I watched Fireproof for the first time tonight and I came away from the movie with mixed feelings. I started looking things up on the internet and reading about the premise and Kirk Cameron. I was surprised to find out his real life wife was the body double for the actress (she stood in for the kissing scenes). I came across this blog about abusive relationships and I sort of agree with it.
I entered Christian marriage counseling with Olivia’s father and it did nothing to improve our situation. If anything it magnified what I went through and created a more volatile environment. I became very afraid to tell the truth because of the repercussions. When I reached out to our life group leaders, I was told to go home to him (he had refused to come that night), never say the “D” word, and be subservient. That was supposed to make it better. What I realize now is that none of those individuals knew how to help couples like us. I also realize that we both should have been in counseling SEPARATELY. I wasn’t safe in couple counseling, and quite honestly I feel as though it is a miracle that I am alive. I felt many times like I failed, or didn’t try hard enough. It had to be me if I was the one walking away. Reality IS that walking away was the only thing I could do if I valued myself or my child at all.
None of this really has anything to do with my misgivings about the movie. I cried when Cameron’s character forgave his mother. I felt like something was missing when his wife came back to him. I think that her “sorry” was less overt. I can be critical about this because it is a movie…
There are some things that I have forgave others for doing recently. I think I need to do a better job of accepting and acknowledging my part in situations when things like this come up. Maybe we all need to. None of us are perfect. The basic idea of loving your spouse completely, regardless of the reward (or potential lack of it), is something we all can carry into all of our relationships.