Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt

Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781414367385
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 06/01/2013
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 333,500
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Christi Paul is an award-winning journalist and national weekday news anchor for CNN's HLN and TruTv's In Session. In her eight years at CNN, she has covered a wide variety of stories, including two presidential elections, the Virginia Tech shootings, the Casey Anthony murder trial, the Warren Jeffs polygamy trial, and the Conrad Murray trial. She has also interviewed such noted figures as Senator John McCain, Reverend Jessie Jackson, former drug czar Barry McCaffrey, actresses Jane Seymour and Patricia Heaton, bestselling author Marianne Williamson, and musicians Keith Urban and Jim Brickman, among others. An accomplished singer, Christi has performed the National Anthem for the Cleveland Indians, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Atlanta Braves, the Atlanta Thrashers, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. She has also performed onstage with Grammy-winning artists Richard Marx and David Foster. This spring Christi became an ambassador for Liz Claiborne's Love Is Not Abuse campaign, which aims to teach teenagers about dating violence and help them make healthy relationship decisions. She also serves on the board of Safe Kids Georgia and is an ambassador for the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation. Christi lives in Atlanta with her husband, Pete, and their three daughters.

Read an Excerpt

Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt

a memoir

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Christi Paul
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-6737-8

Chapter One


Dear God, what have I done?

Of all the things I dreamed of feeling on the day I got married, that was not one of them.

I know. I should have been more honest with myself. By that point in my life I had sat through my share of weddings. If I had lined them up to see how many unions had survived, I'd say I was looking at a 50/50 split—half of the marriages were still going strong, and half had already crumbled. I was a big talker back in the day, too, often proclaiming, "I don't care if I'm standing at the end of the aisle in my dress with everyone seated and ready to go. If it doesn't feel right, I'm not walking down that aisle!"

But that's exactly what I did. Standing at the back of the church, just before the doors opened, with my father by my side, I said, "Dad ... you'll always be the number one man in my life." I looked at him, and he was fighting back tears. Thinking back on the day now, I wonder if it was simply because he was facing that moment a father dreads most—giving his daughter away—or if there was more to it. If he, too, was scared. If he knew that this was not how things should be.

It should have been a warning sign to me that when I told him he'd always be the number one man in my life, I truly meant it. You'd think that as I was getting ready to say, "I do," I should have been pledging that spot to my new husband. Or that I wouldn't feel the need to "number" people at all—that I could love both of them without categorization. But, truth be told, the man I was walking toward was not someone who made me feel safe or cherished or authentically loved. I think I just convinced myself of that for as long as I could because it was what I wanted to believe ... whether it was real or not. And in that moment, despite all my proclamations of "I'll never make that mistake," there I was, walking right into it.

In terms of logistics, everything else was perfect. My most treasured friends were there standing up for me, the church was filled with all the people who were important in my life, and my dear family friend and pastor, Roger Miller, had come back to town to perform the ceremony. I suppose those distractions were enough for me to gloss over the truth that was standing right in front of me.

Roger's message that day was haunting, though I didn't realize it for a few more years. He kept repeating, "Remember your roots. Remember the family you came from that loves you. Remember what makes you who you are.... Remember your roots." Maybe he knew too. Maybe he sensed this was not where God meant for me to be. Maybe the message was Pastor Roger's way of preparing me for the journey ahead ... and giving me some direction to guide me through it. But I'm sure even he had no idea how torturous the journey was going to be.

Of course I'd heard about women who lose themselves completely, who give everything they have to a man, allowing his life to take over. It never entered my mind that I could be one of them.

But in one walk down the aisle, I did just that. And I had no one to blame but myself. I chose it, even though I didn't realize I was doing it.

Isn't that how it always seems to work? One day you wake up, look around, and wonder, Where am I? Whose life am I living, and how did I get here? Little pieces of the real you keep flitting away in someone else's wind until the you that you've always known has disappeared. It happens so gradually you don't even notice it at first. I know I didn't.

* * *

A few weeks after the wedding, Justin and I were watching the video of our big day, and I found myself overwhelmed with shame and sadness. I tried to hide it, but I guess my heart was on my sleeve. I can be a darn good actress when I want to be, but the fact is, if I care deeply or if I'm hurt, it shows. My new husband noticed, and he didn't like it.

"What's wrong with you? You're not happy after watching our wedding?" he snapped.

