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Comments by YACCS
Friday, December 01, 2006

Long post, short answer

My husband beat me. Should I divorce him?

I am conflicted and tied up in knots; he has tried to make it up to me, and wants me to come back.

By Cary Tennis


Very soon, H became more and more possessive. In a way, I liked the assertions that he couldn't live without me for a second. But then he also became intensely involved with demanding all the details of my past relationships and became more and more abusive. This went on night after night in his house and his parents either didn't notice or chose not to comment. Perhaps they didn't hear. One night, he even beat me (while jeering, "You're not so clever now, are you''). Immediately he said he was sorry. I said he must never do it again. He promised, but a few other times he hit me once or twice, rather than sustainedly.

It was only nine months after this started -- and paradoxically, when things were much better on the whole -- that again he kept me awake all night and I fled for the first time to see my parents on my own. They live nearby, but I had always gone there only with him after getting married. I told my mother everything and spent a week at home working out what to do. I then tried to go back, but his parents put pressure on me to "forget about this and get on with the rest of your life now." I realized I needed more time and moved out, staying first with a relative and then moving in with a friend.

H did everything he could to get my sympathy, crying, telling me he missed me, moving out into a rented place so I would live with him. I started therapy (before my therapist discontinued it a few weeks ago because her nanny resigned). My therapist said I needed to be more assertive and not fall into the trap of being manipulated; that I should not feel responsible for H's loneliness or sadness.

I began to feel better; I wrote more (I am a nascent novelist) and carried on with work. Of course I continued to see H every day. No one at work knows; it is a very judgmental kind of place and in any case I prefer to keep my personal life separate (but not to the extent of not marrying a colleague, I know).

H has been pulling out the stops. He bought me jewelry for our anniversary, took me away for the weekend, and cooks for me every time I stay at his place. He also continually cries and tells me things are difficult for him. I alternate between rage, sadness, loneliness, relief, reluctance to get back together with him and a belief that we can still make things work. He has promised to see my therapist, too, when her nanny issue gets resolved. But that appears to be taking time.

My question, after this long preamble, is this. I want to make things work with him, I think. But, often, when I wake up at his place, or when I concretely consider the idea of living with him forever, my gut knots and says no, that he will always try to repress me in order to feed his insecurity; that we don't share the same interests (he is antipathetic toward art, though he's now starting a novel himself); that in order to feel less insecure he will always want to bring me down; and that I cannot live with someone who is like that. I feel in my gut that he is my enemy. Not that I hate him. But that he will destroy me if I don't escape.

Cary's simple answer to a windy question:

Dear Knot,

If I have occasionally failed to be blunt when bluntness was called for, let me be blunt in this case: End the marriage. In your gut you feel that this man is your enemy, that he will destroy you if you don't escape. Trust your gut. End the marriage.

It's really simple: he will kill you. If he can taunt you while beating you, and then does all this passive aggressive crap. HE WILL KILL YOU.

posted by Steve @ 12:15:00 AM

12:15:00 AM

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