This is a continuation of a new series every Friday where I will be highlighting the growth and healing of one of my readers, a new reader each week. I sent out the call for stories that answered either ‘what is one lesson God has taught you?’ or ‘what is one way God has healed you?’ through their hard marriages, their separations, their divorces, their single mothering seasons, their forays into dating post-divorce, or even their remarriages. These, my sweet ones, are their brave and vulnerable stories. Take heart…you are not alone.
I was extremely bashful and couldn’t even talk to the opposite sex.
My ex-husband was my first and only boyfriend. When he betrayed me I felt a dagger thrust deep in my heart. I felt lifeless. I felt like trash. I felt dead.
I prayed for a happy ending, like loving couples who ride to the sunset on most movies and romance novels. Painfully, I felt slapped in the face with the word fantasy and woke up to words like failure, struggle and death carved on my forehead.
The ex threw me in hell. How do I climb back up when I was weak and burnt? I was in limbo.
Unlike some, I am fortunate to have good family and friends and I am very grateful, but I felt utterly alone. I couldn’t stop crying. I grieved while at work, while driving. My perfect attendance was smeared with many sick-leaves. I felt depressed.
I thought I had it all: a nice, loving man who loved God. The ex was sweet, good-looking, outgoing, funny, hardworking, family oriented with a good salary. Some friends even wanted to get married because they admired our union.
Soon the in-laws were living with us. I didn’t dare tell them to leave. The ex’s family tradition is love and keep family closeby till their last breath, otherwise you’re considered disrespectful. I didn’t know. One of his younger sisters, her husband and three children soon moved in temporarily from another State. Then another sister as well. We were obligated to help while still financially helping his other 9 married siblings with children. My world was crumbling as they gossiped about me and put me down and ex didn’t defend me.
I had to learn to be very patient for many years, reaping no rewards. Sadly our first child had died and we had been trying to get pregnant again and found we couldn’t. He had surgery to correct his acquired infertility problem, to no avail. He didn’t want to reveal that fact to anyone, so I took the bullet when people asked or laughed at us. After some fertility treatments I got pregnant again but miscarried. The ex couldn’t handle being childless. He said he couldn’t handle God’s will. He experienced peer pressure from his coworkers, friends and his family to have biological children. He rejected adoption. I felt his pain as I tried to deal with my own excruciating pain.
Soon he talked incessantly about some of his female coworkers. He became cold towards me. One New Year’s Eve he locked himself in our bedroom. I listened on the kitchen’s phone and he was calling another woman. My legs felt like jelly. I was heartbroken for years.
Then he met a 17-year-old, the same age as our deceased daughter. She became his mistress and married her while still married to me. He was in denial about being infertile. He assumed he can have more children if he’s with someone younger. They were childless the years I was communicating with his sister. I had stopped communicating the last 2 years.
Through all these trials and tribulations, I prayed for strength and God granted it. During times of unemployment, I attended daily mass or just visited churches. I volunteered for my parish grief ministry, joined a ladies prayer group and attended a ladies retreat for the separated and divorced. All of these helped my healing process. I lost in love, but I’m a survivor. I owe God my sanity because he’s my strength and my Savior!!!
If this sweet woman’s post resonated with your heart, please know that you are not alone. Here are a few resources for you:
If you would like to join one my private Facebook groups (difficult marriage, separated/divorced, single moms, remarried), please send me a friend request at www.facebook.com/elisabethkleinfisher.
If in a difficult marriage:
Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage is available as a PDF/e-book: www.elisabethklein.com/books
Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage is available in paperback/e-book: http://tinyurl.com/phowp95
If a single mom:
Moving on as a Christian Single Mom is available as a PDF/e-book: www.elisabethklein.com/books