I was in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic for 8 years. We have a child together and I thought he was the love of my life. We were married after 7 years together but that made the drinking and resentment he had toward me worse. He was cruel and distant when he drank which was all the time. Like most women, I kept this part of our life a secret.
I enabled him because I wanted him to be happy but what I was really doing was helping him become a monster. The abuse was mainly when he was drunk and we were arguing but I always reasoned it away. “He loves me so he must not mean it.”
It was when he started drinking while on his medication and actually scaring me that I ramped up my complaints about drinking. I was babysitting him wherever we went or we would leave early so he didn’t have the opportunity to be drunk. He then started refusing to go to functions because I wouldn’t allow him to get drunk. I became enemy number one and he had decided he was the victim.
I was often called crazy or psycho for yelling at him for his drunken episodes but there was no rationalizing that.
As it began to escalate, I wasn’t aware of the woman he was seeing who was helping to validate his supposed persecution. My husband had been telling me he was taking my daughter to this woman’s house so my daughter could play with the little girl she babysat. Little did I know, that was not why he was going there. When I finally caught them together and confronted him, he lied initially but then admitted they were together. That same night he packed a bag, left and asked for a divorce that week.
The Best Thing My Husband Ever Did For Me
I felt betrayed and devastated that the man I loved and the father of my child could treat me like nothing. He had treated me so poorly for so many years but he wanted to get away from me? I felt like my heart was ripped from my chest and someone was punching me in the throat. I remember one day taking out the garbage and on my way back to the house just lying down on the patio outside because I felt utterly broken. I laid there for a while until I began to cry this child-like sob that I am sure all my neighbors heard and assumed it was a dying animal or something.
I had stopped eating and sleeping, partially because I was so emotionally and physically drained but partially because every bite made me feel ill. All my emotions smashed together to create one super emotion, divorce. I thought I would never feel ok again or myself again. The funniest part of all of it is that I wasn’t myself at all when I was with him either. What I thought was happiness was really just, getting by. I was craving to have my life back when it wasn’t a life anyone should have or want.
Taking it one day at a time.
My friends and family told me to take one day at a time which I rolled my eyes at but that was the best thing I ever did. I gave myself a reset everyday thinking, “if I screw it up today I will be better tomorrow”. I made a lot of mistakes during the divorce letting my emotions control me at times but just like another cliché we know, “time heals all wounds”, well that’s because it does. The more time went by the less angry and hurt I was and I began to feel this strange overwhelming feeling where I was genuinely HAPPY!
At first, it would happen here and there and then I would have whole days of being annoyingly happy. I was starting to be that person that other people roll their eyes at because I was just so happy. Like a drug though, when I wasn’t happy, the lows were pretty rough. I had to tell myself that however I was feeling when I wake up tomorrow the anger or anxiety will dissipate and it did. I began to be happy most of the time. I would laugh and get excited about life. My daughter could sense it too.
After so much time living for someone else’s needs, I started to live for me.
It has been a year since we separated and three months since the divorce was final but I can honestly say that I am happier now than I can ever remember. I forgot how funny and smart I am, not to brag. The people around me love me and most of all I love me. It was horrible knowing that my daughter watched me broken and lifeless. I never wanted her to see me like that.
I was always a fighter. I am not ashamed of it all because it was the fight in me that made me get up off that patio and push forward where I made it through a better version of myself. I still have bad days like anyone else but they are better than my best days with him. The best thing my husband ever did for me was divorce me. He gave me my life back.