her to tell her of my father’s passing. Prior to this, I had returned to my old house to retrieve family pictures for the funeral. I was met at the door by my past wife, and through the process, looking for pictures, she yelled and screamed at me as to when I would get all of my things out of the house and off the property. She never even asked about my dad or surviving mother,  whom she had known for over 31 years. 

   Quite the contrast when I informed Terry. I heard a soft gasp and she said, “I am so sorry for your loss, I so wish I could have been there for you.” I couldn’t get her words out of my head. I still can’t, 22 years later. She meant them then and has proven them for all the years we have been together. 

   Sometime later, I called Terry and asked if she would consider a date with me. Our first date was a walk on a country road with my yellow lab, Annie, as our chaperone. Annie took to Terry right off and that was significant, because Annie had not had good experiences with the last woman in her life either. Annie had a reputation and a nick name of being “a mender of broken hearts.” In an afternoon, Annie had taken hold of Terry’s heart as she had mine. Annie had two people to help mend. Terry and I learned a lot about each other on that walk. We didn’t “surface talk.” We shared deep feelings and thoughts about our past and hopes for the future. We started to discover that we had a lot of things in common from our faith in Jesus to our love of the outdoors. But we also shared our fears of a second relationship or marriage.

   Terry and I have known each other for 22 years now. We dated for 3 years and then 19 years ago this August, my oldest brother locked arms with Terry and walked her down the aisle, standing in for her father. To this day, my two brothers say that Terry and I are the perfect match.

   We have never stopped those early dating walks. We are rarely seen not holding hands. Nearly every day we walk down a country road or on one of the many trails we have made through the property God has given us to care for. All our neighbors know that in the summertime we will both be sitting on our porch watching the sunset most every day, still carrying on the conversations that started 22 years ago. 

   We have a favorite movie, “One Special Night,” where James Garner tells Julie Andrews, when they get stranded in a country cabin due to a terrible snow storm and after playing scrabble for hours to occupy time, “I want to know all about you.” We watch that movie every first snow, as winter begins. Terry and I want to know all about each other and we have deep conversations as well as light. We want to know each other’s thoughts, emotions, hopes and dreams. We do most everything together, we are fortunate to be retired where we can. We hunt together, fish together, do maple sapping and production of the syrup together and deliver it to the four stores we serve. 

   We harvest the asparagus we sell together; we do wildlife conservation projects like clear seven acres of tag alders by hand with chain saws. We love to go back packing and wilderness camping. We prepare our meals together, even the campfire ones. We forage wild foods and garden foods and preserve them for winter. We go to church together and do our daily morning devotions together. 

   People at church call us the love birds. We express our love for each other multiple times every day. Kisses and hugs go on throughout the day. It is how we wake up and how we lay down at night. Sometimes one us of will say, “I love you the most.” The other will reply,” “No you don’t, I love you the most.” It’s not a contest, it is that Terry and I are purposely set at cruise control, 5 miles per hour over the speed limit, when it comes to expressing our love for each other every day. We have a lot of fun expressing love to each other. We do not ever want to take that love for granted or the blessings of God, by giving us this great opportunity. And so, you all know, we are exclusive to each other physically. All my desires, including thoughts, are reserved only for Terry and all of hers are reserved for me. I could not say that in my porn past, I can today and I can tell you that I could never have even dreamed of such an awesome fulfilling partner, friend, lover and wife as I have in Terry. She tells me the same as her husband. 

   I hear that most people spend nine  hours a day looking at some form of media, cell phone, internet and television. Terry and I do not do that. So, we have those nine hours extra to express our love for each other and chose to do selective things together. We do like a good movie, so we will purchase one once and awhile. None will have sexual content or skimpy dress. The ones we are enjoying now are “The Chosen” episodes. We just went on the list, ordering the next episode release. This is a great series that spurs many discussions and looking at Scripture to confirm the truth of the episodes that add personalities to the Biblical narrative. Terry and I look for ways we can do things together and we think everyone in a marriage can do the same. 

   We like to get all dressed up and go out for dinner and a romantic evening. Sometimes we do a romantic weekend away at some remote, secret, retreat on a lake up north. 

   Don’t get the idea that we never disagree or never have an argument. We do, but we do not harbor them, we do what it takes to work through them so we can get back to the fun of “who loves who” the most. 

   We should not be the only ones holding hands and referred to as “the love birds,” 19 years into marriage and 70 years old. Everyone can choose to do this, have fun loving each other in marriage. Get creative at being together, discovering all there is to know about each other through endless conversation. Get creative and expressive in demonstrating your love for each other. Set your “I love you” speed control at 5 miles per hour over the speed limit and put it on cruise control on the drive to demonstrate who loves who the most. 

Lynn Fredrick is the author of Stand Firm.” Stand firm over sin. Stand firm in your faith. 

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