Posted by: JennyRain | March 17, 2010

Meet With Me: Surviving an Abusive Marriage

Yesterday was my first foray into sharing my story.

But it was only the tip of the iceberg. Yesterday was a thirty-thousand view of an experience that impacted me to the millimeters of my existence.

I can fly at thirty-thousand feet, its when we get into the minutae of this particular experience that I feel a little sea sick… or perhaps I should say “see” sick because there is something about taking a re-look at uncomfortable past experiences that gives me spaghetti legs.

Yet despite that, I know these experiences I have had are difficult AND a gift. It is my prayer that as I continue to share my story, that others will be encouraged, challenged, and inspired to pursue freedom and health in Christ in their own lives.

Over the next several days I will be sharing a story called “Unexpected Calling.” It is the story of a mission trip I took to Ecuador that details some of my experiences of living in an abusive marriage.

The story is not for the faint of heart, and not recommended for younger audiences… so as you choose to journey with me… please use wisdom with your heart and where you are at personally… my story will be posted (pretty much permanently in the blog world, so if now is not the time – it will still be up)

Unexpected Calling: Part 1
Ecuador, Lord?
I looked out the window just in time to see a man in grayish, sagging underwear dump a tin bowl of water over his head. He scrubbed his scalp furiously hoping to work up a little lather from the lye soap. The rickety bus bounced and veered around the mountainous corner and I remembered the conversation as if it had just happened.
“Why am I in Ecuador?” I thought, still staring out the window hoping to find my answer.
My teammates occupied themselves with morning devotionals and hand-held video games. After the explicit instructions to avoid any urge to take pictures of the locals, alternative forms of distraction found themselves readily available and engrossing. The leaders, Guy and Michelle, were immersed in conversation at the front of the bus with the Bridge Builders liaison, Payton, most likely planning the week’s events. Jaime and Maria were chatting a little too giddily as they soaked in the sights and sounds from the back windows. Both held cameras in their laps and would spontaneously raise them as if to capture a moment, but slowly lower them as they remembered the directive from our leaders. They finally returned one camera, and then another, to Jaime’s blue knapsack and leaned over the back seat, resting their chin on their forearms, and it looked as if they had resigned themselves to creating mental images instead of paper ones.
Daryl and of course Mike, who would be later dubbed ‘El Burro’ for his Oscar-winning portrayal of the beast in the church play, were playing rock, paper, scissors to determine who would be in charge of the wheelbarrow when the team arrived at the work site. El Burro appeared to be in the lead, hands down.
Winnie’s embossed, navy journal remained open in her lap as her right hand held a pen, poised in mid-flight ready to strike at the crisp, white journal pages at any instant to immortalize the essence of a moment. As our journey continued, Winnie’s arm must have grown tired as she had returned it to her lap and seemed content to shift her focus between the stories we were passing on the road and the one being created by the team in the bus.
Everyone appeared completely at ease about the upcoming week. I, however, still felt lost.
February 1, 2001
This was the day my ex-husband of two years and partner of four and a half moved out of the house. Though there had been a few neighborhood rumblings about his infidelity, the truth had never materialized in any palpable form until months later. I was spending the weekend at my parents in Illinois, hoping to rest my weary mind and rejuvenate my Spirit. I held out hope that reconciliation would occur, and continued to pray diligently, both for myself, and him knowing that redemption in these situations often does not come in the form one expects.
Though I knew I was about to enter a wilderness, I felt strangely relieved at the turn of events, knowing that the intervention would likely help us reach some type of resolution more quickly than the path we had been on.
I wondered if I would ever find my voice again.
My voice had become so lost in the tumultuous union, surfacing only when I thought I might suffer a physical or verbal battering, and then, all too fanatically. My words flew out at the most inconvenient times when we were together in public. I spent so much more time recovering from the embarrassment he must have felt when I spoke instead of repairing my heart over the abuse I suffered at his retaliation. His anger seemed somehow deserved as my failure as a wife and a step-mother was becoming readily apparent.
The more I tried to please him, the worse I seemed to fare.
He knew it as well, and soon began to prefer late nights drinking with his buddies rather than coming home to a combative evening with me. My constant frustration with his behavior soon turned into a rage that lurked and burned near the surface of my skin, until it finally sunk me into a brooding depression as the enemy turned it inwardly upon me.
Hopelessness became the murderer of my heart as I sunk under the weight of the reality of her destructive marriage.
To be continued Click here for part 2




  1. Sister,
    It is good for you to tell this story, to heal your heart and help others. Many of us live with this pain of betrayal but do not have the courage you do to speak it to others. God bless and keep you.

  2. i am so proud of you for sharing this. i know it is hard and frightening even, but i know there is also freedom and healing in taking this step.

    while i wasn’t physically abused, i seem to relate to so much of what you were writing. the emotional abuse affected me in similar ways.

    thank you for bravely baring your heart to us.

  3. Wow…well written and so honest. Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to read more.

  4. […] Meet with Me: Surviving an Abusive Marriage: Part 2 Click here to read Part 1 […]

  5. It takes COURAGE—–and you have it. When we share what we have been through, the Christ in us is more visible. Thank u..

  6. Thank you everyone… I am so humbled by your encouragement…and so very grateful…

  7. […] Part 1 […]

  8. […] of you have been reading my saga of surviving an abusive marriage (part 1, part 2, and part […]

  9. […] Women Bloggers, writing « Who is Protecting your teens from the alarming truth? Meet With Me: Surviving an Abusive Marriage […]

  10. […] was going through a difficult time and felt shaky from the inside […]

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