The strangest thing happened Wednesday morning. My wife and I woke up next to each other in bed, snuggled together, and we both said, “I love you” which is the first thing we have said to each other every morning and the last thing we say to each other every night, just before we fall asleep spooning, during our fifteen year marriage.

During the day we traveled some 240 miles in our RV, stopping for fuel and a potty break along the way. Several times Terry pointed out antelope she spotted along the way, and once, even some camels in a field. We chatted about all kinds of things during our trip, from our kids to our business, to our summer travel plans. I got nervous passing a semi with a wide load just as a strong wind hit us broadside, and Terry reassured me that I had plenty of room to get by him, and complimented me on my driving skills. As we do often, a few times one or the other of us said, “I love you.” We both say that a lot during the course of the day.

When we arrived at our campground we were both a bit tired and cranky from the 95 degree heat and I’m afraid we had a couple of cross words between us as we got parked and set up. But that passed quickly, and later on we went to dinner. I held the car door for Terry, as I always do, and though the restaurant didn’t live up to our expectations, we enjoyed our time together.

We came home, worked on some publishing chores, watched a little TV, and went to bed. The last thing we said to each other as we were falling asleep was, “I love you.” This morning we woke up, repeated the same “I love you” and made love.

Strange, even though the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act Wednesday, we got through the day and last night, and today we’re still married. I passed a big burley trucker on the highway and had no desire at all to crawl back into the sleeper of his cab with him. Our waitress at dinner last night was a very pretty young lady, but I didn’t notice she and my wife exchanging long sultry looks. None of those terrible, sick perverted gay people whose rights the federal government upheld tried to recruit us or destroy our relationship. As it turns out, they were busy living their own lives, just like we are busy living ours.

So what’s the problem with two people loving each other? Why don’t those so quick to quote the Bible and talk about sin remember John 8:7, "He who is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her."?

You know what I think? I think our marriage didn’t need defending all along. Instead of defending it, we nurture it. You’d be surprised what happens when you do.

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54 Comments on We’re Still Married

  1. John M. says:

    Those who encourage and support sin will burn in the eternal fires of hell just as those who commit the sin do.

  2. Raylene Harris says:

    If Miss Terry ever leaves you (like she’d be that crazy) will you marry me? I LOVE Bad Nick!!!! Thank you for putting life in terms we can understand instead of all the hype and hoopla.

  3. Thanks, Nick. I didn’t think this would happen in my lifetime. Being equal is amazing!

  4. Berni says:

    Like I have said many times before. No one has the right to tell another who they should love. No one told me and I’m not telling anyone. Let people live the life they want and was born to live

  5. Judy Westfall says:

    Nick what part of God hates homosexuality and it is a sin don’t you understand?

  6. Judy Westfall, what part of Christian hatred and equal rights are separate and apart do you not understand?

  7. Judy Westfall says:

    It is a sad time in America when the Christian values this nation were founded on are cast aside and we celebrate perversion instead. I am 71 years old and all I want to do is go to sleep and never wake up again. It sickens me to know the world my grandchildren are growing up in. You can hate me all you want Jan but it does not change the fact that homosexuality is a sin. I think really you hate yourself.

  8. Judy Westfall, I am 71 years old and have been hated by Christians all my life. That will not end because, sadly, that’s what you are taught and you can’t help it. Equal rights for us, something you have had all your life, is something we can now celebrate. I don’t hate you. You are the one who lets hatred live in your head rent free.

  9. Tom Doyle says:

    Thank you Nick. My own personal dream is that one day we will live in a world where there are no labels. No gay people, no lesbian people, no Christians or Jews, no white, black, red, brown or yellow people. There will just be people who love and respect each other.

  10. Connie Bradish says:

    My concern as it always has been is the following:
    Define marriage. Presently it is one man and one woman in dictionaries.

    We have persecuted members of the Mormon religion for polygamy and marrying “under age girls.” Some of them are in jail as we speak. We have laws controlling the age a person can get married and deny first cousins let alone siblings and parent-child marriages. We do not allow a human to marry a member of another species (cat, dog, sheep, etc).

