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Lucky

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Nov 27, 2006
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Hi Guys,

Im new to this and really I guess its comforting seeking the advice and guidance who have already experienced.

I have been married for a year. The violence started straight after I came back from our honeymoon. It carried on through out the year, and than after my parents intervened it stopped for about 4 months. However of these 4 months the last two were great, finally after ten months of marriage I started to feel loved up and had forgiven him for the violence.

However three weeks ago the violence happened again. He hit me because I said something in an argument that he did not like. I told him I thought his best friend looked at me in a pervy way.

Now im at home with parents. He keeps saying hows hes really sorry and he knows that he did not treat me right and how much hes changed these last few months (which to be fair he has).

He keeps telling me that im quitting on this marriage even though I have not given therapy (for him) a chance and that he is changing and i should stand by him.

He maybe right, but im confused. All this year hes hurt me so much, the violence, his controlling behaviour, verbal abuse in front of his friends on the odd occasion.

All of this has created a monster out of me.. an aspect of me that I dont like has come out In this last year I have noticed rage inside of me building up as I felt so trapped in the mental prison. I would break things, and smash things and break down and cry. I would not hit these things at him, but I found myself breaking things around the house.
We had numerous problems in our marraige. I never felt i was his No.1, it was always his friends or social life that took precedence.

Hes told everyone that I push his buttons and its because i say things to make him mad. He said I emotionally abuse him. Yes I have said things to hurt him in arguements, just as he does with me... or maybe I have been resentful to him because of how violent he was with me? i dont know.

Now I have the option to walk away and start again. I am scared to be alone, to be single, but it maybe the only choice I have.

His family are too scared to tell him otherwise. Its almost as though they are selfish and have 'washed their hands with him'. I feel I have very little support from them- none in fact. As his parents are seperated, I feel that the father pumps him up against me, and plays on the 'im old, i need lots of attention' routine and tries to make my husband feel guilty that his dad is alone, which is taken out me. Im constantly told im disrespectful to his dad etc, which is strange as I know that not true, ive not been brought up that way!
Given the circumstances would I be mad to walk away from this marriage without giving him a final chance , especially as now he want to have therapy? ... im scared of thinking a year from now ' what if he did change ?' What have you guys discovered from your experience?
 

ThatLady

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If he's been physically abusive, to go back to living with him at this point would be foolishness, in my opinion. He's in therapy, and that's a point in his favor. However, if he's just started therapy, it's going to take awhile before he learns how to channel his anger and to control his urge to violence. That just doesn't happen overnight. I think you're being quite reasonable to expect to be safe, and to not be abused in your relationship. So far, he's proven that this cannot be the case if you're living with him.

If it were me, I'd point that out to him. He had the opportunity to change before, but he did not. While seeking therapy for his anger and violence issues is admirable, you have no way of being sure that he won't hurt you again. I'd tell him he has a lot of work to do, and a lot of fences to mend, before you're ready for any kind of relationship with him.

That's only if you're even interested in a relationship with him after all that's gone on. If you feel that you cannot regain the love, trust and committment necessary for a good marriage to this individual, then it's time to move on. That's something only you can know. Abusive partners CAN change, but it takes a lot of good, hard work and time for them to do so. They don't become non-abusive overnight. They have to want it badly enough to really work for it. If you love him, you might wish to take a wait and see attitude and stay right where you are until he's had enough time in therapy to learn to control his anger. If love is lost, it might be best to move on.

Also, it sounds like you've been through some pretty difficult times. I'd not hesitate to recommend a course of therapy for you, as well. That will help you to make an informed decision as to how you'd like the rest of your life to go, and the kind of person you'd like to spend it with. It will also help you to deal with the feelings brought to you by the trauma you've undergone.

