“Then, I hear my tiny 104-pound younger sister say “Don’t you fucking put your hands on me.” I stopped in the middle of peeing, stood up with my underwear around my ankles, and as I walked out the bathroom door, he passed me shouting at me “I’m not dealing with this shit, fuck you for choosing her over me, you bitch” and slammed the hotel room door in my face.”
My sister is one of my best friends. During the time my (ex) husband and I were dating, the two of them became close. She was in our wedding, helped us tremendously through the planning process, and was very supportive of us as a couple. For her birthday, the three of us went on a trip to Mallorca, Spain.
The island of Mallorca is beautiful. There are tons of beaches, beautiful scenery, kind people, and lots of culture to take in. On the night of her birthday, we planned to go out to a nice dinner at one of the restaurants along the boardwalk and enjoy the evening. The day came and went, we got ready for an earlier dinner, and began to walk down the boardwalk. We stopped to look at many menus of which my sister and I were excited by. My (ex) husband found something wrong with each place. We ended up walking up and down twice before he finally decided there was a place he was comfortable with. It wasn’t our first pick, but there were already some hiccups along the trip and we both just wanted a smooth evening, especially for her birthday.
We got a table outside on the boardwalk along the water. It was a beautiful place to be, sitting outside along the water, watching the waves crash up against the sea wall. But, I could already feel the tension between him and me, him and my sister, him and everything else. He poked jokes during our meals at the food we ordered and was upset that we ordered a bottle of wine. When dinner was over, my sister paid using the money that my parents gave her to treat for all of us to a nice meal for her birthday. At that point, the night was still young, the sun had just begun to set. I asked her what she wanted to do, and she asked that we walk down the boardwalk again to poke around at some the shops and continue the evening.
We all walked down together and when we got to the very end, there were a few carnival games set up along the beach. She wanted to play a few of them so we each got a rum and coke at the outdoor beverage station and played a few games. At first my (ex) husband had a huge attitude saying that the games were dumb and that he didn’t want to be there. I encouraged him to play a few games with us and he seemed to loosen up a little bit. My sister was laughing, my (ex) husband seem to be okay with it, and I felt like maybe he had let go of whatever he was upset about earlier. After some time, we were done with our drinks so I went to get us another round. When I went up to the beverage stand, he approached me with tremendous attitude. I could hear the anger in his voice, he didn’t want us to drink anymore. He said that we had enough already and threatened to leave if I got another round. I have had many empty threats from him before so I assumed this would be another one.
I was with my sister and we were just trying to have fun, have a good time in another country. I mean after all, we all spent a lot of money to get out there – and it was a vacation and a birthday. We were not drunk or out of hand. The last thing we wanted or needed was someone giving us restrictions on our lives. Especially since vacations are about letting go of all of those daily rules we are supposed to follow. I should also point out that if we were drunk and he was really worried, the last thing he should threaten to do would be to abandon us.
I proceeded to order and pay for another round for me and my sister, explaining to him that it was her birthday and that this is what we were going to do. He said, “You should have married your fucking sister then if you are going to choose her over me”, and then he stormed off back to the hotel room. I felt slightly torn in that moment, because I was having fun with my sister, my sister was having fun, but I could sense that I would get yelled at by him later for not listening to him. I could see there was a bigger issue here, he was jealous of our relationship.
My sister and I stayed and played a few more carnival games together and then we decided to walk our ways back down the boardwalk to slowly make our way back to the hotel. As we walked back down the boardwalk, it was now dark, the sun had set. And several of the outdoor restaurants had live music. As we walked back, we heard one playing one of our favorite songs that our dad always sings to us, Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison. We decided to stop and dance to the tune. It was fun; we were laughing and spinning each other around. They continued with a few more tunes and we stayed to enjoy the music a little longer.
