I was very intentional about trying to sneak and hide, and that certainly resulted in my pregnancy. I realised I could have a secret life and, unfortunately, that secret life began to overwhelm who I really wanted to be. The fact you can be one person in one setting and transform to another somewhere else is not a foreign concept. Not only as a teenager but also during my toxic marriage, I pretended everything was OK on the outside but inside, a battle was raging. It wasn’t until I made a conscious decision to marry my reality with my hope that I was able to experience the transformational power of a relationship with God.
There is so much strength and fortitude in your story. As the details of your marriage to Robert unfold and his addictive unfaithfulness and deceit, you seem to have an amazing amount of inner resources enabling you to bounce back again and again! You have a lot of fight in you.
It didn’t feel like fight! And that’s part of what I’ve tried to communicate – I felt so weak. You have detour after detour and just because you keep going, doesn’t mean you necessarily feel strong. It’s only in hindsight you say, “Wow, I went through that and I’m still here. I’m still managing to smile and to dream.” Maybe that’s what strength is, a commitment to face tomorrow. I did bounce back, but I can’t say I did that for the right reasons. I wanted my marriage to stay intact because I didn’t want to make another mistake. I wasn’t fighting because I felt this was the person God had called me to be with, or because of the virtue of marriage. But because I didn’t want to risk my insecurity being revealed by getting a divorce.
I think your powers of endurance are better than mine!
I was pouring my hope into the wrong container. I was looking for someone else to help me believe in myself and so, as toxic as the marriage was, if I believed in this relationship then maybe someday I’d begin to believe in myself again. And maybe then, I could believe in God. I know now that you have to believe in God first, and then what God can do in your life second, and then you make decisions about relationships – but my priorities were messed up.
Excerpt from Sue’s article from our current issue……