While The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills typically centers on the drama between the female cast members, there are certain points where the ugly truth about the women’s marriages is exposed. In the case of Taylor Armstrong, she revealed on the show that her husband at the time was physically and emotionally abusive. Unfortunately, he died by suicide ahead of the Season 2 premiere, and Armstrong faced backlash from co-stars and viewers for continuing to tell her story. Though it was difficult for her at times, she’s happy she did. Looking back, she now realizes why she remained in an abusive marriage for so long.
Taylor Armstrong says she didn’t initially leave her abusive marriage because she was in denial that she was being abused
While appearing on the Behind the Velvet Rope podcast, Armstrong spoke about how she became part of the statistic of 80% of women who are abused by their partners living in silence. Armstrong says she was quiet out of fear.
“A lot of people live with it because they are not able to completely convince themselves that they’re abused. There’s so many different kinds of abuse and my abuser would say, You have this house, you have a nanny…oh, you’re so abused. I feel so bad for you.’ And then I would wrap my head around it because I wanted to and think to myself, ‘OK that’s not what abuse looks like.’ So people that are just emotionally abused for years and years and years, think have more of a tendency to stay because they haven’t been struck,” she explained.
She says landing in the hospital after being beaten by her ex-husband was a wake-up call
Armstrong says the abuse went on for years before she began to confide in close friends about it. Even then, she didn’t leave. There was one defining moment that changed everything and made her walk away.
“It took me seeing my eye, radiographic evidence of a fractured orbital floor, for me to finally go, ‘OK, I’m leaving.’ And there were plenty of things along the way that should’ve been that last straw. But it really truly took me that long to convince myself that I was worth leaving,” she admitted.
It took another appointment with her doctor for her to realize how bad things were. “Once I met with the ocular plastic surgeon, and he showed me the damage and told me what was going to have to happen – that I was going to have to have reconstruction – I thought, ‘Am I crazy? What am I doing?’ Especially when someone has told me time and time again, ‘I’m afraid I’m going to kill you’ – that’s one step away from losing your eye. A lot of other things could’ve happened along the way,” she said.
The ‘RHBOH’ alum now is a motivational speaker
Armstrong doesn’t allow her abuse to define her. Instead, she speaks to other women and is an advocate for domestic violence abuse victims and survivors. She says her favorite demographic to speak to are college-aged women because it’s the first time many are away from their families and out from under their parents’ control and can easily fall into bad relationship patterns.