As we were dancing, we saw my (ex) husband walk by (at this point it had been 35 minutes or so since he left us). We both saw him and called his name a few times to get his attention. He looked over to us, lips pursed together and eyes narrowed and saw we were calling his name trying to get his attention. He ignored us and kept walking back in the direction of our hotel. I remember thinking, what a dick move. What’s his deal? Also, where did he come from; I thought he had already gone back to the hotel? Was he spying on us? My sister reminded me that we had already had a good time, and to not let him get me down. We chose to ignore his behavior.
At that point, the band played one more song before calling it a night around 11:30PM. My sister and I left together and walked back to the hotel. When we arrived in the room, my (ex) husband was “sleeping” or should I say pretending to be asleep (after all, he had just gotten there a few minutes before us). I went into the bathroom to pee as my sister was getting situated to go to sleep in the bedroom. She was talking to me as I was in the bathroom in a slightly raised voice, she was not making an effort to be quiet. I asked her to lower her voice, but before she even had a chance, I heard my (ex) husband abruptly rise from the bed. I wasn’t there to see it, so I do not know exactly what happened. I will tell you the story from my perspective.
As I’m peeing, I hear my (ex) husband say “Move out of my way.”
“Why? Where are you going?” she asked him in an agitated and confused tone.
Then, I hear my tiny 104-pound younger sister say “Don’t you fucking put your hands on me.” I stopped in the middle of peeing, stood up with my underwear around my ankles, and as I walked out the bathroom door, he passed me shouting at me “I’m not dealing with this shit, fuck you for choosing her over me, you bitch” and slammed the hotel room door in my face. I heard my sister scream back at him, “What a piece of shit that you put your hands on a woman.” I just stood there, and froze. I couldn’t believe this had happened. He actually put his hands on her? On her birthday? For so long, he had pretended to be this calm, sweet, and soft-spoken man to my family. He was supposed to be her friend. And now the jig was up. There was no more hiding who he was. He exposed his true colors and my family would now see and understand what was revealed to me several months prior, just a few months after our wedding.
My sister became enraged. He had just yelled at me, and now she was yelling at me. I was still in shock incapable of processing anything that had happened. She told me that he took the car keys and all of his belongings when left. She told me that he stood up to leave and she was getting changed in the hallway, getting in the way for him to leave the room. He told her to move and when she didn’t, he took both of his hand, and pushed her down hard on the bed…hard enough so that she landed on the bed flat on her back, shoulders touching the mattress, feet in the air. She then yelled “Don’t you fucking put your hands on me.”
We left the room and went outside to see if the car was there; it wasn’t. He took all of his things and left the two of us alone in another country. My sister was fuming, and I was frazzled with disbelief. We walked to the deli across the street where she bought a pack of cigarettes, hoping to calm down and unwind. She lit one up, took a drag, and began to cry. “He treats you like shit, he’s just not a nice person. I’ve seen it this whole trip. You walk on eggshells and he’s never happy. It’s always all about him, and this is supposed to be my birthday.” We both began to cry and she confessed that she was scared of him. When we walked back into the hotel and we tried to get new room keys because she was afraid of him coming back into the room. My baby sister just sat there in tears and I was still in disbelief. I wanted to be there for her, but I also didn’t know how to process anything of what had happened. I had already lost parts of myself, because I normally would not have stood for any of this crap. My soul had already begun to break down. The staff told us that under the circumstances, we should call the police and he should be arrested. That probably would have been the best course of action, because he did break the law. But I knew he would end up in jail, it would cost me more money, if his job found out I knew he would get fired, which would also negatively impact me…which also meant more people would see his true colors, which meant everything would be exposed. I’m not sure that I was ready for any of that. I was in denial.
