Extracting Reality from “Poppycock”

I don’t know how far and wide the word ‘poppycock’ is used, but it is a word used to refer to ‘nonsense’. The following is an example of extracting truth and reality from nonsense, in order to avoid being deceived and undermined.

Sometimes writing thoughts and feelings down helps us to see reality among the confusion of thoughts and feelings we’re having, because our sensible side has a better chance of being noticed on paper, than mixed up in our minds with all the nonsense we’ve heard, or told ourselves. Maybe singing the reality out of our minds in a made up song, writing a poem, creating some art, or making statements as we punch a punching bag, or dig the garden, might suit some people?

The following example statement (with an accusatory tone) is paraphrased:

An ex-husband was heard to say with some angst, “[Pastor’s name] said our marriage was repairable!” The ex-husband’s comment was made to his single ex-wife, after he had himself remarried.

A few thoughts:

  • Maybe the pastor left the “if…” unsaid, as it could be assumed the ‘repair’ would only be possible, if something changed to make it possible? The wife had evidently left for some reason, one would also assume? Certainly, I’d be surprised if a spouse would leave if they were very happy and contented, and had no significant concerns about their spouse’s behaviour?
  • Did the ex-husband think the pastor was omniscient (knows it all), like God?
  • Did the pastor think he was omniscient
  • Had the pastor educated himself regarding domestic abuse when presented with the estranged wife’s thought-provoking and perplexing concerns?
  • Did the pastor speak for the wife when he believed the marriage was repairable?
  • Did the pastor give false hope, or misplaced comfort when the estranged husband had a lot of work to do in rebuilding the estranged wife’s trust?
  • Had the ex-husband resolved his feelings toward the ex-wife, before remarrying another woman?
  • Had the ex-husband learned yet, to be respectful to the ex-wife?
  • Was the ex-husband still trying to undermine his ex-wife?

The wife left the home with a way forward for the husband. In essence he needed to demonstrate to her that he would respect her reasonable boundaries, and to keep doing so, for as long as it took for his trustworthiness to be re-established, even if it took a number of years. She assured him she would not remarry another man, so that it would always be possible for them to be reconciled, though she made it clear that she believed she was under no obligation to remarry him, as he had broken covenant with her through his unfaithful, abusive behaviour toward her. Even though she divorced him for disciplinary reasons, it was not irreversible in the eyes of the law or God, as she did not remarry another man.

Expressed this way, in reality the marriage was repairable “if”:

A. The husband responded by respecting the wife’s reasonable boundaries

B. The husband respected her reasonable boundaries for as long as it took to demonstrate his trustworthiness

C. The husband was prepared to remarry her after their divorce, after A. and B. had been achieved

D. The husband did not marry another woman before he had achieved A., B. and C.

Realistically, it was not likely to happen because love involves truth and work¹, and the husband had already avoided the work of love and living truthfully, in multiple marriages and other relationships. Still, it was possible, “if” the husband had wanted the marriage to be repaired so sincerely, that he was prepared to work at repairing the trust he had broken, as well as resolving the origins of his unloving and dishonest behaviour; wanted it enough to choose to do that work; and do it.

Instead, the husband was not prepared to work at either A. or B., or to acknowledge that C. was legally and scripturally possible, or to avoid D. His own actions in remarrying another woman, was what made their marriage irreparable, not anything the ex-wife did.

The ex-wife remained unmarried, yet the remarried ex-husband accused her with the words we began the post with, “[Pastor’s name] said our marriage was repairable!”.

What a load of poppycock!


¹Ascerted by M. Scott Peck among the treasure in his book, “The Road Less Travelled”


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