    So if we open marriage to two members of the same sex because “they love one another” or “It’s not hurting anyone,” why are we not going to open marriage to the following: more than two people in a marriage, you can marry anyone (parent/child, siblings, first cousins) of any age (why limit age?) or anything (pet, sheep, whatever)?

    And if you answer is silly, O that’s a perversion, it’s unnatural, my answer to you is that two men with penises or two women with vaginas do not fit together. This is un-natural as the biological design is for the male penis to fit into the female vagina (I taught Biology in college as my career and have several degrees in Biology).

    If the definition of marriage becomes 2 people of any sex, then the number of people will be challenged next, then the age and relationship will follow and then a challenge against inter species relationships.

    Therefore I have to say I am not in favor of changing the definition of marriage from one man and one woman. Pandora’s box of marriage definitions will be opened if we change the definition. To me marriage is a religious issue between one man and one woman. Government should not be involved in marriage.

  11. Allan says:

    Many people try to paint incorrectly Christians as people that hate others because they follow biblical teachings. I support traditional marriage between one woman and one man as has been established since man first set foot on this earth. The Bible is the owners manual for life which God gave to man to put down in written form so that man would not establish laws based on his feelings at given times. People changing man-made laws in this country or other countries does not change what God has established. Sin is something that God does not approve of. There are many sins listed in the Bible, homosexuality is just one of them. I have relatives and friends that are homosexual. I do not condone their life style but I certainly do not hate them. I have relatives and friends that are involved in other type of sin that I also do not condone but I do not hate them. Thank goodness that God sent his son to die for our sins for whoever would accept Jesus as his savior, ask for forgiveness, and turn from their sin to follow him might have everlasting life. Some will receive this and some will reject this but God’s word doesn’t change with the times. What He has established goes on for eternity. God does not hate people. God hates the sin, whatever it is. God is the Judge in the end whether you believe in Him or not. I will love and follow God and while I am on this earth will love others.

  12. Dinah Moore says:

    Connie I was in college and interning for a US senator in 1967 when the Supreme Court ruled anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. We got letters and telephone calls claiming that if we made interracial marriage legal under federal law, what was next? Would men be allowed to marry sheep? Monkeys? Children? Their sisters? Sadly, you argument reminds me of that. And since you studied biology, surely you are aware that homosexual activity is found throughout the animal kingdom and that homosexual interaction between animals has been observed in about 1,500 species. This includes everything from apes to insects. Are they also perverts as some say here or following natural instincts?

  13. Frank Seigel says:

    I find it ironic that my brother who posts things on Facebook and forwards e-mails about how wrong it is to take the words “under God” out of the pledge of allegiance has no problem deny “liberty and justice for all.” We will never agree on many issues including this one but I love him. As for the teachings of the Bible, read three different Bibles published by three different companies and you will find three different wordings for the same verses. In this blog Nick quotes John 8:7 “He who is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her.” But my large family Bible says “He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her.” The smaller one my wife keeps on her nightstand says “He who is without sin, let him throw the first stone.” And my son’s Bible says “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Three different versions of the same verse, all slightly different because that is how MEN interpreted it. So as a lifelong Christian, but also a well read person with a degree in literature, I have to wonder how much of what is written in the Bible is accurate. Based upon my college research of many books translated into English from other languages, I think there is a lot of room for translation.

  14. Karen Proctor says:

    We really do enjoy your blogs.

  15. Robert says:

    Connie, what is that last line you almost always hear after the vows at weddings? “By the power vested in me by the State of __________, I now pronounce you husband and wife”. Certainly you are entitled to your opinion that government shouldn’t be involved in marriage, but it is and every minister who’s uttered that phrase publically acknowledges it.

  16. Kayjulia says:

    In a few years this will all be behind us and we will be fighting and grumbling over something else. The human condition has ever been so, fear of the unknown, fear of the other, fear of the different always the fear. Like the unknown philosopher said “This too shall pass”. Let’s getting going to the next argument I’m bored with this one…

  17. Carole says:

    Nick thank you for having the courage to take unpopular stands. As the sister of a gay man who has been in a committed relationship for over 12 years I am overjoyed that Dave and his partner can now enjoy the same rights my husband and I do.

