Okay, he’s a little possessive but that’s only because he loves me.
How many of us have friends/family who rationalise emotionally abusive relationships?
The girl I knew, “Mary” had no freedom. Every aspect of her life was controlled by “Peter”.
Mary worked full time and Peter encouraged this. He convinced Mary she was hopeless with money and took control of their finances. Mary’s salary paid the mortgage, Peter’s salary was for bills and living expenses. They couldn’t afford two credit cards so Mary’s card was cancelled. Two cars were an unnecessary luxury so Mary’s car was sold. Peter calculated how much was needed to buy groceries and Mary received a weekly allowance.
Mary was not allowed to leave the house alone. In the early days of their relationship, Mary fought against this restriction. Peter accused her of having an affair. If she wasn’t cheating on him, why didn’t she want his company? Didn’t she love him?
Makeup was forbidden. It made her look cheap. As Mary had no sense of fashion, she needed Peter’s help to buy clothes. Work and casual outfits were extremely conservative but, when accompanying Peter to social events, Mary was required to wear outfits that were inappropriate and often embarrassingly revealing. On the one occasion Mary refused to wear the outfit he selected, Peter didn’t speak to her for the entire evening.
Silence was Peter’s weapon of choice. When Mary’s friends visited their home, Peter would sit beside them reading a newspaper, ignoring all attempts to include him in the conversation. When a friend suggested they move into the kitchen and allow Peter to read his newspaper in peace, Peter waited until they were seated and then joined them, newspaper in hand. Mary’s friends drifted away.
Solo visits to her family were forbidden and all family visits ended with Peter picking a fight or feigning hurt over some imagined insult. Eventually Mary’s contact with her family was limited to phone calls which Peter constantly interrupted.
Why didn’t she leave?
Mary believed she had a great marriage. Her friends and family didn’t like Peter but that was because they were jealous of their very special relationship. Peter loved her so much he needed to be with her every single minute. He didn’t go out with the lads or spend hours watching sports. Most women would kill for such a husband. Admittedly money was tight, but they had a large mortgage and their beautiful home was worth the sacrifice.
Mary was the inspiration for Aoife, the main character in my thriller ‘Girl Targeted’. Check it out here.
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