During Our Brutally Abusive Divorce, My Friend Asked If I Wanted My Husband Back

My husband had used up all of his hall passes. I didn’t believe a thing he said.

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One day I was on the phone with my friend. I was several years into a brutally abusive divorce.

I couldn't believe what my husband was inflicting upon our children and me. He had turned into the ugliest of bullies.

We had been left without health insurance, transportation, food, electricity…you name it and he’d done it.

My kids and I were stressed. We were shocked by who my husband and their father had proven himself to be.


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"Do you think maybe you would want to take him back?" my friend said.

What??!! Or should I say, WTF!

"Huh," I said. "You’re kidding, right?"

"No," she said. "Maybe you guys could still work it out."

Bless her heart, married people have a way of believing that it’s easier for everyone if the marriage stays together some way or somehow.

I get it. Divorce is ugly. But it’s no less ugly than the unfortunate mess that led up to it. 

A limping and whimpering relationship is a tortuous existence. 

"Look," I said. "Jesus Christ himself could come down and tell me that he cured my husband. And I would say, thank you very much. I believe you. But  I’m still not interested."


I may not have been completely at peace despite initiating a divorce.

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But the moment my husband began his intense financial bullying I knew there was no turning back. Not then. Not ever.

I finally believed what our marriage counselor once told me: "Colleen, your husband keeps showing you who he is, only you don’t want to believe him."

Well, I believed him now.

I also believed our psychologist marriage counselor’s diagnosis of a narcissistic personality disorder that was on the extreme end of the spectrum. 

Here’s the thing.

My friend’s question wasn’t completely outrageous.

A lot of people want a divorce but they don’t want a divorce.


They want to shock their spouse into caring about the marriage, the relationship, and them. It’s a little bit of the boy that cried wolf. The threat of divorce can be a misguided attention grab. 

A hope that at some point, your spouse will say, "I’m sorry. I’ll do better. I’ll even change. I don’t want to lose you. I want to keep our family together."

I know people who have held out hope for reconciliation. And gotten a separation with the threat of an impending divorce while not wanting one.

But that wasn’t me.

RELATED: Why My Divorce Was The Best Thing I Ever Did

My husband had used up all of his hall passes. I didn’t believe a thing he said.


I didn’t believe he had the capability of making things right, I didn’t believe he could make me feel loved. I didn’t believe he would stop his bad behavior. I didn’t believe he would stop inducing my tears.

I didn’t believe he was the man I thought I married.

I didn’t want him anymore.


Hence, why I said that even if he had been miraculously cured of the narcissistic personality disorder, I still wouldn’t want him. I was done. I had finally reached my limit. 

Bless my friend’s heart. 

But no, I didn’t want my husband back.

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Colleen Sheehy Orme is a national relationship columnist, journalist, and former business columnist. She writes about love, life, relationships, family, parenting, divorce, and narcissism.