You might expect embarking on a relationship with someone who has experienced domestic violence to be like trying to knock down a brick wall...............
SV and I started dating casually after meeting at a local supermarket. Our first meeting involved going for coffee and a walk – only the cafe was closed!
We agreed we didn’t want anything serious at this stage but by about our third meeting I thought to myself I could really talk to this chap – About everything and nothing!
He didn’t give a lot away at first. His marriage was over and that it had been a difficult marriage and his wife wasn’t the easiest to live with. I recall at this time trying to understand why the wife might have been difficult, trying to see things from her point of view.
Our relationship developed and we began spending more time together. We sat cuddled on the sofa watching TV and SV remarked that it was the first time he had sat and watched TV with someone in this way. We occasionally spent the night together and after a goodnight kiss and cuddle SV would migrate to the far side of the double bed and huddle into a foetal position and go to sleep.
As time went on and we shared more of our experiences with each other SV told of some of the experiences during the time of his marriage. At first he would talk of the verbal tirade he would experience if he returned home late for any reason (First Layer). As time went on he would divulge that the verbal tirade may involve a violent act against him (Second Layer). More recently SV would reveal that both the verbal tirades and violent acts were usually spurned from a deliberate act or omission on the part of his wife. The real story emerges.
It is definitely the forum of the computer that has supported SV in the past during the difficulties of his marriage. He used to describe a life of isolation cut off from his wife and the rest of the family in his own computer room. I’ve no doubt that chat rooms and computer games were his escape into a world where he could invent other personas and leave his real self behind. I’m sure he ventured back into this world occasionally when our relationship had the odd teething problem.
To use a well worn cliché – we have been on a journey -one that has involved unravelling layer upon layer. One might say unloading an amount of emotional baggage. On reflection the ‘baggage’ was empty. A forty –something man who remarked on the delights of day to day experiences ‘as a couple’. For me this was nothing but a bonus – not having to live up to the memory of past romantic liaisons with a significant other. I felt like the first and the cherished person in this scenario.
Nowadays we have a very close relationship, not in the sense of marriage or cohabiting but as close as two people can be. We are often taunted by our peers at being tactile and ‘joined at the hip’. I of course have my own past and my own story but right here right now – I LOVE MY ONION !