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Shortly after getting married my wife and I returned home late one evening from a dinner date. As I attempted to unlock the door to the house having trouble with the lock. Someone pushed me from behind into the entry door with the screen door hitting me in the back quite hard. Instinctually I turned and swung at my attacker. To my dismay it was my wife. Yea I know what your thinking but, heres what you don’t know. When we pulled up there was a group of young men talking in the street whom I didn’t know and two my wife had hid her bipolar diagnosis from me when we got married and three she had decided to stop taking her meds which made her moods uncontrollable at best. Now being the uninformed young man that I was I took the advice of a public defender and pleaded guilty to the charge of domestic violence 1st degree. Thinking the whole time that I would pay a fine and court costs and be on my way to deal with my newly discovered delemma with my wife. Was I wrong. The judge initially threw the book at me for giving her a black eye. Six months. Immediately sent to county lockup. My father secured another attorney who got the sentence lightened to probation. After I had served thirtyone days in county. For the next few years we tried to work out our marriage.We even had a child togeather. Nothing worked. I tried to get her to go to counseling, begged her to take her meds. All I got were threats of her calling the police on me for another dv even though I would never touch, yell at or threaten her. Finally I had had enough and filed for divorce. Now here we are 14 years later I haven’t been in any other trouble. I now have sole custody of my twelve year old daughter from the marriage and a nice scarlet letter on my record for everyone who has access to the internet to see. I’m not saying that I don’t have any responsibility in what happened but I would ask you how long does a man have to pay for a mistake. By the way my ex has had four relationships since we were divorced that ended with arrests some multiple, some of the guys didn’t have records until now. Just something to think about.

User story by T. in Ohio

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