Alanna’s Articles

What’s It Like to Live with a C-S Condition Husband

CONTROLLED, ABUSED, AND DEVALUED BY AN ADULTEROUS HUSBAND

I was married at a young age – just out of high school –I wasn’t looking to the married – it just kind of happened.  I had taken Accutane which is for skin, but it had the side effect of causing serious depression.  I was looking for a way out when I met Tom, and he talked to me about Jesus and demons and I realized at that time that there was hope for my life and freedom, and I needed Jesus.   But Tom presented himself as the truth, the life, and the way to Jesus and freedom.  I didn’t know by choosing Jesus that I had my own identity in Him, or that Jesus loved me as much as He loved someone who’d been following Him for years, and so I felt needed Tom.

 

Tom would regularly talk to people about Jesus and teach me a little bit about the bible.  I didn’t have a bible and wasn’t at all familiar with what the bible said, even though I’d memorized some scriptures when I was younger, they didn’t mean anything to me because I didn’t understand them and hadn’t wanted anything to do with God at that time.  So I found myself at 18 years of age, a new Christian, newly married, with no idea about what either of these meant.  No one in my family was a Christian and we didn’t even tell them we were married until months after the fact.  I felt very alone, I didn’t know what to do with myself.  Tom showed me that there was a Christian radio station and I began listening to it regularly, especially the teaching programs.  From what I was hearing the pastors say, I realized we needed to be attending a church.  I learned that there were such things as Christian bookstores and I bought a bible.  As I continued listening to the radio programs and reading the bible, I began to realize some of Tom’s attitudes and actions were not in line with what God says.  But Tom would tell me he knew better than me, he’d been a Christian longer after all; and he’d often tell me about how intelligent he was, more than most people, he’d say, and if what he was doing seemed wrong to me, I just didn’t understand Christianity yet, but “that’s okay” he’d tell me “I’m patient, you’ll learn, I see who you will be, and it’s greater than who you are now”.  I’d listen to his “motivational” speeches about how even though I was so stupid, God could change me if I‘d just listen to Tom and submit to him like a good wife would do – wasn’t I so blessed to have such a patient husband.  So I kept trying to figure it out, believing that I just didn’t understand yet since Tom was quoting (or rather misquoting) the bible and what he was saying didn’t quite make sense to me so the problem must be with me.  Besides, as Tom reminded me frequently, I hadn’t been raised in a Christian home like him – how could I be expected to know better?

 

Tom was very demanding about sex…it had to be at least once a day or I wasn’t doing my duty as a wife and didn’t really love him.    It became physically quite painful for me to have sex and I dreaded it.  Tom would tell me even if it was really painful for him, he’d do it for me – and God said my body was not my own anymore, it belonged to Tom now and I was not to deny him.  He wanted me to go to the doctor to find out why it hurt, but I knew why, it was because I didn’t feel loved or secure, I felt like prostitute and I was tired and confused and distressed.  A doctor wasn’t going to fix that.  Tom would tell me it was my fault he was lusting after all sorts of women because I wasn’t satisfying him properly in the bedroom.

 

Also, Tom told me about how the “Holy Spirit” had told him to start smoking pot again.  Actually, it was a spirit of addictions, but Tom insisted it was the Holy Spirit talking to him, that it was a substance God made to help people be able to calm down and spend time praying and hearing from God.  He said he’d not spent time praying or ministering to people much since he stopped smoking it before and that it was something that really helped him.  I was not convinced, but I didn’t have the same verbal skills he had and it was futile trying to argue with him.  It kept coming back around to how I didn’t have as much knowledge as him and just didn’t understand, everyone who was against it was just judgmental and they’d never done it and he claimed “there’s no where in the bible where it says not to.”

 

I was afraid to tell anybody, even a pastor, what was going on, for a few reasons:

 

a) I believed very strongly that things going on in a marriage were private, and my loyalty to Tom came before others so I wouldn’t share anything negative about Tom without his permission.

 

b) I didn’t have the courage, at that time, to acknowledge to myself that I was in a bad situation.

 

c) I was embarrassed and ashamed that these things were happening to me or that Tom was doing the things he was.

