The Hardest Truth About Domestic Abuse

Despite everything, I still loved my abuser

Maggie Haukka
Human Parts
Published in
5 min readDec 14, 2018


Photo: Cindy Tang/Unsplash

AAll stories about abuse are hard. For me, this one is the hardest. It’s the hardest because it’s the truest, and because it complicates our impulse to separate the good guys from the bad guys. My husband was one of each.

When his dark side was in control, he was abusive; there is no disputing this. He would scream at me, threaten me, call me names; he monitored my phone and laptop; he isolated me; he lied, he stole, and he drank until his face twisted into a sneer and his normally soft-spoken voice curdled into a vicious snarl.

That’s part of the story.

The other part is the love. The other part contains the chapters in which he and I talk about nothing, about everything, for hours on end. It contains the chapters in which we make love, in a way I never had before and probably never will again. It wasn’t just that he was skilled and giving in bed — it’s that he was kind. It’s that he made me feel safe and accepted in a way I did not know was possible.

Domestic abuse incubates in the cradle, in what’s supposed to be the safest and softest place. The feathered down of the nest morphs slowly into poisoned spikes.