An email I recently received:
Hi. My name is Sara. I'm in a lot of emotional and physical pain. My story is a warning—I don't want other women to go through the same kind of abuse I'm now struggling to put behind me.
My problems began over 22 years ago. The man I would marry was handsome, good with the children, and for the first six months, we were close friends. I was wary of the relationship becoming more serious because I'd been divorced and wanted to focus on raising my children and not to date. But he put pressure on me. He lied, telling me he had other women interested in him, and I needed to make up my mind. I became scared I’d lose him, and agreed to date.
There were signs of odd behavior.
Even in the beginning, there were signs of odd behavior, but I just overlooked them. I was still a broken person, as I know now. Two years after our relationship began, we were married.
Things immediately began to change. He wanted control over food—if I didn’t get every drop of food out of a can I’d opened, he’d yell at me. I’m on long-term disability, but I allowed him to control all of my money, even though he didn’t share any of his benefits with me. After fourteen years of marriage and all kinds of abuse, I filed for divorce.
There was a deposition, and afterwards I was shocked when he professed his love, and said he would always love me. I forgave him and took him back. At first, everything was great, and then the crazy began again, worse than before—gaslighting, ignoring, blaming, and even refusing to bathe!
In March of this year, my husband assaulted me which resulted in blood clots in my brain. Doctors tell me I have a brain aneurysm that makes it harder for me to think and write. I’m now on blood thinners, and there is nerve damage to my right eye. I can’t drive at night and I have problems with depth perception.
I'm Scared. I'm lonely.
I’m scared, I’m lonely. Some Christians believe I should just separate and not divorce. I do have some Christian friends who have witnessed my trials, and are supportive of me divorcing.
I will get through this. God loves me and I know he wants better for me. I hope any of you out there, if you are lonely and abused like me, will call a Domestic Violence hotline. This is a trickle-down problem for the next generation. I hope this helps someone. It was nice to let this pain out. Love and hope to both men and women reading this who have suffered from abuse.
Note from Linda: I just received another email from Sara. I'm very stressed as I just received late in the day documents from husbands attorney. With lots of lies.
"Sara" is not this woman's real name. Unless asked to do otherwise, I don't reveal the writer's name. I'm glad she is receiving support through the Violence Hotline and some Christian friends. I confess my frustration, and yes, anger, with those Christians who believe God wants victims of abuse to remain in their marriages. On the contrary, the Lord wants all people to be safe and loved. I'm praying Sara find that safe and loving place. I hope you're praying too.
Do you have a divorce experience to share? Have you been shamed or helped by a church because of your divorce? There are hurting people who need to hear your story, who need to know they are not alone, and who need to be encouraged. If you are interested in sharing your story, email Linda for guidelines:
Linda M. Kurth is a writer and a divorced and remarried Christian. In going through the divorce, she experienced opposing responses from the Christian community. After sharing some of those experiences in her upcoming memoir, God, the Devil, and Divorce, she's heard many stories of divorced Christians who have struggled with the same issue. This blog invites divorced Christians to tell their stories with the goal of encouraging churches to resist condemnation and become a source of healing and grace.
Free Resource Downloads
12 Steps to a More Joyful Life after Divorce
30 Things to Do When You're Single
Resources for Healing from Spiritual Abuse
As long as you are hiding from your pain, you're hiding from helping other people.
Kari Oberbrunner - Author, speaker, coach.
If you're interested in sharing your story of divorce and the response of other Christians, email Linda at Linda@LindaMKurth.com for guidelines.
Linda's memoir in progressGod, the Devil and Divorce
A Transformative Journey Out of Emotional and Spiritual Abuse