I, Anonymous

Battered and Fried

I never, ever believed I would find myself here. I am an empowered woman. I have worked with survivors of rape and intimate-partner violence. I do not see myself as invulnerable or better than people who end up in violent relationships, but I do believe that I have a strong enough support network and know enough about the warning signs to be able to avoid it or to leave if it begins to evolve. So why is leaving you the furthest thing from my mind?

You gave me two black eyes. On our anniversary. You threatened to rape me during a fight. That it was a hollow threat seems almost meaningless—you wanted to see me that scared. Mission accomplished. You have been convicted of domestic violence in your past and have proven yourself capable of it again.

But our relationship looks nothing like an abusive relationship should. We are exquisitely egalitarian. You support me emotionally, love me unconditionally, share my values, and treat me with respect, compassion, and adoration at all other times. You do not try to destroy my self-esteem or my relationships with others. You are not jealous, irrational, or controlling. You are my strongest advocate and my most emphatic cheerleader. You are my best friend.

You have assumed full responsibility for your atrocious behavior and are taking concrete and measurable steps to fix it. But you have struggled with anger-management and impulse-control issues for your entire life. You got arrested, got help, and got better. Then you relapsed.

I don't know if I believe that you will never do it again. recommended

Submit your unsigned confession or accusation here. Please remember to change the names of the innocent and guilty. One submission will be published in the paper and online every week.

Comments (100) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Wow. Tough situation. Although it seems difficult from your perspective, Anon, I think the drive for self-preservation ought outweigh your love for you partner and your desire to see your partner overcome and become a success story of rehabilitation.

Definitely very tough situation. But get away. Black eyes are only the beginning.
Posted by sociallyappropriate on April 21, 2010 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Sat'n 2
He will do it again. Leave him before it's too late.

Now we can read all the comments from the people who think everything is all your fault.

Mr. Bret Gillete? Anyone?
Posted by Sat'n on April 21, 2010 at 11:18 AM · Report this
you need to leave. he will do it again. it will get worse. and if you don't leave, your chances of being murdered by him become increasingly high. don't be fooled by the fact that he doesn't "fit the mold" of what you think an abuser looks like. anyone who punches someone in the face and threatens to rape them - no matter what they say they are doing to change that - is not someone you want to entrust your life with - get out now.
Posted by xina on April 21, 2010 at 11:46 AM · Report this
What a freakin idiot! Get outta there moron before you end up dead or disabled.
Posted by HuhUSoStupid on April 21, 2010 at 12:12 PM · Report this
I am really, really trying not to go down the "blaming the victim" path, but I do wonder there's a level on which you think his anger is kind of hot? That you enjoy the transgressiveness of being a modern, empowered woman flirting with abuse? For people who are turned on by the idea of consensual powerplay and BDSM, sometimes a nonconsensual kind of dynamic feels exciting. Until it just feels horrible and abusive. If this is the dynamic (and I'm totally projecting based on my experience, and that of others I've known), figure out how to explore these desires in a safe, sane, consensual way, rather than one that could see you raped, disabled, or dead.
Posted by AnathemaT on April 21, 2010 at 12:29 PM · Report this
2+2=5 6
You know there are others out there with all the same good qualities who would never punch you or threaten you with rape out of anger.

If you stay you may think things are fine until *snap* and then it's too late. You see the signs, enough to write to The Stranger about it. So run away, don't walk, don't let yourself be tempted, just get out.
Posted by 2+2=5 on April 21, 2010 at 12:53 PM · Report this
Maverick Biceps 7
TWO BLACK EYES "But he's so nice!"
Posted by Maverick Biceps on April 21, 2010 at 1:23 PM · Report this
is your boyfriend really a pit bull?
Posted by dogs like my Gina on April 21, 2010 at 1:41 PM · Report this
nootkarose 9
Whether or not your partner is controlling in all other aspects of your life in irrelevant. He has tried and succeeded in making you feel fear and rightfully so. So it took a long time for him to show you his dark side, that's another side to abusers, they often try to come off as perfect gentleman. Abusers don't abuse at first or no one would stay with them for very long, that's one way people become trapped these relationships, because they are already heavily invested in the relationship they've seen their good side and they want it back plus they are afraid.

