Enough is Enough
A few months ago, my right heel started bothering me. Forget about wearing cute sandals or pretty shoes. I wore my most comfortable tennis shoes, day after day for months.
It seemed like a good solution. I learned to manage the constant ache in my foot. I was doing exercises to strengthen my muscles, so I was attempting recovery. But one evening as I walked barefoot through my house, I realized this was not normal.
What I had been accepting as normal was not healthy and nowhere near ideal. I needed to get help. I decided to call the doctor the next day.
Dear reader, you are holding this book because at some point in your journey, you came to realize that your marriage was not normal, healthy, or anywhere near what marriage promised to be. You've tolerated pain. You've accepted criticism and hurt as normative. You've managed to continue in your responsibilities and your relationship with your children or extended family. But you can't continue much longer in your marriage the way it is. Something has to change.
My experience is writing marriage books like 31 Days to a Happy Husband and 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife. By no means do I consider myself equipped to address abusive relationships. But I know someone who is. My friend Dr. David Clarke has been counseling couples in crisis for more than thirty years. His Bible-based teaching and therapy have guided thousands of hurting men and women toward healthy lives, marriages, and families.
Before you dive into the book, let me warn you: Dr. Clarke is direct. You may even find some of his methods harsh and unorthodox. This is a good thing! You need someone like Dr. Clarke to open your eyes to new options and possibilities. Give him a chance and hear him out because his ideas really do work. The information in this book comes out of what has worked in his therapy office. This book is intensely practical, giving you a clear road map to follow, which is exactly what you need during this uncertain time in your life.
Maybe you know the Mary Poppins song, "A Spoonful of Sugar." The chorus says that "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." Humor is a big part of Dr. Clarke's personal life and professional practice. If you're going to do the hard work of salvaging a broken relationship, it helps to be invited to laugh once in a while. And believe it or not, you will find moments when you will laugh, even as you are reading about this difficult and tender topic.
It's not an accident or coincidence that you have found this book. God is seeking you out because He is so concerned about the hurt you are living with. It's time to get help and healing. What you are experiencing is not normal. But you have a way out, because Jesus is a Way-Maker. You're not alone.
May God bless you in the coming days as you learn how to leave an abusive relationship.
Speaker, podcast host, and author of Parents Rising