This post was written by a woman who has fought for her marriage through abuse. Of all the stories I’ve heard of marriages having no hope, it’s refreshing to hear her story. She writes:
Marriages are worth fighting for.
At age 26, after working over seas I came home lonely and feeling ‘old’. Many in the Caribbean were shocked that I didn’t have a child at my age. Shortly after coming back I entered into a relationship with a casualness causing a lack of healthy boundaries. Despite all that, we fell for each other.
I saw a man with an amazing capacity to love.
In no time at all, hardly knowing each other, my man wanted to ask me ‘the question’. I told him he couldn’t and he didn’t know what he was truly asking. This lasted until we were blessed with new life. I had vowed to myself to be a Single, solo mom or be married so I vowed to make this relationship work. We eloped at our son’s first birthday party, witnessed by the party guests.
It was often joked that I grew up living in a “cave”, but it was a passively peaceful cave. This lead me to be a strong willed determind person with little to no conflict resolution skills. We both were two strong willed who came together, who did not see healthy examples of how to have conflict. You can imagine how ugly things got for my husband and I as a result.
To be true to the definition of abuse – anything done with the intent to hurt – is abuse. This leads to an overwhelming amount of abuse that goes on in homes that is just brushed aside. Ranging from ‘bitting’ jokes/teasing (verbal abuse), to spanking (technically physical abuse in which social services has a zero tolerance policy here), to withholding of funds. These are all is a forms of abuse. It seems action is only taken if it gets really bad.
Every person has a breaking point. Being the strong willed people we were, with all the stress life had for us, plus a lack of healthy communication, we pushed each other to that breaking point. The incidences were few and far between, but each time they grew in intensity. The final incident lead to words and actions that no two loving people should say or do. It was then that I realized that abuse was happening and I felt outside help was needed.
Immediately after the last incident, I had gone to my church for prayer for our children and I.
Knowing that we needed further assistance to break our cycle I approached a women’s shelter and talked to their out reach coordinator. I was disappointed when they told me the only way to deal with abuse is to separate, heal, and go on with life. The thing is, I knew that separation would only add to our mess and would throw in much more turmoil than needed. I asked for what help was out there, took notes and declined the need to for help with finding a place to rent.
I prayed to God and asked Him if we were to separate and in response I was given a picture of the two of us in each others arms laughing and enjoying life. I held on to that tight and continued to pray.
Prayer is good but action is also needed. This was pointed out to me when my son started to act out at school. Leading us to take a course for a parent and children at the Sherif King centre. To my surprise Social services showed up at our door. This prompted me to sign up for the women’s program at Sherif King centre. And to tell the truth, at that point I was going to let whatever happen to my husband, happen. My thoughts were, “He is a big boy, he can take care of himself. I will focus on the children and myself.” I had a wake up call from my sister when she informed me that what is not disclosed to people is: if the father doesn’t also get help and the mother stays, the children can be taken because it is seen that the mother is failing to protect.
When we were supposed to meet with the social worker, she got sick. She was well enough to phone me and ask me (no exaggeration) “Have you broken up yet?” It was then I knew that drastic action was needed. With the help of some amazing people of influence that my husband had in his life, we had the chance to sit down and write an action plan out as to how we would both work on healing and plans for our future. This, once given to Social Services satisfied them, and we saw an amazing turn around to the social worker’s attitude.
“Sometimes we have to fight to build the muscle to hold onto our promised treasure.” (Beth Moore) After hearing this I went straight to my husband gave him a huge hug and claimed him as mine.
It has been an amazing journey for the both of us. We both have been learning and growing, and our lives have been transformed. This journey has lead us to have an amazingly firm foundation. We are now a united family. God has transformed our lives and we are now equipping to help others. Nothing is impossible for our saviour.
I pray for all wives struggling.