The seeds of self-worth had been planted. Sir was the cloche around them, and P was my frost.
As I continued on my journey with sir my confidence and self-esteem began to grow. I became more assertive at home, and began to stand my ground when the mocking was going on. I would ask P not to say or do certain things as I didn’t like them. He would just laugh it off, making out that it was just a joke, but before long the same “joke” would resurface. And there were lots of them to rotate through.
I started to hold my head up high, almost becoming immune to his taunts.
They still hurt but his grip on me was lessening. As I grew stronger and more confident he had to find new ways to hurt me. His bullying of the children and calling them names certainly affected me, but knowing what to do was outside of my understanding, I was no expert in these things. Plus, I had convinced myself that I would be overreacting because of my extra marital activities. How wrong I was!!
I was starting to wake up from the fog of abuse, though at the time I didn’t realise.
When I first met Sir a condition from him was that our relationship wouldn’t have a direct impact on my marriage. Talking through the problems with him again at this point I was able to genuinely show him (and prove to myself) that I was sticking with my side of the deal. I had grown in confidence as a direct result of my time with him, but I was beginning to see things more clearly and realise that I was worth more, that the boys were suffering too. I had just about reached the end of what I could tolerate. He had a week away with work, I hoped that this would see a change in his behaviour when he got back. Time apart hopefully being a magic solution which would fix our 11 year marriage. Sadly my expectations were not met, and when he returned his demeanour had soured further. Perhaps it was the smile on my face, or the fact that our home hadn’t fallen apart in his absence, but when he came back his anger reached new levels. He would call our eldest son names, and treat him like dirt, between telling him that he was his favourite son.
The night before my birthday I told P I didn’t love him anymore.
It had been an OK day. I had driven us over to the in-laws house, and on the way home had taken him to the supermarket to buy my birthday present. When we got there he told me he didn’t have his wallet and suggested I go in to choose and pay for my gift while I got something for dinner. And I could take the boys into the shop, he would wait in the car. When we got home he was mean to the boys, and so I did bedtime. Then I went to cook dinner while he watched a film, played a game and chatted to all of his friends on messenger and text… He came out to the kitchen to see what was happening with dinner and it just came out. I don’t love you anymore. In all honesty I had stopped loving him a long time before, even before meeting sir, but I had stopped being able to pretend that things could carry on as they were.
He refused to accept this piece of news.
As was often the way he tried to tell me
- I was overreacting.
- I didn’t know my own mind.
- The boys didn’t deserve a broken home.
- I was being selfish.
- I was ruining his life.
Was he right? Was I making a mountain out of a molehill? I didn’t think so but after almost 12 years of negative conditioning (I have had counselling, I can see that now) I was confused. Three weeks later he became physically abusive to my youngest, just a year old. His grip on me was lessening, and so the least able to defend himself got the brunt of it…Three kicks in the face, a year old and assaulted by his father.
The anger I felt was like a cold white heat, unrecognisable from anything I had ever felt before.
It was well outside of my skill set, managing this. Hindsight tells me I should have called the police, had him removed, but my mind went into shock and I had no idea what to do next. The feelings of anger were awful, but the look on his face was worse. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn, who to ask for help. P had systematically isolated me from friends and family and I didn’t think it was fair to lump all of this on Sir (I told him the bare bones but it was my vanilla marriage and I didn’t think he was responsible for that) I spoke to my manager the following week. She suggested that he was trying to antagonise me, and that makes perfect sense….now…over 3 years later, with a healed mind and a fresh perspective, but at the time it was dark, too dark.
It took a further 8 months to get him to leave.
During this time I went to marriage counselling with him where he played the victim, I had my Facebook and main email accounts hacked (fortunately sir was on a new account) and when he finally agreed to sell the house he dug up half the lawn before the first viewing. I heard of a flat coming onto the rental market so I took him to view it, then I drove him to the estate agents to pick up the forms, helped him fill them in and drove him back with them. When he had the go ahead I helped him pack, hired a van and moved him out. The first night he had gone he asked to come back and sleep over, but that was a NO from me. I had my life back.
It wasn’t going to be smooth sailing but it was on my terms now.