Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Afraid to Stay but Terrified to Leave

Dear Zane,

I'll give you a little background on me. I'm a 23 year old female, married with no children of my own. I've been married for two and a half years and with my husband for five. We were really cool when it started out, but needless to say I was young and he has almost a decade on me. I have been more places now and seen more things and I feel like my leaving regularly because of my job bothers him a lot. We haven't spent a great deal of our marriage under the same roof and that has caused a lot of distance.

We've both done our dirt in the past, but he violated me in a way that I can never forgive. I've been raped before, but what he did to me was much worse and I don't think I'll ever fully recover mentally from it because he's supposed to be the one who would never hurt me. I'm not saying that I'm an angel, but after you go through so much with a man, there is a line that just shouldn't be crossed. I still love him because he's my husband, but after what he did to me, I'm not in love with him anymore and I only stayed this long out of fear. I feared the unknown, like what he might do to me or my family if I decided to leave or what might happen to me without him being around; even if he's not really there at times. But now it's like I can't feel comfortable in my own home when he's there.

I cringe when he touches me and I always see it happening to me over again whenever we have sex. I call it sex and not making love because I'm not getting anything out of it and I feel like since he's the only one being satisfied that it's sex. Sometimes I just pretend I'm asleep or roll over so I don't have to look at him during it. I know it's wrong to sit and harbor ill feelings toward him and not tell him, but I'm afraid of the outcome if I say something. I can't live the next twenty years of my life like this and I definitely can't have children with this man because I don't want to resent or hate my kids. I can't tell my mother about the incident and my one friend who knows actually told me to leave, but she doesn't get how hard it is when you don't know what might happen. Any advice that you can give me would be appreciated. Thank you in advance and keep the books coming. You're a very talented author.

Afraid to Stay but Terrified to Leave

Dear Afraid to Stay but Terrified to Leave,

You have already answered your own questions. You are 23 and you do not want to have children with your husband or live the next 20 years in fear. That only leaves one option. I realize that life is scary at such a young age but you have been with him since you were 18 and life has so much more to offer. I am going to assume that your husband raped you and now sex has become a frightening experience because you do not want to repeat the experience. Men do not understand the emotional damage that rape can cause, especially when it happens at the hands of the one person we trust the most.

While I could suggest counseling and you may very well want to go that route, that will not work unless your husband acknowledges that he has a problem. I am more concerned about your safety and the lifelong ramifications on your emotional health. Too many women stay in abusive situations believing things will change. Even though it has only happened once, chances are it will happen again. Next time, he might take it farther or you might lose it, kill him and end up behind bars. Believe me, there are a lot of women behind bars for that very reason.

Even though it is a scary proposition to end your marriage, do not fear what he might do. If you think he is capable of harming you or your family, seek legal help but nothing will be solved by continuing to subject yourself to an unhealthy situation. You have at least one friend on your side, so ask her to assist you and be your shoulder to lean on throughout this ordeal.


1 comment:

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