You’ve believed every lie he’s told you: That he loves you, that he cares for you and wants nothing more than to make you happy. (And I am reminded of the first verse from Daughtry’s Feels like Tonight – but that is neither here nor there.)
You’ve gone ahead and fallen in love with him, head over heels. You’ve had his babies. You’ve shared the good times and the bad ones, as is expected.
You have noted that he is short tempered. Sometimes. That he overreacts over small issues. Only sometimes. That he wants an explanation why you did not pick up his call. The fact that you were in a meeting with your boss only helps to flare his temper. While talking on the phone with you, he wants to know who that man is, laughing with you in the background and why you seem to be enjoying his company. He requires you to explain why he told you he loved you and you never answered ‘I love you too’ with enough enthusiasm.
You have seen his demeanor transform from calm to very angry within minutes. You have suspected more than once that he is not happy with you coming home late from work. When you do, you have had to explain in detail why you came in five minutes later than is the norm while there was no traffic jam. And don’t even think about lying to him because he follows @ma3route on twitter and he happened to tweet them to find out how bad the traffic was. Their reply was “@Mboss MsaRoad is Nyweeee…”
You have had your arguments, like every relationship, during which time he has called you “Stupid woman!” “Bitch!” and other derogatory terms. He has thrown words at you like “Nitakurudisha kwenu” “You are useless”
He has withheld emotions from you. He has never seen anything good in what you do. He has nitpicked your flaws. He hasn’t complimented you, nor touched you. You’ve even believed that you repulse him. This has made you try even harder to please him.
You’ve found yourself dressing the way he likes – he has been very vocal about how he likes ‘his women’ to dress. He loves braided hair, so you’ve had your hair braided.
To avoid his temper, you have started to seek his approval before doing anything. You are walking in eggshells when you are around him. You live for his compliments that are given in small doses. You crave for his attention and are over the moon when he sends smidgens your way.
Then it has happened.
You’ve argued. Maybe about a text message he got from one Kate that says “I miss your kisses my darling”. He doesn’t like you going through his phone. But you weren’t. You happened to see the message while looking for the Landlord’s number. The Landlord’s number is under ‘Contacts’, Kate’s message is under ‘Messages’. That is beside the point, why is there kissing going on with Kate, and why is she calling him darling? Kate is his friend and his friends are none of your business! They are your business if there is kissing involved! Now do you want to choose his friends for him!? Is he having an affair? You will not tell him what to do! You would not need to tell him what to do if he acted like a married man! He married you so why should you be worried about some woman out there who is NOT wearing his ring?! THERE IS KISSING, WHY IS THERE KISSING? IT’S A MERE KISS?! THERE SHOULD BE NO KISSING! YOUR NAGGING IS BECOMING UNBEARABLE! IS HE SLEEPING WITH HER? DON’T ASK HIM STUPID QUESTIONS! You need to know, IS HE FUCKING KATE?!
He is furious. He has lifted his right hand and smacked you across the face so hard that you have seen stars. He has dared you to speak to him like that again “You stupid woman!” He has dared you to touch his phone again, “You good for nothing piece of shit!”
You sit down. Dazed. You wonder when your husband became this violent man.
Calm, he has apologized for his despicable behavior “He was angry”, he explains “He doesn’t know what got to him” he has promised that he will never let anger get the best of him again. You have cried. He has comforted you. It has felt good to be comforted. After months of him not touching you or saying anything nice to you, you feel loved again.
You have explained away his behavior. You have called it “your fault”. You have spiced it with “I made him angry” and “I let things get out of hand”
Your fault, you think. You are a horrible person. He forgives you though – he is a good man. You just have to know how to handle him.
But then he has hit you again and again after that. You have taken too long to answer the door; he has slapped you while barging in. You have worn your trousers too tight; he has smashed your head against the wall. You have not responded fast enough when he called you; he has rained on you with blows.
You have finally admitted it to yourself. You are in an abusive marriage. You wonder when the rain started beating you. You are in too deep. You don’t know how to get out.
He fooled you. He couldn’t just start hitting you. No. He had to prepare you first. He needed you depending on him at some level; emotionally, financially or even physically. This way, chances of you resisting the violence would be reduced. He needed you weak, so he made you weak.
He made you believe that he was the only one you could trust and everyone else was against the two of you. You were alienated from your close friends and family. You were in the perfect ‘abuse zone’
He is abusive. Violence is what he knows. What about you? What do you know and what will you do about it? Now that you have established that you are in an abusive relationship, and that your man will never change, what will you do?
You now know that his abusive behavior has nothing to do with you but everything to do with him. You now understand the abuse was never your fault. That it had nothing to do with what you said, what you wore or how you carried yourself as a woman. You are aware that if it isn’t one thing it is another- that he will always have a reason to hit you.
Now that you know all that, will you seek help?
Do you dare to be happy again?