I’ve made up my mind….

After it was all said and done I knew that I didn’t really want my marriage to end. He was all that I knew for eighteen years of my life, he was the father of all four of my children, and who else would even consider being with a divorced woman with four children? These was the questions that I had on my mind while I was contemplating leaving my husband. I had to think about how it would effect my children, that was the biggest reason why I stayed for so long. I always told the story that when my husband and I decided to get married it was because I was pregnant with my third child. It wasn’t because of love, although I loved him. Now that I look at I, I’m not even sure if it were love or if it was the mere fact that we had so many kids so young and I had became used to being with him. I was extremely young and I didn’t know or understand the level of commitment I was about to make, I didn’t even really know who I was. I also allowed people to make the decision for me. I was advised that the best thing to do was to get married because we had kids.While I don’t believe that was all bad advice, I do believe that I made the decision based on what other people thought I should do and not what I really wanted to do. No one ever told me that the kids will grow up and leave and that I needed to be sure that I was making the decision to be married for myself and not because I had children. I only realized after I got married that I married him because of the kids.

In all that I was going through I had to accept the fact that he couldn’t love me the way that I knew I needed to be loved. He could only love me the best way he knew how. I think that was the most devastating thing that happened to me. That left me more heart broken than anything else and I knew we would never recover from that.

I decided at that time we needed to sleep in seperate rooms while I came to a decision as to what I was going to do. I already agreed to stop chatting with the guy from England. I even told my husband that I choose my family and I was commited to making it work with him but I needed time to get myself together. He told me that he wanted all or nothing. At that time I knew I was not in the position to give him my all because of the level of pain that I was enduring at his hands. I knew it would take a lot of forgiveness from me in order for us to move on but I knew that I could’t forgive him because he contiued in his same behavior. He wasn’t willing to make the necessary changes to keep his family together. He wanted thigns to remain the same and that was no longer working for me. He didn’t seem to understand what I was going through and all he was really concerned about was his feelings and how I was making him look in front of our peers. It took years for us to get to place where we were so it wasn’t an overnight situation. I endured a lot, I lost a lot, and I gave up a lot in order to be with him. Finally, he asked if I would be willing to talk with the pastor. I agreed and we went to have a sit down with the pastor. As we were sitting there it felt more like a dictatorship. The pastor talked and we listened. Nothing was coming from the meeting and I knew it. I will admit that I had a little to drink before the meeting and I told my husband that I did. He told to pastor as a way to embarass me but I didn’t really care. I was over it and over him. I started communicating with the guy in England since I had no friends and no outlet. I shared with him some of the things that we taking place in the home and he made a very bold statement and said that how can my husband be upset with me when he has been sexually violating you for many years. It had never crossed my mind that I was in an abusive relationship. I had been dealing with it for so long that I was normal. At that moment, a light went off in my head and I realized that for the majority of my relationship I was abused. Just because there really wasn’t physical abuse in the home, I was experiencing it sexually and emotionally.

Staying home was a living nightmare. Every night around midnight he would come into the room where I was sleeping and snatch the covers off of me and demand that we talk. It was as if the devil was talking to him at the same time every night. This happened for about a month and a half. I was becoming exhaused. I still had to work and take care of the kids. The final draw was when he demanding me to talk to him and I told him I had nothing to talk about. He was becoming aggressive and I yelled at him and my childern were in the home. He snatched my phone from me and walked out of the house and when I followed him into the back yard he literally grabbed me by my shirt and began pushing and shoving me. He took my phone and hurled it into the neigbors yard and told me to go and find it. I knew that that was enough. If he can do these things in front of our children then it’s really time for me to get out of this relationship. So I did what any woman who is fed up would do.

I packed my bags and I moved out…..

Heartbroken…..

