This post deals with abuse and might be triggering for some readers.
The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons. The feature image used is a stock photo.
My now ex-husband was a wonderful man – 90 per cent of the time. It was how he behaved in the other 10 per cent that made him dangerous.
This was problematic for two reasons; firstly, it took me years to accept that the 10 per cent far outweighed the 90 per cent. I was a sucker for the good times, because I loved him.
And secondly, with things being difficult only a minor part of the time, even my closest friends and family did not know the extent of what was going on. They might witness bickering, but they never knew what happened when we were alone.
Controlling and possessive behaviours are abusive acts. Here are some of the signs of an abuser, told through a victim’s phone. Post continues below.
The abuse was mostly verbal, and he was very manipulative. I knew that if I told anyone, I’d be accountable; I’d have to take action. I wasn’t ready to do that for years.
And so, I kept his secrets.
When it came time to announce our split to people, their reactions were strange; but actually, considering how brilliant I’d been at hiding the sh*tshow that was our marriage, I shouldn’t have been surprised by their surprise.
I’d had one member of my family truly get my trauma – but the others, even a decade later, still don’t understand. In fact, one of my siblings, to this day, thinks that since I chose to leave, “I made my bed and so should lie in it".
I’ve thought a lot about this, and realise that even though everyone’s loyalty was with me, and I was somewhat believed, they hadn’t seen the abuse, and didn’t think a ‘nice, gentle’ man like my husband was capable of the behaviour I described.
They genuinely had trouble putting the two together. Eventually, of course, they generally accepted the situation out of love for me.
But the biggest challenge came from one of my closest friends. When I told her of my spilt, she asked, incredulously, “Why?”
I replied, “Because he’s a sh*t husband and a sh*t father".
“But what about status? The status of being married?”
I didn’t even know what to say to that. I tried to explain my experience, but she remained very doubtful.