Morning friends,

I really appreciate this community and the help and support you give one another. I am on a puppy quest. As most of you know my beloved dog Gracie died over a year ago. I didn’t think I would ever get another dog, but I miss a furry companion and have started the hunt.

Many of you know Gracie was a great dog, very attached to me but not so good with other people, especially when I was not present. It was difficult to leave her with friends or relatives because she would become so reclusive and depressed. For that reason I’m looking for a puppy that can be socialized to my entire family so that when I need to travel, they can watch her and she is happy.

So if you know of a reputable breeder of miniature Goldendoodles, that’s what I’m looking for. I’d sure appreciate a breeder name/recommendation. Searching for one is like trying to adopt a baby. A pretty involved process and not many readily available.

This Week’s Question: My husband says that he is put into a kind of uncontrollable rage when I disrespect him because it is his God-given right as the husband to be respected. Last night I told my husband, who has physically struck me in the past, that I felt unsafe in our marriage and that I thought it was necessary that we lay some ground rules and boundaries specifically to be enforced during our times of arguing and fighting so that we can keep each other accountable.

He resisted in agreeing boundaries were the issue but finally agreed. I told him that a universal boundary should be absolutely no physical striking or threats of physically or hurting of any kind toward one another. To that he said that his boundary equivalent to that was “no disrespect/raising my voice to him.” He said that when he is disrespected, he feels he is being verbally abused by me and it feels as terrible as I feel when he slaps me on the arm/leg/head.

In theory, this sounds “right.” He says that I am making a double standard when I put a boundary on his behavior but that he cannot on me. And yet, something does not seem right at all about what he is saying. I agree that disrespecting your husband is as sinful as physically striking your spouse in anger. Is it biblical to see these exactly the same in terms of setting “off limit” boundaries in disagreements?

Answer: Your struggle to think clearly in this muddle is common to women who live with abusive men. I want to help clarify some important truths. First, the sin may be the same, but the consequences are not. His sin of hitting you is not just sinful, it’s illegal.

Second, your husband’s rage and subsequent acts of violence toward you are not uncontrollable. He has total control and limits himself right now to certain levels of physical violence (that he feels are acceptable). His behavior is always his choice.  

In addition, I’m sure he has experienced disrespect from other people in his life – his employer, a rude driver, your children, a friend, or an enemy. People sin against us all the time in many ways and sometimes we do get angry. However, that doesn’t mean we hit them. In fact, isn’t that what we teach our children NOT to do when someone takes their toy or makes them mad? We don’t hit people when we’re mad. Period!

Let me ask you a question. Does your husband hit other people when he feels disrespected? What do you imagine a police officer would say if your husband used that as his excuse when he hit someone who disrespected him in traffic or at the mall?  

Your husband feels entitled to hit you when he is mad and you have chosen not to initiate legal consequences that would protect you from this kind of abusive behavior.

Third, your husband says that it is his God-given right to be respected. Does he also believe that it is your God-given right to be safe, feel loved, and cherished in your marriage? Therefore, when he fails to love and cherish you and you feel hurt or angry, would it be okay with him if you hit him?

I want you to be crystal clear on something. You will fail your spouse and he will fail you. Sometimes these failures are big but often they occur in little ways. When working with couples, I often hear, “He doesn’t love me like I’d like or she doesn’t respect me like I want her to.”

The truth is, no spouse can always give us what we want even if what we want is a good and godly thing. Hurt and disappointment occur in every marriage. But is abusive behavior or speech an appropriate response to our disappointment and anger when our spouse fails to give us what we want? Jesus says “Never!” The Bible labels that kind of behavior as sin and is never justified.

The truth is no one gets everything he or she wants all of the time. Part of growing up and maturing is learning how to handle ourselves in a godly, mature way when we are disappointed, angry, and hurt when we don’t get what we want. Click To Tweet

Your husband’s entitlement thinking has deceived him into believing that since he’s entitled to be respected, he’s entitled to hit you when you’re not complying with what he wants. That is not true.

How do other men handle being disrespected by their wives? They might pray for their wife. They might talk with their wife. They might get counseling as a couple. A much healthier response to his disappointment or hurt, if you don’t respect him, is for him to say, “Honey, that hurts me when you talk to me that way. Would you please stop?” Or even, “When you talk to me that way, I can’t hear you. I’m ending the conversation.”

As far as boundaries – you’re right, you will never feel safe to have a conversation with your husband let alone disagree if you fear for your safety. Also, I’m not sure of his definition of disrespect. You were very clear with your definition of what you want stopped, no physical threats or physical violence. His definition was fuzzy – “No disrespect or raising your voice.”

Does that mean that when you feel strongly about something or disagree, you can’t speak with an elevated voice without him feeling disrespected? Does that mean that you cannot argue because he will feel you don’t respect his opinion? Does that mean you have to agree with everything he thinks because not to will feel disrespectful to him?  

Ask him to define or describe for you the behavior you do that feels disrespectful to him. Is it calling him names? Is it swearing at him? Is it rolling your eyes? If you know what it is specifically, then you can decide whether or not you can agree to stop or change it. If you don’t know what it is, then it’s much harder to stop disrespecting him (in his eyes).

Finally, in order to live together in a safe way, you both need to agree when either one of you feels unsafe, the one who feels unsafe can call a time out. That means you stop the conversation, until such time self-control and healthy conversation or conflict can occur.

It’s important for you to realize those seemingly lesser violent incidents like pushing or hitting often escalate in intensity and frequency over time to more dangerous levels. I’m concerned about your long term safety as well what it says to your children who see their father justify and excuse his treatment of their mother by hitting her and then blaming her. Over time that pattern can lead to your children doing the same; blaming you and acting abusively towards you when they feel frustrated or angry with you. They also may very well end up blaming you for “ruining the family” when you’ve had enough of his abuse and want to separate or end the marriage.

Friends, how do you wade through the confusion of blame-shifting when someone blames you for their bad feelings or sinful actions?

79 Comments

  1. Laura on January 16, 2019 at 7:35 am

    I think one appropriate boundary would be to say, “If you hit me, I will call the police.”

    • Anon on July 22, 2020 at 9:09 pm

      @Laura I said this to my husband the day after the first time he hit me and he saw it as a threat. This is why I am scared because mindset is everything and he doesn’t even know what he did was so wrong. Not only wrong but the magnitude of it and the affects it has and what it means …

  2. Aly on January 16, 2019 at 8:27 am

    Leslie,
    This is an excellent reply to a very important topic. Not just the physical part of abuse but the mindset that is revealed in the writer AND her husband.
    The fact that she is ‘even’ negotiating with her husband indicates dangerous destructive cycles that she might be in denial of or needing serious intervention about her rationalization over the abuse she is currently in.

