When my marriage ended, it was not a pretty sight.
My wife never saw it coming. She thought she had me so trapped there was nowhere for me to go. Marriage was not about bliss and joy it was about servitude and abuse. Which was my experience and I admire those who find it otherwise.
Leaving was not easy, there were children involved, and the financial side of it would in time cripple me.
But there were other factors, such as belonging and freedom.
I left to save both myself and my children. No one should live in an abusive relationship. The impact on my children was devastating, and it took many years to repair that damage as three of my kids were teenagers when all this happened.
They knew what was going on and understood why I had to leave but being young they also wanted a mum and dad like everyone else.
One of the things I noticed in the first weeks of leaving was my lack of a sense of belonging. It was a strange feeling of being displaced and feeling there was no place that was mine. I certainly experienced freedom, that realization that a huge weight had been taken off me was a wonderful sensation.
It took me some time to gain any sense of belonging even though I left and went to live with my dad who was aging and welcomed me into his home as I know he saw me as a source of assistance to him.
The landscape if you like to call it of my post-marriage days was rocky, to say the least. I had a great sense of responsibility to my children whom I’d left behind, so I was easy prey for a while to my ex asking for help with any of them.
She would invite me to go and talk about this one or other, and I’d do so. The trouble was that conversation was a ploy to get me alone with her and after a minute ‘discussing’ the child in question the next 90 minutes would be about me and all the evil I had committed in being her husband.
I used to tell a work colleague about these events and one day she asked me if it was all worth it.
My reply was “Freedom is priceless.”