So instead, I fought so that the police didn’t come and tried to calm my sister down. We went back to our room. My sister was still angry. She was yelling at me about how upset she was I felt like it was all my fault. I felt incredibly guilty. She was so loud that the people in the room next to us began to bang on the wall in an attempt to get her to be quiet. At this point it’s somewhere around 2AM. She finally calmed down and fell asleep. But not me, I laid there all-night crying, trying to process it all, trying to wrap my head around the fact that my husband put his hands on my sister, abandoned us in a foreign country, took the car, no cell phones, no way to make sure he/we were ok, no nothing. I didn’t sleep that night at all.
The next morning my sister and I got up for breakfast. She did her best to let it go but I was just beginning to grasp what had happened. After breakfast, I spend some time looking for him up and down the boardwalk, around the hotel, and in area where our car was originally parked. We couldn’t find him so we decided to just make the best of the day. We went to the room and got ready to go to the beach. When we walked out of the hotel, we saw him sitting out at the bus stop across the street. I told my sister that I was going to try to talk to him. She stayed on the hotel steps while I walked up to him. There were probably 15 other people waiting at the bus stop. I approached him, called him by name, “Can we talk please?”
“Fuck you. You are a piece a shit, a fucking bitch,” he screamed at the top of his lungs. Everyone waiting at the bus stop looked at me.
My eyes teared up, “Please, where have you been, please don’t get on the bus, let’s just talk about this.” I just wanted him to stay, to talk about what had happened, to help me understand.
“No, fuck you. I hope you and your fucking sister are happy. I’m done with you. You go fucking be with her. I’m going home.”
Tears streamed down my face, and he continued to call me more names and curse at me in the loudest voice in front of strangers who stared at me. Their eyes were filled with the same disbelief I felt the night before. I could actually feel more of my self-worth dissipate in that moment.
He got on the bus. I turned around, walked back over to my sister, and did my best to pull it together. She could see right through it. We couldn’t believe how any of this could get worse, and yet it was it was. I was in shock once again. “What do I do?” I asked her in desperation.
“You cannot go back home with him, you have to come home with me,” she replied. And in my mind, I knew she was right. She continued, “If it was me, what would you be saying?”
My response, “I would be saying the exact same thing.” I knew she was right. But in my head and in my heart, I know I took a vow. A vow before God, to him and to myself, in front of my closest family and friends. I viewed leaving as “giving up” and I wasn’t going to do that. I wanted to fight to make this right, fight for all of the things he told me he was, for all of the things he told me he would do – because for some reason, I believed him. I wanted to believe him. I had to believe him.
We did the best we could that day to enjoy ourselves. She seemed to let it go, but I was sick to my stomach. I tried to push it aside for her, so she could actually enjoy part of her birthday. She wanted to go to another beach so we could go parasailing which we did. Eventually we came back and went to one of the little restaurants on the beach right outside of our hotel for a late lunch. As we were sitting there deciding what to order, we noticed my (ex) husband sitting on the steps of our hotel staring at us…the same steps my sister sat on just hours before watching him scream and curse at me before boarding the bus (which at this point, I realized he never actually got on, just more manipulation). It was incredibly creepy, like the night before. Except this time, we did not call his name and we did not try to get his attention. I didn’t know what to do or how to act. My sister told me to ignore him, and that seemed like the best thing to do.
We had a round of strawberry daquiris, ate lunch, and then had to get ready to leave for our flight. The short version of what happened next was that I tried to talk to him yet again and he refused to talk. He eventually said that he came back so we could all go to the airport together and that he wouldn’t actually leave us there stranded. We made it back home where he admitted he was wrong for how he yelled at me and treated me, specifically when he got on the bus. He told me that I did nothing wrong but he was so angry with my sister that he couldn’t control it and he took it all out on me. He also said that it was my sister’s fault that he pushed her because she provoked him. He never took responsibility for his actions. My sister and him would no longer be friends from this point on to where we currently are today; I was put in the middle of my best friend (my sister) and my husband. And he would continue to drive a wedge in between us from this point until we actually got divorced. He eventually apologized to her on Easter, about 7 months after this trip. She refused to ever accept his apology.