I just got off the phone with a friend who is struggling with the same struggles I had two years ago... An unfaithful husband addicted to filth and being caught in the snare those snakes seem to be able to tie us up into.
It is called "Battered Wife Syndrome" and you don't have to be hit to suffer from it. The first time my counselor told me I had Battered Wife Syndrome I was shocked. He never hit me, but upon looking at the way he treated me, talked to me, or didn't talk to me, I was able to see that what my counselor was telling me was the truth. He was manipulative and controlling. He wove his words in such a way as to make me appear to be responsible for his bad behavior. He battered me with his words, with his lies and with his secrets. He showered me with guilt, that somehow I had failed as a wife and if I had of been a better wife, he wouldn't be behaving badly. And... that if I did better at my job he would be able to do better at his. This lie kept me hanging onto him, that somehow I held the key to him being a good husband.
As I spoke with my friend, who was reaching out to me for help, I kept a prayer in my heart to be able to say the right thing. After nearly half an hour it came to me... I asked her "Are you reading your scriptures every day?".
During my ordeal with my second husband I struggled so much. I loved him, I couldn't see my life without him. Yet he was clearly living his life without me. I went to my bishop over and over seeking help, strength, and answers. One day he asked me that question "Are you reading your scriptures every day?"
My answer was "no", I found it so hard to want to. In fact, the scriptures had no life to me. I couldn't relate. They were just words in a book that bored me to sleep. I had been praying to be able to have the desire to read them, but I did not feel the desire was there yet.
My bishop challenged me to read every day, without fail. He promised me that if I did, the strength and the answers I was seeking would be there. He also promised me that the Lord would change my heart towards the scriptures if I put forth the effort and did my part.
I started reading that night. I actually started putting my scriptures on my bed and leaving them there, so I would see them in the morning when I woke up and at night when I laid back down.
Seeing my scriptures as often as I did helped. I didn't have to remember because they were right there to remind me. As I made reading a part of my daily routine, my heart changed. I started enjoying my reading, then I began to love the scriptures. I found it hard to close them and start my day.
I also found the strength to leave, to trust God would take care of me. I may have had to move an awful lot, but all along the way I know the Lord was with me. I always had a home.
Since that day I have read almost every day. I really feel it when I don't, and after today I was reminded of this. This is probably the single most important fact as to those days I find myself depressed... I have to ask myself "Have you read your Scriptures today?"
The answer is always "no".
As I spoke with my friend today I realized something. The answer to overcoming Battered Wife Syndrome, at least for me, was and is, to read my scriptures every day. In the scriptures comes strength to say "no" to him. Strength to walk away, strength to trust in God. The answers come, the fear subsides. In the scriptures is a peace that cannot be duplicated by anything any man may have to offer.
This promise my bishop gave to me will apply no only to Battered Wife Syndrome, but also to any problem life may throw at us or any heartache we are struggling to overcome.
So I present this question to you... "Have you read your scriptures today?"
I promise, it makes a difference.
6 months ago