We had gone to visit Bridget for the meeting. She said she was in her soon to be fiancé’s house for the day, we went there.
When I rang her on the phone earlier, she was fine, she sounded cheerful and fine, when we arrived, she looked fine, she sounded fine, no one thought anything was amiss, by the time we were set to leave; Bridget picked her purse and wanted to come with us, I saw the sadness flash through her eyes for a split second, as if she was secretly begging me not to leave her there with him “Had I imagined it?”
He wrapped his hands around Bridget and smiling, begged her to stay, just a little longer; he did not want her to go with us just yet.
We teased them, love birds, we called them, Brie, like I call her, laughed, I studied her silently for a bit, she seemed fine just now, everything seemed fine, she wanted to stay and go home later in the evening, then why was my gut instincts not at rest? Was I just overtly concerned about my dear friend? Had I just imagined the silent plea in her eyes?
Brie assured me she wanted to stay, so with more cheerful banter and laughter, we soon left and she stayed back.
Days later; Bridget’s man contacted me and another friend of ours, he wanted to propose to our Brie, what kind of engagement ring will she like? He needed our input but we had to keep it a secret.
We were screaming on the phone, so happy for them, we had agreed to go ring shopping with. He seemed like a decent enough guy, he may make her truly happy or so we thought. We promised to not tell Brie the plan; it was going to be a pleasant surprise.
Days later; Brie rang my phone; she sounded strange, she said if I did not come to her right away, she would kill herself. I panicked, but God’s grace kept it from reflecting in my voice, I dropped everything and ran to her. Whatever was the matter?
Shaky voice, trembling, she told me everything. I truly wished that man was there so I could punch him with all of my strength. I have not been that angry! I wanted to curse, I just held my friend as she wept. We ended up comforting one another as tears slid down my cheeks too.
I deliberately did not give him a name in this story that is how upset I still am.
Bridget told me he has always been verbally abusive to her; he told her on several occasions that she was nothing. That her life was not good without him in it. That she needed him to be anything worthwhile in life. That he had choices but she should be thankful that of them all, she was the one he wants to marry. He always tried to emotionally suppress her.
He had been physically abusive to her too, slapping her few times whenever she stood up for what she believed in. Like the time he wanted her to leave her career path and go join another that she had no knowledge of and hated,. When she told him how she felt, he told her she was stupid, brainless, only wanted to stay where men would chase her and then slapped her.
He was financially and materially abusive to her: He hardly ever supported her financially; he hardly bought her any gifts. He would take her money, with a promise to pay back and he would not. He ran up debts for her to pay. He hid his money from her, always telling her he was broke, meanwhile she found out he had millions.
He was emotionally abusive to her: When she needed comfort, he was never there for her. In fact, it was always about his needs, his wants. He would heap her with his issues and complain when she was slow in solving them. Brie learnt to protect her emotions from him as he was prone to hurt her than to bring her healing. She had also seen his phone by accidents, a few times too and he was unfaithful to her, also communicating with other ladies in the same manner and language as her and for two years, she had endured.
Then, finally she confessed, that day we came to have the wedding planning meeting; He had abused her in every way and then raped her. She said that she had tried to beg me to take her with us as we left, but he had wrapped his arms around her and threatened her in a soft tone so we couldn’t hear. That was the reason she pretended all was well and stayed back.
The more I live, the more I realize that things are not always as it seems. People are good at putting up a pretentious front. When you look at their lives as an outside observer, you think how great their lives are, how much you will like to be in their shoes, how amazing it must be to be them. But relax; things are not always what it seems.
A friend once told me she wished she could swap lives with me. I did not understand it as she had what I wanted, what the society are harassing me to get (for those who have told me and others who judged secretly); a husband, children, a lovely home, nice car. Things looked good, until she told me her story in tears.
I have learnt to thank God for where I am and patiently trust HIM for His Will for my life as I know it is good, please do the same.
Also, if you are not the one, wearing the shoes, be careful how you counsel. Many a times, we quickly advise someone to endure in an abusive relationship. We tell them; no one is perfect, no one has a perfect relationship, nor marriage, pray about it , tolerate, understand each other, bla bla bla. Without realizing the hell the person is in. Do you not realize that People are great at leaving vital parts of their stories out, so you do not see how painful their situation is.
They hid in embarrassment instead of telling you the true situation and then you casually give them those advices to stay. It is understandable when they are already married, why tell them the same while they are single?
Bridget told me that one of the reasons she stayed for two years with him was because of such “well-meaning advises” she received from people and the pressure to finally be close to getting married. What a waste if you ask me!
She realized he was bad news from two weeks into the relationship and was ready to walk away. She should have left and given herself the chance for God to bring her the good man God planned. Instead, mutual friends and people would call her, to plead on that man’s behalf and again and again, she took him back until the final straw.
No one has any business staying with an abusive partner, especially if not already married. An abusive partner while single is an abusive married person when married to you. For how long do you think you can put up with abuse? All through your married years? Isn’t it better to pack up your life now and leave? And save yourself from more future pains that can and should be avoided!
Even if you are already engaged and you are hours away from getting married and you know the truth, that deep down, that you are terribly sad and you know that to marry that person is a mistake, please, count your losses, break free and walk or run away.
It may be one of the toughest things you have had to do, no one may support you. No one may believe you as abusers always appear as the good partner to the rest of the world but if you have to, get away, trust me (I HAVE). As marriage does not change people, Only God does.
In marriage, abusers get worse as you live under the same roof with them most of the time, it means more frequent abuse for you as the partner, should you still choose to marry him/her. You will bear the consequences, not the people who advised you to stay…
May God deliver you from that which you clearly cannot, May HE silence the wrong counsel that will sentence you to a life of pain, May HE answer your accusers. May Jesus fight your battles, grant you strength to stand against adversities, walk away and grant you healing and grace to move on to a healthier and joyful life. May God’s grace uphold you through the waiting and praying period for the good spouse to come forth, it is well with you, yes, you!
However, please remember that there are people who are happily married for real, so it is possible to be happily married for real. Pray and trust God for yours, do not accept anything less as love should make you as well as your partner so happy that you two cannot imagine your life without the other, that, plus God’s will and procreation, is the reason to marry.
Thank you for reading and until next time, Shalom!