Abbie opened her eyes. The peach-colored bedroom curtains had an orange glow due to the morning light, brought by the perfect sunrise.
It was a beautiful day, and she was grateful to be alive. She drew the curtains and through the windows could see her children Catie and Ryan playing in the garden with their nana. Tears of joy rolled down her cheeks. The last seven months since she moved back to her parents’ home were her happiest in many years.
Abbie was a little over thirty-five and the decision to move back home with her two kids was the toughest. All her friends discouraged her. “Pray for him…” “Men are the same…” “He will change…” These were some of the million pieces of advice she received from people about her husband Claus.
For the eight years they had been married, she did everything she could to save her marriage. She was convinced that it was the responsibility of a wife to keep her marriage happy. However, Claus did everything wrong. He would batter her, disrespect both her in private and in public and spent no time with the family. She was neither allowed to work nor even have a social life.
It was crystal clear that Claus was an abusive husband and there was nothing she did would change him. It dawned on her that it was time to leave and start the peaceful life she had always wanted for herself and her kids.
Her phone rung, she picked it up and on the other side was a voice, “Turn on the Tv, its breaking news in all channels…” Abbie turned on the Tv and there was her ex-husband Claus. He had been arrested for bartering and killing his new wife barely two-months into marriage. “It was an accident…” Claus yelled to the reporters. “I didn’t intend to kill her…”
Abbie turned off the TV. She knew that would have been her if she had not left him. But what kept her held on to an abusive marriage for eight long years? She reflected.
The fear of starting over again - Claus would provide and Abbie did not have an income. She feared that leaving would force her to start afresh and the future was very uncertain. The stability risk was too high.
The fear of Societal Judgement/expectations - Abbie feared of being a single mother, a divorcee, a failure, and bearing other titles the society uses to term the brave women who leave abusive marriages.
Believing that a partner will change with time - Abbie believed that she could love the abuse out of Claus.
Children - Abbie wanted her kids to have a father like other kids.
Damaged self-worth - Abbie considered herself just a mother and did not believe that she could be anything more. She felt it was too late in life to start a career or any entrepreneurial activity.
The cycle of abuse - Every time Claus abused her, came a honeymoon phase where he would change and apologize and act normal until the next abuse. During this honeymoon phase she thought he had changed.
Feeling responsible for her partners behavior - Every time Claus abused her, she felt like she deserved it. She linked the abuse to something she had done.
None of these reasons were worth her life. Being alive was more important than a marriage or a spouse. Marriage or relationship abuse should not be given a chance. The moment they do it once, it’s time to leave.