I knew I was not the only women in his life and I never quite understood why, but the emotional pain is something I will never forget.
My controlling husband not only abused me in some of the worst ways possible, he also cheated on me and made me feel worthless.
There was one women in particular that springs to mind when I think of the emotional abuse he inflicted upon on and I wanted to share my own experience with you.
I was always “one of those women” who said: The first time he hit me would be the last.
The first happened and the last time was almost 11 years later.
Yes I stayed 11 years.
The emotional pain screwed me up
I would not say I escaped, as some 7 years later I still feel he has left emotional scarring upon me.
Abuse in relationships can be hard to spot, especially when you’re the victim.
What I do know is how abused women feel.
The emotional abuse for me, was the hardest to live with, he drained every last ounce of self-respect from me.
I was breastfeeding our 3-month-old daughter when he first mentioned her, just a normal conversation, and he admitted openly to “getting it elsewhere”.
I had just given birth 12 weeks earlier and although marital rape was already taking place, he demanded more and more of it from me.
I didn’t understand what I had done wrong
I had given him his first child and although I was only 19, ten years younger than him, I tried to be a good partner.
I didn’t answer back
I didn’t wear clothes that I knew he hated
I didn’t wear makeup
I only spoke when spoken too
I didn’t have friends round
I didn’t use the telephone
I asked for permission if I needed to go out somewhere
I didn’t ever make him feel “less of a man”.
I was obedient to him
The emotional pain raged through my head, there was no escaping it.
I kept the house clean, I made sure he had clean clothes and I was nice to his family and friends, even though some treated me like dirt, but that still wasn’t good enough.
Everything I did was wrong in his eyes.
And I did try to meet his sexual needs, I was just so physically abused and emotionally broken that every part of me hurt.
He brought her home one day; I was stood at the sink washing out our daughter’s bottles when I heard the front door open and close, followed by giggling and hushed voices.
He appeared in the doorway, she wrapped her arm around his waist.
I stood there, head bowed, unable to move or speak until given permission.
“I’m leaving you” he laughed at me.
With that, he left me there and went upstairs to pack some things.
She went and sat on my sofa, my daughter was in her bouncing chair and I heard her talking to her, telling her how cute she was.
Then I moved
I picked up my daughter and went back to the kitchen.
I heard the banging of closed doors from the wardrobe and he appeared again with a few bags.
They both walked out together, without saying another word.
I put our daughter down for a nap and finished off tidying up the kitchen.
I can picture myself crying, screaming, and ripping at my hair that night, trying desperately to stop the emotional pain that burned at me inside.
I blamed myself, I was a useless mother, a useless partner and I didn’t deserve him.
I was so relieved when 9 days later he walked back in as if nothing had happened and kissed my forehead.
I had to do more, I had to try harder.
In hindsight, I was treated like a dog for another 8 and a half years, we had a further two more children together before I would finally leave him, but the emotional pain I don’t think has ever left me.
- In 90% of domestic violence incidents in family households, children were in the same or the next room (Hughes, 1992)
- 1 in 4 women in England and Wales will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes and 8% will suffer domestic violence in any given year(Crime Survey of England and Wales, 2013/14)
- 2 women are killed every week in England and Wales by a current or former partner (Office of National Statistics, 2015) – 1 woman killed every 3 days
- 30% of domestic violence either starts or will intensify during pregnancy (Department of Health report, October 2004) Refuge Facts