The Truce

A husband had come between us…
an angry, arrogant, insecure husband
who demanded control…and ordered
me to choose…it’s your sister or me.

I still thought he knew best…I was
standing beside him…he was
right after all…she had disrespected him…
right?  I chose him…as his wife it was my duty.

No longer welcome in our home…her
overtures of apologies…deemed insincere…by him.

But I grieved, I obsessed…it didn’t feel right.
I love her…he’s wrong…taking this too far.
One night I spoke to her, in defiance, it was
the breakthrough I needed to finally see
the light.  His abusive behavior and
control over me was sick and twisted…
he was wreaking my soul.  It was the
middle of the end of a sham of a marriage.

I later went to my sister, who was so hurt
and betrayed and asked for forgiveness…
I’ll do whatever it takes.  I’m here to listen;
I’ll take your hurt and anger.  I love you
dearly…we’ll work this out.

A healing began, a truce and understanding.
I still have my sister…the husband…no armistice day.


Manicddaily (Karin Gustafson) puts forth the idea of peace making today over at dVerse Poets:

Leave a comment


  1. Laurie Kolp

     /  November 10, 2012

    Love the voice in this (hope it’s not true). Sibling bonds can be stretched, but they seem to bounce back in time. I’m not saying anything about the guy…


  2. So hard for a sister or any family member to stand by and bite their tongues when they see someone they love being abused. My youngest sister was in a marriage like this to a man 19 years older than she was. She put up with him for 26 years until he hit her one too many times. I had to bite my tongue so much for her sake, for hers and my nieces and nephews safety but, in the end, it had to be her decision. Thankfully made it and is free of him now.
    Not easy at all but, I’m glad your sister loved you so much she understood why you did what you thought you had to do. Lovely 🙂


    • It was very hard on my entire family…no one knew what to say to me. He was not a physical abuser but very much a mental abuser. Very happy to hear of women who escape these tyranntical relationships…good for your sister, Bren. So grateful for my sister who forgave me.


  3. whew….what a hard story….what a hard choice as well…i am glad that you came to a place of healing…and escaped an abusive and controlling relationship….real and honest write….


  4. A poignant story


  5. Well, no final treaty perhaps, but sounds like you’ve worked it out. A poignant poem – well conveyed with simple sincerity. k.


  6. jcosmonewbery

     /  November 10, 2012

    Nicely written. Manipulation, false dichotomies, me or her, not both. This is a battle that is far too common and takes far too many prisoners.


  7. I am glad that the siblings have reconciled….a tough situation when a family is torn ~ Good one ~


  8. It’s so hard to be torn between two loved ones. Sometimes there will be no armistice and I think we know within ourselves when it’s time to move on.


  9. hedgewitch

     /  November 10, 2012

    Sometimes it takes something this extreme to open our eyes and define what we are going through–very glad you had the resolution to pick the right person in the end. No one who loved you would ever ask you to make that kind of choice.


    • It took way too many extreme moments…but did end up with the one who really did have my best interests at heart. Here’s to the sisterhood!

      And I so agree…he did not love me.


  10. This is a powerful write, and so well done. Thanks for sharing, the story will help others. One can always count on one’s sister. Glad the two sisters healed the rift. Would it be not very Buddhist of me to hope the man fell on his head?


    • Sherry, was over at your blog leaving you a message as you were over here on mine…cool! This is a true story of one of my dear sisters and my poor, sad, now ex-husband. He continues to fall on his over-inflated head.


  11. One should not have to make the choice based on what someone else decrees. I am glad in the end you and your sister were reconciled again….that she and you came to understanding….and that you have each other.. And the man? I hope he got his just reward.


    • You’re right, Mary. I knew that it was wrong…no one should “lord” over someone else. My sister and I are tighter than ever. He, sadly, is reaping his “reward.”


  12. It’s good you now have someone who you can depend on. You wrote words of power up there and its good that what is up there is no longer out here in your life.


