[Guest Post] Will we prove them wrong?

This is a guest post from one my readers — Rebecca. Thank you Rebecca for sharing your intimate story with us.

Rene Groebli

{René Groebli | photo source}

Everyone doubted we would last; everyone thought we were hasty, irresponsible, rushing into it, fuelled by lust, doomed to fail. But we were going to prove them wrong, laugh and look back when we were old and wrinkly and fat from eating too much cheese and drinking too much wine. We knew what we had, a fated love, a simple love, pure and able to withstand the torrents of chaos left behind in our separate lives and relationships.

We settled, bought a house, had a beloved little bubba and looked to be proving everyone wrong. We were happy, very in love, very committed to growing together, being good to one another, valuing our relationship, having wonderful sex, communicating. All the things we knew were important, having both come from previous failed relationships.

And then he started drinking a bit more, getting a little more wild, saying nasty things, remembering nothing of it the next morning. Crying, devastated to have even had those words leave his mouth. And then he drank again, and got physical, remembering nothing, crying, baffled that he could even do that to me, swearing nothing like that would ever happen again.

And I swore that if it did, I would leave, with my little family in tow. Because you just can’t do that. That isn’t love.

And then he drank again, became enraged, punched holes in the walls of our home, hated me, wanted to die, pushed me and pulled my hair. Bruised me. This time I called my mum, told her, told the police, didn’t keep it a secret. Told people and made it real. We went to court, him for domestic violence, me to implement an AVO. Against the man I love, who loves me and hurt me.

And now here we are, not long after, the bruise now a little yellowed on the outside and dulled on the inside. He’s trying to forgive himself, trying to let me forgive him, trying to show me that he is capable of change and growth, trying to fight to keep us. I’m trying to forgive him and give him time to show me change and growth. I’m weighing up what has been lost, weighing up what is left behind. I have lost so much but there is still so much left.

So much love and potential left.

So much connection.

So much of everything is still left, but he took so much away, too. I’m fighting for something I believe in.

People think I am foolish. I worry that I am foolish. I believe in forgiveness, in my power to love and forgive. I believe everyone makes mistakes and deserves second chances, even third chances if they are capable of righting their wrongs.

He has a history, a sad one of rejection, of mistrust and abuse — is that enough to excuse the inexcusable. I have a history, an awful one where I observed this behaviour between my parents. Is that why I forgive?

Everyone doubts we will last. I was too hasty, he is too irresponsible. I rushed into it. I hope we prove them wrong.


Read more guest posts here

→ Does love mean forgiving the unforgivable? Can people change if we give them a chance? Do you believe love can survive in the face of impossible odds?

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

10 thoughts on “[Guest Post] Will we prove them wrong?

  1. Rebecca, I want to commend you for being brave – brave for knowing when to say no, when to speak out despite your deep love for him and for speaking out here.

    Forgiveness is a tricky one – I’d like to say that with enough love, forgiveness is inevitable but I’m not sure. I’m not convinced that every act is forgivable. I feel that we can hold compassion and understand what previous horror lead to acts of aggression, but that does not necessarily mean amnesty. Much strength and love to you.

  2. Wow, Rebecca. Thank you for sharing something so raw and personal with us. I know there are many people suffering similar to the things you’ve recently experienced behind closed doors. I honor your courage for bringing it to light so you both have the strongest possibility of creating safety and trust beyond this situation.

    I can sense the sadness of the things that you’ve acknowledged were lost during this violation as well as the fear that there may be more loss down the road.

    Your questions are powerful and heart-felt. I do believe that love can survive, but it’s like a garden…after the storm, you have to provide support for the surviving plants. You have to nurture the life that is left. There needs to be plenty of sun and water…but even then, there is no guarantee.

    I think you’re doing the right thing by protecting yourself (ie providing support to the injured “plant”). I think your love can survive, but I would encourage you to seek out the love and support of those around you. In this situation, I would look for professional support as well. It will give you tools that your little garden may not have had the benefit of on its own.

    I wish for you only the good things–growth, power, love and a thriving life!

  3. My opinion (note that word) is that the love can survive but the relationship? …

    Reviving the relationship depends on so many things, nearly all of which are his responsibility. Has he stopped drinking? Taken a non-violence course? Apologised to your child and asked his/her for forgiveness? Can you live (*really* live) ready to walk out at the first sign that he is reverting to previous behaviour? Can you handle someone that is overcoming a substance abuse problem?

    I am personally biased because I once had a relationship with a substance abuser. Eventually I kicked him out and after six months of him ‘working on himself’ took him back. I had thought that our love was the most incredible thing ever, incomparable, worth salvaging, amazing (ya know?). Uh uh. After two years I noticed he was getting moody, showing signs of relapse and basically, just didn’t want to take that shit any more. I’d forgiven him, but the memories never faded completely. I thought I’d never love again, but I did. And this man is kooky and funny and has now and then gotten very drunk without showing a single inkling of rage. Overenthusiastic affection, yes (haha), but no violence 😉

    In summary (and don’t hit me, it’s just what I’d say if you were my sister)…. you can do better. You have a child. Show them that it’s not ok to be with someone that has hurt you, even if you love them.

