Greetings Cynthia, I have been married for 3 years and my husband never used to be agressive, but in the past few weeks that has changed. I have asked him to go to counseling and he refuses saying that only "loonies" go to counseling. He has been pushing me and slapping me across the face in fits of anger. I am at a loss as to what to do. I love him and don't want to leave, but don't want to become some statistic.
I'm sorry it took me a couple of days before I saw your message. You know your husband and your situation much better than I do, but I'll tell you my opinion based on what you've said. I believe everyone owes it to themselves to have a boundary at being abused. If this is new behavior, then you don't know what he is capable of, and he may not either. Even if he doesn't intend to hurt you in a life threatening way, he could kill you by accident in the process of hurting you--like if he pushes you and you land on a sharp item, or go through a window.
If this is only recent, and he's never done it before, he may have control over it. On the other hand, he may have a history of violence you don't know about. In my opinion, you should go somewhere he can't find you and let him know you love him, but you will not be around him until he has made progress in anger management classes for physically abusive men. Hopefully you will be more important to him than his ego, and he will go. Also, hopefully he'll see this not as counseling, but as something lots of men need.
He may be depressed; men often express depression as anger, but please don't let sympathy for him get in the way of keeping yourself safe until he has control over his anger. Please, please keep yourself safe. Even if he doesn't intentionally or accidently kill you, or permanently disable you, continue like this will hurt him, you and your relationship.
I have contemplated leaving and have spoken with family as to where I would stay. You are correct in that he has been depressed. He has stated that fact many times. I think I am going to leave and keep myself safe. Thank you for the response! I guess I just needed someone else to tell me what I already knew, that I need to leave.
Cynthia, A lot has changed, I am not staying in the same home as my husband anymore. I left and then called him and informed him that we needed to take a break. He was, understandably, upset at my decision. I told him that he needed to seek counseling as his violence towards me was frightening. He has agreed and will be seeing someone in about a weeks time. I have not told him where I am staying as I am afraid of what may ensue, but I am in contact with him via phone.
Thank you for the advice and information you have provided. I am grateful to you.
Thank you for updating me. I'm so, so glad you are keeping yourself safe; that takes a great deal of strength to do. Please know that learning a non-violent way of responding to life and being able to use it reliably takes time, and usually specific training in anger management in addition to psychotherapy. Going back to him in a few weeks would be putting yourself in danger again, even if he himself believes he won't get violent again.
Please feel free to write in for support or updates, or whatever you need.
Last Edited by Cynthia on Aug 26, 2006 2:56 PM