This woman's breaking point was when her then-husband hurt her pets.
If you’ve never been in a relationship that included emotional, mental, physical, or sexual abuse then it’s usually difficult to imagine why people stay in those relationships. People that have finally escaped those situations attest to the fact that they are often terrified to leave, not just because they’ll be alone but because they are scared of what their partner will do if they try to leave.
Oftentimes, abusive partners have degraded their victims so much that they convince them that no other person would want them or that no one will believe that they have been abused. It takes years for victims of abuse to leave, if ever, especially if they have children or are financially reliant on their partners.
One victim who finally gathered the courage to leave her ex-husband three years ago is Imgur user krissykross, who recently posted screenshots of text messages from her then-husband. She posted just 6 screenshots, but the feelings of jealousy, mistrust, and fear can all be felt when reading them. It’s something she endured everyday, and these text messages are just a small glimpse into the abuse she faced constantly.
The Imgur user shared her story along with the text messages, saying,
“My ex-husband was a kind, loving man. That is, until I lost weight (at 5’3” and over 200lbs, it was sort of necessary). I then got a job. Suddenly I was cheating, I lost weight to get men, I couldn’t buy clothes that fit me after the 80 pounds lost because it showed off my body.
“He hit me and sexually assaulted me. He waited outside my work for whole shifts, not telling me if he was carrying the Beretta M9 he had purchased recently. I wanted to go out with two (female) coworkers for my 23rd birthday. I told him weeks in advance and when the time came he punched me in the face and slammed my head into the floor, only leaving me alone because he had duty that evening. I tried to go to the police in the middle of the night, he tailgated me the whole way. I tried to talk to his parents and they told me it was normal in a young marriage and I should reassure him. His father is a pastor in Tennessee and holds this belief.”
“This is a good example of strings of texts I would get at work while on shift (I am not allowed my phone on the clock.)”
“Tony was a coworker. I knew when he clocked off because it was when I was clocking on. Fella helped me change my tire one time and I was suddenly banging him (apparently.)”
“I stayed the night with a female friend from work. He knew because he “set traps” for me.”
“I visit my mother one every couple years. I had a huge bruise on my arm from where my husband had bit me, leaving visible teeth marks. The bruise was so bad it hung around for almost a month. Long enough for a visit to my mothers and to still be photographed by NCIS when I finally turned him several weeks later.”
“As for the midnight thing, I had to call him at midnight every night I was with my mother. Assuming it was because he wanted to make sure I wasn’t out being drunk and doing nefarious things during the evening.”
The victim’s husband was in the Navy at the time of the abuse, so it’s likely that before the victim got a job that she was financially dependent on him and scared to leave. Even after she gained a bit of independence, many victims report thinking that their spouse will change or become better with time, often giving them “one more chance” time and time again.
The Imgur user explained what finally pushed her to leave her husband and press charges against him, something that most victims are terrified of doing even if they do leave their significant others.
“I finally got the guts to leave when he hurt my dog and kitten. While he was at work I packed a bag, my pets, and their food and hid at a coworker’s house and called NCIS and the police. I spent hours getting bruises photographed, giving my statement, waiting while they put him on restriction. I saw him only a handful of times after, all in court. 3 court dates to get a PO approved, the divorce hearing where he told me if I dropped the charges he’d support me financially, and the two military court dates.
“He was charged with a handful of misdemeanors and two felonies. I accepted his guilty plea bargain for 8 months in the Miramar brig on the condition that the felony charges be dropped. The judge wanted to give him 10. I still had to listen to several people testify how great of a person he was- a whole group on his side while I sat there with one friend and my lawyer.”
In later comments, she explained that she continued to press charges because her ex-husband had threatened to kill her and her family, so him getting jail time was more important than being financially supported by him. She allowed the two felonies to be dropped because then that meant he would definitely plead guilty and receive jail time. Since he had so many supporters on his side and she had so few on hers, she wasn’t sure that her chances were great if she refused to drop the felonies. Thankfully, he was separated from the Navy and given a “bad conduct discharge.”
When another Imgur user commented and pointed out that it’s crazy that she was finally convinced to get help only after her husband hurt her pets, she replied:
“I think because I could run away and they couldn’t. Broke my heart that they couldn’t understand why someone they loved hurt them.”
“3 years later and I’m actually doing great. I have my own place, a decent job, my pets are doing very well. My credit is shit from the divorce, but really, I’m in decent company in that. This isn’t really a sob story; I’m really proud of what I’ve done on my own. I just wanted to share for possibly some closure since I never really got that. Strangers on the internet are better than keeping it inside for so long. And if you hate my story I just lose some fake points anyway. I save these text messages to remind myself how far I’ve come, not to cry over. I’m still terrible in relationships but…”