My first husband was mentally and physically abusive and had a sexual addiction problem. I knew before we married about a family history of abuse. Once before our marriage, he threatened to kill us both in the car. I thought his behaviour would change once he moved away from his family, and for a very short time it did.
Before I gave birth to our first child, twice he again threatened to kill us in the car. After I gave birth, his mental abuse of manipulation, questioning my fidelity and stalking me escalated. After the birth of our second child, his sexual addiction was ignited and he began a series of affairs. Depression robbed me of my ready smile.
It was like walking on eggshells, but I loved him.
His continual physical abuse ceased the day he belted me so hard I lost partial hearing in one ear and then he raped me. Afterward he felt remorseful and I was grateful for the cessation of physical abuse. Within months, I saw my children withdraw from their father.
In the final futile weeks I remained with him, I narrowly stopped him from a sexual advance on our daughter, and watched in horror as he threw a knife at our son.
How I coped
I spoke up for myself and pointed out that his behaviour was intolerable. I began undertaking activities to relax myself such as going to the gym, swimming and learning meditation techniques.
How the situation changed
My children and I all survived and undertook counselling after I demanded my husband leave the house for good and I began divorce proceedings one year later.
I spoke with a psychologist who was a work colleague at the time. He encouraged me to understand that I had a lot to offer, and that I should no longer accept manipulation, physical abuse, and intimidation.
What I would say to someone who is being abused
It’s easy to say “GET OUT”, but I know what it feels like wanting to give a fifth, sixth, and seventh chance. There is a song that Brian Cadd recorded in the 70s and its integral words were: “If it hurts to say his name, then baby let go.” It’s as simple as that. You deserve to be happy, loved and fulfilled.
It took me a lot of false starts, but eventually I stepped out of an abusive relationship. I am now re-married and enjoying every minute of what a real marriage should be. Don’t waste another minute of your life trying to change an abuser.
Please, anyone out there presently in any form of abusive relationship, once a guy behaves in an abusive way more than a few times, it’s not just a mistake brought on by his own stresses. Take that step and move on before it’s too late. Such a decision can be hard but taking a positive step to free yourself is certainly worth it. You will need time to heal the hurt, but over time you will feel like yourself again. Make sure you go out with friends after a break up, as this will only do you good.