Abuse by husband

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Abuse

Post  Rachael on Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:30 am

Dear B,
As a person who survived an abusive marriage of 10 years, I can say this: thank God, it's over!! Like you, I spent a lot of time wondering how I ever stayed so long. My son, now 13, witnessed the abuse on many occasions, so I know I didn't stay for his sake. It wasn't until I saw Billy, then two years old, also being abused, that I really became motivated to leave, and subsequently did so, making sure to gain full custody of Billy. I used to think my ex-husband brainwashed me. Now I think the word "brainwashed" gave my ex too much power and didn't allow me to take responsibility for my part of the equation. Maybe I had some perceived need to be "the victim" for a time, meaning, I didn't want to have to make any decisions or plans for the future.. I am not sure. I think that I may have stayed, also, because a part of me was too stubborn to accept the huge mistake I had made. After all, how could I face my family and admit that I should have listened to them in the first place? How could I face my friends, whom I had alienated so completely? I do know that I allowed him to chip away at my self-esteem and control every aspect of my life until I truly believed that I did not have the intelligence or capability to function without him.
These days, there are posters and public service announcements and support groups and pamphlets describing the signs and symptoms of abuse for the maddeningly large number of abused women in this country, and it becomes easier by degrees to break the cycle of violence, find the resources to leave, and start building a healthy and happy "after-life". Perhaps if society started to focus on the clues and indications of a potential abuser, women would be better informed during the courtship process and could avoid becoming involved with these types of men from the start!
Most important, B: please forgive yourself completely! and feel proud that you found the strength to leave, however long it took.
The best to you and yours,
oldersister Rachael

Rachael
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Abuse by husband

Post  Br8790 on Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:28 am

As someone who was in an abusive marriage for 11 years, why is it so hard to leave the relationship? I know the children and being afraid have a lot to do with it but what else. After 8 years of being divorced, I don't understand why I stayed married to him for so long.
B

Br8790
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