Yeah, two things that don't normally go together, right? But they have in my home.
I may have mentioned before that my marriage has been abusive. It has been, and with the coming of my last child, turned that way again. It was a slow, gradual change, that started right about the same time that we conceived her. At first, it was subtle -- silent moments, ignoring me, fits of anger, overly harsh criticism - of both me and my daughter - and while I wasn't happy, I didn't name it abusive. I did start trying to correct it though. I asked for conversations, I offered books to read aloud, and I asked for what I needed... and didn't get it.
As time went on, things grew worse, and more than just verbal and emotional. The first major incident of physical abuse (this time around) was about 4 months into my pregnancy, and scared me witless. I packed up my kids, and took them and my pregnant self to my brother-in-law's place. They calmed me down, and both my husband and they convinced me to go back.. but things were never the same.
Come 6 months into my pregnancy, I started back with the counselling program we had used the first time. I asked him to join with me, and he did.. sporadically. There was no consistency, and by my 7th month, my counsellor was advising me to ask for a separation then.
I waited until after our baby was born, and when she was a couple weeks old, I sat my husband down and asked him to either get very serious about this counselling program... or get out. He said he would get serious.
He didn't. He dabbled. He did a bare minimum, and not much changed. I waited 1 month, then 2.. then 3.. and finally I couldn't take it anymore. I asked him to leave, and 2 weeks ago, he did.
So my marriage is in limbo. Physically, emotionally, even financially, I'm in a better place. I feel safer, I feel more on balance, I feel more positive since he's been gone. He has been attempting to work harder with the counselling program, so time will tell.
I am slowly recovering my emotional health, and I am planning for my future. I'm also, oddly enough, discovering what I need and want in a marriage, should I ever have one again -- with my estranged husband or with someone else. Divorce isn't what I needed or wanted, but I'm now at a place where I would rather be single than have what legally was a marriage but in reality never was.
I'm in a unique place. As a parent I'm dealing with training pants.. and training bras. As a homeschooler, I have spent time and money on materials to help teach a Christian worldview about relationships and marriage, about love and courtship, about purity and choosing a partner to my daughters, and I find a lot of that coming back to me, in my considerations about my own future. I will be sharing some of those thoughts in the coming days...