Sustainably Single Parenting

Making the most of life's journey alongside my three!!!

Mourning My Marriage July 27, 2012

You might think that any woman who has been abused will be elated once her abuser has been removed from her life.  I used to think that way. It seemed so simple. I would scream at the women on my television screen who’d continuously profess their undying love for men who were clearly undeserving.  Why doesn’t she just leave? What is she thinking? I thought they were fools. I thought they were weak. I swore it wouldn’t happen to me.

Movies don’t really prepare you for modern abuse. It looks different in real life, and it may be harder to recognize when it’s happening to you. I spent so much of my relationship in denial; justifying his behavior, striving to be a better partner, trying to prevent his wrath. Lately I look back and find it hard to believe that I really put up with so much crap, but it didn’t always seem unreasonable.

I fell in love with an amazing man. He had so much potential. He was sexy and intelligent and a little bit of an asshole, he had all the makings of being the alpha male of my dreams. He had a past filled with problems, but now he had me, and together we could do anything. We would rule the world. Or, at least that’s the way it seemed that things could be in the beginning, and intermittently throughout the next eight years.

When you haven’t been in an abusive relationship it’s difficult to empathize with victims. When you haven’t had your perfect love take a nose dive into domestic violence, then try to recuperate from its depths, it is almost impossible to understand why anyone would risk it happening again. Abuse can be very complex; for me it was interwoven with times of peace, understanding, reconnecting, and revisiting the dream of being the perfect team, the perfect family, an enduring example of unity.

I have since learned more about abuse, and I realize that these periodic “good times” were just a part of the cycle. Before, I thought that they were signs of hope.  I look at the wheel of power and control given to me by my counselor and feel ignorant to not have realized the truth earlier on.

I had refused to see myself as a battered woman. I didn’t want to leave and become a single mom. It was embarrassing to admit how I was treated, and I’d told no one the full truth in so long that I was terrified no one would believe me. I also had hardly anyone I could tell, because I’d lost most of my support system when I fell under his spell. Even still, I didn’t want to give up on my husband, so I continuously convinced myself that things were not so bad. I desperately clung to the idea that we could make anything better together.

Now I am mourning the loss of my dream. It’s difficult to realize that I never would have succeeded, no matter how much I suffered, how hard I tried, how much he meant to me. I am finally removed from the relationship, but I will always love him, and I will always wish that things could have worked out differently. Just like those impossible women on my television screen I couldn’t relate with long ago.


8 Responses to “Mourning My Marriage”

  1. wow, i relate to this so much. recently ended an abusive relationship myself. i too fell for the cycle, believing that the good times were signs of hope, improvement, only to have the next episode be worse than the last. so glad you got out. take the time to work on your healing. you deserve it. and you set an amazing example for your daughters by showing them that they can walk away if they aren’t being treated right, even if they love the person.

    • Jet Says:

      Congrats to you on getting out too. It isn’t easy to call it quits when you love someone, but it’s not alright to put up with the cycle either. You’re so right; every time there was an episode it was worse than the last. I couldn’t get past thinking, “One day he’s going to kill me!” I hope my daughters will think I’m a good role model (and not simply resent me for leaving Daddy)…we shall see. Thank you!

      • they may go through a period where they don’t understand/feel resentful. but honestly, they will be so grateful once they mature enough to understand. and you have given them the greatest gift. you decided that your safety and their safety is more important than keeping up appearances. there was abuse in my family, and my mom’s response was to ‘try to make it work’… she keeps this up to this day. and this has caused me untold trauma and feelings of betrayal. i’m super proud of you. ❤

      • Jet Says:

        Thank you, Clementine. That really means a lot to me. I’ve got them in counseling and I do my best to be open with them (on an age appropriate level) about why Daddy cannot live with us anymore. I know they miss him (as do I) but I also know that being without him really is the safest and healthiest choice. I really do hope that they appreciate my decision when they’re older; I look forward to those days 🙂 Thanks again.

  2. Courtney Says:

    I completely relate to this from my first ever relationship. I like how you termed it – modern abuse. Like you, I didn’t realize what it was until it was over, and never thought something like that would happen to me. Good for you standing up for yourself and your family, your girls are very lucky to have a mom like you 🙂

    • Jet Says:

      Thank you! It’s never easy admitting that someone you love(d) has hurt you, but I am happy to have finally stuck with my decision to leave.

  3. movedbyfaith Says:

    My favorite line you said was where you are describing his traits and you said “and a little bit of an ass hole”. Reading this is like breathing fresh air. Thanks for the honest insight!

    My friend (also a survivor of dv) always talks about the loss of a dream! You are not alone!!


    • Jet Says:

      Congratulations to your friend! I am finding out that a lot of what I am feeling is common to survivors. It is both disheartening and reassuring to know that so many women have been in my shoes. I hope that through my honesty I can be of assistance to other victims.

      Thank you, Emma 🙂

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