This morning a woman left the note below as a comment to my post 7 Reasons Women Stay in Abusive Relationships. It’s just heartbreaking. And it so perfectly captures what it is to be a woman trapped in an unhappy and abusive marriage that I wanted to share it in this way. Here is her letter, exactly as she wrote it:
I think my biggest problem is confusion. I’ve lived in chaos for so long, I don’t even know what’s right and wrong anymore. Sometimes I feel like I should leave my marriage for the sake of everyone involved and sometimes I feel like I’m supposed to stick it out until something changes and that it is allowing God to develop me and him. But then I think if things don’t change and he EVER makes my girls (who are 1 and 3 years old right now) feel the way he has made me feel, then I couldn’t handle that.
I can honestly say I want out of my marriage. I don’t want to have to live in this kind of pain anymore. I don’t love my husband as a husband anymore because of what he has put me through. But I don’t feel “allowed” to leave my marriage. Like I don’t have biblical grounds and that is all that is holding me back. It would be so much clearer if I were being physically abused then I would know and I would leave. I have become so bitter and hard, that I am starting to become a little like him, towards him anyway. And that to me is the scariest part. I have been married for 6 years and they have been the most painful years of my life. I have never had support or understanding in any way from him. Everyone around me besides maybe a handful of people tell me to leave him.
For the first few years I was so blind I just took it because I loved him. I believed everything he said about me. He would call me lazy, irresponsible, stupid, an idiot. Anything he could think of at the time really. Then there were the actions and the faces that he would make. Many times if things weren’t or aren’t to his pleasing he would dump it on my side of the bed or anywhere and I would just cry and clean it up, whether it was trash or dirty laundry. He always makes me feel so worthless and like there is something so wrong with me. He is manipulative and he lies, but claims he would never do such a thing. He claims to be this organized and clean person, but he plays video games and does nothing while I do everything for our girls and the house. Then once in a while if I haven’t got things done yet he’ll get up and start ranting and raving and pretty much saying any other woman would be doing what he’s doing right now and how I’ve never been much of a woman anyway. Then he even takes it back to my childhood and makes me feel like I was a bad child even though he didn’t know me then.
Then there are those things I just can’t seem to let go of or move on from no matter how hard I try. Like when I lost my cousin and how the day he died when I told him he acted sorry to hear it, but then a little while later he called me back and told me basically to leave him alone and let him do his thing and I’ll do mine. That was in the first year of marriage. He still hurts me every single day in some way or another, but I don’t let it affect me in the same way. I act bitter and mean just like him. When I told him I was pregnant the first time we were getting ready to leave for a bible study and he said that I told him at the wrong time and basically made me feel like I was a bad person for getting pregnant. There are countless stories and things I wish I could share from over the years just cause it feels good to have someones understanding, but my biggest dilemma right now is the confusion. I walk in confusion everyday…saying yes and no to myself about leaving. I pretty much live in a daze. I can’t concentrate or operate like I used to and I am depressed. I don’t know I just wish someone could make sense of things for me even though many have tried and I believe them for the first hour or two and then I’m back to questioning. Is that normal?
Also, my husband told me in our first year of marriage that if he had it to do all over again he wouldn’t have married me and from that point on he stopped telling me he loved me. I haven’t heard those words again until within the past year and that was because I left him for over half a year. He told me on our one year anniversary that he had feelings for someone else and that it wasn’t necessarily a sexual or physical attraction, but a spiritual one. He has told me countless times over the years that he doesn’t believe I’m saved or that I need to get saved because I don’t “bare fruit”. Almost a year ago he said God changed him and he told me he loved me which to me was such a big change that I believed him, but on day one he was already back to making me feel so stupid. I just feel like I’ve lost who I once was and that it’s almost impossible (except for a miracle) to ever even know who I really am again. I do feel stronger because I don’t take it like I used to, but then I feel weak because I am acting like him. It’s just so much to deal with and sort through. I really appreciate this blog and I can identify with so much of it. I know it is the truth for other women, but sometimes for some reason I feel like my situation is unique and that I am supposed to deal with this somehow. I don’t know.