Before I file I need to say this:
The last time we were together, before I admitted myself to the hospital, the night previous even, my husband and I made love. It was the first time since I'd moved back in. I wasn't really into it, but I gave in because so many times before he had shut me down and I know how that stings. He wouldn't kiss me though, because he insisted that he would get me sick.
The next evening, as I tried to cuddle and flirt and kiss him, I was met with stony resistance. Pomp and cockiness.
"Do you have any idea how many guys would feel lucky to have a wife who was all over them?" I ask. "Who wanted sex once, twice, three times a week?"
It may have been sarcasm as he claims, but he responded with: "The only men who would feel lucky to have you for a wife would be the type you meet in a bar or at a rodeo."
I pushed through the hurt, trying to coax him into saying kindnesses. "Try saying it: You are a great wife."
He parroted back, flat and emotionless.
I tried again. "You take such good care of me."
The same unconvinced mimicry.
"You are a sexy, desirable siren."
Again, mocking repetition.
He reaches for my neck and I duck from his reach. The arguing begins, and I am told to lighten up because he's just having fun. There is a weak apology, but not one I think anyone would consider sincere. It was still just--get over it.
I start to cry. Never good. He hates when I cry.
"Why can't you just be kind to me? Please! I just want compassion and love. Is it really so hard? I've dated so many men who were so very kind. Why won't you treat me with respect?"
"You've dated so many nice guys, huh? How many of them stuck around?"
I sat in our bed and wept while he stood watching for several minutes. He finally threw up his hands, "I don't know how to deal with you." And stormed out of the room.
Half an hour later I admitted myself. He followed me to the hospital, with a 15 minute delay, walked into the lobby of the Emergency Room and commenced to berate me for being there. He chided my emotional state, told me to not be a baby, to come home and talk it out. There is no love, no concern in his demeanor or tone. When the doctor called me to come back, they shut the door on my husband.
If one needed to map the moment it ended, that would be it.
If a thing can die twice, my husband further compounded the situation when the next morning he told my children that I had over-dosed on lithium, had gone into convulsions, and that was why I was in the hospital.
I can forgive him. I'm working on it.
But that doesn't require that I stay the consequences. In fact, if I do not follow through, my actions vocalize my approval of this treatment. I say: "Yes! I'm fine with being belittled, demeaned, manipulated, and abused. And I'm fine with my children being emotionally mistreated as well."
So yes, this is a hard decision. It's painful to see hopes and dreams and bonds die. But justice requires that my husband live the consequences of his actions. And the time has come that I am freed.