Not Sure What To Do...
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|Tue, 07-24-2012 - 1:35pm|
I'm really confused and unsure of how I should proceed in my relationship with my husband. Part of me feels like I'm overreacting.
I've been with my husband for 8 years, married for the last 5. We have two beautiful children together, ages 6 and 4. We get along really well for the most part, but there have been several incidents throughout our relationship in which he has been physically violent towards me (most recently, a few days ago).
My husband is very mild-mannered and friendly with other people. I have never seen him raise his voice or show any hint of anger with others. It seems to be reserved only for me.
Up until this past Saturday, he hadn't touched me in a violent way in 10 months. Last September, we had gone away for a vacation with friends. We had a pleasant evening and then headed back to our hotel room. Once inside, he threw a bottle at me, sat on my arms, and strangled me. What frightened me most was the look on his face. He didn't even look like himself. He looked right into my eyes as I struggled to breathe. It seemed like a very personal attack. He had been physically violent with me in the past, but never frightened me so much as he had that time. I swore to him then that if he ever touched me again, that I would leave. I suggested that he go get help, but he never did.
On Saturday, we had gone boating with friends. I stood on the shore and had a conversation with a couple who were travelling with us and a male friend of theirs. The couple walked away for a moment, and I talked with their friend. When I saw my husband on the boat, I almost felt sick. I could see the look on his face and tell that he was angry/jealous. I went to tell him who the person was and what we had been talking about and he acted as though it hadn't bothered him, but I could tell that he was lying. Later, when we were alone in the trailer, I asked him if everything was OK. He started an argument about hamburger buns which resulted in his screaming at me and twisting my arm until I fell on the ground (the arm I recently had surgery on). I have a bruised arm now and a sprained hand.
I left for the night and stayed in someone else's trailer, as I wanted him to have time to think about what he had done. When I returned the next morning, he cried and told me how he didn't want to lose me, that he had a problem, and that he was going to get help. He has made arrangements for his first counseling session this week. We talked about why he gets so angry towards me. He told me that he is jealous and that he feels he can't "compete" with me. He feels that I am more attractive, sociable, and intelligent than he is. He told me that when we are arguing, he feels that he can't compete with words, and gets frustrated and tries to control the situation physically instead.
He tends to take things very personally. For example, if he wants to have sex and I'm tired or not feeling up to it, he'll make comments like, "I guess you don't love me as much as I love you" or imply that I'm not physically attracted to him. I try to explain that it has nothing to do with him, but he broods over it. More often than not, I will have sex just to avoid the argument, even if I don't want to. He always needs to know who I'm texting and gets annoyed and jealous when I go out with my friends. I find it easier to stay home, to avoid the interrogations that I get the day after going out. If I go to dinner with friends, he even asks me what everyone else at the table had to eat...as if I don't know that he's just testing me.
I took my wedding rings off and I still haven't decided what to do. I told him last night that I was glad that he was getting help and that I love him, but that I was unsure whether I could move on from this. He told me that this is the hardest thing he's ever gone through and that he needed me to be there to support him without seeming to understand that this is the hardest thing that I have ever had to go through as well. I feel guilty for thinking about leaving him while he's trying to make things right...but I'm also afraid of waiting around for the next time that he loses his temper. I'm afraid that he'll do something to me in front of my children.
Normally when he gets physically violent, I don't fight back because I'm afraid that I'll make the situation worse. On Saturday, I had an urge to hurt him back. I felt like killing him...I'm scared that if I stay and this happens again, that I'm going to fight back and one of us is going to get hurt.
The thought of breaking up my family and not seeing my kids all of the time makes me feel physically ill...but the thought of going on like this is equally frightening. I'm not sure what I should do...Everyone keeps telling me to do what's right for me. I just don't know what that is.
I know that I'm not the easiest person to live with. I get moody and irrational and, well...a woman. I just know that I don't want to be touched like that again. Do people really change?