Pencil Writer

After your stopping by my blog the other day, I came for a visit. I read everything you posted under "Get Your Words Off Me." I am sorry to learn of the difficulties you endured in a marriage that should, by all rights, have ensured a safe and warm place. Your retelling of your journey helped me better understand someone else's difficult marriage to a man who has been diagnosed as bi-polar. She's told me only some of the difficulties she's faced. I've seen a little of it first hand, but very little.

She also stopped by to read of your experiences. She found several parallels. Fortunately her husband is good and kind in many instances, but expresses negative opinions far more often than is good.

I will say, since you mentioned early on that you don't know if God exists, that I am sure He does. Having struggled with your ex I'm sure hasn't helped you feel God's love necessarily, either. And, I think you mentioned that you had some of those feelings/thoughts about God's existance even before you met your ex.

I think it's one of the most difficult concepts to understand that not only does God exist but that He loves us without reservation. You love your children. He loves his. You don't want bad things to happen to your children--but they do and will. He knows bad things will happen to His children, too. It's all based on agency. Ours--and everyone else's. We all choose how we handle life. We each ultimately reap what we sow. And, I'm not, by that statement saying you created the horror you endured for so long with your ex. Job didn't creat his huge trials, either, but he handled what was given him (or more correctly, what was taken from him) in a manner that God honored him with a more bountiful number of blessings as a result. Your ex, will ultimately reap what he has sown.

If this life were the sum total of our existance, none of this would make sense. And I don't believe in reincarnation, if you're wondering. Just wanted to share my feelings with you to give you hope. I know God lives. I've felt His presence on a number of occasions and know that He's blessed countless others. Sometimes we don't recognize the blessings until long after they've been bestowed. Maybe we don't see them at all. But one day, He will show us and we will all see.

Best wishes to you and your daughters. May you find joy in living. And I hope you find a worthy man to love you--and give you the comfort of a righteous hug--or hugs--when you need them. Hugs do mean a multitude of things, one of the most basic, I believe is: "I'll protect you." That has to stem from love. I'll hush now. Have a wonderful day!

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Pencil writer, thank you so much for this thoughtful response. I, of course, am teary and not quite sure how to respond. First, I hope that I have helped both you and your friend through my telling of my tale, which is my goal here. I decided to speak out so that I/we will not feel so alone and so that we can maybe understand our own situation better by peering into someone else's.

God. You're forcing me to confront this and to verbalize what I feel within--instinctively. If in the depths of my being I did not believe in God, God as that which is the basis of humanity and compassion and the ability to cry when one witnesses goodness, then I do not think I would be writing the things that I write, nor would I feel this need to share and help through my sharing.


I found your blog to help me in a 17+ year situation so much like yours it is eerie. Laura, I am still married to a man who was military and has a history of verbal abuse since early on in the marriage. Of course anything I point out to him he has said or done wrong that I am reacting to ends up being turned around and made expertly MY FAULT.

My first experience in a long-term relationship before this husband WAS physically abusive and for the longest time after I married my current husband, this was my yard stick by which I judged my new marriage problems. It was never as bad as before, therefore my threshold had not been reached. There were fights where throwing things or threats to beat me up were used but never the violence and fear like I had before. Perhaps I was just more prepared to fight back. Maybe I had gained strength (I know I did) and had left before so I was not as scared to leave.

But as you said, why is it okay to use abuse only in the connotation of physical violence? It is easier to see and feel and recognize, certainly. But everyone looses control in their tone of voice, in their choice of words, in their spontaneous emotional outbursts, right? THAT is verbal abuse? Yes, it is so hard to say it is abuse when almost everyone has or will do it in some point in their life. Bottom line: if it crosses your threshold, then it is. Unfortunately, we ourselves allow denial to help us through pain that amazed outsiders. If we all could write down perfectly what is happening I bet we would see the insanity it takes to allow it to continue. HENCE THE BLOG!!

