“It is the nature of the strong heart, that like the palm tree it strives ever upwards when it is most burdened.” – Philip Sidney
To love is to be strong. It is love that strengthens us so we can continue loving even in the most difficult situations. With the strength of love, we are able to uplift not only ourselves but the people who are dearest to us.
“Love… bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:4,7-8 (WEB)
LETTER TO JOYCE
Hi. I’m writing out of sheer desperation and the loss of self worth. I think slowly I have been dying inside. The one person that i believed Cared for me, the person that i believed would always protect me, told me yesterday, not to expect him to care. His parents hate me,have made it known, prefer his ex wife and do not acknowledge our 5year old son. In a negative encounter with his parents yesterday at a grocery store, my husband who was not there, didn’t care to ask the details. In fact blamed me stating it is my fault that i did not give him the details, so what could he say since I was not smart enough to fill him in. He was not interested in the least that any one had disrespected me.
I’m a step parent. When he works I pick up his kids. I watch them and entertain them when he works. He praises me up and down for it. When I make a choice to not take that responsibility when he is mad at me and is cruel and is punishing me, I’m a sorry screwed up person. I have cried, Been rejected, ignored, yelled at, told to shut up, and once when I was on my knees pleading worth him to at least hear me, he kicked me aside. I plan everything, Fix everything with finances, I have even taken care of his case with his ex wife in regards to enforcing his court orders to see his children. He had never even made contact with his lawyer… I was handling it. He now after 2 years had regular visits worth his kids. But, no matter what I have ever done, he is a monster at punishing me. ignoring me, withholds affection, silent treatment, keeps away from me, expects me to handle everything, and he takes no responsibility for even the smallest things, like putting the lawnmower away out of the rain.
He minimizes and says I make a big deal out of everything, when it would be easier to just put the lawnmower in out of the rain. He constantly hangs up on me, ignores my calls, and if he stays ok the line he says talk all you want, I’m not listening And puts the phone down while I talk. I’ve cried so much. I’ve given to this man. I’ve helped this man. I’ve sacrificed of myself for him. I have not gotten back a thing. No respect, no love, no protection, nothing. …When i leave the room so that I don’t feel so humiliated, he tells me no one told you to leave, your the one who slept in the other room. I’m at my wits end. I don’t know how to cope. I don’t know how to respond to this cruelty. All I know is that I am on shock with how a human being can torture his wife the way he has and how it does not affect him one bit.
RESPONSE FROM JOYCE
I don’t know quite where to start. If I try to see myself in your situation, I wouldn’t have known clearly what to do. Further, I would have been so tired, exhausted and barely able to hang on. The fact that you were still able to write all these shows how you still have some strength and courage left to deal with such a difficulty!
So maybe we could start with that. Joann, I hope that you can save whatever strength and courage you still got in you, not only for yourself, but for your loved ones, especially your son. If you are to be completely drained, who would be there for him to take care of him?
I know that it is easier said than done, but I pray that you find a way, maybe move out for a while and have some space between you and your husband. You need to find healing, and to regain your strength. How can you think of the right thing to do when your surroundings is so cluttered and painful?
We are but human beings who need some things to survive, to live. We need health, a space of our own, respect, love. But is this really what we are getting from those we expected to give it to us? And if not, why are we hanging on?
Could it be that the people we expected it to be from are also in desperate need of healing? Could it be that instead of hanging on, what they really need is for us to let go for a while so they can fix their issues? Sometimes, loving a person means being firm for that person so they can get better. Otherwise, no change would ever come and we’d be forever stuck in the same pattern of pain.
God bless you and keep you, Joann. May He give you wisdom and strength to do what is right for the people you love the most! Remember always that you are loved and God is only a prayer of silence away.
Yours in Prayer,