It must be like a Stockholm Syndrome in my brain because it doesn't matter what he does to me, I just fall deeper in love. Why am I so madly in love with a man that my friends say is killing me, and that I deserve better?
I thought of Stockholm Syndrome because I recall that I reacted similarly to my first husband, Mike. Right after we got married, I got sick of his abuse and left our little motel room off base. He followed me to the bus stop and attacked me in the middle of the street in San Diego. Shore Patrol was passing by and tried to hold us back from punching and kicking each other. (I was in the Navy and IN UNIFORM.) I was doing my best to defend myself and give back to him what he has giving me.
Shore Patrol took me on base and I went to my barracks. That night, I had a dream about Mike that was so intense that it made me wet the bed. I misinterpreted that intensity. The next day, I was more in love with him than ever. I should have been trying to get away from him!
He was abusive all through the 3 years of marriage, especially verbally. I finally broke free of my insane attachment to him because he punched me in the face when I was 3 months pregnant, and the blood gushed out of my nose like a hose. I bent over, looking at the big puddle of blood on the floor, and finally made the decision to escape for good. His reason for punching me was that I was packing my bags to leave. I had to do it secretly next time. Worrying about what harm might come to my child was the eye-opener - I guess I didn't care enough about myself.
(Editor's note: I discovered much later that my upbringing by a neglectful psychopathic father left me with a constant yearning for love. He also molded me to accept dysfunctional behavior as normal, and never taught me to have boundaries. I turned out to be a doormat and a psychopath magnet.)
I think I am having a similarly twisted relationship with Harlan because now he is having a baby with his mistress, Tara, and I feel such a need to be with him. I love him as much as ever. I probably should be working hard on getting away from someone who has hurt me emotionally repeatedly.
I have suffered so much rejection during the past 4 years. We used to be happy, and made each other laugh and feel good. But for 4 years, I have had to live without a sex life (age 39). Harlan would only have sex with me once a week, then it became every 2 weeks, then once a month, then every couple of months, then nothing. He never wanted to talk about it, and he said it wasn't that bad. Maybe for him, but for me it was heartbreaking. (Editor's note: After we separated, he admitted that he had been cheating the whole time we were married.)
He has rejected me in so many ways. Eventually, he treated me like a roommate, and we were having no fun at all. And he strings me along, giving me hope by saying sweet nothings, that we will work on our marriage because HE LOVES ME, even though his mistress is having a baby.
(Editor's note: While I was in pain, and anger, I reacted badly and publicly, making myself look like I was the unreasonable one ... while his calm, collected, detached, and yes, Happy-Go-Lucky demeanor maintained his facade of innocence.)
This is how I was murdered.