Monday, 15 April 2013

A Journey of the Heart

 When We Marry The Wrong Person: A Journey Of The Heart
Love is enough… Love conquers all…

My young heart took these statements into my marriage and lugged them around for 22 years. I knew before I ever said, “I do,” that God was saying, “Don’t.”  But I married anyway, and I paid a heavy price.
The first four years of marriage were blissful, and then it started.

The cycle was always the same – he would accuse, I would cry, I would reason, we would talk, he would apologize – I’m so sorry. I know you’ve never cheated on me. I don’t know what’s wrong with me – and I would forgive. Over and over for 18 years my husband accused me of having multiple affairs. With every painful accusation, every cutting look, through each hellish argument I told myself, It will be okay because we love each other. I didn’t see that things weren’t even close to being okay.

I soon understood why God had said, “Don’t.”
I still remember the first accusation; I was shocked, blindsided, dumbfounded. I didn’t even know how to react. An affair?! Me?! I had never even had any offers or an inappropriate conversation with another man. I was never unfaithful, but that didn’t matter. My husband was my accuser. He was the source of my pain and my comfort. He was my best friend and my worst enemy. Bad was mingled with good, hurt intertwined with love.

Years went by, our children came and grew and life seemed normal. But normal in my marriage wasn’t normal at all. My husband never laid a hand on me, but I was terrified of him. His words and eyes cut me deeper and did more damage than his fists ever could have. Physical wounds would have healed much sooner than the gaping cuts my heart walked around with. Maybe if he could have seen that I was battered and bleeding inside, he wouldn’t have repeatedly demanded that I “just get over it.” Even when things were great between us, I was acutely aware that it all could go south in a heartbeat. I walked on egg shells all day, every day.  The ache in my heart was constant.  I cried more than I care to remember. All I had ever wanted out of life was to be married and have kids. I used to think, I guess I got my wish, but this is not what I had in mind.

On the outside, my marriage looked fine. My kids were happy, and I was smiling. I wanted to be okay, so I acted like I was okay. Only God knew I was going through hell. No one at church knew, not even my family. I was completely isolated. I was a genius at covering up my pain. Survival mode said, “Preserve the marriage; protect the kids,” and I did.

I was then and am now deeply in love with Jesus.  I love my kids dearly.  They’re so great, and I love being a mom. I loved being married in spite of the junk. I was happy in spite of living in fear every day. I was full of joy and yet hopelessly sad. I didn’t want a divorce, I only wanted my husband to stop treating me so terribly. I wanted him to trust me. I wanted him to believe in me. To see into my heart and know that I truly loved him. To know that all my heart was for my family. I was desperate for him to know, once and for all, that the affairs he imagined in his mind never happened, and that his suspicions were unwarranted. I wanted him to stop taking back his apology with the next accusation. I wanted him to be the good man that I knew he could be. I told myself the same things that I’m sure most women do in my situation, But we’re Christians. If I pray enough, hope enough, believe enough… I know God can fix this. Divorce is not the plan!

And divorce is never the plan.

I know that God can fix a troubled marriage and that nothing is too hard for Him. I know He is the Great Physician and healer of all hurt. I know of His life-changing power. This knowledge kept me going, gave me hope and kept me sane. God will not, however, force someone to change. I remember the day this realization hit me like a truck. If a person isn’t willing to change, change will not happen. No matter how much I prayed for God to change my husband, to change me, or how much I tried to adapt to this ever-changing/always-the-same situation, it was never enough. I told myself, If my words, expressions and actions are just right, he won’t suspect me of having an affair. If I just try to be the perfect wife, maybe then he will see that I really do love him. But no matter what I did, nothing changed. It never dawned on me that I was in an abusive relationship. My every move was controlled, and I didn’t even realize it.

