In May of 2007, for the first time in my life I began to doubt my faith, and my God. Since I was a child, I had always firmly believed that God wanted the best for me, and was watching over me. I believed that if I did what everyone said was the “right thing,” that God would honor that, and things would be okay. It wasn’t.
When I married, I thought it would be forever. But after 15 years of doing the “right thing,” being faithful and praying, things only got worse. Finally, I had nothing left. My husband didn’t love me, and admitted that he never really did. I tried everything I could to be a “good” wife, and was never able to earn his love. I did my best to be there every time he needed me, but when I needed someone, no one was ever there. Maybe God was there, but no one with arms.
We couldn’t pay our bills. No matter how I tried, the money never seemed to go far enough. Every once in a while, we would get some extra money, but it never came to me. I used up all my available credit paying utilities. Then I couldn’t pay the credit card bills. My husband expected me to help him out when he was short, and he never, ever had the money to help me. I had no one to turn to.
He had taken a job for less money, to “spend more time with his family.” Apparently, that meant our son, and not me. He would work far past closing every night, too tired to have anything to do with me when he got home, and spend the entire weekend doing things with our son. I begged him to spend time with me, and he ignored me. He told me time and time again how he only had a “limited” time to build a relationship with his son, and then it would be too late. He never once heard me when I tried to tell him that our relationship needed the same attention, or it would die. I told him time was running out for us. He didn’t listen. He let it die. Willingly.
Finally, in September of 2008, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I gave up. I got tired of feeling unloved in my marriage. I lost faith that God was ever going to make it any better. It was obvious that my husband’s heart wasn’t changing. So I gave up. I no longer believed that God COULD change him. I no longer believed that being miserable every day of my life to pay for one mistake was the “right thing.” Although I still went to church with him, still kept up appearances, still sat by him and dutifully held his hand when we “prayed.” I was dead inside and it was killing me. I am not a good liar.
I tried to hang on, for my son. I tried to keep being a “family.” But how can you be a family when some members don’t count? I wasn’t loved, or respected, or appreciated; most of the time I wasn’t even remembered. I was not considered in decisions ranging from lunch to large purchases. I didn’t count. I barely existed.
I gathered up my courage, and left when an opportunity presented itself. He never asked me not to go, and he has never given me any indication that he wants me back. I haven’t been back to church since. I miss it. I miss the feeling of belonging. I miss the people I used to think were my friends—all of whom seem to have totally forgotten me. They are all married—happily I might add—and no one seems to realize that I hurt as much if not more than my husband—and that I hurt for a much longer time. Leaving was a move born of desperation; not a whim. So all the “loving” people of God have shut me out; not a big draw to bring me back.
Ironically, the only person (besides my parents, who only barely understand what has happened here) that has encouraged me to go to church has been a man who wants to leave his wife (but hasn’t) and would like to cheat on her with me. Fine example, huh?
God may still love me—but I’m having a very hard time loving him. If he truly loves me, how could he leave me there, so miserable and dying inside, for so many years? How could he take a loving, tender, and passionate heart and let it starve to death? How could he deny me the only thing I had ever asked in a husband—that he truly love me? I never cared how much money a man made, or how he looked, or what kind of possessions he had. I only wanted a man to love me with all his heart. Even that one, small thing was denied me.
I missed so much of love over the years. I never had a proposal. I never had a real honeymoon. I didn’t get to enjoy a happy pregnancy. I never got to enjoy anniversaries. No one cared about my birthday. I never got flowers or presents “just because I love you.” I didn’t get affectionate hugs or kisses around the house. I never had anyone want to take care of me. All those things you think of when you imagine a marriage…they never came.
When I would hear other husbands talk about how much they loved their wives, or how they can’t imagine life without their wives, it hurt. Sometimes the other women would talk about how their husbands proposed, and I had no story to tell. Romantic movies and happy endings were torture; I wanted one of my own, and knew it would never be.
If God still loves me, I hope that he will bring me a man that will truly and gently love me; and give me all the emotional things I have been denied—all the things that I have longed for so deeply. That’s all I really want.