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cholsen69
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I have been with my husband for ten years, married five. We have a great loving relationship. We are a blended marriage, raising our three children together (19,15 and 11). We have great careers, fun hobbies, good friends and families. I feel like we have a pretty great life.

 

My husband was raised with an abusive (to my husband but more to my husband's mother) alcoholic father that was in and out of his life until he was 15 years old. My husband and his mom loved each other very much but did have yelling fights. With this in mind, my husband can get angry and yell but that is usually the extent of his anger. Over the past 3-4 years this has really decreased. Over the years, I have figured him out and understand, usually, how to deal with his reactions. I believe most of his anger is usually due to frustration or pain.

 

Last week we went to a concert with some friends and had a great time. On the drive home, I thought I lost my phone (it was in the car). He got really, really mad at me. So I got mad back (not my usual) and we got in a big fight. We had a few drinks, which also did not help the situation. So at the end of the night he hit me. I cried, told him he could never do that to me again and we went to bed.

 

We have talked a few times about this situation. I feel a lot better about it all. I agree, I was partly at fault because of the way I reacted. I was basically "poking an angry bear." (Not the smartest thing to do.) He apologized and felt very awful.

 

I still just do not know how to feel. I love him and am not going anywhere. But I am afraid I will just put it away and forget about it. This man is my best friend and partner in life. I know this is a very small thing to have happened, especially for those of you in this forum. But I needed to talk to someone and there is no one else I can talk to. Thanks for listening.

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First, get over the idea that you were 'partly at fault' for his hitting you. You are NOT. There is no excuse for a man to hit a woman, no matter how much alcohol he has consumed.

 

This is not a small thing, either. This is extremely serious, and you need to address this issue at once. What if he gets drunk next time and sends you to the hospital?

 

I wouldn't tolerate a man who hit me, and neither should you.

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I don't care how you reacted, it is NEVER an excuse to hit you. Ever! Has he ever gotten therapy for the abuse and anger issues?

 

You need to stop the self blame and excuses, your husband has serious issues! This is NOT "a small thing"! Your minimizing indicates you are in an emotionally/now physically abusine relationship. Get help and seek a divorce.

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No, it's not a small thing. It's quite serious.

 

You two do not have a good relationship. It's abusive. Hitting each other is never okay, nor is it considered small. Which is why people get charged for doing so.

 

He needs anger management classes and you both need marriage counselling, together. And if that doesn't change things, then a divorce.

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I don't care how you reacted, it is NEVER an excuse to hit you. Ever! Has he ever gotten therapy fir the abuse and anger issues?

 

You need to stop the self blame and excuses, your husband has serious issues!

 

Spot on Holls ...I have been trying to compile an answer but that covers my thoughts .....................

 

He hasn't laid a finger on you in 10 years ..of course that is a good start ......but , how much are you actually covering in your own mind about how bad his anger is ...you say over the years you have learnt to deal with it hmmmm tip toeing round him maybe .

 

Time for him to resolve his anger issues with help now and not just you dealing with it .

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No matter how mad someone gets they should never raise their hand to you or you to them.

 

Is there someone you could talk to? Pastor or counselor?

 

I can see you are not going to leave him over this but it does need to discussed and figured out. You both went from a nice evening to physical violence over a phone. I believe there is something other than his home life growing up that caused this so it is best to seek help together.

 

You are correct that you just shouldn't let it go. There is an answer and a solution in there somewhere...

 

Lost

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You already said you're not going anywhere and want to make the marriage work. I get the feeling that you're trying to process the information and aren't sure how to handle what happened in the wake of the events. I think you both should try marriage counselling and try understanding where those violent outbursts begin with him.

 

You say that you think you understand how to avoid them most of the time but this time you failed. I think that's where your sense of failure comes from. He has to work through those issues and violent outbursts. You should keep in mind every sane person who hears of violence in a relationship will advise you to leave and not to tolerate physical abuse of that nature. You're toeing the line in your desire to understand your husband more and make sense of your own feelings of inadequacy as a partner.

