The Power Of Pity. Why I Stayed In An Abusive Marriage So Long
by Lizzy Smith
December 19, 2014
I am often asked why I stayed in a terrible marriage so long. I had a great job, made good money, and seemed strong and independent. Perhaps this story will help answer that.
Not long ago, I had a dream nightmare. You know when you have a dream that feels so real that it takes hours to shake off the feelings it conjures up? Yep, that was this one. Ruined my morning. No amount of Bikram yoga or massages could help.
I was back in my old life, living in the home I purchased with my ex-husband, Rob the Great (Alcoholic). In the nightmare, there I was, waking up in my old bed in our master bedroom. Rob was gone (probably on his work assignment- which, truth be told, entailed a few hours at work and lots of hours pounding beers with his work pals and contractors).
Anyhooo, in my dream, I started off my typical morning, frantic with the enormous things I had to do that day. I scrambled out of bed, put on shoes and walked the two dogs as they pulled me up and down hills. I fed them. I took a shower. Then realized Rob's oldest daughter hadn't come home (again) so I texted Rob to let him know. Hoping she wasn't in a ditch. Not sure why I bothered because Rob certainly didn't seem to care. I dried my hair, put on makeup, got dressed, woke up the children, fed them breakfast, helped them get dressed, made their lunches, reminded them to brush teeth, did something with Siena's hair, got them all in the car and dropped the girls off at school, and made a phone call to my BFF Julie on my way to work to tell her about the latest drunken fight that I had with Rob.
I got to work, read a few hateful texts from Rob about how he was such a great drunk guy and I needed to appreciate him more then everything would be just fine. I then started my day at work.
After work, I drove home, picked up the girls, got home, walked the dogs, fed the dogs and made sure they had water, fed the girls, changed clothes, started a load of laundry, helped Morgan with homework, gave Siena a bath and wash and dried her hair, did the dishes, put laundry away, ran a few contracts for our vacation home, paid bills, reconciled the checking account (after having a heart attack that there was almost no money left in the account even though, together, Rob and I earned a substantial income) because child support and alimony just almost doubled after his younger daughter refused to live with Rob on rotation because he was still drinking uncontrollably. I then put Siena to bed and read her a story, tucked Morgan into bed, and then went on Craigslist to run ads for our vacation rental to keep those renters coming. If I had any energy left, I cleaned the house, took out the trash, and perhaps tried to calm down while taking a hot bath before crawling into bed around midnight.