September 5th will be the 18th anniversary of our first date. We dated for two years before we got married. In December, on the 15th to be exact, we will be celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary. As I sit here and think back on all these years we have been together, I am happy to say that the majority of those years have been spent being a married couple before the Lord.
I am 34 today, soon to be 35, but when I got saved, I was 25 years old. I was young, sassy, and very independent. Those first seven years of marriage were the worst years of my adult life. If you are an independent person, then you know all to well what I am talking about. Going from independent, to having someone else to answer to, can cause alot of problems and that is exactly what happened to me and my husband those first few years.
I do believe that I was the most selfish and obnoxious person you would have ever met. I was loud, bossy, a pushover, and I would embarrass you in a heartbeat if I thought you were trying to get over on me. Needless to say I brought this attitude and personality into my marriage.
From the very first moment that Stephen and I said "I do", we fought like cats and dogs. I would get in Stephen's face and dare him to hit me or to challenge me (my husband is 6' 3"...and I am 5'2"--I was VERY stupid). We were constantly doing things to each other to hurt one another. I was cheating on him every moment I could, and he had no clue about it. He was doing his own thing--fishing from dawn until dusk, drinking heavily--staying drunk on the weekends--working all hours just to stay away from our relationship.
It was around this time that I got hooked on something pretty bad--pornography. It is the absolute worse kind of thing to get addicted to. I can tell you from experience. Getting off drugs, quitting smoking, or going sober, is a cake walk to letting go of pornography. It started off light at first, but then I was spending more and more time on the computer, engrossed in this horrible addiction.
Robert came along and things were a little better for a while, but then Stephen and I became a little more violent with each other. For three years we were constantly at each other's throat, tearing apart what was left of our feeble marriage. Then I found out I was pregnant with Kayla. For the first few months of pregnancy, Stephen accused me everyday and told me that this was not his baby. He didn't even touch me again until I was almost 8 months. He then realized that this was his baby.
Kayla was born and things got worse instead of better. I went on a major weight loss kick because I had a job that allowed me to travel with my boss and I wanted to look good. I went back to work a week after she was born. I lost all of my baby fat and only gained one pound. I flirted with all the guys at work, and even with the men at Stephen's work. Needless to say, I was back to my old self--cheating and looking at things I should not. It was during this time that I got really sick. Six weeks after having Kayla, I was down for almost two weeks. One of the guys that Stephen worked with would stop by every day to visit and talk with me and play with Robert so that I could rest. We grew quite close during this time. I think what really got me during this time, was this guy I was messing around with. Nothing physical had happened--we were just talking and cheating emotionally, BUT I felt bad about it so I told Stephen that they guy was coming on to me and that he had tried to do things but he did not. It had been both of us but I blamed it all on him. This was a man that Stephen worked with so he confronted him the next day and told him that if he did not tell his wife--Stephen would. So the guy told his wife and she left him and they got divorced. I really started seeing the repercussions of messing around with other people's mates and soon realized I did not want to be that marriage.
However, my position at work did not help the matters any. I was a professional woman on the rise and was loving all the attention and fame I was getting. It went to my head and I was soon back to my old tricks again--but this time worse than ever before. I left Kayla, Robert, and Stephen at home all the time while I was carted off to Vegas, Florida, and other places. I felt like a princess when I wasn't at home. When I would come, I shut myself away from everyone and everything. I let Stephen's mom fix dinner and take care of the family--I hated cooking and taking care of a household. I soon came to realize that this life just wasn't for me. I wanted to be free--free of kids and free of men. I just wanted to be independent and free.
I wanted to leave.
This story will continue next week with the conclusion of how God completely and utterly restored my heart and the heart of my husband.