But if you could see the tape, or if you had been at the wedding, you'd know why. It's impossible to ignore Justin's impatience blaring through each scene in the video—the stomping away from the altar when the photographer wanted to take a few more pictures of me alone, the rolling of his eyes when the DJ asked us to dance together again. At one point I heard someone in the background say something to the effect of, "It looks like Christi's initiating all the kissing." I was humiliated. What I had refused to acknowledge before was now right there on tape as evidence, and I couldn't ignore it.

At the beginning of our relationship I wrote off this impatience as simply Justin's personality. That's how he handled a lot of things in his life ... with eye rolling and a lot of huffing and puffing. But as the years went by, I had to acknowledge that maybe, in his heart of hearts, he didn't want this marriage after all. Maybe he only wanted me with him because he didn't want to be alone. Maybe he had his own insecurities to deal with. Maybe he wasn't ready to get married. Whatever the reason, I hurt for both of us.

I can't tell you how many times over the next five years I looked back on that day and asked myself, Where was I? I was strong! I was smart! I was independent! What alien took over my head and my heart, telling me, Yeah, walk down that aisle. Marry that guy! That's what you should do?

I knew when all was said and done, it wasn't only Justin's fault that we'd gotten married. I had made this choice. I'd said yes; I'd walked down the aisle; I'd spoken the words I do. And I'd lied to myself about it the whole time. I suppose I wanted to marry him so much that I allowed that desire to override all the trepidations and doubts I had.

But it took me a long time to own my part in it. What's important is that I finally did. Because until you acknowledge your contribution to a broken situation, you can't truly start to fix it.

There was a landfill full of rubbish I had to wade through before I was honest enough with myself to start making some sound decisions, though. Before I could find my way back to the real me—the person God had created me to be. At one point, it all literally brought me to my knees.

But on the night of my wedding, I laid my head down on a pillow, closed my eyes, and prayed, "God, be with us." Quite frankly, I didn't have any other words.


Excerpted from Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt by CHRISTI PAUL Copyright © 2012 by Christi Paul. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xv

Prologue xix

Chapter 1 Remember Your Roots 1

Chapter 2 When You Lose, Don't Lose the Lesson 7

Chapter 3 Being Angry Doesn't Give Anyone License to Be Cruel 19

Chapter 4 The Most Important Things in Life Aren't Things 45

Chapter 5 People Can Say Something in a Second That Takes Years to Heal 45

Chapter 6 Keep the Faith 69

Chapter 7 Refuse to Play Small 83

Chapter 8 You Are Equipped with the Courage You Need 97

Chapter 9 Never Underestimate the Power of Forgiveness 117

Chapter 10 Pain Is Temporary; How Temporary Is Up to You 137

Chapter 11 In the Silence, Find Your Strength 147

Chapter 12 Don't Let Yesterday Waste Today 165

Chapter 13 Be Still and Know 181

Chapter 14 You Never Run Out of Chances with God 181

Chapter 15 Your Worth Is Intact, Right Now 203

Chapter 16 God Has No Limits 213

Chapter 17 You Can Be Grateful and Still Want More 227

Chapter 18 Guard Your Thoughts; What You Think, You Become 235

Chapter 19 Failure Is the Opportunity to Begin Again 241

Epilogue 247

Letter to Readers 253

Appendix 1 Let s Get Real: The Exercises 259

Appendix 2 Help for Those Experiencing Abuse 273

Appendix 3 Red Flags That May Indicate Abusive or Potentially Abusive Behavior 275

Appendix 4 Help for Friends and Family of the Abused 277

About the Author 279

What People are Saying About This

Nancy Grace

Life can place seemingly insurmountable obstacles in our paths, and it certainly does not go according to “our plan.” This one thing, however, is true: God has a plan, even when we don’t. Christi’s book is a wonderful guide to overcoming those obstacles and living the life we are meant to live.

Daryn Kagan

Christi Paul truly shows the world what’s possible! She bravely shares her journey of making big mistakes, taking responsibility, and creating the life she always dreamed of. If you ever wanted to believe it’s possible to move past someone else’s limited vision for your life, then this book is for you!

Jane Seymour

I’m a big believer in living with an open heart. Christi’s stellar writing and brutal honesty bring you into her pain and invite you to come with her on a journey that proves, whatever your faith, we all have what we need to conquer our fears.

