I’m hounded by my husband to have “sex” with him, not to make love with him. When we go for a night out something is always expected of me. And we never go out unless he has a coupon for a free meal or movie. What am I to him, really?
We have handicapped children. I’m exhausted and overburdened taking care of them. He doesn’t spend quality time with them. He didn’t even want to take me to the hospital when I fell in the house. I was in pain, with large dark bruises and he still wanted sex.
He snoops through my diary, purse, car, computer, etc. He keeps the heat at 65 degrees in the house. I’m freezing and he bought me an insulated suit to keep me warm.
I know this isn’t normal. If I could find an escape out of this marriage I would go and my only regret would be that I didn’t go sooner. We have gone to counseling. Nothing has changed.
Dear GIVEN UP,
No one should live like this.
You’re in an abusive relationships and it has destroyed your self-esteem. You’ve been beaten down so badly you feel you have no options, but you do.
Plenty of people in your situation have managed to find a way and you can, too. It’s not easy, but it can be done. The library has dozens of books about abusive relationships. Read a few. They’ll give you some insight into what’s going on and what it’s done to you.
You’re going to need a lawyer. He or she will tell you what you’re entitled to in a divorce and what documents you’ll need to prove your husband’s income and assets, things like tax returns, savings and checking accounts, safe deposit boxes, etc. If your husband won’t provide them, they can be subpoenaed.
And you’ll need to line up your allies. Who can you count on? Family? Friends? Neighbors? Former employers? Your children’s doctors and therapists? Who knows about the situation? What are they in a position to do for you?
You need to have an escape plan ready if at any time you feel your safety or that of your children is at risk. Where will you go? Do you have anyone you can stay with? If not, you need the name of a shelter you can move to.
You’ve taken the first step by writing to me. Now take the next one and the next and the next.