Healing the Hurts of Battered Wives

Written by M. Larson

life_batteredwifesNorm* seemed like such a nice guy when Kay dated him. He had a great sense of humor and they laughed a lot. They went to church together, and he professed to be a Christian. Little did Kay know how alcohol would plunge both of them into an indescribable Hades!

They married when Kay was 18. Norm was affectionate and attentive. He even taught a Sunday School class. But he was very possessive and had a tendency to put her down at times.

Then Norm started drinking. As his intake increased, what happiness they had shared was shattered by violence. Kay began wearing long-sleeved dresses to cover the bruises on her arms. Her husband killed three unborn babies by causing her to have miscarriages.

Terror in the night

One night Kay picked up Norm from a tavern because he was drunk.

Pregnant again, Kay was terrified of what might happen again. Their son Danny had fallen asleep on the couch. Awakened by his father’s shouting when they came in, he saw his father smash his fist into Kay’s mouth. Danny shook with fear as his father picked him up to take him to his room.

When Norm laid Danny in his bed, the little boy began saying his prayers. Norm laughed at him. “There is no God,” he declared contemptuously, “and I don’t want you to pray any more!”

Then he turned on Kay. “Don’t you ever teach our kid to pray!” he ordered. That hurt her more than her bleeding mouth. When Danny prayed, “Please God, take care of Mommy,” Norm returned to beating her.

On another night Norm staggered into their bedroom and jerked the full-sized mattress right out from under her and threw it across the room! There Kay sat on the box springs with her book still in hand. As Norm came roaring at her, Kay instinctively jumped up, grabbed the lamp, and crashed it over his head. That knocked him out and ended the violence for the night.

That does it, Kay thought, as she looked at his prone body. I’m tired of being battered physically and psychologically, of having him kill my babies. And I’m sick of his infidelities with other women. I’m leaving!

Taking her little boy, Kay left and moved in with her parents.

The turning point

One night Norm came to try to talk her into coming back, and he was drunk. When Kay refused, he got violent, and her father called the police.

When Norm began threatening to kill her father, Kay had him committed to a mental institution. Kay realized he had mental problems and was dangerous to her family.

Kay felt depressed and hopeless about her situation. One night when her parents went to church, anger and self-pity overwhelmed her. She filled the bathtub with steaming hot water, climbed in, then screamed from the pain.

Hyperventilating, she slid under the water. She wanted to drown. Her unborn baby, now eight months along, began moving frantically. Pulling herself out of the tub, Kay angrily declared, “No devil is going to take my life or hurt my baby!” And that was her turning point.

Up until then, Kay had forgotten how to smile and hadn’t even been able to pray. Now she suddenly found that she could pray again for her Lord’s help. For she knew He had saved her life and He cared for her.

Then Norm was discharged from the mental hospital. One Sunday morning he broke into her parents’ home, his eyes glaring demonically. With her soft, kind talk, Mother kept him from violence until the police came.

After several more violent episodes, Kay finally sued for divorce. Norm had a heart attack when he got the papers – and later died of another attack.

Kay is now happily married to a good Christian man. She took no chances on this one. After working through her own issues, she prayed to the Lord for wisdom and guidance and asked Him for a good husband. And that’s exactly what God gave her!

Advice for abused women

Kay now works as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital, counseling other women who have been abused by their husbands. She believes the Lord put her here so she can share the great truths she learned through her own bitter experiences. And she prays that He will use the healing biblical truths that released her from the pain and resentful feelings that kept her from being a whole woman.

  • If a woman’s situation is in the past, Kay urges her to forgive her former husband for everything. It is not without good reason that Jesus taught, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37, NIV).”As long as you harbor anger, bitterness, and resentment toward your husband,” Kay tells the women, “you will be hurting yourself and your children, and be unable to get on in a wholesome way with your new life. In your mind you will stay an abused, defensive, and inferior-feeling person. If possible, find a qualified counselor to help you work through and release those harmful thoughts and feelings. This will free you to forgive your husband, and allow God to heal you completely.”
  • If another woman has been involved, Kay advises the abused wife to do as she did: forgive the other woman also. Forgiving others clears the air between us and God and makes it possible for Him to help and guide us.
  • If a woman is still in her abusive situation, Kay counsels her to get herself and her children out of it. Immediately! They are both in too much danger, and Kay doesn’t believe God wants a woman to stay in a violent environment. Furthermore, the children are in great danger of becoming abusers themselves. After one occasion on which Kay’s husband abused her, her little boy came over and twisted her arm. When Kay asked him why he was doing that, he answered, “Daddy does it.” Abused women need to learn to say no, set boundaries, and protect themselves. They also need to learn that they deserve to be treated with respect. They do not need to tolerate abuse.
  • Kay also advises women not to be too hasty in filing for divorce because crises and major decisions do not blend well. Divorce should only be a last resort after all else fails.
  • After leaving an abusive mate, many women are anxious to get out and start dating someone else, but they’re not ready for that. They first need to find their own identities, learn to smile again, feel human again, and not think of themselves as someone who deserved to be battered. They also need to restore relationships with their families. More importantly, they need to seek God’s guidance, not only regarding their future, but to see if there was a deep-seated reason why they were attracted to an abusive partner in the first place. If there was such a reason, and they don’t face and resolve it, they are just as likely to be attracted to another abusive person. (He, too, may be very charming at first.)
  • Children of abused women may have endured much horror in their home, but they need to know there was love in the marriage at one time – if there was. Kay finally realized that she had robbed her children by not telling them of the love that she and their father had once had for one another. This is something Kay now passes on to other women. Thus God is now using this life she almost threw away in order to help many other suffering women.

