Kim's Blogs

She Wouldn’t Stop Hitting Me


—-Note: This piece was sent to me by Linda Latta about her boyfriend. This is the first time I’ve been notified about a man being beaten & abused by his wife. This took courage & bravery for Freddy to come forward. He will be reading what you have to say, so make sure you comment after you read this post. I, for one, think he’s amazing for telling this story.

Image result for domestic abuse, men.

~“Well, it doesn’t appear you have a concussion; just a good sized knot on your head. Take a few ibuprofen if the pain gets worse. And I recommend you take it easy for a couple of days. Give me a call if things aren’t getting better. Say, those stitches I put on your lip last month healed up nicely.” the doctor said.

“Thanks doc. Yeah, I think I’ll call in sick tomorrow and rest thru the weekend; head back to work on Monday. Maybe by then my forehead won’t be so bruised and I won’t have to take a bunch of crap from the guys at work.” I was not looking forward to having to explain a second injury in less than a month, and was hopeful that a few days would be enough to cause the bruising and swelling to dissipate so I wouldn’t be asked about it.

“One more thing.” The doctor added. “Maybe you should give up basketball before you get REALLY hurt out there. Try tennis. Or golf. Much safer.”

“Probably good advice.” I conceded. “I’ll think about it doc. Thanks much.”

It’s been almost 2 years since that doctor visit.

Years before, when I was first going out with my soon-to-be wife, she had punched me in the face over a fib she had told my family during a visit with them earlier in the day. There is never a good reason to physically assault anyone. I have always been a pacifist; always shied away from violence. So the sucker punch was a complete surprise, totally unexpected. This was the first time that had happened. She saw my surprise and hurt, and quickly apologized, swearing it would never happen again.

I believed her.

But of course it did happen again. And again. Again. Until I stopped counting.

We had only been married less than 2 years, but it was time for me to start weighing my options, which I eventually boiled down to three (3):

#1. I could hit her back ( NOPE)

#2. I could call the police (Humiliating)

#3. I could just shut the hell up. (YEP)

I chose Option 3

And I got pretty good at it. I came up with wonderfully creative ways to explain away bruises, black eyes, fat lips and stitches, such as: I was playing softball and the ball took a bad bounce. Or, I was holding my sister’s baby and the baby threw his head back unexpectedly and caught me in the mouth.

Two thoughts consumed me during this time.

The first thought was, I prayed that no one would find out, because it would humiliate me. Plus, I remember thinking I don’t want my family to dislike my wife.

I recall wondering if others, men or women in the same predicament as me, felt the same way.

The second thought was, how can I change my behavior so that she won’t feel compelled to pummel me any more?

As I look back on it now, it really was fruitless for me to try and reconcile these feelings.

So began my attempt(s) at pleasing her so that she would not get angry. Visits with my family became less frequent. Those visits that I did make did not include her, as she had recently declared that she hated all of my family. Visits with my friends also decreased. It was just easier to not visit them than to deal with her anger when I would return from one of those visits.

I’ve heard it said that hope springs eternal, even for a hopeless individual such as myself.

I decided to leave.

One month went by. Two months. Three months. I’m feeling good, optimistic that things will now be better for me. But not so fast! As it turns out, men are weak, and I am no exception. After five months, I moved back in with her. I honestly believed that things would now be different, although I had no real reason for such optimism.

“What’s it been? Maybe a couple of years since you’ve been in here?” the doctor asked.

“Yeah, I stayed away from basketball like you suggested. But I was at a barbeque yesterday and there was a pick-up game and I just couldn’t resist.” I replied. “And of course this is the result.” I pointed to my swollen shut eye. I guess I was lucky that night as I lay asleep that she had grabbed the fireplace shovel and not the fireplace poker as her weapon.

That would be my last doctor visit to patch me up after one of my wife’s outbursts.

Somehow I found the strength to leave for good, file for divorce, and free myself

It’s now been ten years, and the question I ask myself continually is: what took you so long?

 

