I left him because I loved him
I was married for over 20 years. X was physically abusive off and on the whole time. He could go years without a physical incident. But the threats, insults, beratings were more common. It wasn’t constant. And that was the confusing part. We might have had a couple of months of peace and laughter. And I would think that we were through it, that he had settled down, that I had found a way to please him, only to have something else send us back into the pit.
During the bad times I felt so doomed. The despair was overwhelming. I would lie in bed at night thinking of a how I could get out. Then I would feel condemnation for wanting to escape. I would pray. I would try to sleep. And I would think of a way out. I never could work it out in my head. It was like a chess match; if I do this, he’ll do that. Every scenario in my head ended with him punishing me in some way. And I wanted to punish him, not the other way around. I never could find a way to punish him.
But I kept praying and I kept listening to sermons. I love to listen to good sermons. At some point it occurred to me that I wasn’t loving X like I should; that I if I really loved him, I would want to see him free of his sin, not see him squirm for harming me. I saw him as trapped in sin and I saw that I had placated him in an effort to protect myself. I saw that I couldn’t keep doing that. And then and only then, did I receive the FAITH to leave. I knew I’d have to leave and it didn’t feel like I was lashing out at X or reacting to him. It was the only way I had left to stand between this man who I loved and the sin that consumed him. I never thought I’d have the courage to leave. I still don’t know that I did. I had the love that it took to leave.
I didn’t conjure it up. It was given to me. God showed me this path. The funny thing is that my plan didn’t change. All those nights that I was kept up with my “get him” plans that felt so wrong but when my heart was changed and I stepped out in faith and love, the plan played out the same. The help I sought was to try to reach him though, not harm him.
I realize this isn’t something every one can read. I know that. But if there’s someone out there who needs to hear this perspective, I am writing this for you. You can leave in love. You can leave knowing that you’re leaving the “punishment” up to God.
Was it easy? Not AT ALL. And he doesn’t feel loved. He was / is angry. He did all the standard abuser stuff, the apologies, the flowers, the boundary breaking, the manipulation, the whole cycle started again. He chose his anger, his lust, his contempt for God, over me. Without him surrendering to Christ, there could be no other outcome. And I hurt. All over. For months. But God did not abandon me. I felt His encouragement at my lowest points. I got help to learn to think straight and to live without constant fear. One counselor told me that at some point I would see that I should be out of this relationship because it’s best for me. I am not there yet. My own well-being still isn’t a big enough motivator for me to do something so very difficult. I don’t say that to sound pious. My own well-being probably ought to be enough to get me out of danger and keep me out, but I’m not to that point in the process yet. And if you aren’t either, I’m writing this for you. You can love him enough to leave. You can fight FOR him while you are safely away from his abuse. You don’t need revenge. You don’t need to be angry when you go. You can go in love. And God won’t be disappointed in you one bit.