I thought I married a supportive man.
I thought I married an unselfish man.
I thought I married a loving man.
I thought I married a faithful man.
It took me way too long to realize that I did not.
How about you?
It is a sad truth that I am finding out many come to realize for themselves, too.
We all have one or more of these stories…
I found out I was pregnant, all by myself. There are no warm and smiley videos, or expecting-announcement online. It was a planned pregnancy until he left to go be with his “friend.” I was still excited but I did not know what would happen to us. And I cannot honestly say that I felt the excitement from anyone else. I was scared. And alone.
After the positive home test, I asked a nurse friend to go with me to get a blood test, to know for sure. Because of financial abuse, my only option was a free clinic on the other side of town. After the clinic nurse let me know the results, she asked me where my husband was. I told her I didn’t know. He was barely talking to me. I just sobbed.
That first trimester was the hardest, especially with the added stress. Weeks went by and I could not keep anything down. I am not sure how I was even functioning. My doctor decided that I was too dehydrated to stay home, so he admitted me to the hospital. As they were undressing me to put me in a gown, the nurses asked, “Where is your husband?“
I just sobbed.
At the time all I knew was that he was “deciding” who he loved more. I was just trying to be emotionally and physically healthy for the child growing inside. One relative called me. Not one person came to see me. Some said I was merely seeking attention. I just sobbed. Alone in my hospital room. No one mentioned that the cruelty was domestic violence. I was being told it was my fault. How could this be abuse?
When I was released only my nurse friend came to pick me up and take me home. No welcome home when I got there. Nothing. I was alone.
I wish I could say that that was the last straw. And even though I did pack up his things and left them on the back porch, that day, it didn’t end there.
I believed that no person would intentionally do these sorts of things to hurt someone else. I could not imagine anyone being so cruel. It must have been me! Yes, that was it. It was my fault.
My body was breaking down from the weight of abuse.
About 6 years later, there was another “friend” and I again found myself alone in a hospital room. I had the worst migraine that I had ever experienced because I was in “acute liver failure.” The nurses asked me the standard questions of, “If I felt safe at home?” They also wanted to know where my husband was. I just sobbed.
I felt safe there but I was worried about my kids at home. After several days, and feeling so alone, I checked myself out “against medical advice” (Now, I am very thankful to be alive with a functioning liver. God is good!) because clearly, this was all my fault right? I mean that’s what everyone was saying.
That night before, I confided in one of the nurses that I had recently caught my husband sneaking around communicating with a “friend” from work and hiding it. I told her about the past history. She reminded me that I needed to take care of myself, especially for my kids. She told me to look at how the stress of this marriage was affecting my body. She told me that I deserved way better than this.
She was speaking life into me where few had ever done. She told me to kick his butt out of the house.
But she did not know me. She did not know that I was a submissive Christian wife. And how I still couldn’t imagine anyone being so cruel. Because if someone would do that to another person… there must be a good reason, right?
Have you been there? Sound like one of your stories?
After my divorce was final, after many more years of empty promises, I had to mourn the marriage that I had always hoped for. I had to accept the fruitless, abusive, and adulterous (Which is just another form of abuse.) marriage that I did have.
It takes two fully committed to the Lord, faithful, unselfish, emotionally healthy people to have a good marriage. I thought that it eventually would get better. I had to learn to see it for what it was… and what it always would be. Not what I had hoped for.
Then I could mourn what it was not. Then I could learn that I deserve better and that I should have higher standards for myself in the future.
What helped me.
I’ve journaled through all those times and heartaches. That’s how I’m able to share the truth with you. It’s all written down. Make a list of what your marriage is/was – you know the truth that no one knows about. And then make another list of what it is not. Be truthful. Mourn what needs to be mourned.
After my divorce, what helped me to heal was to write out the pros of my divorce. What I had gained in the time since. My more peaceful life. Seeing those things written down, helped me to see that what I thought I had lost was really more of a… gain.
Are you able to mourn and accept the truth about your marriage?
God bless your healing journey,
Beautiful Jen ❤️
Jen Grice says
Thank you very much, Brandie!
Hi jen., I tried to make a pros list today in an attempt to motivate myself to leave since things have escalated to a level I never thought they would. And as I made a very positive list of what I would gain…I just began to cry uncontrollably. It’s just so very heartbreaking to know that I would endure this forever in order to keep my family together. Even though I am coming to find God in this process after being with an atheist for so long. I know he has better ahead waiting fore but I can’t get over how much it hurts that he won’t just work with me and communicate so we can be peaceful for the kids. Instead he wants to take them from me and not allow me to see them as well as have me leave the home.
Jen Grice says
Aly, as long as you are still in the same home as your husband he’ll try to control you and manipulate you into believing that he can take the kids and never allow you to see them. I suggest you get yourself to a lawyer and/or domestic violence shelter for help (you do not have to move there). They often will help you find legal counsel if you can’t afford it. Please know you have rights as a human being too!!
Jen, I also journaled thru those dark times and like you I knew it must be my fault. We owned a business together so I worked harder….made sure our house was spotless….worked harder to be a better wife but to no avail. I didn’t realize I was in an abusive marriage until after the divorce. I too was in denial about who my spouse was. I read my old journals occasionally and don’t recognize myself! I am so thankful that God walked alongside with me and at times, carried me through that season. The Lord has blessed me with a loving and God fearing man in my life. There is life after divorce!
Jen Grice says
I totally agree, Pam. I am glad you here. Thank you for sharing your story.
Like you, I was also raised to be a submissive Christian wife, my Nigerian culture didn’t help. I was so naive that I didn’t realize that our marriage was all a lie until he left and divorced me after our 2nd child was born and all the truth came tumbling out. But like you, the loss of my marriage is definitely gain and God’s mercy of deliverance from something that was bad for me even though I couldn’t see it. Let’s keep speaking truth!! Cheks
Jen Grice says
Yes. Thank you for sharing!