Written by Evi Idoghor
I watched a movie called a woman scorned on YouTube over the weekend. The film was based on a true story and was released in the early 1990s. The plot revolves around a woman and her husband, who have four children. They appeared to be an ordinary American family until you discovered that the man was a top-tier lawyer who specialized in medical malpractice. They had everything they desired and were living in a mansion. Things began to fall apart when the husband hired a 19-year-old legal assistant.
She was half his wife's age, tall, blonde, and as beautiful as a portrait. When he hired her at the drop of a hat, she must have sent shivers down his spine. His other employees were envious of his favorable treatment of her. It wasn't long after that that she began to irritate Mrs. Top Shot Lawyer. She walked into his office unannounced one day and was greeted by his secretary, who was happy to inform her that they had gone out to lunch. Lunch ke? What is my forty something year old husband doing at lunch with a soon to be twenty-year-old? She must have pondered.
She then decided to sit and wait for them, drifting off into a dream world for hours before being jolted awake by the darkness that swirled around her. She returned home and awaited his return with his clothes soaked in gasoline in a pile outside their house. When he came back, she set fire to them because he was quick to lie through his teeth. This was one of her many erratic episodes, especially after he filed for divorce.
It's difficult when someone abandons you or when someone you thought you'd spend the rest of your life with turns around and spits in your face. Most people react to this type of betrayal by acting erratically, demonstrating that there is a fine line between love and crase.
This made me wonder how relationships that begin so wonderfully end up in such places. How do two people who swear they will spend the rest of their lives together end up hating each other? It's as if they've forgotten the vows they made at the altar. "For better or worse," gets tossed in the trash can, and people leave at the first sign of discomfort. "My wife has gained some weight, and I no longer find her attractive, so I'll leave with another." "My husband recently lost his job and is no longer able to maintain the lifestyle he once provided for me, so I have lost all respect for him - I'm out." "This relationship is no longer serving me; there must be a better option out there."
No one wants to work, no one wants to be open and vulnerable, no one wants to sacrifice, no one wants to be devoted. People enter a covenant that is meant for two people and act like they are the only ones who matter – it is not supposed to be so.
So, what happens when you face a betrayal? How do you pull yourself together when someone inflicts unimaginable pain on you? Before we may be tempted to act out of control, we should remember that we have a God who is always there for us. During a betrayal, we may not be able to understand why we must go through what we are experiencing, but God knows everything.
Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-29, “come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Acting erratically wouldn’t give you the comfort that you need, only Jesus can. Always speaking badly about them would not provide you with the relief that you desire, only Jesus can. You cannot afford to lose your sanity because a man betrayed you, it is not the end of the world. I think the reason why we feel so hurt when things break off, is because most of the times, we have made our partners our be all and end all.
I didn't realize I was codependent until I was in my last relationship. His happiness was my happiness, and when he wasn't in the best of moods, it affected me terribly. In a woman scorned, the actress who played the real-life woman advised that women (and men) should have a life apart from their partners. Choose an activity that you enjoy and that benefits both you and those around you. Find ways to serve and, most importantly, rely on God rather than your partner, especially in dating relationships, to avoid losing yourself.
When you are codependent, your value and self-worth is usually tied to the other person and what they think about you. If they think the world of you, then you are on top of it. If you find out that they no longer find you attractive, that devastates you and your self-esteem is no where to be found. Men will stain your white, people will disappoint you; even your children, but you must know who you are to be able to weather the storms when they present themselves.
I've had a number of failed relationships, and each time, these men took a portion of my self-esteem with them. As a result, I was unsure of who I was. I didn't think I was attractive or intelligent enough. It's no surprise that I clung to anyone who came into my life and said they wanted to be with me. While I recognize that my codependent nature contributed to some of the issues that arose in my relationships, introspection in this last one drove me to learn how to love myself, speak up for myself (even outside of my relationship), and appreciate the gifts God had blessed me with.
So, when something unflattering was said to me, I began confessing Psalm 139:1-18, which describes how God created us on purpose. Verse 14 says, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” David seemed to be beating himself on the chest as he said the last verse – God your works are wonderful, I am one of them.
If there was anyone in the Bible who had experienced abandonment, betrayal, the consequences of sin, and feeling low, it was King David. And he expresses all of those feelings in a way that we can understand. The Psalms also show how loving, comforting, and big God is. It demonstrates that we serve a big God who is not too big to come down to our level and comfort us when we are in need. We serve a God who is so vast, yet he can empathize with our human experience and offer us peace amid turmoil. Psalm 65 says about our God, “…who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples…”
Confessing Psalm 139 gave me the confidence boost I needed, so that when rejection finally came, it wasn't as devastating as it would have been if I hadn't brought God into the equation.
Related Post: Codependency is Bad For Your Relationship
If you're going through heartbreak, surround yourself with people who care about you - for me, it was family and friends who called to see how I was doing and didn't want me to be alone.
Surround yourself with people who can remind you of who God created you to be, who will tell you - don't worry about what so and so says, you are beautiful, loved, strong, and smart. Those who can remind you of your accomplishments and your future goals.
To help the scorned woman move forward, a good friend had to remind her of her beauty and what she had accomplished in her life. People may not see your worth, and it may be painful, but you must be strong enough to believe that your life has value, you must search the scriptures to discover what it says about you, and convince yourself that God's word takes precedence over what anyone else believes about you - they are viewing you through a tainted lens anyway.
Before you allow someone to steal your sanity, remember that there is a God in heaven who is always ready to provide you with all the help, love, companionship, peace, and anything else you need. He will heal your heart, but it may take some time - give it time.
I am still in the process of healing. There are times when a thought comes to mind that tries to bring me down, but I remind myself of Jesus' words in Isaiah 61, “…He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives…to comfort all who mourn, to console all who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, oil of joy for mourning, garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…” And this gives me hope that Jesus can and will completely heal me.
It is unavoidable that men will stain your white, but I am grateful that we have a God who will wash us as white as snow.
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For Further Reading
Codependency is Bad For Your Relationship
Why You Should Communicate Expectations Early in Your Relationship
An Honest Conversation About Sex
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