A letter to the wife of the man who abused me

Dearest Sister-in-Law,

We have a strange relationship, don’t we? One of guilt and sisterhood and friendship and pain and lies.

You are the wife of the man who is supposedly the elder brother figure in my life and the man who abused me for years. Do you know that? I ask myself that all the time. Do you find it hard to look me in the eye too or is that just me? The guilt I feel for not telling you about your husband’s reality before you married him haunts me. It’s probably too late now – or would your rather know? Would you even believe me or would you wish I had kept it to myself?

You and I, the only women in a family of men. The way our culture works, we were bound to be pushed together, destined to be confidantes and that is what you want our relationship to be like, isn’t it? Do you ever wonder why I never keep in touch with you? You must think I am stuck up and aloof, but I am just full of guilt and running away from a past that refuses to let me go. I resent the happiness you give him – it’s not fair that he gets to live a normal life while I struggle with each day. I blame myself for letting you walk into the mess that is our family unequipped and unaware, and I blame you for being a reminder and a trigger just by your mere presence on my social media.

There is also the fact that you are so incredibly wonderful to me. Every time you do something nice for me, I sink a little bit further into guilt and self loathing. You try so hard to be the perfect sister and your take that role so seriously. All I want is for you not to be my sister-in-law, to not have another relation tying me to him. I do not understand why I don’t just break off all contact with you – I guess in some weird, messed up way I feel responsible for you too. I feel responsible for your happiness and I obsessively look for signs that he is not treating you right. But what would I do if he wasn’t? I could not stop him from doing everything he did to me, how would I protect you if you did need protecting?

Your wedding, oh your wedding. Why did I attend your wedding? I played the part of the only sister of the groom so beautifully, didn’t I? I was there at every ritual, but I wasn’t there for him, I was there for you. Did you know that? I don’t quite know how to forgive myself for actively participating in the wedding of the man who raped me. I think I was punishing myself for not telling you the truth and for some reason, I felt that I owed you this at least. Did you even care or was that my head?

I know you are trying to have kids and the thought terrifies me. I should say something. I should have said something years ago. I should have said something before you married him. I should have something at some point. What will I do when you do have children? Will I do anything or will I stay silent like I have been so far? What would you want me to do? I wish I could ask you. He caused so much destruction to my life. I do not want to do the same in yours. They say ignorance is bliss and when I look at you, so radiant and happy, I can’t help but agree.

There is so much I would like to say to you but mostly I just want to ask you – will you, can you, forgive my silence?

With love.

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3 thoughts on “A letter to the wife of the man who abused me

  1. This letter really touched me. I felt your pain so sharp and it must have been very difficult to write. I beeline you and I am sending you lots of love and support.
    @planetcath

  2. This letter really touched me. I felt your pain so sharp and it must have been very difficult to write. I believe you and I am sending you lots of love and support.
    @planetcath

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