An Abusive Marriage.

Monday, 18 May 2015
No, I'm not talking about 50 Shades Of Grey & BDSM in a relationship, what I'm referring to is actual abuse in a marriage. Namely, my marriage.

Between a couple, there are a lot of things that occurs behind closed doors which no one ever knows, some good, some bad. It is easy for people on the outside to be envious of Shane & my marriage because well, we always seemed so happy and loving.


On the outside, we're a really goofy, loving couple who withstood the trials of being teen parents. But what went on beneath the surface, nobody really knew until today. 

This is the darker side of our marriage.


When I first started dating Shane, I was incredulously shy. I had an outspoken, playful nature but with Shane, I was always too shy around him. For the most part, he was the dominating one in our relationship. Whenever we had an argument, I was always the one trying to put right the pieces of our relationship and apologising even though I wasn't the one at fault. I was hopelessly in love with him and he knew that he had the upper hand. He constantly played games with my heart on the knowledge that I loved him more.

After we got married however, things changed & the playing fields shifted.
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I turned into an abusive wife.

I'm sorry (then again, not sorry - thankfully.) that the story about my abusive marriage isn't going to be as thrilling and dramatic as you'd like it to be but I promise you, it holds a strong message. What I'm talking about today isn't about physical abuse but rather, something that is far more common and
leaves a deeper scar in marriages than we think it does. It's emotional abuse. 

The thing that's so dangerous about emotional abuse is precisely because it doesn't leave a visible or tangible mark on the victim. It kills one inside out and destroys a marriage little by little most times, without the knowledge of the abuser.

See, when Shane & I got married, things got serious. I suddenly found myself giving my all to our marriage while he had it easy. I was a mother and the one who brought home the bacon. I shouldered all the financial responsibilities while Shane simply had an escape route from adulthood. He had to complete his years of study and then do his part for the nation with national service. People constantly sung praises of me when they saw how our marriage was like, me being the strong one supporting our family while it seemed like Shane on the other hand, did nothing. Those people didn't mean anything bad, they just gave me all the credit and that got into my head a bit too much. I found that I was putting myself on a pedestal and felt like I was superior in our relationship all because "I did more for the family".

I was constantly in his face. I was quick to shame him, put him down, make him feel worthless. Even on social media. I constantly disrespected my husband.

"You're f***ing useless!"

"If I leave you, I could find someone ten times more capable than you!"

"You're a f***ing bum! Can you find some b*lls and man up?!"

These were but a minority of the emotional abuse that I'd put him through on a daily basis. It happened during the time after I gave birth, probably the result of post-natal depression. However, no amount of reasoning and excuses could justify the torment I put him through. Whatever he did or did not do, my husband definitely did not deserve being treated like dirt. Especially not by his own wife.

It wasn't merely degradation and humiliation that he'd put up with. I was also relentlessly nit-picking on every little thing that he did or did not do. If I asked him to do something, he had to do it right away or I'd flip out at him. If he did, but didn't do it the way I wanted him to, again, I would blast out on him. If something went wrong somewhere, it was always his fault - even though it was out of his control. Everything he said, he was wrong and I was right. He could never win a fight. For me, I was frustrated that I had to shoulder all the responsibilities as a parent and I took him as a punching bag. He was the only one I could vent my anger at and you know what's the saddest part? That he'd let me.

Not because I was right. But because he loved me and he knew that me repeatedly shouting at and taking it out on him was a form of catharsis for me. He willingly took all the emotional abuse in silence. No matter what I said about him on social media or to friends, no matter how bad I made him look, he'd take it without retaliating. I had degraded my husband to the point where he accepted it.

And this changed him.

He was no longer the authoritative, strong-willed man that he used to be. Instead, he feared me and was always wary around me to prevent yet another outburst. The more I wanted my husband to share the responsibilities with me, the more I pushed him away. My desperation turned into anger and I didn't know how to manage it.

I don't know when I realised what I was doing to the man I love, that I was unknowingly destroying our marriage. Maybe it was the time he likened me to a Nazi, or the time he told his friends that girls change after they become mothers, that he didn't used to be afraid of me but now when I do get angry, he genuinely gets a little intimidated. Or maybe it was the time when I shouted at him for no reason and then apologised and he replied "It's okay. I know I'm your punching bag". I cannott put a finger to when exactly I had that realisation but I'm glad I did. I'm glad that I realised I was turning into a monster and I had to stop disrespecting my husband.


Venting out on him became a habit and habits are hard to kick. I took little steps and a conscious effort to stop emotionally abusing my husband. One was to start appreciating the things he did and to say thank you instead of focusing on the things he did wrong.

