If you’ve ever wondered whether you should end an abusive relationship, this is a must read!
Today is my first guest post here at The Great Escape…and I’m delighted to introduce to you all one inspirational young lady. She’s beautiful, sassy, rescues dogs, teaches elementary school and she’s someone you’d want for a best friend. Marianne Jordan is also the founder of My Own Diva and well…she kicks ass. She’s a Southern Belle from Columbus, Georgia and her story will inspire you…
BETWEEN A ROCK & A HARD PLACE. Deciding to end my marriage.-by Marianne Jordan
When I think about difficult decisions that I have had to make in my life, asking for my divorce was definitely the hardest. There was never any infidelity to speak of, but there was definitely other issues.
I was born and raised in the South. Similar to many young women, I had envisioned the white picket fence life. I could picture the handsome husband, two children, and a beautiful house. As most of us now know, marriage is hardly ever like a Disney movie. When I began to realize this, I became very depressed. The very thought of getting divorced was horrid to me, so I tried in every way I could to save my marriage. We attempted marriage counseling but each session resulted in nothing but more anger from my husband. After a few visits that avenue was abandoned.
When we dated there were red flags that I chose to ignore in a variety of ways. The main one was with his anger. There were multiple distinct incidents that I remember vividly, yet I chose to ignore them. I remember hearing that little voice inside my head urging me not to go on, but sometimes we don’t want to even listen to ourselves. I can recall feeling that a little piece of my identity was taken each time.
We attended the marriage counseling required by having a church wedding and took the necessary quizzes. However, we did not dig deep into the core issues that make a successful marriage. In hindsight, I believe a small part of me resisted delving deeper into these vital aspects of married life because I knew we didn’t share the same ideas. You can read all the marriage books in the world, but at the end of the day only you know what is really good for you.
I remember watching a talk show on abusive relationships and thinking, “They are so weak. Why won’t they just leave?” I couldn’t understand why anyone would consistently be willing to put him or herself in that situation. Little did I know that a couple years later I would find myself in that position.
My ex husband hid serious financial debt from me and was not truthful about it till two years in the marriage when he was “caught.” His work ethic was completely different than mine and as it turned out so were his entire aspirations in life. He constructed a facade about a lot of these core issues in an attempt to avoid “causing problems”. He excused his lack of ambition to his laid-back personality. Even with all of this I still wanted to save my marriage. However, because of these large marital issues, verbal and physical abuse became more and more prevalent in my life.
The abuse manipulated my mind in a way that I did not not even realize was happening. First, a push was excused as a one time thing. Next, there was a spit in the face and screaming at the top of the lungs. You become someone you do not even know or understand. Your responses to things shock you and then after awhile they numb you. We did not have children but both wanted them. We tried for a year and while at the time I did not understand why it wasn’t happening, I am now so thankful that it did not.
My Shih Tzu was always a skittish dog but more frequently with our arguments, my dog would run and hide. He then began to urinate while shaking because the arguments scared him. I remember a huge argument in the hallway and my ex preceded to “toss” my dog into the corner and I see out of the corner of my eye my precious dog shaking, urinating and crying once again. He was looking straight at me while my ex “kept” me from going to pick him up. It was in that moment that a light bulb went off…this dog could one day be my toddler. Meaning MY CHLD could witness its mother being treated like this and that did it for me. I knew what I had to do for my future. If not for me then for my future child that I would never want in that situation. I do not advocate divorce, but it was the best choice for me. I was dying inside and losing myself. I didn’t know who I was anymore. What I thought I wanted out of life was looking more and more foreign to me. Asking my husband for a divorce was and probably will be the hardest thing I have ever done. I loved this person dearly despite our problems. I did not want to hurt him, but I knew I had to get out. It was the best thing for both of us.
As expected, he was upset and grew angry and hated me. Having the person you love hate you is not the best feeling in the world. I knew down the road he would be grateful for my decision and see I was making the right choice for both of us.
The divorce process is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the worst roller coaster you will ever ride. Your emotions are ever changing on a day to day basis with no way of knowing what is to come next. I would not wish divorce on my worst enemy. I see now why some say it is easier to get through a death than a divorce because with a death that person is not willingly leaving you.
I believed in marriage and the bond that came with it. I loved the idea of being a wife and having a partner in this world. I thought about those memories that day I had to stand in court against my ex, thinking, How did we get to this point? Why were these things happening to me? Why couldn’t we just get it together and work it out? After I wallowed in self-pity, I started looking for answers.
My “whys” may not ever get answered and I have learned to be ok with that. Looking back I am proud of myself for how I survived during that time. Even with all the extra pain it caused, I am so grateful I kept going and got through it. I have started to heal in my own way. I want to use my experience as a positive thing to help others. I am determined to not let it ruin me. Everyone in life has tough decisions they need to make, I hope to continue to grow as a person after making my toughest decision so far.
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Find out more about Marianne and My Own Diva here