    The mindset of the husband is also important to see as you pointed out about his possible definition of disrespect. SO KEY!

    My husband had and sometimes struggles with this area of defining disrespect.
    While he has never been technically used physical action to harm and hurt he has been emotionally and verbally destructive- with the capacity of blame shifting to an expert level.
    My husband used to define my difference of opinion as disrespect, or if I had any issue to be resolved. Many things were feelings of disrespect if he wasn’t getting back the mirror he was looking for. It took ALOT of intervention for him to rewire his mindset on how he defined disrespect. This was one root of many that created a lot of problems in our marriage.
    It also was a signal of a maturity issue too,

    This blame shifting is really saying I will not take personal responsibility for my behavior.
    To wade through the confusion and see clearly…
    1. Keep a journal or notes on your phone- read them, look for patterns
    2. Get SAFE others involved – professional counseling essential
    3. Draw near Jesus like never before,detach emotionally from your resistant abuser – May need to physically separate.
    4. Get Support group 2-3 people at min.
    5. Educate yourself as if you are having to climb Mt Everest.
    Lundy Bancroft is a good resource.
    6. If possible depending on your own recovery – Invite the offender into recovery and see what their choice is by action only not their words.

    One must keep a fact journal.
    Facts are critical even if the abuser doesn’t want to acknowledge anything or entertain a conversation- trust me often they won’t and if they do it will blow to again WW3.

    Writer your attempts at educating your husband and giving ground rules about physical abuse is concerning because you are not speaking to a 2 yr old.
    Does he sit down with you and tell ‘you not to hit him’ when you don’t feel cared for or when you feel hurt or disagree with him?
    I would assume that this doesn’t go the other way.
    It isn’t just his physical actions that are deeply scary but his mindset is far more problematic. He needs interventions!!!

    Writer- this husband you are married to is currently missing ‘critical marriage material’ to be in place where the Lord can be glorified.
    As a Christian, your covenant and ambassadorship is with the Lord first and for-most.
    You are a daughter of the King and hopefully that will help you seek detachment so things won’t continue to get foggy for you.
    Prayers for God’s wisdom and will here 🙏

    • Aly on January 16, 2019 at 10:51 am

      Leslie, the writer and others;

      One more important thing…
      Early on in the discovery of my husbands destructive MINDSET it was also disrespectful to him if I had ‘needs’ that were not his own or needs he could not relate to.
      He saw me needing something different or needing something from him that didn’t come natural as disrespectful.

      • JoAnn on January 31, 2019 at 9:52 pm

        Aly and others, I am late stepping in here because somehow my name got dropped and I didn’t see this earlier. I’ve missed you all!
        I think that your point about defining what he calls disrespectful is important. The writer needs to “sweep her own side of the street” here, to be sure that her behavior is God-honoring. It’s one thing to have a different opinion from his, if that’s what he calls disrespectful, but it’s another matter entirely how she expresses that opinion. If, when she expresses it in a calm and respectful way, he still gets angry, then that’s on him. But she needs to be very careful how she expresses herself so that she isn’t really agitating him. As Leslie said, eye rolling and name calling are definitely not respectful behaviors.

        • GraceisCome on February 1, 2019 at 11:19 am

          I so agree with this Aly, and it reminds me regretfully (but needfully) of the ways I expressed myself to my husband’s verbal attacks and other things (self-defensiveness, nasty comments about his work ethic, and other things ) : …it clouds the waters and has me going into thoughts of “if I had only been like this rather than that” – though I still know the abuse was not right either way. I just had SUCH a hard time with disappointment, resentment, and similar that is FELT nearly impossible to respond in love. I wish I had all of the time! ( : Thank you!

  3. Connie on January 16, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    I just saw this on a secret betrayal trauma recovery site on FB:

    I wish someone told me this when I was married. When an addict or a family member that supports the addict make a claim about me or refuse to hear my story, explaining myself just does not work because of how our brain is wired.
    I am a therapist and do a lot of work with points of resistance and cognitive dissonance. I am currently reading a huge dissertation on dissonance because we work with a lot of resistant addicts. Turns out that our brains are wired to literally “maintain itself against he intrusion of new and potentially upsetting information.” What this means is that no angel and no amount of evidence can change the minds of someone tat has decided to protect their current belief system UNLESS they choose to challenge that by going to therapy and getting an experiential therapist (still reading the dissertation). I suffered so much from trying to explain myself and repeating myself and gathering evidence so I can once and for all prove tat my exhusband was abusive. Well, his parents never did see all the mounts of evidence. Through my personal recovery work I learned to allow them to have their own reality as I know what real reality was. Now, I feel like I further understand (and feel validated) that they are literally not capable of seeing evidence. Maybe this does not help anyone but knowing the science behind it helped me.

    • Olga on January 22, 2019 at 7:28 am

      This really helped me a lot. Thank you for sharing. My husband blames me for our 13 year marriage ending (I had an affair 6 years ago) However I finally decided to get a divorce because of his emotional and psychological abuse towards me and our two young daughters. It just dawned on me that his ” brain is wired to literally “maintain itself against the intrusion of new and potentially upsetting information.” namely that his behaviour was the cause of me leaving our marriage so instead he convinced himself that we are getting a divorce because of my affair that happened 6 years ago!

      • Moon Beam on January 23, 2019 at 2:18 am

        Yes Olga and he will deny taking responsibility for his actions and often play the victim when caught too. Have you done some research about Narcissism?

        • Carolyn on January 30, 2019 at 8:10 pm

          Hello. Olga had the affair, not her husband.

          • Carolyn on January 30, 2019 at 8:11 pm

            He WAS the victim.



          • GraceisCome on February 1, 2019 at 11:35 am

            But it sounds like perhaps Olga asked forgiveness for (?) the affair…etc., and that MORE RECENTLY she has been hurt by ongoing emotional and psychological abuse from her husband (who is supposed to protect and…). And even if he were to say that this was the result of her affair (giving himself justification for the abuse – though Olga did not say what the abuse was, I’m sure she is probably mature enough to know that it was abuse?), it in fact does not give him an excuse by any stretch of the imagination to defile his role as husband (protect…cherish…) and daily(?) cut his wife down (do you all realize this is ongoing damage to one’s soul?!?!?!). One can take only so much, and it is NEVER justified no matter what one has done or does (I think that is an ongoing theme in all of these conversations). God bless you all – very much!



