I have been dealing with some accusations regarding my marriage lately that have made me angry, and I wonder if there is truth to them. Am I wrong in the decisions I've made lately? Part of me wonders if it really was "that bad".. bad enough to choose this direction. Was there something else I could have done, should have done? Is this my fault?
Am I wrong? I don't believe so. I honestly believe that I tried everything else. I believe this is my last option. I don't think I am doing something wrong by choosing to separate. I don't think I am in sin by choosing to use the legal system to protect myself and my children. I don't believe I am wrong to say enough is enough, and no more will I allow someone to treat me as less than human.
Was it really that bad? This one is hard. The human heart holds onto the good so easily and forgets the pain so quickly. We look back at the "good ol' days" and pine for a "better time", thinking our past was better than our present. We forget the trials of yesterday, getting lost of the anxiety of tomorrow. So I re-read my journals, my message board thread, my blog and force myself to remember that .. yes, it was horrible. It was tense, it was scary, it was forever watching what I said, what I did so as not to upset someone else, it was bondage and captivity. And I remember the sense of relief, of freedom, of breath and air and emotion that I've received since. Yes.. yes it was bad enough to choose this direction. Something had to be done.
Was there something else I could have done? I again have to say, I honestly believe I tried everything else. I don't think I could have done anything else. I have been told I waited longer, gave more chances, offered more forgiveness and trust and willingness to work and commitment than was expected of me. I don't know what else I could have done?
Is this my fault? Yes.. and no. Yes, it is my fault. I chose to separate. I chose to pursue legal options. I chose to say enough. But no.. I did not choose to be ignored. I did not ask to be treated with such disrespect. I did not want to be terrified of saying or do something that would trigger a rage. I did not choose to live in fear. I am not responsible to control someone else's actions, words or emotions. It is not my fault.
What am I responsible for? I am responsible for the times when I spoke in anger, when I held a grudge, when I did not give grace, extend mercy. I am responsible for my hatred, my unforgiving attitude, my sarcasm, my mistrust. I am responsible for not asking for help sooner, for hiding our relationship issues and pretending all was well when it wasn't, for lying to protect myself, for hiding things from him. I am responsible for my own feelings, my own actions, my own words -- and not everything was right.
But not everything was wrong either. I did ask for help, eventually. I did tell the truth, eventually. I learned to forgive -- and to set boundaries. I learned to let go -- and to stay quiet. I learned to give grace, to extend mercy, as God gave me grace and mercy. I learned (and I am learning) that is ok to not be perfect, that I don't have to pretend, and that I don't have to hide. I am becoming more genuine, gaining more integrity, and speaking truth in love.
No.. I did not do everything perfectly. I wish I did. I have many regrets. But ultimately, ending my marriage was not an easy decision, made lightly or impulsively. It was hard, after years of trying everything else, and decisions were made sorrowfully and prayerfully. I trust that God will bring something out of this for my good, and for my children's good.
I stand by my decision. I think I made the right one. I'm not going to change it, for good or ill. I will follow God's leading, and right now.. He is leading this captive out.