As we (my family & I) were visiting my parents this past weekend, my mom mentioned that she heard of three different couples in separation or considering divorce right now. It’s always sad to hear these stories, but especially so at this Christmas season that involves lots of family time. Unfortunately, children are involved in all of these situations, and you hate for children to experience pain at this time of year, or any time for that matter.
I was on Facebook earlier today, and one of my friends had shared this picture. As I read it, it reminded me of last weekend’s conversation. It also reminded me of my own past history. I felt impressed to share a piece of my story in this blog in hopes that it might help someone out there in cyber space.
Some of you reading this may know my story, but chances are you don’t. It’s not exactly something I like to talk about all the time, so mostly only family knows.
So, here we go…
A Long Time Ago, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away…. (for all the Star Wars fans 🙂 )
Seriously though… I was 18 when I married my first husband. To protect his identity, we’ll call him “Joe”. Yeah, I know it’s public record, but really, who’s going to take the time to look that up? O_o
“Joe” and I had been dating for almost 2 years when we got married, so I thought I knew him well. Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. Doesn’t really matter now. Maybe I can chalk it up to the mistakes of youth. Maybe life just happens and you roll with the punches. I’m not God, so I don’t really know all the details, because I certainly can’t read minds.
From the beginning, our marriage was very shaky, but I was young and didn’t really have anything to compare to. I hadn’t really seen the beginning stages of a successful marriage at this point in my life.
About 3 or 4 months after we were married, God gave me a warning dream. In the dream, “Joe” brought home a second wife, and laughed at me as I fought for his attention. When I woke up, I was in tears, and my heart was breaking. The dream was Soooo real feeling. I realized that in America, he can’t legally have two wives, but the dream revealed the heart of his true character.
I decided to hide the dream away in my heart, put up a defensive barrier, and watch for signs of this behavior developing.
Even with warning, it took me awhile to get clued in. I was very naïve, and wanted to believe the best of everyone. I wanted to believe innocent until proven guilty. But it didn’t take long for my rose-colored glasses to shatter.
Very quickly, it became evident the “Joe” was abusive. He never physically beat me, but he verbally slaughtered me all the time. He would ignore me purposely. He would treat me like a plague in public. He would refuse to make loving physical contact of any kind frequently. I’m pretty sure that the only reason he would sleep with me is because he wanted to satisfy his own needs. Everything he did was based on selfish desires and gratifications.
Now, you may not have this problem, but I was determined not to get divorced, because I felt that divorce would mean failure, and I wasn’t sure at the time if I had Biblical justification for divorce. I now realize that he wasn’t holding up his end of the bargain and could have felt free to leave.
If you are in an abusive relationship, please get out. You are very valuable, and you deserve to be treated better.
Anyway, after almost 7 years of marriage, he finally had an affair and left me for the other woman. As much as it hurt, I was finally free!
I was very angry for quite a while. You can ask my current husband. We met the week of what would have been my 7th anniversary to “Joe”. Even though it had been about 6 weeks since “Joe” had walked out, I was still very bitter and angry, and everyone around me knew it.
I met Trey at EA Tiburon (in Orlando). I had just started a job as a game tester, and he was assigned to train me. He instantly became a very close friend, and I don’t let anyone in that easy. It felt like he knew what I was thinking. It was really a setup by God. I think God knew that I had suffered enough and needed a friend that understood. (Trey’s mom went through a lot of what I went through, so Trey had seen the aftermath first-hand.)
So all this to say, if a loved one decides to leave you… just focus on the fact that there are better things ahead. And don’t have regrets. Decisions made based on love should not be regretted. Even though my love was not returned, I’ll never regret marrying “Joe”. The fact that he mistreated me had absolutely nothing to do with me. It is not my fault and never will be. I could have never foreseen all the pain he would cause me.
So, in your scenario, don’t beat yourself up… learn from your experience and move on. Hopefully, like me, you have become a better judge of character. If not, rely on the opinions of those who love you. My dad and brother both didn’t like “Joe” when we were dating. If I had listened to them, I would have never married “Joe”. After we were married, my dad and brother both choose to accept “Joe” as part of the family, because that’s what we do. And when “Joe” left, they both defended me, because they only loved him for my sake.
Well, I could write forever on the subject, because I was so deeply affected by it, but I’ll call this blog done. I’d love to hear your questions, concerns, comments, so please leave some below.
my personal blog: www.PurplePenguinJen.com