      • Carolyn on January 30, 2019 at 8:05 pm

        Sounds like some blame shifting and justification is going on in your mind. It is never okay to have an affair. You had lots of options and a betrayed spouse has a biblical right to divorce you and marry someone else. Time has nothing to do with it. When you break that sacred trust you have destroyed something precious. It may take him 6 or more years to heal, see clearly whether you are truly repentant and broken and make a decision. Your minimization of the harm you did, blame, and bitter tone tells me you are not sorrowful at all. You could instead be thankful that he gave you any time at all to show him you have taken full responsibility and had a heart change.

        • Leslie Vernick on January 31, 2019 at 12:59 am

          Not sure what you mean Carolyn as there was no affair in this question. The husband is clearly blameshifting his own anger issues onto his wife, and she never said she had an affair. But even if she or he had an affair in while in the marriage, abusive behavior is not justified or excusable. Nor is an affair. So when these breaches in marital trust comes up, they must be dealt with in a wise and Biblical way or the marriage relationship stays broken.

          • sheep on January 31, 2019 at 1:11 am

            I think Carolyn was talking to Olga, not the original question writer.



    • GraceisCome on February 1, 2019 at 11:28 am

      To what Connie said above – oh my gosh! It helps me tremendously in helping understand many held-onto mindsets in this situation. I have in the past looked into cognitive dissonance (not in this particular context however) and find it fascinating. I now find it even more fascinating in how it may apply in my own relationship situation – for all parties, probably even myself! God bless.

  4. Janice D on January 16, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    Connie,I’m reminded of the passage in Romans 1 about fools suppressing the truth…and God gives them what their deceitful hearts desire.It sounds like science is backing up the fact that the longer you deny truth and live in your own reality,the harder it is to recognize and receive truth when it is presented to you.I believe the Bible teaches this.We don’t know when people reach this so we are called to pray for sight for the (spiritually)blind and leave them in Gods hands.This is where I am with my husband after almost 6 months of separation. Fear keeps people trapped in cages of denial,but God only dwells in truth because He is the truth and He removes the scales from our eyes as we humbly submit to Him.I like how you put it” allow them to have their own reality”.I think this is exactly what Jesus did when people turned away from Him,he allowed them to choose to walk away.

    • GraceisCome on February 1, 2019 at 11:42 am

      Wow Janice. I love this! I love when folks relate all of this back to something in God’s Word (truth) – and this is incredibly insightful! I just could not understand why my husband couldn’t seem to see certain things (which resulted often in blame-shifting), and so this is helping me a lot. I am praying too during this time of separation. But sometimes it seems that certain things are just so deeply ingrained (and for so long) that nothing apart from a miracle will free him from them (and thus I will continue to be most of the problem…). And at this point, I’m not sure how much a part of this I am supposed to be even though I know God hates divorce (that is NOT what I want; I would love the miracle – and in me too).

  5. Starlight on January 17, 2019 at 2:13 am

    The real disrespect is his physical abuse of you – usually the claim of disrespect is a smokescreen for the truth. I have seen someone with stolen merchandise under their jacket claim the store clerk was disrespecting them!
    I love Leslie’s quote that part of growing up is learning how to handle ourselves when we are disappointed, angry, and hurt when we don’t get what we want.
    Thanks Leslie for speaking truth to help clear the fog!

    • Moon Beam on January 23, 2019 at 2:03 am

      The comment of disrespect also seems a red flag for Narcissistic Personality Disorder or it’s tendencies. I suggest the writer research that disorder and see if they see parallels. I also recommend Lundy Bancroft’s book, ” Why Does He Do That?.”

      I think the last thing in the world you are doing is disrespecting your spouse, on the contrary, you are respecting someone who should not be respected at all!

  6. Nancy on January 17, 2019 at 6:50 am

    It blows me away how our brains get affected by manipulation. How is it that this dear writer is so confused about such basic differences between something illegal ( striking another person) and her husband’s very vague definition of ‘feeling disrespected’.

    I say this not in judgment at all because it took years of Bible Study to begin seeingt the truth about my own marriage as well as the way my FOO operates.

    Just keep taking steps toward truth. Read your Bible ( better yet, do so in a safe Bible Study). Pray, pray, pray. Slow things down in your life ( especially conversations with your h and when you feel confused STOP the conversation – this was the mightiest tool I had at the beginning ( listening to my own instincts)). Keep wise counsel ( friends and a good counsellor).

    Lean into The Lord. He IS Truth.

  7. Liz on January 17, 2019 at 9:38 am

    I hope this will help the writer or any other person with a similar struggle. This video perfectly addresses the dynamics of abuse described by the writer: Dynamics of Abuse by Bob Hamp

    • Aly on January 17, 2019 at 9:42 pm

      Liz,
      This is excellent! Thank you for posting. I’m pretty sure I watched/listened to the right one, it has some length but my goodness… so well described.

      • Gwenn on January 23, 2019 at 9:47 am

        This video was spot on!! It did a great job at explaining it in terms I could understand. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Gwenn on January 23, 2019 at 10:08 am

      Great video that spells it out very well. Thanks for sharing Liz

    • Ginny on January 23, 2019 at 10:10 am

      Great video that spells it out very well. Thanks for sharing Liz!

    • Ginny on January 23, 2019 at 10:16 am

      Thanks Liz…this is a good video that spells things out well.

  8. Sunny on January 22, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Boundaries regarding raising your voice should be mutual too. He doesn’t get to raise his voice with you, but you must be quiet and gentle mannered. Can’t have the rules both ways.

    • Autumn on January 23, 2019 at 2:11 am

      Good point Sunny, often in these deeply disturbing destructive relationships one person makes a bunch of self serving rules. If some one gave me a pen and paper right now I could write a list of the “rules” my abusive spouse insisted upon.

      Thanks for bringing up this point. Ah…yes….the never ending rules with terrible consequences for the victimized/manipulated/objectified partner who dares to breathe in their presence.

  9. Wendy on January 22, 2019 at 10:19 am

    Kaos Farm Goldendoodles

    Leslie, you can google them and it will bring yo their webpage.

    Hope you find the perfect dog for you!

    • Leslie Vernick on January 22, 2019 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks.

  10. Chuck on January 22, 2019 at 11:16 am

    This guy is not a Christian or a man. No man treats a woman that way. Get you and your children away from him ASAP. He won’t change, you are the strong one for putting up with that treatment. Get out. God does not condone any abuse. Stay strong. God Bless.

