If LOVE was what kept a marriage, then mine would have outshone eternity. I loved my husband and even the devil could testify to that. I had dreams for my home right from the time I was a child. Like almost every woman, I dreamt about the big day and the many happy loving years after that I had read about in those girly novels. My husband(let’s call him Eugene) and I met back in my home country and started a relationship which did not materialize, shortly after which he left the country. Not long after he relocated, I did also and we renewed contact. I had the right legal papers and before I knew it, we were headed to the altar. It was a dream come true and I felt I had been rewarded for my chastity.
I was chaste because I became a Christian quite early in life and came into my marriage with all my virtues, believing that bringing my best and keeping myself is one thing that will make any man love and respect me. I do not know what to say but it seemed that Eugene did not appreciate the fact that I was a “V” but we will leave that story for another time.
I started experiencing abuse early in the marriage but did not recognize it. What I had initially perceived as care, turned gradually to be outright control. My husband was in charge of the money and had online accounts created for me with passwords known to him alone. To even buy a pair of shoes for myself, I had to ask him for the money. We are both health professionals with the kind of income that is enviable. Although he earned far higher than I did, his money was never used to do anything in the house. When we went for household shopping, he would remain in the car and ask me to keep the receipts for the things purchased so that he would reimburse but this never happened, neither did he buy anything for me.
On one occasion, when I tried to discuss the fact that he hardly ever bought or contributed to any of the household expenditure, he rebuffed giving the excuse that if I was single, I would feed and clothe myself. There was nothing I mean he bought for me, not even clothes. I mention that because when he became angry sometimes, he would bring out my clothes and start using a pair of scissors to cut them to pieces. He withheld love and rather than say “I love you,” he would tell me “you have to earn my love” and it seemed I was on a suicide mission to do this, even to the extent of turning to a prostitute who was ready at any and every time. That was the only opportunity I ever got to hear anything loving, whenever I performed my wifely duties. Yes, the starvation of love in my home made me a sex machine. And slowly the emotional and psychological abuse started turning verbal “you good for nothing, you cannot even pass a driving test “. Interestingly, Eugene failed his driving tests as many times as I did. And then I heard frequently “you this animal, you do not belong here and when the time is right, you will see”.
I heard this severally and began to tell myself that it if that day comes and meets me unprepared, I would leave penniless.I decided to go to the bank and change all the details of my account and be in control of my accounts and money. That was when things took a downward spiral in my home. The verbal abuse turned physical.
Eugene could become angry at the slightest reason and I would get a beating. On one occasion, it was because I allowed our son to run out to hug him before he had his bath on return from work that warranted a beating. All the beatings in the world never compared to the day Eugene told me verbatim”I do not love you”. O it hurt me so bad but I stayed on. It was like a knife was put into my heart and left there, to cause a slow bleed to death.
Eugene’s disregard for me was shown on one occasion during a quarrel and I felt the touch of a raindrop on my body. Unbelievable! My husband spat on me. I was so shocked. I ran to the bathroom to clean myself but it seemed that the pain that day brought so much pleasure to him. He repeated it on some other occasions. I was getting traumatised and my value as a woman was not holding to the centre at all. How could I explain to the Church what was happening, especially as my husband was Mr Nice to every other person.
But daily the violence grew and on one occasion, my son witnessed it. Then he was just two years old. My son was so traumatised,he cried and cried and he began to vomit. That was the final straw. I could not remain in the home and have my child grow up in that kind of environment, I also had an “opia” who was a witness to several happenings and encouraged me to leave. Painfully, I had to leave. This was not the marriage I envisaged.
How could I have kept myself, married as a Christian and a virgin to a fellow Christian and end up with a marriage like this?
I would admit there were some warning signs I did not heed to. I felt pressured as I approached my thirtieth birthday and did not want to be single. I got into the marriage which I so desired but had to struggle to come out, fighting with the thought s of everyone thinking I was a failure and could not keep a home. One of my major fears I struggled with was, would I ever marry again? I knew some single friends before I got married and they were still single. Should I not remain and fight the good fight of faith and every curse of singleness that seemed to be looming over me. These thoughts plagued me daily. I fought with all the love I knew to show but after that incident with my son,
I told myself the gospel truth, it was time to go and up till today, I know that was the best and bravest decision I made in my life.
After I left, there was a period of separation where we tried counselling which he never listened to and eventually, I had to file for a divorce. The divorce process was painful and Eugene is a manipulative person, so he used the courts to do institutional bullying. There were several unnecessary court cases I had and fell into debts using my credit cards to pay solicitors as he was trying to have full custody of our son. I vowed this would not happen as long as I am alive.
I thought my love would make all the difference but no it didn’t. Not on its own. Love is not enough. It is several years now, God helped me to pick up my life again. He brought people into my life who were non-judgemental and gave me the grace to be vulnerable again. They listened and helped me through the difficult healing process.
Hope this helps,
PS: God has indeed restored, I am getting remarried now to a man that loves me in a few weeks. The pain of abuse is not what I wish my enemies. no one should remain in an abusive environment without being properly counselled.. Get counsel.