If love and relationships are about give and take, when do you draw the line? Is it when you feel your partner drifting or catch them in a lie? Is it after you catch them cheating? What about when they unexpectedly hit you?
No matter how many people might immediately cry out, “I’d never take that!” the truth is that it’s far more complicated. Does it make it right? No. Not at all.
But as Moe bravely shares in his own experience of being in an abusive relationship, there’s a point where it is less about love and its power to conquer all, and more about discovering for yourself what you truly deserve. The moment you must teach your beloved how to treat you, even if it means walking out the door and never coming back.
I’d recently found out that my boyfriend (at the time) had been cheating on me. And the guy he was cheating on me with–his ex–kept calling. He told me he was going to tell his ex that they could no longer mess around because he wanted to make things work between us. The ex called again and again. Eventually, I picked up the phone and I told him that he shouldn’t call anymore.
After that, my boyfriend and I ordered pizza. An hour later, there was a knock on the door. As I went to answer it, three people kicked in the door. A couple of guys jumped on me and the girl who came with them stood there recording the whole thing. The fight went into the living room and even into the kitchen. Because it all happened so fast, it took me a while to realize that my boyfriend just stood there watching the whole thing. Even though he saw them beating on me. Even though he knew one of the guys was the ex he cheated on me with. Even though he knew I’d done nothing wrong.
I really felt powerless. When I really, really needed my boyfriend to come through, he left me there. Somehow the fight ended up going outside of the apartment and, in the process of fighting one of the guys off, he yelled to the other guy, “Get the taser!” and that’s when he tried to taze me. Before he could do it, a neighbor came out and chased them off. After that, we went to court. They never found the girl, but I pressed charges on the guys and they were sent to jail. Eventually, when they were released shortly afterwards, the guys ended up calling me and trying to apologize.
As I went to answer it, three people kicked in the door. A couple of guys starting fighting on me…. The fight went from the living room…into the kitchen..and eventually out of the apartment. And my boyfriend just stood there watching the whole thing…
For about a week, I kept my distance from my boyfriend because I felt like he really let me down. He tried to make me feel better by apologizing and saying that everything was going to be better, and that it wasn’t his fault. When the dust settled, I reached out to him, but he didn’t reply. So, I went back to the apartment and knocked on the door. When I walked in, he was in his briefs and his ex, the one who had jumped me, was sitting on the couch. I was mortified. I couldn’t believe it. I walked out.
A week later, my boyfriend contacted me and asked to go out to dinner, apologizing. I refused to forgive him so easily. I knew I didn’t deserve what happened and I was very upset that he would still be talking to someone who physically hurt me. As a result, that experience made me go out and purchase a gun. Despite all of that, I still loved him. So when the dust settled again, we started seeing each other again. But it didn’t take very long for the relationship to really come to an end.
A day or so after we’d gone to the movies on a particular night, he woke me up out of my sleep and he was really upset. He was mad at the fact that, during the period we were not together, I started talking to someone else. Even though I decided to give us another try, it didn’t matter. He couldn’t understand how I was able to talk to someone else.
Suddenly, he started swinging and hitting me, which made me fall out of the bed. Then, I got up and started swinging back. He picked me up and slammed me down, almost hitting my head on the windowsill. After I got up, I tried to run around the bed to get out of the room, but I slipped and fell. That’s when he kicked me in my head. I was shocked. Something really felt off. That’s when I was really scared and felt like he was going to kill me.
He kept going in and out of the bathroom, yelling and screaming, saying all kinds of things. So, when he went back into the bathroom, I snuck into another room. Then, he came back and asked if I was going to end our relationship like this. I didn’t really answer. I told him that I just wanted to go. I wanted to leave.
Suddenly, he started swinging and hitting me, which made me fall out of the bed….After I got up, I tried to get out of the room, but slipped and fell. That’s when he kicked me in my head. I was shocked..I thought he was going to kill me.
When I felt like he wouldn’t let me, I told him I had my gun and that I would shoot him, if I needed to. I kept trying to slowly walk out of the room and into the hallway to make my way to the door. But the whole time, I wouldn’t turn my back because I really didn’t know what he would do to me.
At that point, I wasn’t able to make it to the door because he kept throwing pillows and stuff at me to try and knock the gun out of my hand. I called 911 to let them know what was going on, that he wouldn’t let me go, and that I just wanted to leave. Eventually, the whole situation led to him running back into the room and then out the front door, where the cops arrested him. And when I exited the apartment, they arrested me, too. Later, they took our statements and law enforcement identified him as the aggressor but we were both taken to jail.
Once that happened, I was completely over it. That’s when I knew there was no going back to that relationship. It took that experience for me to realize that it wasn’t worth being in such an abusive relationship. I knew that relationships weren’t easy and that they took work, and I believed that some things you are meant to go through as a couple that make you both stronger. But when that happened, it taught me to stand my ground.
If I’ve learned nothing else, it’s that I deserve the very best life has to offer: to be loved, treated with respect, and to be able to share that with another person…I loved him, but I had to go.
I’d worked so hard to go to school and become a teacher. And because I got arrested due to that situation, I had to tell my boss what happened, which resulted in me being suspended for a week until law enforcement was able to confirm what happened. During that week I was out of work, it really hit me that I could lose everything I’d worked so hard for. Everything ended up working out and I was able to return to work with no problem once they realized I was the victim. But it was extremely scary and something I never want to experience again.
Looking back, there’s a lot I learned from that relationship. It taught me to never compromise my integrity and to be more vocal with what I want and feel I deserve in a relationship, and life in general. It put me in a position to where I make better choices and I’m more observant when it comes to relationships. I’ve learned to trust my gut a lot because there’s been many times where I would ask for God to show me things that I wasn’t seeing, but when he would, I’d ignore them. It took me a while to realize that people often show you who and what they want to show you, not who they really are. But I’ve learned from that.
If I’ve learned nothing else, it’s that I deserve the very best life has to offer: to be loved, treated with respect, and to be able to share that with another person. My boyfriend at the time knew that I’d had to deal with violence all my life and that I didn’t want to ever be a part of that again.I loved him, but I had to go.
Shortly after I left, I noticed he moved his ex into the apartment. The same guy that jumped me. The same guy I’d walked in on being in the apartment, even though my boyfriend said he wanted to make things work. And that was all the fuel I needed to be done with him forever.