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I Walked Away From An Abusive Marriage, Leaving My Children Behind

How would I get out of this abusive marriage with my children? The biggest concern — would he let me? That's when it hit me — I needed to play by his game.

Trigger Warning: This deals with emotional abuse, physical abuse and suicidal ideation, and may be triggering to readers.

I have two children from this monster I call a husband. He walked into my life promising a happily ever after, and the nitwit that I was fell for the oldest trick in the book.

Love!

He said, he loved me, and I agreed to everything

He said he loved me and asked me to live with his parents instead of a two bedroom flat he had promised where we would build our neuclear family. I agreed.

He said he loved me and asked me to quit my job and take care of his aging parents. I agreed.

He said he loved me and so changed my dressing sense after all, it was he who saw me in those clothes and I should look beautiful for him he said, I obeyed.

Unknowingly I kept digging my own grave in the name of love. Little by little my inner self eroded away.

First the voice was raised, then the hand

He never raised a hand, never screamed. But in his own controlling way, which was laced with sweetness and adoration he ruled my life. He changed me from a confident young engineer to a homemaker who doubted her every decision.

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But if I thought that he would not raise his voice or his hand— I was wrong.

When I bowed to his every controlling behavior and stopped showing my pain, my stress, my tension and he could not get pleasure from my suffering, he tried other ways, raising his hand was one of them.

Gifts were not the balm I was seeking for my wound

I was confused at first, wondering how he could treat me like this when he promised undying love. And every time after an abuse he would not apologize but shower me with gifts. Gifts that would make up for his brutal treatment.

I forgave him even without an apology because I believed that if I endured soon he would become a better man—  he would change his ways. That is what all the people around me including my parents said—  and I believed them.

I believed that I could still be happy

That was how gullible I was—

The narcissist that he was, he knew that the more pressure he put on me the more pain I felt and he would feed on that pain. And I would not leave, no matter what he did—

He wanted me to scream to shout to tell him to stop torturing me and when I did—  I could see the happiness on his face. A face I had begun to loathe.

He wanted me to be a trained dog, like how you command a dog and the dog obeys, that’s what he expected of me. But unfortunately for him—  I was no animal. I was not trained to be one. I cried at night hoping he would change, but deep down I knew—  it would never happen.

How would I get a job?

By then I had two children, a boy and a girl. Three and five years old. I was an engineer with zero experience to show for six years. How would I get a job?

How would I pay for my children? How would I get out of this  abusive marriage that was eating me on the inside? But the bigger question was—  would he let me do all those things?

That’s when it hit me—  I needed to play his game.

AND WIN!

I hatched a plan

I knew he would not allow me to work and earn, money was again a control chip. So I had to play my cards right.

“I am so grateful and thankful to you hubby,” I said on a weekend sitting beside him and pecking his cheek.

The monster looked at me, “Why?” came a curious reply.

“I have been living free of cost and you’re taking care of my every need. I am so lucky to have you in my life. I don’t have to slog a single day, do a 12 hours job and come home tired. Thank you for taking care of me.” I smiled even though my insides were ready to scream bloody murder.

Now I had made my move, all I had to do was wait. And as expected I didn’t have to wait for long.

“Saumya, I think it’s time you resume your career. I think the kids are grown up enough to manage independently and mom can take care of them while you’re away. Or we can put them in a daycare center.”

“But, but—  I like staying home. I love being a homemaker.” I lied and the fake tears that fell were worthy of an award.

The satisfaction I saw on my husband’s face then—  made me realize I was right in making a decision to leave.

Money is power, and I needed power to be stable again

Yes I was leaving—  but first I needed a footing of my own before I flew. And in today’s world, with no support from family, money was EVERYTHING.

I immediately started job hunting and within a month I found an employer. I was overjoyed. But my happiness had to be concealed. I very sadly gave the news to my hubby who congratulated me on my achievement.

I started working and slowly but steadily my confidence returned. Money at the end of the month was definitely a very good confidence builder. I started saving bit by bit.

It took me a year to save enough for an advance payement on a house. The beatings and the psychological abuse was getting worse every single day.

But what about kids?

But now the big question was—  if I took the kids and left. He would fight for custody. That’s how his sick mind worked. Take what I want and watch me beg for his mercy. That night I knew what I had to do.

I made sure the kids were asleep with their grandparents as I didn’t want them to hear this particular conversation.

I said confronting him, “Ansh, I want a divorce.

“What is wrong with you? Have you lost your mind? Stop talking nonsense and go to sleep.” He commanded.

“I have had enough of your bullshit,” I said without raising my voice. I tried to keep the trembling out of my voice. As I didn’t want to feed the monster in him anymore. I had to tell him and show him that I didn’t fear him.

“I have been in a relationship with you for seven years. For seven years you have managed to change me into another person. I don’t recognise the stranger that stares at me everyday through the mirror.

I hate the way I dress, hate the length of my hair, hate the food I eat, I can’t even decide on a movie or the time I wake up or go to bed. I have to sit when you ask me to, stand when you command me—

I don’t want to do it anymore. And above all this I hate living with your parents, these people watch me suffer every single day and do not raise their voice to tell you you’re wrong.

