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“Just Hours Shy of Our Wedding, at 5 1⁄2 Months Pregnant, My Fiancé Assaulted Me. I Watched a 6’4 and 220lb Man Sit in the Fetal Position Berating Himself.”

Courtesy of Marissa Guilford

The years passed and I met a man who made me believe his words over his actions. I believed the heartfelt tears he would profess would lead him to become a better person. When I got pregnant, we believed we should get married because as ‘Christians’ it was the thing to do.

Just hours shy of our wedding, at 5 1⁄2 months pregnant, I was physically assaulted. As I watched my fiancé, 6’4 and 220 lbs, sit in the fetal position berating himself saying, ‘he did not know what was wrong with him,’ begging me to please forgive him and ‘he would never hurt me again,’ I thought, surely someone sobbing had to be remorseful. At that moment, we separated emotionally. I knew it was a lie, I could see the tortured soul he was and I knew it would happen again.

I somehow thought after all the Hollywood movies I fantasized about that the storyline they told would somehow prevail. Instead, what transpired was the breaking down of my spirit. I was the worst, most selfish person in his eyes. A bad mom, and an even worse human being for even having the desire to continue to fly.

The fact I had dreams of opening an air museum meant it really was selfish and self-serving. In an effort to stop the verbal and emotional abuse, I finally stopped dreaming the dream — and I put everything aviation-related in a box. It was the life of a girl from another place and time.

After multiple bruises, x-rays, hospital visits, police visits, drug abuse, and countless charges filed and dropped from mistakenly thinking it was the ‘right,’ and the forgiving thing to do, I would return. I’d go back. But that’s not how life is supposed to work. We are not made to go back but instead are made to go forward.

My faith and what I was led to believe, was a misunderstanding. I misunderstood forgiveness and safety. God never wants [h]is children to be emotionally or physically abused. I thought I was meant to forgive him for all the relapses on drugs, the physical abuse, verbal abuse, and even the cheating. So I did. I would go back again and again. I wish I could say it was just, ‘One day I woke up,’ but I didn’t.

Moving on was a very slow and gradual process. It was a process of slowly remembering my value and re-learning my self-worth that finally separated his actions from mine.

With three children ages four, three and a newborn girl, I filed for divorce. I thought doing that would free me immediately. Instead, what ensued was more than three years of court battles. It meant food stamps, food pantries and food boxes from church.

Instead of everyone for themselves, my kids and I ‘leaned in’ and bonded together as a team and became a tight-knit unit. For years, we all shared the same bed. What might have been seen as the darkest moments were instead the most memorable and precious because we never let them define us.

Chip and Joanna Gaines: 11 Godly Secrets to an Epic Marriage and Family

Chip and Joanna Gaines are teaching us important lessons about marriage and family as they walk away from their HGTV show for the sake of their family.

‘My abuser is here today’: Miss Kansas Uses Interview Portion of Pageant to Call Out Abuser Before Being Crowned

Miss Kansas 2024, Alexis Smith, has captured national attention not just for her beauty and charisma, but for her bravery in addressing a deeply personal and harrowing issue: domestic abuse.

Rory Feek Remarries 8 Years After Losing Wife Joey to Cancer

It's been 8 years since Rory Feek lost his wife, best friend, and music partner Joey Feek to terminal cancer. Now he's tying the knot again, this time, with daughter Indiana by his side.