    • Free on January 22, 2019 at 6:50 pm

      Thank you for your firm stance Chuck.

  11. Annie on January 22, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    With a Christian upbringing it makes me angry and sad I was brought up to be so nice. That nice is more important than truth. And now that I know better I have so few words in the moment and so little courage because I am such a beginner at it so my situation drags on. My unspoken but acted on boundaries have decreased the frequency but certainly not changed his heart as it still slips out.

    I am angry and sad that this woman who is being hit has to question herself if she is doing the right thing when she asks him to stop and he feels this is a negotiating point to get what he wants. Angry and sad that my friend now is stepping into the exact wrong situation of going for couples counselling with a Christian lay counsellor and her EDH will likely get away with years of manipulating the situation even though I have shared with her truths and resources contrary.

    Why is this so hard to step out of whether the abuse is subtle or overt? I’m looking for that moment when the pain of changing is greater than the pain of staying the same…pain either way.

    • Free on January 22, 2019 at 6:56 pm

      Might it be wise to begin to formulate an exit plan? You can choose to enact it at your discretion.

      Exit plan guidelines are available on most domestic violence sites and from the national hotline.

      Gather documents and make copies (insurance, passports, bank account numbers, titles, mortgage documents, phone records) and secure funds, extra medications. Make a spare set of keys. Have a ready to go overnight bag. Get a pay as you use phone. Line up a trusted friend. Seek legal advice. Etc..etc…

    • GraceisCome on February 1, 2019 at 12:14 pm

      Oh my gosh, Annie, your question at the end of your January 22 post just begs for an entirely separate blog! Thank you for it. I believe you summed it up well when you said “the pain of changing” (did you mean that the pain of change is less than the pain of it staying the same?). In my own circumstance, my answer(s) would be under that umbrella “pain of changing”: not wanting to let go of the “nice feeling” of being part of a couple (even a volatile couple!)…having to uproot from an already-established home, family, routine (which usually includes friends, family members, church…)…the opposite side of the same coin above: having to deal with the prospect of being single (again) and what that entails. Shoot! I don’t want to add to that pain of change by going into detail here, but by holding onto the pain of the relationship I have hopefully temporarily lost a lot of things anyway due to an injury that has taken time to heal (which includes sometimes what feels like my sanity because of not understanding where his treatment and my behaviors begin and end — what I could do/could have done differently and how much that may or may not have changed my husband’s responses). All of that said is to say if your mind feels tangled and/or you experience even just a modicum of peace more thinking about the change versus thinking about remaining (and I know even THAT can change from moment to moment at times!)…just keep seeking wise counsel and prayer and privately journaling is also an excellent way. I don’t know your specific situation, and this may or may not apply, but things can escalate if certain other things are allowed to continue. God bless.

  12. GraceisCome on February 1, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Oh my gosh; this forum is amazing. I am so grateful for it. My husband has physically abused me, but most of the abuse that occurs in our little family has been verbal – often mutual, sadly. I take part of the blame because I know my motivations for marrying were not godly (even though I am a Christian), and that guilt has permeated the entire length of time – before and after the marriage – the relationship. This deeply frustrates and hurts my now-husband, which touches raw nerves of rejection and insecurity, which leads to what I believe are deeply ingrained responses of name calling, sarcasm, and mocking. These responses, in turn, only serve to convince me that I am reaping what I have sown by marrying (though deep down inside I know it is wrong), and to often give back responses that only serve to make him more hurt, more frustrated, more angry at me. This has been the impetus I think for some of the physical. But what was shared here is all-too-familiar. My husband knows ultimately that how he treats me is not right; but I guess in order to avoid the reality that this is really part of him(?)(ONLY part; he has some very wonderful, wonderful qualities that drew me to him), or…I’m not sure…quite often it comes back to that it is me who “pushes buttons” (I have even been told that by my congregation) and that I need to change (and to this day, I am very hazy on what that change is supposed to be; I hear the word “you” so often and I can almost FEEL the word when it is said now). I WANT to change to be a supportive; encouraging; and yes submissive wife, but when I even ask that question (about how I can change), I am told things close to that I should know what that is (though at other times I am told that I am not equipped to “diagnose” my own issues)…and even that I have deep spiritual strongholds from which I need to be delivered. All of this makes my mind feel twisted and my heart feel sad as I often feel like I will never be able to be that which my husband desires me to be. We are separated, and I don’t THINK I want the marriage to end; but I also sadly can’t see myself living under the conditions described above. I am so torn right now about wanting to go back to my little family (and congregation, which I love), but knowing what happened most recently between my husband and me can’t happen again, along with all of the abuse that led up to it. I have been seeking counsel (now including this marvelous site); but my husband, though he says he knows he/we need counseling, has not been that hungrily seeking it (as much as he says he wants our marriage to work) and often comes back to both referring to my problems in the marriage and that we should be able for the most part to work it out together. I wish I could believe that; but wisdom and love says otherwise. I hope that’s what it is. Thanks and God bless.

    • Autumn on February 1, 2019 at 2:56 pm

      He is not fit to diagnose your issues either. Have you read Lundy Bancroft’s books yet?

      So what that you married him for the wrong reasons. None of us really know what marriage is until we are in it. Many people selected mates across the centuries for poor reasons. Time to live in the present. Clean up your act an hold your tongue.

      Record his abusive words and set boundaries. He does not get the right or have the authority to criticize you. You are a child of God who Christ died for. Be loving even if you are not being loved. Then his bad behaviors will be more obvious. Don’t engage in argument or conflict. Get individual counseling for yourself.

      Read, listen, learn and pray. Then you will know what action to take. Watch Patrick Doyle’s videos and call domestic violence hotlines for more information.

  13. many years on February 3, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    I desire to honor the Lord in what I say here. The entrapment which comes from being in an abusive marriage relationship, sometimes, does not stem from how we treat our own spouse. It has a lot to do with how each of us were raised.

    It depends upon who our parents were, how they treated each other, how they treated their children (us) what type of fellowship we had in church growing up, including abusive relational values which were very strict, or on the other hand, very lenient. If our parents showed love to one another, whether there was violence, or there was a mutual respect for each other.

    The way we were raised does have a profound affect on how we perceive our own marriages.
    I have read Leslie’s book ‘The Emotionally Destructive Marriage.’ I have Lundy Bancroft’s book ‘Why Does He Do That?’; I have read Cloud and Townswend’s book, ‘Boundaries’. I have been on at least four counseling sites online, on Facebook, and have read countless sites about Narcissism, Scociopaths, etc. in order to be well armed with facing my own marriage dilemma.

