The ones who suffer in the end are the children. 

Break ups are hard. Period. Emotions, whether lost or broken, are complicated and stressful for both sides. However, when a break up is the result of domestic violence,  the road is much harder. Feelings get hurt by outcomes that neither party is ready for. Both sides lose the ability to make choices in all matters, choices now being decided legally. It’s a painful and sad process. 

Sometimes in cases such as this, one party acts out of spite, cursing their significant other for things that are usually out of their control. In the end, what I believe some fail to realize, is that while you are trying to hurt your ex significant other, really you’re hurting your children. Hurting them by disrespecting your ex, telling false stories, throwing away your children’s belongings. None of this will hurt your ex. All of it will hurt your children. 

Since the incident, my daughter has not been herself. She’s distant and crying all the time and whining, acting out and not listening. It’s so tough on the both of us, and it kills me to see her suffer. What’s baffling to me is that she hasn’t mentioned him at all. Not once. A little girl, who at one time would always ask for him, doesn’t mention him at all. I won’t mention him. I haven’t spoken his name to my children. I’m afraid to. I don’t know what kind of questions they will ask, I don’t know how they feel. I don’t know anything. Thankfully I have enrolled her in counseling for children of domestic violence. I know it will help her tremendously. 

I try not to think of the past for thinking about it brings up emotions I’m not ready to feel. I try not to wonder what the future is going to bring, for a part of me fears life without him. I am a victim of domestic violence. Missing my abuser is normal. It’s part of the healing process. It makes me sad and mad and confused. I am on the path to healing though, and to be honest I am quite proud of how far I have come. 

Never in my entire relationship with my husband did I think our lives would end up like this. And secretly, there’s a small part of me that wants my family back together. I push those feelings away, because from what I’m told an abuser never can change. That too makes me sad but I have to remind myself that he is not my problem anymore. 

I can’t help wondering how he is feeling though. I wish I could but I can’t. I find myself worried about him sometimes or wondering what he must think of me now. Then I sigh, and shake it off. I don’t think I’ll ever know how he is feeling and really, do I care? Yes. Do I want to care? No. 


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8 comments

  1. I’m responding solely to the title of this post because it is what produced this thought … while you’re right that the children suffer from all of this, the reality is that they would suffer far more if you had stayed with the abuser. They would have suffered far more if you had remained in a dysfunctional marriage.

    This is one of the things I struggle with regularly. While there is not violence or domestic abuse in my marriage, have I done more damage to my kids by remaining in a marriage that is unhappy than I would have done if I had ended the marriage.

    It’s a mystery. It’s impossible to know the answer.

    But …

    In your case, I have no doubt, far more damage would have been done if you had stayed.

      • I have absolutely no doubt you are not too late. She is so young still and children are so resilient, if given the chance, this will not cause lasting damage. Part of that, however, depends on you … to stop the cycle and show her a different way. It’s not just about your husband … ex-husband … but about who you bring into your world and hers next. Know what I mean?

      • I totally get that and I hesitated to bring it up, but it’s a reality.

        What you’re describing … about the love … is one of the reasons I struggle with my own situation.

        You’ve taken the step you’ve taken. Whether it is next month or next year or five years from now do what you can to not make the same mistake. That’s all I’m saying. When you’re ready for the next stage. You know? Show to yourself and your daughter and, just as important, your son, that a loving, positive relationship is possible and that violence is not acceptable.

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