This June will make the 6th anniversery of when I left my husband. My friends came to my house while he was at work, and packed up me and the cat, and we left when he came home early.
It's taken 6 years for me to be able to throw out his stuff that I have (most of which I ended up taking by accident), or even to be able to think about him without cringing. We were together for 7 years before that, and had been married for three of them when I left. The marriage was when things fell apart.
He was pretty much constantly emotionally abusive. Personal Failure mentions in a recent blog post about how when you are abused constantly you become desensitised to it, which may end up explaining why I put up with the kid's father, the rebound guy from the ex husband, for so long. In his own way he was no better and at times just as manipulative, but since he wasn't actually worse, it wasn't that bad.
And the funny thing about being emotionally abused is that you never really realize that you are being abused, because you aren't physically hit. And that is what abuse is, being hit. And yeah yeah yeah, we all know words can hurt, but come on! What does it matter when you're hubby is being cute and calls all the time? And boy isn't he over-protective sometimes, but he hasn't met these friends before. And sure he throws temper tantrums when you don't pay attention to him. All your attention. And so on. You get the picture.
Six years for me to be able to look back at some of that and honestly say, I was not to blame. It's hard, but there you go. We both had our moments (for instance, after being accused for years of sleeping with every man I know, I finally did have an affair, which was not my best moment). But I can now say I wasn't the broken thing in our relationship. I may have become broken, but going in I wasn't the biggest problem.
The past is the past, but it can still be a bitch.