- 5 years ago
- Wedding: October 2013
Hi Bees! I need your help. A few weeks ago I was catching up with a long time friend of mine from back home (South Carolina) who has been married a little over a year. She was reluctant to say anything at first, but it turns out that her marriage is not going so well and really hasn’t been from the start.
As we got on the subject of married life she was strangely less than enthusiastic, and eventually she confided in me she wants to leave her husband. She is a very emotionally cultivated, intelligent and mature woman who would have thought long and hard about a decision like this, so I knew that something had to be wrong. I asked her if she wanted to talk about it, and since she hadn’t really had the opportunity to confide in anyone she told me that he has been abusive towards her since shortly before the wedding. At that time his behavior was completely out of character and she figured it would go away, but it only got worse.
One of the first things she said to me, very plainly was “I think he might try to kill me.” A couple of weeks ago she called him to ask permission (yes you are reading that correctly) to stay out later than usual. That night she woke up to him hovering over her, looking through her phone. He said “you know I’d kill you, right?” Completely startled and half asleep, she asked him what he was talking about. He clarified that if she tried to leave him that he would kill her. She says she believes him.
She told me that he has been sexually abusive to her, claiming that he has rights over her body because they are married now. He has caused her excruciating pain during sex and refused to stop, which she tentatively recognizes as rape. When I mentioned to her a TV show that I saw once about an abuser who forced his wife to sleep with his penis inside of her, she said that he has tried to do that too.
He owns their house (it was his childhood home) works a part-time job and plays video games in all of his free time. He refuses to clean up or help with housework in any way, and claims that he bought *her* (presumably his maidservant) when he spent all of the money he did on the ring. She works more hours than he does. She is not allowed to send or receive mail from their address because he doesn’t want anyone to know where they live. He knows her work hours and she has to clear any extra activities with him first. The list goes on but you get the gist..
During the initial discussion, she expressed to me that she didn’t feel that her life was in immediate danger, up until the point that she tries to leave which would have to be quickly and covertly. She was worried about where to go with her dog (who had been with her for years and was essentially her baby.) She was also worried about finding resources and making arrangements for her things without him finding out. I told her that I would help her with this in any way that I can.
Within a couple of weeks after that conversation, her dog passed away. She was devastated, but she is now free. I received a text from her this morning asking me to message her when I wake up, that she is desperate for help. She needs a lawyer that is cheap or free, somewhere to go and she doesn’t care where as long as she can keep her job, which she loves. She has explained to her boss that she will need to be transferred and may need some time off, which they are okay with. I would have her stay with me but I live over 800 miles away. Her family lives almost as far away, so she will probably need to live in a shelter in order to keep her job. She wants to leave after the first of the year.
If anyone has any resources or advice to share please do. I am going to try to make whatever arrangments for her that I can.