Rose decided that her imagination had played a trick on her that autumn day they got married. A scary look in Phil’s eyes? Ridiculous!

But then, one day, it was there again.

She had made the mistake to say that she was thinking of going back to work. 

He became furious! Hadn’t she promised him to stay at home and take care of him and the house!? He was disappointed! He felt betrayed!

Scared by the creepy look in his eyes, Rose immediately swore never to mention it again.

When Phil had calmed down, he explained to her, “My mother demonstrated her love for me by keeping a clean house, cooking my meals, and caring for me. When I return home from work, I want to be met by a happy and grateful wife who serves me a nice dinner in a clean house. That’s all I ask for!”

The first time he beat her was about half a year later. She convinced herself that it wasn’t really that bad. Only a slightly bleeding nose and some pain. And Phil had his reasons for getting upset. She had carelessly left some dirty laundry on the bathroom floor. 

Next time it happened was when a neighbor woman invited her in for a cup of coffee. They were chatting and laughing so much that she forgot about her duties. That time, it felt as though some ribs were broken.

But Phil was right! She had promised never to do such things. He had explained that in a perfect household, there was no place for carelessness.

Later, it happened more frequently. While hitting her, he kept screaming that she had turned lazy, ugly, and fat. 

Rose realized that she was never going to reach his mother’s perfection.


Their third anniversary, Phil’s 45th birthday, fell on a windy and cloudy autumn day. 

When he came home from work, there was a surprise waiting for him. He found a note on their bed, lying next to her peaceful body. 

She wrote that she was very sorry, but there was no dinner for him that day.

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Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
8 months ago

No, no, no she did not have to die to escape an abusive controlling husband!!! Perhaps this was his punishment too.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
8 months ago

The build-up to this tragic ending is spine chilling as Rose’s reaction to her abuse is so typical of vulnerable women today who somehow feel they deserve it. I have to say I was desperately hoping she would poison his birthday cake, refusing to take a slice herself because, as he so often pointed out, she was getting fat! Another great read, Christer!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
8 months ago

Oh my goodness! I’m seething with anger. Why did Rose commit suicide? I was also in an unhealthy relationship, but I didn’t think to do that because I was thinking about my children. So sad about what happened to Rose. Your story (His Fall, Her Fault) was totally captivating. Well done, Christer.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Christer Norrlof
8 months ago

I am glad that I have children that give me more courage to keep going, Christer. I am so blessed.

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
8 months ago

…and the story continues and I feel I might have been right. The violent streak in Phil makes me think that the relationship with his mommy wasn’t so idyllic after all, considering the way he behaves with Rose. Has his daddy done the same to his mommy? Is this the example Phil got? To start with, I was uncertain about the finale. Couldn’t Rose just leave Phil, rather than leave herself in… Read more »

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