    1. Rebecca,

      I have been involved with someone very similar to this for the last several years of my life. Feeling like he was the “one” – trying to forgive him for calling me names i.e. a whore (on Valentines Day).. a “bottomfeeder” a “sorry excuse for a human being”.. for ruining my surprise birthday party (he created) by taking off right before it and leaving everyone confused. For telling me he loves me before bed (via text) and then by morning, he refuses my calls for 5 days straight because I neglected to invite him over the night before (not knowing he even wanted to come over). He’s left me- gone back to ex wife.. and left her when he was bored.. to ruin my relationships because he decided I was the one he really wanted and was now “ready”.

      I once drove all night trying to find him (with my kids in the car) because he told me he had a gun and was going to kill himself… when I found him, he was at his parents home, asleep. He once called me and in the middle of the conversation screamed that he’d hit something with the car.. hung up on me.. would not answer. I was convinced he was badly injured and called all area hospitals.. hours later after driving all around looking for him.. he was again, at his parents asleep.

      These men are controlling. They apologize for beating us with words, with hands.. with stressing us out- making us feel like it’s our fault..but it will not stop unless you walk away. Trust me. This has happened to me on and off for 5 years. I too, have children. He will tell you what you need to hear because he fears losing you and being alone (control). He is attention seeking (crying, wanting to die)..

      Your life will be blissful when he is in his “forgive me, I love you” stage.. but it wears off the minute you displease him. Please trust me on this. Walk away before it’s too late.. before you are 40 and every emotional fiber you have left is shattered and your self esteem is gone..

      Much love to you… (I hope I dont offend)

  4. Rebecca, thank you for sharing so honestly and openly. I just want you to know that you’re not alone as you navigate these tricky waters. Sending you love.

    The Pleasure Nutritionist

  5. Wow Rebecca thank you for sharing your story, so raw.
    I have to be honest here, I would be prompt to tell you to leave, and not look behind, because you have a lil’ one that deserves better. But then who am I to judge? I really want to believe with you that you can heal your relationship, I really do, so I wish you the best.
    (that said, any signs of this starting again and you’re out, mm’kay?)

  6. First I ditto what others have said – thank you for sharing your story. Sometimes it’s the first step in healing – admittance.

    Secondly, forgiveness is rarely for the other person. It’s for self first. Once you forgive someone of their deeds AND forgive yourself for your part or feelings in it, you can start to heal and move on.

    As Sara mentioned above, whether the relationship itself will last depends on lots of factors.

    Don’t feel that because you forgive, it means you have to go back. Quite the contrary. It means you can move on. People come into our lives for a reason, season or lifetime – not everybody is meant to last a lifetime…keep that in mind too.

    Here’s to happiness, healing, and forgiveness 🙂


  7. Rebecca, no insights or answers from me.

    I just wanted to let you know that the depth of your compassion and resilience really shines through in your writing.

    Whatever you decide, you’re surely not a victim in any sense of the word.

  8. Wow. We can be so quick to judge in situations like this so thank you for being brave enough to tell the truth of it, the raw truth of most women who are ever abused.

    I wish healing and growth and peace for both of you…regardless of whether or not you decide to stay together.

  9. Rebecca,

    There is a group called Al-Anon which consists of people who have been or are currently in relationships similar to yours. These people most definitely get together regularly in whatever town you live in and can be found easily either by checking a paper or asking someone you trust.

    They have been in exactly the same shoes as you or are currently in exactly the same shoes. Or maybe not the exact exact same situation but one that’s close enough for you to still get something from meeting them.

    I strongly recommend you find these people and attend one of their get togethers.

    As for your spouse, if he doesn’t seriously handle his relationship with alcohol you won’t be able to do much together when it comes to salvaging the relationship. Obviously AA is one of the resources available to make this possible.

    I am the alcoholic in my relationship. The things I did when I was actively drinking are very similar to what your spouse has done. I didn’t physically harm anyone but all the rest is there and hurt people all the same. AA has worked for me so far (I’ve been sober for more than 3 years now).

    My relationship was, like yours, at a turning point after several years of utter bad chaos. Today it is very good. Not the same kind of relationship we had before I started drinking heavily, but it’s a good relationship–a different one.

    It didn’t go from bad chaos to good relationship overnight. It took time. But the truly bad shit–the waking up regretting my behavior from the previous night–ended right away. The rest just took time and relearning a lot of things.

    I know it was hard for my wife that me quitting drinking didn’t wave a magic wand and roll back my alcoholic self to the guy she married. She got over that and we worked through it.

    But not alone. She did a couple of Al-Anon meetings. I did AA very seriously. Our entire network of friends and family is exceptionally supportive (except her father, who still denies my existence but them’s the breaks).

    They’re supportive of her and they’re supportive of me–both individually and as a couple. After I’d been sober for a year we began getting marriage counseling (the counselor we wanted to see wouldn’t see us unless I’d been sober that long because he felt it was a waste of his time). This support has made it much much better for us to transition from where we were–which was so much like your story–to where we are today.

    Whether you salvage the relationship or not, sharing your story with others who have been there will be helpful.

    For him, all the stuff in his past is his own deal and how he handles it is up to him. If he’s handling it with alcohol… it seems he can’t handle it that way and have a meaningful relationship at the same time. Let him make his own excuses, you don’t have to do that for him. And at the same time, let him have his own victories and make his own decisions about whether he wants to change or not.

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