There is only one situation I can think of right now where someone should let the abuser stay(that's right, don't walk, make them leave with a restraining order), and thats if the abuser not only starts some kind of therapy but makes a full confession making no excuses for his behavior to his family and friends as well as yours, and enlists them to help you feel supported by them. Abuse is not just a problem between the couple, the courts, and their therapist, it is a community problem and people need to respond in a communal way to fucking stop it.
Posted by nootkarose on April 21, 2010 at 1:41 PM · Report this
hans millionaire 10
get a pistol & defend yourself next time!
Posted by hans millionaire on April 21, 2010 at 1:47 PM · Report this
He's a psychopath and you are his victim. Wake up and get out.
Posted by Soporifix on April 21, 2010 at 3:28 PM · Report this
you're better off alone. leave when he's gone and don't ever go back.
Posted by suck it up and move on on April 21, 2010 at 3:31 PM · Report this
nseattlite 13
The signs are there. Read you own writing, pretending you are reading writing from someone you would want to help. The answer is there.
Posted by nseattlite on April 21, 2010 at 3:36 PM · Report this
zoe 14
Oh jeezus. I've been there - and my abuser was my soulmate, best friend, comrade, and protector. Of course he was - if he abused me ALL the time, would I have stayed with him? No, so he was sweet and kind and remorseful and egalitarian - just like all abusers are. They have to be. They are addicted to the thrill of having a punching bag. It is the ultimate control freak mindfuck to get someone to trust you and love you and then brutalize them. Talk to other women who've been through it -- I got help at a battered women's support group in my town.
Posted by zoe on April 21, 2010 at 4:04 PM · Report this
Anthropomorhpise Me 15
Those who can't do, teach?
Posted by Anthropomorhpise Me on April 21, 2010 at 4:09 PM · Report this
Is there something heavy you can grab? A rock, a brick, a boom box? If so, smash it against his head until he retreats or loses consciousness. Or mace the fucker.
Posted by abusersmustdie on April 21, 2010 at 6:25 PM · Report this
Sweet! Dude sounds like an absolute darling.
Posted by Shiny on April 21, 2010 at 6:50 PM · Report this
freesandbags 18
AHHHHHHHHH!!! Run. Get OUT!! If you end up Dead because of this person I won't be able to weep. Sorry:(
Posted by freesandbags on April 21, 2010 at 7:05 PM · Report this
two black eyes? i guess he had to tell you twice! dumb cunt. why is she still there? he's got a big dick and makes her cum.
Posted by gillettebret on April 21, 2010 at 7:23 PM · Report this
Oh Anon - what would you tell someone that came to you with the same story?
Posted by Lisa808 on April 21, 2010 at 7:56 PM · Report this
That's the way it was with my abuser too - trust me when I say that waiting for him to work out his issues is NOT going to end up well for you. I actually truly believe that my abuser wants to be better and may, in fact, someday be a perfectly safe and reasonable person to date - but holy shit is my life better since I left him.

Don't listen to all the shitbags who haven't been in the situation you're in. It's hard to leave someone like that and you lose a lot of good things. But what you gain is more than worth it. Good luck.
Posted by Never got a black eye, just a perma-bruise on my leg on April 21, 2010 at 8:41 PM · Report this
WOW! Sat'n, you totally called GilletteBret's comment. You is some kinda psychic.

I'm all for rehabilitation. But it doesn't work if he has what he wants without repercussions. So, he gave you two black eyes. Get a restraining order, kick his ass out, and then after a year's worth of serious work and therapy on his part (though you could use some too) re-evaluate his mental state. But after what he did to you, you must have distance. going thru the motions is bullshit... and that's all he's doing if you're letting him stay. don't be an enabler.
Posted by ggg on April 21, 2010 at 8:54 PM · Report this
monkwild 23
"Relapse" is an interesting word, at its clear that not ALL domestic abusers are waiting in the shadows, plotting our demise.
I suspect some are more like drunks or crackheads, overcome with the itch to use.
And that can make it so tricky....
How can the man who loves, honours and values you so much, get off on hurting and debasing you so much?
I think I'm a bit like you, and I seem to have a partner a bit like that.
The 2% is always lurking on the periphery.
When stuff is good, I just take out my magic eraser and tell myself that the bad bit isn't quite so real.
But here is the deal (for me, anyway): As I have developed the courage to stand strong, I have found the ugliness so much less tolerable. Additionally, I have realized that I can only change myself, and not him.
His ability or willingness to change is secondary.
My self-worth and determination to live well, THAT is primary.
Whether or not you think he'll do it again is not relevant.
Why you decide to stay, is.

As for poor # 19, if you can identify him, SOMEONE, FOR GOD'S SAKE, give him some warm milk and a frontal lobotomy!
The high blood pressure, loneliness, stress and addiction to internet porn, (not to mention the immense sadness) are surely killing him slowly.
Posted by monkwild on April 21, 2010 at 8:58 PM · Report this
Anne in MA 24
Dear Anon,

Please, please run. The fact that he's assuming "full responsibility" for his actions and being emotionally supportive? You have to recognize that's part of the old textbook cycle of abuse. Trying to destroy your self-esteem or relationship with others, that's just one tactic abusers use to control their partners. It's far from the only tactic.

I'm not saying he'll always be an abuser, but it won't stop until he's really forced to own up to what he's doing. And the only way he'll do that is by losing you.

You say that you don't believe him when he says he won't do it again. Even if he doesn't, that kind of stress is not something you need to carry with you. Sometimes, you have to follow your head instead of your heart. End it now.
Posted by Anne in MA on April 21, 2010 at 9:48 PM · Report this
She picked him.
Posted by scotchlvr on April 21, 2010 at 10:37 PM · Report this
You must get rid of him now. Leave. Just go. File a restraining order.

That violent side of his will always be there. He may be able to restrain it most of the time, but it is never going away. It is part of who he is.

Normal men do not have a desire to beat up women in the first place. It's not a question of restraining or managing a desire to beat up women.

As another commenter said, there are plenty of men who have all of the same positive qualities without the barely restrained desire to beat the shit out of someone.
Posted by notfromaroundhere on April 21, 2010 at 11:16 PM · Report this
Ted Bundy didn't seem the type either, did he?

So now he's broken you. You set boundaries, he's pushed them, and you haven't walked. What next? Probably escalation. Bet your empowered ass that next time will indeed come, and it won't just be black eyes.

