My husband made me sleep on the floor of our bedroom while the dog slept on our bed

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

I did not object to allowing the dog to sleep on the bed, but I objected to sleeping on the floor myself.

My husband and I spent nearly five years married. During that time, he frequently forced me to sleep on the floor of our bedroom. However, he always allowed our dog to sleep in our bed.

Although I had no problem with sharing the bed with our pet, I had a problem with being banned from my bed every time my husband was angry. He was angry often.

If I was lucky, and he was feeling generous, he would permit me to have a blanket and a pillow from my side of the bed to make my stay on the floor more comfortable. Usually, I wasn't lucky.

Sleeping on the floor without a pillow or a blanket was uncomfortable. The floor was hard, and the carpet made my skin itch. I always woke up with a stiff neck and a sore back.

When he was ornery, he would pour cold water on my face and head as I tried to sleep. On those nights, my discomfort was greater from sleeping on the cold, wet carpet.

It took me years to admit the obvious. I was living in an abusive relationship. It took me nearly five years of marriage to break free from the mental, emotional, and physical abuse.

We had dated for two years before the wedding. While I saw glimpses of his cruel nature during our courtship, it wasn't as pronounced as it became after we said our vows.

Things grew worse beginning on our wedding day, and he was physically abusive on the second day of our honeymoon. It wouldn't take long before I ended up sleeping on the bedroom floor.

I didn't deserve my husband's mistreatment, and I am still disappointed in myself for accepting it for so long. It seemed easier to sleep on the floor than to argue. I was always afraid that arguing or defending myself would just make things worse. So I frequently allowed him to have his way.

If anyone learns from reading about my experience, then it's worth talking about it.

No one deserves to cower in fear when they should get a good night's sleep. It isn't fair for one partner to make another sleep on the floor. Mental, emotional, and physical abuse are all unacceptable and leave their own type of scars.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, don't wait to get help. Leave immediately. Things won't get better on their own. It might be difficult to leave an established relationship, especially if you share a home, pets, children, or a marriage certificate, but you can leave and start over as I did.

I've heard no one say they regretted leaving an abusive relationship. For me, it was the best decision of my life.

As for the dog, I allowed my husband to keep her after the divorce. Although I missed the dog terribly, I knew they had a special bond, and I wasn't vindictive enough to take that away from them. Besides, with me out of the way, I knew there was plenty of room for the dog to sleep on my pillow. It's not like I was using it.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

Massachusetts State

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