Mary Kursar

Writing Workshop I


Letters of a Battered Relationship


Dear Gloria,


I am writing this letter to you because you will not take any of my phone calls. I have missed you the past two months. Without you there is no me, I can't function because my thoughts are constantly of you. I know I was not the best of husbands but I did love you and still do love you. From the day I first saw you I wanted to make you mine and when I did I ruined it all.


Gloria, you are a beautiful woman and any man would be happy to have you at his side. That is what drove me crazy the thought of you with another man, it still does. When you dressed up and we went out dancing I loved looking at you. The problem was so did other men. It would make me angry that they were thinking of you as I did. I only wanted to protect you from those other guys I did not want to hurt you. Yet you insisted on wearing those same clothes when I was not by your side. I asked you not to but you did not obey my wishes. I told you when you became mine that there were certain things you would have to change and that was one of them.


You forced me to do what I did to you. I didn't want to hit you but you would not do as I asked of you. I asked you to iron my shirts everyday, yes you also worked, but you insisted on doing them on Sunday for the whole week. They would get wrinkled in the closet but you couldn't see that. Gloria you could be very lazy at times. I asked for you to cook but why did you insist on not cooking on Friday nites. It would have saved me a lot of grief and guilt if you only had did as I asked of you. I apologize for breaking your nose but you really did force me to punch you when you would not change into pants as opposed to that slutty dress you were wearing. I told you that you could only wear that when you were going out with me. I guess I wanted to make sure you would not be going out with you friends anytime in the near future.


I hope when you receive this letter you realize how much you still love me and how much I still love you. We can work this relationship out if you agree to come back and do as I say. Listen you are up there in years and you aren't looking any younger these days. I would be doing you a favor by agreeing to stay by your side and make sure you are never alone. Stop being so angry with me and realize that you drove me to do what I did and that I am not the one at fault. I promise if you behave that I will never strike you again.


I will love you always,




The following letter is Gloria's response to the above.


Dear Ray,


I can't believe it has been two months since we have parted. It seems like only yesterday we were taking our marriage vows. Five years and many beatings later I have finally found the courage to be alone. Ray when you were in a good mood you were wonderful to be around, we laughed , danced, and even had great sex actually the sex was the best part of the relationship. I guess that is why I stayed with you so long.


The day I finally ended up in the hospital something inside me snapped. I saw my children crying and knew I had to do something. I realized every man I ever been with has abused me in some form. I have suffered at that hands of a man for over twenty-five years. From the time I left my parents house at the age of twenty I have been bashed in the head, shot in the leg, punched, kicked and spat on and now at the age of forty-five I have finally woken up.


I am in therapy now and realize it was my fear of abandonment that has led me to stay in the relationships I have chosen. My parents were never around for me as a child I was always with a nanny and the thought of having someone constantly in my life was comforting. I didn't realize that someone who always wanted me by their side was actually obsessed with me rather than in love with me. I started this letter four months ago when I first received yours and have added something every once in awhile because I feel the need for some closure. It is now six months since we have parted and I am finally on the road to recovery. I have a long ways to go but I am going to do this for me and my children. My daughter-in-law is pregnant and I realized I want to be around to see my grandchildren.


I never loved you Ray I loved what you represented which was financial security, stability and someone to grow old with. Gee it is a shame that you will never receive this letter because I would love for you to see that I am making it on my own without you. I am healthy now and know sending this response to you would only give you false hope and you would once again try to find a way to slither back into my life like the snake that you are. My only wish for you is that you too find your way to a good therapist and start to see how crazy and hurtful you are to people.


Have a good rest of your life, I know I will.









When we first met you gave me

Roses and kisses


When you first choked me

the next day I received

Roses and kisses


The day your hand "slipped"

and you punched me

following evening I received

Roses and kisses


When I was in the hospital

with a fractured rib

Yes, you got it

I received

Roses and kisses


You can no longer hurt me

For I am gone

and I can no longer see

the Roses and kisses

that were the death of me.