Walk don't run.
Posted by TheloniousPunk on April 21, 2010 at 11:16 PM · Report this
That should obviously read

RUN, don't walk.
Posted by TheloniousPunk on April 21, 2010 at 11:17 PM · Report this
He's a psychopath!!! Run now or figure out if you want to live with whatever damage he'll inflict on you in the future.
Posted by bbb888 on April 22, 2010 at 1:13 AM · Report this
Oh, I really think she should stay with him. For as long as it takes.
Posted by montex on April 22, 2010 at 3:41 AM · Report this
move to another city.
Posted by friedchicken on April 22, 2010 at 5:11 AM · Report this
@24 has it down pat: "The fact that he's assuming "full responsibility" for his actions and being emotionally supportive? You have to recognize that's part of the old textbook cycle of abuse. Trying to destroy your self-esteem or relationship with others, that's just one tactic abusers use to control their partners. It's far from the only tactic."

He is abusive, the good is to make you stay, and regardless of whether he wants to change, you can't stay with him the way he is now. Break it off, and if you really, truly believe he is dedicated to changing and really, truly feel you need to help him on that journey, do it from a safe place--outside of a romantic relationship. Do not put yourself in a position of vulnerability where he could attack you again, and enlist friends or family in the situation, not just to help him, but also to watch for signs of emotional abuse or manipulation--because make no mistake, whether it's intentional on his part or not, manipulation is what all that niceness and supportiveness and Being A Great Guy is.

As several other people have said, read your letter objectively, and pretend it was sent by an acquaintance or stranger. What advice would you, as an empowered woman, give then?
Posted by Peri on April 22, 2010 at 5:58 AM · Report this
Wow, there are some really good comments on this one.

And they're right. There is no amount of emotional cheerleading that makes up for the fact that he GAVE YOU TWO BLACK EYES.

MAYBE he can overcome his anger-management issues. MAYBE he can learn to control his temper. But maybe you deserve better than to serve as his punching bag until that day comes.

But I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that even after the NEXT time he hits her, she stays. Because he's such a swell guy.

We women are such morons...
Posted by It's Jenn on April 22, 2010 at 7:15 AM · Report this
Once he's abused you, it's already poisoned the relationship. He may be capable of change, but if he abuses you at all and you stick around, he's not going to be able to change with you. It's already established in some part of his reaction machinery that he can hurt you, and you will stay.
He may be intelligent, loving, and never, never *mean* to become an abusive person. But he's made you live in fear, and you still live in fear, and now fear sets the tone in your relationship.
Losing you is the natural consequence of what he's done. Losing you AND facing criminal consequences, even. Natural consequences can bring about change in the willing.
By staying, you're removing the natural consequences, and you're preventing yourself from having safety and peace - even of your own mind and emotions.
Even feminists get battered. Even feminists get raped. Even people who believe in the equality of the sexes abuse their partner because when it comes down to it, it's not about who's "better", but about who has the capability to control through fear.
He wanted to win an argument, so he threatened to rape you.
He is in control of his anger, don't for a second buy the "I couldn't help myself" bit if he tries it, or the "I have anger management issues" bit either. He controls his anger - and he uses it to control you and your responses to him.
Maybe he can change. But he can't change with you.
Posted by Forlorn on April 22, 2010 at 7:18 AM · Report this
You must leave.
That's all.
I, too, work with victims of domestic violence and I'm horrified that the incident you describe apparently came out of a clear blue sky... I'm taking you at your word that the usual signs just were not there, that there were no red flags you ought to have heeded and that makes this assault *scarier* than one that could have been easily predicted.
Whatever his pathology, you are not equipped to "fix" it, nor should you try.
Your relationship will never again be blessed with that feeling of perfect safety, the firm belief that your partner will never willingly, knowingly bring you harm.
You know now that he would willfully, deliberately cause you both physical and emotional pain and that knowlege will forever colour your view of him.... and if you stay with him, he will always know that he can get away with it.

Posted by But you already knew that, didn't you? on April 22, 2010 at 7:54 AM · Report this
macavitykitsune 36
Jesus. Seconding practically everybody here... GET OUT. Get out now before he hits you again - and he will, now that he's seen you'll sit still for it and stay after he does. You say you've worked with rape survivors - don't you think you should get the fuck out of this relationship before you actually become one of them?
Posted by macavitykitsune on April 22, 2010 at 7:56 AM · Report this
wondergus 37
I'm glad my "best friend" doesn't feel the need to beat me up.
Posted by wondergus on April 22, 2010 at 7:57 AM · Report this
He shares your values? Your value of non-domestic abuse?

You're reading this wrong, lady.
Posted by BostonGirl on April 22, 2010 at 8:37 AM · Report this
LifeIsFunny 39
Many abusive men are "great guys" when they're not busy hitting you. There are other men out there who can meet your needs with giving you black eyes. You know what you need to do. just do it. Leave before it's too late.
Posted by LifeIsFunny on April 22, 2010 at 9:55 AM · Report this
He will do it again. He will wait until he's regained your trust, and part of you doesn't believe it happened before. Then he will do it again.

Get out. Be strong.
Posted by B. Betherton on April 22, 2010 at 10:27 AM · Report this
OMG! You think your relationship is so special? It's the same as every other abusive relationship. You all focus on the good and rewrite history and make excuses. They all say they're so sorry just to repeat the behavior later. Once in a blue moon anger management will work but obviously it isn't working for him. Just leave him already.
Posted by Diagoras on April 22, 2010 at 12:09 PM · Report this
You're a pathetic enabler who will suffer the consequences because you're too weak or stupid to get out while you can. Or too smart; your writing makes it sound like you've overintellectualized this and seem weirdly proud of it.