I also made it a point to stop publicly humiliating him on my twitter. I knew how my words had a colossal effect on him even though it didn't seem like much and vouch to myself that I would stop saying mean things to make him feel small. It took a while before the emotional abuse ceased and even though he never once complained, I could see the subtle signs that I was getting my husband back. He didn't look so edgy and despondent around me and our quarrels drastically reduced. Now, he wouldn't hesitate confiding in me when he's down & I am almost always the first person he turns to for a simple word or phrase to uplift his morale/mood. 

I've learnt the power of words and how it can either build a person up or destroy him. Emotional abuse is an invisible marriage killer & I hope nobody makes the mistake I've made. It's never too late to stop. Until it's gone. I hope people who are emotionally abusing their partners can realise from my account of my marriage before it's too late. 

The damage has been done and even though I no longer abuse my husband emotionally, I've scarred him permanently and no amount of apologies can reverse the hurt I've caused him. I wish I could take back all the mean things I've said to him but I can't and I'm deeply regretful. It's true that words are like knives and it cuts deeper.


It's your choice to breathe life into a person or to slaughter them with your words. 

Don't make the same mistake I did.




45 comments:

  1. That doesn't even make sense. You are still trying to justify your actions with this blog post. This isn't a warning to other people who are abusive towards their partner. If someone is abusive, they would be exactly like you - they think that their partner deserves it. So what do you have to prove? That you have changed? Why are you still blogging about then? Are you trying to gain sympathy? You are mother, for crying out loud. You are in-charge of another human being and you can still admit to abusing your husband via a blog post? Have you no shame?

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    1. I'm not trying to gain sympathy, if I did, I wouldn't even write this post? It's because I know how real and underrated emotional abuse is. I can't and don't have to prove that I've changed because as long as my husband himself knows and can see it for himself, I don't have to justify to anyone else. Most times, emotional abuse happens even though the abuser doesn't know it herself. I managed to come to a realisation. This is just me telling others not to make the same mistake I did. Say what you want but I see no wrong in writing this blogpost because I meant good. I'm not ashamed because I've realised it and corrected my ways. I'm sorry if I was too honest for your liking but I didn't sugar coat it for a reason. Emotional abuse happens more often in relationships than we know it.

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    2. If even as little as one person stopped to reflect on their relationship after reading this, then I'd have put the message across.

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    3. Ignore the comment - it was very brave of you to admit your mistake. Nobody is perfect. Whats important is how you've tried your best to make amends. I'm sure you've already made an impact on one or two of the many young women who read this.

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    4. You have no idea how much your words mean to me. Thank you so much!

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    5. Hi Esther! I think you're a really brave, beautiful, and strong mother. You had the weight of the world cast upon you at such a young age, but you pulled through. Sure, you make mistakes, and abuse (physical and emotional) is never the solution, but you realised your mistakes and that is the most important.
      Continue to build your beautiful family, you're doing a great job.

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    6. to the anonymous OP, you obviously did not bother to carefully read through everything. stop jumping the gun before you are even sure of the content.

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    7. "Don't make the same mistake I did" very much sounds like a warning to me. Esther, do not take his/her ignorance to heart. You are one brave young lady and I really enjoy reading about your experiences. Thank you for doing what you are doing and thank you for writing about the things we teenagers fear to even talk about. I wish for nothing but the best for you and your family, all the best!

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    8. Hello :) Thank you for speaking up for me :) I'm really glad you can see where I'm coming from! Thank you for your encouragement & for taking the time to read what I write! I wish you all the best to you as well & God bless! <3

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  2. Thanks for the writing. Good that you reflect. So what happened to your husband and most important your child?

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    1. & thank you for reading. Through it all, my husband and I have come out of everything we've been through, stronger than ever. Our daughter has a happy family and we just welcomed our second princess a few months ago! :)

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  3. The first step to changing a bad decision is to admit the mistake. I don't see what is there to be shameful about 'admitting' her mistake in a blog post.

    Why is 'anonymous' so bitter? Hide behind keyboard somemore?

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    1. Thanks Rachel, I'm glad you can understand where I'm coming from :)

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  4. For one thing , anonymous
    After reading this blogpost made me come to a realisation and my story is so far from hers but it HELPED in a way . My girlfriend , when she flips out . Her words are like sabres , daggers and knives don't even cut it and i can go ape shit on anyone , beat the crap out of someone or insult someone till they are scarred but when it comes to my girl , i couldn't even bear a single insult .
    when it coms to her , i'm jelly .
    So reading this , i peered into the mind of a woman who's sharp with her words , who... lost her way in the midst of all the crazy challenges like parenting and family planning( I , am intimidated by all that and i'm 21 this year )
    but at the end of the day , she still loves the man she chose
    And that , that gives me hope . It makes me wanna hang on because seeing how her's play out
    I think i'll grit my teeth and let it pass because i know someday it'll all be worth it .