The abuse escalated during the last three years of the marriage. The accusations became more disgusting, more harsh and more frequent. His words and eyes grew more violent. No one has ever looked at me or spoken to me with more contempt than my husband. My husband – the one who promised before God to cherish and protect me. The one who should know me better than anyone. How could he hate me so much one minute and love me so much the next? I prayed repeatedly, How much of this do I have to take?! When will things change?! Each time I heard God softly tell me to stay. To this day I don’t know why, but I knew I couldn’t leave him. God didn’t remove me from the situation when I would have chosen, but He sustained me. He was so faithful to hold me and wipe my tears. Every. Time. Never. Failing.
And then one day, out of the blue, God said, “It’s time.” I didn’t have to ask, “Time for what?” He didn’t have to tell me twice. I knew exactly what He meant, and I ran. I ran and didn’t look back. Some may argue that God would never tell a person to leave a marriage, but I have no doubt that had I stayed, the abuse would have become physical. I believe God rescued me that day.

I literally felt like I had been let out of a cage.  I felt so free and yet so afraid!  The thought of being a single mom kind of terrified me, and I was so concerned about my kids.  Accusations continued to fly, and no matter what I did to protect my children and their ears, they were not to be immune from the lies. But a full year before the day of my escape, God had spoken to me very clearly. He said, “Don’t worry about your kids; I’ve got them. I love them more than you do.” Little did I know then how much those words would impact my life. I have clutched them so tightly, and they have brought me great peace.
I would love to tell you that my husband changed. I would love to tell you that we worked things out and my marriage was saved. But that is not the case. I learned some hard lessons when I disobeyed God all those years ago.

I learned that love does not conquer all. I learned that love is not enough.

I said earlier that no matter what I did, nothing changed. That’s not entirely true. I changed.
God took my disobedience and exchanged it for priceless truth. He taught me how to run to Him, and every time He met me with strength and wisdom that I did not possess on my own. I learned how to pray and trust on an entirely different level. I learned that real worship doesn’t just happen on a warm and fuzzy Sunday morning. Real worship happens when you remain faithful in the trenches day after day even though your life is falling apart around you. I learned what it means to be truly happy despite your circumstances. Real joy comes from God alone and cannot be taken from you when life gets hard. Little by little, year after year, through stubborn determination, I learned. I learned what real love is. You see, the truth is, I did have a love affair. I fell so desperately in love with God during those awful years, and that is how I survived. I had no one else to turn to. God was all I had, and I learned that He is all I need.

I learned that His love conquers all, and that His love is enough.
I disobeyed God and walked willingly into a situation with an outcome I could never have foreseen. But God, in His grace and mercy, didn’t abandon me. He followed me. He took my hand and walked with me on my journey, even though it was not His plan. He protected me and comforted me. He never once said, “I told you so.” He never once – not one time – left my side. He has never condemned me. He is gentle in His correction and passionate in His love for me.

I will be your God throughout your lifetime — until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. (Isaiah 46:4)

I am not advocating divorce. I hope that is not what you take from my story. I want to impress upon you the unconditional love of a God who passionately pursues us. A God who redeems all of our mistakes. A God who runs after us into our storm with an umbrella and an anchor. He is our refuge and our strength (Psalm 46:1). God is our rock, our fortress, our deliverer (Psalm 18:2). He will never leave us or abandon us (Hebrews 13:5) even in our disobedience.
And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10)

Three years have passed since God brought me out of that situation. He has taken me on a journey of healing that has been so amazing. I no longer live in fear or feel the incredible pain that was my constant companion for nearly my entire adult life. He has put my heart back together, replacing the missing pieces with pieces of His own heart. He has wiped away my regrets and my shame along with my tears. He is my perfect husband who knows me better than anyone. He cherishes me and protects me, and I am precious to Him.  He speaks only words of life, and if I could see His eyes, I know they would be filled, not with hatred or contempt, but with great love. He is the forever faithful love of my life. I know this today more than ever before.
For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. (Zephaniah 3:17)

I feel Him singing over me today, and it feels oh so good.
I hope that you feel the love of God today and every day no matter where you are in life or what you are going through.  In gain and lack, in peace and turmoil, in hope and despair, God is a good God.  He loves you unconditionally.  This is my prayer for you always.

I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your heart as you trust in Him. That your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)

The second day.

My sweet Lady D,

I’m sad, so sad...

I want to say “I love you” once again, and again...
Remember that I said it first? And you felt a little bit frightened? 