*Names have been changed

5 Responses to “Healing the Hurts of Battered Wives”

  • zoomdots says:

    even through divorce children are still needy when there are kids involved dont forget they are just kids – lots of children assume adult roles to maintain some sort of normalcy…as for me in our family as a child of divorce became the parent to sister & mother – father got remarried to new wife—now as a single mom kids are just about alienated from me as the fathers family seeks to use me as a punching bag when things are not going easily for everyone even after divorce- birth family denies the pain & challenge without their availability & willingness

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Marian, I am so sorry to hear what you have been going through. I can only imagine how difficult it has been. No one deserves to be hit and no matter how long it has been going on, you do not have to stay in a situation where you are unsafe. I do not know where you are, but this page has helplines for women in the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia and a list of other international helplines. Help is available. There are other women who have been where you are and who got help. It was very brave of you to ask for help. I know that it is overwhelming to even think about the possibility of changing your life, but it can be done.

    You mentioned how humiliating it is to admit that you’ve been hit. If you can, try to remember that this is not your fault. You did not DO this, it was done TO you. There is nothing you could have done to deserve this and the fact that it has been going on for years does not make it ok, nor does it mean that it was somehow “your choice”. People say “well you should leave” and while there is some truth to that, it is incredibly hard to actually do that. Which is why you need support. Call one of the numbers at the link above and let them help you. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s not impossible if you don’t have to do it alone.

    The only way that this will be the last time he hits you is if you leave or call the police. I wish there was a third option, but I really don’t think that there is one. If he had only done this once it would have been one time too many. You have a lifetime of injuries, but you don’t have to have a future full of them. You’ve taken the first step – you told someone what was going on. That’s huge. Can you take one more step and make that call? Don’t think too far down the path, you’ll get overwhelmed. Just look to one more step. Pick up the phone and call. Then take one step after that. You can do this. The list of numbers is here.

    This is what I prayed for you just now: Dear Father, Please be with Marian. My heart breaks to hear about what she has been through and I know that it breaks your heart too. Give her courage Father. She has fought this battle alone for so long, give her just a little more strength, enough to pick up the phone and call for help. Remind her how precious she is and how much you love her. Give her a clear mind so she can choose what she wants to do next. I know that she’s scared, I would be too. Calm her heart. Remind her that although her husband has made her feel powerless, she is not powerless. She is stronger than she realizes. Help her. Protect her. Make a way for her in this wilderness, a path where there was not a path before. Comfort her and help her to feel how much you love her. Keep her safe. Amen.

  • marian says:

    my husband is always drunk he first hit me when I was 19 I am now 56.over the weekend he kicked me and beat me with the remote control off the tv.I am now covered in bruises.A few weeks ago he pushed my face against the wall I think he broke my cheek it is mostly now heeled just a little bruise under my eye this is destroying me I am always having to cover up to hide the bruises because it is so humiliating to admit that you are a battered wife.my kids and grand kids don,t know why he has such a temper neither do I.I have always looked after my kids and grand kids but if I have the slightest disagreement he batters me.I am tired of the pain God help me

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Mary, Would you like to talk to a mentor privately? All you need to do is fill out this form and your mentor will contact you, usually within a couple of days. The service is free and private. It sounds like you could really use some help and a mentor is a great place to start.

    I hope you know how incredibly brave you are to get out. It is really, really hard to leave someone you love even when it is the very best thing you can do, even when you must do it. I’m sure you must feel very exposed and scared right now, but know that you have already done the hardest part. You did it. You made the choice to survive and in time, it will get easier. In the short term, do what you need to do to stay safe. Get some support.

    It is going to take time for your heart to heal. Are you able to see a counsellor? When you’ve experienced abuse it can be really helpful to have a professional to talk through things with. You’re probably going to be very confused. You have loved someone who wasn’t safe for 18 years. Unfortunately, we can’t just turn off our hearts. You will probably still love him for quite some time. But as you know, loving him doesn’t mean that you can live with him. There’s a long road ahead but I know that you are strong enough to walk it because you have already done the hardest part. Take a deep breath, this isn’t going to be fast but I promise you that it will be worth it.

  • mary says:

    Please help me I am comin out of an 18 year abuse relationship but I still love him @ want him with me. I beed to heal, but don’t know where to start

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