I wasn’t even aware of my bitterness as wife because I was so busy looking at my husband’s faults that I didn’t notice my own. I thought that as a wife, I was entitled to tell my husband to go take a hike. There was nothing gentle about my soul, and it was wrecking havoc in our lives. After all, I was married to this man, and everything he did that I didn’t agree with set me off. Everything he did that wasn’t the way that I would have preferred it, became the negative focal point in my life. Eventually, it gave me all the ammunition I needed to start a heart-wrenching fight. I don’t know how many times over the years that I thought our marriage would not survive. It’s hard to admit that I threatened divorce a million times, and if I didn’t say it out loud, I thought about it in my mind … literally, day in and day out.
I rolled around my thoughts of divorce over and over again, convincing myself that it was the only way out of this kind of unsatisfying life. Many times, I didn’t feel understood, but why in the world did I think my husband could understand anything about how to handle a hostile wife? Maybe sometimes he gave me good reason to be hurt, but the bottom line was that taking offense, and becoming bitter, only made matters much worse. I was so poisoned by my own bitter soul. I had so many negative emotions that took over our lives, and blamed my husband for the consequences I would have to endure later on. The worst part was that I wanted to make him suffer, like somehow he was responsible for my unhappiness … and my unfulfilled life.
I even convinced myself that I was so unhappy because he didn’t fulfill his role adequately as a husband, and that he was just a failure in my eyes (Ouch). The truth was that I was trying desperately to make him fill this emptiness inside of me. I didn’t realize back then, but I was so lost inside that it nearly destroyed both of our lives. It was my resentful attitude, and constant need to be right, that kept us on opposite sides.
Take it from my 26 years of experience as a wife, a woman will NEVER win her husband’s adoring affection with frozen bitterness. No matter how we slice it, we can not warm the hearts of our husbands with words that cut them down. Over the years, I packed in the bitterness, while silently accusing him of not being a good provider in any way, shape, or form. My behavior managed to erode away the intimacy in our marriage and continually poisoned both of our souls. Until one day, I woke up and didn’t recognize myself anymore. I didn’t like the woman that I had become. I needed to break the chain of my bitter, critical womanhood. I knew that I had to stop beating on my husband’s manhood, and start respecting him for the man that he really was.
I had to finally ask myself, “How did I even get here to this awful place in my life?” Up until this point, it was like I was living my life in a total fog. My resentfulness held me captive. I was so busy thinking of negative things and I wasn’t growing in love. It took one bitter thought at a time to slowly erode away our marriage. The sad part was that I wasn’t even aware of it in the forefront of my mind, but the things that I was always thinking were in the back of my mind, and whispered to me all of the time.
It wasn’t until that tragic day when my daughter had run away from home that it occurred to me I was part of this overall problem. Over the years of her life, I spoke mean and belittling words to my husband that caused us all a war zone in our minds. I had no idea that my words held that much power to create so many tragic problems in our lives. While my daughter had run away and disappeared from my life, I knew I had to change my behavior to ever have her back.
I was completely terrified as my mind flashed back to all of the destructive choices I was making over the years. I felt like I suddenly snapped out of a trance, and found myself in a world full of problems. I was numb from living in complete and utter denial. I was disconnected from the realities of what I had done to ruin my family. This time however, I had no other choice but to finally face myself and everything that I did wrong.
My life came rolling in at me like giant waves crashing on top of me. I felt like I was drowning in a cyclone of darkness. I was always such a good hearted person, but what happened to that woman I used to know? Where did she go? When did I lose my direction and become so lost? I couldn’t remember, but this time there was no where left to turn. I was facing a dead end, and there I was, staring right at myself in the reflection of this turbulent place. As I saw my life flash before my eyes, I felt the heaviness of my life burying me alive. For a split second, I didn’t want to live anymore. I didn’t know how to take my next breath because the pain in my heart was crushing my soul.
I had no other choice but to face the very things that I had been denying for so long. The things that I kept a secret for years of my life. The shameful things that led me to break down and cry. I realized in this very moment, that for years, my life was nothing but a lie. While my life appeared wonderful on the outside, I was falling apart inside.
As I faced this vague shadow of myself, there were obvious changes that needed to be made, but at the time, there was nothing worse than knowing, that I hurt the ones I loved the most. However, I knew that I couldn’t change the past, so God gave me a vision of hope … and I never looked back.
It was in this moment of great despair, knowing I was at the end of my rope, hanging by a single thread, that I finally trusted God to mend our broken hearts, and heal all of our wounds.
From this day forward, I knew in my heart, where hope was once lost, we were given a chance for a new beginning. 💕