Am I starting to abuse my husband? : LUSENET : Domestic Violence Accounts : One Thread

For a good five months into our marriage, my husband kept a certain secret from me, until I confronted him on his strange behavior. You see, he was formerly in a both physically and emotionally abusive relationship in which his wife exercised full control over him. His behaviors included: recoiling should any argument strike up, remaining absolutely quiet unless I should prompt him to speak, asking full permission to invite over friends, and even turning over his entire paycheck to me upon returning home from work each payday, appearing bewildered when I shoved it back at him.

Upon very hesitantly and tearfully explained his previous tormentive relationship, I attempted to make him feel at least partially in charge, even urged him to see himself as 'the man of the house'. This sparked some humor in him and our relationship more or less progressed smoothly for the next few months. Until, one evening, he returned home from work in a foul mood due to his boss rejecting his so deserved promotion to a resident and he refused to eat dinner with me. Instead, he trudged upstairs and shut himself up in our bedroom. Naturally, I followed and tried to coax him downstairs. When he yelled at me to 'get out', I...I don't know what happened. I suppose it all went by too fast. One moment I was on the verge of leaving...the next, I had lurched my arm back to slug him one in the face,causing massive bleeding at the jaw, then chest (multiple times). I didn't stop throwing punches (even kicked him once, ) until he fell back against the bed, eyes gone wide...his body must have been trembling all over. And the mixture of shock, hurt, then almost disgust, that crossed his face jarred me to the very core. He broke out crying and immediately, I fled the room, in tears myself.

I just can't bring myself to comprehend what came over me. I have never experienced abuse, nor inflicted it before. In fact, I see myself as relatively mild-tempered. Ever since that dreadful evening at least a month ago, my husband has reverted to his old ways and fears. Except now he never so much as considers the possiblity of invitations to friends, and he leaves his paycheck on my desk, refusing to take it back. I can see that he is reacting in fear of me and hate myself for it. What can I do to convince him that I won't hurt him again? More importantly, what can I do to assure that I don't indeed lash out one more time?

-- Anonymous, June 19, 2002


Your husband shouldn't be allowed to yell at you. You did the right thing, taught him who's boss. Works with my husband at least. Right on, sister! Don't feel guilty, feel proud!

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2002

I am sorry that you find yourself in quite a difficult position. You clearly are trying to balance the problems that your husband suffers as a result of his past relationship as well as your fears of your loss of control. One thing is certain though, it is never ok to strike your partner and I feel the previous comments may have been made with another agenda in mind and could have confused the issue. There are many ways to understand the reasons we act the way we do, anger management groups and of course therapy, which in a group format may benefit both you and your husbands current and past problems which may well be related. The fact that you have recognised, both the act and the consequences, as something that needs confronting and solving is a step in the right direction.I wish you and your husband well.

-- Anonymous, July 11, 2002

I doubt you can convince someone through words that you aren't going to be violent with him when you have already through actions proven that you will be.

It's not just important to convince him, but to prevent it happening again. If you really don't know what made you do it, you need to find out. Couples counseling, definitely--not only as a show of good faith, but so you can both get guidance on what to do to overcome this problem together. Separate counseling if necessary, but I suspect that in couples counseling you would be able to see each other's process a little more clearly.

It's pretty obvious that the "you go, girl" kind of answer isn't what you're looking for. That's a good sign. Good luck.

-- Anonymous, July 15, 2002

No one has a right to hit anyone, male or female, It would have been best to walk away and cooled off. If it had been you yelling and him hitting you, he would have been tossed under the jail.

-- Anonymous, July 20, 2002

I do not mean to be rude, but you do not deserve him. He yelled from inside the Bathroom? And you savagely beat him? This poor man will probably never trust women again. I am a large man who was verbaly and physicaly abused for years, When I finaly left, she took my kids, falsley claimed I abused HER and destroyed me financialy. Do the world a favor and GO KILL YOURSELF before you hurt this poor man any more

