In 2012 I explained aspects of my husbands behaviour to a woman I met when I was upset by his moment of revolting criticism. Up until then I had considered his traits as unique. She started to explain her story and I was listening to my own. She told me to look up emotional abuse. When I read about this I realised I had become a victim to his control. That his way was not unique and he was chipping away at each part of being the kind of woman who defines me.
Because of his insecurities he was taking me down to keep me at a subservient level. To criticise and point out what aspects he saw as my faults. Making me question what I’d say, did, and how I behaved. It had come to a point that I would not respond spontaneously but I would analyse as I spoke, acted, and this was making me a lesser soul of the goodness of who I was. It was making me a fraction of the person I prided myself on.
This was the beginning of understanding and making choices.
Could I change how I reacted therefore causing a different response from my partner?
Explain how it made me feel, so he could decide if this was his full intention?
I read a victim is a volunteer – I did not want to sign up for being a victim!
How much do you tell moments to your girlfriends before they tune out and glaze over.
Over the last two years I figured it out, saw it for what it was, questioned it, observed it, was saddened by it. I saw the effect it was having on me, withdrawing from social situations, defending myself and not laughing so much anymore. Then I saw the same psychological abuse being put onto my children, the same dominating nasty digs. I needed to protect them from these twisted words.
Then he couldn’t help himself. Not only was it reserved for the privacy of our home but cutting comments at dinner parties, out with friends, everywhere. When I got in the car at the end of the evening he would analyse what I may have said or done. I am fortunate to be loved by friends and family in my life which gives me strength. I never doubted my goodness in my heart. I knew that I was a good mum, maintained the family home well, managed a successful business, cared for my family and friends. I too was a good wife fulfilling the role with passion? Even if from a defensive position.
The breathing space of reality came when my husband went on a project overseas for four months. The children and I had four months without his phycology and we were happy. I laughed more we felt lightness in our days.
I saw a movie recently, the line in the movie said “What kind of man would treat a woman like that? But what kind of woman would choose to accept it?” When I heard that it resonated with me. I choose not to accept his behaviour. I did not want to have this in my life anymore. It wasn’t that I fell out of love. I was no longer treated with kindness and respect I deserved. I had lost faith in my husband, my man and my friend that I loved from when I was 23yrs old — we had loved, laughed, married had an amazing time, made babies, lived a great life. But it had to finish because he was damaging the essence of who I like. ME!
Quote: “A woman should never invest in a relationship she wouldn’t want for her daughter, nor allow any man to treat her in a way she would scold her son for”