To Leave Or Not To Leave is a series of blog posts submitted under the condition of anonymity for obvious reasons. It is, therefore, published under the Admin’s authorship.
Stay and Pray – Not To Leave
I have been married for several years. At least once during each of those years, I have gone through a prolonged period of wondering whether it would be best to leave or not to leave my marriage. The first time was the weekend we got married. Something had changed and I felt sick to the pit of my stomach.
Every instinct was screaming that I had made a mistake. The understanding I have from my Bible and many of my Christian friends told me that I had married him and that the right thing to do was to “stay and pray.” After all, he didn’t beat me or starve me or actually abuse me. If there are no marks, there’s no abuse, right? All the stuff you hear about mental or emotional abuse is really just women being hypersensitive and overreacting, you know. Especially if you are of a certain age.
So I stayed. And I prayed. Oh, how I prayed. At first, I prayed for him to change. And I realized that’s not really how God works so much. So I prayed for God to change me. To make me a better wife, a better person, a better Christian.
Nothing changed. Well, at least, not in the way I had hoped.
Waking Up Sad
I guess it’s not really true that nothing changed. Some of my relationships did. Fundamental parts of me did. I had mostly always felt kind of warrior-strong. I didn’t anymore. I doubted myself. I felt weak and unable to make decisions. I had always awakened happy. More and more, I started waking up sad. I wanted to stay in bed and not deal with the day. I did a poor job of staying in touch with my friends and family. To be fair, I can’t say that he isolated me so much as, because of how I felt, I isolated myself.
I was always afraid to have him around my friends, never being sure of how he would act or what he would say. Mostly, though, I had lost faith that I had any value. Under the weight of constant criticism and neglect, I was afraid that I was stupid and irresponsible and not at all worthy of love.
I had so much to learn.
… more next week …
Photo Credit: Resi Kling