Those years of emotional and sexual abuse had impacted me in ways that I never even realized.
shortly after I married my amazing husband, i was filled with this overwhelming fear that he would leave me for another woman. I didn’t want him to go anywhere without me, and the thought of him being around other women drove me crazy.
my husband was very patient and gracious with me, but he was clearly confused as to why i was struggling that way. And to be honest, so was i.
two years into our marriage we began having babies. And after each baby, i would loathe the body that i saw looking back at me in the mirror.
i would literally lay in bed and cry because I didn’t want my husband to see my fat tummy. I preferred to have the lights off when we were intimate, because i wanted to hide my body from him. And all that time, I had no idea where this was coming from.
As the years went by, my image of myself only grew worse with each baby that i had.
And to be clear, I’ve never been a heavy person, even after having babies. But I did—and still do—carry all my weight around my middle, and for some reason, I found that repulsive.
no matter how much my husband said he loved me, or how beautiful he would say i am, i saw myself as disgusting and damaged.
i remember laying in bed one night, and my husband saying to me, “It doesn’t matter how much weight you lose, because as long as you think that way about yourself, you won’t be happy.”
and i wasn’t.
I lost 40 pounds about 10 years ago, and guess what? I still saw myself as repulsive.
I am ashamed to admit that these feelings of insecurity affected my relationships with other women as well, even women in my church.
certain personalities in women would raise red flags with me, and i would see them as a threat, so I would avoid being close with them because I didn’t want them around my husband.
and when certain women—women who were loud and drew attention to themselves—would sit in front of us at church, I would sit through the service steaming mad on the inside. I would spend the entire service wondering if my husband was looking at “her”. I was miserable.
and my poor husband. God bless him. On the rare occasion that I’d actually voice my fears and accuse him of ogling other women, it would hurt him, a lot. He would reassure me of his love for ME and ME ALONE, but the fears didn’t budge.
For the sake of not hurting my husband, I began to hold those fears in, and on those occasions when I would make up scenarios in my head, i would stew over them, but not tell my husband.
he of course, figured it out because i was walking around mad all the time.
not exactly great for those early years of marriage.
Probably ten years into our marriage, I read the book, Trusting God, by Jerry Bridges.
Reading that book went a long way in helping me learn how to trust God with my marriage.
My freak out sessions were fewer and farther in between, but my insecurities were far from gone.
i think i eventually came to a point where, rather than fearing that I’d lose my husband to another woman, I hardened my heart to the idea, and developed a “i could care less” attitude.
that entailed me deciding in my heart that if he ever did cheat on me that he’d be gone, and I would never forgive him.
Not exactly a healthy way of thinking, trust me.
I went on this way for years…until last year, when God used a good friend to open my eyes and help me get to the root of my struggles.
more on that next time…..
** can you relate to the fears and insecurities that I’ve lived with for so long? I’d love to hear your story; feel free to share in the comments, or you can email me at email@example.com