"I was gonna leave the guy who beats me, but I'm so smart I talked myself out of it!"

Get a clue, idiot.
Posted by smartypants123 on April 22, 2010 at 12:46 PM · Report this
This is really reminiscent of a girl I was friends w/ in high school. I really liked her, and made it clear I would have been very happy to date her. She had several boyfriends like this, and said almost exactly the same things about them (in more high-school sorts of language).

It made me feel pretty undesirable, knowing that she would rather get smacked around, raped and treated like garbage than date me. I think a lot of guys can relate to this.

She married one of them, had a couple kids, weighs 300 pounds, and represents the largest metaphorical bullet I ever dodged.
Posted by Chris Jury on April 22, 2010 at 1:33 PM · Report this
Get out of this relationship. It has no future. What if you get pregnant to this man? He will treat your child the way he treats you.
Two black eyes is very serious. Get out before he damages you permanently.
Posted by KAY7 on April 22, 2010 at 4:14 PM · Report this
Two black eyes and a rape threat? Accept it: your picker's broke. Get out and get help.
Posted by CF2K on April 22, 2010 at 8:13 PM · Report this
luvzhappyboy 46
People who know they are batterers are the most expert at manipulating their behavior to appear normal - even supranormal! In their hearts they really WANT to be good partners, and certainly don't want to be alone. But something will eventually happen, a minor argument, say, and the batterer will lose his/her self-control and the cycle will begin all over again: the fists striking your face, the kicks to your legs your stomach and back, the vicious verbal abuse; then contrition, apology and promises. (And YES, women can be batterers too!) There's no easy escape... I can tell you from personal experience. He WILL hit you again, and again, and again. I guarantee it.
Posted by luvzhappyboy on April 22, 2010 at 9:42 PM · Report this
People can change, if they are committed to solving the problem, work hard at it, get help, and have a good plan. My husband and I had trouble with fights that got physical when we first started dating (6 years ago). It was unclear who was the instigator. We were both committed to solving the problem, though, and both took responsibility for our actions. It took a lot of hard work over several years, but these days we no longer have problems with fights getting physical. Our fights are also less nasty generally, and we fight less than we used to. The hard work and the patience was completely worth it. We are very happy together, and marrying him was the best decision of my life!

The things that worked for us were Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and couples therapy. I would completely recommend either. If you try couples therapy, find a couples therapist who you are both comfortable with and whose emphasis is on working on solving the dynamic between you, rather than fixing a particular person. DBT would be for him only and helps with impulse control (greatly!). I tried that for impulse control issues of my own and it DEFINITELY made a difference.

I want to caution you that it would be unrealistic to expect him never to hit you again, even if he works hard on it-- these things take time. They get less frequent over time, but not uniformly so. They get better for a while, then worse again, then better again, and so on, but the overall trend is progress. Decide whether or not you can live with that, because it will only bring you unnecessary hurt to expect him to change more quickly than is possible and it would also be unfair to him. He can probably promise that it will be rare and that it will more-or-less get better with time, but he probably can't promise never. He should, of course, agree that hitting you is always wrong, and that if he ever does mess up he owes you one enormous apology and you have a right to be upset with him and uncomfortable with him for a while afterward.

One final thought: the fights my husband and I had were sometimes physical, but never involved real injury. Actually, your situation is slightly worse in this respect because neither of us ever got a black eye. But black eyes, as injuries go, are not serious injuries. They are only serious symbolically. (And in that way, they are a big deal! I am not minimizing that!) If you believe your partner might escalate to giving you serious injuries, you should not even consider staying in the relationship and trying to make it work. In that case, get out now! Another reason to get out now would be if you are living your life in constant fear, whether or not you believe it is justified. Don't put yourself in those positions. You deserve better than that!
Posted by Any Nonymous on April 22, 2010 at 11:13 PM · Report this
Don't believe him. I have never met a former abuser.
Posted by ST on April 23, 2010 at 12:17 AM · Report this
Aurora Erratic 49
I DO NOT beleive that he will never do it again. And he doesn't deserve the chance. If he gets his head on straight, there will still be women in the world. Let him have his second (third? fourth? fifth?) chance with them.
You, run for your life.
Posted by Aurora Erratic on April 23, 2010 at 5:10 AM · Report this
Posted by Mr. Poe on April 23, 2010 at 5:23 AM · Report this
This is the most sensible and loving I Anonymous comments thread ever. Please listen to these people. Best friends do not hit you. Ever.
Posted by Be brave and throw him out on April 23, 2010 at 6:54 AM · Report this
I absolutely cannot muster up any sympathy for you. How lacking in self-awareness does one have to be to identify as "an empowered woman" and oh, by the way, you can't even imagine leaving a convicted wife-beater who gave you 2 black eyes and threatened rape?

Please don't do any more work with rape and domestic violence survivors. They deserve better than you.
Posted by wintersmith on April 23, 2010 at 7:06 AM · Report this
No one is worth that. No matter how good the things are when he's not abusive, they're not good enough to make up the difference for an abusive piece of shit ruining your life.

I've never been in an abusive relationship, but I did have a close female friend who was abusive. We were friends for 17 years, so breaking off our friendship was like a divorce. It was a huge loss for me. She stole from me to buy drugs and then convinced me that I was the one with the problem- not her. She killed two animals that I know of- the first time she told me about it, I didn't believe her. The second time I was in denial, not understanding that the warning signs were clearly there. It took a year of being her roommate and taking shit from her before I finally said fuck you I'm done.