  18. Sharon Ortloff says:

    I celebrate every person who has found a mate. I too love my husband and am grateful that he loves me. We have our differences but, we are best friends too. Congrats Nick & Terry.

  19. Rob Fox says:

    Well it has been an interesting week. One step forward and a giant leap back. It’s great to see bigotry being overcome and common sense being used. I fear, however, that with the ruling on the Voting Rights Act, another ugly head of human nature is about to show itself. Even as I write this there are politicians up and down the country rushing forward proposals to gerrymander the vote. Don’t you just love freedom and democracy.

  20. Isn’t it wonderful that I no longer have to battle those of you who have been taught to hate. Equal rights for me are now on the books. My wife and i can file income tax jointly, we can take advantage of 1128 federal benefits that you hets take for granted, we no longer have to have convoluted wills, form corporations just to guarantee financial equality.
    When this country was founded, slavery was the law of the land, women were considered chattel – not allowed to own land or vote. We changed those laws as we realized how wrong they were. We have now made one more step toward equality for all. To those who wish I were still a second class citizen, too bad. Because my wife and I are now just like you. After 30 years, it’s about time.

  21. Rick Stevens says:

    Recognizing that we’re all sinners, I find it confusing when some people hold up homosexuality as though they have no sin…and WOULD cast the first stone. They must realize they are sinners and do what they do for another reason. I think they’re trying to be on an inside track to God, and if they openly support what they read in the Bible, and not do any other thinking about the matter, then God will be pleased with them. Let me tell you…God’s not happy about not thinking.
    Folks, God is Love, hence Jesus Christ’s death on the cross forgives us all our sins. If that weren’t true, then all of you who are holding up OTHER’s sins in THEIR faces, would all be headed to the same place.
    Experience is the best teacher. For those so worried about homosexuality, seek out a gay person. They’re just like everyone else i.e. equal now, thank God, and loved by God.
    Nick, you always surprise me where you come down on issues…but, I love surprises. Thank you.

  22. Debbie says:

    Thanks, Nick, for a column which is so eloquently simple. It amazes me how many people think that they should have a LEGAL right to force their beliefs in a punitive God (“eternal fires of hell”) on others, or follow fallacious reasoning (” a challenge against inter species relationships”) in order to deny citizens of their EQUAL RIGHTS under the laws of this great country of ours. Believe whatever you want, it’s none of my business. Follow your fallacious reasoning to an illogical conclusion–it really doesn’t frighten me. Just stop trying to deny my married gay friends the same legal rights which my husband and I have taken for granted for almost 42 years.

  23. Kris says:

    I believe that you were born with a certain sexual orientation. Since heterosexuality is the “norm”, homosexual people have forced themselves into those types of relationships for years. And I am sure some of those marriages worked quite well, but that doesn’t mean it should be the only option for someone who was born homosexual. Everyone should have the option of living with someone they love. People that are in a happy relationship are an asset to society.

    As for being married…something in me cringes, but really, why should I care? People who are committed to each other are stable individuals that make the world a better place. As for the bible – it was written by humans hundreds of years ago in a different time and culture. Given all the times it was recopied and retranslated in the past 200 years, it is a wonder that it is still as relevant as it is.

    There are bigger battles to be fought. Lets stop arguing about the right to love.

  24. John Quade says:

    I find it amazing the “Christians Hate”, comments mentioned above. Let me correct those erroneous opinions, Christians do NOT hate, or at the very least, try very hard not to because it is the very core of our faith not to hate. However, I have found it very typical lately to find a lot of folks trying very hard to FORCE their opinions/views/personal belief’s upon Christians, i.e., Marriage other than between a Man and a Woman. In the many Christians demoninations, that is a core belief right out of our Bible. Forcing Christians to accept in OUR INSTITUTIONS (Churches/Schools/Hospitals/etc.) I would term “Anti-Christian Hate” and extremely bigoted, so please keep your vile anti-Christian views to yourself, and leave us Christians alone.

  25. Jim Walter says:

    I’m surprised that no one has brought up the option of “civil unions,” and keep “holy matrimony” (marriage) out of the equation? Homosexuals can have a civil union and be entitled to all the (man made) benefits the (man made) government bestows on married couples. Just don’t call it a marriage, which Christians consider being joined by God. But I guess homosexuals don’t consider that true equality. So are they more concerned with equality of monetary benefits, or acceptance in the eyes of God? I’m guessing with many of them it’s the former, same as many non-gay couples.

