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What was Wrong with my Marriage?

What was wrong with my marriage

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Here is my story. 

We had been married twenty-five years, but things were getting worse instead of better no matter what I tried, and believe me, I tried!

He wanted me to hand over my paychecks and forced me to cash in two life insurance policies. I had no say in my own income.

My ex was strongly addicted to porn.

My interests were a waste of time and will never amount to anything good. His words.

He threw things at me, slammed his fist on the table or wall next to me shoved furniture and carelessly broke my vacuum cleaner.

I never cleaned well enough for his liking. If one thing was out of place, that was enough to incur his rage.

He acquired massive debt.

Everything was usually my fault, and he was impossible to have an argument with. Our heated discussions usually ended going in circles until I wouldn’t know which end was up. I became afraid of those discussions because they confused me.

I tried so many things to help my marriage and, if you are going to ask if I prayed, I’m getting’ to that!

Things that failed.

I read “Power of the Praying Wife” and put it into practice.

I filled a journal with my pleas to God.

I read Power of the Praying Wife again.

The thing with that was that it should not be the wife’s job to save him, and God wasn’t going to force him. He gave him free will.

Friends prayed.

I had small groups pray.  Ladies Bible Studies prayed. My friends on the internet prayed.

He had an accountability partner. 

He took advantage of him, manipulated him and lied to him.

He was in men’s groups.

My ex was involved with Men’s Frat and men’s group at church.

We had counselors through the church.

The first set he tried to get in trouble by falsely, accusing them of breaching HIPAA.
The second set stopped our marriage counseling because they realized I was in danger.

We were expected to support his interest in firefighting.

We had to help at events, dinners and Christmas tree sales but my interests were a waste of time.

The final straw?

The final straw was when he told me that my writing would never amount to anything.

Google It!

After a good cry, I hit the internet in an extensive search determined to figure out what was so wrong with my marriage.

I absorbed any and all information about domestic violence. I read story after story of marriages similar to mine. The stories numbered in the thousands.

The ‘N” word

That was when the word “narcissist” entered my vocabulary. People frequently misuse the word, but I studied what made one – and I realized I was married to one.

Suddenly it all made sense.

The realization hit me that my own marriage was an example of domestic violence.
It wasn’t all my fault like I was led to believe. It wasn’t even a marriage problem. It was a sin problem.

Your marriage?

Maybe your marriage is taking the same path. If so, here are some signs to know if you have a troubled marriage versus a toxic one.

Being unreasonably jealous

I was forced to break off a friendship with a male friend and he manipulated stress between my family members and me.


He would threaten retaliation at me, the kids or my family.

Controlling and Possessive Behavior

He wanted to know where I was at all times. I was expected to answer the phone when he called, even during church. He checked the history on phone calls and texts and monitored my Facebook account.

Put downs and verbal abuse.

According to him, I walked like an elephant and I was called a hog when I dared to finish “his” peanut butter. He also referred to me as “that” type of person because I hated going to events to be seen.

Physical and Sexual violence.

He threw things at me, groped me and sexually assaulted me.

Quick involvement

This included a push for sexual activity.  He also wanted to get married quickly.

Unrealistic expectations

The house had to look perfect when he got home from work, and he would check for dust above doors and windows.


I had few friends and he pushed away family.

Blames others.

When things did not go right at the firehouse or his job, it was always someone else’s fault.

Cruelty to animals or children

He didn’t know how to relate to his children and our cat hated him.

Severe mood swings

It was that old Jekyll and Hyde thing where he could be yelling at and threatening us on the way to church and step out of the car as happy as a clam greeting others, “Brother!”

History of abuse

His father abused his mother the same way. She often confided in me.

“And what makes him a narcissist?”  You ask.

No empathy.

My ex had no clue others even had feelings and he refused to even try to understand others’ points of view. He grouped my sad, lonely, or angry feelings as being “upset”.

Thinks he’s important

He hung around with people who he thought was important. We had to often make an appearance at public activities because he thought he was important and needed to make an appearance.


He deserved a phone, and I did not because he thought he was important, and I was not. If his car broke down, he took my car and I had to walk to work or find a ride because his job was more important than mine.

Preoccupation with power, beauty, or success

He was a member of the local volunteer fire company, and he wanted so badly to get an assistant chief title. He also had some role in a county association.

Can only be around people who are important or special.

He only hung around people with titles or public figures.

Exploited others.

Once I did all the work on his fire company scrapbook where he took the credit for winning the contest


Ohhhh yes, he was! He acted like everyone was beneath him and was incompetent.

Needed to be admired.

I had to take a picture of everything he did and post it on Facebook. When I had cancer, he forced me to change my blog from my story to our story and then coerced me into telling everyone all he did for me.

Perhaps your marriage is confusing you.

Maybe you tried praying and reading all the marriage books and he still wasn’t changing. Here’s the thing. God gave us all free will so, unless your abuser thinks he needs to change, and most abusers don’t, God will not force him.

God can help you set healthy boundaries and learn to set consequences if he breaches those boundaries, and he most likely will stomp all over those boundaries.

You need to decide if those consequences include leaving or if you plan to stay. If you do stay, stay well. Check out Leslie Vernick for encouragement for these tough decisions.
God bless!

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