“In a typical marriage when there are ups and downs, and some pretty serious matters that don’t ever get talked about, how does anyone know when it’s really over?
“I was 20 when I met the man I’d marry. He was a sharp dresser, liked a good time, and I felt so lucky that he wanted me!!
“But he had a temper. Once he knew I was ready to follow him around like a puppy, he insisted that I move in with him and he then took control.
“I couldn’t visit my girlfriends on my own. If I wanted to see one, she had to come over and we had to talk in front of him.
“Soon, I couldn’t see my parents without him either. He was always polite with them, and even brought my mother flowers, so they believed he was as wonderful as he pretended!
“He told me he was doing everything for my own good, because I was so young and didn’t know how dangerous the world and the wrong people could be.
“I had an entry-level office job when we met but he made me quit, because he said the outside world was dangerous for young women like me.
“But somehow, he still accused me of meeting men, though I could barely go out the door when he wasn’t home, because he phoned/emailed and even came home periodically to check on me.
“Five years into the relationship, I was suffering depression, had lost all self-esteem, and some of my hair was falling out.
“My mother had started to suspect the worst and, along with my father and older brother, came and got me. We got a restraining order against my ex-boyfriend and my lawyer said he’d go to jail if he didn’t stay away from me.
“I moved far away, had good counselling and have finally found a man I both love and trust.
“I’ve written this to say that people need to know that “it’s over,” when you know something’s going to go wrong each day but that nothing will change to make it better.
“Only YOU can change by recognizing the problem and either dealing with it, or getting away from it. I hope that other young and vulnerable young women like me are reading this.
Been There and Regret It
Reader’s Commentary Regarding: "Women’s apparel reflects their taste, NOT any interest in being objectified or ogled." (Oct. 22):
“I appreciated your response.
“My own mother occasionally makes hateful comments regarding beautiful young women who are scantily dressed. She once said, “If a young woman’s showing off her mid-riff, she has low self-esteem.”
“It’s puzzling, since a young woman who’s in good shape and looks pretty with her mid-riff exposed, is obviously very pleased with how she looks!
“And she’d like others to see how good she looks. It’s fun to be young and pretty, and fun to be admired.
“Some older women seem to think it’s okay to shame young women who aren’t covered up enough. I’ve always believed that these young women were/are simply following the fashion trends of the day, or copying the outfits of their favourite celebrities.
“People don’t know that a young woman who wants to look great and be admired is really just saying, “Please like me!”
“Instead, some older people immediately think there’s a lot of rutting going on. Nope. It’s just the fashion.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the husband who’s never forgiven his wife’s lie of being a virgin, for 36 years after she confessed (Oct 23):
Reader – “He’s used this to control/shame her ever since he “found out.” She’s endured this even after suffering an emotional breakdown, knowing what his reaction would be.
“He’s still drawing attention to his ‘aggrieved’ status as a “duped” husband.
“He should’ve been made to see how his behaviour is a result of male entitlement, the cause of so much injustice and misery in the world.
“Women are still held to the absurd standards of some medieval princess being traded for a peace treaty, like “damaged goods” and owes him a lifetime of apology and humility.
“Worse, years later, he still has the nerve to write about and shame her further. I feel sorry for her, because she’s been living with this creep ever since.
“I’d give him a sterner reprimand.”
Ellie - Which you just did.
Tip of the day:
Any person, male or female, who realizes that they’re in a controlling/abusive relationship, should plan a safe exit and then inform police.