    So thank you Esther . Thank you for being brutally honest

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    1. & thank you for taking the time to read, i'm deeply humbled that my own reflection has helped you in some little way. It means a lot :)

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  5. Thank you for sharing. Treat your man with love and you will be his queen. I am glad you both are doing better

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  6. Thanks for sharing. I use to be like u too. I totally agree with what you say. Words can really bring a person up or down especially from someone you love. I really helps when I apologize for being anger and explaining why I'm anger to my fiancé. Its better to nag than to scold that what I learn in my relationship. Nagging in a positive way os like telling him what went wrong, what's you feeling, how to improve things and etc.. Not just nagging, have to always appreciate smal little things he do for you and love him and show affection for example saying I love u and mean it, hug him, kiss him, comfort him, shower him with gift or food like cooking or baking. All these affection will make your man to stay with you and if you able to give him this, he will only have eyes on you. These will help relationship to be more happy, loyal and trustworthy. Healthy relationship is important especially when you already have children, because you are the example for your daughther to follow. If you disrespect you husband, they will follow and disrespect to their father or other men. Children are pure, they will watch and follow their parents so make sure you have to bought them up properly. I too have learn from my own mistakens. Everyone relationship is different. Sharing is important to help one another. Take care and God bless you.

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    1. True, it is important for me to constantly reflect on my own actions as I'm a mother. Thank you for your encouragement and for sharing! May God bless you & your family too!

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    2. Hello! Thank you for your sharing. It has been a blessed testimony. And it's such a joy to see another Roman Catholic & Protestant married couple. How do you both manage your Christian walk as a married couple? I'd appreciate some useful pointers. And are your children raised Catholic or Protestant?

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  7. First of all, I think you are really brave and capable to raise a family of 3 kids singlehandedly at such a young age. Society had us conform to the belief that men should be the more capable/successful half in a marriage. I'm sure you, being the sole breadwinner (my assumption), has set tongues wagging among your peers, relatives, colleagues. This will definitely drive a wedge between the two of you, especially with the kind of character your husband displays (based on what i read from your previous posts). It helps if you let your husband feel like he's the head of the family once in awhile. Little gestures such as letting him foot the bill when dining out, or letting him make important decisions would mean alot to him. That said, I'm just a passerby giving my 2 cents' worth. I wish you all the best :-)

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    1. Hello, thank you for your compliments! Yes, those years were a very trying time for my husband and I. But that was in the past, things are different now, I'm no longer the sole breadwinner and we've come out of it stronger. We still have a long way ahead of us but it's through these experiences that we learn. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I really appreciate it!

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  8. Dearest Esther, I have never replied anyone's blog posts before but when I read this, i feel like I'm reading my own situation... Though I'm not a teenage mom, but I was still a relatively young mum at age 25 and my husband and I are worlds apart too. I totally understand what you mean from your relationship statuses to your friends asking to your parents understanding even to your "regret" of marrying him but not having Kylie :) for us, I guess we were attracted by the fact they are so different and "bad boy" and super talented, but are put off by their lack of discipline and laziness.
    I just wana tell you dear sis that you are precious in God's eyes (I think you'd known this deeply by now) and that He has a GREAT plan for all these pasts that have happened. Am totally encouraged to see your posts lining with verses. I'm into my 7th yr of marriage and I loved my husband even more than before, with God's help and love. In fact, we have gotten quite similar which makes us sort of balanced in character. He's changed so much he's the one encouraging me to go for prayer meetings. Anyway, we were discussing the other day that perhaps God has a use for our tumultuous past to counsel others who may have problems in their marriages. You are not alone... Jiayou!! *hugs*

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    1. Hi Laverne, thank you! It's really heartening to know that people can relate to what I write. Shane has changed so much as well, the other day when I was anxious and afraid, he prayed for me & the most incredible serenity washed over me. & yes, I believe God has a great plan for us all, including you. I wish you and your husband lots of joy and love and may God be the center of your marriage! God bless! *hugs*

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  9. Hi Esther, I am so happy that you are in a better place now. I just started reading your posts and am thankful that you are being truthful and honest about the tough obstacles that you have gone through, to show the other teens out there that it is not easy. I am also very glad that you have found God and I will pray for you that you will continue to trust in Him. God Bless you and your family, from the bottom of my heart!

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    1. Thank you! Your prayer really means a lot! & May God Bless you too!

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  10. Hi Esther, although i only read 2 of your blogspots (this and '19 & married'), this 2 blog posts have given me additional insights on motherhood and relationships. I would say that even though im 21, i am not ready to be a mom, but i can relate much to an abusive relationship. Im happy for you being able to snap out of it, it really isn't easy for you both and im happy that you both came out stronger than ever. Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thank you! It makes me really means a lot to me whenever somebody tells me how their able to relate with my posts. I hope all is well for you in your relationship now though! & thank you for being so happy for us! :)

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  11. Hi Esther, thanks for this wonderful post! It definitely allowed me to stop and think and to decide whether am I on the wrong track in my relationship as well. You are really very brave, little people would have the courage like yours to do so. I learnt a lot from you, thanks for stepping out to post about something that was so close to your heart! :) Have faith, God bless you!

