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Can you move on from abuse in a realtionship? Or should you even try?


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I have been married for less than 2 years, and have already been abused by my husband. There were warning signs, he would get so mad at me when we were dating that he would pin me up against a wall or on the floor, he would press his forehead really hard against mine and yell in my face. But he never hit me, until after we had been married a few months. He got extremely drunk (this was after a DUI already) and just...beat the crap out of me. For no reason at all. That night will stay with me forever, I had 2 black eyes, a broken nose, a busted lip...I missed work for 3 weeks. I am a very forgiving person naturally, and of course, stupidly, the first thing I thought about was him. He was so sorry, and he had just gotten a promotion at work...all I could think about was how if this got out he would lose his job. I thought about how disappointed everyone would be, how everyone would judge him, so I didn't tell anyone. I didn't even go to the hospital. I didn't want anyone to know, I was ashamed and still am. This extreme abuse hasn't happened since then...however, we have had fights where he pinned me down again, where he grabbed my hair, etc. I am so worried that this is going to happen again. I don't know how to deal with it. I don't even know if I want to stay with him or not. .I don't know how to come back from this, or if that's even possible. I do love him, and everything else about our marriage is perfect. It's so weird. It's only when he gets really angry that it's bad. And that has happened less and less, he has been working on it...Well I don't know if it's that or if I have just gotten better at not pressing his buttons. I don't know what to do, I don't know where to go from here. I do love him, but I find myself fantasizing about leaving him and the things I could do if I did. I am only 22 years old, there could be so much more for me. But I almost feel like when he beat the crap out of me, that was my chance to leave...and I didn't take it. And now I'm stuck. He hasn't done anything divorce-worthy since then. He's even stopped drinking liquor, because he says that is what gets him angry like that. But the outbursts he has, where he grabs me or my hair or screams in my face...that happens with NO alcohol. That happens when I get him really angry, but again, that is not divorce-worthy.And I am a person who doesn't enter into marriage easily, and I won't leave it easily. But I don't know where to go from here. I need advice.

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Welcome to the community.

That happens when I get him really angry..

You aren't responsible for his feelings, livin, or his actions.

This sounds like a very distressful and frightening situation for you. I can't tell you what to do, but it does feel like an unsafe and unhealthy environment for you. Your husband is abusive and this can be both physically and emotionally damaging. Do you have support there from family or anyone you can confide in? If not, is there a local women's shelter that might be supportive? I understand that change can be frightening, especially if you are feeling threatened in any way, but this does seem like a potentially dangerous situation as it is. If you are unhappy in the marriage, you have the option to seek a divorce. Perhaps the support of others can help you find the inner strength to choose what is best for your well-being.

I hope you will continue to reach out and be safe, livin. Please take care.

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"Divorce-worthy" is an interesting word ...

Somewhere between being him grabbing you or your hair, and being hit, you draw some kind of line.

Would you draw that same line for someone else, like a girlfriend or sister, with her husband?

Is it really okay with you to be handled like that, like someone he owns?

I let myself be verbally abused by my ex-wife for a number (way too large a number) of years before I realized that what was keeping me there was that I had an unrealistic idea of what a person has to put up with, in a marriage. I let my identity get caught up in being married; I really didn't want to be "the divorced guy". So, I didn't get free until I realized that I had tied my identity to something that didn't even exist ...

What was your parents' marriage like? Were there any similarities? Many people learn their relationship style by watching what their parents did.

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You aren't responsible for his feelings, livin, or his actions.

This sounds like a very distressful and frightening situation for you. I can't tell you what to do, but it does feel like an unsafe and unhealthy environment for you. Your husband is abusive and this can be both physically and emotionally damaging. Do you have support there from family or anyone you can confide in? If not, is there a local women's shelter that might be supportive? I understand that change can be frightening, especially if you are feeling threatened in any way, but this does seem like a potentially dangerous situation as it is. If you are unhappy in the marriage, you have the option to seek a divorce. Perhaps the support of others can help you find the inner strength to choose what is best for your well-being.

I hope you will continue to reach out and be safe, livin. Please take care.

I know I need to talk to someone, but I'm honestly just too ashamed. I know what everyone close to me will tell me...to leave him. I did tell my brother, surprisingly he did not beat the crap out of my husband...they went outside to talk for a while, and I guess he convinced my brother that it would never happen again. And it hasn't, that is what is so hard about this. I'm trying to move on, but when he has an outburst and lashes out at me..it brings up so many feelings, I flash back to that night. I recently talked to him about this...it made him cry. I've never seen him cry before, ever. I guess he didn't realize how it affected me. And since I've told him that, it hasn't happened again...but it's only been a few months. I guess I'm just hanging on to that hope...he has improved greatly since that night, and I hope that he continues to do so. It is a long and hard road however, and I just don't know if it's worth it. Thank you for your advice, it's really helping to talk about it on here!

"Divorce-worthy" is an interesting word ...

Somewhere between being him grabbing you or your hair, and being hit, you draw some kind of line.