  26. Tom westerfield says:

    How do measures like prop 8 get on the ballot if they’re passage will be unconstitutional? I think we need another constitutional committee to check because those millions of dollars could be much better spent on the war or border patrols. Besides some of my best friends are women and homosexuals.:-)

  27. Shannon says:

    I love your blogs Nick. You have your head screwed on straight! Your heart is in the right place.

  28. Candace says:

    In my opinion, it is NOT the governments’ (or the local church members’) business with whom I sleep, marry, love or do business with. Government can’t take care of their own business properly, churches are too worried about what everyone else is up to, so I am not going to give them any authority in my life. As a grown adult, I am the one who makes my choices about my lifestyle – not another adult, government entity or committee of parishoners.

  29. If you are going to have opinions about my life, then I assume you will be paying some of my bills.

    Thanks again, Nick, for opening some minds.

  30. Paul J Stough says:

    @Jan Goldfield- What on earth does having an opinion on someones life have to do with paying their bills? Just because I believe that G W Bush was not a good President, should he them expect me to pay some of his bills? I think not, but I do admire your attempt to limit what others have to say on this subject.

    Wow, a real mother of a non-sequitor!

    Paul

  31. The off-handed remark was an attempt to remove some of the sting of hatred being spewed here. It’s time we all learned to accept the equality so many of us have fought for. I, one of hundreds of thousands, marched for civil rights in the 60’s, campaigned for equality for women here and everywhere. We have not been completely successful, but we have come a long way. And as of Wednesday, we have won one more right. We should have cheering, not more divisiveness.

  32. Paul J Stough says:

    I believe that a lot of what you are calling hatred is not hatred, but simply disagreement. Christians are taught that homosexuality is a sin, but calling it hatred is just another attempt to put them on the defensive just like saying anyone who comments on another’s life, should pay part of their bills.

    All of this argument about same sex marriage could have been prevented if only we as a country had realized several years ago that the institution of marriage had failed, and the government had gotten out of the marriage business.

    At one time, we as a culture, believed that it was best for the future of the culture to have a man and a women marry to have children and to raise those children together, and to support that notion we, as a country, decided to give government benefits to those who did this as a way to encourage this family relationship, but over the last generation or two these kinds of marriages have become fewer and farther between to the point where fewer and fewer children are raised together with their biological parents to the point where we should have considered that the marriage as an institution has failed, and as such, no longer benefits our culture as it once did, so therefore the benefits that we, as a country, through our government once gave to marriages, should have been discontinued quite some time ago. Had this happened, the issue of same sex marriage would never have become an issue, as same sex marriage, I believe, is mostly about the 1128 government benefits that come with marriage, as Jan Goldfield pointed out in a previous post.

    Paul

  33. Tom, it’s easy to whip the public into a froth. Any politician, public figure or a person with an audience can convince people to hate. It’s been done throughout history and continues today. Mention Muslims and most people will think terrorist. All Muslims are no more terrorists than all Christians believe the same as the Westboro Baptist Church.
    People seem to need to come together in a common cause. Lately it’s been gay folks they have hated. After all, we are the last group of people that can be hated out loud with impunity, in fact with encouragement.

  34. Paul, you are right on. But it’s more than just those 1128 financial benefits everyone else takes for granted. It’s having the same rights as granted by the constitution as any other citizen of this country.

  35. Paul J Stough says:

    Jan-Do you think there would be such a push for same sex marriage if there was not the 1128 government benefits, and do you agree that the idea of same sex marriage was not even considered at the time the Constitution was written?

    BTW, I believe anyone who wants to get married should be able to, but the government should have nothing to do with it.

    Paul

  36. Candace says:

    My point exactly Paul … the government should not dictate who can or can not marry.

