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

I met my first husband when I was 19. We dated for four years before we finally married. I was actually having doubts but did it anyway. I came from a typically middle class all American family with parents that are still married, 43 years now!

At 23 years old I married a man that would be the death of me spiritually. A month after we were married he got fired and didn’t work a real job for over a year. For the rest of our marriage it was a fight for him to keep a job. He had a problem with authority and didn’t like to be told what do to. This led to financial abuse. I paid for everything except his truck note. He stole from me as well, my keepsake items from my grandmother.

He also loved weed and smoked all the time. I did make him promise me that if we ever had kids together he would quit smoking and he promised. That was the last promise he broke.

I really don’t know how long into the marriage it took but I don’t remember many times that sex was enjoyable. He basically raped me. I would cry and cry because it hurt so bad and he would get so mad. It would take him so long to finish, blaming it on me because I didn’t enjoy it.

There was verbal abuse too. Belittled me, yelled, fought, threatened me. Said if I leaved, he would kill me because if he couldn’t have me, no one could.  We brought the devil out in each other. Never did I fight so much with any one person, not even my brother growing up.

This went on for years. I felt trapped. I made a promise in front of God and friends and family and I was going to make this marriage work. Little did I realize at the time that is not what God wanted for me or anyone.

We attended The All Around Cowboy Church and was very thankful for that. As I got closer to the ladies they started seeing some of the issues. I had a friend tell me “In the flesh as a friend I would tell you to leave, but I can’t say that as a Christian.”  My Pastor at that church made a comment once to me and I know he didn’t remember saying so it could have been the Holy Spirit now thinking about it. I don’t remember the exact words, but basically said I can only put up with so much for so long. That was my first official confirmation to leave.

In 2006 he cheated on me with a lady he met at a bar down the street from our house. This woman figured out something wasn’t right and left a message on my answering machine while he was at work. We met up. Very surreal. I called him out when he was on his way home. He denied, denied, denied. Until I put her on the phone. She handed it back to me and it was a different story then. I am sure there were many more times he cheated but I have no official proof. He lied all the time (another sign of abuse). But I didn’t want a failed marriage so I took him back.

Well I became pregnant after 4 years of trying in 2009. I was so happy. When I was in the hospital for delivery, while he was out of the room, the nurse asked me out a bunch of questions that apparently they ask all moms. One was does he abuse me in any form.  I wanted so bad to tell her yes, but I wasn’t ready for the drama, heartache and issues that was going to bring. I think this was the beginning of the end.

From this experience, I lost friends, life, and emotion. I was dead.  At some point I decided I didn’t want my daughter growing up thinking it was ok to be treated like this by a man. I would rather be dead than living like this (remembering his threats).

In May of 2010 I left. He tried to get me back but I had more than one confirmation I made the right choice. It was still so hard. He went to a rehab to try and win me back, but once he got notice the divorce was final, he left.

In 2012 I started dating my current husband. God answered my prayers of and restored all and more of what I lost, spiritually, emotionally, physically and financially.

-Paula

 

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 my closed Facebook group called Hope & Healing, you can find it here.
If you’d like to receive my free resource “Is Your Healing Halted?”, sign up here.
If you need a nudge in your healing, I would love to work with you! Join me for one of my coaching courses.
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

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