Laura’s Signs of Being Abused
Prior to my relationship/marriage to this man, I had been in a 5-year relationship that was emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive so I had already been “introduced” to abuse.
Laura’s Emotional Signs of Abuse
Laura’s Story of Abuse
I had been in a 5-year relationship before my current marriage that was emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive. The reason I put “shocked” as one of the three emotions evoked by my current abusive situation is because the guy I dated for 5 years (from age 14-19) was my husband’s best friend.
My husband may not know the extent or exact details of the abuse from his friend but he does know that our relationship was tumultuous, unhealthy, and that there was physical abuse. He probably doesn’t know that his friend
- punched me in the mouth,
- pulled my hair,
- drug me around by my feet,
- kicked me,
- shoved me,
- broke my head through the bottom of a door,
- stepped on my face,
- called me every name in the book
- and told to kill myself (among other things)
But I can honestly say that my husband knows that there was – at least – some form of physical abuse going on.
I finally broke things off for good with my high school boyfriend at the beginning of my last summer home (before I was planning to move to college in the fall). I’m not going to get into any more details with my past relationship but things ended for good with him when he took his own life. My world turned upside and it is still one of the most painful things I have ever gone through.
A year after his death, I bonded with his best friend as we shared the loss of a close friend. We literally sat up and talked all night until the sun came up. At that time, I was lonely and he was lonely as well (or so he said). After this night, we began to talk over the phone as we didn’t live in the same city but we shared all the same friends so we saw each other once or twice a month out with friends. We formed a relationship with one another and became intimate.
The first or second time we slept together, I became pregnant. So we didn’t make sure we formed a solid relationship before we became pregnant. I believe we were both still very much in lust with one another at this point so we both were confident everything would work out for the best.
He proposed while I was still pregnant and I still recall even two weeks into our relationship (before we even knew we were pregnant) he dropped the “L” word and wanted to talk about marriage. He charmed my socks off! I had never been with someone so kind, loving, respectful, and sweet to me. He complimented me, built me up, made me feel so amazing and lucky.
I can’t pinpoint when the verbal abuse actually started but I can recall some comments made shortly after I gave birth to our daughter. He said, “The guys at work warned me this is what would happen after you had our baby” about my postpartum depression I experienced after delivery. This is when I first noted an insensitivity to my feelings.
Instead of being understanding of what I was going through with the crazy hormonal changes from pregnancy and delivery he called me things like psycho, crazy, or bitch and would just write me off with, “You have issues.”
Our daughter is now 3, and I no longer use birth control because I feel it has adverse affects on my mood, mind, body, and health. I have been off birth control for 8 months and feel SO much better but this hasn’t changed my husband’s cruel words to me during our fights. He still says things like
- “You’re a psycho”
- “You need help”
- “You have issues”
- He’s called me a cunt so many times I can’t even keep track anymore and the saddest part is that
- he’s called me these names and said these hurtful things in front of our daughter.
I am so aware that this is verbal abuse that I chose to control myself in the heat of it all (when we argue and he goes for the stinging words). I don’t ever retaliate by calling him names back or saying hurtful things to get back at him. I honestly don’t.
I am guilty of raising my voice in an argument because I must feel (in that moment) it ensures I am heard (but it doesn’t). Even when I grow impatient with my tantrum throwing toddler, I make a conscious effort to control my words. I don’t call her “a brat” because I know that’s a form of verbal abuse. My husband does though.
I am fearful that she will grow up and have to endure the same treatment I do. He told me, “If you’re being a bitch, then I’ll call you one because you deserve it.” I’ve asked him if he would ever call his mom or his daughter a bitch and he’s said the same thing “Well if she’s being one then I’ll call her one.” Thing is, he would NEVER call his mother a name like that. In fact, he’d be mortified if I ever repeated what he’s said to me to his mother or father.
I just want it to stop. I know that no marriage is perfect and that it’s normal for couples to have disputes but he doesn’t fight fair and won’t admit that the words he uses are wrong and damaging. He won’t go to counseling and isn’t remorseful for the hurt he has caused me.
After a big fight, he just tries to act like nothing happened and then asks me “What’s YOUR problem?” when I don’t pretend like the fight didn’t just happen the day before. Then he continues the abuse by saying things like “Wow, you really do have issues then!” because I won’t “just drop it.”
Thing is, I’m not going to drop it because I stand up for myself when he mistreats me. Apparently he doesn’t like that.
If there wasn’t a child involved, I would definitely have left by now because I told myself after my last abusive relationship that I wouldn’t put up with this kind of treatment from a man again. Having a child involved changes the game a bit.
I need to know: Can he change? If not, then I need to start planning for my future with my daughter (Safety Planning for Domestic Violence and Abuse Victims).
I don’t work now and have a lot of debt because of school costs. It’s going to take a l-o-o-o-ng time before I can ever even think about leaving because of my financial situation (oh, did I mention he has refused me access to his bank accounts…even though we’re married and have been for 2 years he doesn’t want me to have access to the records/statements or have my name put on anything). If we get divorced I’m totally screwed.
This all sucks (for lack of a better word).