 

Please take care of yourself and speak to a therapist or counsellor even if you need to. It sounds like your marriage is very volatile and unpredictable. Stay away from the alcohol.

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A therapist told me that once that first strike happens, a line has been crossed. The odds are very high it will happen again.

 

In your case? I couldn't possibly know. But I would get both of you into marriage counseling as some insurance for the future.

 

The bold is absolutely true.

 

I will never forget the look of horror on my ex husbands face the first time he hit me, like he couldn’t believe he did it either. But he did and it became easier and easier until it was simply his go to reaction. With that being said, I am not in the he absolutely cannot change camp either, you’re in a very complex situation, if he knows he’s not at risk of losing you, his desire to get help may not be as strong to be blunt, but if he knows what he risks losing if he acts in this manner again it may help him seek help.

 

You already said you're not going anywhere and want to make the marriage work. I get the feeling that you're trying to process the information and aren't sure how to handle what happened in the wake of the events. I think you both should try marriage counselling and try understanding where those violent outbursts begin with him.

 

You say that you think you understand how to avoid them most of the time but this time you failed. I think that's where your sense of failure comes from. He has to work through those issues and violent outbursts. You should keep in mind every sane person who hears of violence in a relationship will advise you to leave and not to tolerate physical abuse of that nature. You're toeing the line in your desire to understand your husband more and make sense of your own feelings of inadequacy as a partner.

 

Please take care of yourself and speak to a therapist or counsellor even if you need to. It sounds like your marriage is very volatile and unpredictable. Stay away from the alcohol.

 

Agree with this as well. He needs to heal from his past and unlearn all this toxicity.

 

I yell.

 

I was yelled at, that’s what I learned so I yell.

 

I try so hard to break the cycle and I’ve come a long way, but my mind still tries to go back to default. It is something I am currently unlearning. I know the damage it does and the repercussions so I must make conscious choices, redirect myself, walk away, all my responsibility, no one else’s.

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Unfortunately the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. People are who they are and learn what they learn. Even after beating you, you don't seem to want to leave. You both need to stop drinking, get marriage therapy and you would be wise to get individual therapy and protect your kids more. When someone beats you it's their choice not your fault. Read up on domestic violence. Keep in mind this is the first time he hit but may not be the last.

My husband was raised with an abusive alcoholic father

 

we got in a big fight. We had a few drinks, So at the end of the night he hit me. I was partly at fault because of the way I reacted. I was basically "poking an angry bear."

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Time to call a spade a spade. I realize that you are in shock and your first instinct is basically denial and it's not easy to face the fact that you've spent 10 years trying to tell yourself that this man is not an abuser. Now you can no longer skirt the issue. He hit you. It's violent, physical abuse. There are no excuses for that and , no, you didn't cause it and you are not responsible for his out of control behavior. Full stop.

 

You cannot sweep this under the rug. Either he immediately goes to a psychiatrist, gets diagnosed with whatever disorder he's inherited from his dad and gets into treatment, counseling, anger management courses, etc. OR you HAVE to leave him.

 

I don't care how much you love him or how much you want to avoid conflict or how much you are afraid to be single - you have children to protect from this. Kids who see their mother abused do not turn out well, OP. You have greater responsibilities than your personal emotions regarding this man.

 

Whatever you do, OP, you cannot just ignore what happened and excuses and promises are not enough. A very very serious line has been crossed and it cannot be uncrossed. If he goes and gets help, on his own, without you pushing, driving, making appointments for him and otherwise forcing him, then you might have some hope that he'll get a grip and get better. However, nothing short of him pulling out all stops to get his head screwed on straight and being fully committed to a treatment plan run by professionals should be acceptable to you. If he isn't willing, not interested, makes excuses, makes empty promises - I can guarantee you that you'll find yourself in the hospital soon enough. Stop the madness and start working on plan B - leaving him.

