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#211 of 228 Old 11-13-2007, 12:07 AM
 
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I wouldn't care what kind of relationships my daughters (or sons) had with their spouses. If they want to be like us, that's fine; if they want to go a different way, I'll respect that too. It's up to them. I'll try to avoid being one of those controlling mothers-in-law who insist they know what's best for their adult children.
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#212 of 228 Old 11-13-2007, 12:38 AM
 
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That's kinda an out-of-left-field comment, Brigianna.

I don't Caren was talking about forcing our children to conform to one particular model out of many healthy models. She was talking about being sure the model we give our children is healthy as opposed to unhealthy.

I'm exhibit A for that, and it has nothing to do with wifely submission. I put up with a lot of crap from dh just because I'm not very good at confrontation. That all changed the day my 3 year old dd asked me, "Mommy, why is daddy being mean to you?" and I realized that I wouldn't want her to be in an unhealthy relationship like I was.

Galetea, thank you for that post. Although by the time I was dealing with my own dh's "abuses of power" I no longer believed in the Bible as the Inerrent Word of God so I didn't have that added complication to my choices, I remember when I did believe that and how I desperately searched the Bible for relief/comfort from other issues and couldn't find it. I remember how trapped I felt. I couldn't just blithely rationalize disobedience to what I believed were God's Commands, as many posters here have said people do. So I really really understand where you are coming from.
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#213 of 228 Old 11-13-2007, 12:55 AM
 
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That's kinda an out-of-left-field comment, Brigianna.

I don't Caren was talking about forcing our children to conform to one particular model out of many healthy models. She was talking about being sure the model we give our children is healthy as opposed to unhealthy.

I'm exhibit A for that, and it has nothing to do with wifely submission. I put up with a lot of crap from dh just because I'm not very good at confrontation. That all changed the day my 3 year old dd asked me, "Mommy, why is daddy being mean to you?" and I realized that I wouldn't want her to be in an unhealthy relationship like I was.
Sorry. I meant that I would let them decide that for themselves. I don't know whether our relationship is healthy or unhealthy--it works for us. If one or more of our kids finds that a similar model works for them as well, that's fine; if they don't, that's fine too. Healthy or unhealthy relationship is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholders that matter most are the partners in the relationship. But I wouldn't object if my kids lived similarly or differently, as long as it worked for them.
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#214 of 228 Old 11-13-2007, 01:36 AM
 
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If it works for you (meaning that you both obviously feel safe and respected in the relationship) then it is healthy.

Healthy and unhealthy is not always in the eye of the beholder. There is an objective reality out there. A relationship in which one or both people are feeling disrespected or unsafe is NEVER healthy by any definition. That's what we are talking about.
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#215 of 228 Old 11-14-2007, 03:40 AM
 
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Galetea, I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I think that experience of having a daughter is a powerful one for a lot of women. What kind of relationships do we want our daughters to have? It sounds like a lot of women on this thread have healthy wo sub relationships, but for a of women, they are able to justify certain imbalances in their own marriage that they would never want their dds to experience. I think that can be a healthy barometer for relationships.

I understand if this may be too personal, but if you feel like sharing, I'd love to hear more about how your relationship has changed, Galatea.
Well I had a long post about it in parents as partners a number of months ago, but for now let me just copy what I just posted in another thread:

What led me out of submission was the realization, upon becoming a mother, that my child is a sacred trust, a spiritual mystery far exceeding that of marriage. And I knew that I could let nothing - nothing, not even fear of damnation - interfere with the nurture of my child. And my situation was much less severe... In my case it was a matter of dignity, the emotional tone of the household, the flavor of our interactions. I realized that my daughter was a person of infinite worth, born to live her own story, not to be the disrespected subordinate "helper" in somebody else's story. But that was the female role I was modeling. So one day I just calmly told him, "We're not doing this anymore. She's going to grow up seeing men and women, husbands and wives, as equals in every way." Although I need to reinforce it from time to time, it has been surprisingly easy. In large measure I think he was relieved. After all, a man needs a partner, and a servant is no substitute for a partner. We are both stronger and healthier for it, and our home is a much happier place.
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#216 of 228 Old 11-14-2007, 10:37 AM
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I am so thankful to be married to my husband. He understands submission to God and to eachother. I don't identify as a *submissive* wife because I don't like the connotation it brings up to so many people. I also don't care for all the borderline abusive situations and plethora of controlling, jerky husbands I see (and wives who put up with them) who fall under the umbrella of "devoted servants to Jesus" because they cry submission. I simply disagree.

