The New York Times bestselling memoir of abusive love - available everywhere
26 stay-at-home and career moms face off on their choices, their lives, and their families.
(from Dr. Phil Show)
- History of past battering
- Threats of violence
- Breaking items in anger
- Use of force during arguments
- Unreasonable jealousy
- Controlling behavior
- Over-involvement in the relationship
- Verbal abuse/​blaming others for problems
- Cruelty to children/​animals
- Abrupt mood changes

- Call the police
- Avoid becoming isolated
- Confide in someone
- Fight the shame; no one deserves to make you afraid
- Keep a record (including pictures) in a safe place
- Develop an emergency safety plan -- keep spare keys, money and clothes in a safe place, and know where you can go in the middle of the night
- Consider ending the relationship as soon you can

The Crazy Love Project

Shared Stories of Surviving Domestic Abuse

True Love, Crazy Love

August 8, 2010

I have read Crazy Love five, maybe six times now - I suppose it is therapeutic to read a story that feels like my own. It is uncanny how much Conor reminds me of my soon to be ex-husband, my college sweetheart and the man currently serving time for felony domestic violence against me.

The emotions you described falling in love with Conor were near identical to mine. I was drawn initially to my husband's scrap and hard luck story. My soon to be ex was the first in his family to go to college. He paid for books by doing odd jobs for professors. He was sending himself to graduate school when we met.

He also had come from an extremely abusive family. Everyone else in his life had abandoned him. I was sure I could show him true love. I promised I would never leave him.

After the violence started, I researched my situation. I thought perhaps if I became an expert, perhaps if I just understood the situation well enough, I could fix it. Like your ex, my husband never apologized, never sent flowers, and we never discussed the violence. And like you, I finally gave my husband an ultimatum; I would leave if he got physical again.

During that conversation I got my first apology (in addition to veiled death threats and promises to kidnap our children). After my ultimatum I decided the knife incident that followed didn't count (because, well, no one actually go stabbed) and decided the box of shoes he threw at me didn't count because he missed.

Watching my young child's face as he threw the box at me though, I knew it had to stop. The next time was the last time. Three incidents in three months following the ultimatum. Ten years of marriage.

I have tried to reconcile how a woman with an MBA that successfully runs a department could drive home each night wondering if her husband would kill her. I can't yet.I cringed when the detective interviewing me after the final incident commented - "you are so different than other victims." I also cringe when I see other women with their spouses, feeling equally different from them.

I am still torn with emotions, wondering how I can feel destroyed by my husband, while still remembering how much I love him.

I purchased and read your book several months ago, just after the final incident. I related to your story, your life, in a meaningful way. I am so appreciative that you shared your difficult past. I am trying to come to grips with who I am now. Your story gives me hope. Thank you.

-- S.


  1. October 19, 2010 12:16 AM EDT
    I just finished Crazy Love and I feel like I lived a parallel life with you. I mean like meeting my husband and thinking oh, no one has ever loved me like this, he's the one! And then as soon as we got married I saw another side of him. For me I lived in a great state of confusion, because on some days he was a total sweetheart, making coffee for me, maybe cooking dinner, and then when my guard was down the paranoid jealous possessive monster came out. And I had no idea what caused it. Like Conor in the book who was jealous of all of your guy friends, my husband was suspicious of my male co-workers, former classmates, family friends, etc. What I identified with your book which no one really talks about is that we women do love these men, these men who are destroying us, and it's the love and the fear that make it hard to leave them. I'm not sure I agree with the assistant professor in the book who says that these men do love the women they abuse, maybe it is a twisted love? If I go back in my mind to the beginning of our relationship, before we seriously dated and married, but to when I first got to know him, I realize there were warning signs. For example, there were times when he pushed me to do things after I had said no like at least two times, but he did it in a whiny or "sweet" way, not in an angry way. And although these decisions were not major, it was always something that was out of my character and that I was a bit uncomfortable doing. I am just scared that I will fall in love with someone like him again.
    - A
  2. June 1, 2011 10:02 PM EDT
    Congratulations. You are the strongest woman I know.
    - Amy
  3. July 21, 2012 4:25 PM EDT
    I am trapped in an emotionally abusive marriage. Part of me thinks I should keep dealing with it because my happiness isn't worth destroying my childs life but on the other hand I lay down in bed at night and pray to go to sleep and not wake up. If anyone has some insight please email me I have nowhere to turn.
    - Juliana
  4. June 1, 2013 8:22 AM EDT
    Has anyone ever felt sympathetic with a man trapped in a relationship with a wife who manipulates his kids, friends, and relatives to believe that he is a bad person? A wife who mentally abuses him and takes advantage of the fact that he loves his kids and would do anything for them? Think about it. The abuse can take many forms and can go either way.
    - Emmanuel
  5. August 10, 2013 7:40 PM EDT
    I got out of a relationship June 30, 2013 after 2.5 years. I too am conflicted at times. I feel sad, angry, duped and then sad again. I cannot fully appreciate the fact that I am free and alive. I remind myself of why I left through the research I've done on abusive men. I also graduated Ivy League and I'm a clinician that has worked with abused children, domestic violence... but not in depth with DV. I didn't realize how true it is that these men work from a script.... thank you for writing this book.
    - me
  6. December 14, 2013 6:21 AM EST
    I was in an abusive relationship for 4yrs and felt I didn't know what to do. I watched your TedTalk in November 2012 and I was able to relate to your story: a light switched on, I was curious. My friends kept telling me the same thing, "Leave him", but your advice hit me hard because I felt you knew exactly what I was going through. I left him in April of 2013, and even though my life has been a whirlwind of change since then, I've never been happier. Today (Dec 2013) I watched your TedTalk again, and my reaction was completely different: I feel accomplished. So thank you.
    - Erin K
  7. March 13, 2014 2:19 AM EDT
    I really applaud your courage to share your story, and reach out to other abuse survivors. Another aspect of domestic abuse that I think deserves recognition is that when victims escape with their children they often face a new battleground in family court. Most abused women lose everything to escape the abuse (I was homeless) and cannot afford legal help--and actually go to court without an attorney, totally ignorant of the law, and have to confront the man who terrorized them with his high powered attorney in the courtroom. Family Court is riddled with corruption, bias and systematic failures-- 70% of the time a battered is able to convince the Court he is the fit parent, and the mother is somehow undeserving of the children she tried to protect.
    I fled abuse in fear of my safety, and lost custody of my children to a man who is a wanted fugitive, with a personality disorder and 12+ documented allegations of abuse against him. I watched the judge violate the law, and punish me every time I tried to speak up. The documentation I have is staggering--and yet the Court relied on the false testimony of the abuser and totally ignored evidence or medical reports or expert reports etc. An abuser should not be awarded custody of the children he has harmed--and yet this is happening everyday in America and all over the world. I grieve the loss of my children everyday, and wish someone would just listen to how bad it is in family court--that children are being endangered, and abuse victims are being re-traumatized, and forced into silence.
    - E. Court
  8. March 16, 2014 9:53 PM EDT
    "He's just a little.. uhm... difficult and different. You don't know him like I do." I'm a year out and two weeks divorced from this abusive man. Thank you for telling our story.
    - Julie

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