Best of luck to you, Lucky. You sound like a pretty resilient and thoughtful person who's making every effort to do the best thing for everyone involved. :hug:
 
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this is only my opinion here based on the information you have given us. i am in no way an expert on these types of situations, so these are just my thoughts.

abusive people will be nice one moment, and abusive the next. they will tell you what you want to hear when they think you've just about had all you can put up with. in this case, he may be saying he wants therapy as a means of keeping you. to be honest, there is no way for me to know if his intentions are genuine or just a ploy to get you to go back to him.

the longer one stays in an abusive relationship, the more abusive it becomes. this was only your first year of marriage with him. what will it be like if you stay? do you believe he wants help or do you just want to believe it?

i know the prospect of being alone is scary; however, it is far better to be single and not abused then be married and be abused. it's a change, but one can be content and happy alone. in time you may meet another man who does respect you and treat you as an equal. being single now doesn't mean you'll be single forever. you also need time to heal from this bad experience, so being alone is not all bad, it has it's advantages as well.

in the end only you can make this decision. i just know that you need to get away from the abuse. if he truly wants to mend his ways and get therapy, then all the better. if not, then leave. he needs to know that you will not accept any abuse in this relationship. what does your gut say? are you afraid of him? do you believe deep down he wants to change? can you make it clear to him that this will no longer be tolerated?
 

Lucky

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Thank you for your replies. They make a lot of sense. Its just that as I dont trust my instinct I cannot tell whether his efforts are genuine or a ploy to get me back. Either way im staying put until there is more clarity in his motives or in my mind as to what I want.

For so long I made excuses for him, his parents are seperated, he was neglected as a child etc, but why should I pay for his family's wrong-doing.

I guess im a traditionalist at heart, marriage is for life etc which is why im finding it a bit harder.

Sometimes it makes you wonder how these men sleep at night knowing what they are doing to someones elses, daughter, sister, family member etc? and yet they would not tolerate it if their mother or sister was treated that way.

How can you ever fully recover from those wounds that run so deep... the humiliation you feel in front of friends etc.

Its the pain itself that eats you alive... its the pain of betrayal, of being cheated... in fact I feel rejected!
 

ThatLady

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You haven't been rejected, Lucky. You've been abused and betrayed. You need to focus on stopping the self-blame and recognizing what's real in the situation. You have left an abuser. That's a good, sound, healthy decision.

As to how to get beyond this, I'd suggest therapy to help you work through the issues you're trying to deal with. This isn't an easy thing to get a handle on, and very, very few people can do it well without help.
 

ThatLady

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Lana's post is an excellent read! It's really a profound experience to read those two opposite sides of the story of abuse one after the other. It gives an insight that isn't obtained by reading just one side of the story.
 

Lucky

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He has just contacted me... saying his therapy is gonig to start this week... he knows I need my space etc.

Its been nearly 3 weeks since I left him and I foolishly assumed the answer would come to me straight away as to whether I want to be him or divorce him.. but it hasnt.

If I am going to sit back and watch him and what changes he makes, what exactley am I supposed to look out for? Is there anything I need to watch out for or expect?

Has anyone experienced abusers improving or stopping violence after therapy? or am I being to hopeful?
 

David Baxter

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He has just contacted me... saying his therapy is gonig to start this week... he knows I need my space etc.

Its been nearly 3 weeks since I left him and I foolishly assumed the answer would come to me straight away as to whether I want to be him or divorce him.. but it hasnt.

I know that 3 weeks probably has felt like 3 years but it's not a long time at all. You obviously have a lot of mixed feelings about him and about the relationship - these will take time to coalesce and resolve. Give yourself that time, all the time it takes.

If I am going to sit back and watch him and what changes he makes, what exactly am I supposed to look out for? Is there anything I need to watch out for or expect?

Genuine insight, for one. Tell him (and yourself) that treatment or no treatment you are not going to return to living with him until he has been in therapy for at least a year. One thing I can promise you: a 4 week anger management program is not enough to change someone who has repeatedly engaged in domestic violence. And remember that his motivation for treatment right now is almost certainly only the fact that you have left him - what he'll be looking for is the quick fix to get you back - don't let yourself get sucked into that one.

Has anyone experienced abusers improving or stopping violence after therapy? or am I being to hopeful?

