Life was pretty good for me. I was successful at most everything I tried, even if to varying degrees. I enjoyed trying new things, admitted when it wasn't "my thing" and learned what I loved: church life, reading, writing, drama and being outdoors.
I went away to college feeling adverturous, confident and enthusiastic. It was great! I was somewhat stymied by the constrictive rules of the private school I was attending, but made such great friendships and had such fun. I encountered a different type of religion than I had encountered before, I learned even more so how to discern for myself what I knew as truth.
In my second year of college, I became engaged after a short but thrilling courtship. I was nineteen years old, life was perfect.
However, I began to open my eyes to some of my finance's flaws, or to admit he actually had them. He lied to me about things that didn't matter. He was possessive of my time. He was jealous of other interests. He insisted on being my number one focus and asked me to prove it to him by giving up other things and people that I loved. Our arguments increased and I asked him for a break to determine what I really wanted. After three days he began intrusive behaviors of standing outside my dorm room watching my window, leaving smashed 'love songs' on my car, calling repeatedly, etc.
I didn't want a broken engagement. I loved this man but I did not love the way he was behaving. After repeatedly asking him to leave me alone to try and sort out my feelings, he would not and I broke our engagement. It was devastating for me and felt like failure.
Two years later, I was dating that same man again. An additional three years later, I married him. I cannot say that I didn't see red flags of warning. I naively thought he would get better with time and that his insecurities would improve with successful experiences. I am a fiercely loyal woman who believed he would choose to be better for our family. He was unable to do so. I don't blame him, I can't say I was completely shocked. God had given me what I needed to make choices. I simply did not know how far his insecurities would lead him into damaging our relationship and me.