The many and various ways I pass the time now has a new addition. Usually it involves drinking coffee whilst sitting at a computer keeping in touch with chums, or sipping wine sitting on our tiny terrace catching the sun, and wondering what else I can do to avoid any cleaning or tidying or putting away of stuff and things that aren't even MINE. And now I am going to type this blog. Provided that doesn't become a chore as well, in which case...

Friday, 24 May 2013


Even though my first marriage effectively ended when I left in November1997 I have until now still been left asking why I had to live through what I did from 1981-1997. What were its root causes, how could it have been prevented, if it were preventable? This is the first explanation for male-on-female domestic violence I have ever read that 100% fits the scenario that I survived.

Finally, I feel I can relax and think aha! so the seeds were sown long before we ever met, The Daughter's father and I. It was never anything to do with what I did. To be a battered wife, being female and married to a man with a deeply-held erroneous and twisted view of what constitutes "true" masculinity was all it took...

I feel at last that I can breathe properly again. Does that make sense?

Two heavy weights have been lifted from my shoulders.  One being a lingering, haunting sense of shared responsibility for some of the worst aspects of my past, and the other being (I now realise) an utterly unfounded fear of or for the future. 

You see, I have discovered today that there is nothing about ME that is a shit-magnet.

I am not doomed to fall back into that nightmare scenario by unwittingly triggering it in someone else. The man I married ten years ago and love to little mint balls doesn't have this skewed masculinity world-view.  He's just NOT "that way out" as we say Up North. Even in our most argumentative moments - and we have a few, occasionally - it can never slip over or morph into what I have experienced before, in marriage number one.

I am in a place of safety, and damaged though I still am and might always be to some extent, I am safe.  The Husband hasn't an ounce of domineering cruelty in him, not one scintilla.  He has not created a false, deluded construct of what it is and means to be a "proper" man.  He is good through and through, solid, safe, dependable, supportive and loving.  I can stop looking for "the signs".  I can finally let the hypervigilance just GO!

Maybe The Daughter's father has mellowed, as I have been told he has many times since I left him.  Maybe he is no longer the man I was married to, but I see little sign that he has changed much in his general attitudes and opinions on the very few occasions we have met socially since the divorce.  But he lives alone now, has retired abroad alone, his second marriage (also in 2003, the same year I remarried) to a much younger woman having collapsed and ended within a year.  So I guess he can think and feel and believe what he likes, as long as no other woman is suffering or wondering what on earth she is doing wrong, why there is no pleasing the man.  No other woman is going quite literally insane because her life makes no sense, because she is being forced to live out a happy lie in public, and being humiliated, subjugated, terrorised and undermined in private.

Long may that situation continue...


  1. I saw no comments so far this morning. Whew! and Holey Socks, it's hard to whip out a breezy comment on such a shattering subject. You are a Survivor with a capital S, and now, as they say, "your head's on straight." It's wonderful to know that you've got the husband you deserve: a loving, thoughtful man who is in no doubt of his masculinity; and it's wonderful that you can find it in yourself to tell all of us about your experiences. Across the pond I'm sending very warm and huge Zen Hugs.

    1. Laura Lee, it has been so hard to speak of this without seeming aggrieved, or wedded to some sense of victimhood, which I have wanted ALWAYS to refute utterly. I guess today, having read that link, the final piece has dropped into place. So that I know it all belongs in my past and has no part of my here, now and future, except to shape the person I am. For the better, I do hope.

      There are too many of us. Possibly 50% or even 60% of women will be bullied, hit, kicked, and much, much worse, by an "intimate" partner at some point in her life. For many, this is an oft repeated experience, either with the same man or many.

      I do not want to get side-tracked into other types of domestic abuse, as that is oustide my experience. That is another issue, for another day, for other people. Today I just need to tell the world what I had at last found out, that it was all to do with him, what he thought, felt and did, and had very little to do with what I thought, felt and did.

      From the first time I was kicked in the back of the knees so I fell to the ground (with Our Daughter strapped to my back) which happened in the summer of 1982, at the side of the A40, in full public view of passing cars, until now, is 31 years.

      It's enough. I've had enough. I won't carry it around with me any more. It isn't mine. It is HIS. He can have it back. And gladly.

  2. Hari Om
    "Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Marion Bulmer, a woman of strength, honesty, courage."

    Your relief is palpable in this post, Marion - no sign of victim and free from guilt. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    ...and there will be a few thinking you won the lottery with your new fella! That is a wonderful, loving salute to a partner of worth. Congratulations. Hugs, YAM xx

    1. When we married in Perpetua's church ten years ago next weekend my closest friends and neighbours from the days of my first marriage took up a couple of pews at least. As I came in, beaming from ear to ear, I waved and nodded at the congregation as I passed, pretty much oblivious to everything in my excitement.

      It wasn't until halfway through the reception one of the chaps sitting in that group of my old home town chums said the women had been crying so enthusiastically "it was like Thames Bloody Water!"

      So I think a few people have always known I won the lottery second time around, especially those who'd seen me struggle so much at the first attempt.

      I hope The Husband feels he did quite well, as well!

  3. So glad everything has turned out well for you in the end.

  4. You've waited a long time to get that final piece of the puzzle which shows you the true picture of your first marriage, Baby Sis and I'm so glad this article made it all fall into place and allowed you finally to move on.

    The bit that pleased me most came in your comment to Laura: "It's enough. I've had enough. I won't carry it around with me any more. It isn't mine. It is HIS. He can have it back. And gladly." That is a profound turning point and i'm so happy to read it.

    We could ask ourselves what influences shaped your first husband to create a man so insecure that he could behave like that, but that is irrelevant today. Like me, you have been lucky enough to meet a man who is totally secure and content in himself and who feels no need to knock others down in order to build himself up. Let's both count (and hug) our blessings. :-)