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Thank you all for taking your time and responding with advice. I understand what you have read is a very small amount of information and you in no way could have a whole picture of what my life is like. Just to clarify no children were involved with any of this. We will be going to counseling. Thanks again.

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Thank you all for taking your time and responding with advice. I understand what you have read is a very small amount of information and you in no way could have a whole picture of what my life is like. Just to clarify no children were involved with any of this. We will be going to counseling. Thanks again.

 

Very welcome... take care of yourself.

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I would definitely not describe this as "a very small thing to have happened." My husband's father was physically abusive to him and to his mother for many years, also was also a very serious alcoholic. My husband started to go down this path years before I met him, but he's now 10 years sober. If alcohol invites physical violence, I think your husband should consider sobriety, or taking a break from drinking and take a hard look at his behavior and psychology. My husband's father never changed. He comes around all the time and shows a lack of respect to everyone around him. He screams at my husband routinely over small things, walks all over our private home, etc. He has no boundaries. Establishing boundaries early when this behavior starts is extremely important.

 

Unfortunately, if someone is raised with abuse, this is a cycle that often continues. Over the years, there have been times when I have seen these signs in my husband, but never physically. This is a hurtful thing to say, and I would not say it when he is drunk, but it helped me to tell my husband a few years ago when he was routinely emotionally abusing me, "I can tell who raised you right now." Oftentimes, abused men HATE their fathers and it is their worst nightmare to be compared to their father or even end up like their father. At the same time, they can be narcissistic or blind to their own actions. Bringing up his father was a huge reality check and his behavior changed for the better.

 

I think physical abuse is 100% absolutely inexcusable. I'm wondering if he showed remorse. You did mention that you've talked about it since it happened, but what have these conversations looked like? Since you're putting blame on yourself, it leads me to believe that he put blame on you, which is very disturbing. Please be safe and do not hesitate to reach out to friends or family to crash while you figure this out.

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I agree, I was partly at fault because of the way I reacted. I was basically "poking an angry bear."

 

Absolutely, unequivocally, unarguably, NOPE NOPE NOPE

 

You can share a part in a conflict, but you will never ever be responsible for how he reacts.

 

What is your plan for when this happens again OP? I suggest not being naive or in denial and saying it won't ever, because once a relationship crosses the line into physical violence there is no going back, for either of you.

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Thank you so much for your post. It is actually helpful and not shaming like some of the others.(not helpful). He is completely remorseful, he hates his father and never wants to be like him. His father has not been his life x 20 years. He takes complete blame for his actions.

 

When I said it was a small thing, I only meant, so many have been through worse. This is very difficult for me. I was never around anything like this before. That being said. I am safe in our house. I know it is hard to understand but I actually live in a loving home. I am not oblivious to the seriousness of what happened. He needs to figure out how to manage his anger, he has been to counseling once before, it was helpful.

 

Thank you for kind words and not judgement.

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He is in the 'remorse' phase of the cycle, so of course you want to believe it's ok now. That belief is called cognitive dissonance". Google "Cycle of Violence" and "Cognitive Dissonance". Many people stay in these cycles for years or their entire lives.

 

"A cycle of abuse generally follows the following pattern:

 

Abuse – The abuser initiates aggressive, verbal or physical abuse, designed to control and oppress the victim.

Guilt – The abuser feels guilty for inflicting abusive behavior, primarily out of a concern of being found guilty of abuse rather than feelings of sympathy for the victim.

Excuses – Rationalization of the behavior, including blame and excuses.

"Normal" behavior – The abuser regains personal control, creates a peaceful phase in an attempt to make the victim feel in the relationship.

Fantasy and planning – thinking of what the victim has done wrong, how they will be punished, and developing a plan to realize the fantasy.

Set-up – the plan is "put in motion."

It is what was traditionally the definition of domestic violence and is generally illustrated with the "Power and Control Wheel"to illustrate the different and inter-related forms of abuse."

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