    I have prayed, I have read major portions of scripture in order to fortify myself armed with God’s Word, and also proving out what I have read or heard from other’s experiences
    .
    I have been blessed beyond measure from the arsenal of beautiful counsel, which has enabled me to be strong in the Lord.

    I completely understand about what Aly went through with her husband. There are men, no matter how strong and loving and kind the wife is to the man, that the husband feels entitled to whatever goes through his immature imagination. This type of man is spiritually stunted. My husband just recently told me that he does not know how to change. At least he admitted it.

    For years, all I could think about was, what am I doing wrong to deserve the verbal, emotional, and mental abuse, and once, I was hit for a very minor thing. This was twenty years ago, before there was the computer to turn to for advice and council, with all of the domestic violence information. It was a time when the church was NOT coming to the aid of women and some men, who were in abusive relationships.I know this to be true, as I had gone to one of the minister’s wives, and had told her part of my marriage plight, and she had told her husband, and the next Sunday, the minister came up and his short, one line sentence, he said ‘The ball’s in your court now.” No help, no council, no nothing.

    At the time, I had even confronted my husband with his abusive, and all he said was talking about his family’s FOO, repulsed him.His dad was a man of severe verbal and physical abuse. My husband did not want to address why he was the way he was. Just like his dad. His words were, “I am not like my dad.” His own sister one time confided in me that her brother (my husband) was far worse than his dad ever was..

    It showed to me that my husband was a very damaged individual, with not a lot of hope in him ever changing.
    I will site an example of how he still thinks. Today, I made lunch, heated up some leftover pizza, for my disabled son, and then heated it up for my husband. I was fixing a sandwich for myself. I told my son to wait for dad and not eat first. But my son, being mentally handicap, ate anyway. So, my husband came in, and began eating while I was still making my own sandwich. By the time my husband was finished, I was just sitting down at the table. He said “Do you do that on purpose? Wait until I have the last bit of food in my mouth before you sit down?” meaning, my food was not ready so that I could eat with him. So, I said “No. I fix food for everyone else first, and then do my own, and sit down.” I also said to him, “You can imagine what you want”. So he actually sat there, as this has happened before, where he gets up from the table as I am sitting down. So, I am thinking to myself… Hey! It’s just a casual Saturday lunch! Ya! know!. BUT, it was all about himself feeling slighted, or shunned, in his own imagination

    When he had first sat down for lunch he could have chosen to wait for ME to sit down so we could eat together. But, no, that type of thinking does not cross the mind of a man who feels everything revolves around himself.

    That is how our marriage has been. Mostly about how it has been about him, and his entitlement.

    Now, why I am saying this is, as a wife, we can worry about the little things which will annoy our husbands, which is circular reasoning which gets us nowhere on the road to recovery of our own healing. We have to let go of the angst of our husbands, and let God do the work in the husband’s heart. As much as we would like for our husband to change, it is not going to happen, if we allow ourselves to be trampled time and time again, without just letting it go, and moving forward with our own lives for the Lord.

    If we are thinking too much of what our husband’s next reaction is going to be; our minds are preoccupied with how we can answer our husband’s next verbal assault; which is ends in over-thinking the problem. This is unhealthy, and does not allow the Holy Spirit to reign in our hearts.

    What we should be doing, is thinking more of what the Lord wants us to be doing with our situation, and work on building ourselves up in the most holy faith, and in God’s Word daily. And for some, this means planning for a way of escape, in God’s timing for us.

    • Nancyo on February 5, 2019 at 6:54 am

      I agree with one of your last sentiment Many Years, “what we should be doing is thinking more of what the Lord wants us to be doing with our situation,”

      And so I ask a simple question: why are you preparing him food, at all?

      When you open yourself up like that you are opening yourself up to be ‘trampled on’.

      You are a daughter of the most high king. When you accepted Christ your very nature changed (John 1:12-13), you are no longer a prisoner of generational sin, or of your FOO.

      Please guard your heart.

  14. many years on February 10, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    Hi, Nancy
    Well, I have attempted to be a faithful and courteous wife, and God says to feed your enemies, and He will do the rest. So, I obey the Lord in that endeavor. Thanks for the question. God bless you! I am in an ‘Abigail’ situation. Please don’t over-think what God wants some of us to do, while we are ‘staying well.’

  15. SAMANTHA DIVIS on October 13, 2019 at 1:11 am

    To the woman who originally wrote the question, I hope you ran. I hope you ran far and hard in the opposite direction of your husband. I hope now you look back on this and realize he didn’t love you, he just loved having a permanent outlet for all his frustrations. I hope you’re safe now. He will hit you again. He will find any reason to. I permanently lost my ability to feel the upper left side of the roof of my mouth because I was in your position once and didn’t quite understand all the warning signs being thrown my way. He hit me so hard across the face that I ended up bloodied and bruised on the floor in the kitchen unable to see out of one eye and several gashes on my face from where he slammed my head into the corner of the countertop of the kitchen island multiple times. With these men, you have to understand there is no saving them. They will only hurt you. I hope you’re in a better place now. Much love.

  16. jacqualine riddle on February 20, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    i have exactly the same problem as this lady he just did it again to me across my ear in front of my son who is 10 i am stuck i have no family no job its been going on for years the disrespect the verbal emotional and physical abuse i would rather be dead than let my son see and hear this and live like this hes arrogant pridful nasty aggressive humilating degrading and toxic and teaches my son how not to be a man i am desperate to get out after so many years he thretens to murder me if i take my son and my son as much as he loves me wouldnt go with me as he is frarfull of his father and knows what he will do i have prayed for years about this my son means the world to me i could never leave him at the same time i cannot live like this

    • Leslie Vernick on April 6, 2020 at 4:54 pm

      I hope you have called the police or gotten to safety by now. I hate to hear what is happening to you and so many other women. You do not deserve to be treated this way and what he is doing to you is not only immoral and wrong, it is illegal. Please get yourself some help for this. The DV hotline # is 1800 799 SAFE.

    • Jenny on June 20, 2020 at 2:17 am

      The government gives you a place to live for free called section 8. Also just get a restraining order on him. If he tries to lay another finger on you his ass will be in jail. Dont be scared. Do it for you and your son.

  17. Missie Bramhall on April 6, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    My husband keeps hitting and punching me. He absolutely hates me. I would leave but I have nowhere to go. I’m so scared of him. We have been married for 20 years and only in the last couple of years he’s started beating me.i don’t know what to do.

