Del Hungerford is a professional musician with a doctoral degree in music. Abuse has no boundaries… It can happen to anyone, any race, any social status, and any place where people coexist. Del went into marriage like most people; expecting that there would be both good and bad times. After all, no marriage is perfect… But when the bad times started to outweigh the good times, confusion began to settle in.
Why did nothing ever make a difference? It didn’t matter what I said or did, he was always mean to me. It started out with simple gestures or sneers. Soon, words followed; very damaging and hurtful words. He thought it was funny when my business failed because he’d done something to sabotage it. Soon, the bills weren’t being paid and we had our utilities shut off. Oh, he says he paid but obviously the power company didn’t agree with him. So many times, I would say one thing and he’d say something else or… he’d deny ever saying it.
Eventually, I began to wake up and realize the problem wasn’t mine. I’d become fearful, withdrawn, sick, and had no self-esteem left; all in less than five years. I had once been a strong and vibrant person and knew where I was heading with life. It was all I could do now to function on a daily basis. With the help of close friends and a dear pastor who listened to me and didn’t judge, I realized that what was happening to me was not right. I had to get the courage within myself to make the decision that my life was more important than a divorce. I knew that if I were to stay, chances are that I wouldn’t be alive to say these words.
After a legal separation , I began to realize that I was a victim of verbal, emotional, and spiritual abuse. Because we attended a Christian church, the “wife submit to your husband” teaching was thrown in my face countless times. Even during the separation (where we both received counseling), I felt out of duty that I had to go back but my gut was telling me otherwise. Eventually, my husband decided that he’d rather be married to his secretary, Kelly. He sent the divorce papers and ran off with her. History appeared to repeat itself and while they were still together, he started seeing another woman. Not long after their divorce, Kelly died.
This may be your story, too. There is a way out… I believe that ALL things can either make or break us. It’s all dependent on HOW we look at the circumstances of life. What can we learn from them? If we take the bad with the good and learn from both, our lives are more fruitful and we become empowered to move forward.
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