I am thinking of leaving my husband. It was a forced marriage – I tried to rebel against it but I was too weak. For years afterwards, I tried to leave but he just ruthlessly dealt with anyone who tried to help me.
The abuse was incessant and every now and then he still throws jibes trying to make himself look superior. He blames everything that goes wrong on me but takes credit for all of my achievements.
Over the years, I managed to wangle some freedom. He still controls all the money only leaving me a small housekeeping allowance. He says it’s more than I deserve anyway and that I am bleeding him dry. He also decides who can come to our house and what we watch on the telly. On the other hand, I have full control about how things are organised in my bedroom and garden. I even can make decisions regarding my healthcare.
He is much kinder to me now and worries that I will be worse off. He says that squatters will move to my house and I will be at risk of criminals and unable to defend myself. He is sure that our friends will stay on his side and I will be left all alone. Money is also a problem – he says my dowry is not as good as it seems and I will live in poverty.
My children’s opinion is divided – some of them want us to leave but others cannot imagine life without my husband. They want to keep things as they are because they think it is safer. You see, they don’t know another kind of life. They think we are better together.
What should I do, Deidre?