When you said," ...compromising core values of self. But it may also explain my vengeance for wanting to get out of this marriage." I related to this as well. I believe that here is the problem, we love and hate the marriage for what it has done to us. We learn to live with it...or not, in this case. Or just deny a portion of our feelings. We are taught that marriage is compromise. But the compromise of what, our moral values? And because all of us are on paths of maturity and growth, our uncertainty is a natural process. Today we very different from the woman we were 20 years ago...even 10 years ago. This is a natural and expected thing. Because of the pain we have experienced in the past, we learn to avoid that pain by choosing differently. Hopefully we gain insight why we get into trouble to begin with. Many variables exist and our perception is often the worst enemy we have. I ramble...

Although I cannot remember my husband saying to the effect, "What I have to say is more important than what you say," his actions by walking away from me in trying to communicate maturely, I might add, did clearly shout those words as though they were spoken.

He has MANY time blew me in effect, his lack of words were as abusive as what your ex has proclaimed in your writing. And when I read what you said, my notations ( I use Diigo--an amazing product btw) was "oh gee, I guess I never had it that bad! Maybe I should rethink what I think I am going through. Maybe it is not THAT bad!" and now I shout NO!!! This is exactly what I just wrote to you. I deny this. I discount it. I BURY IT under that damn rug that is part of his family, by the way. Nope. It IS that bad.

And what is really funny is that I have conveniently forgotten to mention that sometimes I get the sing-song fingers-in-the-ear behavior from my 45 year old man when he does not want to hear what I have to say--just like a 3 year old would do. God what a child! That is blowing me off too. And I am proud of you, Laura, when you wrote, that at that nasty insistence of superiority I simply turned and walked away! Good job. It drives them nuts not to be engaged.

I joined Al-Anon at age 17 when my mother went into AA and I wrote in my first One Day At A Time book a quote from a friend whose son Billy said, "A person who has to argue isn't sure he is right." I remember that to this day when I am brave enough to turn and walk away. I AM right and I don't need to shove it down your idiotic throat, I say to myself.

And finally, my last Diigo comment reaction was in your simple, 2-line paragraph: "What makes a man think that he is more important than his wife? How can a man say that what he says is more important than what his wife says?"

Oh that is an easy question to answer! Society, the Bible, traditions handed down from the ages. That is how! Women got the right to vote less than 100 years ago, we still take the man's name becoming his property essentially. We do it voluntarily. Also important, look at how letters are addressed, Mr. & Mrs. John Doe. Why isn't it Mrs. and Mr. Jane Doe for godsake?Sometimes we say okay, let's be chattel, and other times, we want full recognition of our autonomy.

As my husband says, I don't get you, I think in many ways he has a right. I have made life confusing by my okay to take his last name, allowing myself to be inferior in social situations and so on. We just don't talk enough anymore. I drew inward because later, when he wants to hurt me, I know what I have told him will be turned in my face and used against me. He has been a friend to me only in few instances, for as a friend, I gave my enemy ammunition to hurt me. It is a constant ebb and flow in my marriage. I don't know what is normal. My parents fought and alcohol was a huge part of the problem. So now I am faced with what is normal.

I sought your blog in effort to get answers. I am making my own and have inserted in the URL your site here has asked. I have not decided if this will be my public blog since it is tied to my educational blog that, if I teach my students well enough, they might find this personal blog. But if it interests you to look into it, I doubt I can write what your story has done for me, but if it does interest you to visit me, please do. I relish that my new career as a teacher (computers) has given me the tools to find the help that may give me the strength to finally divorce the SOB or change my way of dealing with him. I chuckle at my near-writing, or he will change, because ultimately, deep down in our heart of hearts, sister, we hope that the love of our life would see how horrible they are and want to change. They married us, right?

Ironic how if the table was turned the man could be saying the same. I am confused. I need more. I am willing to admit where I have gone wrong. I just wonder when too late is TOO late.
Thank you Laura. You are and will be blessed. In turn, I have been as well. It is never too late with God's help.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Thanks again for your thoughtful comments and openness in sharing your story and concerns. We each need to decide how to live our lives, but surely no one deserves to need to always minimize herself so that she won't be hurt.

It's interesting that your escape career is teaching, it was for me too. And now, after just finishing my fourth year, I am so thankful for the job, the commitment, the students, and the paycheck and future. One of the best things about teaching when home is so hectic is that for the time you are at school you can really move the focus from your pain and really center yourself on your students and how you can best help them. That, for me, was and is a blessing.

If you would like, you can contact me directly to my email.

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