I don't "ask persmission" for anything, I treat dh with respect as he does me, I solicit and value his input, opinion, thoughts, concerns, preferences and heavily consider them when making decisions that affect our family... as he does with me. We consider eachother, we help eachother. Sometimes I defer to his judgment and others he defers to my judgment. It just depends on the situation.

He doesn't tell me how to dress, how to act, how to look, what to weigh, how to keep house, how to interact with our daughter or how to speak. Neither do I with him. However, we do take into consideration the other's preferences. For instance, he knows I love him clean shaven so he chooses to shave (though no one forces him to!). I know he finds it difficult to wake up until he's had coffee, so I am mindful of having his coffee ready. Not because I have to or he will *yell* at me or something, or I feel Jesus will be disappointed if I don't make my husband coffee : but because I love him and do nice things for him once in a while

It is just loving eachother. We strive to live and love as we believe Christ lived and loved and our first obligation is to God. We both submit to God and loving eachother in this way is part of that.

As to gender roles, I have more of a *traditional* gender role, as does dh in that he works outside of the home and I care for the home -- but these are both roles we tremendously enjoy -- I love staying at home with dd and doing *domestic* type things -- though he certainly helps when I need or want it, as I try to help bring in a bit of cash when we need it with various pursuits.

I strive to be non-judgmental but alas, I struggle in that area because I just cannot imagine living in a marriage of passive-aggression or what I perceive to be constant mild manipulation in order to get my needs or wants met. I couldn't imagine letting or expecting someone else to make all major decisions, or telling me what to wear or whatever.

I just thank God I married the man I did.
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#217 of 228 Old 11-14-2007, 10:39 AM
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Thanks for this. I think the bolded (mine) is especially powerful.


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Originally Posted by GalateaDunkel View Post
Well I had a long post about it in parents as partners a number of months ago, but for now let me just copy what I just posted in another thread:

What led me out of submission was the realization, upon becoming a mother, that my child is a sacred trust, a spiritual mystery far exceeding that of marriage. And I knew that I could let nothing - nothing, not even fear of damnation - interfere with the nurture of my child. And my situation was much less severe... In my case it was a matter of dignity, the emotional tone of the household, the flavor of our interactions. I realized that my daughter was a person of infinite worth, born to live her own story, not to be the disrespected subordinate "helper" in somebody else's story. But that was the female role I was modeling. So one day I just calmly told him, "We're not doing this anymore. She's going to grow up seeing men and women, husbands and wives, as equals in every way." Although I need to reinforce it from time to time, it has been surprisingly easy. In large measure I think he was relieved. After all, a man needs a partner, and a servant is no substitute for a partner. We are both stronger and healthier for it, and our home is a much happier place.
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#218 of 228 Old 11-14-2007, 10:55 AM
 
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Do you think that all submissives are setting a bad example for their children, or just ones with problems in their relationships? (not a combative question, I promise )
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#219 of 228 Old 11-14-2007, 11:26 AM
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I wouldn't say all submissives are setting "bad" examples per se.That is so subjective. I would say that the submissive types I was referring to are potentially setting up a situation where their children may develop views on relationships that (imo) aren't neccessarily healthy i.e. a son growing up feeling entitled to boss women around/be controlling , a daughter who accepts abuse thinking it is being submissive and is obeying God.

Of course it is more complicated than that, but that is the general jist. I think GalateaDunkel put it great.

At the same time though, I am an advocate of people making their own choices so I support the right of a person (women in most cases) to be submissive. However, the quandry for me is when said women don't *seem* happy a lot of the time. When they openly complain much of the time regarding their *role*, when they are upset and hurt a lot at their partner's (most of the time husband's) treatment of them or their children, when they seem to be actively seeking unhealthy (imo) ways (mostly passive aggressive, manipulative, and sneaky or covert) to get their needs and wants met.

You're not getting any extra props from Jesus by perpetuating a skewed perception of a *good Christian marriage* is what I want to say to some of these people... but I mostly keep my mouth shut
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#220 of 228 Old 11-14-2007, 11:32 AM
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In every discussion though, there are different definitions of terms. According to some people's definitions here, I would be considered submissive. According to a lot of other people's definition here I would run from the word submissive faster than I would from a burning building.

