Last week's Shed Night was on a very cool night; it had to be, even Chaddo pulled on a jumper (which I've rarely seen) :-)
Tucker was par excellent as usual & the "campfires" were burning & welcomed by many caught out by the chill that set in.
Our first interview was Dave Shearer & Matt, who was proudly wearing his Richmond jersey, which was successful in prompting a friendly jibe from Watto (a die hard Carlton supporter). It came as no surprise that Matt was born in Richmond &, although his family moved to Qld when he was 3, he hasn't faltered in his loyalty.
Matt met his wife-to-be when he was 14 at a Scripture Union Camp, although there was no immediate connection. In fact, it took close on 7 years for Matt to "breakthrough". They were married in their early 20's. They had wanted to marry earlier, but Matt's father-in-law to be "enforced" a 14 month delay; which Matt honoured & has been forever grateful he did, as it was the foundation of the good relationship they enjoy.
The honeymoon period for them was very shortlived as they entered the world of small business buying a run down takeaway food shop. Initially, there was success, however, it was shortlived as rent etc grew while businesses in the area declined. The stress was wreaking havoc with their marriage. Matt found himself saying & doing things that, before he was married, he swore he'd never do. His language deteriorated first, then he found himself blocking his wife's path & other controlling behaviours, but he never resorted to hitting. Yet, at the same time, Matt was hating himself for what he was becoming. They attempted to hide their struggle from family, friends & clients until Matt's wife left. It was then when a friend came into the shop & said,"Matt, hiding a broken marriage is like hiding a broken leg."
Matt knew he had to do something, so he turned to Lifeline for counsel & they suggested enrolling in a domestic violence course, despite him not ever hitting his wife. He did as suggested but, at first, he really didn't believe that was what he needed. However, he stayed the course (23 wks) & realised that actual violence in the home is only "the deep end", there are many other forms of abuse that are damaging. After the course, Matt realised there were "a few tools missing" in his kit bag prior to marriage.
The couple reunited & have now been married 20 years with 2 children & Matt is now a counsellor himself. He cites 2 of the biggest issues for his clients are fatherlessness & father's who "don't go in the deep end" for their kids
Matt's "Nugget of Gold" - His wife & he take turns regularly to "kidnap" each other for the night. The "kidnapper" chooses the event/activity & the spouse has to comply with no questions asked or complaints given; it's how they keep their connection. With his kids, Matt plays board games & regularly plays with them in the park & the like.
Signing off for now - back soon
God bless n luv ya guts ey
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