It started out perfect. He was the image of strength and honor. He was a man who professed to believe the same things I believed, and it felt like heaven on earth after my past two relationships. We would stay up all night talking, sitting under the stars, or going on amazing dates.
I felt like a princess, which was how my father always treated me. I was perfection to my father, even when I wasn't perfect. I assumed this was how all men treated women.
After a few failed relationships in my early twenties, two kids later I was a single mom who still believed I could have it all. That's when he walked in, and again life was beautiful, but soon things started to shift. We began to "mess around" but not have sex, and things were off. He had told me he had viewed pornography in the past, but no longer did, and that he had strong convictions against it, so I had no reason to suspect otherwise.
However soon he began to expect and demand sexual favors. The first time was in the shower. He never looked at me when we were intimate. It felt cold, but I thought it was just a matter of inexperience on my end. Things worsened from there.
He would be very sweet on our dates, and say all the right things, but anytime we were together, he would expect me to "service him." When we started having sex, it was rough. The first time he didn't even look at me, and I couldn't shake the feeling of being dirty. This was my reality—feeling like I was in a relationship two different people. One was amazing, the other was a monster. After getting pregnant, I was stuck, and then the real monster came to the surface.
He was heavily into porn, and in the past had solicited prostitutes. He told me he would imagine I was the women from porn he had watched when we would have sex. Dagger in the heart.
He said it was because I wasn't "tight enough" compared to his last girlfriend, and that he missed having sex with her, so he needed the porn because he couldn't get off just being present with me. Dagger in the heart.
I started to let him do whatever he wanted in bed, which usually involved my wearing things like stripper heels, and allowing him to contort and twist my body in whatever way he needed to get the "look" he wanted. There were times my hips hurt, and it hurt to pee. My OBGYN even noticed during an exam that I was bruised, and had trauma cysts.
Next came the STDs. I found out I had HPV, and herpes. Dagger in the heart.
The porn continued, and so did the abusive, rough and disconnected sex. "Make the right face, don't look him in the eye. Ouch that hurts, but don't tell him, be sexier! Just close your eyes and pretend you're somewhere on a beach. Okay, it's over, thank God. Oh God I hurt." These were the thoughts that passed through my mind during sex.
One day he felt the need to take it further. He pinned me down to the floor. He was hurting me. He grabbed my wrists, and started going very hard. I told him he was hurting me. He told me to quit fighting. I told him to stop, and he didn't. I lay there in pain, terrified and in shock. After he finished, he acted like he felt good about himself, while I wanted to run away.
I don't think he had any idea what he had done, because this is what porn had taught him to do. Rape.
This was a man who attended church, had been in the military, and came from a loving Christian family. I don't know if I'll ever recover. I don't know if the pain that the world of porn has caused will ever leave. Step by step and day by day I go on, but it's not the same. Porn doesn't discriminate, and it destroys people in its wake, destroying their ability to really love.