She walked out of the hospital room, shaking her head. She was trying to hold onto her control. He had just died; she could not allow her feelings free rein yet. She needed to get home and notify their family and friends. There was the funeral to plan and the wake. She could make it through that, she was sure. She had controlled her emotions for years; she knew she could do it.
Sarah headed for the pickup in the parking lot. She was glad he had not been driving it when he had the heart attack, she really preferred to drive it and it was newer. Surprising, he usually had the newer vehicle. She mused on that surprising fact. His vehicle usually got fixed and hers went to the junk yard. She didn’t need a vehicle as much as he did.
She went home and called the family. Then she called the funeral home and told them to set the plans in motion. John had planned for everything so meticulously. All she had to do was let them know where he was. Their three children, all in their mid to late thirties were surprised and saddened. They thought he was going to live forever. He was so strong; nothing was more surprising to them.
His sister and two brothers were on the way with their spouses. They all had such wonderful, stable marriages. They were a model family, every one of them prosperous and seemingly madly in love. Sarah wondered if their family bliss was as false as hers had been. They all had nice homes in affluent communities. They all had very good jobs and had their estates planned out.
The funeral went off without a hitch and Sarah breathed a sigh of relief when the last ones left to go home. She was finally going to be able to relax and let her feelings go. She didn’t know how she had managed but she had.
She thought about her marriage to John. It had been a rough first few years but she had finally gotten things figured out. The arguments had ceased as she figured out what she needed to do.
She needed to be the perfect wife. That was what John and his family expected and that was what they got. She got her act together and things were a lot smoother when she quit trying to do things her way. She put the last bowl of food on the table as John drove into the driveway. She arrived at the door moments before it opened, with a smile and a kiss waiting. The household finances were pared down to a minimum with gourmet meals on the table.
The house was always spotless, and decorated in the latest style. She worked in the vegetable garden to stretch the money so that he could have the prime meat cuts. Only the healthiest food was permitted in the house and their children thrived.
And of course she was a whore in the bedroom. That was what the perfect wife was; a lady in the parlor, a genius in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom. She studied pornography as if her life depended on it. She was up for anything that John thought he might be interested in. That was the most important thing to him. He had a wild imagination and used her to fulfill it.
She learned after the first two times, never refuse him, he would make her pay. The first time was when they had just been married for three months. She had the flu and felt terrible. Her muscles hurt so bad that she did not feel like moving. John had reached for her and she had said that she didn’t feel up to it. He threw her out the door into the back yard and told her to go away then. The next day she called him to talk about things and he apologized. She went back.
The second time, they had been married for two years; she had fallen from a ladder painting and bruised her ribs. She asked if they could postpone it for a day or two. He said no, they were going to do it whether she wanted to or not. She tried to leave him the next day, but he had found her and beat her. She was told that she was never going to leave him and if she tried, he would kill her. That is when things clicked into place.
She started to sob as the realization hit her. John was gone from her life. For so many years, she had been the perfect wife. She did not know what she was going to do without him around. No more prostituting herself to her husband. Not being allowed to refuse sex had made her feel like she was being raped every time he touched her. She dreaded the look he got every night. He enjoyed seeing her lust for him and got mad when she didn't; so she learned to put a mask on. The lust mask, she called it.
She put it on every time he touched her. He also enjoyed trying to make her slip, so that he could punish her for it. He would surprise her once in a while when he would suddenly decide it was time. Her face would show the repulsion she felt and he would punch her in the ribs or the stomach, never in the face, that might show. Then she got the cold treatment until she went to him and begged for it. She learned to never let her emotions show through. It was easier that way. Now she wondered if she could ever act natural again, if she could ever let her real feelings show.
Sarah started going back to church, hoping that God would forgive her seeming rejection of Him. John did not go to church and what he did not do, must not be good. She knew what the Bible said. She knew seven times seven times that you should forgive someone but she was still hesitant. She had learned about duplicity from a master.
She sold the house, she had never liked it anyway, and John had picked it out. She bought a nice little bungalow and fixed it the way she liked it. She joined some of the community organizations hoping to fill some time. She was starting to feel more comfortable about showing her true feelings. She was a contributor to the women’s shelter, sponsoring battered women’s groups. They never guessed that she was one.
Sarah was finally recovering from her trauma of over forty years. She knew one thing only, she would never again put herself in the position of a man being in charge of the intimate things that she did with her body. She would go without intimacy forever if that is what it took. She had outlived him and she was in charge again. The final victory was hers.
This is a totally fictitious story. Women are abused daily by their husbands. All abuse is not physical, a lot is emotional and verbal. All abuse is wrong. Being forced to do something against your will is abuse. Being forced to have sex is rape, it does not matter if you are married to the person. Don't put up with it, leave it. You will be much happier.
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