So against all sane judgement and despite the warning signs, I married Solomon. It didn’t take long for the honeymoon to end. Within a few weeks he was hitting me and slapping me around. It didn’t take much to trigger his wrath. Oh, I forgot to mention that Solomon was an alcoholic. He would consume liquor from the time he got up, around 1pm until he strolled back in the house at wee hours in the morning. I would be belittled for decisions I made regarding the household. I would be slapped for clothes that I wore, even if they were clothes that he purchased. I would be down right beaten for not answering my phone quick enough or for being in the wrong place when he called. I never knew what would trigger his wrath because his tastes and want’s would change from day to day. One day he wanted to eat out and the next he would complain that he didn’t have a home cooked meal. One day he wanted me to dress feminine, the next he would say it was too sexy. The beatings would vary from simple slapping and shoving to sometimes a closed fist in the face. The one constant thing was that he would always apologize and promise to never do it again. That was the only constant in our life…his promises to change. In the mean time, I got very crafty in hiding the bruises, making excuses and justifying his behavior. I don’t know how many people I was actually fooling but in my mind I felt like I had it under control. That is until he punched me in the face while I was holding our 9 month old son. See it was one thing for me to take the abuse, but when it came that close to one of my children, I knew I had to leave. I may not have had much respect for myself or felt much self-worth but I have never thought of my children as anything less than everything. I knew I had to protect them and I no longer felt able to do that and stay with him, so while he was in jail I packed up all of his clothes and personal items and took them to his mother’s house. I told her that upon his release I did not want him to return to our home. Believe it or not…he didn’t. I allowed myself to be lured into a false sense of security. I opened a new business, I bought a new car and home. I even started dating someone. I was finally living a normal life, free of insults and beatings, but my husband was always on the fringe of that life. He would call and request my help with this or that or ask to see the kids. Any little thing to still be involved in some way or another. He even harrased the guy I was dating. He played it cool though and never pushed me to reunite. He was always pleasant and kind in our dealings and he even told me he took anger management classes. A year and a half passes like this and then one day he comes by my home under the guise of wanting to see the kids. After they are put to bed he lingers and ended up staying the night in my guest bedroom. The next day our kids see him and are ecstatic and cheering “daddy’s home!” That tugged at my heart strings a little and made me ponder if we could ever be happy again. A few days later he came by again and I told him that the kids were already asleep. He tells me that he wants to talk to me. That is when he made his pitch. He told me how miserable he was and how much he missed us and how much he loved me and how he had changed. Don’t ask me why, but I believed every word and after 18 months of freedom, I took him back. I had no idea that within 6 months he would be dead and I would be facing life in prison.