Article by Wendy McCance
This is a very personal and difficult post to write. Honestly, I have thought about writing this for quite a long time now. I have learned so much about relationships from a very bad, abusive relationship and a very good, loving, caring relationship.
When I left my husband, I had been with him for around 16 years. We had begun dating when we were just out of high school. We were so young and had so much to learn. Even so, the relationship turned into marriage and then a family as we welcomed three children into the fold.
The relationship was doomed from the start. I had incredibly low self-esteem. Although I had dated others along the way, I was convinced that no one would want to be with me. I was afraid of being alone and was back in the day a bit of a lost soul. I turned a toxic relationship into a fairy tale inside my head. I refused to acknowledge lies, cheating and a controlling personality within my husband.
I became isolated from friends and family as my husband came up with reasons why he didn’t want me around those who were close to me. I was put down often and basically was left to serve my husband’s needs. The kids were always with me if I went out. They were my responsibility. Cooking, cleaning and errands were also my job. Mind you, I had a full-time job and no help from my husband. I was told I had no choice, I had to work. I missed the kids desperately and would tear up when I was at work and saw kids with their moms. I made slightly more money than what I paid the sitter. Although I pointed this out, it didn’t matter, I had to work. This went on even when I was supposed to be on bed rest while pregnant.
When I was finally told I was unable to work anymore, my husband decided a ride would do me some good. He wanted me to get out and breath some fresh air. We drove nearly an hour until we found a gravel road. The road went on forever and was incredibly painful as it brought on contractions. I cried and begged my husband to take me home.
What broke my fear wide open and made me finally decide to leave the relationship was the fear I began to have for the kids well-being. The kids and I would have to tiptoe around the house hoping not to rile up my husband. If anger wasn’t taken out on us, it was taken out on our dog. The kids would cry and hold their hands over their ears when the dog was beaten.
Following the divorce, I began to build up my sense of self. I felt a sense of freedom I hadn’t known for almost half my life. Eventually I met, fell in love with and married a wonderful man. He is incredible with the kids and makes me feel good about myself.
We have been married now for 6 years. I have to admit that although we have a great relationship, my past still haunts me. I have had to learn how to let down those protective walls and let someone into my life. I have horrible trust issues and have had near panic attacks if my husband says or does anything that remotely reminds me of something from my past. Learning how to control the doubt and fear has been tremendously challenging. I have been lucky to have someone in my life that understands why I have had moments that were like an all out emotional meltdown. Somehow, my husband has been able to look past the frustration of dealing with emotional baggage that has nothing to do with him and show love, care and support for me.
After all of these years, I have been able to have minimal bad moments. I have learned that I can’t control what might happen down the road in our relationship. I can only enjoy the ride and expect the best will continue for me and my husband.
There are so many people who have been in a bad relationship. I hope this article gives you some confidence that your entire life does not have to be about tragedy in your love life. Good people do exist. Everyone deserves to have a good person in their life.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]