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I was in an abusive marriage and my husband asked me for a divorce

After 19 long, hard years, he decided that the marriage would end. After all those years of the relentless abuse he subjected me to, he decided he had had enough and wanted to call it quits. The last thing I heard him say before I went into a blind, silent rage was, “My mama said you should have been cooking for me.”

More: After years of abuse divorce was my only option

Before I walked out the door, I turned to him and yelled, “I kept asking you if you wanted a divorce and you kept saying no.” You see, he had flown in from Baltimore the night before, but the entire week before coming home, he kept calling and texting me, telling me that we needed to talk when he got home. I knew, in my spirit, that he wanted a divorce. I wasn’t angry. I was ready. I was relieved. It was time for us to part ways.

My marriage had been turbulent since the very beginning, but I took my vows to heart and was willing to do whatever I had to do in order to make it work. The mental and emotional abuse I endured was so brutal that I suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2009. Even when he picked me up from the hospital after I lay in ICU for four days, he started an argument with me. It was time for the marriage to end. The love had long since been lost.

I’ve made a point of telling people, even before they ask, that I didn’t ask for the divorce because just like so many abuse victims, I had been conditioned to believe that I couldn’t make it without him. Even typing that made me chuckle because the truth is, even though he made upwards of $200,000 a year, we struggled financially due to his on-again, off-again drug and alcohol habit, his mismanagement of money and poor credit. Since the divorce, I’ve made tremendous strides in cleaning up my credit. More important, I’ve made tremendous strides in rebuilding myself as a woman. My business is prospering. I am finally able to write and do many of the other things I enjoy.

More: How I finally came out of the fog of domestic abuse

We didn’t squabble over the house we have together in Denver. We didn’t squabble over visitation regarding our son. He was almost 18 and was going away to college, so it was what it was. We sat down and decided what we would each take. There was no arguing. I didn’t go to court for the final hearing because there was no need. The day after the hearing, I took him to the airport and that was that.

Some things are still the same since the divorce. I am still tied to him financially. We still own the house in Denver, but we’ll sell it next year. Part of my settlement demand was that he would pay our son’s tuition. It’s not my business how he’ll do that, it just needs to be handled. We still share a gaggle of friends. I have become extremely close to his oldest sister and one of his nieces. My family is still cordial to him. We co-parent our son without incident. If anyone should be bitter, it should be me, but I’m not. I am free.

I didn’t marry that man for it all to end in divorce. My marriage, however, needed to end because the abuse wouldn’t have ended. Under normal circumstances, divorce sucks because no one wants to see a family dissolved. Nothing about mine was normal, so the dissolution was necessary. It was the only way I would survive.

More: 3 Reasons I stayed in a bad marriage too long

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