When Jessica*, 34, married Adam*, 38, she thought that they would live happily ever after. But little did she know that her charming prince would turn into an abusive monster. She shares how her marriage of three years fell apart and reveals why she may never trust another man again.
“I met Adam in Europe on an overseas work assignment. We worked for the same company so I spent most of the day with him and his team, and after work, he would take me around by himself and show me the sights of his beautiful city. From the moment we met we shared an amazing chemistry.
Adam was warm, friendly, gracious and polite. After three weeks of spending just about every day together, he told me that he was in love with me, and I too, had to admit that I’d fallen for him. Two weeks later I had to return to Singapore but Adam and I promised to maintain a long-distance relationship.
“Back in Singapore, I talked to Adam every day. Occasionally we would write each other love letters and send each other gifts. Our bond strengthened over the following months and Adam decided it was time for him to visit me and meet my family.”
“Adam spent two weeks in Singapore. He loved the city and the culture, and he got along well with my parents and friends. Neither of us wanted his holiday to end. Then, on the day that he was due to return home, and just when I thought I might have to wait another few months to see him, Adam got down on one knee and proposed to me in front of my family. Of course, I said yes.
“We didn’t waste time tying the knot after we got engaged. Adam asked his company head for a transfer to the Singapore office, and shortly after he settled here, we exchanged vows and moved in together. Adam didn’t really have any problems adjusting to the Singapore lifestyle or work culture. My friends became his friends, but to widen his social circle he also joined a gym and a few sports clubs.
“A year into our marriage, everything was still going well and Adam and I discussed having a baby. I was having trouble conceiving so we consulted a fertility expert. I knew that it would take longer than usual to fall pregnant so I told myself to be patient. I also quit my job so that I could focus on preparing my body for pregnancy.”
“After two years together, I started noticing changes in my husband. For one, he was working late more often and spending time in the office on weekends – two things he frowned upon. When he was home, he was always on his laptop or asleep. We started communicating less, to the point where he just stopped talking to me unless he needed something. I was extremely hurt by this but reminded myself not to stress him out. I assumed that he was just feeling the pressure from being the sole breadwinner.
“One Saturday evening I decided to surprise Adam at his office, but when I showed up he wasn’t there. I asked the security guard what time Adam left and was told that no one had been in the office that day. When I messaged Adam to ask where he was, he told me that he was at work. Right then I knew something was up.
“Back home, I searched through Adam’s email account and was horrified to find nude photos and sexy messages from other women. My husband was having multiple affairs! I also came across a message from a woman he had agreed to meet that afternoon. From her photos, I could see that she was tall, beautiful and busty. I felt sick to my stomach and collapsed on the floor in tears.”
“When Adam came home a few hours later, he could tell I’d been crying. ‘What’s wrong?’ he asked. ‘Where were you?’ I asked softly. ‘You told me you were at work but I went to the office and nobody was there. Then I looked through your email and saw messages from women that you’re sleeping with. What’s going on?’
“Adam flew into a rage at being questioned. He grabbed my collar with one hand and slapped my cheek with the other. ‘How dare you look through my emails!’ he yelled. Then he hit me again and pushed me to the floor. ‘I will throw you out of this house if you go through my emails again!’
“Crying, I begged Adam to tell me what was going on but instead he left me on the floor and stormed out of the house.
“Adam never apologised for hitting me. I continued to stay with him, hoping that we’d eventually work things out. I was too ashamed to seek help and didn’t know how to tell him to get counselling. Over the next year Adam treated me very badly. He called me names, slapped me a few times for asking the wrong questions, and even went overseas on three occasions without telling me. He also told me that he didn’t want to start a family with me and threatened to leave me. I felt lost and alone and became very afraid of him.”
“Living with Adam was traumatising, to say the least. Then, one afternoon, while he was at work, I had a nervous breakdown. What had happened to me? I was a strong, smart, independent woman, and now here I was, seemingly at the mercy of a man who had become a total stranger to me. This was not the man I married. This was not the life I’d planned for myself. I knew I had to get out of the house and away from this animal of a husband.
“I showed up at my parents’ house crying and told them everything. They took me to the police station where I filed a report against my husband for domestic abuse. I then contacted a divorce lawyer and began doing whatever was needed to end the marriage.
“Adam and I have been apart for almost a year now. We’re still dealing with some legal and financial issues, and although things have been messy, at least I’m physically safe.
“Emotionally, though, I’m broken. Adam was the first man I loved and when I married him I thought it would be for life. I still can’t get over the fact that he went from this sweet and caring man to this horrifying and abusive monster. Worse, I blame myself for not seeing the red flags beforehand and for not leaving him after he hit me the first time.
“It’s because of what happened with Adam that I’ll never be able to trust another man again. I actually feel scared when I see guys who look like him, and when someone touches me now, I get anxious and panicky. The pain Adam caused in my heart will be with me forever and I fear that I’m too damaged to have another loving relationship again.”
Text: Melissa Wong/HerWorldPlus