abusive relationship

‘She is so beautiful. Now I’m taking her away,’ he said, laughing, when my daughter was born. He took her in his arms.’: Woman discovers abusive boyfriend has secret family, ‘His wife told me, ‘I don’t care anymore, you can keep him if you want.’

“He left his social media open. I found chats with several girls. I made screenshots of all the conversations and printed them out. He said he was ‘only with me for citizenship’ and that a year from then, he would shoot me. I was terrified. I discovered he had a wife with 2 children. His oldest daughter was named the same as mine. His plan was to get me pregnant, marry me, and then bring his wife and children here, kicking us out of the house. I’d trusted him, but I am not weak anymore.”

‘I promised I’d never divorce him. I was an Evangelical Christian woman. I wasn’t about to give that up because my disturbed husband couldn’t stop screaming at me.’: Woman leaves her abusive pastor husband after 10 years, ‘I never looked back’

“I hid big, dark, angry, broken feelings from the world. If I acknowledged their legitimacy, that meant I had to acknowledge that my husband–the megachurch pastor–was my abuser. And I was his victim. No, thanks! I’d much prefer to pretend everything is fine and our family is blessed.”

‘When he hit me the first time, I fought back like an animal. Until I had to decide if I wanted to be the woman who fought back or the woman who lived.’: Woman details journey through physical, emotional abuse, ‘I have an incredible life now’

“He showed up at my house. I was convinced I was going to die. I was obsessively checking my yard each morning for rat poison in case the dogs went out. I was afraid. Afraid I’d have to fight him off. I just wanted to be strong enough to survive. When I realized I could deadlift his body weight, I felt less afraid.”

‘I was prostituting. We had sex, he paid me, but I didn’t leave right away. I was infatuated.’: Woman credits abusive relationship for sobriety after meth addiction, ‘I got sober for a man, stayed sober for my baby, now I stay sober for me’

“I became pregnant at 16. The partying escalated. To pay for my habit, I started prostituting. Most of the guys were married men wanting to cheat. They disgusted me; but then again, I disgusted me too. One night, I got a text from someone new. A John that would become more than that. I got pregnant with our daughter. It was awful. I lived in fear of him taking her from me, and when she was 6 months old, he tried and failed.”

‘Girls, stop rushing to get your life started. Marrying the right man matters. You glow brighter when you’re loved properly.’: Woman re-marries, urges ‘do not follow society’s timeline, follow yours’

“The girl on the left lacks confidence. She’s hived up, feeling like she’s running out of time. Even her smile is nervous. She’s marrying the only man she’s ever known, but her gut is telling her something isn’t right. The girl on the right? Her posture speaks volumes. No hives. She knows her heart is safe and she is loved. Too many girls are rushing this life and ruining theirs.”

‘Miya killed herself.’ The wind is knocked out of me. I call her husband. ‘What do you want to know?’ He utters coldly.’: Woman harbors ‘immense guilt’ for not ‘saving’ sister from suicide, ‘All Miya ever wanted was someone to love her back’

“We were riddled with confusion, not allowed in her home, not allowed to pack her belongings, not allowed to have her phone or computer. Where did she do it, when did she do it, who was there. ‘Chicago, something about Chicago. There was another woman.’ My sister’s husband was cheating on her with someone he met online from the Windy City, who in two days, to our shocking surprise, would introduce herself to us at her memorial service as an acquaintance.”

‘I’ll shoot you up for the first time,’ the man I was sleeping with offered. I agreed. I lived a double life.’: 25-year-old overcomes prostitution to feed addiction, now manages sober living home for women

“She was a stripper, and she introduced me to the lifestyle. I was infatuated by it. Fast money, flashy life, and drugs galore. It wasn’t long before I started working as a dancer in the strip club, and my life took an even darker turn. I was in the bathroom doing lines of cocaine. She pulled out another bag of drugs that looked different. ‘It’s heroin. Do you want to try it?’ Biggest mistake of my life.”

‘I invited my husband’s ex-wife to my wedding. In our family, we’re not ‘half’ or ‘step.’ We’re just family.’: Mom and stepmom come together to peacefully co-parent after feud, ‘women should always support each other’

“As I was falling in love with him and his daughter, he and his wife were getting a divorce. We were both young, immature, and jealous. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. Hurtful words were thrown around for years. One day, we decided to meet up and talk. ‘Can you meet me at the coffee shop?’ That was the day two women came together in vulnerability.”

‘His scheme to butter me up to lose his virginity worked. ‘Wow, he really cares about me.’: Domestic violence survivor reveals she’s been ‘scared to speak my truth’ for years, but finally realizes ‘I’m stronger for what I’ve been through’

“I was sitting in my room doing homework. His ex-girlfriend called. He was caught red handed. He drove to my house with flowers and sobbed. ‘I’m so sorry. I’m just so insecure because you’re so out of my league – I got nervous and cheated.’ I was so angry. My relationship was destroying my family. Nevertheless, I went to Disney with him anyway. I stood in the middle of Magic Kingdom crying, alone and terrified.”

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