Do Not Know Why She Stays
My college roommate married her boyfriend one month after graduation. At 22 years old he was intense, quick to judge and indifferent to her family and friends. She thought he was smart and "going places" and was hooked.
At a reunion 15 years later, they got into a fight and he left the restaurant where everyone had gathered. I stood at the window with her and watched him get into his truck, and then oddly drive around in repeated circles around a flagpole at the end of the street. He kept circling around this thing fast and weird. I knew something was way wrong.
I asked if he hits her and she said "only when I hit him first to get away from him". She explained how he slams her into walls, gets 1-inch away from her face, and yells at her with evil in his eyes. When he holds her hands up over her head, she has to knee him in the crotch so he will back off. That is when he hits her then just says "You hit me first".
That was 3 years ago.
Since then, he has purchased guns and carries one in his pocket that has the laser point. She says he aims the gun at her and puts the laser on her, then calls her "crazy" for being freaked out by it. He restricts her access to money, has taken her name off all joint property, gets reports of her text messages and tracks where her phone is on a mapping software package so he can "surprise" her by showing up. He recently broke her finger when he tackled her to the floor during an argument and started ripping her clothes off. She thinks he would have raped her except their son came home.
Through all of this, she will not leave. I've talked to her and lent a listening ear, never any judgment. I've suggested she call the domestic violence hotline or research the internet to help get some answers. I've offered my phone and my computer. She has done nothing to help herself.
I just talked to her and she is planning a family vacation to Europe with their two teenage kids. She sounds like she is in love with the drama in her life, and has decided to "put perfume on the pig". I am exhausted by her antics, and each time I talk to her my heart breaks.
Congratulations to anyone who has left their abuser. You have gotten rid of a large toxic presence in your life, and I assume all of your other relationships will improve as a result.