Dear Janay Palmer Rice
Dear Janay Palmer Rice,
I’m not an NFL wife, but from 1999-2007, I was abused by my husband, a charismatic man with a lot of friends who bordered on fans. Today is the seventh anniversary of my divorce.
I totally understand that the last thing you want right now is to be the centerpiece of a national conversation about domestic violence. The first thing you want, if you’re like me, and maybe you still believe that you can have it, is a happy marriage that matches the image you’ve worked so hard to portray, the image in your most deeply heartfelt hopes and dreams for yourself, your husband, your child, and your life.
I don’t know all the reasons you’ve stayed, but I stayed because I wanted that happy marriage, too. Here are some of the other reasons #why I stayed:
- I believed him when he told me I was responsible for the way he treated me. If only I would be quiet ….
- I believed him when he told me I wasn’t sexy, had no real friends, and was at my core a worthless person.
- I kept what was happening so secret, so well, that I couldn’t imagine telling the truth.
- I didn’t think anyone would believe that my funny, generous, church-going husband was abusive.
- I loved him.
- I thought I could help him be a better man.
- I was too proud to admit that I couldn’t stop him from abusing me.
- I didn’t want to get divorced.
- I was listening to my biological clock and wanted to have a baby.
- I didn’t want to leave my dogs with him.
- I really, truly believed, right up until I didn’t believe anymore, that he was telling me the truth when he promised to change.
I’m sorry, Janay Palmer Rice, that the elevator tape wound up on TMZ. I’m sorry that you’re going through this. I hope you’re safe. I hope that when you’re ready, and only you can say when, you’ll write a list of #why I left.