This posting is a continuation of Having An Affair Part 4 which is the story of my friend, Sophia.

abused woman“Mark came out of the bathroom, dragged me onto the bed, covered my mouth with one hand and proceeded to continually punch me with the other. When I thought I couldn’t bear anymore, he quit punching me and raped me. Then he pressed his lips against my ear and whispered these words that still haunt me… ‘You better behave or the children will have a new mommy.'”

“Still angry, he slid off the bed, dressed and left the house. I was hurting too badly to cry. My entire body was pulsing with pain. I don’t know how long I was there, but eventually I covered myself with the blanket and fell into fitful sleep.”

“Are you okay?” Sophia asked me.

I was crying. “I’ll be fine,” I said. My sympathetic soul was feeling her story too vividly. I secretly prayed that my sweet daughter would never fall into the trap that Sophia was now living. I felt so sorry for this beautiful woman, a child of God, prey to an abusive husband.

police badge“I went to the doctor the next day,” Sophia said. “I had a cracked rib. The doctor knew I had been beaten, but I told him I fell down the stairs. He didn’t argue with me, but mysteriously two female police officers appeared in the waiting room before my appointment was over. I didn’t approach them because I couldn’t tell them anything. I kept hearing Mark’s whispers of a new mommy and I was terrified.”

“You didn’t tell them anything even though they just ‘happened’ to be there?” I asked astonished.

“No,” was her simple one word reply.

“I eventually healed. Mark didn’t mention anything about my broken rib, the red thong, or a new mommy during the months that followed. He acted like nothing out of the ordinary had happened and so did I.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Why?” Sophia slowly repeated. “Because I had Jacob and Meredith to think about. We needed a place to live and food on our table. I couldn’t support them by myself. I had healed and it wasn’t too bad.”

Denial and fear.

I didn’t argue with her. Sophia was in a mind trap. I think staying in an abusive marriage is not a healthy choice – physically, mentally or emotionally. Children who live in a home filled with abuse, often abuse their own children. It becomes a vicious family cycle forever spiraling downward.

“Our marriage reached a plateau at this point I think,” Sophia said contemplatively. “We quit talking about personal things. When I found the odd receipt for lingerie or lipstick stains on the inside of his shirts, I didn’t say anything. I was unhappy, but looking back, I guess I wasn’t unhappy enough to do something about it. I know he had an affair with his secretary, Estelle. I don’t know how many others or if there were others, but I am sure there was Estelle.”

desk sexSophia was speaking slowly now as if each word was physically painful to speak. Estelle hung in the air. I could almost feel her in the room.

“I needed to have Mark sign some insurance documents and went by his office one afternoon. When I reached the outer office where Estelle’s desk was located, the room was completely empty. I assumed that Mark and Estelle had gone to a meeting. I found an envelope and slipped a note inside asking Mark to sign it and drop the whole thing in the mail on his way home. I didn’t want to leave it on Estelle’s desk, so I approached Mark’s closed office door, turned the door handle and walked in with the intention of placing the envelope on his desk.”

“Instead of an empty office, I found Mark naked and completely entwined with Estelle on the top of his desk. His pants were on the floor in a strewn mess with her dress. We all stood frozen, staring at each other for what seemed like an eternity, but was surely only a few seconds. Before he could even speak, yell, or move, I had left the room, slamming the door behind me.”

“How could you stay married to him after THAT?” I blurted out and immediately felt like a hypocrit.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I think I was so locked inside of myself that although it hurt, I felt that living without him would hurt even more and I couldn’t face a life without him. Part of me hated him, but I still loved the person I married. Unfortunately, the person I married was more a figment of my imagination than reality.”

We both sat quietly for a few minutes. I was letting everything roll around in my head trying to make sense out of why Sophia stayed. Why do women stay? I know that women have a need to be loved so badly that if they have any unresolved issues, their self-esteem is too low and they stay with the abuser. I knew that mentality far too well. I have never been physically abused, but unfortunately, I was both mentally and emotionally abused and it was so hard to let go of him.

“When he returned home after work,” Sophia interjected through the silence, “we never spoke of the incident.”

“OH MY GOSH!” I exclaimed. “I cannot imagine NEVER bringing it up!”

“We just didn’t bring it up. The entire relationship was all messed up. He flagrantly cheated with no thought of the pain and embarrassment it caused me. I was oblivious to the fact that I could make a choice to change my life. It was just awful. When we went to bed that night, I ached to be loved. I could feel the warmth of his skin and the memories of our early young love filled my mind while the tears fell freely from my eyes. I must have sniffled or something because Mark abruptly turned around to look at me. For just a moment I saw the Mark I married. He put his arms around me and kissed my tears. I needed him. I loved him. I couldn’t set any boundaries. I was like his puppet on a string. We made love that night, but it wasn’t really love for Mark.. For him it was just sex. To me, it was a needy obsessive love all mixed up together with fear. From that union I got pregnant with Jeremy.”

I held the phone and said nothing. I couldn’t judge her. I know that agonizing longing to have the one you love hold you and love you back. It is so primally basic. Sophia couldn’t “make” Mark love her anymore than I could “make” someone love me. At that moment I hated Sophia. I hated Mark. I hated myself. I hated everything to do with love. Love is painful. Why do women love men that don’t love them back?!!!

