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Excerpts from Section Three

For twenty-three years, I was cowed by my first husband. We had a marriage based on his needs. I didn’t know what love was then, so I don’t think I ever loved him. Life settled into a monotonous routine. I thought children would make our marriage better, so we had two of them. Later, I realized what I now had was two more innocent people to protect from a verbally and emotionally abusive man. He never hit me, but I always felt bruised and beat up. There was no way to please him.

My husband was very controlling, and he thought that if I was not at work, I should be home and happy to be there. The verbal punishment was so harsh that I soon learned it was easier just to stay home and give up family and friends. I shaped my life around his needs and handed over my life to keep the peace....

I want my husband to treat me as well as he treats our dog. Admittedly, our little spaniel is special and I love her too, but when my husband comes home from work in the evening, he blows kisses to our daughter, grunts a weary “hi” at me and then talks to the dog. “Ahhh,” he coos. “How’s you today? Did you miss me?” Sometimes he brings her a treat, whipping it out of a brown paper bag with a flourish, while she barks and jumps up and down. He makes a big deal out of giving it to her. Then he heads for the bathroom. I ache, I hurt and I mourn while pretending this doesn’t matter. After all, what kind of a woman is jealous of a dog? Where is my brown paper bag with a surprise? He hasn’t brought me flowers for years. When he comes out of the bathroom, he sits down in the recliner with our dog in his lap and cuddles her. Eyes straight ahead on the evening news, just him and the dog, lost in his own little world. Sometimes our daughter will go and climb in the recliner with them, but if she disturbs the dog she is reprimanded. I watch this night after night. I wonder what I would have to do to get this kind of attention. I feel so resentful of that dog I have even plotted to run over her. I think devious thoughts of how to get rid of her, but then sanity prevails and I know it is not the dog but my husband. Then I think briefly about the satisfaction I would feel if I ran over him instead of the dog. I want my husband to hurt as badly as I do....

Contact Evelyn Leite

Evelyn Leite
PO Box 9702
Rapid City, SD 57709

Living With Solutions

Living with Solutions was developed in 1989 by Evelyn Leite, MHR, LPC, to provide self-help opportunities, trainings and workshops for addicts and their families. Learn more now at