Posted by: JennyRain | March 18, 2010

Meet with Me: Surviving an Abusive Marriage: Part 2

Click here to read (part 1part 2part 3, and epilogue)

The next two days were written and uploaded last night by 9:30pm.

This morning my heart God’s heart for this story pointed me in another direction and I have completely rewritten today’s and tomorrow’s entries…

“Las mujeres están solas…”

Rosa – our host – was explaining to my leaders the condition of the women in the surrounding villages.

“The women are alone,” translated Payton.

Rosa continued, “Los hombres gastan el poco dinero que ganan y se van a tomàr. Luego ilegan a la casa y abusan de sus mujeres.”

Abusan…  Abuse?

“The men take what little money they have and go drinking. Then they come home and abuse their wives.” Payton translated.

The conversation arrested my attention. Guy’s forehead wrinkled as he listened to Rosa with alarming concern. His eyes registered that the comments resonated.

As I watched the animated translation, I discovered that I could understand what was unfolding in Spanish, before it was translated.

I understood it because it was my story.

The stairway

“Keep your center of gravity low and you won’t fall,” pierced through my brain like a runaway train.

Stairwells were notoriously unforgiving….

I was devoid of emotion and feeling. My mammalian instincts transcended circumstance giving me a gymnast’s balance amidst his blows, grabs, and shoves.

He had just bitten down hard on my left ear and I was struggling to mount the stairs to reach the phone in the bedroom. He was clawing at her with increasing fervency, but succeeded only in ripping my favorite black corduroy overalls.

My only thought as he turned my ear into his midnight snack was, “Who does he think he is? Mike Tyson?”

He reached me before I snagged the phone violently shoving my face into the pillow, grabbing the back of my neck with both hands, and sitting on top of me squeezing and shaking my head.


Somehow my foot swung up and made contact with his lower back. He shook off the distraction only long enough for me to escape to the phone where I speed-dialed 911 and screamed.

I quickly hung up before he could grab it out of her hands, hoping that a hang-up would automatically produce the police within a matter of minutes. I was right.

The remainder of the night was a blur as the police threw him into the squad car after seeing bruises on the back of my neck and my blackened ear.

Virginia state law takes puts the power of prosecution squarely in the hands of the police, a wise decision made by legislators after scads of dropped cases and victim deaths by retaliatory spouses.

We were separated for two weeks by the recommendation of Virginia Family and Domestic Services who issued an order of protection. My friend Michele stood guard at my house for days until I felt I could go to work again.

Guilt and shame was my constant companion. Harassment was his tactic. Strength of will – his – eventually demolished my defenses. He came home less than one month after the incident.

It was never the same.

The spiritual and emotional burial of my first marriage occurred that night of the incident on February 25, 1999. It was one month and one week after our wedding.

He continued to claim ignorance in all state-held documentation of any memory of that night, I could not forget it.

Casualties of War

It took five long years to feel safe enough to re-introduce myself to my heart.

The great casualty of the abuse was my heart. It did not die immediately, but gradually.

A slow, almost invisible death, as pieces of my heart were buried in the deep recesses of the subconscious, preferring the dark shadows to the piercing reality of the light.


I always knew I was making a bad choice.

I made the choices I was taught to make and never questioned why I was making them.

I learned not to talk, not to feel, and not to ask for help

So I didn’t.

I knew I was making a bad choice from the time we sat in the Catholic priests office and he questioned why we were living together.

My entire body registered that I was on the wrong path.

The problem was, I did not trust myself to understand my soul’s warning signals.

He would come home late most nights – after drinking with his buddies. I used to call the various bars he was at, “Have you seen him? I’d ask the bartender?”

“Not tonight.” they answered. That was always the answer.

Even though his late night escapades kept him out until 6am, I was still blind to what was going on.

The truth of his infidelity was not confirmed until one afternoon when a neighbor caught me outside.

“Are you and your husband separated?” she asked.

“Yes, why do you ask?” I said.

“I wondered why I have been seeing him the last few weeks at parties alone with that one girl y’all used to go out with… what was her name? Anyway, I wondered why you weren’t there, but it was obvious they were – you know – ‘together’ – so I let it go. Then I heard you were separated.”

He had only left eight days prior to that conversation.

“She” was the best friend of two of our closest friends – J and T*. I still remember T doing the bustle on my dress at our wedding. J was one of our attendants. I adored them.

They had known all along.

One day on IM after the ex and I were separated, I asked T, “Why didn’t you tell me he was cheating on me?”

She said, “I figured you knew.”

“I didn’t know for sure T. Until now.”

Needless to say – that was the last I communicated with any of them. In the span of three weeks I lost a husband and a dear friend.

At the moment of “knowing” about the infidelity, I shut off. I told others, “No biggie. He made it easy. I can survive a lot of things – but infidelity is not one of them. He made it easier. Once you cheat – you become a louse – I check out. He did me a favor.”

That was true – I was numb. But it just was not the whole story.

That final nail in the coffin buried my feelings into an unmarked tomb. I just didn’t know they were still alive, lurking in wait for the next victim I would venture to date…

To be continued tomorrow

*Not their real names – obviously.




  1. […] as I sunk under the weight of the reality of her destructive marriage.     To be continued Click here for part 2 […]

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. You bless my life.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m looking forward to the rest. I am cheered to know that God is healing your heart and has brought you a great man.

    • thank you so much for reading 🙂 yes, God has been SO good about healing…hopefully it will encourage others too. blessings to you!

  4. […] Part 2 […]

  5. Jenny, you put into words what I have not had the courage to write down about my own life. No one knows how your heart can be “dead” until they live through something like this. Thank you for helping me heal through your blog. You are a blessing to me!

    • Pamela – thanks so much for visiting and I am so glad that this has encouraged you. it took me 10 long years to share…but i knew when and so will you…the heart has a funny way of knowing when its ready to tell your story… you will know when it is time…. my prayers are with you…

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

  7. […] Story: part 1, part 2, part 3, […]

  8. i know exactly what you mean about the slow death of your heart. because it’s slow, we don’t realize what’s really happening until it’s too late. sigh…

    i’m sitting here just feeling appalled for what he did to you. what you suffered at his hands. your “friends” who never spoke up about his infidelity. it makes me sick inside.

    i am so grateful to the Lord for the restoration He has worked in your life. you are a living, breathing, tangible example of HOPE.

    • 🙂 God is good… even in the valley of Baca (weeping)… God was SOOOO good to me 🙂

  9. […] ex-he abusing her? has ex-he cheated […]

  10. […] sharing my story, I have been intentional about revealing my story in a way that celebrates the journey I have taken honestly – including my thoughts and […]

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