Having An Affair Part 1
Having An Affair Part 2
Having An Affair Part 3
Having An Affair Part 4
Having An Affair Part 5
Having An Affair Part (final)


The Redhead Riter



This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ? Teresa ? November 15, 2009 at 4:26 am

There are no other comments. Is everyone as speechless as me or did you just post this??

This is hard for me to read on so many levels.

I'm so glad Sophia has you. I pray that somehow, someway the Lord has or will heal this relationship. I know that HE can. However, if Mark's heart is not broken and he is still behaving in this manner, I pray that Sophia will find the strength to move on, break the cycle and make a better life for herself and her children. She just has to.

Bless you, sweet one.

Teresa <><


2 PictureGirl November 15, 2009 at 5:36 am

This has got to be one of the saddest stories I have ever read.

My heart just aches for Sophia.

That Mark is one of the most pathetic pieces of crap, ever.


3 Christine November 15, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Yes. Pathetic coward. There is no healing for this relationship, if you want to know my opinion.
Once a man steps over the line into rape and serious physical abuse, he can't undo it. She has emotional scars and physical scars that she will always tie to him and their relationship.

If this was reported by a stranger, he'd be doing some serious time. He'd be on the lists for violent sexual predators. He'd be held accountable for his actions.

I really hope that Sophia has moved on and forward without him.


4 Judy Harper November 15, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Okay, this is hard because I know I should be sympathetic, but instead I'm thinking she's so thinking of herself and her needs, what about the kids? I mean, does she have no pride? How could she stay with him after finding him with his secretary? I've never stayed in an abusive relationship, but someone very close to me has. Thankfully she's left, but it's a hard relationship to leave on so many levels. I just had to be there and keep praying she wouldn't be hurt anymore. It helped once he knew I knew.
"Red", this story is causing so many emotions. I think we have one more installment right? What happened to Sophia and her children?


5 Teresha@Marlie and Me November 15, 2009 at 2:57 pm

The story just gets worse with every post! I am praying for the light at the end of the tunnel. I know a happy ending may be far-fetched, but we all need this to end on an uplifting note….Dear God, P-L-E-A-S-E let Sophia be okay somewhere far from this devil and on the path toward healing!!!


6 Anonymous November 15, 2009 at 5:38 pm

This is not just Sophias story but millions.It may not happen exactly the same , but it is the same. Abuse in any sense is the same. Sophia gave him permission to do all of this to her. As hard as this sounds, it is ever true and truth never changes. As long as we stay in a relationship like hers , we give that mate total charge of us. We are 100 percent to blame after we know and experience this. I know this, I know the black and blue bruises, the broken nose, how it feels to fly across a room,blood dripping from your swollen lip. It is FEAR, the fear of change, the fear of the unknown. You stay and you learn to hate. You stand over his bed while he sleeps with a butcher knife wanting to plunge into his chest or cut his penis off. You want to cease to live, hate consumes you. But in each of us there is a small light that ever burns so dimly. It is the light of Christ, it is a gift every one has at birth. Once you cry out for help , he will hear you and free you from your self. That is who is holding Sophia in that sitiuation, her self. We do it, we do it for all the wrong reasons. It takes a lot to say I quit. My what a great feeling it is when you stand up and say it is over. How wonderful it is to see them loose in court in life. They can never replace you and they have to live life knowing it was their fault you are gone. Trust me. they do learn. You go on and grow in every way there is, it is painful to grow, but oh how rewarding. It does not take courage or strength, it takes desire to change. We are never free of that fear that holds us, we can lock it up in our hearts. Be assured it is always there and will surface ever now and then. You reconize when it appears, and you put it right back. To all who are out there suffering , there is hope in your self. Turn and look with in your self and find that light, and hope follows. I promise you this, for I have traveled this road. Like you , I sob for her too, but I know the joy of winning. She has the power to make him bend, she is only to look with in. We are special, it is the daughters of God he gave the gift to bare his spirit children, not the sons. It is us, who he trust to teach and nuture them. Love your mother hood, love your children, and love your self, you are so special. I am Sherrys mom, and I bare wittiness to you today all I have said is true. Pray for your self and all moms.


7 Eva Gallant November 15, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Wow, that was a moving post and some moving comments. I hope Sophia finds the strength to leave and take care of herself and her kids.

Hadn't been by in while, thought it was time to pay you a visit. Glad you are there for Sophia.


8 Dee November 15, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Just got here and am riveted.



9 Lisa November 15, 2009 at 9:06 pm

I am literally hanging on each post in this series. Great job at tackling a subject that is painful and problematic!

Lisa @
All That and a Box of Rocks


10 Corrie Howe November 15, 2009 at 9:10 pm

This was very well written. I don't know why women stay with men like this. I'm sure it does have to do with not having enough confidence in themselves to support themselves or their children. I'm sure the lack of confidence has to do with living with an abusive man.


11 Amy November 15, 2009 at 9:33 pm

I have seen this story happen to my friend. It is so sad but if you are not the one going through this then you are not really sure how the person really does feel.


12 Jen @ After The Alter December 4, 2009 at 3:44 pm

As bad as it sounds I do have trouble not judging someone…it's horrible I know, and since I have never been in the situation how could I judge?? but I do…I actually feel sorry that they continue to allow someone else to treat them that way..and allow them to feel bad about themselves…it sounds like you have been a great listener…I'd have tons of trouble not giving my two cents.


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