 

~~~~~~My name is Freddy Sepulveda. I am not a writer by profession. I spent some 40 years in contract negotiations and export administration working for various defense contractors until I retired last year.

With my new girlfriend, Linda’s, encouragement, I wrote the story that you read. I had wanted to write it shortly after the divorce 10 years ago, but I could not even muster the courage to tell anyone about the situation, let alone write about it. With time, and more perspective, and I was able to put pen to paper.

—Photo by working parent dot com.

—-Help for domestic abuse call the National Domestic Abuse Center @ 1 800 799 7233


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35 Comments

  • Reply
    Amy@SoulDipper
    July 14, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Thank you. It’s vitally important that your story be told. No abuse is okay and for males to believe they have to “man up” and put up with any form of abuse is a travesty. Who can judge which gender finds it more difficult to pull away and look after oneself?

    Whether it’s physical, mental or emotional abuse, don’t tolerate it. Don’t make excuses. Don’t delude yourself that the person has or will change. And remember, as a therapist told me, for every year of abuse, it takes three to heal.

    I’ve recently been helping a friend research a good Non-Violent Communication provider. I found one with a name that knocked my socks off: Speak To Me Like You Love Me. Seeing that name brought back a wave of memories of rages I’d heard during the ex-partner’s verbal slamming. I’m so glad I quit denying the unhealthy state of life I was living. And I thought my strong, independent, well-educated, capable self could not only endure it, I could even help him. HA!

    And I’m SO happy you came to believe in yourself, Freddy!

    ABUSE KEEPS TELLING THE VICTIM THEY AREN’T ONE!

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 15, 2018 at 7:02 am

      Amy,
      thank you soooo much for this POWERFUL response.
      One thing stuck out the MOST while reading your words: WE CANNOT change another person.
      We tried to change Kay’s murderer….He DID NOT want to change.
      xx

  • Reply
    Elephants Child
    July 14, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    It does indeed happen. More rarely than a man beating up his wife, but it happens. And is every bit as ugly and hard to escape.
    A huge thank you to Freddy and Linda. I am so pleased he was finally able to leave.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 15, 2018 at 7:04 am

      Dear, Sue,
      Yes, I was surprised to receive this email….
      But quite happy to see another perspective on DV.
      Freddy said he was weak…. NOT TRUE. x

  • Reply
    Melanie Parke
    July 14, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    This is so sad, for a man it must be so hard to come forward. He had to endure so much physical abuse and the mental turmoil. Men are expected to be strong and people never think how abuse goes both ways. I am sure he wanted to leave so many times, but what would he have told people. On top of everything I am certain he feared other men would laugh and ridicule him.

    He never struck back, that speaks volumns to the man Freddy is, a good man! I am so happy he was finally able to escape and find a woman who appreciated him for the man he is.

    Hopefully other men living with abuse will read Freddy’s story and find the courage to escape. Also, medical professionals need to know this happens and question repeat injuries in men as they do women. Maybe one day Freddy can approach his local hospital and/or his doctor to tell them his story and ask them to educate others on this issue. A national campaign for abused men, as they have for women would be wonderful.

    Thank you Freddy for sharing your story, you are to be admired for your courage to finally tell your story. Hopefully your life going forward will be full of happiness.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 15, 2018 at 7:06 am

      Melanie,
      yes, speaking to a medical professional would be a great idea. Sometimes it’s
      not the basketballs, baseballs, or soccerballs giving men the black eyes.
      Such a new perspective for me. x

  • Reply
    Annette Connelly
    July 14, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks for telling your story.

    Abuse has no color or sexual orientation. And I know just how humiliating it is to cover the shame.

    In addition, I’ve known men to get abused by their spouses/girlfriends. Both physical and emotional.

    This reminds me of a movie I saw actually many years ago about a woman abusing her spouse. It was well done and I remember the man running into obstacles about where to turn for help.

    Thanks for having a voice. I hope that men in your situation can be brave enough to break free.

    Annette

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 15, 2018 at 7:07 am

      Rising
      Speaking Up
      Standing Up
      Will change the world.
      Thanks, Annette for your comments.
      And Freddy, you are a TRUE MAN.

  • Reply
    Nan
    July 14, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Bravery comes in many forms – first, to leave the toxic situation – then more so for telling your story. My husband has been a huge part of my healing process so I am so glad you took another chance on love and found True Love! Thank you for telling your story because it will change lives.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 15, 2018 at 7:08 am

      Nan,
      by telling our stories, it allows others to tell their stories.
      I find that encouraging & powerful.

      xx from MN.

  • Reply
    Jeri
    July 14, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story, Freddy. All forms of abuse always go both ways, and you are brave to share your side. I hope doing so helps with some degree of healing. Our stories connect us. Never forget that.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 15, 2018 at 7:08 am

      –Our stories “CONNECT” us.
      LOVE that, Jeri. xx

  • Reply
    lisa thomson
