"Well...don't provoke him," the pastor's wife said when she asked for prayer, looking for guidance, explaining the fear and confusion over his growing volatility toward her.
"You know...sometimes things get out of hand. Next time, maybe just take a walk, until things cool down between the both of you," was the first response she ever heard, from the assistant pastor--that time she felt afraid because he threw something at her...then pulled the phone cord out of the wall so she couldn't call anyone for help.
The moment he started telling his side, she knew there was nothing she could say otherwise. She sat on the corner of the couch across the room from both of them, staring at the floor, fighting the tears as they laughed lightheartedly, changing the subject. Defeated.
The "non-believer" told her, "Yah, just get the f*** out!" By then though, she was
These were pivotal points, defining moments, in her marriage and life when she reached out. She was looking for help, not condemnation. She didn't need more guilt, shame and blame.
She was young, impressionable and lacking any confidence she had come into the marriage with. What did she know? She didn't even know what abuse was--as she obviously couldn't recognize it as it was happening to her. That's not something that would or could happen to her. She wasn't the type of person something like that happens to. She would never be involved with someone like that.
How many times does it need to be said, to be taken seriously? How early does a concern need to be voiced, before it is believed? Obviously, if it was that bad, she would have left, or at least mentioned it, sooner. Of course.
How bad is that bad?
One time, she did go the police. However, the threat she reported was not accompanied by an actual plan as to how that threat would be accomplished...so there was nothing they could do. Years later, a plan would be admitted, verbalized. She was too shocked to do anything. Like all those who had dismissed her voice, she was now just like them. She discounted her own voice and concerns. Her own brain had bought into all the other voices.
The loudest voice, smiling when he spoke gently now, "You know I didn't mean it. People say things like that when they are mad."
No. People don't sometimes lose control.
No. It has nothing to do with respecting a husband or not.
No. A lack of self control needs no provocation.
But don't make him look bad. This is a private matter.
Yes, yes it was a private matter. Perhaps that's exactly why it happened.