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I do understand where you are coming from because it happened to me. I was married at 21 and even when I walked down the aisle of that church I knew I made a mistake, but thought I had the "jitters" so got married. It didn't take long to realize I had done the wrong thing, because it wasn't long after my new husband was cheating on me with more than one woman and I was in denial. He was a cheater, but never an abuser, until one day, he started being mentally abusive and it got worse, then it started into physical abuse and I knew I should get away from him. Still, I found my mind was in a fog and I had always planned on staying married for the rest of my life (this was back in the 60s) and didn't know where to turn. I was too embarrassed and too full of pride to seek help from my parents, and didn't dare trust a friend with the fact my marriage had failed. I only trusted one male friend I had known for years. Other than that I kept it to myself and realized that my health was failing from all the stress. I was working one day and it suddenly hit me that I couldn't take it anymore, so I started looking for an apartment. When I found one I kicked my abusive husband upstairs in the house where his mother lived (we rented the basement suite) and on another day came home from work and took half of everything and moved into my apartment. I had even shocked myself at my own actions. I can't say it was easy at first and it took about a month for me to realize I was actually free to do as I wanted and to have peace in my life. I did have many nights of crying myself to sleep and even felt very alone, but, that passed, and I quit my job, got a better one, and started looking after myself for a change. I dated, but no one really seriously, went out with my girlfriends and had fun. I began to figure out who I was and what I was about and I grew stronger and more confident by the day. One day I was introduced to a wonderful young man and I married him in 1972 and we have been happily married for 33 years. I think it's not the lack of courage or strength that you stay, but rather timing (although you may not realize it) and I do feel delay in this situation is for a reason. For now, get out with friends, see more of what society has to offer and if you aren't working get a job, and if you are working and don't like your job then change jobs. Slowly you will gain more confidence and suddenly one day you'll do just what I did, come home, lay the cards on the table, ask for a divorce and you'll hit the bricks. If you own a home or property together then you must seek legal counsel and be sure your rights are secured. A wife is entitled to half and also half of her husband's pension, etc. Protect yourself! If you have children then you will have to adjust the custody suitable for the divorce. Something most women don't think of if they have children or even if they are alone is that you can get a housekeeper or nanny in. Right away women think, "but I can't afford this" but you can and here is how you do it. There are Mexicans, Asians, etc., that immigrate into the U.S. or Canada and they need a place to stay as well. Not only would you have some help raising your children, but if living alone you would have some company as well. It is the cheapest way to do things and it is helping both you and the person who has immigrated. Works out great and I have friends that have done it. I find that women that want to leave a loveless marriage fear loneliness more than anything, then it's security. Women don't realize just how strong they are and once they quite being afraid, and just get plain angry, the world is at their finger tips. Stay strong! Good luck Marcy

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2005-09-23 08:39:59
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Q: How does a woman gain enough strength to leave an unhappy marriage?
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