I Am Living With A Verbally Abusive Spouse, And It Is Soul-Sucking

I have friends on Facebook who share their relationship details candidly — every fight, every cruel word. I know all their drama. It always seemed tacky to me. I could never. So many of my family and my fiancé’s family look at my page. It would be embarrassing to air out dirty laundry like that.

Based on social media, you’d think we’re great. You can follow our relationship through our photos and my posts from our early dating days of bar-hopping, through my pregnancy and our son’s birth, to our sweet spring photo shoot at the park. We look so happy. We smile. Everything is blooming, just like I wanted. The baby, our beautiful baby, smiles between us. The sun had finally come out, and we look so happy.

But we aren’t.

Our relationship, by all outward appearances, is normal and sweet and sunny. We go to family gatherings, hang out with friends, and joke and laugh. We play with our cute baby. He goes to work, now I go to work, and we have dinner most nights together.

But…

He is angry. He doesn’t hit me. I’ve been hit. I grew up being hit. I know abuse, I think. Abuse is being afraid all the time, isn’t it? Abuse is being a quiet mouse because you’re afraid of making a sound because someone will drag you by your hair and smack you and choke you and scream in your face. Abuse is being told you’re stupid and believing it’s all your fault, that you ruin everything, and if you were better, this wouldn’t happen.

I know abuse.

He is nice for some weeks at a time. Long enough for me to believe that he is kind to me. He works hard for us, after all. He leaves every morning to help us pay our bills, doesn’t he? He doesn’t beat me. Isn’t that good enough?

But he is angry.

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