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My Relationship with an Abuser: Don’t Make My Mistakes

November 26, 2018

The worst thing in my life is that I was married to a man who emotionally destroyed me. Trends toward abusive behavior appeared even when we were dating. However, I still married him. I knew that he was terrible in anger, but I hoped that this would change over time or I would change myself and leave him. The situation cleared up when we began to live together. He came home after work and shouted at me for what I did wrong. Half an hour later, he was behaving as if nothing had happened, and I was confused. I literally walked on tiptoes because I was afraid that I would disappoint him. Once I could not stand it and told him that everything was over. I gathered my things and went to my friend. My husband called me, wrote touching messages and eventually persuaded me to go back. He swore that he would change, that he realized how much he had hurt me and that his behavior was unacceptable.

Don’t ever go back.

Of course, I gave in because we were not enemies, and we loved each other. At that time, it was just difficult for me to believe how cruelty could be hidden behind this bright feeling. I was back. He really changed for a while: he was gentle, caring, and even romantic. He never laid a hand on me, but the time spent together gave him the opportunity to come up with more sophisticated tactics of violence. He began to control me. He made all the decisions that concerned both of us, he never asked what I thought or wanted, and when I talked about this, he just ignored. Once I heard the following phrase, “I am the only man here, and it means that only I can set the rules and give orders. You must obey me, as you are my wife.” On the same day, I made an appointment with a psychotherapist. Thanks to therapy and communication with close people, I managed to find the strength to stand up for myself when my husband tried to take me down a peg. I was ashamed to complain, to tell my parents about my problems, and it was even scary to call any authorities which would help me as an abuse victim. Few people take seriously the issue of emotional abuse.

Don’t convince yourself that you had it coming.

When I talk about what happened, it sounds as if it was my fault, people can say, "You didn’t leave when you realized that your husband was a tyrant, you just endured." However, this is nonsense, isn’t it? Is it my fault that he treats people like things? Didn’t I deserve normal human happiness? What about him? How to be a person who constantly needs to control and humiliate other ones? I feel bad for my husband because I love him. When he faced resistance on my part, he offered to divorce. It was unbearable to realize that nothing could be fixed, but I agreed. It is terrible to remain alone, but it is even more terrible to live all my life in fear that one day his behavior will go beyond the limits. Everything can become even worse when there are children in such a family because they have to carry this burden too. These thoughts helped me leave forever. Now I live alone, I work and travel a lot to forget this nightmare, I am in search for a new meaning and impressions that could feed my soul.

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