    • Leslie Vernick on April 6, 2020 at 4:53 pm

      Domestic violence increases in frequency and intensity over time and it sounds like that’s happening to you. Please call the police and file a protection from abuse order. Beating you is illegal and you have every right to be safe in your own home. You can also call the domestic abuse hotline at 1800 799 SAFE to ask for help to develop a safety plan but please get out. You do not have to put up with this. God hates what is happening to you and wants you to be safe. Do you have children who are witnessing this?

      • Anon on July 22, 2020 at 8:20 pm

        Hi. I am in this Situation but first time he hit me, we have a 5 month old baby. Is there redemption for him or should I leave? What is the success rate of people that go through therapy? He doesn’t seem genuinely sorry and blames me for it like you mentioned above.

  18. Bob Dooley on April 28, 2020 at 3:49 am

    For the most part I agree with the article except for when the fights between spouses are compared to the fights that happen between regular people. You question it like “Would you get physically violent if this conversation happened with a friend/boss/etc.?” And the answer is maybe! That’s where the article fails to see that the dynamic between a couple living together is far different!

    • Nina on October 12, 2020 at 9:02 am

      Sorry, but I don’t agree with you. If you don’t dare to hit, spit at people you don’t know and you do this to person you’re supposed to spend life with, then I think your priorities are wrong. Aggressor feels safe so they hit or insult. Sad but true. If you love somebody at least treat them better than a stranger.

  19. Alejandro Enrique Salazar on August 12, 2020 at 5:04 am

    (I am a GAY MAN in a gay relationship) [I do believe in GOD(my partner does not)
    I am not sure but I think I am in an abusive relationship. I’m not tired for crying when i say the wrong thing. And the occasional physical abuse which is never permissible. No one will understand but I am just so mentally damaged. I cannot think straight please don’t tell anyone. 

    maybe it’s not that bad

    but i think it is
    i didn’t  say anything that BAD
    I can never have a rational conversation 
    I just don’t what to do sometimes life is bliss and sometimes it  is the worst

    I am scared this is my first time speaking out. But I can relate a lot to this question.

    I am indeed emotionally and physically damaged.

    • Connie on August 13, 2020 at 7:57 pm

      I’m sorry that you are being treated badly, Alejandro. Your confusion is a big sign that it is a problem and that it is probably not you. Sometimes good and sometimes bad is a typical theme that many of us have experienced. You might research ‘abuse cycle’. Keep reading here, and above all, ask Jesus how He sees you and where He is in this situation. He cares about you more than know. Ask Him what your next step should be and try to find at least one friend who understands and will support you.

    • Aly on August 14, 2020 at 8:37 am

      Alejandro,
      Being hit or abused in any form is never ok. It’s wrong and completely unacceptable! Often an abusive person will blame it on the other person so they don’t feel the shame of their own ‘out of control behavior’.
      Abuse in any form is out of control behavior! If you are being physically abused at times, you are most like being emotionally and mentally/spiritually abused on a regular basis. You said the occasional physical abuse happens but is not permissible. If it’s occurred and is occasional it’s been permissible by not having any serious consequences.
      The partner you have is not healthy enough to be in a relationship of any kind. See if you can find a professional Christian counselor for yourself, because our souls need a lot of healing when we have been hurt in sacred places.
      Also you said that you can’t have a rational conversation, this is one of the common things that those of us in destructive relationships can experience. It’s exhausting and it’s part of the abuse cycle!
      Prayers and hugs for your safety and your healing journey. You are not alone and there is a lot of help and resources available.

    • Ashley Lassiter on February 19, 2021 at 4:23 pm

      Alejandro, I wept as I read your broken thoughts. Because I too am feeling like I can’t do anything. I do nothing right and can’t even finish a thought anymore. I don’t know what to do. I love my husband and we have 4 wonderful kids. He constantly tells me he doesn’t like me and is is abusive but when I finally get strong enough to pack up, he shows me love and I guess I’m so starved for it that it feels like he means it. I’m beginning to see now that he doesn’t. Sorry. I know this is not a solution or relevant. I just want you to know you aren’t alone and I just for some reason felt drawn to your words. I pray things get better.

  20. Kay on September 29, 2020 at 10:28 am

    I just left an abusive relationship in June. We were married for 15 years. He became verbally abusive when things didn’t go his way. It happened gradually. Towards the end of our marriage it got very bad. He developed an addiction and it got much worse. He blamed me for his drug use, blamed me for his affair, blamed me for his name-calling. He wanted a wife who is compliant and not disrespectful. His idea of respect was never questioning his choices or disagreeing. It became physically abusive in the last year. He started telling me that he should have put me in my place a long time ago. That every woman he knew had been hit and was better for it. The first time I was shocked, he put numerous lumps on my head with his knuckle. Afterwards he told me that he left no marks, therefore I had no right to feel abused and it was my fault for not knowing my place. The last time he bruised me badly, spitting on me, and telling me that not even my own family could stand me. He did this in the front yard and a neighbor called the police. He was arrested and I filed for divorce. Still he maintains that if I hadn’t made him so angry it wouldn’t have happened and he didn’t beat me because he did not use his fists. He blames his arrest on me being to loud and dramatic. I know he can controll it, he never abused me in front of our children, he always waited until they were not home or in another room. They did witness some of the emotional abuse and gaslighting though and they (teens) were already urging me to file for divorce before the physical abuse began. I struggle with depression, and confusion because he manipulated me for so long. I question whether my own memories and experiences are correct. I wish I had divorced him years ago but he told me that I was an unfit mother and that no one intelligent would give me custody of the kids. He was wrong and deep down I knew it.

  21. HH on December 11, 2020 at 5:33 am

    Thank you for sharing this.

    I would like some help. I’m not sure what steps take in my Marriage.
    Almost 2years of marriage. But I’ve come to understand that he’s always been abusive. Started with name calling and asking fun of me. Saying I’m horrible etc.
    He started threatening me with his fists. Because I was questioning whether or not he was having an affair.
    I’m very jelous or simply very sensitive to how he looks and deals with other women. I think he flirts and he thinks it’s alright.
    Whenever I bring this up he gets aggressive and hits me. I’ve started defending myself and hit him also. It’s terrible I know. What should do? I don’t feel safe, nor loved, understood etc.
    Thank you for your help

    • Leslie Vernick on December 12, 2020 at 7:38 pm

      The bigger problem is he doesn’t care how you feel and when you express it (I feel jealous or insecure, or offended by your interactions with other women) he hurts you. So you have two BIG Problems. One is he doensn’t care how you feel and second, he hurts you when you express how you feel. Where does that leave you in terms of a healthy marriage? No where. You do not have a viable, healthy marriage. Now the issue is, what do you want to do about it for you? You can’t change him.