  37. Paul, I think there would be a push for same sex marriage based on us wanting the same human dignity bestowed on all citizens. The 1128 financial benefits are a uniting, quantifiable factor, of course. It’s easier to explain than ‘human dignity.’ Frankly I think the founders of this country never even imagined that slaves would ever want to be free, women would never want to be chattel and gay people would never want to be married.
    As far as the government staying out of marriage: It is sanctioned by the government, came into being because of property and inheritance rights. It was never a religious consideration until made one in recent times. Marriage is not a religious institution. Granted many people get married in a church, but many get married by a justice of the peace or other officer of the court or a drive through Las Vegas wedding business. They are just as married as the rest. Marriage is a civil right, not a religious one. It would make more sense to say that anyone should be able to get married and churches should stay out of it.

  38. Paul J Stough says:

    I believe just the opposite, I believe the government got involved in marriage because at the time it was thought to be beneficial to the continuation of our culture, and therefore granted property and inheritance rights, along with other rights, but now that that type of marriage is few and far between, there is no longer the same benefit to the continuation of our culture, so there is no longer any need to continue the benefits afforded by the government.

    I dont see civil marriage as a right at all, but as an institution of government that at one time served a purpose, that is no longer valid.

    I believe that marriage is an institution in most religions, I am not sure how you can say it is not. Most religions take marriage very seriously, but you do have to have a government issued marriage license to get married in most churches, and if were not married in a church, but then join a church and want to be considered married in that church, you then need to have a marriage ceremony in that church.

    Then there is the confusion about love and marriage. You dont have to be in love to get married, and you can love someone without being married. I dont know about other states, but in looking at the application for a marriage license in Iowa, there is no place where you have to swear or affirm that you are in love with the person you are going to marry. I have actually read of, mostly older couples, who have lost their wife or husband getting married and admit they dont love each other, but like the benefits of marriage. I also know couples who obviously love one and other, but have chosen not to get married.

    By the same token marriage vows that a couple may recite have no legal meaning, all that is required to be married by the state is to have the person performing the ceremony say something like, “by the power vested in me by the state of _____, I now pronounce you man and wife, husband and wife, or whatever the couple getting married may choose,and the couple have to sign the marriage license.

    I am enjoying this discussion.

    Paul

  39. I am also enjoying this. I am hoping that even if we don’t agree, we can all learn from it. Marriage was a gov’t institution until the 5 or 6th century. See ‘History of Marriage’ http://www.livescience.com/377.....riage.html
    You are spot on re the love part of marriage. I totally agree. Any two idiots can get married. Look at some of the adored celebrities. But until Wednesday, me, a Ph.D and my partner, a licensed clinical therapist could not.
    In the early days of the gay rights movement, it’s hard to imagine what we endured at the hands of the gov’t. We were stopped and searched by male police officers, mauled, clothing ripped off to make sure we were female. Men went through the same things. We were raped, beaten, jailed just because we were gay. We were fired from jobs, not hired, needed to stay in the closet to avoid indignities you probably could not believe happened.
    I say these things to refute the financial reasons for marriage, but to reinforce the basic human dignity we fought for.
    I agree that all we have to do is have someone say, “by the power vested in me by the state of _____, I now pronounce you man and wife, husband and wife, or whatever the couple getting married may choose, and the couple have to sign the marriage license.
    And until Wednesday, we could not do that.

  40. Croft says:

    I would like to comment and say how pleased I am that ALL Americans are finally considered equal but I have to rush out to join the stoning of my neighbor who is growing different crops in the same field.

  41. And is he wearing clothing from different fabrics? And serving shrimp, with or without milk? Oh, and don’t try to sell your daughter. We don’t know how much to charge.
    Croft, you are a hoot. Love it.

  42. Mark H. says:

    You can try to sugarcoat it any way you want but the fact is that God hates homosexuality and what you are doing is a sin. It leads to promiscuity, AIDS, destruction of Christian family values, and the list goes on and on. You are all gloating now over your victory but when judgement day comes you’ll be singing a different tune. Read the Bible! Its all in there if you will just take the time to learn.

  43. Mark H, Sorry, but what your imaginary friend says to you indicates you need treatment. And a few lessons on how not to judge.

