She always disliked football. Now she detests it. Not so much the game itself but what it represents. She never thought it would be like this. She didn’t ever imagine agreeing to this arrangement in her wildest dreams, but here she was sharing her marriage to a husband who was already married. She's reminded every day that he dedicates most of his time to the other one.
She feels so betrayed. She had no idea that when they were dating, all the acts of kindness we're him following the rules of some game. In his mind, he was just training for an event to win the prize. How many dinners and how many flowers and kind words does he have to put up with to finally get his trophy?
She thought he loved her but now she feels so objectified. The harsh reality has sunk in. Getting her to marry him was like a football game to him. Once she said the vows and sealed the deal, his training was over. He got the trophy and put her on the shelf to gather dust while he spent all of his time on the next field goal.
She imagines what their marriage would be like if he just had spent 20% of his time working on it as much as he did watching football and checking the stats. She feels so low having to compete for her husband’s affections with 11 players. She definitely is on the losing team. She still thinks about the sales pitch and closing the deal. As her friend confided to her, “the brochure ended up not matching the product.”
She thought if she did all the right things he would finally notice her and value her. She was told by the church to just work harder at being a good wife. She feels deceived. She fell for all the tricks. She thought he would be the same person he was when they were dating but now realizes he was never that person but he was just going by a playbook. She’s reminded of a quote she heard that ruminates in her thoughts right now. “I told you I loved you when I married you. If I change my mind, I will let you know.” Now she doubts there was ever love as that is shown in actions, not just words.
Love, honor, cherish…and all she can think about is “death do us part!” Better sooner than later. What a death sentence this marriage has become. Death by apathy. At least if she was single she would be free to spend time seeing friends rather than waiting for him to keep his promises. He vows to take her on a date and spend quality time with her but she has repeatedly gotten his rotten leftovers. He has no words left to say to her after using them all up at the office and he dozes off to sleep the minute they turn on a movie to watch together. Why does she still fall for the scam even after a dozen years? She has become his slave only to serve him and his selfish needs. She’s exhausted, isolated and empty. Is this what “submission” is really about? Am I supposed to sacrifice my life and health and faith to serve a man who only seeks to serve himself? She realizes she is just as guilty as he is…they both have been worshipping false gods.
So many women’s retreats preaching serving your husband. “If only you were more of a Proverbs 31 woman, your husband would love you”. “Submit to him and meet all of his needs and he will treat you like a queen.” Why is it you have the God of the universe who says His love is free but you hear men and women leaders in the church commanding them to try and earn the love of their spouse? It doesn’t work. The harsh reality is that she is exhausted trying to earn the love of someone who doesn’t have it to give. He has spent all his love on himself. If she was dressed in leather and weighed 13 oz and was stamped with NFL on her midsection, well maybe she would get him to notice her, at least for 3 hours and 12 minutes.
No amount of conversations have changed anything. Her friend is a therapist. She told her how women are constantly telling their husband what they need repeatedly and it falls on deaf ears for 12, 15, 20, 30 years. No matter how many discussions they have had, he doesn’t think it’s important. Since he doesn’t think like her, he just mocks her and tells her what is important to her is stupid and silly. He doesn’t realize it’s everything. It has everything to do with her feelings towards him. Since he disregards her feelings and what is important to her, how can she feel safe with him, vulnerable with him and submit to someone so dangerous emotionally? He’s supposed to protect her and be her hero but unless she thinks just like her husband…one of the guys, her opinion doesn’t count.
He calls her a nag. She’s only reminding him of the promises he made to her that came out of his own mouth. If he kept them, she wouldn’t even have to ask him one time. Here she is 12 years later still waiting on the promises he made to her when they were dating.
Game over. She stayed long after it ended. She finally walks out the door and she’s done. Her emotional bank account has been empty for a long time and no amount of love and care she has given him can fill him enough. He’s always hungry for MORE. He doesn’t even love himself. He loves his idols. He’s willing to sacrifice love for them. It takes awhile for him to even notice she has been gone because well, his favorite team is playing on tv.
Then, it hits him. His dinner isn’t made. His clothes aren’t washed and his physical urges are calling out to him. She’s gone. No amount of time-outs made him take off his noise cancelling headphones and listen. He decides he wants her back. Not for her sake, but for his. He doesn’t care that she is starving and homeless since she escaped the prison. He only cares that he doesn’t have a free slave. He has the gall to play the victim and tell everyone his wife left him all alone when the entire time he was doing everything to push her out the door. She finally realized she was the third wheel and left him alone with the idol he is really devoted to. She gave him his wish, but why is he still miserable? Maybe a few months of this loneliness and he will be ready to do what it takes to get her back. What he refuses to realize is that he forfeited the game a long time ago.
Thriver and Survivor of domestic violence and abuse who went from an Artist at a top studio in the film industry only to escape danger and experience, trauma, homelessness and penniless. Restored and Healed by Jesus. These are my stories of suffering and triumph.