Cheryl Burke

It takes a lot of courage to overcome the pain and anguish of emotional abuse—and even more to write about it. Thank you, Christi. I have no doubt it will encourage people to find their strength. Every woman should read this book!

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Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Lily_Black More than 1 year ago
Christi Paul has always been one of my favorite anchors on HLN, so when I heard she was writing a book I knew I had to read it. I am very much a reader, but only now and then do I come across a book that I simply can't bear to put down. Christi's book is definitely a prime example. It's almost as if you are reading a friend's journal or having a conversation with them. She connects with her readers in a way that most authors can only dream of doing. Most inspiring is the story of how her faith and relationship with God got her through her darkest times. Even if you haven't suffered in the same manner of abuse that Christi has, anyone can find a nugget or two that they can use to relate to their circumstances. When I was in high school, I was verbally and emotionally abused by many of my classmates, mostly just because I was just different. I'm quite sensitive to things other people say about me, so it didn't take long for me to internalize their words and begin to think that I was everything they said about me. I had no self-worth through most of high school and often beat myself down over the smallest things. I began cutting myself my freshman year as a way to deal with everything, and I also began to suffer from depression. In my darkest moment, I attempted to take my life in December of my senior year. With the help of my best friends, I was able to make it through. I'm 22 years old now and I've been clean from self-injury for about two and a half years, but everyday is still a battle for me. Christi's book helped to give me that jolt I needed to finally begin to fight back against everything I have believed about myself for so long. It also helped me rediscover my faith and my worth in God. Christi's words and advice that she gives in her book struck through me and straight into my heart. I've begun to abide by her words and the ways that she overcame her own struggles and, little by little, life is getting better for me. I had always admired Christi for her wonderful personality, but after reading her book, I admire her even more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you've ever dealt with emotional or verbal abuse, buy this book. If you know of someone else who has ever gone through it or you suspect they might be going through it, read this book. Buy a copy for them...if they will be receptive. Read it with your daughters and talk about it. This may also shed light to all of you that wonder 'why would she ever stay? or have said 'If I was treated like that, I wouldn't stand for it.' - You may reconsider after reading Christi's perspective.
Cat1CP More than 1 year ago
If you have ever been through a relationship involving abuse, physical or emotional, this is a must read. She shares her steps in healing including her counseling experiences. I bought copies for my mom and two sisters. I hope they find it as helpful as I have. I love how she shares her faith in God's love. Thank you so much! Cathy
Scissortail More than 1 year ago
I didn't know what to expect with this book. Maybe another tell-all autobiography. Oh, Christi is so painfully honest with where she was, what she was feeling, how her thoughts worked. The book has given me hope that I will start to feel again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a truly wonderful book, i can relate to so many of the emotions christy paul went through an it gives me hope for a bright future, regardless of people who hurt me in the past. Thanks for sharing christy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book tells the truth about living with verbal, emotional and physical abuse. Explains the shame that is associated with this type of life.
Pretend_Spoon More than 1 year ago
Let's be honest--it takes a lot of courage to write a story as personal as the one Christi Paul shared with us. I loved her openness and the religious overtones. My only complaint is it felt she was repeating herself sometimes or would get rambling at points; definitely did not break the book or keep me from reading and enjoying it. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thanks to christl pauls courage to tell her story-I was also married to an abuser, my own DREW PETERSON!! By the grace of god I also got away-God Bless you Christi-you have the strength of a lion and the heart of an angel!!! As far as Anonymous july 31,2012 are you her EX???
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I hate love she yelled
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Both pad in and lay ddown
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What an awesome book! If you are going through some pretty bad times in a relationship or feel that you are not worthy this is a great book to read. It lets you know you are worthy and God is there for you no matter what you are going through or how you may feel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you Christi Paul for writing this book. What I loved most about it is your compassion for those women who have been crippled by emotional abuse. If you have never been in this situation you cannot understand the difficult steps it takes to leave and heal from the wounds of abuse especially from someone you love. It is like a beautiful house that has been struck by a storm. It is torn apart into a million pieces leaving you with the mess to sort out and you do not know where to begin. Thank you for guiding the brokenhearted to a Father who will build their house. Thank you for sharing your story with teenagers and those of us who have experienced this journey. And last of all thank God for new beginnings.
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