You've probably heard my story before, back when I was in a state of
constant anger. After working through my "stuff", I feel
like sharing with the rest the lessons that have come from my experiences
with my verbally abusive husband.
For background--I met D (for "Dear Husband") 11 years ago, when
I was merely 18 years old. He seemed to know how to take care of
everything, while I knew nothing. Plus he was outgoing, which I
admired, as I was deathly shy. We fell in love on the first date.
Things were great the first few months--he helped me make it through the
tough transition of living on my own for the first time. When he
moved back to his home state, halfway across the country, I followed him.
My parents cut me off financially as a result.
D and I came together in a struggle "against the world".
Unfortunately, he returned to his old friends and his old pot-smoking
addiction (behind my back at first). When he did so, he became a
The abuse he began to dole out on me started out as a shock, then became
more and more atrocious. I never did enough around the house to
please him. He called me an idiot (along with many other horrifying
words I can't say here), and said he would "Beat me in the
head." But in the next instant, he would be loving and caring,
the way I remembered him. I couldn't leave (so I thought)--I would
be admitting failure to my family. Things only got worse.
He told me I looked like crap, I couldn't dress myself, I had no friends, I never
did anything for "us", I was selfish. He put down the
friends I did have. I went to school, got my bachelor's degree.
In the meantime, he lost his job. He talked me into working in go-go
bars as an exotic dancer. He didn't make a dime in 3 and a half
years (and didn't go to school either).
Meanwhile, I was going to school full-time (sometimes
more than full-time), and working at night as a dancer. It still
wasn't enough. I didn't make enough money. I didn't spend
enough time with him. I didn't have sex with him enough. I
came home for a few hours of sleep to hear his complaints.
Eventually he went to school for six months and became a computer
There were times when we fought every day. I SCREAMED at him.
What was WRONG with him? I lost it, became enraged, slammed things
around. There were days I just wanted to end it all--and kill
Still, I graduated. When I couldn't find a job paying enough money
to satisfy him, I went on to graduate school and got my Master's degree.
Still unable to please him, I started looking at law school. I got a
full-tuition scholarship to a top-twenty law school, halfway across the
country. He was infuriated, but he went with me. I heard all
about his unhappiness, over and over again, for an entire year.
We got married before we moved. Big mistake. I knew at the
time I was unhappy. I had lied to him the entire time we were
together about getting satisfaction from sex. Basically, I had been
"faking it" for years.
Skip to last year (1999). I started going to church. Stopped
drinking. Stopped smoking pot (a daily event for us). Stopped
yelling at him. Convinced HIM to go to church (a miracle!, I thought).
I thought things were finally okay. He was still a jerk, still
controlling, still yelled at me, criticized everything I did. I gave
into temptation--I had an affair, in early 2000. Finally somebody
treated me the way I deserved! I put my
foot down with D. Gave him ultimatums. He had to treat me
better, get a job (he became unemployed again, for about ten months), stop
smoking pot. He tried, but just didn't get it. We went to marriage
counseling. I went to therapy.
I moved out in August 2000, after quietly telling D I wanted out.
Soon after, I realized the affair was not going to solve my problems, and
I had become too attached to the other man, who was also married. I
gave up the affair. Talk about loneliness! I had to start
taking antidepressants, and I became suicidal a couple of times. My
In September 2000, I decided that if D and I were going to begin anew with
a healthy relationship, we had to be honest with each other. I told
him about the affair and about "faking it", shortly after D read
all about it on the yak boards (and didn't tell me). He was furious,
but he held it in. Didn't want to lose me. He threatened to
sue, hurt, and otherwise pester every guy he suspected of the affair (it
wasn't MY fault, after all, I was too stupid to turn down anyone who
charmed their way into my life). He called me constantly, asking,
"Where WERE you?" He used his newfound religion
against me. I had a problem. I wasn't right with God.
At first I talked to him, saw him constantly. He didn't listen to
what I had to say. I saw him less and less, and my (female)
therapist more and more. The loneliness was hard to take. But
soon I realized it was the only reason I was staying. Every time I
thought of going back, my body screamed at me, "NOOOOO!!!!"
I finally listened. Good! I told him just
before Thanksgiving that I wanted a divorce. He tried to convince me
I was wrong, I should stay. I told him I should have listened to
myself sooner, that I should never have married him. I told him I
didn't want to be around him then, and I don't want to be around him now.
He tried to convince me that God wanted us to give it another chance.
I said God was telling me something different. I didn't tell him he
was wrong. He's not. His reality is his reality, and I don't
want to change it. I just don't want to be a part of it. Good
That's the best thing I learned in therapy. Leave him alone--let him play
out his own drama. No need to be a part of it. I also realized
that our relationship was not a waste, despite the fact that D said it
was. Because of it, I realized how I DON'T want to be treated. :)
I learned how to deal with a person who is not living up to the high
standard of integrity to which I was held accountable. I learned how
to keep my own integrity. But most of all, I learned to love myself,
rather than trying to hold onto someone who I thought would love me.
I was not treating myself in a loving way--I was allowing another person
to control me, manipulate me, have enormous power over me.
I am beginning to like living on my own.
I'm sorry this e-mail was so long. I'm not. Even
if you don't post it on your site, it felt good to say it. Are
you kidding or modest? I wish lots of love to others going through
the same thing. And I wish same to you. Great
success story. Bless you... Dr. Irene
P.S. You can post ALL of this, because D has heard it all before.
Again, good for you! No more intimidation! Anybody
have a comment for this lady?
Update: June 2003. See what
Stimpy has to say now!