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Christine's Story - Chap 1: The Realization

08 September 2017 — Esther Sweetman — Survivors’ stories

I had run out of ideas, I had tried everything I could think of to fix my marriage. Counselling, marriage courses, trying to be the perfect wife, talking, listening, serving, praying, crying, trying to accept, brainwashing myself to like this life, losing myself in the kids, I was miserable, scared, lonely, depressed and ill.

So I was stuck trying hard to be a good Christian wife. I think my prayer was just “I give up, I don’t know what to do, help”. God answered, “seek me and I’ll do the rest”.

Oh what tender wisdom from God - at last he could start to heal and strengthen me. He knew I was far too weak for what lay ahead. Slowly he built me up in Him, I learnt I am a child of God, Called by Him, known by Him, loved by Him. He challenged my normal and everything I thought about myself. Often times, I am glad God only reveals a little of the path ahead. But I know He knows where we are going.

God spoke to me about this on a journey I made with the kids. The sat nav seemed to bring us all over the place to get to our destination and I was panicking the whole way. Later I realised I could have had a lovely journey if I’d trusted the sat nav. I felt like God was saying to me, ‘I know where we’re going but it won’t be the route you expect.’

But as I grew close to God, there was an aspect of my relationship with my husband that became more and more impossible to cope with. I felt like I was being ripped apart from the inside and I was distraught at my inability to live with truth, integrity and honour. Why? Well it’s not pretty. I knew to keep myself and my kids safe, I had not only to agree to have sex with my husband but had to try and convince him that I wanted to have sex with him. The man that had kicked me to the ground rupturing my knee ligament and was treating me in a so many horrible ways. It was all I could do not to throw up at the idea of sex with him. I think there’s something about sexual abuse that violates the very soul. 1 Cor.6:13-15 throws light on this - talking about our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. It‘s a complex and painful area.

I couldn’t get my head round it, I was married, I was supposed to have sex, but as I grew close to God the situation became more and more impossible to cope with.

In desperation I prayed, “I want to have integrity and honour, I’m all out of ideas”. Little did I know God had started to gather into place everyone for my rescue. After another of my husband’s “episodes”, he decided I should go to counselling, as I was a “disgrace of a wife” and stipulated that I had to address my lack of sexual desire. Little did we know that the counsellor had worked extensively in the field of domestic abuse. The counsellor started to talk about the fact that my husband was using terms that abusive and controlling men use. Suddenly I saw it, I was shocked.

Read the next chapter in Christine's story, 'The Escape' here  

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