11/21/2013 at 02:00 PM EST
Shellie Zimmerman is speaking out about her estranged husband George Zimmerman
, who was acquitted in July
of the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin and has since been arrested for allegedly abusing his girlfriend
Shellie tells Katie Couric
that George has changed drastically since she first married him in 2007.
"In the beginning, yes, and we were great friends and I thought he was a wonderful person; that's why I married him," Shellie said when asked if she and her husband were ever happy.
"I haven't seen him in a couple months, but it certainly seems like something snapped in his spirit," she says, adding that the change made him behave "like a monster."
"I certainly hope that there are no causalities. I hope that there's no violence, but he does seem like a ticking time bomb," she adds.
"I know I’m certainly afraid. I just hope that he can get maybe the help that he needs to deal with his situation and that no one else will be hurt."
Shellie says she hopes her story will inspire other women to leave emotionally abusive relationships.
"After I leave the Katie
show today, I want to inspire other women to speak out for themselves and stand up for themselves, to leave a dysfunctional relationship. I hope to be a warning to other women – when somebody shows you who they are, that you should believe them."
George Zimmerman was released from jail
on a $9,000 bond Tuesday pending arraignment on the latest charges against him: aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief.
The conditions of his release are that he wear an electronic monitor and does not handle guns. He must also keep his distance from Samantha Scheibe, the girlfriend who says Zimmerman tried to choke her and then pointed a shotgun at her a week later.
Zimmerman denies her claim. His arraignment is set for Jan. 7.