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    1. Hey dear, thank you for taking the time to read :) I'm glad my personal experience has made people pause to think for a while & it's incredible to hear that you've actually learnt from my own account of being the "abuser". & yes, have faith! Never underestimate the power of having just a little faith! God Bless you too!

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  12. How do you stop someone from doing it. If that person doesn't change, after like close to 3 years. What's the best course of action?

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    1. Honestly, I think such situations takes self-reflection and awareness from the abuser him/herself. Which is precisely why I wrote this. So people can actually stop and reflect for a moment. Maybe talk to a friend and have him/her talk to them? Because I know how sometimes the words of the victim holds no weight in such situations.

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  13. Hey there! You made me realize what i was doing in my own relationship as well... no regrets spending 5-10mins reading this!! :D stay strong! I wanted to be a young mother like you too hehe :)

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad it's made you realise & I hope you'll have a better relationship as well! If I can snap out of it, I'm sure you can too! :)

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  14. Hi, thanks for sharing your story and glad that you've realised and make a point to salvage the marriage. Good on you! My boyfriend who is now my husband is also doing the same to me. No matter how I try to tell him that he's hurtinf me, it doesn't help. He'll just say all the nasty words just to make me upset and hurt me.. whether I do things wrong or done nothing. It's really tormenting and hurting the relationship. I just wish the very best for you 2 to be understanding towards each other and bring up your child happily. Happiness always! :)

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    1. Hi dear, I pray that one day your husband will come to realise the hurt he is causing you and that the both of you will come out of it stronger as well. Keep praying okay? I'm sure you guys will be able to work things out! I wish you abundant love and joy in your relationship! *hugs!*

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  15. By accident I came across this page on facebook. I too was like you in the past. Still am. I grew up in a family where my mother was the dominant one. She controlled most of everything and blamed my dad for being always a chicken and useless. As I grew up I saw it in all my relationships. I was the one putting food on the table. But then I recently these few years I lost someone I loved very much. And as I Moved on I realize that it takes a lot of patience not to scream my head off always and to always encourage my man. Men are like children. They want to be rewarded. They need to feel loved. Wanted just like we do. So im doing my best even when i lose it sometimes I keep calm at most and just remember that I love my man and losing him isthe worst thing tht cn ever happen. Doesn't matter what the first comment said. Write blogs . Get it out of ur system. Accept the fact that it happen is better than denial. All the best.

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    1. Indeed! It takes a while to realise but realising is the first step to change even though it takes quite a bit of effort to keep our cool! Thank you for sharing your story with me as well. & don't worry, comments such as this certainly outweighs the negative comment I received! Thank you!

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  16. This was a really great post! The part where you said the saddest thing is he let you really gave me feels!!

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    1. Thank you for reading :) I'm glad my story's able to reach out to you :)

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  17. Hi Esther,

    I found your blog through BOAT (through Kay Kay's instagram, actually). I hope to encourage you to persevere in your efforts to make that change in your life, because I have been through it myself--in fact, I am at the end-point of what happens when one realises too late what damage words can do. Like you, I was verbally and emotionally abusive to my ex-husband, and, years later, to my ex-boyfriend (I didn't learn my lesson very well the first time round). When I finally realised what kind of damage I had done, it was too late to salvage the relationship.

    It's good that you acknowledge that you have this issue, but I do hope that you will also explore personal counselling, perhaps to see if there are any underlying issues that you might not even be aware of. Do consider working with a qualified counsellor. It really does help.

    Above all, do it for your two lovely children. My mother is extremely verbally and emotionally abusive, and even though I swore to myself that I would never turn out like her, I still subconsciously picked up how she behaved, and it became my own behaviour as well, even if it was to a milder degree. We never know what our children will see, or how it will affect them, and it's up to us to break the cycle, for a better future.

    Cheers, Esther. You are not alone on this journey!

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    1. Hello, thank you for your encouragement, indeed, words can cut deep. I'm still working on it everyday of my life and am thankful for a very patient husband that I must remember not to take for granted. I will keep your words in mind and if need be, seek a counsellor. Thank you for being so open with me on your life story & thank you for reading!

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  18. This post made me reflect on my relationship and I have to shamefully admit I am glad I am not alone and kust like you I have stopped doing so too but he is still very hurt and has flashbacks :(

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  19. Thanks for the blog post buddy! Keep them coming...
    The real marriage killer

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