Husbands are walking away from their homes.
Almost weekly I hear about another family that has been torn apart by sin. Pure evil sin. Destruction. Devastation. I hear about new widows and orphans. People you would never believe it could happen to them. Then it happens. No one seems exempt.
Life is so unsure at times. Divorce seems to be happening all around us. The enemy is tempting men (yes, and women too) with addictions, abuse, and adultery, and they are falling for it.
Husbands are walking out… and never looking back. Not even thinking about the pain or hurt that they cause. With no concern for the sins, they are committing.
Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. – Hebrews 13:4 NLT
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. – Galations 5:19-21 NLT
But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself. – Proverbs 6:32 NLT
Sadly it happened to me.
During the holiday season of 2012, I realized that there were many things out of place in our home. Lots of lies. Deception. Lots of uncertainty. Things were turned upside down… and I felt crazy. I was being told that I was “too emotional” and “crazy” like my mother. Everything was my fault. Or at least I felt like the scapegoat for the blame.
I mentioned I felt I might be being abused. And that was met with further rage and gaslighting (manipulation to cause confusion).
I could no longer stand the emotional roller coaster that had become the “normal.” There was a darkness in our home. Things were clearly broken. I felt it. The kids felt it. They were scared. I was scared. We slept behind a locked closed bedroom door at night.
But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers. – 1 Timothy 5:8 NLT
Finally, I asked him to leave. The covenant had already been broken. The kids and I were visiting the food pantry once a month, barely surviving, while our bank statements showed meals out, that we never saw. Abuse was becoming apparent. Financial, emotional… and more.
I placed my faith in God’s hands. I had to trust that God would work this all out for our good… somehow.
When people walk out… God steps in.
Almost instantly, I started to feel the Light of peace move back in. I knew God was on our side. He would not let us down. He was now providing for us and protecting us. Although hard at times I didn’t allow fear to consume me.
Throughout this trial… and it was a tough one… God had to show me that He is faithful to take great care of us. He was proving His loving care for His precious children. It was a huge lesson in trust and faith. I finally was starting to pay attention.
God wants our faith to be strong. Our dependence on Him, and only Him, to be secure. Sometimes, He allows these bad things to happen – to those He loves the most – so that we always know His love and care.
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. – 1 John 4:16 NLT
And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. – Luke 12:7 NTL
My divorce was final in December of 2013. I prayed for a miracle. My kids prayed. The church prayed. But in the end… God did answer our prayers… and performed a miracle. Just not how we expected it!
The answer came in the form of joy, peace, patience, gentleness, and self-control that now inhabits our home. Not perfect, but now it’s encouraged. The new normal is healing… to be emotionally healthy.
And God has worked it all out. I can entrust my future… every part of it to Him… the One at the head of our home. He walks in when everyone else walks out. He wants you to seek Him.
Trust in Him… for He cares for you! (1 Peter 5:7)
[You May Also Enjoy: 7 Phases of Divorce Recovery]
Has your husband just left you? I’m walking with you… so start here!
God bless your healing journey,
Jen, your faith in action and God’s faithfulness in your life is an inspiration! I know it still cannot be easy. I’m so thankful he has provided all you have needed and people to walk alongside you. I’m so very proud of you. You have stood up under more than most would or could and your faith has only been made stronger. I speak love, peace and blessings upon you and your children’s lives in His name.
Thank you Sheila for speaking love, peace, and blessings over me and my children. We appreciate it. 🙂
Kristina P. says
How beautiful. Does that sound strange? Your testimony is beautiful. And how God is watching over you.
Jen Grice says
Thank you very much!! That means a lot to me… “beautiful”… I like it. 🙂
What an awesome testimony.
Jen Grice says
Thank you, Trish!
My story too. The past 2 years were miserable with lying, gas-lighting, silence, and verbal abuse. His favorites were to tell me I was unreasonable or crazy and to tell me I was just like my mother (he hates her). He even called me by her name when he was upset with me. He was grooming his third mistress (I have no exact count on the number of prostitutes) in twenty years. I knew what he was doing, but I still stayed with him. I did not think I could make it on my own. Everyone loved him and no one really knew me, so I thought I’d be all alone. But soon after his departure my mind began to clear and after a couple of months joy began to return to our home. The past nine months I have been swinging between courage and fear, anger and resolution, but always the peace of God is in the background, unlike at any time since I met him. God is indeed a father to the orphan and husband to the widow.
Jen Grice says
I am so glad you found a place that you can relate your own story. I am glad you are finding clarity (from that abuse fog), joy, and courage… in the face of fear. Glad to have you along on this journey.
Stephanie, your story is so similar to mine its eerie!
Thank you for sharing your testimony. I often feel a little out of place talking to women who have survived abuse in their marriage, because they talk about years of abuse and hiding it. I didn’t have that, so sometimes I feel almost fake.
My soon to be ex has struggled with depression since puberty. He has dysthymia (chronic depression), and it has not abated in the years since it started, despite a number of therapists and drugs. Life with him wasn’t easy, especially when he fell into a major depressive episode, which would his normal melancholy look practically jovial. But still, he was my best friend. We allowed ourselves to become isolated because of his depression, but we always each other’s back. Yes, the depression sucked, but we stood against it as a team.
Until we didn’t. Until he started having an affair with a teenager at work. Which, bizarrely, he had tearfully confessed to me previously that he was having inappropriate feelings about (there’s a plot twist on the usual adultery story for you!). Then a few weeks later, we were seeing a marriage counselor (because of his confession), and he declared it was not an issue. He’d listened to the sermon the previous Sunday and decided that his feelings we’re just that of strong friendship. No, the real problem was my jealously and unreasonableness towards his friend. The real problem was that I was no longer attractive to him, that he regretted having our year old daughter (who we’d struggled through years of infertility for), etc. He would literally shudder if I brushed against his arm in the hallway. That was when the abuse started, as you can tell. The gaslighting, the constant suicide threats, the mocking, the placing the blame for every ill in his life on me, the usual. He didn’t escalate to physical abuse, but it was basically everything shy of that. It went on for 6 months before I finally got the guts to look for proof of the affair I didn’t want to believe he could be having, and then sent his own dad to kick him out of our house. He walked out and never looked back. Sees our daughter so rarely that I have to remind her who he is when he does turn up.
Anyway. That got long, sorry. Sometimes when I’m talking to survivors of abuse, it almost feels like, since mine was “only” abusive for half a year, that it doesn’t count. That I’m not really a survivor of abuse myself. I know that’s probably ridiculous, and I don’t know why I feel that way. Maybe somewhere in my subconscious I don’t want to claim that particular label, because in means my husband gets the label of abuser. Even though he’s been gone almost 2 years now, I’m still walking through that slow healing and detaching process.
Jen Grice says
Becca, I tell my clients who try to compare stories and decide who had it better or worse… that if I drown in 30 feet of water and you drown in 2 feet of water, does it really matter since we both drown?
I can kind of relate to your story. I don’t believe I was treated poorly my entire marriage, but the psychological abuse (gaslighting and projection) was much worse when there was another woman (and there were multiple so it seemed like my entire marriage sometimes).
Thanks for sharing your story. And glad to have you along on this journey to healing.