Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Mrs. Bluth,

This letter has been a long time in the making, I guess courage comes when the realization that things will never get better, only worse, if no action is taken.  As I wait for the swelling about my face to subside and force my aching body to go about packing a few necessary things for myself and my baby, I am trying to fight off the terror of leaving by telling myself it is better than the terror of staying.


Two years ago, I married the man of my dreams, or so I thought. I had held out far longer than any of my school friends and my parents, family and friends had just about given up hope that I would ever find my bashert. And then I was redt to “Mr. Perfect,” who seemed to be exactly what I was looking for.

At twenty-eight, I couldn’t believe my luck, and smugly touted “I told you so” to all those who accused me of being picky.  On my first date with Dan,* a cosmetic surgeon who had come to town to work in one of our major hospitals, I was smitten.  Good looking, brilliant, worldly and intelligent, Dan was the man of my dreams and I became the envy of all my married friends.  We dated for four months, during which my parents’ enthusiasm waned, as rumor and gossip reached their ears. But I was not concerned; Dan was my soul mate and I closed my ears to all the hearsay and went about planning my wedding.

Three weeks before the wedding, I received an unsigned letter from a woman in another state, who said that she had been married to and divorced from Dan and that I should not to go through with the wedding.  She wrote that Dan was charming and attentive at the beginning, but within a short time after their wedding he had become angry and physically abusive.  His anger was also evident to his colleagues and superiors at the hospital where he worked and he was consequently fired.  Without a job and below par recommendations his anger was constant and she refused to stay with him. They had been married for seven months. She warned me that by marrying him I was signing up for a lifetime of misery.  I tore up the letter and convinced myself that this woman was jealous that Dan had moved on with his life. I never told my parents or anyone else about the letter and the wedding was on track.

We got married on a beautiful night in June and started life in a little apartment in the city.  Between my job and Dan’s we lived comfortably and enjoyed the first few months of marriage, eating out most nights and going to theater.  And then, one night, when we were married about five months, Dan came home from work early.  I smelled alcohol on his breath and when I asked him what had happened, a completely different Dan entered my life.  He started yelling at me to leave him alone and stop nagging him.  When I tried to explain that I was concerned for him, he picked up a heavy vase and threw it in my direction. When it didn’t hit me, he sprang forward and began pummeling me about the face and head, all the while shrieking and howling that everything was my fault, and I was the reason he lost his job.  We had no money in the bank as we spent everything we made, how were we going to live or pay the bills?  Why had I not foreseen this?  I should have been more prudent about our spending, and then maybe we wouldn’t be in this mess. As he yelled, his fists rained down on my body and I cowered on the floor.


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