The princess woke up only to realize that it was the kiss of death.
I’m sure you’re familiar with all those fairy tales that ended up in grandiose marriages with singing, dancing, lively music, and a happy crowd that cheers exuberantly for the newlywed couple as they drove away into the sunset.
Indeed, what a happily ever after.
But then, what happens next?
Does the prince maintain his handsome, affectionate, kindhearted character that you see in the movies or does he become the monster who antagonizes his wife for the rest of their married lives?
When fairytales turn to psychotic thriller stories
Amidst all the pleasantries and joy shown in unrealistically perfect love stories, what they fail to incorporate and to show is what happens after the music dies down, the crowds dissipate, and the darkness has overwhelmed the skies. “There are many types of toxic relationships such as a controlling or manipulative, negative, self-centered or narcissistic, dishonest, insecure, abusive, blaming or demanding and competitive, and secretive, and dramatic,” says Marie Manly, PhD.
The whiff of foreboding terror lies beyond the fields, waiting, hovering, and preparing for the time to rise and attack.
At first, the prince will smother his princess with all the love and affection he can give; not to mention all the material things his kingdom has. They lived in harmony for a couple of months. When they have time, they got to bond with their friends every once in a while and went to each other’s parents for a visit. Everything in their lives seemed so impeccable, with no implications for disputes or misunderstandings.
“Couples’ expectations about what marriage should be like are completely off from the reality of what marriage is actually like” Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC said. But then it happens – the first disagreement.
The rising action
Though the princess already detected glimpses of distress in the prince’s eyes early in their marriage, she thought it was a passing phase, something that she can settle smoothly. She did her best to show appreciation and affection to the point of refusing her self the same attention. But the prince wanted more, and the neglect became arbitrary.
When he was unhappy, he blamed it all on his wife; telling her how she should be grateful that he married her and made her life better. He made passive-aggressive statements that drove her wife to the brink of confusion. Thinking that she’s making it worse, the wife refrained from doing things that her husband didn’t approve.
Still, that wasn’t enough.
She wanted to console him and to make things better, but it had gotten way worse. From the assaulting words, and the cursing to the intimidating, the prince who is now constantly enraged, has resulted in stalking, battery, harassment, and property damage. Hurling and toppling everything inside the house – from the expensive porcelains to the gold-plated furniture, the prince has transformed himself into a beast – a beast that can no longer stop himself from wildly destroying their home and their relationship.
The princess begged and begged for him to stop. But it seems as though her screams and wails were music to his ears. And his blood-stained knuckles just couldn’t contain from hitting the princess’ face and body until the noise echoed through the hallways.
But then, the noise stopped.The begging and the wailing ceased. The prince, with his erratic breathing, relaxes his fist, only to realize what he has done. Sprawled in front of him is his unconscious wife, with her face dazzled with blood and tears. Horrified by the sight of his princess lying helplessly on the floor, the prince withdrew and left. There’s violence.
“Many women came to a breaking point when the fear and the pain simply became overwhelming.” –Jason B. Whiting, Ph.D., LMFT.
The falling action
After the incident, the prince, feeling appallingly sorry for his deeds, showered his princess with apologies and promises of never doing it again. He shows her excessive caring and affection and makes up for her by purchasing jewelry from the finest stores in the kingdom, clothes embedded with rare gemstones, and assorted gifts that all his wealth can afford.
Then everything was tranquil. There were no signs of abuse or struggle. The kingdom has found its peace. So it seems. The prince never mentioned about the incident, and the princess acted like it was just some sort of nightmare that she woke up from. Her friends told her that she should be warier and warned her that it might happen again. They told her that she needs help. But she didn’t believe them nor did she fail to mention it to their parents. Oh, how much did she love the prince!
And she believed that lie. All is well until it’s not.
At bedtime, the prince tucks the princess to sleep and kisses her adoringly. Turning off the lamp beside him, the prince stared at the ceiling. And before the clouds totally covered the moon to make the room darker, the prince’s eyes glowed with a recognizable, chilling look while his jaws clenched. He closed his eyes wearing a twisted grin.
Domestic abuse is a reality that started off as your too-good-to-be-true fairytales. More often than not, the men are the abusers; however, women can also be the violent ones. Fairytales might not last long, but abuse does, which is why you should not let the cycle continue. Find the courage to end the destructive chapter of your story and write a new one.