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Allan's personal story

I married young at just a few days beyond my 21st birthday. Our first child came along probably a bit sooner than my wife would have liked. From her birth onwards my eldest daughter was picked on and bullied on a daily basis by my wife. When she was about 10 we received a visit from the local authority Child Protection Officer after the school had reported bruising on my daughters neck (this was as a result of my wife having tried to throttle her before I got home from work). The Child Protection Officer's line of questioning obviously pointed to the assumption that I was the guilty party.

With that amount of abuse I felt that I had to defend my daughter. This occasionally led to me physically restraining my wife which then led, of course, to accusations of “wife beating”. I felt that I had to wear those accusations. She then left me for another man.

With my next wife (married 3 years later) I should have heeded the early warning signs. In the early stages of our relationship she went to the USA to visit her sister. While she was away I re-landscaped the garden from a basic building site to an attractive lawned area with flower beds. On her arrival back home she went out to look at the garden and started to berate me for doing things that were not to her liking (choice of plants, curvature of the beds). Her verbal abuse never let up the whole of the period that we were together. We were both officers in the RAF and I was senior to her but she constantly made put down references to the fact that she had been commissioned as a direct entrant whereas I had spent time in the ranks. She was very good with words and always liked to have the last one in any argument. When arguments got heated I could generally tell when the situation had gone too far and I would try and remove myself physically from the scene only to be met with “That's right. Run away like you always do”.

We split up and divorced about 10 years ago. The process of splitting up was not easy and huge problems were created by her over the split of assets. I eventually caved in to her demands just to stop the process. I sent her a quick email the other day politely informing her that our dog had just died aged 15 and that I would be grateful if she would not contact me about it. This was met with a 2 page email from her still trying to argue her points.

I have remarried and have been with my current wife for 8 years. It is a delight and we are totally equal partners. It has reaffirmed my faith in non-violent, non-abusive women. They are out there!

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