Hope | Married to a Monster

Married to a serving police officer for 9 years who worked in various different forces throughout the UK. At first everything seemed great, especially when we were dating, he seemed caring and loving and funny and knew what to say and how to be. A real charmer in every way. However, that persona faded and the abuse and control happend so gradually it really wasn’t noticed and was just accepted as being the norm. I hardly had access to my own bank card.

My own career was seen as not being important, and if I was ever promoted I was accused of sleeping my way to the top. I was ridiculed and put down if we ever went out together with friends which he would say was just banter. If I ever went out alone to see my own friends, he would be pestering me with calls and texts, demanding me to get home, and things would be so tense, I eventually stopped seeing my own friends altogether and just shut myself off from the world completely. He would initiate sex whilst I was asleep and claim I had said it was okay and that I must have been half awake. He was aggressive and would throw things at me in anger if he had a bad day, or if things weren’t going his way. Throughout working through different forces, the dynamics of the teams that he was in were always the same. It was always a boys club and females were always seen as weak and unnecessary. Some of the female colleagues were accepted as ‘one of the lads’, but opinions would quickly change if they broke down or went on maternity leave.

I was conditioned to feel so worthless and unloved that I would feel so dependant on him and so unworthy of anything else. I was severely depressed and had panic attacks on a regular basis. It was hard not knowing what sort of mood he would be in, and his mood could change at the snap of a finger and be so intense and scary. I was often intimidated and was told no one would believe me or that his outbursts were just a one-off because of the stress he had with his job. I managed to get out of the marriage three years ago, and have spent a lot of time working on my wellbeing to deal with the trauma that was left. The hardest part is knowing my children grew up also thinking that sort of behaviour is fine and that is how families should be. I regret not leaving a lot sooner.

Constabulary: N/A or Prefer not to say

Timespan: 2008

Did you report it to the police?: Prefer not to say

Your ethnicity: White British

Are you disabled as defined under the Equality Act 2010?: Prefer not to say

Have you experienced suicidality due to this?: Thoughts/feelings

Illustration by Danny Noble

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