I've been in therapy and it's taken a lot of work to understand that I didn't do anything wrong. For awhile, I felt like I should have seen it coming, because she was always a bit of a troublemaker. I blamed myself when I should have blamed her. Abusers can be extremely manipulative and they prey on your vulnerabilities. They do everything in their power to make you think that all of their problems are somehow your fault. My former "friend" had serious addiction and mental health problems that had nothing to do with anything about me personally. This man has serious problems of his own and nothing you do or say will fix whatever is broken in his warped psyche. It's him, not you.

Leave this piece of shit in your past where he belongs. Walk away and don't look back. You are so much better off without him. It hurts at first to lose someone you love, but what you find on the other side is that you are so much better without an abusive, hateful person in your life. You will lose him, but find the parts of yourself you gave up in order to be with this loser. Don't make any excuses for him- Lot's of people make it out of bad situations without growing up to become monsters. He alone is responsible for what he is doing to you. No one else made him who he is- not his friends, not his family, and most certainly not you. All you did was try to love him and he repaid that with violence.

Be careful when you leave him, because there are too many horror stories out there. An abusive partner is not likely to respond well to what he perceives as being abandoned. I'm sure you know from your professional life that leaving him won't be easy.

As someone who has worked in the mental health field, I know personally that it is doubly painful to realize that you are the one who needs help. Not only are you worried about your personal life, but you are worried that you could be perceived as less fit to do your work. Don't worry about your professional credibility, your safety and health are worth a lot more. Get help anonymously if you are worried that you could lose your job.

Find whatever resources you can and get the help that you need, especially because of the work that you do. Tell yourself what you would tell a client- you wouldn't tell a client that it was her fault or that she should have known better. No man is worth your self esteem, professional credibility and mental health. You know what you have to do, so just do it. Just leave.
Posted by no one is worth that on April 23, 2010 at 8:34 AM · Report this
My soon-to-be-ex husband is an emotional abuser, and I stayed married to him for 25 years. Working with a tough therapist now to help me refocus my life on me and our kids, and away from him and his endless lies, manipulations and needs. Although he never actually hit me, each time I'd catch him lying, cheating or manipulating, I could see behind his mask of love and caring, and it was terrifying. He, too, was my best friend, and when I had to have my wedding ring cut off, it had grown too tight over the years and I couln't simply remove it, the jeweler snipped, completely by chance, into the tiny space between the word SOUL and MATES. I get shivers thinking how symbolic that is, and how slim the chances are that it would happen. He told me he was leaving for another woman, Monday, April 12, and I tried to take my own life with an overdose. Not, I think, because he was really leaving, but on some level, I was afraid he wouldn't truly leave and I could never ever break the cycle of what is now clear to me was always abuse. Obviously, I survived, and though I had a rough first week, the past couple of days and working with my supportive friends, family, and counselor, I am already to a stage of relief that is almost elation. The grief was first, then the anger, and now I am feeling like a balloon, let go from an iron grip, floating towards the sky.
Posted by HRH on April 23, 2010 at 9:43 AM · Report this
leave now, and don't ever contact him again.

if you need more perspective than the stranger comments section, choose five of your most trusted, most admired colleagues in your domestic violence work. sit down with each of them individually and tell them the whole story. be honest and don't leave anything out. then ask for their professional opinions.

please leave.
Posted by seen this before too on April 23, 2010 at 11:15 AM · Report this
#55 has a good idea. You can even tell the story as a Friend of a Friend, saying "she" but meaning you. That way you could be more honest about your feelings, needs and desires. I also know that, in my situation, I overintellectualized, like #42 says, and was weirdly proud of staying, as in "99.99% of wives would have left him by now, but I didn't give up.", and like #46 says about their behavior being "supranormal", that's how my husband was. He was so over-the-top romantic that he melted other women's hearts just to have them see how he treated me. Then he banged them all, in our bed. But first he called me at work, "just to hear my voice" and to make sure I wasn't heading back to the house.

