Talking about my story last night has left me thinking today about things I don't always think about. And thinking about those things has made me think about the many people who are currently wearing the shoes I wore those 7+ years ago.
We had been married 18 years. My husband was home every night. Every night. Without exception. In fact, he was home, in the house, and he insisted on the kids and me being inside the house with him.
He never went out on weekend nights, or had any guys nights out. He never had private talks on the phone. Or late nights at work.
None of the usual things that would cause alarms to sound, or red lights to flash. No red flag waving moments.
He was distant. Impatient. Angry. On the computer a lot. A lot. He worked out a lot. A lot. He tanned himself a lot.
He made no effort to be involved in the lives of the kids. He never spent quality time with them. He never spent quality time with me. Unless it was bedroom time.
He never took interest in home repair or upkeep. He would respond with irritated anger if the kids asked anything of him.
Fridays were fun, and we would have Family Night. That would include yummy, fun food, sometimes a family game, and usually a family movie. Or, at least, a movie he would want to watch that he would allow us to watch with him.
But, Saturday morning would find him back on his computer, sometimes in a good mood, but usually not.
He was an early riser, like, 3:30 or 4:00am, so bedtime for him would always be between 8:00 and 9:00. He would go to bed slightly later on Friday night, but no matter the day, he was up very early. On the computer.
He would position the computer so that the screen would be away from us, so the light wouldn't bother us if we happened to wake up for a glass of water.
He kept passwords on everything, and never shared them. With anyone.
I was never allowed to open mail that was addressed to him. Ever.
He seldom pursued friendships with other men. He seldom maintained relationships with male friends. He didn't like any of my female friends. He didn't trust anybody. He assumed dishonesty in everyone.
He didn't allow me to have male friends. I wasn't allowed to talk with mutual male friends.
I wasn't allowed to wear anything buttoned lower than about an inch, or maybe two inches below by collar bones.
Bedroom time was very difficult. Since he was a morning person, he would wake me. Even if I'd been up during the night with babies. These times were emotionally painful, and even more so if they followed a night of anger. He'd berate me in my waking hours, only to want to use me in my sleeping hours. I would eagerly participate, hoping that a morning started well would lead to a happy day together, and believing that it was my duty to submit.
There are so many women (and men) who identify with my story. So many. Too many.
New Life Live is a resource I have used for many years. They have a ton of information about sexual integrity, and even resources that can assist you in identifying whether or not your spouse is being unfaithful, and what you can do if they are.
Marriage is sacred, and worth the fight. Even if you have a spouse who has fallen in this area, there is so much hope that your marriage can be restored, and greatly improved upon. The powerful impact a restored marriage can have on the many broken people out there is tremendous.
Getting past the hurt, the pain, and even the disgust in the unfaithful spouse is no small feat, but with a lot of work, it is extremely possible. There is going to be a lot of work required regardless, if you want any hope of having a fulfilling life that isn't stuck in bitterness.
Tomorrow would have been our 25th wedding anniversary. My marriage didn't survive. But, I did.
I submit myself to you, my broken-hearted reader. Please contact me if you, or anyone you know needs help. Email me. Friend Request me on Facebook. Search for Kristi Tisor Ambriz, and Message me. I'll accept your request.
Your life is valid, and full of purpose, and although this painful time will always be a part of your past, it doesn't have to affect you negatively for life. Fly above it, by climbing out of it. Want it. And know you're not alone.