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SURVIVORS SHARE ACCOUNTS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND RAPE IN MARRIAGE

Survivor's Name:

Jamie

Survivor's Story: I have been married for 7 years today. Not sure if today really counts though, since the divorce paperwork was filed last Friday. Today is Tuesday.

My husband and I had a pretty decent relationship. At least, I had always thought so. He and I operated on a "full disclosure" paradigm - regardless of how much it hurts, honesty is the best policy.

When he and I were first discussing getting married, he had told me that he wanted to "try new things" sexually. Some of the things he said he wanted to try seemed ok - toys, games, etc. Nothing too kinky and certainly nothing I felt uncomfortable about. I told him that "sure, I'll try that stuff with you". I guess what I forgot to mention was that if I'm uncomfortable with it that I reserved the right to say "No".

For the first 5 years of our marriage, things were never violent. He was very controlling - always pointing out my flaws: need to lose weight, change hair color, wear contacts to alter the colors of my eyes, etc. Any time I would lounge around the house I would get berated and asked if I didn't love him anymore because I always looked like crap. He wanted to know why I didn't look pretty for him anymore.

Midway through our 5th year of marriage, my husband started getting rougher in bed. He started calling me horrible names and smacking me. This would only happen during sex and, afterwards he would say that he had a good time. Eventually (and trust me, it didn't take long), I started to say no and ask him to stop doing those things. I would go so far as to get up and leave the bedroom when they started happening. He would get furious and yell at me and call me a bitch and tell me that I was leading him on. He also threatened divorce because "we had an agreement". He said that since I had agreed to "try new things" that I was obligated to give him what he wanted. The logic made sense, so I reluctantly complied.

Just after our 6th anniversary, things really took a turn for the worse. The violent "love-making" sessions started to leave me with visible wounds that I would have to explain away like so many of us do. I began to get angry and feel like I couldn't trust him anymore. About that time, an old flame had contacted me and we were re-developing a platonic relationship. Talking about family, kids, life, past, etc. Since we operated on "full disclosure", I told my husband.

Mistake.

After that the violence escalated. He got to where he would toy with me. He would start a very gentle, loving sex session and would bring me to climax. Immediately after I'd climax, he would flip me over and begin to abuse me. He would rape me. He would ask me if I thought I was going to get away without giving him what he wanted.

I began to pull back and just lie there. I quit having orgasms because I had linked that with the abuse that happened. He got to where he would bypass any show of love and would proceed with using and abusing my body.

The night of his birthday, which was roughly 4 months ago, the proverbial shit hit the fan. We went out drinking and ended up having a pretty good time. I was texting my old flame throughout the evening (among other people - I text message a lot for a 31-year-old ;D). When we got home, we were both drunk. He was extremely drunk. I was drunk enough to know what was going on and the only thing I wanted to do was sleep. He wasn't about to let that happen.

He told me that he was entitled to a "birthday fuck". When I told him that I felt like I was going to be sick and that I really didn't feel like having sex, he grabbed me by my hair and threw me up against the wall. He hit me repeatedly and proceeded to rape me both vaginally and anally. The whole time, he was throwing punches and insults. He mentioned his malcontent with me talking with my old flame. That came up a lot...

I will spare the details as I am concerned that more than what I have given could trigger a flashback not only in myself, but anyone reading.

Needless to say, the evening ended up with me hiding in the closet with my cell phone and our cordless phone in my hands. I tried calling 911 on our landline but he had unplugged the phone earlier in the evening. I started to call 911 on my cell phone and held back. He has a daughter and he only gets to see her every other weekend. He has never been violent with her and I didn't want to take her daddy away from her. I didn't call the police - a decision I now regret.

I called my old flame and ended up getting his voice mail. I left him a message and repeatedly sent him text messages that said "Save". What I was trying to send was "Save me", but my eye was too swollen and my hands were too shaky and sore to really fuction like I wanted them to. I ended up sleeping in the closet, my husband too drunk to think to look in there. I remember praying to God and asking him to kill me, I was in so much pain.

The next morning, he came into our bedroom and found me on the bed. He immediately started yelling at me for the scratches he had on his chest. I had gone to the bedroom in the middle of the night after discovering that he passed out on the couch. I stood up as he was yelling at me for his scratches and he took one look at me and ran to the bathroom to vomit. I looked terrible - eyes busted up, blood red and swollen; bruises EVERYWHERE, and blood around my legs and on my buttocks.

He did was men like that always do - he begged and pleaded for forgiveness and insisted that it would never happen again. For about a week or so after the whole ordeal I was really calm. I didn't really think much of it. I even rationalized it out and laughed it off as drunken hijinks! Can you believe that? After 7 or 8 days, though, my thought process began to change a bit. I quit eating and only slept a few hours a day, at most. I began to get very angry and yell at my husband and asking him how he could so violently attack me. He was completely weepy and complacent and apologetic and that only did more to fuel my anger. I kept having to leave to "go for drives" to calm down as I would have an anxiety attack and they would only go away when I wasn't around him.

On one of my drives, I saw an apartment complex that was leasing. I had known that I had to leave. One thing I had always told myself is that if a person hits you once, they *will* do it again. I was scared that when it happened again that he would kill me.

I sought the help of a counsellor who confirmed my desire to go. Luckily, I am the breadwinner, so I had the means to leave. I still have to deal with him as we finalized our divorce paperwork. I actually have to pay him alimony, since this incident was never reported to the police. That's something that angers me greatly - I now get to write a monthly check to the man that beat and raped me. If it keeps me away from him and that house, I'd pay double.

Today, four months later, I have actually reconnected with my old flame. We are really happy and he has been my ultimate support. He holds me when I have bad spells and gives me the hope and knowledge to know that not all men are terrible. I can trust again. I wasn't sure I could. I can enjoy sex again. I wasn't sure I could.

I can live again. I wasn't sure I could.
Submitted November 20 , 2010 8 : 10 am

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