You need to ask yourself, like I am asking myself now, why am I even considering staying? I feel like I've been in love with a hologram, an image he projected onto my overly needy retinas. Don't be stupid, don't waste any more time on this man. Time is what your life is made of.
Posted by HRH on April 23, 2010 at 2:50 PM · Report this
Please get help. And get out. Take some self-defense classes.
Posted by AKBitches on April 23, 2010 at 4:03 PM · Report this
The best of all possible meals eaten under the Sword of Damocles will never be as good as simple bread and butter enjoyed in the sunshine and fresh air.
Posted by Mr.E. on April 23, 2010 at 4:34 PM · Report this
There are what, 6 billion people on planet earth? And if you've had the luck to find one best friend among that crowd, there are good chances that you'll find another one. I try to remind myself of that whenever the attachments I've had to someone or something clearly not good for me have made it terribly difficult to realize how not-good those things have been. It is awful to leave people, to end things irrevocably, but this is the practice we must undertake to prepare for that most final of leavings, which is death. With that in mind, isn't it better to leave someone forever and yet have the chance to go on living-- as terrible as it might be for awhile, as lifeless as the world might seem for awhile without him in it-- than for you to stay and risk possibly fatal bodily harm?
Posted by joe hill on April 23, 2010 at 6:54 PM · Report this
Oh dear. Take it from someone who's walked a mile in your moccasins. What you describe is a classic domestic abuse cycle. This person has a history of domestic violence with past partners, hits you then experiences extreme remorse, only to fall into violence all over again. That he respects you and loves you unconditionally when he's not beating the crap out of you is spurious logic. Also, if he's graduated from threats of rape to black eyes, the situation is not about to evolve in some hypothetical future. It has already evolved in the cold hard reality of right now.
Posted by litlady on April 23, 2010 at 10:46 PM · Report this
Get out. Period. No one who is actually your best friend would give you black eyes or threaten to rape you. That kind of "relapse" can leave you dead.
Posted by whaaat on April 24, 2010 at 12:34 AM · Report this
A year and a half ago, I could have written exactly this. Be an empowered woman: leave now. You won't believe the weight it takes off.
Posted by beenthere_gottshirt on April 24, 2010 at 12:37 AM · Report this
@43 It makes you pretty undesirable that your focus is not "how horrible it is that people beat and rape women", but how bitchy and lame this girl was that she was getting raped and beaten instead of dating you. With that attitude, you ain't much more of a catch.
Posted by whaaaaaaat on April 24, 2010 at 12:47 AM · Report this
It's not her fault she got into an abusive relationship -- you don't know a relationship is abusive before you start it -- and getting out of one is extremely difficult. I don't understand what high people get from anonymously attacking people in crisis, but you're even more wrong than usual this time, guys.
Posted by LMac on April 24, 2010 at 4:36 AM · Report this
The first time he hurt you it was his fault...the next time he hits you it is your own fault for staying. This is the advice my mother gave me when I was a young woman, "Never let a man hit you twice." Leave, and don''t leave a forwarding address.
Posted by LBCityGirl on April 24, 2010 at 6:50 AM · Report this
Don't be so hubristic as to think that you don't need help, or that you "should know better" because of the work that you've done. None of us are immune to abusive situations, no matter how "empowered" we are.

You are an abuse victim. Get help - I'm sure you already know exactly how, and you're lucky to - and get out.
Posted by planned barrenhood on April 24, 2010 at 7:22 AM · Report this
fannerz 67
If you stay, all you are doing is giving him a big thumbs up and saying, "It's ok to hurt me!!"

Leave. Now. Inform a friend or relative, pack in secret, call the police, and LEAVE.
Posted by fannerz on April 24, 2010 at 9:16 AM · Report this
fannerz 68
@58: Amen!
Posted by fannerz on April 24, 2010 at 9:18 AM · Report this
It seems like everyone has already said what has to be said. Good job commentators.

I just want to point out that this man is not all of those things that Anon listed: "You support me emotionally, love me unconditionally, share my values, and treat me with respect, compassion, and adoration at all other times. You do not try to destroy my self-esteem or my relationships with others."
How is punching someone's two eyes and threatening to rape her "compassionate" or "adoring". How does punching and threatening not destroy her self esteem? Hello?????! If it were only once in many years and he had no past, and it were ONE black eye... .well, I could see giving him another chance. But two black eyes. This seems WAY over the line.

There are good guys out there! Go find one.
Posted by lalilolly on April 24, 2010 at 11:32 AM · Report this
A big hug to HRH. Float on, girl. xox
Posted by The first days are the hardest days... on April 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM · Report this
you guys are wasting your time. she should have had him arrested , and filed a restraining order against him immediately. she didn't because "she loves him!" shes staying , he's gonna continue. but i do have to ask,what did she do to get hit in the first place? to get two black eyes you gotta be boxin like rocky throwin rights and lefts. thats not casual anger thats mad as a motherfucker. that doesn't come from nowhere , that had motivation behind it . would love to hear the rest of the story for curiosity's sake if nothing else.
Posted by gillettebret on April 24, 2010 at 3:24 PM · Report this
Posted by seriouslys on April 24, 2010 at 4:52 PM · Report this
Once you leave this guy- pronto- I recommend you read 'The Sociopath Next Door'. It's about people who are without conscience and the ways they often develop to hide the lack, and keep people around, as they find useful. See, they don't feel, like you and me do. They're very good at pretending they do. They're not all serial killers, you know them- AIG execs, politicians, wacko cult leaders, chronic small-time users and abusers. You'll see this guy there, I bet.

Also, it'll help you help others in domestic abuse situations. I'm not a counselor, I tried, but to be honest, I couldn't hack it. So, I'm a psychology professor. Good luck to you, and what a warm, fuzzy I, Anon thread this is. It's usually neither.

You know, while previewing my comment, it occurs to me to ask...if you're still living with this guy, you clear your browser history, right? Or use your work machine? I hope.

Now get out.
Posted by AllisonM on April 24, 2010 at 9:28 PM · Report this
God, people are so stupid. They’ll put up with anything from a**holes because he/she is their boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife because they’ve been brainwashed by Hallmark and its clones into believing they’re incomplete unless they’re getting sex on a regular basis.

Like this moron here. Listen up, doofus. Ask anyone about their best friend, as you called this guy, and they’ll tell you that their best friend has never given them a black eye. What should happen is that you and this guy should part ways and keep in touch via phone calls/emails/live chat etc till the time he proves to you that he’s got his anger management sorted out, whether that is six months from now or five years from now.