From my last post I talked about being at a crossword with my decision to stay or leave my husband. I was debating it for a very long time and I had hopes that he would someday see how much he was hurting me. I pleaded with him and everything, I even asked him if we could go to counseling. Of course he didn’t see the point of it so we didn’t attend even one counseling session. Eventually I had given up all efforts and just accepted that my life was going to stay just the way it was. The days became months and the months became years and yet there was still no change or no growth in me or in him. The main cause of my unhappiness was the fact that I didn’t feel like I was his wife, I felt more like property that he owed. You see, he wasn’t a cheater but he was very controlling, and sexually abusive. There were times when I would ask him for something as simple as to getting my hair done and often times his response was “what are you going to do for that” . That made me feel as if I were his personal prostitute. When I would say that I felt like I was a prostitute he would ask me how can I be a prostitute when we are married. I explained to him that prostitution is anything involving payment for a sexual act is considered prostitution. Of course he didn’t agree. He felt like because I was his wife that I was supposed to accept anything and that was not true nor was it something that I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. I knew that I deserved better but I didn’t know what better was so I took things for what it was and I continued to go about my life in that manner. Now, I did work but we had a joint account and he managed all of our expenses so I would usually ask him what was left over and could I have it to get something that I liked. Most times it was no. Let me rephrase that, when it came to the things that I wanted, his answer was no but the things he wanted he made sure he got it even if he had to do extra work in order to get it. He was also very giving especially when it came to the people who were in church. I didn’t have a problem with his giving, as a matter of fact the bible says that it is better to give than to receive but when your giving is taking away from the needs of the family, it’s a problem. He would do work for free even when we didn’t have money to eat with. When I would tell him that I didn’t think it was right that he do work for free he would say things like he was serving the man of God and doing it for the church. Once again my concerns were made to be irrelevant.

I remember one day we were talking about the house that we just purchased and I mentioned to him that the house wasn’t my dream home but it was good as a starter home for us at the time. The house we purchased was to his liking but I didn’t care too much for it. For one, I didn’t like the area, two I thought it was far too small for our family, and three it just wasn’t my dream home. I would have never picked the house myself. I expressed those feelings to him before we got the house yet I went ahead with the purchase because I was convinced that there wouldn’t be another opportunity for us to get a home. I once again believed him, although it didn’t matter because whatever he said went and we brought the home. So when I brought up the fact that the house was a good starter home and one day we could sell and get our dream home he told me that I was ungrateful and he’s never moving from that house and if I didn’t like it I could move out by myself. Oddly enough, that is exactly what happened. Over time, after moving into the home I stopped talking about having a dream home as this was his dream and I was only living in it.

I started looking into other things to do and developed an interest in health and fitness. I told him that we should start eating better and start exercising more since we were getting older. It was always a goal of mine to live a healthy life that included healthy eating habits and exercise. He declined my suggestion and told me that I was basically on my own. I began looking for a gym in my area and was introduced to one through one of my friends. Her and I started going to the gym together and I had fallen in love with it. In the background, I was playing this online game and I came across another gamer who was into the same things that I was. He was basically telling me about meal preparation and giving me tips for workouts in the gym. I really didn’t think much of our conversations because they were innocent another reason why I didn’t think much about it is because he lived in England and I lived in the United States. I only considered him a pen pal. At this time my marriage was really going downhill but I made it my business to never talk about my marriage to anyone especially another man. One day however, I went against my better judgement and I made a comment to my guy from England and I told him that I was packing my bags and leaving. From that day forward I began to share with him the things that I was dealing with in my marriage and he would often give me good advice and tell me to continue to work on it. So I did and one day I sat down with my husband and I was so happy to tell him about this new pen pal that I made. He immediately got upset and told me that I broke his heart and I was cheating on him. I was so confused about what he had told me and I believed that I did something wrong. He used that to his advantage and told me the only way that I could make it up to him was if I gave him oral sex until he finished. I was so hurt because I felt like he was my best friend and I thought I could tell him anything and he wouldn’t judge me or look down on me but I was wrong. His demands were heartbreaking and it took me by surprise however, I really thought that I hurt his feelings and I wanted nothing more than to make it up to him so of course I did what he asked and I felt disgusted by it. I cried, not because I had to do it, but because I felt I was taken advantage of by the one person who was to love me unconditionally and that love that I once had for him went away with that one act.

It was time for me to love myself again…..

 

Decisions, decisions……

The most difficult decisions to make are usually the hardest one’s that need to be done.

