It’s midnight and I have some old school gangsta rap playing in the background. I am drinking a Chicory Iced Coffee and I just finished packing up the rest of “his” stuff. And all my Christian sisters are wondering if I lost my mind. And I would have to say no. I think I’m finally getting it back.
This is something we have struggled with in our marriage for a couple of years-to stay or to go. But the time came where I realized I am worth more than drunken put downs of others and myself, drunken weekends with broken promises, drunken lame attempts at sex (and that was the only attempt), the emotional abuse of me, our son, my daughters and just living in misery. I was and am tired of that. I deserve better.
I tried. I listened to everyone telling me I can’t divorce because it is not “Christian”. He’s “JUST” an alcoholic and he can fix it. “Have you ever lived with an alcoholic?” I would think. That word “Just” would drive a stake through my heart. It would anger me because I would think “how dare you minimize my hurts”. Countless times I heard “You promised for better or for worse, Myra. You need to stay and help him.”
So I stayed. For two years I stayed. For two years I attended 90% of school functions for our son alone. For two years I slept on the couch because the thought of being with him sickened me. For two years, I grew to despise the man who was and still is THE love of my life. For two years I dealt with late night fights. For two years, I lived with a man who according to him and his words and his actions I was not good enough for. There it is. For two years, I was made to feel unworthy. I was made to feel inferior. For two years, I. Got. Beat. Down.
But there came a day when I broke. I snapped. You know like the TV show except I didn’t murder anyone. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was bloated from a missed period. My blood sugar was not leveling off. I had gained 5 of the 15 lbs I just lost back. My hair was falling out. My inner sugar addict was eating everything in sight. Nothing could make me happy. I became a critical, bitter, angry person. The very thing I despise in others.
My husband could probably do everything right that day and maybe he did but I remembered the conversations from the weeks prior. I remember the drunken weekend we were in and the all the ones prior. I remember the broken promises to me and our son. I remember the ruined family holidays and vacations. I remember walking on egg shells thinking “has he had that one beer that sets him over the edge”.
Then one day he was putting down the home I had just cleaned and my children who live in it. I remember thinking “this is effin bullshit”; “I am better than this”; “God did not design marriage like THIS”; “Did He?” So I sought some great counsel and read my Bible. After 30 minutes of soul searching; after 30 minutes of agonizing over how to respond, I calmly and politely told him I can’t do THIS anymore. I did not cry. I did not ask him to change AGAIN. I did not do anything but tell him he needed to find a place to live away from me.
It wasn’t a pleasant conversation. It was a very hard one especially when trying to talk to someone who is intoxicated. I had the same conversation with him many years ago when I left him for the same reason. My heart was broken, shredded by one simple thing: the alcohol.
What made me snap? I couldn’t tell you. All he asked me that day was “What do you want to do for dinner tonight? Do you want me to take you somewhere?” and it was right after I had finished cleaning the entire home. By myself. He just pointed out everything I did not get done: the windows were dirty, there was clothes on the bathroom floor, and laundry was piled up. Our house was too small. We didn’t drive the right cars. It was a blatant attitude of ungratefulness. I love my home and my Suburban but I have never liked ungrateful people and my husband was one.
I had cleaned out the fridge (like scrubbed it down), mopped the floors, vacuumed, scrubbed the kitchen down, cleaned our bathroom and our room (which I was on a 30 day strike of cleaning to prove a point that didn’t get through), everything was put away except my son’s clothes on the bathroom floor because he literally just stepped out of the shower and I was working on laundry. What had he done? He was “studying” for his Bible class while drinking 2 beers in our home office. So, when he asked the only thing he spoke to me that day I snapped like a twig.
When I read my bible that day I automatically opened it up to Psalm 139:14: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well
What I read that day is that I am worthy of something better than the circumstances I was living. God made me to live a life full of love and joy. I also found many promises from God and none of them said “You deserve this, Myra”. Yes, we have a 16 year old beautiful son together. He is my world as are my two beautiful daughters and my gorgeous grandbaby. But at the end of the day, I have to listen to the sound advice of a dear sweet, wise woman from our hometown. It is better to come from a broken home than to live in it. As a child of divorce and a broken home, I can honestly say that is a very true statement. I know my wounds and my scars; some still haven’t healed. I don’t want that for my children. I am better than that. They deserve better than that.
My husband alone did not tear this marriage apart. I made my mistakes. At the end of the day, we both quit trying. Quit trying to make each other a priority. Quit trying to lift each other up. Quit trying to remember why we love each other. Quit trying to support each other’s goals, dreams and ambitions. Quit trying to be nice and kind to one another. We just quit on each other. Everything was a sarcastic remark or a little quip. There were many words mumbled under our breath. And that’s when the separation truly began. He went his way and I went mine. We had an occasional Friday night dinner date but those stopped. We hugged and kissed but they were cold and unfeeling moments.
There were many ways to fix it. But between my anger at his actions and his need for alcohol it just simply could not be fixed. So, here I am. Doing me.
Now, I can get healthy again. Walking daily, eating right with the support of those who love me.
Now I don’t have to play the role of a good Christian wife while being treated like a doormat and living a life of hypocrisy
Now I can listen to gangsta rap, country or whatever without judgement.
Now I can binge on Netflix and Hulu without hearing how horrible I am.
Now I can sleep in my bed again without the smell of liquor and beer.
Now I have peace in my home once again.
Do I miss my husband? I have to be honest and say no. The man I fell in love with is gone. His mistress, the bottle, now has him and I no longer have the will to fight her. I am a child of God; princess of the King of kings and LORD of lords. I deserve better!
If you are living in this same cycle of emotional abuse-you deserve better. Girl, straighten your crown and live your life worthy of what God called you to do and to be; he does not want you suffering like you are. It took me two years too many to figure that out.
So, here is the start to the next chapter in story He has written for me.
God bless and goodnight!