I still love you. With all my heart, with all my being.
I never knew anyone like you. You are pretty, kind, clever, goodhearted... and a lot more things, that are way beyond my vocabulary.
And you are hot. You make me shiver, shake, heat and desire you every time we are close to each other.
I've never felt this way, never. There has been no woman in this world who make me feel like that.

For such a long time your smile has been the light that illuminates my life. You helped me so much during the bad times. And there’ll be bad times... Who knows that better than us?

Oh Lord! I’m sad...

So many good memories come to my mind just now!

My sweet Lady D,

You will always be with me. I will carry you in my heart, my person, my feelings and my dreams anywhere I go, whatever happens.

I hope you can forgive and still love this stupid guy that messed everything up with his unstoppable and restless, silly mind.

I’m so sad...

I hope some day we can try again. I promise you to grow and be better.
I’ll try my best to never hurt you again, never. If you could only wait for me... If I could only wait for you...

I love you, my sweet Lady D,

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The nightmare

Two days later, over coffee, she shared their emails and how the´ve been trying to talk things over. She was still decided that quitting the relationship was the best thing for him. I was surprised at how she had willingly given up all thoughts of herself.
I´ve known him to be kind, and quite expressive.... and reading his emails was an eye opener for me and it seemed for her as well.

My sweet Lady D,
I'd like you to know about  long and horrible nightmare I had. This nightmare began on the 1st of June, last year. As you well know, this day, when I went to pick up my little boy, my ex called the Police and accused me of domestic violence, saying that i was beating her and my boy .
You know almost all the whole story. You were by me during this time, you stood by me almost all the time, and your support helped me so much.
But you couldn't get into my deepest feelings. What happened was out of your reach, and out of my reach too. 
The trials and all that came with them was too much to handle. 
I lost lots of things. First of all, I lost my self esteem, I became insecure, and my anxiety escalated. I did many things that I thought were necessary, but not precisely good for me.I had to protect myself against my anxiety, my anger and my sadness, and made an armor around my heart, and during the past few months, I wouldn´t allow anything get in or out of it.
Eventually, it felt like I also lost the capacity of being happy.
I ended up acting childishly, every now and then being led by only primal instincts. I would get angry for slightest reason, I would lash out at anything I find unpleasant, and would be content with any treat.
I had no future plans, no global vision, no real feelings, only instinct.
I lost the first battle,  with the judge's decision on alimony. It was quite an exorbitant amount of money to pay and still try to have a normal, reasonable life.
My work and my incomes were beaten too. By Christmas I was physically and emotionally exhausted. After Venice I went to my doctor and doubled the dose of my antidepressant (Sorry I didn’t tell you).

Well, finally I won two out of three, and the other one is going to take longer, but I believe that is going to be solved in a good way.
You asked me if I was celebrating, the day you knew. No, I wasn’t.
This Saturday, my aunt has invited all the family (you included), to celebrate also.
I don’t want to go. There’s nothing to celebrate.

Now I’ve realized that I took it out on you too, and worse still, I didn’t realize that you were there. I wanted to tell you so many things, but I was closed, frightened, annihilated...
Finally, just one day before my victory in court, I lost the most important thing I had.
My babe. The one that was with me during all that time. The one I love.

I don’t want to celebrate. I didn’t win at all. I did loose. A lot.

I have a long way now to get well. But I know that things will never be the same again. I know that whatever happens, me, we will NEVER get back to that 1st of June.

So here I am, feeling sad, insecure, hating myself for what I did, or did not do, alone and exhausted as I never thought I could be. Any thing I do, any decision I take I have the impression I am doing it wrong.

I can’t stop crying. My little boy asked me this morning why I was crying so much. I was looking for his slippers and found yours. I took me 15 min to recover.

Babe, I don’t know why I have to write these things to you. Something stops me when we are together. Yesterday I was again talking nonsense. Please don’t be angry with me. I’m trying hard to open myself, to think, to get better...
My problem is not about freedom. I think that I have to find myself. It has nothing to do with girls, sex, traveling or any such things. It feels like I've lost myself in this journey. I don’t know who I am.  

I hate myself for hurting you. I thought that I was strong enough to go on by myself so I wouldn’t be always telling you sad stories but, I didn’t realize that I was wrong. I didn’t see it coming...

