real life

'My husband would send me photos with his girlfriend. Then he'd come home and assault me.'

Content warning: This story includes descriptions of sexual assault and domestic violence that may be distressing to some readers.

I was thrown on the bed. Pinned down. He called me names and criticised my body. I only felt his hard cold fists pull my bottom closer to him.

He was quick and avoided touching me. He made a point of not coming inside me, even though he’d had a vasectomy.

I cried, tasting salty tears falling onto the sheet. He did it while I was crying. I was compliant. Inside I was dying, in distress.

He got out of the room and walked to the kitchen.

He was making a coffee. I felt numb, like I was walking in a daze.

He gathered his gym gear and left, walking past our daughter’s bedroom like it was another normal day.

Watch: We lose one woman every week in Australia to domestic violence, but that's just the tip of a very grim iceberg. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

Earlier, he had arrived from the airport after spending time with his girlfriend in the luxury hotel in Singapore.


He posted videos of them on Instagram. She was by his side in the infinity pool, laughing.

He sent me photos from the bar; she was in the background. He told me not to waste money on roasted chicken. He had booked a hotel for him and his girlfriend, again. But now he was back. With the cold look in his eyes.

I was his wife of 15 years.

He had told me to be nice to his girlfriend.

He must have been feeding her fictional stories and love bombing her.

He was constantly on the phone.

He then started pressuring me to do sexual favours on him. He told me he might love me if I agreed.

I had to find a guy on Tinder and ask for a threesome. I would need to show him all the messages. There would never be any kissing.

He kept pressuring and pressuring.

He could get that initial spark back if I did everything he said.

My mind was a mess. I loved him so much. He was the man I had been with for 15 years. No one else.

I had given up my career, everything, for him. I had been waiting for him to come home when he was away for work. I had dedicated my life to him.

Suddenly he left and didn’t come back. Middle of the day, ignoring our child playing in her room.


I was frantic with worry. Days went by.

He then turned up and left a vibrator on my bed. I was to make videos for him. 

He asked if I had found a guy yet for his plan. I had to hurry as I was running out of time.

He then left again. This was my husband I had shared my life with.

I felt the world spinning around me.

He started sending me videos of himself pleasuring himself. Then he told me to leave, get out. I was disgusting, codependent and useless. 

I felt I was going crazy.

I didn’t know where he was staying.

He then suddenly turned up, said horrible things, and pinned me onto the bed. I felt the coldness. He walked out again.

I was going crazy.

He pressured me more to find a guy. He wanted to watch. It was getting more and more urgent now. Hurry up. Find someone. His urges were taking over.

My mind was spinning more. I loved him. All I wanted was him to hold me. I dreamed of leaning my head on his shoulder.

I felt disgusted even looking at another guy.

I had no money to leave. Where would I even go with our child?

Listen: The Quicky discusses women who are locked inside with their abusers and how to help them. Post continues after podcast.


He told me to leave. He told me to find a guy so he could watch. He sent me videos of himself. He demanded videos and pictures.

All simultaneously. All whilst having a girlfriend I was to be nice to. The videos kept coming; he was in the shower now, touching himself.

It was all a blur. He came back and forced me onto the bed, the very last time. He used the sex toy. He made a point of not coming inside me again. He got up and left me crying. 

I couldn’t get up. I thought about the balcony, high on the 14th floor. I wondered if it was high enough to kill me. 

Then when I was on the plane, with my daughter by my side, he sent me pictures of our things in the bin. He said the apartment was spotless now.

On the flight I watched nothing but violent movies. I felt nothing towards the violence, just like when he had pinned me onto the bed.

Sick feelings ran through me as I waited for the connecting flight. 

I had left. I had left the monster. 

The last humiliation was the stopover in his place of glory, Singapore. So humid and suffocating. I wondered if his girlfriend was out there waiting for his call?

The years of violence, the days when he hit me in the face. 


Flashbacks of sitting in the car when he was driving. Suddenly I had a fist in my eye.

Flashbacks of him controlling my movements, my communications, my bank account.

Flashbacks of him pleasuring himself on the video. On the bed, stroking himself. Another one, in the shower. He had turned on disappearing messages. 

I felt nauseous. I felt a deep piercing pain in my heart. The feeling would not leave my body.

I had arrived on the other side of the world. My daughter was smiling and running through the airport. 

Why couldn’t I be happy? Why couldn’t I smile? Why did I miss him?

Why did I miss the monster?

Piia is a Finnish-born Australian writer, editor and a mum of a teenager. You can find her on Instagram here.

If this has raised any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, 24-hour support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

Feature Image: Getty.