 

d) I believed I deserved to go through what I was going through – that false idea that Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t enough and so penance was required

 

e) That I was in emotional, psychological and physical pain because I was being punished by God for my past sins and this was God’s way of teaching me the right way.

 

f) I believed it was my fault these things were happening to me.  I thought it was my fault because it had been so ______ into me that any problem a husband or a marriage had could be fixed by his wife doing what God told her to.  I was accepting and holding onto a lot of guilt and unforgiveness toward myself, toward Tom, and toward God.

 

Tom would have these wordy, roundabout ways of explaining to me exactly how any positives in our lives were because of him or his influence, and how anything negative was because of me, because I wasn’t a good enough Christian or wife, and wasn’t Tom so wonderful being so patient and forgiving of his worthless wife.

It would be my fault if the bills weren’t paid because Tom spent the money on pot and wouldn’t get a job that would pay the bills, my fault Tom would treat me the way he did because I wasn’t a good enough wife, my fault he cheated on me b/c I was not doing my duty in the bedroom well enough.

He threatened to abandon me a number of times.

 

After a big incident Tom would apologize and say “Don’t give up on me” because I’m trying, you just make it difficult for me.

 

I came to the point of, if anyone in my presence was at all angry or upset, I’d automatically feel guilty, and fearful of being blamed and condemned.  Even though it may have had nothing to do with me, it didn’t matter whether I knew they had been facing other challenges in their life or even if it was someone I’d never met but happened to be in the same space as them, like at the gas station, or the store, I just expected them to blame me for their problems.  It sounds silly, I know.  But only sometimes was I consciously thinking to myself “Oh, that person’s upset, what did I do, what do I do now”.  Often, I would just feel myself become tense and afraid, but I didn’t recognize this was happening, or why, for quite a while.  I was terrified of doing anything wrong.

 

I lost who I was.  What my tastes, or likes and dislikes were.  I had been so devalued there wasn’t much left of me, I was made to believe I was worthless, so nothing I thought or liked or didn’t like mattered and must have been wrong.  The only thing I held onto was that I was loyal to Jesus above all else.  But I didn’t have an identity.  –painted picture

 

I talked with a former close friend of mine from high school and he said it seemed like the person I was, was gone.  My joy in life and my confidence had been stolen from me.

 

Then there was the added hurt of being judged by others when I did choose to file for divorce.  Tom would go into this bulldozing mode of speaking, where no matter what anyone said he’d push his point across hard, until whoever he was talking to would agree with him.  He’d phone members of the church and talk to people in our community and phone his side of the family and mine and tell them all these stories about me to get them to condemn me.  But often what he was doing was telling them I had done the things he was doing.  There were so many lies told to so many people about me, and I didn’t want to go and try to defend myself to all those people.  I gave the issue and all the concern about it to Jesus and called on Jesus to be my Defender.  Some people would become very uncomfortable if the topic of the divorce came up, because they hadn’t put the time in praying about it like I had, and they didn’t know much about what went on because I didn’t like to share that with everyone.  Nobody likes to see a marriage end, and it is not a decision anybody takes lightly.  Divorce is like very dirty word to people…it was to me, too.  I remember hearing about others who got divorced and sometimes having this little voice in my head saying “They just weren’t committed enough” and similar things, other times the idea of someone getting divorced just repulsed me, or scared me, I didn’t understand it,  I was still working on fixing my marriage.

 

I spent a number of years doing everything I possibly could to make the marriage work.  I finally came to a point where it was like we were in a rut…things had not changed for a number of months, we kept going through the same things over and over and over and over and no change, no progress, nothing ever came even remotely close to being resolved.  It was very literally like I was listening to the same stuck record over and over, day after day, week after week, month after month.  There were times I’d put the phone under a pillow and go do something in another room for a while and then come back to find the same thing being said, the same condemnations…he didn’t realize I hadn’t been listening for the past 15 minutes.  Every time I’d tried to say something, it was twisted, grossly exaggerated and used against me.  I tried all sorts of things, but nothing got through.  There was even a group fast for Tom, but he refused to receive the freedom and healing he was offered.  So, like I said, things seemed to be in a rut and I wanted to move forward in life, not stay stuck in death, in pain, under condemnation.  I did not know what to do.

