Have you ever wondered why does a well-educated and independent woman choose to stay in an abusive marriage, even when she gets bruises and injuries in return?
This question has bothered many of us. We hear multiple incidents of strong and independent women accepting domestic abuse, and not talking about it.
We are left wondering why they never raise their strong voices against abuse?
But recently, this woman came forward to share her story of courage and talked about why it is difficult to move out of an abusive marriage.
She shared the dilemma that many domestic abuse victims go through as they continue to stay in a toxic relationship.
Recalling what she went through, this brave woman shared with HoB:
“The first time he slapped me was when we were engaged. It was out of the blue, during a party– I locked myself in the bathroom and cried so no one found out. He hurt me, but my first instinct was to worry about what people would think of him. I didn’t have the courage to leave; so, I dismissed it as a ‘one time thing’.
But after marriage, I realized that it was just the beginning. If dinner was served late, he’d scream at me, and after a bad day at work, he’d shout and tell me it was my fault. Once, he got so drunk that he bit my arm till it bruised, and threw a ceramic plate that just missed my head. I was terrified, but after every fight he’d cry and apologize till I forgave him.
This toxic cycle continued until 2 days before our 1st anniversary, things got unbearable– he strangled me and slapped me in drunken rage. I finally broke down and told my in-laws. But they said, ‘Our son isn’t like that, you must have provoked him.’ My self-esteem hit rock bottom; I thought that something was wrong with ME for him to treat me that badly and that my love could ‘fix’ it. So even as the abuse worsened, I tolerated it.
But our marriage was broken beyond repair. He realized it too, because one day when I was at my mum’s house, he ended it all with a simple, ‘This is not working out.’ I should have been relieved– the torture had finally ended. But instead, I was miserable.
I was so wired to think it was my fault, I felt ashamed to face people. But when I confided in a close friend, the horrified look on his face told me that what I’d faced wasn’t normal– no marriage was supposed to be like that. Eventually, I opened up to my friends and family, and finally realized it wasn’t me– it was never me.
After my divorce, it took months of therapy and unlearning my trauma till I believed that him leaving, was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Slowly, I moved on and on my 30th birthday, I posted on Instagram, ‘I’m single, without kids and on a dating app!’ The response from women all over, was overwhelming!
So, I started a support group called ‘Project Kintsugi’; a safe space for women to share their stories of domestic violence. I realized how strong the power of sharing was, when a woman sent me a picture of her son, and thanked me for saving her from considering suicide. I even gave talks at colleges to empower young women.
Sometimes, it still stings that I hadn’t left sooner; I wasn’t the one to walk away. But you know what? I’m not that woman anymore. I know what I’m worth, what I deserve and I’ll be damned if I ever let anyone treat me like that again. Because young or old, divorced or not, I deserve to be loved and respected.”
At IFORHER, we celebrate this woman’s courage to move out of the toxic relationship. We hope her story inspires many more to gather the courage to stand against the abuse and the abuser!
If you know of anyone who is struggling in a toxic marriage, please DONOT ask them to stay in a toxic relationship for any reason! Please don’t convince them that lack of financial stability is a good enough reason to be mistreated, insulted, and abused.
Rather help them find ways to move out of this abuse. Because no one deserves to suffer in silence.