Meridith Lee Photography
is  based in beautiful
Jackson, MS.

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The Beauty of Vulnerability: Part Seven

Home Life

First Marriage – disappointment, verbal abuse, rape and depression

My first marriage had the outward appearance of a fairy tale, but that was far from the truth. I was trapped in bondage of guilt, shame, and self-condemnation. I looked to my husband for affirmation and was belittled and beat down with words. The guilt and shame would come rushing in when we had sex. I would cry almost every time, overwhelmed by these feelings. I continued to withdraw more and more.

Six months into our marriage I vividly remember my husband pushing me onto the bed and holding me down as he forced himself on me. Throughout the rest of our marriage he would simply wait for me to fall asleep and I would wake up in the middle of what should be an act of love and intimacy. As the years went on I slipped deeper and deeper into depression.

Alcohol and the affair

I believed that it was up to me to pull myself up by my bootstraps. I began making myself get out and do things with my husband, which meant spending time on the back of his Harley and going to bars and bike rallies. I believed it was ok because I was hanging out with the Christian Motorcycle Association folks… at least part of the time.

I remember one night at a bar with a group of our biker friends. One of the girls bought a round of tequila shots. I had never taken a shot of anything at this point and had only been drunk a couple of times on accident, never intentionally. As she pressured me to take the shot with the group, my husband glared at me with anger and said no. A defiant spirit rose up in me and I looked him in the eyes as I took that first shot. This would be the first time I set out to intentionally get drunk.

As I got to know some people and began to become comfortable with the environment I began to enjoy it and decided I wanted to learn how to ride myself. Originally it was for the practical reason of wanting to be able to ride for help in case of an emergency, but as I began to learn to ride I discovered a new level of freedom I had never experienced before. I became hungry for more freedom. I gained confidence I hadn’t known in many years.

Within just a couple of months I bought my own bike, and a short six months later upgraded to a Harley Sportster 1200 Custom. Each taste of freedom feed a spirit of rebellion in me. I began to seek attention from inappropriate sources and inappropriate ways. I was so hungry for male attention and falsely believed that flirting was innocent as long as I didn’t act on it. I could receive the attention that I craved without sacrificing my illusion of purity.

As I got deeper into the darkness of biker culture I began to have men proposition me. The first time this happened my husband was standing next to me and it was a friend of his that simply said “hey, want to go have sex?” I was shocked as my husband simply laughed it off. The second time I was at the Harley shop and as usual my husband was not by my side. He would disappear and leave me on my own. One of the mechanics that I had befriended flat out asked me if I wanted to have an affair with him. I was shocked that he was serious. I said no, that I was a Christian and believed that sex outside of marriage was a sin. I told my husband of the conversation at my first opportunity. His response was punishment and control, no longer allowing me to go to the Harley Shop. In my anger I told him that what made me mad was that I was receiving attention from other men that I should be receiving from him. He again responded with more control.

Time went by and the tension between us continued to grow. As more and more guys paid attention to me, my confidence grew and I began to fight to be free of my husband’s control. In the end I made the conscious choice to have an affair for the sole purpose of ending my marriage. I knew just enough about the Bible to know that this was the only Biblical way out (definitely a distorted view of scripture) and I knew it was a point of no return.

Looking back I can see that I had strayed so far from what little knowledge that I had of God and was living only for myself. I was living a life of sin and not concerned about the consequences. I was relying on “cheap grace” believing that I could return to God when I was ready… but the truth is that I had no idea how much the Lord really loved me. In my fight for freedom I only found myself in greater bondage to sin. I was perfectly aware of my sin, what I needed was revelation of His overwhelming love for me! I needed to know that I hadn’t gone too far for Jesus to save me.

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