Let’s rewind it a bit. I starting questioning if I married the right person for many years, mostly because we didn’t have much in common. The most we had in common was our four children. We didn’t like the same movies, had the same life goals, or anything like that. One thing was for sure and that was I did love him. He was a good person, very controlling, but a good person. Also, he had a very weird obsession that I will share with you in a little while.

Back to sharing about what started out to be the beginning of the end. I realized years before that I wasn’t happy yet, like many women out there, I stayed. I didn’t stay because I was so deep in love or anything like that. I stayed because I didn’t want to break up my family so I endured years and years of pain, hurt, betrayal, and disrespect for the sake of my family and children, oh yes and the church.

The church played a big decision as to why I was staying in a marriage that wasn’t fulfilling me as a person. Mainly because I feared that if I left my husband that I would somehow shame the church all together. Once again, I found myself debating with my decisions. I was changing as a person and growing into my own woman. Yet while I was changing and growing, the one person that was to grow and change with me wanted to remain the same and that was a huge problem. I was stagnated and I didn’t know what to do about it. I discussed my concerns with my then husband, asked him to join me in counseling yet nothing changed. You might ask, “why did I ask for counseling?” . Well my husband and I had lots of issues and while he was not a cheater, he did cheat but it wasn’t a thing that I had to deal with all the time. He probably cheated twice out of our twelve years of marriage. I forgave him of course but I never really got past it. On top of that, he had this obsession with oral sex that he would constantly impose on me. I will not go into too many details about it because I do have children with whom I have shared some things with but not all things with. Now, I know that everyone is doing it and according to the Bible the bedroom is undefiled, however, when it becomes an obsession and it offends me then it’s a problem. That problem would one day cause the total demise of my marriage.

For a long time I’ve dealt with life and situations very quietly because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I kept quite and as bad as I was suffering I had to keep face. I had to keep everyone believing that everything was ok. I also didn’t talk about what I was dealing with because he ex-husband would get upset even if I mentioned the things that was going on in our marriage or that went on in our marriage. His whole thing was that it happened so get over it and he told me that all the time. Honestly, I had been with him for so long that I thought his behavior and the things he did was normal and in a sense, it was. It was my norm. I didn’t think there was a problem with him telling me who I could or could not be friends with, I didn’t like it but I accepted it for what it was. I never even considered that I was being controlled or that I was allowing him to control me and every aspect of my life and that included the way we raised our children all the way down to the career I worked. I allowed him to dictate everything in my life. I no longer knew who I was and he was okay with that.

I had come to a crossroad in my life and I didn’t know which path to take…..

Finally, I decided. I had made up my mind.

Beginning of the end

In order for me to start something new I must revisit the events which have led me to finally deciding to end it all. As I looked back over my life for the past fifteen years (yes, it’s been a while) I realized that I wasn’t truly in a happy space. Yes, I had the cars, a beautiful home, four amazing kids, and a good job yet I still found myself unhappy. I tried several times to explain how I was feeling to my husband however it came to no avail. I had spoken to several of my fellow church sisters and it seemed as though they didn’t understand where I was coming from. You see, if you were an outsider you would have thought that I had the perfect marriage, as a matter of fact, I made sure everyone believed that I had a perfect marriage. I knew how to say and do the right things at the right time. When I needed to smile I smiled, when I needed to talk I talked, I became the master of deception and no one around me knew simply because I also knew how to keep people at a distance so they only knew me from the surface. To everyone else, I had everything together and my marriage was error-proof and in their minds I had a great man of God who loved everything about me, and that was true. He did love me, however, what he didn’t know was how to treat me as his wife and not as property but we’ll get to that in coming posts.

When I finally admitted to myself that I wasn’t happy it was in 2016. My husband and myself seemed to be going in two separate directions. I was looking to travel start a business and take control of my life while his focus was solely on surviving. I mean we didn’t have real conversations. The most we talked about was bills and often times when I would ask him to go out on dates he would usually decline my suggestion. The things that we did do were things that he wanted. For example, we watched the movies he liked, listened to music he liked, watched tv shows he liked, I even had to be friends with the kind of people he liked. I had no identity at home and I had no idenity in the church. I found myself dying as an individual.

This is my story told by me so if you would like to follow my journey continue to read as I will be posting frequently.