This is a continuation of a series every Friday where I will be highlighting the growth and healing of one of my readers, a new reader each week. These, my sweet ones, are their brave and vulnerable stories. Take heart…you are not alone. -Elisabeth
He almost broke me.
We had been married for 11 years when the problems really started. That’s when I discovered the affair by accident, so I confronted him. He promised it was nothing, and he would stop contact. I discovered more and more proof that it was ongoing, and he refused to stop, even yelling at me while sitting in the floor of our newborn’s nursery that he wanted a divorce. I was crushed, terrified, and confused.
My mind couldn’t make sense of it at the time. After all, we were faithful church attendees, taught children in Sunday School for many years, and were active with couple friends for years in church. We had a beautiful life and had overcome several major life obstacles, but nothing like this. I was SO happy: I had my beautiful home, adorable children, and a husband I was completely devoted to. I loved my life, although not perfect, it was good. It was what I’d always wanted.
I began fervently researching to find out why this Christian man was acting the way he did—failed & sabotaged counseling, rampant lying, gaslighting me to make me think what I knew wasn’t the truth, lying about me to his family and our friends, and painting himself as the victim. Christians are supposed to follow the God in dealing with sin, but this just wasn’t happening. I knew my church would help me, so I met with pastors on three occasions to get help for my family, and was told that I would not be forgotten. Then, I was. They did nothing to help me—this is why it is so important to worship God and not a man, pastor, or church. God never failed me—He provided at every turn, and guided my steps. He even showed me my worth, which is crucial when going through the pain and humiliation of what was happening in my marriage.
I binged on articles and books on how to be a better wife, what I could do to change him, desperate to save my family. I fought so hard to save my family. I didn’t think I would survive the pain, and I feared for my sweet children. I read Leslie Vernick’s books and found Elisabeth’s group via one of her articles on Crosswalk.com. Everything finally fell into place. I was being psychologically abused, and it was a difficult thing to realize. I tried for six long years to fix the marriage, being told many things by many well-meaning people. Through many tearful prayers, God responded ever so gently. I prayed for clarity and peace—“How many chances Lord?” until one day, He made it clear: “You are free. I have made a way for you out of this and you are free.” I proceeded with divorce, knowing it was biblically ordained.
I have been shunned by my former church leaders, former married friends (except for a few), but I am living the most authentic, honest life I could have hoped. God is with me, and He is ever present. My life is rich knowing I don’t have to fake it anymore to be accepted, and I now help other women dealing with the pain of divorce within the church, using my experience. I found a church that values and supports women.
And…..I reconnected with my very first love after 20 years, and things are wonderful. I’m treated better than I could have imagined, and I’m so happy!
God did indeed make a way.
He freed 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 email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If in a difficult marriage: Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage is available as a PDF/e-book: www.elisabethklein.com/books
If separated/divorced: 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 in paperback/e-book: www.elisabethklein.com/books
If you need a nudge in your healing, I would love to work with you! Join me for one of my mentoring courses.
If you’d like to receive my free resource “Is Your Healing Halted?”, sign up here.