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Greg's personal story

Her reaction to any issue, no matter how small, was to the magnitude like I had had an affair.

After 27 years of marriage, I have finally had enough. The verbal abuse, put-downs and manipulation were there from the very beginning. The violence started soon after the wedding and continued through the marriage. I have been subjected to slapping, punching, scratching and kicking. I have had numerous items thrown at me. She even tried to stab me one night – I managed to use a lounge cushion to deflect the knife.

I was forced to leave the house dozens and dozens of times because she “couldn't handle living with me”. In reality, I am not hard to live with, she just couldn't handle life and would not control her anger. Instead she would go into this uncontrollable rage – using me for her emotional and physical punching bag. At times I attempted to stay and reason things out with her, but each time she would just step things up to the next level. I had to think of the mental well-being of the kids and not subject them to such acts, as they saw it all.

During all this, I was utterly confused as how to approach the situation. Advice I received was that I made a promise on our wedding day “til death do us part”. So I just thought that I had to stay in there, no matter what. I began to excuse her behaviour with: she's just having a bad day; I underestimated how terrible I was; maybe it's PMS (but not every week!), etc.

To add to the confusion, I WAS A POLICEMAN for the first 12 years of the marriage. I was supposed to go to domestic violence situations, not be in them. I was taught self restraint, and not to hurt women – which I know she took advantage of. Through her violent rages, my career was in jeopardy. If it was recorded that I was involved in a domestic dispute, I would have been, transferred, placed on restricted duties and had my service weapon removed – all through no fault of my own.

There was a period of about 4 years where there was no violence, but the verbal put downs, manipulations, etc, continued. Then about 10 weeks ago, she went back to the violence. That week I decided to leave the house and haven't been back since.

Recently I came across a book by Dr Elizabeth Celi “Breaking The Silence”, about the man being the victim in domestic violence. It was like she was looking in the window of my house! I highly recommend the read.

Currently only 2 of our 5 boys (aged 17-25) are talking to me. I know this is because she has influenced them against me. I am confident that this will change in time.

Many of our friends have been shocked to hear me tell them how I have been treated all these years. My wife would always put up a facade that we had the perfect marriage.

Having said all that doom and gloom stuff, I am starting to come out the other side and see there is so much hope and a better future, and that I am worth it.

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