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Are you even the same person I loved?

Mine was a love marriage. We got married after two years of dating. My husband treated me like a queen before marriage. Even though we did not meet each day, he showered me with his love and affection in the best ways possible. His love made me happy, confident and secure. Getting married to him seemed like the best decision of my life. From the day we got fixed, I would dream of the beautiful life we would have together post marriage. But alas! My dreams did not convert to reality for long. While I always thought marriage was the best thing that could happen to me, little did I know there was something else in store for me. 2-3 months into marriage, my husband started coming home late mostly frustrated. I recall this one time very clearly, when we were discussing something and somehow, the discussion turned into an argument. When this argument prolonged, in the heat of the moment, he slapped me. I was taken aback. While I stood there shocked, speechless and zoned out, I could see that he instantly realized that he did something wrong. What followed was an hour of apologies and tears, and so I gave in. 


A similar thing happened a week later. He came home irritated again but this time, he was drunk too. The moment he entered the house, he started yelling and abusing at me. And when I tried to ask him the reason behind his mood, he raised his hand again at me. And this time, it did not just stop at a slap. He kept beating me till I ran away scared and locked myself into the room. I was beaten so badly that I had bruises on my body, which remained for a couple of days.


Eventually, this became a routine affair. He no longer had any control over his anger. He would come home drunk at night and would raise his hand on me even if I tried talking to him politely. Earlier, I would respond by raising my voice against it or talking to him about it, but he would get angrier and abuse me even more. So, I stopped doing that too. He was rude, arrogant and nasty with me every time he came back home from work. What surprised me and in a way also kept me going somehow was that, the next day, he would be all normal as if nothing had happened. 


His behavior puzzled me. I started questioning myself if this was the same man I fell in love with. I lost my confidence and started doubting everything I did. I did everything to please him like cooking his favorite dish, making a reservation at his favorite restaurant and other such gestures but it only made things worse. Every effort I made went in vain. Maybe I was not good enough for him now. I couldn’t share this with anyone. I could not have discussed this with my family since he was my choice. My in-laws would not have trusted me over their own son. And I did not want to discuss it with any of my friends because I was scared that they would judge me. I had been suffering on my own for months. But I was not willing to give up on my husband.


One day, things got so out of hand that I couldn’t take it anymore. I gathered the courage and spoke to one of my closest friends about it. She recommended me to go for counselling. I was a little apprehensive at first but as the sessions progressed, I got more and more comfortable and it became easier to open up to the counselor. There was so much going on in my head, and therapy has helped me deal with this situation. I feel relaxed now since I could give voice to my thoughts and feelings. Not only did going to therapy remind me of the love that I had for my husband, but also helped me gain my confidence back. For the first time in my life, I have realized that I too can love myself unconditionally. 


Further on, my husband was also called in for the therapy sessions. It’s been four months since I started my therapy, and I can see that communication has improved in our relationship. I have started noticing a changed behavior on the part of my husband. His alcohol consumption has reduced drastically. He seems happier and our home seems like a much more positive place than it ever did. Counseling not only helped me deal with my current situation, but also opened up so many doors of happiness in my life. Counselling in short, has helped me a great deal. It has helped me gain my confidence back. I am thankful to my friend for pushing me to go for therapy.

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