You broke my heart when you told me that we should call it quits, I was not prepared for that. I thought you were always going to be there. I thought that we’ll have time to sort things out, that we were strong enough as a couple to talk and fix things.

At first I didn’t understand that I was hurting you for so long. I didn’t know how to tell you what was happening to me. Anytime I tried to talk to you, either I won’t dare, or my anxiety would overwhelm me, with such bad results! Words just won’t get out of me. I would decide to wait , to try again later...

I had the feeling that you knew that something was wrong, that’s why I was asking so much “Are you ok?” I suppose that I was hoping that if you would start the conversation, it would be easier to talk to you. I know now that I was right, something was inside your head, but I didn’t understand that I was the one to take the first step. I really needed help.

I am trying hard to write down some things deep in my heart. Whatever the meaning of what is written, I never mean to hurt you and if there’re any mistakes, or double meaning in what I´ve written, please take it the good way. Please. I don’t want to mess things up more...

I don’t know how to tell you that I am grateful for all your support and patience...

I DO love you.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Letting you go... A hard choice.

That evening when she walked in, I couldn´t help but notice the the bags under her eyes, something I´ve never seen in the over 30 years I´ve know her, she looked sad and that caught me off guard.
By the time she finished, I had tears in my eyes. Theirs had been a beautiful love story. Being around them was always a pleasure for me making me think that there might be hope for love after all.
Hearing her talk about leaving him almost shattered that hope... I felt bad for her, but even more, I felt bad for me and my "almost shattered hope"

The next morning she forwarded the email below to me...

My BaiM, 
Yesterday, I had to take a decision. I had to take a stand.
A hard decision. A tough choice.

It like I was pushed to do it. One of us had to anyway, and I chose to be the bad guy.

I decided to let you go.
I chose to give you up.

Letting you go is harder than I imagined, but even in the pain that dulls my heart, I feel it is what you need.
I think you should enjoy this liberty you now have. 
I might be a lot of things, but I'm not stupid and I'm not selfish, maybe I'm mistaken, but this past few months, you've been restless, and dissatisfied.
 Consider it a gift, call it whatever you want, but all I want is for you to be happy. 
Like I said yesterday, go out there and do what you have to do, enjoy your freedom, have fun! By all means, explore, and please be happy!
I have no intention, not now and not ever, of tying anybody up. It's not in my nature as you well know, and I'm sorry that we got to a stage in our relationship that you felt that way.

I have loved before, deeply and passionately, (I always do), but I loved you differently, maybe more deeply, maybe more passionately, maybe both, but I know I loved you the way I've not loved anybody before, I know I loved you totally and intensely without holding back, I gave you the whole of me, the best of me and I had a hell of a good time! I loved the way you loved me! 

You stole my heart before I realised what was happening. You swept me off my feet, and you made me feel special.

You were the one constant in my life for a while. You were the rock I leaned on. You were my first thought and smile of the day and the last before I hit the sack. 

You were my BiaM!

What more can I say? 
Loving you seem to be the best thing I've done in a really long time...and I hope that during this period I was able to show you how much you meant to me

I have nothing to reproach you with, what we had was great, you were great, this fantasy like you called it was great, it was fun and I have my memories to prove that and to hold onto.

I don't know what I'll do or how I will do them. I don't know what my tomorrow holds, I don't know when or if I'll come out my current situation. However, I know that I do not expect you or anybody else to just sit by and wait while we see what happens.
I understand that you want more, but even though it tears my heart, I have nothing more to give. 
I understand that you're not satisfied with what I can give, but I can´t do more, even if I tried.  
I understand that it's not enough and I can't reproach you for wanting more.

I love you enough to let you go, I love you enough to want you to be happy.

No matter what happens, it was a good decision to allow myself fall in love with you and who knows, maybe it's a good decision to let it go or maybe it's not.

There won't be any promises, because maybe I can't keep them, there won't be any requests nor demands because maybe they won't be granted.
You're free, and if we find our way again, if we are ever able to rediscover what we've had, it'll make me very happy. 

But if not, just know that, You have been a great BaiM! And I love you still.