I think a lot of people use the term submissive because it sounds nicer than saying their husband is a controlling jerk. (not speaking of anyone personally) That is the definition I don't adopt.
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#221 of 228 Old 11-14-2007, 11:37 AM
 
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You're not getting any extra props from Jesus by perpetuating a skewed perception of a *good Christian marriage* is what I want to say to some of these people... but I mostly keep my mouth shut
That's too bad--it's something I think needs to be said more often than it is.
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#222 of 228 Old 11-14-2007, 12:00 PM
 
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I wouldn't say all submissives are setting "bad" examples per se.That is so subjective. I would say that the submissive types I was referring to are potentially setting up a situation where their children may develop views on relationships that (imo) aren't neccessarily healthy i.e. a son growing up feeling entitled to boss women around/be controlling , a daughter who accepts abuse thinking it is being submissive and is obeying God.

Of course it is more complicated than that, but that is the general jist. I think GalateaDunkel put it great.

At the same time though, I am an advocate of people making their own choices so I support the right of a person (women in most cases) to be submissive. However, the quandry for me is when said women don't *seem* happy a lot of the time. When they openly complain much of the time regarding their *role*, when they are upset and hurt a lot at their partner's (most of the time husband's) treatment of them or their children, when they seem to be actively seeking unhealthy (imo) ways (mostly passive aggressive, manipulative, and sneaky or covert) to get their needs and wants met.

You're not getting any extra props from Jesus by perpetuating a skewed perception of a *good Christian marriage* is what I want to say to some of these people... but I mostly keep my mouth shut
I see. I don't think being passive-aggressive or covert is necessarily unhealthy, though it's decidedly not my style, nor my husband's (I was fortunate to find a man as direct as I am). But if some people communicate better by being more indirect, that isn't automatically a problem.

But, getting back to the modeling for children... do you think that children will naturally model the relationship habits of their same-sex parent (that boys will imitate their fathers and girls their mothers)? This seems to be an axiom, but I wonder about it. I'm more modeled after my dad than my mom, but I don't know how common this is. Also, in regards to relationships, I consciously chose not to have a relationship like my parents'. Maybe some of the children of these relationships will do the same.
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#223 of 228 Old 11-14-2007, 12:08 PM
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I see. I don't think being passive-aggressive or covert is necessarily unhealthy, though it's decidedly not my style, nor my husband's (I was fortunate to find a man as direct as I am). But if some people communicate better by being more indirect, that isn't automatically a problem.

But, getting back to the modeling for children... do you think that children will naturally model the relationship habits of their same-sex parent (that boys will imitate their fathers and girls their mothers)? This seems to be an axiom, but I wonder about it. I'm more modeled after my dad than my mom, but I don't know how common this is. Also, in regards to relationships, I consciously chose not to have a relationship like my parents'. Maybe some of the children of these relationships will do the same.
I would say I think that dynamic would be unhealthy for me, and if one is contented and at peace with that I suppose that is their business and certainly their free will choice. My addressing of that dynamic related to many people I have observed living that dynamic don't seem to me to be contented or at peace with the dynamic based on what they share. I also recognize that people do need to vent occassionaly (regardless of situation), but I speak more of ongoing themes of feeling like they are being treated unfairly/ or controlled/ or that they are constantly sacrificing their ideals in the spirit of "submission" -- cases where the husband decided to circ and the wife, however morally opposed, agreed on the premise of "deferring" to her husband who is "head" of the family. (This is not anecdotal, I have seen it on here). In those cases, yes, I will say I feel that is way unhealthy and doesn't fit my definition of submitting to God's will.

I don't believe it is the case all the time that children model their same sex parent, but I do believe that more often than not they do when you combine an upbringing with societal messages -- adding to that coupling with someone who is more often than not in my experience (but not always) doing the same thing.

I consciously chose to have a relationship different than my parents as well (not relating to submission but other things). *conscious* being the key word here. Many people are working unconsciously in my observation. This is one of the recurring themes on mothering in several areas -- many(mostly "mainstream") people circ and vax unconsciously, or because their caregivers/societal or familial influences did, many people hit their children for the same reasons etc --- to follow that, I can only assume many people repeat similar marriages/religious beliefs/life choices that their parents or influential institutions/people in their life did.

Again, this is not always the case so I can't say always or never.
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#224 of 228 Old 11-14-2007, 05:20 PM
 
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In every discussion though, there are different definitions of terms. According to some people's definitions here, I would be considered submissive. According to a lot of other people's definition here I would run from the word submissive faster than I would from a burning building.

