this is motherhood {too}: a journey through an abusive marriage

March 27, 2014, This is Motherhood Too, 9 Comments

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When I got married seven and a half years ago, the last thing that I ever expected was that I would end up as a divorced, single, working mom.  

I married a guy who I thought was kind, funny, good hearted and cared about me, but shortly into our marriage he began treating me with cruelty. 

Early on our marriage, he quit his job and went on stress leave. I attributed his mean comments and behaviour towards me as part of his depression and felt like it was my duty as a good wife to protect his reputation and continue to love him through this. I stayed silent and hid it from our friends and family. However, as time carried on, the insults got worse. He would tell others that I was incapable of having kids because I experienced some pain during intercourse.  During my pregnancy with my daughter, I was very ill with morning sickness and lost 15 pounds in the first trimester. He told others that I was just making a big deal out of it and that if I was that sick maybe I should just abort the baby. After I delivered my beautiful daughter, things only got worse. 

He would tell me that if I couldn’t satisfy him sexually then he would be forced to get a girlfriend. He also had an ongoing addiction to hard pornography and his expectations of me sexually were perverse. I was so incredibly hurt but I remained silent.

Two years passed, and nothing changed. The night before my daughter turned two years old, he told me that if my mom showed up at our daughter’s birthday party, he would slit her throat. I was horrified and finally confided in my sister.  

I was slowly being worn down and was becoming very broken and weak. I could barely cope.

Finally, a year later, I began to seek some help for what was happening. I still hadn’t named it as abuse because I felt there must be something that I was doing that was causing him to act this way and treat me like this. In the spring, he told me that he was going to commit suicide and then left the house without his phone. The police, friends, and myself, searched throughout the night but were unable to find him. I was devastated. When he finally returned he told me that he hadn’t intended to kill himself but just wanted to make me angry. I was shocked. 

After that, I did everything possible to try and make the marriage work. I didn’t ‘believe’ in divorce and I was committed to staying together.  I took everything that he found difficult about me and worked diligently on it. I improved my competency as a cook and house keeper, and I worked on my budgeting skills.  None of it made a difference.

I continued working with the counsellor and attended a group for women in my situation. I was surprised to see that many of the women in the group were Christians. I didn’t think this happened to Christians. I thought domestic abusers were the stereotypical “wife beater” guys, not my relatively mild mannered  husband who had a temper that would rage without warning. The women in my group also seemed normal. 

During this year, my husband and I sought out help from two different well respected male therapists. They both pointed out the patterns of abuse, and said my husband needed to change. He refused. 

Eventually I realized that I had a choice to make. Either I stay living in the abuse with my daughter or I leave. I desperately wanted more children and a sibling for our daughter. Ending my marriage seemed almost unimaginable to me. I gathered some wise women in my life and together we prayed and listened for God’s voice and guidance.

I made the decision that I could no longer stay in my marriage. It was incredibly hard for me to come to this conclusion. I was terrified of being a single mom.

It has been more than a year now since my daughter and I have been on our own. She sees her Dad a few times a week. I have gone back to work part time. I have managed to keep our house by renting out the basement suite, garage and one of the bedrooms. I am under a lot of financial pressure and struggle to make ends meet. When my daughter goes to kindergarten in the fall, I will return to full time work.

Is this what I dreamed of when I got married? No! Is this what I wanted? No! But in spite of all of this I am blessed and God’s hand has been upon my life in a powerful way. I have had friends and family who have journeyed with me through this,supported me, prayed for me and interceded for me. I have a church family that have come behind me, and leaders who have become trained in domestic abuse. 

Mom’s groups have become hard to endure as so much is geared towards married stay at home mom’s with multiple children.

I feel that I don’t fit. 

Being with my all married friends who are joking around about their husbands can be hard to deal with. 

Parenting alone with no one to bounce ideas off of is isolating, lonely and exhausting. 

Those family stickers people place on the back’s of their cars are difficult to stare at when I wish my family included a husband and several more children.  

Facebook is a tough one for me. It appears that it is a competition of whose family is “the best”.  

This is motherhood too, and it hurts sometimes. 

It is not always easy but I have made a choice to be content with what God has provided for me and my daughter. I know He has a plan for my life and I hope by my sharing a bit of my story it may give other women in similar situations hope.  Hope that there is life after abuse. Hope that they too can get out.

My daughter is doing so well and her preschool remarked that they don’t see any signs in her that they usually see in kids who have gone through divorce. I had a wonderful lawyer who cut me an amazing deal and settled my separation in record time with a favourable outcome. I have had a counsellor who was an expert in the field lead me through this process gently and wisely. God has provided for my needs in each and every way.

I am so grateful.

He has sustained me.abusive marriage.jpg

Written by Anonymous.

This is from the collective writing project: this is motherhood {too}. Do you have a story you’d like to submit?

 

9 Comments

  • Reply jane May 28, 2015 at 11:52 PM

    I’m in a very similar place.
    Thank you.

  • Reply Sarah March 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Thank you for sharing this part of your journey. Praying for your journey ahead. You are worthy and beautiful!

  • Reply Linda March 27, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    Wow thank-you for sharing so boldly! It couldn’t have been easy to share such a challenging season in your life. You are a brave women and it sounds like your a great mom too. May you continue to find all you need in Jesus your saviour and my you be so blessed for sharing your journey.

  • Reply clothedwithjoy March 27, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    I experienced over 10 years of marriage to an abusive husband, as a Christian I did know how to talk about it. It is not a subject spoken about much in the church.

  • Reply Michaela. March 27, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    I will delete this comment too, but if you want you can sign in again under an anonymous name and write what you wrote before!

  • Reply devere2014 March 27, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    My husband left November 2. I am so alone and isolated in a surreal dreamlike state. 12 year marriage 2 kids. Thank god I still have a job!

  • Reply krystalthwaites March 27, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    I’m so sorry you had to endure that, but I’m so thankful you were rescued from it when you were! God is so faithful . Thank you for sharing your story with courage and boldness. Gods plan is in motion for you and there is so much ahead full of promise and hope. Blessings.

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