Of course, that won’t happen. Instead, you’ll stay with this loser who has no incentive to change his habit of using you as his punching bag whenever his angry. If he felt like not doing it, he’d at least punch a wall and walk away till he calms down, but your face must feel so much nicer underneath his fist. And he also has no reason to go through the difficult path of self-improvement because his hardon-reliever already gives him everything he wants now. You’ll tell yourself that the black eyes, busted lips and broken noses are better than putting up with being single on Valentine’s Day, you’ll buy dresses and make-up so he’ll want to keep f***ing you, and he’ll buy flowers and jewellery so you’ll want to keep f***ing him, and capitalism wins again.

And on the long run, you’ll settle down with him (again, beware the curse of the single people who find their path in life alone!) where his abuse will most likely shift from physical to emotional/sexual/financial (the ones that are committed more because they’re less visible) and you’ll keep telling yourself that you’re happy while desperately doing retail therapy or drinking booze every morning for breakfast or snorting coke.

Empowered woman, indeed.

Posted by Paul_Yen on April 25, 2010 at 1:10 AM · Report this
Look, by staying with him, you're telling him this behaviour is acceptable. The only way some of them ( I say some, cos most can't learn) learn is through loss.

If you really want to help this guy, the best thing you can do for him is to LEAVE.
Posted by Caralain on April 25, 2010 at 6:44 AM · Report this
Anonymous: leave and look into Washington State's Address Confidentiality Program. It will enable you to have a confidential mailing address, along with being able to register various state documents anonymously including your drivers license and voters registration. Check with your nearest police station or domestic violence advocacy center.

If you need to quit your job in order to evade an abuser, Washington State will enable you to collect unemployment for this purpose. Good luck.
Posted by Chippy on April 25, 2010 at 12:48 PM · Report this
Holy @!?*ing SHIT, Batman! Did ANON hook up with my ex??

I pray that you can utilize the resources available here in Washington State to get out of your abusive situation.

You and all others who have suffered from rape and abuse remain in my heartfelt thoughts and prayers. I've been there too.
Posted by wileEcoyote on April 25, 2010 at 10:33 PM · Report this
You know, the truly sad thing is all the
"Me Too" comments here. Truly fucked up, for real.
Posted by PunchDrunk on April 25, 2010 at 11:10 PM · Report this
Many years ago I was married to a "nice" man who was loving and supportive between his bouts of irresponsibility and anger. The only reason he didn't do me any physical harm was because I was the same size he was, athletic and physically fit, and let him know exactly what was going to happen if he hit me. So he raped our nine year old daughter. I would have endured a thousand black eyes in order to prevent that.
So, he went to jail, I divorced him, found a good therapist, went back to school and found a good job. I had a rough first year, but my daughter has had ongoing problems and some really hard times. I help her as much as I can. I thought I was so smart, but staying was the worst choice I ever made.
You can't even imagine how bad things can get if you stay, whether you put up with the abuse or not. Save your own life! Be the heroine of your own story. And don't die of a life unlived!
Posted by Older and wiser on April 26, 2010 at 11:57 AM · Report this
everyone that's being so psychotically dismissive of this woman and saying she "deserves" to get what she's getting because she's stayed this long, has clearly never been in such a cycle. People can get used to tolerating all sorts of suffering, their own or others'. Change will only come when you do; for now, he'll keep being his sometimes-great, inevitably-abusive self, and you'll continue to bear the brunt until you decide you DON'T deserve it. and you don't.
Posted by sasha22 on April 26, 2010 at 3:29 PM · Report this
You do the outreach work with for ther women. Why make yourself one of those satistics. It's like you want to go through it so you can know what those women are going through. the first time is just the entrance to the footpath. He WILL do it again. Don't be stupid like many women and think he will change. JUST GET OUT.
Posted by gmnky on April 26, 2010 at 3:36 PM · Report this
I'm seconding what #52 said, but you know what? If he makes you feel good, and loved, and respected, and bla bla bla, you stay with him.
Because as long as you stay, and continue to enjoy your pseudo-romantic drama and self-destructiveness ("Oh, but I luuuv him!"), some other woman is that much less likely to step in that pile of shit you're currently rolling around in.
Go for it. Then you can add Martyr to Love Slave.
Posted by DF on April 26, 2010 at 5:00 PM · Report this
GIRL, I grew up in this kind of family. My parents loved each other blah blah and dad would beat the shit out of mom on the regular. I cannot begin to tell you the horror stories and the nightmares us kids had to deal with......JUST LEAVE before you have a kid with this guy. Please? your decisions have the power to affect more than just your life.
Posted by Grew Up Calling 911 on April 26, 2010 at 9:07 PM · Report this
I think anon may be hung up on feeling that this guy doesn't fit the abuser profile. She could be right, in the sense that there are people out there with violent anger management problems who don't have the whole charm and control M.O. going on, and who are genuine sorry and shaken when they really flip out.

The fact is, it doesn't matter what the nature of the relationship is- all the matters is that it only takes it happening one time for you to know that that is a possibility with him for the rest of your life. And it's been more than one time. Even if he successfully dealt with his problems/behavior and never repeated his actions, you will still be walking on egg shells and spending your life with someone who you know is willing and capable of hurting you like that.

The relationship that you had that you liked and are tempted to try to preserve was over forever the moment you found out was he was capable of doing to you, now it's time to take it off life support.
Posted by sweet g on April 27, 2010 at 7:02 AM · Report this
Fuck all these comments and thoughts. Only one thought you need to think of.

Get The Fuck Out.


You can analyze it later.
Posted by LZito on April 27, 2010 at 9:16 AM · Report this
Incredible 86
Why is this anonymous? Oh, I guess because leaving is the furthest thing from your mind even though you think it may happen again. Thanks for sitting on that info.

