**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.
One gloomy day in California, I had finally had enough. My marriage was not only over, it was completely dead. I could not stay in the relationship a moment longer.
The relationship wasn't working on an intellectual and emotional level anymore, and it had become dangerous to my physical well-being as well. I had to leave before something really bad happened to me. I did not feel safe. We had just engaged in yet another terrible argument and mutually agreed that I should leave.
As I packed up my car with as many of my precious items as I could fit, my husband came up to me and asked for my bank card. He said he had no money and he needed to take some out.
I should explain that I was the primary breadwinner in the relationship. I was the one who went to work every day and had a bank account. My husband was constantly out of work and did not even have a bank account of his own. It sounds crazy, looking back.
I gave him my debit card and I did this out of both pity and fear. He took off with the card and came back 20 minutes later, handing me my card.
He said, "There are three dollars left on the card."
Wow. He had emptied the entire account which meant I had to wait until my next payday to have money in my account. And I was about to get in my car and drive somewhere with nowhere to stay.
I ended up calling my parents and telling them about the situation. They were able to send me some money which I then used to get a motel room close to where I worked, 60 miles away. Luckily I had a full tank of gas before I left.
Looking back, I'm absolutely stunned at my now ex-husband's behavior. But I also know that I was safer getting away from him as quickly as possible. At the time I left him, I was in a heightened sense of fear and money was not a priority to me. Getting away was.
In the end, I still had a vehicle and a job so I was able to stay in the motel and keep going to work until I had enough money to put a security deposit down on an apartment for myself. I was safe and I had the means to survive.
It was never worth fighting over the bank card no matter how unfair the situation was. If all it took was money for me to be able to drive away from that marriage, then I'm happy about that. Life got better after I left that day. Much better.
The wife of the man I was seeing showed up at my workplace in her pajamas
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