This post reveals what it’s like living with an abusive spouse. It’s written from a wife’s perspective about what happened in her marriage with her battering husband.
I should have left the first time he hit me. But I was afraid. We had just gotten back from our honeymoon and I couldn’t bear the scrutiny or shame I’d feel if I left my husband so soon. That would mean that I made a mistake. I wasn’t up for admitting that. I was so used to hiding and carrying my burdens alone that living with the abuse and keeping it secret seemed like my only option.
We were eating dinner one night, and we started to argue about something. I can’t remember what it was about. It was something like where to spend Christmas or how we were spending money. He became very upset and angry, and then, it felt as if with all his might, he back-handed me across the face.
I was stunned. It felt like my front teeth were loose and maybe would fall out. You know how when you really hurt yourself, it takes a few seconds to feel the pain? That’s what it was like. At first, no pain, then the throbbing. I held my mouth, and I couldn’t move my hand. I couldn’t move at all. I realized I was almost hyperventiling. I was crying, and then I tasted blood. It hurt so bad. The physical pain was bad, but the hurt I felt in my heart was agonizing. The man I married, the one who was supposed to protect and love me, just hit me with all his strength.
Ice stopped the bleeding, but it didn’t do much to stop the bruising, nor the sick feeling I had in my stomach.
After a short while, he apologized. He was strangely calm for being so upset a few minutes earlier. He tried to hug me and comfort me. I felt completely numb, emotionally. I pretended to let him hug me, but really, there was no comfort. I knew then that I was in big trouble and I felt that I had absolutely no way out of this. I did all I could to cover the bruises with makeup. But a woman at work noticed and asked me about it. I made up some lame story to cover it up. I don’t think she believed me, though. But she didn’t say anymore about it.
And thus began a sick, perverted, twisted marriage. After that incident, he was nice for awhile, but then I could feel the tension rising again. And then he’d explode again. But even during the “good” times when he wasn’t hitting me, twisting my arm, or pulling my hair, he had his ways of putting me down. He preferred the name “stupid bitch” or laughing at me or my family. He loved making fun of my family.
It’s unthinkable to me now that I was more willing to suffer quietly on my own, bearing the weight of shame that was wrongly placed on me, than I was to go through the embarrassment of a separation or divorce. But through God’s grace and trusting in His love and believing that He wanted me to be safe, I was, with his help, able to get free from this abusive, oppressive relationship. I’ve learned so much about myself and my relationships. I can honestly say now that I’m thankful for all I’ve been through because it’s made me who I am today. And I like who I am.
If you’ve experienced this kind of relationship, and you feel comfortable sharing a part of your story with us, please blog. We’d like to hear from you.