It’s almost 3 years to the day that I left my husband. And in all that time I don’t think I actually dealt with what happened. I think I kept brushing it off as “not that bad”, or that I was over exaggerating.
We finally dissected it during EMDR today. A whistlestop tour through the 6 year relationship, and it made me realise how scarred I had become by what happened. How it impacted on my reaction to Ethan, how I ignored the red flags of jonny and Andrew. Why I put up with being treated like shit and only put the blame on myself.
A few snap shots of my relationship with Ed:
He made me feel like I was an embarrassment; I wasnt allowed to visit him at work or see his friends. To keep quiet. He proposed next to a bush and a bin at Victoria Falls rather than in front of the scenic areas so as not to create a scene.
He made me feel as though he was doing me a favour getting married, “its not a big deal for me but you clearly want to get married, so you have to pay.”
He promised me a life with our 2 cats, a dog and 2 children. Then changed his mind as we got married. He robbed me of my chance at being a mother. He even let me meet the puppy that had been earmarked as ours, then changed his mind.
He made me feel fat and disgusting. Insisting I couldn’t eat the same food as it’ll make me fat, so I had to hide if I wanted a snack. Not allowing me to have wine or chastising me if I had a drink when he did.
Told me my friends were wierd and boring and that he didnt want to spend time with them. Then made me feel bad if i spent time with them instead of him. But wouldn’t let me join him with his friends
Calling my sister “the old bint” and being mean about her because she once called him out on being a dick at the start of our relationship.
Refusing to spend time with my family and not making the effort when mum was really ill in hospital.
I had do the cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry, gardening. He wouldn’t lift a finger. Refused to get a cleaner when i said I’d pay, when i was too tired to clean after a run of 12 days, or working 72hr weeks. Refused to let me get a dishwasher as i had to learn how to wash up.
Telling me i was boring and depressing to be around when i was sad, threatening to leave me. Led to me losing insight into a major depressive episode in 2015 because he said i was over reacting any looking for attention
Telling me I was bottom of the household hierarchy. him at the top, then the cats then maybe me. Told me the cats loved him and not me.
Never calling me pretty. Calling me “arsehole” instead.
Telling me i was not the most interesting or clever person he knew. Ridiculing me and saying I couldn’t be a doctor because i was too silly. Contradicting or sneering at me when i tried to talk to him about something that interested me.
Not letting me watch what I wanted on TV when he was home because it was his TV and “you just watch shit”.
Checking if I’d been to the gym or for a swim or a run everyday because “you moan about being fat and I’m only trying to help”.
Not touching me until I’d had a shower. Made it out to be a chore to hug or kiss me goodnight.
If i wasn’t feeling well would ask what was wrong only to be told “there’s always something.”
Making me pay for everything because i was the doctor, even though we earned the same after tax. Then telling me off for never having any money.
Whipping me with teatowels and laughing if i slipped over or got hurt.
Threw stuff at me and called me names if i didn’t help him with something straight away. Then if we had a fight would tell people about how it was my fault if something broke because i lost my temper.
Telling me we would spend the day together so i couldn’t do volunteering or see friends, then he would go off to the gym/play PlayStation or go see his friends/family instead, and if i made plans on his day off would make me feel bad for not being home instead just incase he wanted to do something. Which he never did.
If i had a nap (which i love doing) he would rip off the covers and pull me out of bed on purpose.
Messaged inappropriate things to other girls and would laugh it off as “just an inside joke”.
When i went to Africa for 6 weeks he didnt call me, not even once. So when he came out i checked his messages as I didnt trust him, and found a FB message to my dad asking him if he could marry me. A fucking facebook message. He didnt even bother to call or drive down to see dad in person. And despite this, i still said yes when he proposed next to a bush &bin.
Told me to fuck off coz he was in a bad mood about having to drive me to Cambridge for my hip op the next day. So i ran away that night and tried to make alternative arrangements to get to my op. He did take me after all, but then got annoyed at me because my operation was in the afternoon not the morning, even though it was out of my control. Then i had to stay overnight post op because of low blood pressure so he took my card and i had to pay for a hotel because i had said it was a day operation. He caught D&v so when i was meant to be non weight bearing and recovering the week after surgery I had to look after him instead.
Making me pay the £1500 extra for the damage to our rental property even though he never bothered to stop the cats scratching the carpets or opened the window in the bathroom.
Telling me he would never move from north norfolk so i had to decide if i wanted to work in nnuh or qeh for ED. So i chose anaesthetics as at least i liked the qeh anaesthetics department.
Refusing to compromise on where we lived as he hated driving so i had to commute instead.
I had never felt so invisible or alone as when i was in that relationship.
Telling me “why cant you just be a normal girlfriend”
I went above and beyond for him to try to keep him happy but nothing was ever good enough. I wasnt good enough.
Anni was there and heard me say to him the day before the wedding “we dont have to get married” when he got cold feet. But he was too much of a coward to tell me then that he’d given a stripper oral sex on his stag do the week before.
I felt so alone and sad on my wedding day. He didnt spend any time with me, almost refused the first dance and got absolutely wasted before shouting at me when i asked to go to the hotel. He tried to get my younger teenage cousins drunk and was creepy towards them. He and his friends drank the bar dry on dad’s money. He eventually came to he hotel and told me what he’d done on his stag do. I died inside when i found out.
The months before i left i would drive home from work hoping he wasnt home. I’d fantasise about driving into a tree. Or that he would drive into a tree. Or that he’d die.
I couldn’t leave as I had all my worldly possessions in that house and no where to go. I had no money, only a handful of friends.
I had thought this was all relatively normal