Shawn decided to pursue his master's degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I guess I pictured this experience as church camp. It turned out to be a very dry desert for our marriage.
Shawn was working full time and attending school as well. I was staying home with our children. We had three in as many years. I was thankful that God had healed our infertility, but raising babies alone in a town far from family was not an easy task. We were poor beyond words. I was standing in line every week to get free food for my babies.
Shawn was rarely home, and when he was he was more and more withdrawn. When he came home, he wanted to sit in his chair and be left alone. His expectations became more unreasonable. I could not keep house clean enough, or make the children be good enough, or be beautiful enough to earn his love.
He became angry easily, and I couldn't predict what would make him upset. Therefore I lived in fear that the next thing I did would be the thing that would make him angry.
Our life in the bedroom that had always been the best part of our marriage even began to suffer. He was not with me - even when he was with me. He was demanding, withdrawn emotionally, and I felt used and discarded.
I decided that if even a man in the ministry couldn't love me, that I must be very unworthy indeed. I spiraled into seasons of horribly dark depression, often with thoughts of suicide.
I hoped that a change of scenery might help. We moved to Pottsboro, Texas in 2001. A new home did not fix our broken marriage. I was frustrated, but did not feel justified in leaving. I was stubborn enough to stay. I could not figure out what was wrong. I did not understand that my husband was wrestling with a monster that was destroying us all.