January 17, 2000
I would love to hear others'
comments on the following situation. I really find I am in need of
support, advice and validation. I am no longer living with my
abuser, but he continues to affect all aspects of my life.
Although the divorce has been filed and we have lived apart for many
months, my husband of 15 years is hell-bent on controlling me and my
I am living in my own apartment because I finally escaped, but I can never
really escape. I am trying to be independent and not allow such
control, but it seems the legal system doesn't support my efforts.
I am obligated by law to allow standard visitation with our 11 year old
daughter, even though she does not want it. He fills her mind full
of lies and I have to 'get her back on track' after she comes home. He
uses controlling behavior to manipulate her, and I find her acting toward
him exactly as I did. My heart breaks for her.
I know the only way I am ever going to be free is to get as far away from
him as possible, but I cannot leave. He is delaying our divorce and
refusing to agree that I may take our daughter with me when I move.
She wants to go with me, but he has filed a counter suit asking for sole
custody and that he have the SOLE right to determine her residence!
I am appalled that an attorney would even entertain the
idea, but he found one who would. He has even asked for a JURY
Now it's time for depositions. I hate thought of all this litigation and
invasion of privacy, with court reporters and twisted questions.
Here's one huge point which leaves me confused and frustrated. With regard
to visitation, my lawyer says I have to comply with all the State
guidelines and any deviation could hurt me. On the other hand, my
therapist says my daughter is mature enough to decide if she wants to
spend all that time with her dad. So anytime we deviate, even a little, my
husband cries about it to his lawyer.
Another issue: My therapist (who also sees my daughter) says I need to get
out and learn to have fun again. He says my daughter needs to see me
treated with kindness and consideration by male friends. My husband says I
am having "affairs" and leaves messages on the guy's phone about
"screwing his wife". How come your friend
hasn't complained to your husband and warned him of pressing harassment
charges? Then he calls his lawyer and my lawyer says I need to
avoid anything that could hurt our case. Yes. You
don't have to do anything. My husband and I have been separated for
a YEAR AND A HALF!!!!!!!!!! Of course, my daughter has never
witnessed any inappropriate behavior AT ALL, but my soon-to-be-ex has to
make a huge deal out of everything.
I sometimes feel like I am a criminal! I thought divorcing him would
be easier, especially considering his behavior. The attorneys know
about all of the abuse, but this man is still able to have so many
privileges. I really don't understand!
Here is a brief history of my life with this man. These are off the top of
1. He once woke me up to tell me the faucet was dripping and made me get
up and tighten it.
2. Pulled me out of the shower to show me I had parked the car
3. Locked me out of the house when I came home too late (after
telling him I would be) from working on a volunteer project WITH OTHER
4. Backed me up against a wall and yelled in my face to scare me.
(many times) Did you document this with the
5. Everyday when we lived together: blocked my car in so I can't
leave without him leaving first.
6. Twisted my thumb (many times) when he was mad about something. Did you document this with the police?
7. Pushed me, shoved me, blocked me from leaving a room. Did you document this with the police?
8. Outran the police when he was speeding when my daughter and I
were in the car. Drives recklessly and way too fast - ALWAYS. Did you document this with the police?
9. Threw water in my face and hit my jaw with the glass leaving a
"goose egg". Did you document this with
10. Bruised my arms by squeezing so hard. (many times) Did you document this with the police?
11. Pushed me away so hard, he left a palm print bruise on my chest. Did you document this with the police?
12. Threw antique porcelain, glass, anything he could at the brick
fireplace. Did you document this with the police?
13. Pulled everything out of the kitchen cabinets because he
couldn't find something.
14 Has thrown me against a wall. Did you
document this with the police?
15. Says horrible things about me in front of my beautiful daughter.
16. Almost was arrested in a movie theatre (while with my daughter)
for assault on a minor! He said some kids were spitting ice on him
and our daughter and wouldn't stop so he "barely" touched the
kid and told him to stop. The boy, age 15, reported that he got in his
face and threw him up against a wall. The police were called.
My husband was pulled out of the movie theatre (with my then 8 year old
daughter left alone) and questioned. He somehow talked his way out
of it and they were asked to leave. My daughter was mortified and
terrified. I was so upset, but didn't want to do anything because it
was just days before my daughters birthday and Christmas. I didn't
tell a soul until four months later.
17. Got so angry at our daughter he not only spanked her, he locked
her out in the back yard in the heat of the day without her glasses.
She was only 7 at the time and I could not take it. I got her in and
comforted her, but I didn't confront him. Did you
document this with child protective?
18. He once blocked me from taking the car to get our daughter
because she hadn't called when she was supposed to. I had to go pick
her up, on foot, in a rainstorm.
19. Left me alone at 2 in the morning at an outdoor event I was
working for. This was in a public park after all the lights were out
in a dangerous part of town. He was mad because he thought someone
was trying to keep him from the area I was working in, which was ONLY for
20. I can't even tell you how many times he pouted, quit talking,
left without saying where he was going, or didn't come home and didn't
THIS DOESN'T EVEN INCLUDE THE CONSTANT PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE!
THERE ARE MANY MORE THINGS......He's done more to me, and abusive acts to
others. He has killed a dog that got in our back yard. Did you document this with the police? He believes
it's always his word against someone else's, so he does stuff no one will
see. I truly believe he feels he is above the law! That's
why, especially with this type of individual, you must document,
document, document, something I know you did not do - out of
shame, fear, intimidation, etc. - until it was too late in the game to
This man is a business owner, with
a university degree! He doesn't drink or do drugs. He does not believe he
is abusive. He justifies everything, saying he was trying to teach
me a lesson or that *I don't need a husband; I need a parent*.
He believes that because he never hit me, that I was not abused. He did physically abuse you. He
wonders why I don't remember the good times. Sometimes, he says I am the
crazy one, not him. Sometimes, he denies everything and says I'm
making stuff up! It's horrible being in this prison!
WILL I EVER BE FREE? Yes. In time. But first,
toughen up a bit. Stop reacting to his intimidation tactics. He
thrives on it. Intimidate him when he has done something out
of line. Call your lawyer when he is 1/2 hour late with your child. Hold
him to 100% of your written agreement and give him no slack. No
favors, nothing. When you stop reacting and start standing up to him, he
will let up. You won't be any fun to "play with" anymore.
Thanks for letting me vent. S
Hang in there,
I would like to
read others' comments.