Remember: don't piss him off...
Posted by Incredible on April 27, 2010 at 10:01 AM · Report this
this sounds like pretty typical offender behavior mr nice guy all supportive and then he turns into an abuser, but he says sorry and owns up to it. this guy needs to be put in jail or better yet removed from the gene pool entirely.
Posted by frankblack357 on April 27, 2010 at 9:31 PM · Report this
Maybe this is just me, but IMO the biggest "get the fuck out of there!" sign is the rape threat. Threats of physical violence in a moment of anger? Not good, but can be understandable. Even hitting someone in a moment of anger, while inexcusable, is a natural instinctive response. Rape threats, though . . . that shows a much deeper level of fucked up than just a bit of difficulty reining in the lizard brain. DTMFA, in a public place, with large friends present.
Posted by christopher on April 28, 2010 at 5:56 AM · Report this
A relationship is not 'exquisitely egalitarian' when one partner threatens to rape the other and then beats her.

All the pretty language doesn't cover the fact -you are a battered woman

There is no excuse for what he did.

Now get out
Posted by thea on April 28, 2010 at 7:11 AM · Report this
@78: You're right, PunchDrunk---abuse truly IS fucked up.
Posted by wileEcoyote on April 28, 2010 at 11:33 PM · Report this
Get out now.
Posted by JTContinental on April 29, 2010 at 10:10 AM · Report this
Just shoot him. Get a gun and shoot him. Better yet a compound bow and a couple arrows w/broad head blades. Aim for center of mass. Or gut shoot him. Very painfull. You dont need this and shouldnt pass it on to another women in the future. The man needs to be removed from the population. He is a menace.
Posted by KevInPDX on April 29, 2010 at 10:27 AM · Report this
It is really all your fault. You must have done something to upset the lovely man enough to blacken both your eyes and threaten rape. You should spend some time looking deep inside youself to see how you can be a better mate and partner to this outsanding man. Sometimes a bitch like you just needs some firm discipline to learn how to behave properly. You should abjectly submit yourself body and soul to his benevolent will. Go forth- no more whining or complaints!!!
Posted by The Counselor on April 29, 2010 at 11:45 AM · Report this
Is the abuser a man or a woman? Maybe I missed something.
Posted by presently out on April 29, 2010 at 7:18 PM · Report this
From personal experiences it seems that some (many?) abusers have issues bordering on multiple personality disorder. Something (not the victim) sets them off and they switch into this abusive, sociopathic personality, taking the aggression out on something proximate that in their mind set them off (usually the partner). When they calm down they switch back into the non-abusive personality and can be legitimately horrified by what they've done. People are reluctant to mention this because it paints the abuser as a sort of mental-illness 'victim' and it's easier to tell the abuse victims that their abusers are simply evil and conniving. And some of them are. But obviously these other victims are picking up on the illness and empathizing with their abusers anyway.

Here's the thing: he may abuse you because he's mentally ill, unable to stop himself, and is later legitimately sorry. But if he can't help himself, HE CAN'T STOP IT and -- stay with me -- will keep abusing you. He will keep morphing back into the abuser when whatever-it-is (THAT NEITHER OF YOU CAN CONTROL) sets him off again. It sucks for him, but more importantly, it sucks for YOU. You need to decide RATIONALLY (not with the illogical and optimistic assumption that he'll be able to improve himself) how often he abuses you, how bad it is, and if you are willing to stick around and take it. I know you love him, and he probably loves you in his 'good' personality, but love isn't going to stop it.
Posted by Mel on April 30, 2010 at 10:02 AM · Report this
you should've given up the butt, then he wouldn't have had to tell you twice...
Posted by F U D G E ! on April 30, 2010 at 11:45 AM · Report this
Principessa Diannessa 97
@95, YES, this is a lot of how my situation was. He was also a victim of childhood abuse, emotional, verbal, physical and sexual, and his personality would shift drastically, and quickly, sometimes. He is a damaged person, and I kept excusing his behavior, due to that damage which happened when he was an unprotected innocent. But long story short, I was NOT able to keep him stable, NOT able to keep myself safe, and therefore, I now realize, I need to just get away. Also, some of the stuff he did, he did in the cold manner of a sociopath, just because he knew he could get away with it; he would even brag to me how easy it was to fake sincerity, that he could lie to anyone and he would not just be believed, but sympathized with. So who knows?
Posted by Principessa Diannessa on April 30, 2010 at 2:41 PM · Report this
So he's an angel with anger management problems? Doesn't matter. You could very well be perfect for one another and wonderfully in love and have a glorious relationship otherwise - but "otherwise" is the key word. And if he hits you wrong one day, or too hard, then it won't matter how kind or supportive he USUALLY is, because you'll be in a wheelchair. Or dead. And that's the fact of the matter.

If you've given him one "never again", and it's happened again, then don't give him another. Get out.
Posted by Clara on May 1, 2010 at 4:41 PM · Report this
This letter could've been written by me, ten years ago...before I pulled my head out of my ass and dumped the motherfucker.
Posted by smartgirl on May 11, 2010 at 1:06 PM · Report this
Repeat this over and over until it sticks: He will do it again. He will do it again. He will do it again. THEY ALWAYS DO IT AGAIN.
Posted by eskimo1986 on May 14, 2011 at 1:58 AM · Report this

Add a comment