  22. Divine on December 27, 2020 at 10:06 am

    Thanks for this reply. I am confused – my husband says my verbal abuse, yelling at kids, provoke him to hit kids. Acc to him my verbal abuse triggers him for physical abuse. He gets at me too. We otherwise have a good married life with 2 kids. But we end up having intense fights due to parenting differences, acc to him I shout at kids a lot and he can’t stand that. He clearly told me he doesn’t respect me and finds me a looser. Yes I doubt my marriage now but I also want to dissect the situation here.

  23. bunny on January 31, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    Hi Leslie,
    I really don’t have anyone to talk to or understands me , am really confused right now… my husband is telling me he will change and he is doing things to make me feel like he is like helping me out with chores but he’s hit me before and I tried to leave him before but due to personal circumstances I had no choice but to stay. I no longer feel happy and I feel like I’ve lost my identity and confidence. What should I do? Thank you.

  24. Anonymous on April 15, 2021 at 6:10 am

    Hi. Please I got married 2years ago. A year and some months to be precise. I dated my husband for about 8years before we got married and it was fun most times but I remember we had an argument once, I was behaving like a jerk so he slapped me. But we went past through all that, even dated 5more years before we finally got married. I’m not a saint, sometimes wen I get provoked by him, I can even insult him that’s he’s stupid, but I never mean anything I say. But it still hurts him. So he just resulted to hitting me. Since we got married, I’ve been hit on 4 different occasions by him. One time it was so merciless that he broke a stick on my body, gave me a headbutt and beat me mercilessly. All because I didn’t heed to what he said. Like I said, I’m not a saint, I throw tantrums most times which I’m trying to avoid but he still provokes me at times and he has promised to continue beating me anytime we have an argument and I insult him. I asked him why he can’t insult me back, he said he’s not a woman to be exchanging words with me. Please what do I do because these issues aren’t consistent but whenever they arrive, it can be brutal. And please what can I do as well to avoid insulting him whenever I’m angry. The highest insult I have used is ‘Youre stupid or mad’. And I admit by wrongs, yes I do but does it warrant getting beaten up??

    Anonymous..

    • Leslie Vernick on April 20, 2021 at 11:29 am

      You don’t deserve to be hit and he doesn’t deserve to be insulted, no matter what. So I’d encourage you to work on how you handle your own anger, but if he hits you again, call the police. Battering is illegal jail might help him see that hitting you is not acceptable EVER.

      • Bethy on March 19, 2022 at 6:08 am

        I am sorry but I feel like you’re really downplaying domestic violence in your responses without really understanding domestic violence. When the wife “insults” her husband with those two words, she’s simply at this point defending herself the only way against a known abuser. Someone who broke sticks on her body and punches her. There’s nothing that can EQUAL what he has done to her but it almost feels like you are saying she’s also wrong or should hold herself back. This woman seems like she’s taken so much abuse that she’s even blaming herself for saying two words while he just beats her over and over. This is dangerous advice to give out to abused women.

        • Leslie Vernick on March 21, 2022 at 11:18 pm

          Bethy, can you give me some examples of what you mean. I reread the blog and I don’t think I downplayed anything. What specific advice did you think was dangeous?

    • said it before on April 28, 2021 at 7:34 am

      sound like you deserve each other. what else can someone say?

    • Aly on May 23, 2021 at 8:32 am

      Anonymous,
      This is not a safe environment to be in let alone wait for the next time your husband rationalizes his horrendous behavior. This is dangerous and needs serious intervention. You are not in a situation where you ‘wait’ to call the police. Living with someone where they think this behavior is normal to react to is not helping them or you move to a better healthier way.

    • hilda luwedde on July 2, 2021 at 10:16 am

      Getting beaten is not fair. Stupid is not a word that should get you punched. Once I am hit, all bets are off. I will let you know in words what time it is. This is because getting beaten is so insulting, sometimes keeping quiet is so hard and the brain will reject the silence. The hitter then needs to get hit too when they say something wrong. Normally they have an aversion to getting beaten themselves.

      • Anonymous on December 26, 2021 at 10:32 pm

        This is the absolute worst thing she can do. He will increase the level of violence to gain control again and she may end up seriously injured or heaven forbid dead.
        She needs to seek help from a trained therapist and call the police when he does this. Get to a safe place and call . She can’t control his behavior. She controls her own and instead of reacting to his she needs to respond and get help from law enforcemeny.

        • Anonymous 2 on December 26, 2021 at 10:33 pm

          ^enforcement

    • LC on September 13, 2021 at 2:14 pm

      This comment breaks my heart. If you value your life then you need to get away from this man. A man who loves you will not beat you mercilessly under any circumstances whatsoever. A man who says that to you let alone actually does that to you does not love you. He will continue to beat you. His abuse has nothing to do with you, so do not blame yourself. He will abuse any woman he is with. He needs professional help that you can not offer him, as do you. Please value your life and get far away.

  25. Romeo on August 27, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    Hello
    I’m a husband of 6 years. I am here because I have crossed that line. I recently had a very bad argument with my wife that resulted in me slapping her face and throwing her to the floor. Am I sorry? Yes. But I’m here because I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to lose my family. I love this woman deeply. But I also can’t hurt her anymore. This was the worst one. She’s a firecracker, that’s no secret. Also a psychology major, she manipulates arguments to favor her narrative. When I say that engulfs me with rage, I’m completely pissed. Why do that to someone who is willing to die for you and the children?
    Look I’m not perfect, I was a child with a mother on drugs and a jailbird father. I got into gangs and trouble as a youth. (Not looking for sympathy just a little clarity). I’ve done my best to make life better. I tried to become a better person. I do believe in giving respect to get it. I also believe in eye for an eye. Does these rules apply to my wife? Yes and no. You can’t just disrespect anyone and just believe you’re safe. If I walked around saying racial slurs, what would happen to me? I doubt because I didn’t hit anyone I wouldn’t be hit. I’m not approving violence please don’t get that idea. However this idea SOME women have that their disrespect can have no bounds but everyone else that encounters them must. That’s mind boggling.

