Wow!!! Some amazing responses!! Thank you all for being willing participants. And thank you as well for your advice and information.
I would like to note one thing - my remark was by no means "casual". I am a very open and honest person by nature...like my momma says - I tell it like it is.
I'm not a wall flower by any stretch of the imagination (and those who know me on these forums and, indeed, in real life) would probably agree on that. Domestic abuse is a serious matter, one often not discussion, and very few people would ever admit they have been on the receiving end.
I have been a little surprised (and a little proud) of my reaction to what I have been through in the last while and how I reacted when it finally came to a head this last week. I have been very calm, aware, and received some invaluable information from lots of people on things I can do. I will tell you too that it is very easy to become a "victim". I'm a relatively trusting person, willing to give the benefit of the doubt 3 out of 4 times and hate to admit failure at anything, including relationships. Also, more than a few people I've talked to about this have told me they too have been "victims" at one or more points in their lives.
I have been very rational about how to handle the situation, how to be prepared for the future and what is not going to get me through this experience.
Dana, in studying your list I found that I scored (unfortunately a solid 11 out of 13). That will never happen again.
* monitors what you're doing all the time
* criticizes you for little things
* constantly accuses you of being unfaithful
* prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family, or going to work or school
* gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs
* controls how you spend your money
* controls your use of needed medicines
* humiliates you in front of others
* destroys your property or things that you care about
* threatens to hurt you, the children, or pets, or does hurt you (by hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, punching, slapping, kicking, or biting)
* uses or threatens to use a weapon against you
* forces you to have sex against your will
* blames you for his or her violent outbursts