  44. Stan Krupps says:

    I am not gay and to the best of my knowledge nobody I know is gay. But I’ve been kicking around this world for almost 70 years so I would imagine that somewhere along the line I’ve met a few gay people. So what? People are people. Would it offend me to see 2 gay people making out in public? Yes but it would if it were a man and a woman too. That stuff is for inside your own home. As for benefits mentioned above why shouldn’t a gay couple enjoy the same legal rights and tax deductions and such? If a man and a woman work to build a life together and pay taxes and such why should they be treated any different than 2 gay people who do the same?

  45. Marge Shea says:

    What’s it like to be gay? Do they really get the abuse that Jan Goldfield talks about? To be honest I always thought that was an exaggeration. I learned different this past winter. I suffered a detached retina and required surgery and things were touch and go for a while. When had to go for my follow up checkup it was at the eye doctors office downtown. My sister-in-law drove me and we had to park two blocks away. I also suffer from vertigo and the sidewalks were slippery and I was terrified of falling and doing more damage to my eyes, so Patty held my arm and stayed close as we walked. Three men in their 20s were coming the other way and would not step aside to give us room, so we had to flatten against the side of a store window as they passed. One said something about dikes and they all laughed, then another turned around and grabbed his crotch and said Try it sometime you might like it! I can’t imagine being treated that way on a regular bases.

  46. Stan, thank you.
    Marge, it is not an exaggeration. I live through it. Imagine those men in cop uniforms, hauling you to an alley or a paddy wagon, taking your clothes off to see if you were female. Imagine men staying to you constantly, “Let me at you. I’ll f*** you better.” I am 71 and it has not stopped. I’m sorry you had to find out what it’s like.
    My wife and I have had graffiti scrawled on the house, the cars, the driveway, been called every name you can think of and more that you can’t. We have been threatened with physical harm. Things have gotten better in the last few years. We heard a couple of 10ish year olds biking past the house saying, “That’s where the lesbians live.” With no malice whatsoever. It was a statement of fact. That’s all. I can live with that. I really want to get to the point where many other countries are. In my ancestral home, the Netherlands, saying, “I’m gay,” would be met with a questioning stare, ie, who cares.

  47. Croft says:

    We have several gay friends and often go out for dinner and such together with two of them. They are two men who, looking at them individually, you would never know were gay. One is a retired university professor and the other a former teacher, now a semi-retired editor who works part time for a publisher.

    We certainly notice the looks and comments they get. We also notice the times when we are served last or a restaurant greeter tries to seat us in a back corner.

    They are also mixed race (White/Latino) so they “get it” from both variety of bigots. They are so used to it that it does not bother them. It bothers my wife and I more.

  48. Robert says:

    Enjoying this discussion, you picked a good one Nick… Don’t need to add much; particularly Paul and Jan, and a few others are saying it so well. It’s sad that religion, at least Christianity as studied via the New Testament, that clearly imo is suppose to teach us how to live in peace and show love and compassion toward one another is so often used to divide and rationalize hatred and prejudice…
    As a subnote, although I know it wasn’t the main premise of this post, I loved hearing about your beautiful relationship with Terry Nick.
    And another obtw; glad you kicked that sob Timothy Jennings or whatever his name was to the curb.

  49. George Stoltz says:

    Mark,

    Check your spelling

    “but when judgement day comes”

    that first “e” does not belong there. I had to do this so that we could get back to discussing something serious.

  50. Connie Bradish says:

    I would like to respond to Dinah Moore who stated that homosexuality in animals is common through out the animal kingdom. I disagree with her statement. Most of the acts that appear to be homosexuality are young male animals who are trying to figure out how to use their penis. They have been observed trying to stick their penis in other males, holes in stumps, etc, and playing with themselves to get sexual satisfaction. Usually most of them finally figure out the biological use for their penis.

    Homosexuality is counter productive to the purpose of the reproductive system. Just as the digestive system is designed to place food in the mouth and feces to come out the anus, you would not want to put food up the anus and expect the system to function properly. The reproductive system is designed for reproduction. Certain parts fit together to allow sperm and egg to get together.

    My purpose here is not to discuss morality or ethics but rather to point out that the design of the reproductive system is NOT to put two penises or two vaginas together. You can argue love, let people do what they want and all the other arguments you want to that homosexuality is “normal.” No, in the biological sense it is not.

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