    Anywho.. we’ve tried sitting down and talking about own issues, we’ve tried to coming up with guidelines for us when things get rocky. She has told me she would stop manipulating me, she promised she wouldn’t switch my words around. (This is before any abuse occurred ever). I’m not perfect but I am only human, I have a fuse like anyone else. I’m willing to get help but I’m not a subservient man, I’ll be clear..I don’t mind submitting to things, and compromising. But I am the man in my relationship.

    Please don’t attack me, I know I’m not 100 percent right. Hell I may be wrong completely but these are my feelings and opinions and I’m hoping this is a safe place

    • Leslie Vernick on September 2, 2021 at 9:44 am

      Romeo, thanks for sharing and certainly your wife may provoke you. But the honest reality is people provoke us all the time. If you provoked people with racial slurs and they beat you up, they would be arrested. Each person is responsible to manage their anger and their body in ways that does not cause harm to someone else. As a dad you certainly haven’t allowed your kid to beat up his or her brother because “he took my toy” or “He stuck out his tongue”. Even children are taught, “you may not hit your sister or brother”. So you have come a long way, good for you, but I remember when I had one of those “incidents” as a mother, I realized that even though I have come along way, I had a longer way to go if I wanted to be a safe, loving mother, even when my kids provoked me. Even when my kids smart mouthed me, I was still responsible for my side of the street. So yes, life gets hard. Relationships get difficult sometimes, but slapping your wife, throwing her to the floor is never acceptable and can land you in jail.

      • Romeo on April 29, 2022 at 8:56 am

        Me and my wife are making significant progress. I will say that, I myself don’t see myself as a woman abuser. I’ll definitely go on the record of saying if he doesn’t Put in the work to keep you and the family, he’s not working!! It starts within!!.. And I’ll also double down, “SOME women have believe
        their disrespect can have no bounds but everyone else that encounters them must”. That must not be swept under the rug. How can you love someone and have no boundaries for verbally/ mentally hurting them? How can you love someone a insult their mother etc? How can you love someone and swear and brake stuff? Simple… You don’t, you love the idea of loving them. No one who loves you will do that WOMAN or MAN.. simple… This understanding didn’t come overnight, reading these responses from these women I’m speechless. A lot of these guys just don’t care about them. A lot of these guys aren’t men amongst men and probably couldn’t treat a man with that same energy but goes home and he’s Mr. Tough guy. It sickens me. I made a mistake and I am going to atone. That’s my cross to carry.

        I am trying to educate other men around me on domestic violence and mental and verbal abuse. Letting them know in no situations is it okay. EVEN WHEN AT THEM. Never hit a woman nor belittle. And if she insults you, belittles you, leave her a**.. I’ve made shirts “I’ma leaver not a beater”… This is for anyone man or woman, leave!… A lot women in the comments (NOT ALL).. your a** should have been left the first time you insulted or verbally abuse that man if he never hit you. Simple. That’s what I’m preaching to certain GOOD men, leave the first time she verbally/ mentally abuse you, don’t allow someone to push to the edge,.. leave their a**!! No one should be told their stupid, good for nothing, piece of ****, body shaming, dumb etc. All these things are ABUSE, if you a man or woman doing this, you are ABUSING someone… Simple.

        P.s. we whoop our kids a** over disrespect. Not in our house.

  26. Anonymous on September 5, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    My husband hurts me too. It is hard to say 100% what I do to cause it. I guess if I don’t obey him or I try to stand up for myself or have a different opinion. When I try to bring up the problem he puts my behaviors under a microscope that is so complicated I have no idea what is going on and eventually give up in confusion. I’m scared and I don’t know what to do. I’m sorry others are dealing with this. It almost seems like this would be an old-fashioned problem but I guess it isn’t.

    I feel I am a good wife and I always try to do what my husband wants. But sometimes I feel I am supposed to stand up for what is real or what makes sense but then he makes me pay for it. It is like I must completely submit no matter how irrational the terms.

    • Leslie Vernick on September 7, 2021 at 3:20 pm

      Those are his rules, not GOd’s. You don’t do anything that causes it. His behavior is his behavior to own and control.

  27. LC on September 13, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    Staying in a physically abusive situation is like being an inmate on deathrow. It is only a matter of time before you end up dead.

  28. LexiAnn Dearden on November 4, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    Well my husband doesn’t hit me but he can be very forceful and rough in bed at night if he had a bad day at work or if we argued earlier. My husband has very high standards and I admit I struggle at times being “the Perfect Wife” which he expects me to be. But I have learned to see God’s will in all of this, and so think of intimacy in this way as my sacrifice to God as Jesus sacrificed himself for us. I am ministering to my husband by being available to him. And it usually works, because after he is finished he does seem to become much more easy going and all the built up tension in the air is suddenly dissipated. So I was just wondering if anybody else can see themselves in my circumstances or if I am the only one like this. Thank you Bless You!

  29. Heidi on January 2, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    My husband often times punches me, strangles me, and hurts me. At the end of it we always try to find solid ground and he apologizes, but he continues to do it. He says it’s because I raise my voice at him, but even when I don’t, he still hurts me. I told him that I understand we are both at fault, but he chooses to think I’m always attacking him, and he wants to always justify him hurting me. Whenever I mention he has the ability to control himself from abusing me, he says that I have the same ability to control my tongue. Which I agree and understand. However, I told him he needs to understand that what he does is illegal. However, he doesn’t care because I have chosen to not have him understand the illegal consequences. I am lost, and I don’t know what to do. I love my husband and am always wanting the best for him and hoping he will be able to stop, but he doesn’t..

    • Leslie Vernick on January 3, 2022 at 12:24 pm

      Heidi, you do not deserve to be abused just because your spouse is upset with you. All couples disagree. All couples say things that upset one another. That does not justify choking, hitting, or any other abusive behaviors. Even if your husband refuses to get healthy, I hope you get healthy enough to care about yourself and what your children are observing about how a dad treats a mom, a man treats a woman. Abuse is ALWAYS wrong, never a right response to being wronged. I would encourage you to contact your local DV shelter at 1800 799 SAFE, create a safety plan so that there i NO MORE ABUSE, and consider filing for a protection from abuse order now, before another incident happens. But if another incident happens, please call 911 and create consequences. He will not stop and it will only get worse.

    • Sadie on April 28, 2022 at 2:41 am

      If a victim is strangled even one time, studies show she is 750% more likely to be killed by her abuser. (Glass, 2008) https://www.strangulationtraininginstitute.com/all-abusers-are-not-equal-new-ipv-research-reveals-an-indicator-of-deadly-abuse/

      Please find a way to leave. Loving someone does not automatically mean they are good for you.

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