    July 14, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Your’e very brave for sharing your story, Freddy. And it’s doubly important as a man being abused because there isn’t enough awareness about this. I think the hope for things to change is a common denominator here, whether man or woman. I recall reading an article in a magazine many years ago about husband abuse. It was a little shocking yet I recognized some of the signs in my own brother. His wife had to quit drinking and that seemed to calm the marriage and there were less if any fights. Thanks for sharing your story, and Kim, for sharing Freddy here. We have a tendency to think men are impervious to abuse but it’s simply not true.

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    July 15, 2018 at 1:01 am

    Abuse, mentally or physically, is a no-go in any relationship. Thank you for sharing your story, Freddy, and I am so glad that you have have finally met the right person in life.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 15, 2018 at 7:10 am

      Angie,
      we all have our own stories.
      I am honored when people tell me theirs! xx

  • Reply
    Debbie
    July 15, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    What a powerful story — thank you for sharing it. Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger because domestic abuse DOES happen to men, too. In my former career as a journalist, a group of us were working on a series about domestic abuse, and the statistics are chilling. Men who hit their abusive spouse back generally find the situation escalating out of control, and sadly, somebody ends up dead. Hindsight is always 20/20. It’s easy to chastise yourself for not leaving sooner, but the important thing is, you DID leave and it sounds as if you’re managing to salvage the rest of your life. Make the most of your second chance!

  • Reply
    Linda
    July 15, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you, Kim for sharing Freddy’s story. I’m extremely happy my boyfriend had the courage to leave his wife, has healed and that we found each other. I’m glad to see so many women supporting his story. Very nice comments here. ❤️ What a loving community.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 16, 2018 at 8:50 am

      Linda,
      YOUR BOYFRIEND))))
      is brave.
      We need more men like this in the world.
      If we did, domestic abuse would be eliminated! x

  • Reply
    Dad
    July 15, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    I thank Freddy for telling his story. I am not sure if I was being abused by a women that I could tell anyone about it. maybe it happens more than we think. Thank you Freddy for not keeping silent.
    Love Dad

  • Reply
    Mandy
    July 16, 2018 at 12:12 am

    Kudos on sharing your story Freddy. It warms my heart knowing you have found true and genuine love now.
    Love and hugs from South Africa.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  • Reply
    Marie Kléber
    July 16, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Sharing your story is brave. Thank you for doing so Freddy. I am glad you found your way out of this abusive relationship and the strengh to write about it.
    We talk a lot about women being abused, we forget that men too are victims of domestic violence.
    It’s never easy to asnwer this question “what took you so long?” You did your best in the situation you were dealing with at a specific time.
    Thank you Kim for giving space to people to talk about their stories. It’s important for them and for us too.
    Love to you, Linda and Freddy. xo

  • Reply
    Lisa Gordon
    July 16, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    I believe this happens far more than we know.
    Thank you for being brave.
    Thank you for being strong.
    I wish you only wonderful things from here on out.
    xo.

  • Reply
    Christine
    July 16, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Freddy, I am SO sorry you had to endure such horrible abuse and shame and humiliation. It’s SO important for you to share your story, so other men can feel both encouraged and emboldened to leave if they are in similar abusive situations. You are brave and wise to share this and I’m SO GLAD you found someone who respects and loves you the way you deserve to be loved. Also? You are an excellent writer! I hope you can write more!

  • Reply
    Minnesota Prairie Roots
    July 18, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Freddy, you are strong, courageous and, above all, FREE. I am so sorry you endured such horrible abuse. It was never your fault. You were manipulated emotionally and mentally by an abuser, by a woman who cared about no one but herself. Everything she did is classic abuse, whether perpetrated upon a man or a woman. She cut you off from family and friends, so typical that isolation. But you eventually saw the truth and reclaimed your life. You rose above…and to love again. Thank you for sharing your story. It is through this sharing that you also enlighten and help others. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Kristi Campbell
    July 20, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    I’m so sorry about the abuse you went through, Freddy. I know that being a victim is embarrassing (people tend to blame themselves, don’t they?) and can understand how it’d be more complicated as the man in an abused marriage. I’m so glad that you got out, are free, and are able to share your experience. Thank you. I know so many people – men and women both – feel empowered and braver after reading your story. Kim, thank you for sharing another powerful perspective. xo

  • Reply
    Charlene Ross
    July 22, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Wow! What a courageous story, Freddy. Thank you so much for sharing. Sharing your experience will surely help others say, “No more,” and seek the courage they need to walk away for good.

  • Reply
    Laurel Janssen Byrne
    July 23, 2018 at 12:32 am

    Thank you Freddy, for sharing your pain with such candor and sincerity.

  • Reply
    Rina
    July 23, 2018 at 11:54 am

    What a brave and loving story. There was nothing wrong with you Freddy. You only wanted to love her enough to fix her. I also wish it worked that way. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    August 1, 2018 at 2:56 am

    Wow, what an eye opening story. A totally different dynamic and issues. Thank you for sharing his perspective Kim. xxx

  • Reply
    Marcia @ Menopausal Mother
    August 2, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story and bringing awareness to us all. I hope other men read this and find the courage to leave the abusive situations they are in.

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