Editor’s Note: The following article is an excerpt from my manuscript detailing my own abuse. Please see “My Story of Abuse” under the category link.
Broch and I had been married for about twelve years when he started acting strangely. He was getting depressed and was starting to withdraw from the social functions in our life. Our marriage had been good for those years, and Broch was a wonderful Dad. He was the “normal” parent to play with Joshua; I remained his nurse but, loved him like I had never loved anyone else. We had developed such a bond over his health issues and I was able to give him comfort in times of trouble. I suppose I hovered and protected him a little too much–but, I was doing the best job I could do.
Broch and I had an unspoken vow between us; since we both been raised in an alcoholic home. We would never fight with each other in Joshua’s present no matter what. Joshua will never be exposed to the screaming and fighting we both endured growing up. And he did not.
The earlier years of the marriage was difficult financially, but overall, I thought we were doing really well. We were finally able to buy our first home; after living in a trailer for ten years. It was a very nice home, and the three of us were thrilled with it. Broch continued climbing in his field of work, and life for me was better than it had been my entire life.
However, Broch’s depression was growing worse and he wouldn’t talk to me about what was bothering him. He started drinking again, and would sit and cry! I couldn’t begin to imagine what was wrong. His state was bad enough that friends started questioning me about what was bothering him and could they be of help. His depression continued growing worse until I feared he was becoming suicidal. I was finally able to convince him to go to counseling. He went a few times and didn’t seem much better. I kept searching and trying to figure out what was wrong with him. I even wondered if he was gay, or if he murdered someone. That’s how bad it got to be. Joshua started blaming himself for his Dad’s misery, and I tried extremely hard to eliminate those feelings in him. I talked to him extensively about what was going on with his Dad and reassured him the therapist he was seeing would get him straightened out.
It continued for a year and was one of the most difficult years in my life. My husband obviously had some huge problem he wouldn’t share with me. He kept telling me that Joshua and I would be better off without him. After hearing that about twenty times, it angered me and I said, “it’s too late to decide you don’t want to be a Dad anymore.” I couldn’t imagine the comments he was making as much as he adored Joshua. Finally, one day it dawned on me that I hadn’t seen Broch’s wallet in some time. I thought how odd is that? He would always take his wallet out and stuff out of his pockets and lay them on the kitchen counter. He still did that, but not with his wallet.
I became obsessed with finding that wallet. Something told me he was hiding it in the stack of pillows in our bedroom. So, he came in one night and got on the phone with his brother (which was always a lengthy discussion); and I went to the bedroom, walked over to the pillows and found his wallet. I rushed to the bathroom locking the door behind me and sat on the toilet. I opened the wallet up and there facing me was a picture of a beautiful, young blonde that I didn’t know. She was considerably younger than us and I couldn’t imagine he would be having an affair. The more I sat and stared at the picture, the more I realized that yes, he was having an affair! It felt like everything within me dropped out of me. I was devastated beyond words. I loved Broch so much and I thought until this past year it was a happy marriage.
(To Be Continued)