Monday, October 7, 2013

Confession: I Was Married Once

It happened not long after Harley left me for the first time.
I think I've said before, but I doubt y'all will recall - Harley and I lived together for quite a while many years ago.  The age difference didn't matter to me.  And I don't think it matter any to Harley.  He's very outgoing and his friends were always over.  He never tried to exclude me from any of their activities.  I was excited to come home every day after work.  I wanted to be everything he ever wanted in a wife.  And yeah, while he hadn't proposed, I dreamed that he would eventually.  I've often thought this was one of the happiest times of my life.
He left to return to his first wife because he missed seeing his kids every day.  I was married a few months later.  Aside from mom's dying, this was the worst time of my life.
It was the cliché rebound relationship.  I knew it was a mistake pretty soon after we were married, but I was honestly determined to make it work.  Looking back, I tried a whole lot harder than I should have.  I was young and naïve.  I felt guilty, like it was my fault for holding him to an unfair standard (Harley).  I took the blame for anytime he got angry.  I thought I was a stronger woman than that - that I would never let myself be in an abusive relationship.  And yet, there I was, taking the blame for when he lost his temper . . . and for getting beaten. 
One night, the last night we were together, I had rushed home from work to fix dinner.  When you're in that kind of relationship, you can feel another outburst coming on.  In my warped brain, I thought I could make everything like it used to be when we first got married by having dinner ready when he got home and maybe wearing something sexy for him.  (Now that I think about it, this maybe has something to do w my not being all that great a cook.  Most of his outbursts happened either when I was cooking or right afterwards - because of his drinking and not my cooking, thank you very much.)  When he got home, I could tell he'd been drinking again.  He was always more angry after he'd been drinking.  He saw me in a very shear nightgown and immediately wanted sex.  I don't know, I guess I should have been flattered, but he stank of sweat and beer, and his erections always lasted forever when he was drunk.  I had fully planned on putting out after dinner.  Dinner was going to get ruined.  I was starving.  And he stank.  I just didn't want to be underneath him forever and then eat a ruined dinner.  I tried to encourage him to eat first.  A little something in his stomach would also help sober him up.  In hindsight, maybe I should have just gone to the bedroom and laid down.  When he was done, he probably would have just rolled over, gone to sleep, and I could have found something to eat alone in the living room.  But I didn't.  He got angry and began accusing me of all sorts of things.  He always accused me of sleeping around when he was angry (and, for the record, I had not once).  He threw dinner off the stove making a mess and burning me a little bit w the splatter.  When I got angry, he smacked me to the ground as well.  Then he stormed out to be w people that appreciated him more, he said; code to drink more.
I cried on the kitchen floor for what seemed like hours.  The thing that motivated me to call 911 was knowing he had gone out to drink more and would be even worse when he got back.  Making that call was one of the hardest things I had ever done.
The police were there in seconds.  There was an officer who lived in the complex and he came running over from his apartment.  Several cars soon arrived.  I was embarrassed at the attention.  Being Harley's ex made me fairly well known.

I was completely shocked when I saw Harley rush into our apartment a few minutes later . . . with my dad right behind him.  Daddy told me later that one of the officers on scene first had called Harley who had then stopped to get him.  The two men I loved most in the world were there on either side of me - and they had apparently already decided I was leaving that night.  Now that I think about it, there never was any real discussion.  Daddy just packed my car and drove me home.  Harley followed and stayed until the officers radioed that they had my ex in custody (I would have loved to have seen his face when the police came into the bar to get him).

I was divorced a short time later.


  1. Thanks for putting this out, Rachel - it all adds to the sum of human understanding. How fortunate to have friend and family so near. What happened to your ex, did you stay in touch at all?

  2. I am so glad you made that call. And the 2 men who cared the most were there for you.

  3. Wow that took courage to call the police and to leave. A lot of times people will stay in that type of relationship for many reasons. I am glad you got out of it. IT would only have gotten worse.

  4. The more I get to know you the happier am that I know you. You were brave to make that call and you honor us with your story. I'm glad you made it through and didn't become another horrifying statistic in the police blotter. And good on Harley for picking up your dad, that says volumes about both men.

  5. Moms dying are horrific... that was certainly among the roughest time of my Life...

    This is an unbelievable story... I don't understand 'angry' men... I am sorry for everything this guy put you through... that should never be acceptable.. I am sorry you didn't get out earlier...