But moving forward you will have to find yourself another wife, or better yet a dog—  I want to be able to make the choices in my life, for myself.” I said, still in a calm composed voice.

As a wife it is your duty to obey me!

“As a wife it is your duty to obey your husband. There is nothing I demanded which is out of the ordinary.” He pointed out.

“Everything about our relationship is out of the ordinary. I don’t want to be controlled.”

“Fine, if divorce is what you want. Then I will give it to you. What about the children?” He asked.

My heart trembled in my chest. He was baiting me again. Checking what I want simply so that he could take it away from me.

I said trying hard and controlling my tears from spilling, “I plan on remarrying starting my life with a man who wants to share my life with me and not control it. I want to erase my past and start a new life. The children cannot be a part of this new life.”

I could not live without my kids. But I had to do this—  if not with his influence and money I would lose the custody battle. I knew that for sure. I had to lose a battle to win the war.

“I request you to keep the kids.” I said, and picked up my suitcase and walked out the house without my children with me.

That night I entered my mother’s house and locked myself up in the room. And wailed like someone had died.

I had died that day, I had killed the woman my husband had created inside me. I had murdered her very existence. Yet she was a part of me, and had been for seven years of my life. She had been a dog, a servant, a slave. And today I killed that woman.

My wails were of re-living the horrors of what I had been through. And later they turned into screams of fear, what if he decided to keep the children. I had half the mind to run back to him—  and apologize.

What if my plan didn’t work?

What if he sees through my scheme? I was truly in pain. The next few days I had my eyes glued to the entrance door. And my cell phone did not leave my clutches.

Lots of guests came and went and the taunts and shocked expressions on their faces when my parents informed them that I came back alone were  adding to my stress.

But I did not give up. This was a fight I had to fight for their future and mine. I knew my MIL was a lazy woman and would give up taking care of the children in a matter of weeks! And my soon to be ex-hubby would not want the baggage of children when he started looking for any poor soul to call a wife.

Safety of the children was important

I was amazed how the thought of my husband with another woman didn’t hurt me. All I could think about was the safety of my children. Have they eaten, have they slept properly, have they been taken care of. I spent 14 sleepless nights crying in bed.

My parents too were against my decision of leaving and very angry that I had come without my kids. I could not explain my plan to them. They would never understand.

They believed in the institution of marriage and thought everything could be remedied. They volunteered to accompany me to my husband’s house and apologize on my behalf.

I had to threaten them with suicide to convince them against it. They let the matter go, but cursed the day they educated me.

“Too much freedom we gave you, today you are smearing our faces with disgrace,” they sighed.

I had to get my own place

I was already thinking of finding my own place once the divorce got finalized and I had my kids with me. And at that time I was positive my parents would come around.

So I dealt with my misery alone.

Cried alone.

Waited, alone.

On the 15th day I received a call from him. “I don’t want to be married to a slut who thinks of remarriage even before divorcing her husband.” He spat, another way of instilling fear and feeding on it. I did not react, disappointing him.

“I don’t even know if the kids are mine— ” another jibe to which I did not react. “If you don’t want the kids. I will keep them with me. Mother will look after them.” He was baiting me once again. Seeing if I would beg him to give the kids to me.

I knew him too well to bite the bait.

“As you wish. You are their father—  you can make a better decision for them. I wish you the best of luck.” I said and cut the call.

My hands shivered, my eyes teared up and for a few minutes I had to breathe into a paper bag to stop the panic attack. I fell to the ground and prayed—  prayed for help, mercy— Divine intervention!

That very night, the kids were brought home to me. He simply had left them at the entrance of my door. And messaged me saying. “They are not mine— ”

I ran to the entrance and hugged my children and wept bitterly into their arms. I apologized a million times even though they would not understand.

“We missed you Amma,” My elder one said, hugging me and the guilt I felt for leaving them returned in full swing and I cried a little more. I had the rest of our life to make it up to them.

I had finally won the war!

I was free, free from his clutches and had a world of opportunities waiting for me. I breathed in a wholesome breath— freedom felt empowering.

Just like I had predicted, Ansh got married in a matter of months after the divorce. My parents accepted my choice and finally apologized for not seeing the monster behind the man.

I for now am going through therapy. Taking each day as it comes and smiling more often. The kids are out of a toxic relationship.

The tears have given way to happiness, laughter and I am hopeful that someday I will find true love. And if I don’t— I am just happy loving myself and my children.

***

This is a true story. If you relate to the post please leave a comment. It will cheer the person up for whom I wrote the post—  she needs all the hugs and best wishes she can get.

Proud of you sweetheart.

Image source: Still from trailer of Ammu, on youtube, edited on CanvaPro

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About the Author

Masroor S

Dentist by day, Writer by night. There are a million stories that need to be told, smiles to be achieved, tears to be shared. Lives to be touched and justice to be served. I wanna read more...

6 Posts | 11,371 Views

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