I am not sure where to begin, it’s hard to talk about something, rather write about something when it has been met with disbelief.
You read that correctly. The first time I told someone how my ex husband treated me, the person I shared it with looked at me and laughed, then said maybe he was just having a bad day.
After my divorce I tried again with a close friend and they told me to just get over it.
It wasn’t until I saw firsthand the reactions of people who really didn’t know me that well to how he treated me that I felt validated.
The standout was he had taken our daughter to swim lessons, somehow there had been some confusion about the times. He called me from the place she had lessons (where I also worked) and started yelling at me. Mind you we weren’t together anymore. After he left my co-workers were so concerned they called me to make sure I was okay.
My ex husband never physically hurt me. But he got in my head. He pushed my buttons. He found the soft spots, my insecurities and used them against me whenever he could.
He still tries to.
People always ask why, how? If I knew, I think I would solve a lot of problems for people.
For me he wasn’t my typical bad boy. He appeared to be the safe choice.
Appearances are deceiving and so was he. He actually enjoys that. He thought it was funny people didn’t realize how cruel he could be.
I have said this before and I will say it again. It is easy to stand back and wonder how someone can let things happen to them. But when you’re in it and feel like it’s your fault, sometimes you stay.
My ex husband wasn’t always this guy. But I think he wasn’t always not this guy either. I am the complete opposite of almost everyone in his life and initially he made me feel like that’s what he loved about me.
Then he didn’t.
He didn’t like how I looked. My hobbies. My friends. He made it clear in his body language when we were out with mine to the point where I would find reasons not to spend time with my friends. To avoid how he behaved.
There were rules about how the house looked.
When I met him, I was working three jobs and two college degrees.
He was an unemployed college dropout.
I put him through college, help him get his first job.
When I left him he kept everything- he said since it was my decision to leave I didn’t deserve anything.
Two moments that felt like lightbulbs…
We had a very small house. Our bedroom closet was teeny. He kept his clothes on our bedroom and I kept mine in our daughter’s. I had a job interview so I had put an outfit in our bedroom closet and I was in the living room and I heard him getting upset. I walked in the bedroom and he thrown the outfit on the floor. We had hardwood floors and a dog and a toddler so my outfit yup, gross.
The second was we were out to dinner with his friends and I told them what I did for a living and my hobbies and they started teasing me for being shallow and decided I was a glorified babysitter. Rather than defend me. He joined in.
When I tried to talk to my ex about how any of this made me feel he would say “I’m sorry you feel that way, but only you can make yourself feel a certain way. Not me”
This is probably feeling rambly because if I’m being honest it’s hard to put words years of being pulled apart by the person who is supposed to be your partner. It’s hard to put into words when people tell you it’s not a big deal.
But it was
Marriage is supposed to be a partnership and ABSOLUTELY there will be disagreements. It is not sunshine and lollipops twenty four seven, but I think we all know the difference.
This was my proverbial dip in the pool of sharing about my experience with emotional abuse. It was hard to write this. For all the reasons, but maybe one surprising one- my ex is still my daughter’s Dad, and while he and I don’t work he’s not too shabby when it comes to her.
Mommas this is a slippery slope. But at the end of the day if we can grow and raise a human. I’d like to think we can get through pretty much anything.