It was a whirlwind romance. The kind where you’re swept off your feet and left breathless. He was handsome, rugged, and passionate. He bought me and my beautiful daughters a beautiful big house with a backyard. I fell deeply, madly in love.
He pushed to get married and I thought why not. We had been together for over a year and marriage seemed a natural step.
He chose my birthday weekend as the date and he told me how we would spend romantic weekends celebrating our anniversary and my birthday. Sigh – he had me.
We wed. Small gathering and a nice party. Wedding night at the Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto. It’s a 5-star hotel and very posh. I was being pampered.
The morning after we were on our way to our short honeymoon in Niagara Falls. He reached to grab my hand and of course I responded with affection. But something was very different. He was squeezing my hand very hard and he said to me:
“Now that you are my wife, you will do as you’re told, how you’re told and when you’re told”
Initially I thought he was joking. I was wrong, very wrong. The man was a brutal fraud. My life turned into a living hell and I had been married one-day!
There were signs that the man was an abuser. What I thought was romantic, kind, considerate and caring were actually the steps he took to isolate me and my children.
The Warning Signs of Abuse:
- Isolation from family and friends. He bought me a house but it was two-hours away from my family. I didn’t drive at the time so I became very dependent on him.
- He went to my employer and quit my job for me. He said we were fine without the money and the girls needed me at home. What he really did was make me Financially Dependent.
- Odd Moments of Ridicule. Going out for the evening and being told that he would proud of me if I wore something that he personally chose. Usually, it was an inappropriate outfit and I would feel embarrassed and my confidence would plummet.
- Correcting me in public. Always. I lost my voice.
- Stopping my personal growth. I wanted to drive. I wanted to go to university. I was ridiculed for thinking that someone like me could do either.
- Sexual demands. Threats of having an affair if I didn’t comply.
- No public displays of affection.
In retrospect, all the signs were there. I chose not to see them because I wanted to believe in the relationship and him. I wanted the dream he was selling. I didn’t sign up for the nightmare he delivered. His abuse began subtlety and ended violently.
Not long after the wedding and honeymoon, I ran for my life. He had strangled me until I blacked out. For a long time, I thought maybe I was stupid for not seeing the signs. I wasn’t stupid. Not even close. The truth was I lacked self-confidence, self-worth, boundaries, and personal value, and he fed on that. He was able to manipulate me and my emotions.
I am well now and I have forgiven myself and him and moved on.
If you are in a toxic-emotionally abusive relationship, you can do the same. Leaving is a series of small steps but the journey is worth it. Scary but worth it.
I know, I did it.
If you’re ready to step into your courage and become Empowered Her and live free from toxic love, book an entirely free and super clarifying VIP Call with me.