Oh, God! No, PLEASE, this can’t be happening to me. What am I going to do? What have I done? When I told my boyfriend the news that we were going to have a baby, he was elated. I was not. After dating him for 2 1/2 years, I had decided that he was not the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and I was preparing to break-up with him. Now this. I had just graduated from the University of Utah and was looking forward to obtaining a position in my field of Psychology. What should I do? He convinced me to marry him and after looking at all of the options, that seemed the best. After all; he was charming, good-looking and he was being groomed to take over his father’s very successful business. So, it couldn’t be that bad, right?
My parents blessed us with a very beautiful wedding. We had to rent a church since none of us attended a church at that time. We rented a classy facility to hold the reception, it was every girl’s dream. My dress was worn by my favorite aunt (who had passed), the whole thing was a fairy tale. And we pulled the whole thing off in about one month’s time as we didn’t want anyone to know why we were getting married so quick (like they couldn’t figure it out once they saw my tummy grow!).
I remember my feelings on my wedding night: again, what have I done? I certainly didn’t have those feel-good goosebumps and I didn’t want to be alone with him. He had too much to drink at the reception and he had become louder and more obnoxious as the evening wore on. Well, things went from bad to worse. We moved away from our families so that he could expand his dad’s business in a new area. Without his co-dependent relationship with his parents, he stopped working. His dad used to wake him up every morning (he had his own apartment and his dad would drive to it to get him out of bed) so that he would come into work. This was one of the red flags I had while dating him. Well, Daddy wasn’t there to wake him up and make him go to work, so he didn’t go to work. But Daddy still paid him. So month in and month out, he sat in front of the T.V., drinking.
We had our little boy who absolutely won our hearts. He became my pride and joy and such a wonderful gift to me. But I knew I needed to get a job to provide for our son. My ex-husband’s parents continued to pay him but he kept most of the money for himself. I got so tired of the phone being shut off or the electricity. One night, my ex invited a salesman over to “try to sell him something (he liked doing that because he was a “salesman”) and as the night wore on, and the night got darker, so did our home. There were no lights to turn on. When the man left, we all three cuddled on the couch because it was extremely cold outside and we had no heat.
Because of his drinking, he became more and more abusive towards me. He took all of his hatred toward himself, others or me; out on me. I was his verbal punching bag. But it also got physical and of course, emotional. I remember the lady upstairs telling me that “I no longer call the police to help you, I call them to help your little boy who is crying. You are so stupid to stay with that man, I just don’t understand it”.
So, why did I stay with him so long? There are a few reasons.
1) Change: is so very hard to do. At least I knew what my life was. Sometimes it’s easier to stay than to break free into the unknown. That is why women will stay with an abusive husband and not make the final break until after leaving him a total, on average, of seven times. Abusive men know just what to say to get you back. They know what promises you want to hear. And they will cry and say they are so sorry; but until they get real help because they decide to, no change will last.
2) One good thing that came out of that horrible marriage was that I found the Lord. He became my Rock and my Security. I went to an amazing Bible Study where I really started to grow. I found a church to attend. But they taught that God hates divorce for any reason. My Pastor knew my situation but he told me I should not leave my husband. Well, After one extremely bad incidence (my boy and I had to stay in a Women’s Shelter), my Dad had enough. He came from another state to get his girl and grandson. But my Pastor convinced me that I would displease the Lord if I left. So after my husband made all kinds of promises, I stayed. But they did not last. Within one month, it was back to “normal”. I went to my girlfriend’s home and together we searched the scriptures to see if there was any way I could leave him and still be good with the Lord. We found “But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances” 1Cor. 7:15. When we found this verse, I laughed saying “He’s not going anywhere, he doesn’t even go to work”. Well, my Lord was at work behind the scenes. When I returned home, he was actually gone!!! The Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Go and check the closet”. When I did, I realized he had taken his clothes and he was gone! I was free to leave. All I could do was run through the apartment yelling “Praise God!” I called my Dad and he was on his way to get us.
I stated earlier that God hates divorce (and He does with good reason) but I have learned that He hates abuse even more. He literally made my way of escape. He saw my heart, that I wanted to please Him and if that meant staying, I would. But He is like any parent when they see their child abused, He hates it. He saw into the future and knew that my ex-husband would not repent and so he set me and my son free. My now grown son has since thanked me for not staying. God knew what was best for both of us. At the end of those five years of trying to make that marriage work, I was under 100 lbs. (I am 5’6″) so that was too skinny for me. I was so stressed that I was having regular neck and head aches. My little boy was having recurring nightmares of his mama getting her head slammed in the door and then my head would fall off. He was so scared I would not be there to take care of him. So even though I was given bad advice by my Pastor, who meant well, God rescued us. That is why it is so important to hear from God for ourselves, through a personal relationship with Him, and what we hear, must line up with His written Word.
My Dad packed us up and brought us home. He told me “I don’t want you to get a job yet. Let us take care of you for a while and you take care of your little boy”. He wanted us to heal and feel at home without any pressure. My wonderful Dad dropped dead unexpectedly at the age of 52 just 3 weeks after bringing us home. His final act was to make sure his broken girl and his grandson were safe.