I think a lot of people use the term submissive because it sounds nicer than saying their husband is a controlling jerk. (not speaking of anyone personally) That is the definition I don't adopt.
True, and it can also sound nicer than saying "I am incompetent," which may be more accurate than I would usually care to admit.




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I would say I think that dynamic would be unhealthy for me, and if one is contented and at peace with that I suppose that is their business and certainly their free will choice. My addressing of that dynamic related to many people I have observed living that dynamic don't seem to me to be contented or at peace with the dynamic based on what they share. I also recognize that people do need to vent occassionaly (regardless of situation), but I speak more of ongoing themes of feeling like they are being treated unfairly/ or controlled/ or that they are constantly sacrificing their ideals in the spirit of "submission" -- cases where the husband decided to circ and the wife, however morally opposed, agreed on the premise of "deferring" to her husband who is "head" of the family. (This is not anecdotal, I have seen it on here). In those cases, yes, I will say I feel that is way unhealthy and doesn't fit my definition of submitting to God's will.

I don't believe it is the case all the time that children model their same sex parent, but I do believe that more often than not they do when you combine an upbringing with societal messages -- adding to that coupling with someone who is more often than not in my experience (but not always) doing the same thing.

I consciously chose to have a relationship different than my parents as well (not relating to submission but other things). *conscious* being the key word here. Many people are working unconsciously in my observation. This is one of the recurring themes on mothering in several areas -- many(mostly "mainstream") people circ and vax unconsciously, or because their caregivers/societal or familial influences did, many people hit their children for the same reasons etc --- to follow that, I can only assume many people repeat similar marriages/religious beliefs/life choices that their parents or influential institutions/people in their life did.

Again, this is not always the case so I can't say always or never.
This is what I most, more than anything else, want to avoid with my kids. If I don't teach them anything else, I hope to teach them to think for themselves. They can choose to follow in our footsteps or they can choose to go another way, but I would only urge them to make it a thoughtful, considered, well-informed choice.
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#225 of 228 Old 11-14-2007, 11:51 PM
 
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This is what I most, more than anything else, want to avoid with my kids. If I don't teach them anything else, I hope to teach them to think for themselves. They can choose to follow in our footsteps or they can choose to go another way, but I would only urge them to make it a thoughtful, considered, well-informed choice.
I completely agree with this. I pretty much consciously chose to imitate my parents' marriage (married a man like dear old dad!) and now that I'm into it 10+ years I'm finding out that it is a lot more challenging than I thought. My mother never told me how hard it was to be married to a person like this, and I never saw it. I love both my father and my husband, but at some point in the future I will definitely be giving our daughter a full-blown description of the pros and cons so she can make a more informed decision of what sort of model she wants to pursue for her marriage.

Also, to get back to how religious beliefs affect choice, I would point out that if the child has been taught from day one that there is a particular Godly model and that they will be in sin if they don't follow that model, it definitely impacts their choice. 'Cause in order to choose a model other than what they were taught they basically have to throw out their religion as well. That's what I did and it is gut-wrenching.
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#226 of 228 Old 11-17-2007, 09:28 PM
 
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I am so thankful to be married to my husband. He understands submission to God and to eachother. I don't identify as a *submissive* wife because I don't like the connotation it brings up to so many people. I also don't care for all the borderline abusive situations and plethora of controlling, jerky husbands I see (and wives who put up with them) who fall under the umbrella of "devoted servants to Jesus" because they cry submission. I simply disagree.

I don't "ask persmission" for anything, I treat dh with respect as he does me, I solicit and value his input, opinion, thoughts, concerns, preferences and heavily consider them when making decisions that affect our family... as he does with me. We consider eachother, we help eachother. Sometimes I defer to his judgment and others he defers to my judgment. It just depends on the situation.

He doesn't tell me how to dress, how to act, how to look, what to weigh, how to keep house, how to interact with our daughter or how to speak. Neither do I with him. However, we do take into consideration the other's preferences. For instance, he knows I love him clean shaven so he chooses to shave (though no one forces him to!). I know he finds it difficult to wake up until he's had coffee, so I am mindful of having his coffee ready. Not because I have to or he will *yell* at me or something, or I feel Jesus will be disappointed if I don't make my husband coffee : but because I love him and do nice things for him once in a while

It is just loving eachother. We strive to live and love as we believe Christ lived and loved and our first obligation is to God. We both submit to God and loving eachother in this way is part of that.

