“We got married for better for worse.” I heard him say as we sat before the Judge in court.
For the many years that we had been married for, he got all the better, and I got all the worse.
I thought I was resilient, I thought I was strong. But I was wrong. The abuse was whittling away at me.
Little by little.
Day by day.
My strength had turned frail.
Now I’m paying for it.
I’m paying for it with my physical health. I am constantly weak and fatigued.
I’m paying for it with poor mental health.
I’m paying for it, for I’m in debt.
Everything, I tried to do to bring money in was sabotaged.
He made sure the mortgage and bills were paid from my bank account, so I was constantly paying out for the bills he ran up. I had no control over it.
My close relationships started to disappear, I became more isolated. No one liked the way he treated me. He would embarrass me and abuse me in front of people, but not realizing that he was embarrassing them and abusing them. Since they felt uncomfortable whenever he was around, they simply kept away.
My relationship with God was affected. Whenever, I wanted to read my bible or pray, he would kick up a tantrum. He would find an excuse to accuse me for not spending time with him. If I can’t read my bible freely or pray in my own home without being accused of doing wrong, where could I do so, and what could I do to be right?
He would leave the house without telling me. Sometimes it will be for hours, other times it will be for days, and at other times it will be for weeks or months. I never knew where he went. He never told me, he didn’t think I deserved to know.
When he came back he would act as if everything was normal, it was like nothing happened, then he would do it all again.
Instability was the order of the relationship. Instability the order of the home.
My role was to try to make things as stable as possible, live with this dysfunction and make life as functional as possible.
It began to drain my energy, drain my health, drain my wealth.
It was a big drain.
A continuous one as well.
All I had to do was open my eyes in the morning, and the criticism started. If I wasn’t the one being criticized, it was a family member. If it wasn’t a family member, his or mine, it was the church, his pastor or some friends at church. If it wasn’t the people at church, it was his work colleagues. It was always everybody else, but never him.
The atmosphere was continuously negative; it was like 20 demons had moved in with us.
If I didn’t participate in the negativity, it was a great crime. I was picked and accused persistently for not joining in.
Like he said, it was for better and for worse.
He got the better, and I got the worse.
Human persons were created for love not abuse.
Noticing and acknowledging the signs of an abusive relationship is the first step to ending it.
You don’t have to live with abuse or violence; no one does.
It’s never too late to put a stop to it either.
There is help available.
Reach out now.
No one should live in fear of the person that says they love them.
Everyone should live with dignity, in safety and in peace, in their own homes.
Let’s join hands in making this a reality for every woman, every child, every home; become a partner!