It can happen. But it takes a lot of hard work and SINCERE effort on the part of the abuser. In most cases, the motivation is just to get back to the status quo so the prognosis is poor over the long term. If he is truly willing to make the effort to understand the roots of his violence and to do the work to make the necessary changes, there is hope - but as I said above, both of you should expect at least a year to accomplish this, not just a short-term anger management program but also psychotherapy to address what underlies that violence in his case.
 

ThatLady

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I've experienced abuse in a marriage, yes. I did not return to my abuser once I left. He married again, and the abuse continued in that marriage. I don't know that he ever even tried to get help, so I can't say whether that would have ended the cycle, or not.

I do, however, agree completely with what David has said, based on what I've seen in other marriages involving friends of mine. I've seen one person who actually changed, and it took over two years for the marriage to be resumed. It was a long, hard fight, but the couple is happy and doing well now.

Based on what I've seen, there can be a change but it's not a quick one, and it can't be counted on. The person who is abusive must want to change for themselves. He (or she) must realize that he has a problem and that he must deal with his issues of anger and violence for reasons other than just to manipulate his victim back into the relationship. Right now, I'd say that's not where your partner is coming from. He just wants the status quo back. He's got to get some insight into himself and his part in what's going on before there's any chance of a meaningful relationship between the two of you, or him and anybody else. This is an ugly mess and it's not something that can be remedied with a pill, or an anger management class. It's much deeper than that. :hug:
 

Lucky

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I'm trying to put into practice just exactly what you guys have said and I could not agree more.

His therapy has started, so I am told but I know it will take a long time before that changes anything. He keeps wanting to meet me, speak to me over the phone, but I find that I get really really angry and hostile toward him and we keep going around in circle.

The anger I think stems from the fact that I still don't really , truly feel that he knows the extent of the damage he has caused me, and my family.

I sent him a very long email, explaining how I feel, asking questions about his behaviour and anger toward me.

However all I get is a reply saying that hes taken on board what Ive said and is trying to digest that and that he thinks its important for us to keep communicating in this way.

However I've noticed I never get any answers when I ask why did this happen etc? Instead he accuses me of putting my barriers up and not communicating with about moving forward or the changes he needs to make.

Is that for me to tell him or for him to initiate? He says he wants to talk, meet up/discuss but he's not coming up with any plans /ideas about making positive changes???
 

David Baxter

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he accuses me of putting my barriers up and not communicating with about moving forward or the changes he needs to make. Is that for me to tell him or for him to initiate? He says he wants to talk, meet up/discuss but hes not coming up with any plans /ideas about making positive changes???

It is for him to initiate. For him to say he needs you to tell him what changes he needs to make simply reveals that he isn't taking responsibility for his own behavior - or that he just doesn't get it. Surely, it should be obvious to him that what needs to change is him - his anger and aggression. If that isn't abundantly clear to him already at this point, the prognosis for significant change is not good.
 

^^Phoenix^^

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I have to say, it is good that he is getting help. I have to give him some applause for that, however, if he doesn't believe that the occurances were his fault, as David said, It doesn't sound like their will be much change. That is certainly not to say that he wont change... he could have a break through in therapy, and realise that it has been his wrong doing, and that could be the begining of his change.

I wanted to firstly say that I appriciate your 'traditionalist' attititude, (as you say ;)) however, remaining married to him, doesn't mean that you have to live with him right now. Our lives generally hang in there for a long time, and in your situation, I really wouldn't rush into returning to him. He really has to work on himself, don't allow yourself to be fooled into returning because he has started therapy. He needs to go through with it, otherwise, he will feel like he went through therapy for you - and how nice he is.

Also, I want to suggest couples therapy, because a mediator between the two of you would help you get your messages accross.
 

Lana

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Hi Lucky;
I was wondering if you yourself are receiving some kind of therapy to help you with all of this. It seems to me that your husband is using guilt and manipulation tactics to snowball the issue, make you blind to what has happened and what needs to happen. Ducking answers, overwhelming you with promises, apologies, his brand of “love”, and telling you everything you want to hear are key ingredients to this snowball effect. This “communication” that he speaks of is meant to confuse you, isolate you, and gather information that he, without a doubt, will use. If you do go back to him, he will “remind” you of this, in his own “special” way.
 

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