God has been prompting me to share the following blog post series to highlight how the toxic cycle of my hateful treatment of my husband resulted in him turning it around and mistreating me.
To reveal how our immature, ignorant, and carnal hearts led us astray from God’s purposes for our lives, but most importantly, how starting to allow God to speak to our hearts in those moments brought His perspective, as well as clarity to see and understand each other’s positions.
I pray the in-depth look at this vulnerable piece of our marriage helps you to see that although you may have been hurt or you have hurt someone you love, God loves you no matter what, and it’s imperative that you allow Him to open your eyes to pains and hurts that could be preventing growth in your relationship.
This is our story.
My son was angry because my husband was deployed (again), and he was raging at me. So, I sought comfort and help from my best friend, my husband, the leader of our family, only to hear the words that every wife never wants to hear, “Well I know what it’s like to live with someone like you”.
The words hit me like nothing I could ever imagine. “What an ugly thing to say to someone”, I thought to myself, “If this is his response to me something is really wrong between us”.
After the rejection of emotional support from my husband I began to withdraw, not talking to him for a good week or two. I played those same words over and over in my head. It seemed like I couldn’t outrun my own thoughts.
I had come to expect the ugly response my husband gave me. I knew something was different, wrong, worse. However, I could never put my finger on what changed in our relationship.
After I scrutinized the painful words my husband spoke to me I reached out in an effort to reconcile. But it was too late. The hateful things I’d said and done over the years had come back at me.
My human reaction was to FREAK OUT and blame everything on him. “I’m right in this”, I told myself. “I don’t owe him anything; I’ve already asked for God’s forgiveness for the all the pain I caused in our marriage”. I still believed it was about ME.
The further away he pushed me the more I clawed to be close to him, and the worse the situation got. As a result, we spent the next month not talking. This is not the first time someone avoided me because they hated me, but this was much more devastating. This was my own husband.
He was spinning out of control, deciding that the best course of action was to leave me, all while I was stressing out with yet another deployment were I was being forced to raise our four children alone. Inside I screamed, “WHAT DO I DO!?”.
I reached out for help from the leadership in our church, because by this time in our marriage we were growing in the Lord, and serving as leaders in our local church together. I thought for sure my leaders would be there to talk to him.
Surprisingly, that didn’t get me anywhere. Without giving out too many details, some answers were, “I don’t think I can do that”, or “Well I made sure my expectations were clear before I got married”. A little sarcastically I thought, “I’m glad you told me that, but how does that help MY marriage?”.
The most well-meaning, but useless advice I received was, “You need to pray”. I laughed then and even now thinking about that specific comment. “Do you really think or believe I haven’t been praying about it?”, I nearly shrieked.
At this point I was losing my mind about who to turn to for Godly advice. Eventually very few people, to include my kids, walked with me through the hardest time of my life.
In desperation I went back to God. “Where are you?”, I cried out, “What do you want me to do?”. God’s response was to seek forgiveness and prepare for battle. I thought, “Crap, forgiveness for what?”.
Then it dawned on me. It seems like yesterday as I write this, but it had been years since God revealed another piece of the ugly side of me. This one was HATE.
It didn’t hit me at first, but my freak out response to my husband’s hateful words was full of selfishness, which tormented and hurt him.The Hate Cycle.
My eyes were opened to the fact that I was still guilty in our marriage. I hadn’t considered that God forgave me, but my husband might not have. As I focused on growth and maturity in myself I’d forgotten about the state of hurt I left him in.
I was hateful toward my husband so many times, and it could take years to undo the damage I caused. I didn’t want to, but I had to ask myself, “Was it wrong that he felt this hate towards me?”.
I finally understood what I was fighting for, but I still had a problem. What kind of battle do you go into knowing that you really only have a hand full of people for support?
Inside I shouted, “During war there are usually hundreds of warriors beside, behind, and some that even go before you. But I have very few people, to include my kids, who are walking with me through the hardest time of my life”.
It was clear that God was now calling attention to this remnant of our past in my marriage that was never taken care of, but what in the HELL was I going to do!?.
To be continued…..