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Advice for the battered wife

Updated on March 23, 2014

First I would like to say that I was a battered wife for 11 years. Yes 11, and there are many different circumstances that let me to this, but nevertheless I found myself in a marriage that was undeniably dysfunctional to say the least. Of course it is the typical begining, my then husband didn't show his true colors until after we were married.

The first hit came as a big surprise and it was so devastating and heart-breaking to me. Here was the man that I loved with all my heart and I knew at this point that he was quick to anger but on this first occasion that he hit me; we were arguing over something silly, and then he hit me as hard as he could across the face. At first it was such a shock that I just stood there with my mouth open. Then the light bulb went off in my head, wow, my husband actually hit me. It broke my heart into millions of little pieces, never to recover again. It was stitched up quite a bit, but it was never the same.

Things got bad to worse and I stayed with him and we had 2 children. It made things harder to leave because of all sorts of reasons that only a battered wife can justify. Mainly I was scared to death. My ex-husband would threaten me with taking my children and I believed him. I did leave him several times, but always returned. It was only until I hit rock bottom that I realized that the only way I was going to be any good to my children was if I healed myself, because my rock bottom was when I ended up in a hospital with bruises from head to toe and believing with all my heart that the next time he touched me he would kill me.

I went to a women's shelter with my children and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Sure it was hard uprooting my children and having to start over again by myself but it was so invigorating to be in control of my life, of myself again. It felt good not to have to walk on egg shells anymore and not to see the look of horror in my children’s faces anymore.

That was 12 years ago and it took a lot of therapy and support to get me to trust anyone again, as well as make sure that my children got the therapy they needed. My ex-husband got plenty of therapy as well and he is actually doing better and has a relationship with our grown children. God is working in his life now and he is a different person.

If there is anyone out there who is going through what I did I would like to give you some advice:

1. Be honest with yourself, don't make excuses for your husband or wife.

2. Realize that if your husband or wife hits you once he will do it again.

3. Talk to someone that you can trust, like a sibling, or mother and father. It may even make you feel better to talk to a pastor or priest; they can give you invaluable advice and give you spiritual support.

4. Save as much money as you can. Even a little at a time whenever you can because once you decide to leave you are going to need it.

5. Don't be afraid to go to a women's shelter. They are one of the safest places you can go because your husband would never find you there and the shelter would never reveal where you are.

6. Get a lawyer if he is threatening to take your kids, if you cannot afford one there is always help out there for you.

7. Depending on how violent your husband is you should get a restraining order.

8. Try to stay strong for your children if you have them. You don't want to keep the cycle of violence going and statistics show that children may grow up to be abusers themselves.

9. Hold your head up and stay strong. You would be surprised to realize how strong a person you can become.

10. Finally really, really know that it wasn't your fault.

Sure it always takes two to tango and I did several things in my marriage that I am not proud of, like burning the roast a few times, and over drawing the bank account. I had way too many credit cards and lied to my husband on several occasions. Yes I had sexual encounters with other men. Yes I am guilty of this and maybe you are too but you know what? It still doesn't give anyone any justification to beat you senseless. Once you realize this then you can become the strong person that you were meant to be.

© 2009 ladyjane1


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