Dear Ms. Vicki,
My husband and I had been married for 11 years with three kids when he asked me for a divorce.
Hurt by his sudden request, I did some digging and found out he was cheating on me. His cheating -- combined with emotional, verbal and physical abuse toward me -- made me file for legal separation.
We were separated for two years, then he came back begging, stating that he would do right by me.
I took him back and, for a while, he showed some signs of change. However, the emotional, verbal and physical abuse started again.
So when he got orders to PCS, I refused to move with him. The abuse intensified and, when he moved, he refused to communicate with me.
Now, three months later, he's contacting me to attend his change-of-command ceremony. I do not think it would be wise for me to attend. Help please.
-- Hurting Badly
I hope you didn’t attend the change of command for a man who has been emotionally, verbally and physically abusive to you.
I’m quite sure you are even thinking about your children in this situation too, right? I mean, what messages are you giving your children if you stay in this relationship?
The fact is, you are sending them many messages when you put up with this abuse. For instance, you are telling them that you don’t care about yourself and who you are when you allow him to treat you so badly.
People stay with abusive partners for many reasons. Both men and women say that they stayed for this reason or for that reason. Everyone has a reason.
If your children are the reason you would consider going back to him, you should know that the research shows that children who live with domestic violence experience anxiety and depression. The research shows that it is better for children to see two happy, healthy parents who are not together as opposed to a couple who is together with domestic violence in their relationship.
Domestic violence is serious. The longer you stay in a relationship with these dynamics, the more likely it is to ruin your self-esteem and self-worth and cause you to second-guess yourself constantly. You don’t deserve that.
-- Ms. Vicki