Even if he doesn’t hit you 

Sometimes, there’s just no good way to start a story. And FYI, sharing things is fucking scary. But next to nobody reads this blog, so, here it is. 

Some abuse doesn’t seem like abuse. It seems like passion. Stop thinking Romeo and Juliette was a love story. They both died. It’s not really romantic. It’s horrible. But we’re raised to believe it’s wonderful. It means love. It’s hot. It’s exciting. It’s not. 

Believe it or not, ladies, men are far more sensitive than we are. I’m a mom of a teenage boy as well as a survivor of multiple types of abuse. I know full well that many of you will read this and laugh; shrug it off. You’ve found your prince. I’m just jaded.  Nope. I’m not. I’ve been there. 

He pursues you endlessly. If you’re already in a relationship, he tells you things like, “if you were my girl, I’d never leave you alone.” He sends flowers every day. He tells you how wonderful and amazing you are, even though he doesn’t really know you that well.

For whatever reason–not enough attention at home, needing to feel wanted: whatever….you believe him.

So, you end up marrying him because he gives you a ring. The other guys never did that. You were raised expecting a ring. He owed you that. And so, you accept. This may be your last chance. He’s done so much to show you he loves you; the flowers, the words, the ring. Yes, this guy wants to be a husband; he wants to have kids with you; he wants you with him forever.

Well, that’s love, right? Being together forever? Regardless of horrifying or depressing circumstances? You made vows….in front of families and in front of God. This is what you wanted, honey. If it all goes south after the big day, you should’ve known better.

So, you’ve been together a few years now and that great guy has started putting you down. It’s nothing blatant. Maybe you get a raise at work and he pats your head like a child and says, “That’s so cute! I love you, sweetie!” 

And after that, the better you do, the more abusive/controlling he is. He never hurts or hits you physically. He just constantly belittles you and pulls back in his own career. You’re doing well. You may as well do it all and he can just relax and depend on you as he continues to put you down.

He picks weird fights; silly fights. He looks for reasons to be angry with you while continuing to be the most wonderful man in the world to everyone else. He starts telling other people he’s “worried about you”, “you seem to be having some emotional problems”. 

You isolate yourself because you know what he’s saying; you know his reputation in your neighborhood and among his co-workers. You’ve always taken care of him, your kids, and your home before worrying about what anyone else thought, so he’s got a leg up on you if you ever decide to share that he scares you.

People assume you’ve got it all together; you have a great job; you’re a great mom. By all appearances, you’re the perfect family. Telling anyone you aren’t leads to disbelief. You’re obviously going off the rails. He loves you. You have it all. Just stop complaining.

Meanwhile, he’s punching walls. He tells you how lucky you are to have him because nobody else could possibly love you. He breaks things. He tells you you can’t leave because he’ll surely end his life. You think keeping him around is best for your kids. Because you believe he’ll hurt himself. You believe he’ll hurt your kids, but you never really understood he might hurt you.

This is love. This is what it’s like. Passion. He loves you so much, he can’t bear to be without you. You’re a little scared but you ignore your instincts. He loves you so much! He’d never hurt you or your babies! You’re just being paranoid. He’s not such a bad guy.

And then, his insecurity and constantly telling him you love him isn’t enough anymore. You start to realize there’s nothing you can do to fix him. So, you try to get out. You are nice about it. “I just need to be alone and independent. I love you, but I just can’t be enough for you. I hope someday, someone can. Please just go on. Enjoy your life. Let’s be friends.”

But he can’t. He takes it as a personal failure–likely one of many he’s never talked about because he wanted you with him–he always put on the best face. 

He realizes he’ll never be good enough (only in his own mind), and he knows you can do better than him (because you can). Rather than loving you enough to see you be happy, in his twisted mind, he loves you enough to not allow you to be with anyone else. 

You know he’s unstable, but you still love him. You try to be nice and finally, he leaves. You breathe a sigh of relief and you’re now wiser. You know the signs and what to look for, but more than anything, you just want to enjoy living with your kids without fear. He’s been gone a while and everything is looking up. Work is great. You’ve reached out to your friends and family and just started sharing a little of the story with them. 

One day, he calls you. He’d just like to come back and pick up his things. He’s doing ok. He just needs to stop by for a few minutes and you agree. When he gets there, he makes some small talk, asks how you are, asks about the kids. You ask if he’d like to sit down for a bit and talk. You’d prefer to part on good terms. As you’re talking, he says, “remember you said until death do we part?” You are terrified, but you answer “yes.” He says “we’re going keep that promise.” Then he reaches into his pants, pulls out a gun and shoots you once in the chest. You look at him shocked.  You think of your kids, the life you could have had; you think you won’t get out of this alive. Then, he puts the gun to your head and pulls the trigger. Afterward, he puts the gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger. He never loved you.

And the newspaper only says “no history of domestic violence in apparent murder-suicide.” Some men don’t hit. They just kill.

Love is caring enough for someone to want to see them happy even if it’s not with you.  Trust your gut. If you must, arm yourself. If you don’t want to arm yourself (and I don’t), meet in public.  And if you’re afraid,  get help and get out. 

5 thoughts on “Even if he doesn’t hit you 

  1. I saw this on the everyday feminism website comment section.
    Hits home.
    I want to share with you a poem I wrote approximately 5 years before finally leaving my abusive and toxic marriage. (I’m finding all of this stuff a little triggering but also feeling the need to face it as I am in a place where I can be stronger now)
    It’s been two years since I left. The best decision I’ve ever made. I have myself back now.

    https://courageinfrench.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/if-i-was-in-lov/

    Like

    1. I’m happy you got out. I’ve seen two stories just in the last week where the wives were not as fortunate as we are. And the headline read, “no history of domestic violence”. I’m on my phone. Will check out your poem from a PC. Thanks for sharing it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I do not comment, but I read a lot of comments on this page Even if
    he doesnt hit you  | Stuff nobody says. I do have 2 questions for you if you don’t mind.
    Could it be just me or do some of the remarks come
    across as if they are written by brain dead individuals?
    😛 And, if you are posting at other social sites, I would like to
    keep up with you. Would you post a list of every one of your shared sites like your linkedin profile,
    Facebook page or twitter feed?

    Like

  3. Howdy! This article could not be written any better!
    Looking through this article reminds me of
    my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this.
    I’ll forward this information to him. Fairly certain he’ll have a very good read.

    Many thanks for sharing!

    Like

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