This week is the only time I’ve featured a fellow blogger’s story. She hasn’t shared it yet with her audience but it needs to be told. As she is a writer, I asked her to tell her story directly to you:
Ours isn’t a typical love story.
I first met my husband in 10th grade – I had a crush and he had no idea I was alive! Years later, in college, we both ended up as transfers in a new school. We lived in the same dorm, had classes together and eventually started studying together.
It didn’t take long for me to fall head over heels. He stole my heart and wasn’t even trying. I wasn’t a “party girl,” but went to parties with him. There was drinking involved, but I figured that is just the college thing.
In time, we slept together, and wouldn’t you know I got pregnant. I was completely unprepared for what this meant for us and was terrified at what he would say. He was probably in shock as well but said abortion or adoption weren’t options. He wanted to take responsibility and said we should get married.
There were no roses and candlelight. No one knee proposal and diamond ring. Just a statement and commitment that he would be a dad to our baby and do his best love me as his wife.
My parents were less than pleased. I had destroyed their dreams for my life and they encouraged me not to get married. But we were stubborn and committed to pressing on with or without their support. Eventually they said they wanted us married in a church and helped us plan our big day.
Three weeks before we were married my then-fiancé turned 21. His best friend and a few others took him out for a big hurrah. It was a rough night apparently, but again I assumed that was what most people did when they turned 21….
I knew that once our child was born my husband would be the best husband and daddy ever. He would take his new role of father so seriously that the alcohol would take a back seat.
And then it didn’t.
A large jug of Southern Comfort nestled next to the milk in our refrigerator. After work, he would come home and have a couple of drinks.
As time passed, I started getting worried. Then I got angry. I believed that if he just loved me enough, he would stop. I nagged at him about his drunken episodes. He justified his actions by saying at least he was holding down a job. There wasn’t a problem – I was the problem.
Something changed in me. I made his drinking personal. And every time I would hear the ice clinking in the glass it was “on.” I was a terrible fighter. Mean and nasty and out of control. Most of the time you would think I was the one impaired. He used to say I didn’t just cross the line with our arguments but took a running leap over it.
I wanted him to hurt like I hurt. Because I believed he must not love me, I wanted him to feel that same hurt. So I made our fights personal. I called him terrible names. I degraded him as a father and a lover. Anything that might strip away the security of a man, I used.
I threatened divorce, too many times to count. I called his parents in rages forcing them to talk to their “drunk son.” I ran away to my parents’ house only to return the next day.
I knew in my heart that HE was the problem and if HE just stopped drinking everything would be ok. I never once took responsibility for my behavior because I always felt he had “caused” it. If HE hadn’t been drinking then I wouldn’t have……insert just about anything in there.
There were times of “sanity.” Times that he didn’t drink and I wasn’t awful. But something always happened to get us back to crazy.
I think that in the darkest parts of my heart I liked the drama.
I was in control (or so I thought). I had control of the money, the affection and intimacy in our marriage, the kids….he better start behaving or else or I could take it away!
As time went on this self-righteous behavior escalated. I felt I could and was doing no wrong. I like to say I was polishing my halo….I had an interesting relationship with God at the time.
I became a Christian in childhood. I could never figure out why I still had problems (like Christians are immune…). During our darkest times, I felt God was punishing me for getting pregnant. Still I was “Holy” and he was the “drunk loser.” Right?
This cycle continued for almost 10 years.
It was painful and frustrating for both of us, wounds were caused that cut deep. When our two boys were 10 and 3, I had no more fight in me. I was convinced things would never change and I just wanted to be done.
While I knew that God didn’t love divorce, I also knew that our relationship wasn’t healthy for any of us, and I was ready to walk away. I asked him to leave after a particularly bad weekend. He begged to stay.