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2002

I take it by Vera’s post that this was the first and only time this has happened----and it’s hoped that we’re referring to all her prior relationships as well. If this is the case, the answer might be to seek some anger management counseling immediately to find answers to why she reacted as she did and ways of coping to prevent it from happening again. The fact that she’s writing here indicates she’s trying to find answers. That’s a huge step for most abusers, who justify the abuse in their minds to the extent that their victims always ‘deserve’ it. Also, as a couple it will probably be beneficial to seek counseling together, that will give him a chance to voice his concerns in front of a trained professional and perhaps together the two of you as man and wife can come to common ground again. In my opinion, you really did greatly violate your husband’s trust in you. First, it’s very hard for a man to open up and admit to anyone when they’ve been abused by a spouse, there’s no telling what he went through that he just couldn’t bring himself to say. Second, you knew this history, have seen its affects on your husband and still didn’t manage to keep your cool when he needed you to the most. I’m not a professional, I’m just a man who lived through 12 years of hell at the hands of an abusive spouse, and believe me, you come away with wounds so deep they never heal---you learn to ‘react’ and not to ‘act’---you pull away and you put up the walls to make the pain stop. Sometimes the pain is so unbearable that it affects every other relationship we ever have. There’s nothing worse than a life partner, who you married out of love and trust, who turns into one of these monsters and you suddenly find yourself married to a person who’s attitude is “See, I can do THIS to you any time I feel like it, and there’s not a thing you can do about it!” Like any beaten animal, if you do it enough, they will shy away.

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2002

To abuse anyone is wrong but to abuse someone who you know cannot, or will not, strike back seems to be even more horrible. Yet, having said that, I applaud your courage in admitting it. By doing so you have taken the first steps towards stopping this behaviour. Now you must seek professional help to understand what motivated you to these terrible actions.

As a man who has been abused myself I can well understand your husbands feelings. I have felt that sence of fear, betrayal, confusion and anger. I made up my mind that no woman will ever abuse me inside a relationship again. At the first sign of abusive behaviour she, or I, am out of the door. It is time men began to fight back on this issue and to force Governments around the world to take us seriously. To that end I have started my own site for male victims of female violence at: Any men who are going through this please visit my site and show your support for my efforts. Any women who are dishing out violence to men come and tell your story at the site. Lets get this out into the open once and for all. A big thank you is offered to the creators of this page for the efforts they are making to get this matter recognised.

-- Anonymous, October 10, 2002

You women who abuse your husbands are sick, you deserve to be put in jail like men who do this very same thing. I think you are bitches and you deserve to be punished. How about shoving a fist in your face a few times and kicking your useless asses around.hahaha

-- Anonymous, November 15, 2002

Some of the answers here were a bit harsh (suggesting I kill myself), but I do thank all of you who have offered your helpful advice. Currently, I am in therapy and the psychiatrist seems to believe the partial cause of my violence involves some degree of manic depression. That is one thing I am planning to be treated for, although I have not managed to convince my husband to seek counseling along with me (separately or not). I understand that he needs some time for decision making, and have not been pressuring him too much. I am also happy to say that, since my last episode, I have lost my cool only once, but did not resort to anything phyiscal. Being aware that there is no simple road to redeeming my husband's trust and his sense of security, I am trying my best to keep it thay way. Thank you all again and if I have any news (good or bad) I will update.

-- Anonymous, December 04, 2002

I absolutely know what your going thru,my man caught me a result my anger toward him has turned into hitting him. It's my attempt at stopping the verbal abuse he gives me. I am a very level- headed woman and at 34 yrs.old with 2 kids I never thought I would be doing this. I do need an out and have been considering therapy which my employeer will provide, or long walk's ( but, been there done that's not working )Maybe it'll work for you. Or maybe you just don't love him anymore.

-- Anonymous, May 22, 2003

i am in a 52 week batters program because my girlfriend stole a check book from my bussiness and wrote 4,ooo.oo of checks.when i discovered this i went home to smash the new computer that she said her mother had bought and while i was attempting to destroy this thing i was arrested.i spent 7,ooo.oo dollars on fees and lawyers and now i'm in a program.marked for life.may all you liars cheaters and abusive women od on midol

-- Anonymous, May 31, 2003

Steve, from what you say the police had good reason to arrest you. While your wife was in the wrong in the first place, that does not justify you destroying her personal property. In addition, I do not believe it is reasonable for you to harbor grudges against others merely for what wrongs your own wife has committed against you herself. Also, the saying "An eye for an eye and the world goes blind", fits in to your said predicament.

-- Anonymous, June 06, 2003

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