Don't be a victim

Dear Patricia Marie, 

First, I'd like to say that my husband is not usually a violent man. He has been incredibly stressed recently, mainly because his mother died suddenly last month, at a time when he had just accepted promotion at work with extra responsibility. Although he often shouts and uses bad language, which can be quite scary, he has never hurt me before. However, last night he pushed me hard against a wall.

He came home and was shouting and punching things in the house. I was trying to calm him down but he swung round, screamed at me and then shoved me away. It has left me so shaken and on edge around him. He has apologised repeatedly but I'm so upset with him and can't seem to forgive his actions.

I know he doesn't need extra worry on top of his existing ones, but how can I move on from this? Am I overreacting?


Agony Aunt's picture    Patricia Marie says...

There is no excuse whatsoever for domestic violence.  You are most certainly not overreacting, and I admire your courage in acknowledging this is a serious problem.  Although it is the first time your husband has physically attacked you, due to the continued revilement you were suffering, it was almost inevitable violence was to follow.

Do not be a victim any more, or feel that you have to forgive him.  He must accept the consequences of his actions, and it is now time for you to put a stop to this abuse before the situation worsens. You say he has been constantly apologising, but merely saying sorry is not enough. I would recommend you tell your husband you need some time apart while he addresses his behaviour. Tell him you can no longer risk being treated in this way.  If he realises how much he is hurting you, and genuinely wants to change, this will be a good start, but if not, you should question the future of your relationship.

Your husband needs to embark on Anger Management classes as a matter of urgency to gain more self-control, and to prevent further repercussions. I feel he would also benefit from seeing his GP, who could refer him for Bereavement Counselling, as it would appear that he is in denial of his emotions, and has not yet come to terms with the loss of his mother.  Having professional support will enable him to deal with the increased pressures at work as well.

You do need to look after yourself. I recommend you contact The National Domestic Violence helpline. They offer 24 hour support and advice, and can arrange counselling too, which could improve your self-worth and help you regain any lost confidence, as any form of abuse can leave the victim feeling insecure and fragile.

Remember, we all have a right to live without fear of violence and abuse.

The free National Domestic Violence number is: 0808 2000 247  


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