Dear One Tired Lady,
Dear Word Washed Wife,
I am so thankful for you - I just came across your FB page today and shouted “Praise the Lord.” I am at my wit’s end. I have been married 40 years and my husband is driving me crazy. He is harsh, angry and verbally abusive. He has driven away all of our family and friends. He is a nightmare to live with. He has never hit or pushed me, but the words he says are devastating. Emotionally, I am black and blue. I’m not sure how much longer I can live with him. I am so tired of my life. Help, please.
One Tired Lady
Dear One Tired Lady,
Thank you for bravely reaching out. Reading your letter makes my heart heavy. I am so sorry that this is the situation you find yourself living. If you are truly isolated, you are in a scary place, because we all need a secure connection. We were designed by God for community. One of the most powerful ways we feel the love of God is through our community - family, friends and our husband. I pray your days of being lonely are numbered, keep reading.
I do believe in marriage and will fight alongside anyone who wants to save his or her marriage, so I am not quick to suggest someone throw in the towel. But, I draw a bold, hard line when someone is being abused. When I consider that our God views lust as adultery (Matthew 5:27-28) and hate as murder (1 John 3:15), I am convinced that He considers verbal abuse as plain ol’ ugly abuse. So, get out. Get help. Get back involved in church. If your husband has effectively burned the bridges at your church, find a new church and allow the body of Christ to love you and heal those black and blue spots in your heart and spirit. This “getting out” might be only a short period of time apart from your husband. Sometimes a trial separation is just the thing to remind a husband of the importance of marriage and the gift he has in you-his wife and helper. If you don’t want to leave, I understand. I do not believe that your situation is beyond repair, no matter how long it has been going on; there are no limits on what God can do. But either way, please make it your priority to find a Christian marriage counselor and get busy healing.
If your husband repents, stay in the word so that the Holy Spirit within you can help you to forgive him. If your husband does not repent, divorce may be where you are headed. I am sorry. I never want to see Satan win, but I value you, my Christian sister, even more. And if divorce is where you are headed, you will still need to forgive your husband, but from a safe distance outside of harms reach. Unforgiveness leads to bitterness, and bitterness is like taking poison expecting someone else to get sick. In reality, you are the only one harmed. So, do not fall into this trap. The world will tell you that you are justified- hate your husband for how he has treated you. God tells you to love your enemy and pray for those who seek to hurt you. (Matthew 5:43-44) So never quit praying for your husband!
As you consider your next step, stay grounded in the Word. The Word of God is the best way to stay connected to Christ – your Hope and your Redeemer. Spend time in the Psalms resting in the beauty of the words. Commit to memory Psalms 29:10-11. God is still seated on the throne, He gives strength and peace to His people. Don’t act rashly, but consider this matter in prayer. If God shows you that the door is open, bound through believing that God is in control. He will finish the good work that He has started in you. (Philippians 1:4-6) Your marriage is in His hands.
You are in my thoughts and my prayers. Please keep in touch.
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
DISCLAIMER: In the interest of all reading, and with an intent to simplify some questions, I have taken the liberty to edit some letters. Because every marriage situation is unique and multi-faceted, I have personally reached out to each person who wrote me an e-mail to offer more specific details that address their needs.