As to gender roles, I have more of a *traditional* gender role, as does dh in that he works outside of the home and I care for the home -- but these are both roles we tremendously enjoy -- I love staying at home with dd and doing *domestic* type things -- though he certainly helps when I need or want it, as I try to help bring in a bit of cash when we need it with various pursuits.

I strive to be non-judgmental but alas, I struggle in that area because I just cannot imagine living in a marriage of passive-aggression or what I perceive to be constant mild manipulation in order to get my needs or wants met. I couldn't imagine letting or expecting someone else to make all major decisions, or telling me what to wear or whatever.

I just thank God I married the man I did.

The bolded part. That. That is what our marriage is. I think it sums us up nicely. Great consideration for little preferences the other one has, and not demanding your own way all the time goes a long way towards a happy stable marriage.
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#227 of 228 Old 11-17-2007, 09:31 PM
 
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This makes perfect sense and describes my experience with submission well. I did not feel that I had a choice. It was a moral obligation. I think most people know the difference between "doing something because I want to do it" and "doing something because I feel morally obligated to do it," notwithstanding that we don't always fulfill our moral obligations. Other posters seem to be almost willfully misunderstanding your point and there seems to be no willingness to acknowledge the legitimate, serious reasons (i.e. not selfishness or selfcenteredness or grasping at power) why one might not want to submit.

The problem with wifely submission is that there is no real check on male power. The Bible tells men to treat their wives well, but it contains no enforcement mechanism or safety valve. Divorce is only OK because of adultery or abandonment by an unbelieving spouse - there is no provision for divorcing an abusive or domineering husband. There is no mention of church discipline for such men. The whole idea of women having legitimate grievances against their husbands is nowhere on the radar. Even the much-vaunted stories of Christ being kind to women focus on sexual immorality, not male dominance. So, unless you're married to a saint, you're screwed. Your lifestyle, career, projects and aspirations are all at the mercy of a fallen human who is being fed messages that he is the top dog.

I enabled sinful behavior in my husband for years under the aegis of "submission." I let him walk all over me because I had a duty to submit and turn the other cheek. It was really bad for both of us. It stunted our character development and our growth as a couple. Our decision making processes were tied up in all sorts of spiritual and emotional knots irrelevant to the problems at hand, often leading to bitter conflict - and the only solution my theology allowed me to imagine was that I wasn't being submissive enough, so I just kept getting more and more repressed and angry and confused.

When my daughter was born I realized that I could not let her grow up learning that it's the role of a woman to fetch and carry for a man and waste her life away praying that he'll change and embrace his "true" godly role. A submissive wife in a marriage with a man who's not a saint may think she's modeling faithfulness to God's command in the face of unacceptable behavior, but that's too abstract for children. All she's really modeling is that the way Dad treats her is OK.

My husband isn't a bad guy, but I was writing him a blank check for his worst impulses. Of course, defenders of submission will jump in and say that's not the way it's supposed to be. But if you define submission away to the point where it's only valid in the cases of women with saintly husbands who are so good at "giving themselves up" that the woman doesn't feel she's submitting at all, you trivialize the experiences of women who don't have that luxury. Women who search the Bible for an exception and don't find it and so feel compelled to sacrifice their lives and their families on the altar of an unattainable ideal.

I don't want to even get into the whole idea that a woman in a troubled marriage can turn her husband into a saint by being submissive. That is the biggest lie of all.

Wifely submission was a really painful experience for me so it's hard for me to write coherently about. I have been following this thread but not posting because I find it kind of triggering. I am now seeking a vision of God that affirms my dignity, my autonomy, and yes, my power.

The bolded part stands out to me so much. I agree. I've seen it one too many times now.

Your whole post stood out to me.(hug)

I really used to buy into the whole submissive wife thing. Then I realized, after many years of marriage, that I had somehow screwed myself with this. I realized with a jolt that it was not, in any way, redeeming or good for us.

So I changed things.
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#228 of 228 Old 11-18-2007, 01:48 AM
 
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I'm sure it's pretty private, but do you feel able to share a little bit mroe about how/why your relationship changed? I am always fascinated by how people's perspectives shift.

I once asked a friend of mine who was raised in a very conservative church how he changed his views from wife-only submission to mutual submission. His answer was simple, "I met my wife. She is so talented and gifted and intelligent, I knew that I wanted her to be my partner in every way."
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