  13. I rejoice for you, Gayle ~ it sounds as though our ex~husbands were made from the same mould. I broke free after 23 years, rebuilt my life and my relationship with my mother (5 years before she died, thank heavens!) Sadly, my daughter has not spoken to my son for 10 years and I believe it is due to their father’s manipulative influence, the terrible lies he fed her about the relationship between my son and me. Your eloquent honesty gives me hope that one day she will see the truth and my family will be reunited (without him!) A brilliant piece, thank you for sharing it 🙂


    • In what you shared here, Jacqueline, it does seem that our exes were similar. My oldest daughter was estranged from me for three years when her father filled her head with lies and confused her. I had to be patient, not knowing if we would ever reunite. But she finally woke up to the reality of who her father was and welcomed me back into her life. Interestingly, now he is the ostracized one…both my daughters have a difficult time being around him. I rejoice for you too!


  14. A difficult tale to tell but you did it with honesty and an open heart,thanks for sharing. Loved that closing line too!


    • As I’ve shared my feelings and experiences, I’ve found that there are many like me who have been manipulated by others. I’m so very grateful that I finally moved on. Thanks for coming by.


  15. wow, so much pain in this one. i am happy you made it through, Gayle. thank you for your honest words… they’re radiant.


  16. A lot of pain, but the reconciliation all the more powerful for that, I’m sure.


  17. NO WORK

    There is no work under the sun
    which can compare with Christ, The Son,
    your faith and hope and charity,
    in that respect integrity.


  18. Wow, fantastic story. I think many share versions of this — depending on their background.
    I had my brother’s wife harm our relationship once — he came to me and apologized and we have been stronger since. He is still with that wife — she is more careful now. 🙂


  19. Sometimes when you are asked to choose there ultimately is nothing to do but to move on. My own sister finally did that with her husband and after many, many years we now have alot of catching up to do. Nicely written.


    • There was no way to be in a happy relationship with that man…had to go. I’m glad your sister moved on too…and it’s fortunate that we both had loved ones who were there when we needed them.


  20. Family and love are two things that should be inseparable. Your decision may have not been the smoothest path but it was the right one. Eloquently written and a subject matter that doesn’t get enough attention despite being something that happens often. Peace be with you Gayle.


    • There lies the tricky part…the love wasn’t there. It took me a long time to realize that he only loved himself. Nice to see you here, Stuart…peace.


  21. Such a heartfelt poem … it’s painful to be made to choose. One shouldn’t have to do it especially when it comes to a sister. I’m glad you and your sister ARE BACK TOGETHER 🙂 You are a good person!


    • Thanks so much, Laf…it sure was painful. It was many years ago…we’ve been tight for a long time now. She’s an excellent sister!


  22. A wonderfully sincere poem about a painful experience that I’m sure – given the times – your not the only one to have experienced. I probably would have too, but my sis was long gone by the time I got married. I think it’s quite wonderful that you are willing to share this in poem – a good one at that. The men will come and go, but the women will always be there.

    Many blessings, Gayle.


    • I think in sharing my own experiences and pain it can give hope and strength to others…we sure aren’t alone in these circumstances. I’m glad you didn’t have to choose, Jamie…and sorry your sister is gone…

      Each of my three sisters are invaluable friends to me…I am blessed. Thank you, Jamie.


  23. You already know some of the many things I could say here. You absolutely made the right choice, and I am so happy that you escaped that trap with your ex. I could feel the pain in this, even though it is an old wound. I hope it didn’t dredge up too many bad feelings for you. *hugs* Thank goodness you’re free!!


    • Yes, I think I do, Corina. I know without a doubt that I made the right decision. It is an old wound and no longer dredges up what once was. But I feel that by writing my experiences someone else may be encouraged…don’t you think? Thanks for all your good wishes!

      And how is your heart feeling today? Hope you’re doing well…I’m thinking of you.


  24. It is hard to accept when loved ones try to get us to see what they do … I have been there … but it is good that eventually you (and I) took the blinders off.


    • Going down memory lane today, Diane and see this comment from you. I’m so very grateful those blinders came off…for both of us. Hoping all is well and good with you…you are not forgotten.



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