It’s day 27 of Domestic Violence Awareness Month for Men and Boys, the invisible victims of domestic violence.“Luke” thought he had met the love of his life — a mother of two, a writer and a yoga instructor. Then, on a once in a lifetime holiday to Asia, she went from Sun Salutation to Downward Facing Crazy Bitch. Yes, you read that correctly: she is a yoga teacher.Every time we got in a fight or she found something she disliked about me, it somehow made its way into her newest blog post. Anything I did, anyone I talked to, how I spent my time: they all were questioned. But she started shoving me, hitting my chest, and pushing me out of the door – to the point where I was so taken aback she was able to get me out of the bathroom and the door locked.It seemed that she’d indirectly attack me publicly through this new means of leverage she’d gained. She feigned concern, told me that I was ridiculous for thinking that anything she ever published was even indirectly about me. There I stood outside her bathroom door as she perused my phone.Little did I know that I had just gotten on the biggest rollercoaster of my life. We went on trips together, made passionate love like there was nothing else in the world to do, everything was a joyous occasion. Two months in the relationship, she told me she loved me: looked deeply into my eyes after sex and said this. We would see other couples happily having meals and she’d get angry we weren’t like them. She didn’t want to go along with any of my plans, she constantly was belittling me and chiding me, and I felt that I was seeing her true colors – and it wasn’t pretty. At the airport, she broke up with me, with much finality. We were getting on different flights to different places so I found myself nursing a beer in an airport bar wondering just what in the world had just taken place, half thankful for dodging a bullet, and half sad because I had liked her so much.I had planned on taking a trip around the world by myself. We fought constantly and afterward she would be angry that I wouldn’t approach her and initiate sex. I got off my flight a dozen hours later to countless emails from her.Someone who is supposed to be an example of peace, serenity, and kindness. She seemed so kind, so put together, a breath of fresh air, a departure from the other women I’d dated.
I was overjoyed for her at first that she was so successful in this realm, and then it got strange. They asked me to distance myself from her for my own sanity and safety. An entire weekend was spent with her talking about all the women she knew I’d cheated on her with in the past, all the lies she perceived I’d told, and how I hadn’t done “what a man needed to do” to make her feel loved, feel beautiful, feel needed in the relationship. I beat her into the bathroom before she was able to get the door shut.
People couldn’t believe what an awful, unsupportive, unloving boyfriend she had. I began to realize people who hadn’t met me and followed her writing easily put two and two together (like I did): I was the subject of these writings. As you can imagine, this was greeted with an extraordinary amount of screaming and name-calling. As a man who has never been in a fight, hit any human nor animal, broken anything on purpose or damaged property – I kicked down the door.
It got to the point where we’d go to bed angry, she’d refuse my advances, and then be furious in the morning we hadn’t made love (this became a major part of the relationship in the future). Apparently on the way back to the states she’d had an epiphany – and that epiphany was that we were actually meant to be together, and she admitted that she’d been out of line on the trip. I really let some behaviors slide that, in retrospect, were absolutely asinine. She would state exactly what she wanted and needed from me in reference to affection, attention, and support.
I returned home soon after that, and things progressed. She had a close relationship with a male friend that was completely inappropriate, and once we broke up and he shared his feelings of love with her. But she wouldn’t do the same with me, she stopped doing all the sweet and thoughtful things she’d done at the beginning of the relationship. After she started drinking she began berating me again, this time with me starting to raise my voice, and her likewise, causing a scene in a restaurant we frequented. She promised to finally exit my car if I came inside and talked to her.
When we got back together (the breakup was a total of two days) she didn’t sever or change this relationship. Jealousy became the theme of the entire relationship. The night out ended in her screaming at me across a parking garage that I was “not a man”. Inside her house, I tried to leave several times since the argument grew more heated and she’d push me and force the door shut.
In fact, she kind of kept it on the back burner as a bargaining chip whenever things got messy with us “I feel like HIS love is unconditional, HE understands me, etc, etc” I spent the majority of my time trying to patch up our relationship and figure out if it was something that was long-term, or just a really big mistake. Waitresses, friends, mutual acquaintances, women in general – they all were potential objects of my affection. But I so desperately wanted to make it work, it seemed like that woman I fell in love with was just around the corner, I just needed to prove myself. I told her it was over, asked her to get out of my car as I dropped her off. I was totally taken aback at this point, because she was totally unreasonable. “You aren’t leaving” she’d say, physically blocking the door.