From Pam Rohr, author of Blended but not Broken – Hope and Encouragement for Blended Families:
I recently described how my ex-husband came to believe in the Lord. Incredibly, the Lord allowed me to be a part of his salvation. I say incredibly because for the years we were married, he was my abuser.
We were married for five years and had a son together.
My little boy tried so hard to become my protector, he was three and four-years-old, but he sure tried to defend his mama. Plastic sword. He should never have been put in that situation.
Physical abuse was horrible but what was worse was the verbal, mental and emotional.
By the time I left, I had absolutely no self-esteem, weighed 98 lbs.
I began to believe the lies, and I also believed that everything was my fault. If only I were different, he wouldn’t be so angry and we could live a happy life.
It didn’t matter where we were, his temper would explode and he would attack me. Mom slapped his face ~ he was on top of me and our infant was on the bed crying.
He was out of control but the whole time, we wanted to fully control me. That’s what abuser wants: control over you.
Abusers can be very manipulative. They can treat you like trash one moment and then come back with a huge apology, a gift, a promise… anything to make you stay. Anything so they can feel good about themselves and keep you right where they want you.
No one should be abused by another, we are all made in God’s image. Abuse is a choice. The abuser is choosing to abuse you. That is not their right.
Domestic violence and Abuse can happen to anyone. The wealthy, the poor, the white, the colored, man or woman, young or old, heterosexual or homosexual. It is more common for women to be abused but certainly men can be abused emotionally, mentally can even physically.
Let’s define abuse:
Domestic abuse, also known as spousal abuse, occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence. Abuse does not have to be physical: it can only be mental, verbal or emotional.
Abusers want to control their victims and they will use any means to do it. Threats, fear, guilt, shame and intimidation. They will wear you down until you are right where they want you. Afraid to state any of your needs because they don’t want to meet them and won’t. They can actually turn your need, which may be a very healthy need, into your problem. They will twist and turn every argument or need against you so that you actually begin to feel that you are the problem. So if you’re the problem, you are really blessed to have them, the abuser, because no one else would want you.
By the time I finally left my ex-husband, I was emotionally shut down. My needs and wants did not matter: what mattered was making sure I didn’t do anything to make him get angry. I kept my distance as much as is possible in a small two bedroom apartment and poured my life into our son, my work and building my brand new relationship with the Lord. I was attending a church where they believed you do not divorce under any circumstances. My Pastor convinced me to stay after my husband made countless unkept promises again and again. But the Lord literally rescued me from that relationship.
The Bible lists two reasons for divorce: adultery and if an unbeliever leaves a believer. Amazingly, the latter is what happened in my circumstance.
But also, take in the whole counsel of God. He hates for his kids to be abused more than he hates divorce, as we see in the book of Malachi.
And in fact, my husband had already broken our covenant by abusing me. In the covenant, he promised to love, protect, cherish, until death do us part. He chose not to do those things, he chose to break our covenant. He broke our covenant long before I ever left him. There are some heavy reasons for a divorce: adultery, domestic abuse, drug and heavy alcohol abuse. These can be very dangerous and life threatening situations. God doesn’t want us to live our lives in danger because a person who should love us chooses to abuse us.
My son – when he grew up – actually thanked me for leaving my husband.
God knew and God rescued both of us. I shutter to think where we would be today or who we would be if I had stayed. God had better plans for both of us.
Next time we will talk about the signs of domestic abuse. If you or someone you know may be a victim, please pass this on to them.
Meanwhile, please visit my website: www.NouveauLifeCoaching.com for more information about my ministry.