Would you draw that same line for someone else, like a girlfriend or sister, with her husband?

Is it really okay with you to be handled like that, like someone he owns?

You are completely right. He has always acted controlling of me, telling me what I can and cannot do. Even today, we are having a big argument because of of my best friends just got a job at United Airlines and she wants to take me out of the country for my birthday....he doesn't want me to go without him. He doesn't want me to go ANYWHERE without him. So if he can't go, which he probably can't, I can't go. Then she suggested somewhere closeby(we live in SC), and wanted to take me to Miami...that was another no, because he's never been and wants to go, and doesn't think it's fair. To the same token, I do love him, and I want him to be with me when good things happen, but he shouldn't be saying I can't do fun things, or take awesome opportunities without him, right? I feel like that is so selfish.

What was your parents' marriage like? Were there any similarities? Many people learn their relationship style by watching what their parents did.

It was very much the same, now that I think about it. They were together until I left for college, then went through a long and messy divorce that is still up in the air. My father never hit her, that I could see. But he would scream at her, back her up against the wall, throw things and break things when he got mad. She became very good at calming him down, and was very good at hiding it. I do remember her crying a few times when I was little. They still go back and forth with divorce or no divorce, he begs for her to take him back and she says she wants to but doesn't think she can put up with his crap anymore, his temper is HORRIBLE. Worse than my husbands. He gets mad at the stupidest things, and loses his temper completely almost daily. And another difference is that he is not willing to work on it...he doesn't think he has a problem and doesn't want to change. My husband does, and he is working really hard to overcome his anger problem. I think we do need to see a counselor though, just not sure if we can afford it. I just lost my job, we're scraping by but barely. That, of course, does NOT help matters!

Thank you for your advice as well, it helps to talk to someone who knows where I'm coming from.

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Ditto what IJ said. I can't write too much because I am a survivor of domestic violence and this is pretty difficult for me to even go into. I wanted to say though that it is normal for people who have been abused to feel dependent on their abusers, or want to make excuses for them. Please consider going to a women's shelter and get some literature on domestic violence or talk to someone there. They might have some more advice for you based on experience and/or information that helps you decide how likely it is that your relationship will get better or worse. Chances are if he is not doing something about his own anger and internal suffering then the lashing out will continue even if it is infrequent.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was abused as a child. By people I trusted and later by myself. As an adult by my first husband and by myself. Now I live with a man who can be abusive but not to me and I no longer abuse myself. The man I live with is mental. He rants and raves from time to time even frequently. I deal with it the best I can, surround myself with good friends, talk about it, and remind myself that it isn't about me. He does not hit me...I would not abide by that. Been there done that wasn't fun. It may sound a bit silly but it helps that I was abused as a child because those who abused the child or knew about the abuse and did nothing are dilapidated. They are old and fragile if not dead and gone. Eventually all the other's will be as well. But not me. Oh, I will get old and I will fall apart and eventually I will die. But not while I live. My life is worth more to me than the things that have happened to me. There is still so much potential to make pleasant things happen. My only control of yesterday is in what I provide for tomorrow and right now tomorrow is looking pretty decent :)

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I was abused as a child. By people I trusted and later by myself. As an adult by my first husband and by myself. Now I live with a man who can be abusive but not to me and I no longer abuse myself.

The notion that we continue to abuse ourselves after the abuse from others has passed seems extremely important, frazzled. Would you like to write some more about that?

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Wow, DD. That kinda caught me off guard.

I think that when we are abused as children by the people we trust we either change our perception of that person or of what is acceptable. I think that given the choice most children will choose what is acceptable because they lack life experience and prefer to believe what they are taught ie. that this person cares about them and would not hurt them.

Personally, I came to believe that a woman's purpose was to find a man have sex bear children then serve the man and the children. By the time I was fourteen my love life history read like Charlie Sheen's. I drank, experimented with a few different drugs and ran around like I was my own boss. I had had 3 real world jobs by then, one of which I had to fight off sexual advances by my supervisor. I had moved out of my Mother's care (ha ha I said care), to be a live-in babysitter for a drunken promiscuous single Mother of 2. I was well experienced and continued my education in what NOT to do.

I married an abuser after breaking up with the love of my life. I allowed that to go on for 12 years until one day I thought to myself 'What can he do, kill me? What would be worse, living this way or not living?' So I ended that.

I have done a lot of soul searching since childhood, since having my own children. Ultimately I ended my first marriage because I did not want to see the little girl that was ME in my own little girls and I DAMN SURE didn't want them to marry anyone like their Father. They are 19 and 21 now and neither of them even talk to him much. Their boyfriends aren't much like him either and I thank God for that. As for me I have decided not to be a victim. I don't know everyone's life story or half of the events that led them to abuse me and I don't care. If there is a God they will answer for theirs same as I will answer for mine. Right now I not them, not their deeds, not anger or hatred of the same have power over me and my life. I will never have the strength to fight the demons before me if I am still trying to fight the one's that have long gone.

I hope this answers you DD and I hope it may one day be of help to someone else :)

Take Care

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