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Last June, I left my husband with the children at the request of social services. As time went by, I began to go through the different stages of grief. First of all, I didn’t feel anything about the abuse that my husband had given me. Secondly, I felt grief, then I felt angry and blamed him for the fact that the children had been removed from my care and put in the care of my parents.

Then I felt unsure. Had what he’d done to me actually been abuse? Was the way I had reacted at times a case of domestic violence? After all, I did throw a cup of tea at him in the middle of an argument. Did that constitute abuse?

When I first left my husband, he telephoned me often to beg me to go back. He would cry about how sorry he was. Every time I saw him at meetings with social services, he would cling to me like a child who was petrified that his mother was going to abandon him. Later, he finally began to accept that we were separate and that I really didn’t want to go back. Then, social services told us that neither of us had any hope of getting our children back because they said that the volatility of our relationship had emotionally abused them. This is untrue. We cared for our children to the best of our ability, and loved them so much that it hurt.

The children’s social worker is beligerent and only wants to tear families apart rather than putting them together. My husband suggested that if we couldn’t have the children, we should at least have each other. I told him that I had to think about it before I decided what to do. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Maybe we should try again. He had changed a lot in the space of nine months. Maybe things could be better this time. We’d both learned so much about ourselves and each other.

At the end of March, I moved back in with my husband, much to the chagrin of social services. They made a point of mentioning it in their reports that it was a sign that we put our relationship before our children. But how can we care for our children if our relationship is fractured and broken? Surely, if we fix our relationship, we’ll be able to better care for the children. After all, one of the reasons they took the children away from us was because of our relationship problems.

I’ve been back now for two months, six weeks of which I spent on the sofa with a broken ankle. When I went to the emergency room with my broken leg, someone commented to me that my husband treated me like a princess. And do you know what? He has. He has spent the last six weeks waiting on me hand and foot, while also redecorating our new bedroom. He went out to buy me wine, gum, and chocolate whenever I asked him to. But …part of me is still thinking maybe he’ll change back. I know that my family is scared of that. When I broke my leg, my father asked me if I’d really fallen down stairs or if I’d been pushed by my husband.

I’m scared to have sex with my husband because I’m scared of being raped again. Maybe my husband has really changed this time, but maybe he hasn’t. I’m so scared that he will go back to the way he was. Maybe my fears are the consequence of our volatile relationship. I don’t know. What do you think?