The night we were wed, I gave him my heart…
He promised to LOVE ‘til “death do us part.”
That meant he would desire me and want me near,
He would be affectionate and passionate and hold me dear.
He would cherish me and appreciate me ‘til my last day on earth.
(I had yet to learn how little his promises were worth!)
From the very first month, I began to suspect
That to him, loving your wife meant to show no respect.
Instead of cherish, he soon made me believe

That LOVE meant manipulate, ignore and deceive.
And through criticism, sarcasm, and emotional assault,
He implied that everything wrong in our life was MY fault.
It was all about him and having his way,
And if I didn’t agree, then he’d “make me pay.”
Experts counseled me, “be assertive and communicate more,”
But then he knew how to hurt me, even worse than before.
His every wish was to be my command,
But he could never give ME a hand
To do the things that were important to me…
HIS needs were all that he could see.
He needed power and control and to always be right.
My opinions meant nothing, it did no good to fight.
His cold shoulders and intimidation kept me in line…
Denials and anger also worked fine.
Integrity was not needed when concerning his wife,
But he made sure that didn’t show in his “public” life.
When you disrespect and disregard and wrongly use,
Then you don’t LOVE, you emotionally abuse.

– Poem Written by anonymous survivor