 

I got on my face before God and said “Jesus, I demand an answer, I’m not leaving this spot until I know from You what to do.”  And I meant it…I wasn’t feeling well for a little while, I had to help the children with things a few times, but I would go right back before God.  I don’t recall how long I did this for, but after turning the whole situation over to Jesus and surrendering myself to whatever answer He would give me, I received to go ahead and file for divorce.  And I had peace about this decision.

 

I stopped allowing Tom to condemn me on the phone, even if it meant blocking his number so he couldn’t phone back 50 times in a night.  He would call me a coward and accuse me of having a plank in my eye (these were curses I had to reject and break off).  He’d say things like “you know you’re wrong, that’s why you’re hiding, the truth loves to be examined, the lie loves to hide in darkness. You won’t listen to me condemn you or do what I want you to do so you must be in darkness.  But what he’s doing there is hiding in the darkness of self-deception, self-righteousness, accusation, condemnation, and uncorrectability – refusing to acknowledge what he’s doing.  He is unwilling to examine his own actions in the light of God’s truth, only in the darkness of lies.  And how many know how hard it is to see something in the dark?

 

Things went on that other people would not imagine, let alone understand.  Even if I explained every detail of the things that went on, still nobody would be able to fully understand what I went through because they’re not me, and every situation is unique. And that can be painful for anybody, if we let it be, that feeling of “nobody understands” or “nobody knows how deeply I’ve been hurt”.  It can feel very lonely and hopeless.  While it is beneficial to have people to support us and cry with us, we don’t need other people to know exactly how much we’ve been hurt and how, because Jesus knows, and I thank my Father in Heaven for that, Jesus understands completely, He felt that pain – He bore it on the cross so we could be healed and free from it if we’re willing to give it to Him.

 

At times I found it hard to just be still, because the pain would come up, so I made the decision to give it all to Jesus and receive His healing. That has been very freeing for me. To have that weight lifted.  To turn things over to Jesus:

 

1) Ask Jesus to help in turning it over, it is by His strength we are able to do it.

 

Read “Turn It Over To Jesus” sheet.

 

Though there have been challenges along the way, I’ve chosen to hold the Hand of Jesus and walk through them with Him.  Sometimes I’d start to feel very distressed, and I didn’t know exactly why…I learned that this came from the number of curses being spoken over me by Tom and anyone he could get to come in agreement with him.  Forgiving Tom and releasing him to Jesus and then breaking off these curses in communion, was a big help.  And especially in agreement with someone, gave me great relief, and my peace would be restored.  The forgiveness is extremely important, so you can be free and God can bless you.

 

Before I left Tom, I had been so devalued, made so worthless, it was difficult for me to recognize how he was twisting the Word of God, and how wrong what he was saying to me really was. I believed I was unacceptable and unlovable.  I noticed the greatest change in my life when I began putting my identity in Jesus into my heart.  It gave me the confidence I needed to take hold of Jesus’ Hand and move forward with Him.

 

_______”whatever is good, lovely, wise……..think on that”

 

Sometimes it can be a challenge to keep focused on what is good.  Satan tries to bring up all sorts of negative things to occupy our thoughts and drag us down.  But fighting thoughts with thoughts doesn’t work; it doesn’t make the demons flee.  We must speak scripture aloud.  Speaking aloud also causes what we speak to go into our heart, more than hearing someone else speak out the same thing.  Our heart responds to our own voice.   Whenever I’ve found myself feeling lost, not knowing how I’m going to cope, speaking my identity in Jesus into my heart has been the thing that gets me back on track.  So, here are some of those identity declarations:

 

…………………………………….

 

In whatever situation we’re facing, it is important that we focus on the solutions, not the problems.  Don’t get caught up in regrets about the past or worries about the future.  ______ “tomorrow has enough trouble of its own”.  ____ “Leaving behind the things that were and pressing on……”

Alanna Edmonds

 

 

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