Once I was sufficiently recovered from the childbirth, he started pushing for sex and pretty much expected it every day. I was exhausted from working full time and taking care of the baby. We were always fighting and I was always tired, but he never understood why I was not ‘in the mood’. Several times he coerced me into having sex in front of the baby. I felt this was completely inappropriate, but felt powerless to say no. Sometimes sex would appease him and he’d be a bit nicer the rest of the day. Living with a man like this is so emotionally and physically draining, it’s hard to describe. He was at the very least controlling and patronizing every day and would start arguments several times a week. Your adrenaline gets up when you are arguing and then you have a period of calm where you think, “This is going to be ok, I can deal with it, I have to stick around to keep the family intact, it’s not that bad.” And stick around I did.
At this point, he had not been physically abusive. I really wanted a sibling for Luke and I was old enough that I knew this was my last chance. Brad did not really agree and would have been happy with just Luke, but I insisted and since it involved more sex, Brad agreed. He told me later he felt ‘cheated’ because both times he had expected it to take longer for me to get pregnant, because of my age, and that he resented the fact that I got pregnant so quickly both times because he had ‘missed out’ on a lot of sex. Imagine. He somehow felt I had not lived up to my half of the bargain because I was luckily fertile.
Looking back, I understand the decision I made, but we did not have anything resembling a healthy relationship , it was classically abusive and yet I told myself “I can make this work”. I had not labeled it yet as abusive. I thought he was overly sensitive and emotional, and perhaps a tinge of mentally unbalanced, but I thought I could handle it and make it better and that the good would outweigh the bad. If I only knew.