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.
God is still working on me.
If you were to ask me why I entered into marriage, I would say it is because I believed my husband was a good man, a good father. I felt like he would take care of me. As a single mother to my growing son for many years, I would no longer have to go it alone. But most importantly, I felt like I could remain who I am and continue to grow.
Maybe that was selfish.
I remember meeting him, this man who was so direct. He seemed to know what he wanted. After dating for so long and finding that technology had made men so passive on the dating scene, he was refreshing. They didn’t want to plan, didn’t want to pursue me or to live in their masculine energy. Not my husband. He wasted no time wanting to get closer to me. He planned our first date after just a few conversations. All I had to do was show up.
From that first moment, we became deeply intertwined into one another’s lives. It was quick. He had a lot going on, but what really stuck out to me was that no matter what, his kids were front and center. His son was just one year old at the time. Everywhere he went, his son was right beside him. He taught him everything – potty training, how to sit at the table and eat like a “big boy,” how to count. I admired that. And he was so affectionate toward me. Little gifts, surprise trips, love letters hidden in plain sight. I felt like – finally – this is what it is supposed to be like. I was so wrapped up that when the mask slipped, because yes it was all a mask, I still felt so attached.
He was angry. He would blame others for his misfortune. He would use the worst language to describe others whether it be his mother, cousin or own friends; then the next moment he would adore them again. He was detached. He was closed. He would disappear. After a while he stopped being affectional toward me. We spent more time in silence then we did communicating.
The first time he hit me, I was a few months pregnant with our daughter. He accused me of lying. The consequence was being struck across the side of the head while I drove to the store. After that point, the abuse moved like a wave – promises to change, affection, more silence, more detachment, choking me across the kitchen floor while my son screamed, then more promises, more affection, more silence, threatening me with a knife, promises, affection, silence, put downs, anger, pain. I felt so stuck.
But God was working on me, he still is.
I started my own business. I started to become someone different, independent of my husband. I read personal development every single day. I changed what I put inside of my body. I exercised daily. I learned gratitude.
Most importantly, I found a network of women who could be my anchor and help me find the person who I lost. I became connected. I became strengthened. I began to see.
Today, I am still married but my husband and I live in separate states. I have built a wall around myself and my children to dull the hum of abuse as I work my plan for total freedom.
I have no regrets. My life is beautiful; the smiles of my children each and every day tell me so. God is here and he will keep working on me.
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