Emotional abuse is still abuse

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It has taken me two years to realize the emotional abuse I endured through my marriage.  It started early prior to being married when he plainly explained to me that it was inappropriate for me to have male friends…..  It’s not right for a christian wife.  I was so charmed by his sweetness, caring for me, and his gentleness toward me, I obliged.  It was about ten years before I ever saw some of my friends again.  When we would take vacations, they were based around his fishing or hunting.  I was left behind with the children while he was able to go enjoy himself in his hobby.  I was expected to enjoy it.  And when I struggled (as all mom’s do), my stress was not accepted…. it was actually condemned, which only made me more anxious inside.  I tried so hard to give him everything that a good christian wife would, I was losing me.  It started out slow….  But little by little over the years I became a panicked, anxious, person so scared to do things wrong…. which truly only had me doing things wrong because I wigged out easily.  Food was cooked his way, or he just wouldn’t eat.  I can remember hurting my mothers feelings because she cooked the meat wrong and I knew he wouldn’t like it.  Another time I was panicked with his mother for taking over a dish in the kitchen that I knew he was the only one that cooked in my house.

Prior to us dating I did not drink alcohol.  Slowly through the years I became a daily alcohol drinker.  The quantity of alcohol I consumed in a week was incredible.  I hid my sorrows in alcohol.  I found my joy with him during periods of alcohol.  When he left me and then later got his DUII, I promised to take one year off of alcohol.  It started out to support him, but I later realized it was for me.  I now enjoy a drink occasionally, but that is it.

He never laid a hand on me.  Not ever.   But he did smack my heart down more times than I can count.  He abused me from the inside.  We very rarely had fights.  Probably throughout or entire marriage there were less than a handful of fights.  But when we did it was generally around a discussion of “what about me”  I knew deep inside that something wasn’t right, but I didn’t know how to express it appropriately.  And honestly, looking back, there was no appropriate way to discuss it with someone of this nature.   Then when he left me after 9 years of marriage he said some of the ugliest things…. “I haven’t loved you in years. You knew it was important to stay fit for me. I finally just gave up on you losing weight and slowly I didn’t care.  I need to get my son on the right track and I can’t do it here.  My parents don’t need me to turn them against you, they saw what you did to my kids with their own eyes”  This list can go on and on.  Hurtful words that were only meant for one purpose, to put me down, to take control.  He voices his opinion now regarding me taking his kids away from him.  I find this odd considering they are right here and I have had to beg him in the past to see what his plans are with them.  His kids on the other hand, he has kept from me.  My son feels it is best to sneak here.

I’m not saying we weren’t happy.  We were very happy. He was my best friend.  I didn’t even realize it was an abusive relationship or hurting me.  He was just incredibly controlling.  And if things didn’t go his way, he handled it in such a way that it put me down.  If he gained, he was charming and treated me so wonderfully.  By the time he left he had me believing that it was totally normal for a husband to complain about his wifes weight… and it was my responsibility to stay fit for him.  If he hadn’t left me I would still be married to him wondering about my self worth, easily panicking, and yelling at times.  I am not saying I agree with divorce.  Even with looking back and knowing all I do now, I still disagree with it.  Instead, I prefer to realize how much healthier my life is now.  I now see that I deserve something better.  I used to walk around in fear mode.  Trying to keep everything perfect.  Afraid I would panic or lose it.  I honestly can’t tell you when the last time I panicked or lost it was.  My temper and anxiety seemed to walk out the door the same day he did.  My heart breaks for the marriages he is ruining right now for his own personal gain.  They don’t see it because like me, they are so wrapped up in the charm.  But from the outside, I see it.

I wrote this December 12, 2015.  While I am digging deep on what peace is, this girl that I was speaks to me heavily.  This is who I was. This was my life.  I don’t ever want to forget that, because it is a deep part of who I am now.  Why I make choices I do now.  This man, I loved with everything.  I gave him some of my hardest years raising our four small children (but the best memories). Then he left saying some of the harshest things I could imagine being told.  The man I trusted, the man that brought me so much peace with a future, turned into one of the most painful people in my life.

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