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Any Chance For My Marriage To My Physically Abusive Husband?

by JoAnne
(Virginia Beach, VA)

I met my husband in January 2015, we became engaged later that year in December, had about year and half engagement from Dec 2015 to April 2017, married end of April. I am 61, 5 yrs older than he.

He has always had an insecurity problem, accusing me of cheating on him when there is no reason or proof that I do. He has lied a lot, and started hitting me last December (end of 2016). I went to magistrate and got a temp EPO, but he came back home and said he would go to counseling and anger management, which he has done (just a little few counseling appointments, though).

He sees a psychologist or psychiatrist who put him on escitalopram as he is depressed, had a bad childhood, and was abused by his father himself. Another domestic violence episode occurred between him and me end of March of this year that police were involved in, and another charge was put on him.

Then one more (the worst) this past Saturday night, 13th August. It ended up with me developing a black eye from him (I guess) punching the side of my head. It happened so fast I did not know if it was a fist or what--all I know is I woke up bruised under my left eye the next morning. Then my eyelid got bruised and now is reddish and a bruise is under my left eye.

I never knew he would get worse and have stayed with him because mainly this is my home—I own it and have for the last 13 yrs. His name is not on the deed, and we have been married now for almost 4 mos.

I cannot leave since it’s my home. I have told him a few times to leave, and he had to when he got those other two emergency protective orders. Now after this third one I am thinking about extending for 2 years.

The reason I am writing is to ask, do you think there is a chance this relationship/marriage can survive? I know he needs help, but do you think I should give him a chance, if he says he will work on it and if the court orders it?

I have also thought about getting an annulment; I’m just not sure the best thing to do. He has good qualities sometimes, can be sweet and loving but then he takes a turn for the worst when we have an argument.

My schedule too is hard on us as the last few months I have been working nights, while he works days, which allows only weekends for us to have any time together.

So we have court coming up in October for the 2nd offense and I don’t know when the 3rd offense will be, though they might combine it with the October court date.

The commonwealth attorney is representing me, of course. What do you think I should do, besides what I have already done? I just don't want to throw a marriage away if you think there is a chance.

So, he has an insecurity problem, he’s dishonest and he has the battering issue.

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Aug 30, 2017
You Seem Ready To Make A Decision
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi JoAnne. I'm sorry things have gone so bad in your 4 month marriage. Here are some things for you to consider regarding your choices that lie ahead.

Your husband already threw your marriage away, by physically abusing you once. Then he did it again, and again. It won't be you who's throwing it away...he's already done that.

You can't have a safe, healthy relationship with someone who has his issues. Just by staying with him, you would be unintentionally giving him the message that his abusive behavior is acceptable. It's not.

Here's the most important part...these situations almost always get worse. You've already seen it get worse. At some point, you have to act on your own behalf, and decide that you are worthy of respect, not just once in a while, but all of the time.

Annulment might not be a bad idea. That's for you to decide. Just know that you are putting yourself at risk every moment you choose to be with him. Some domestic violence situations end in death of the victim. There's just too much at stake here.

Be grateful that you have your home and a job. He will either get help or he won't...that's not your concern.

So, the right question is not whether there's a chance for the relationship...the right question is, how can you make sure you're safe? I think the answer is to be apart from this man.

Then, get some counseling for yourself, and figure out why you would choose this man in the first place, and stay with him after any abuse at all. Just make sure you don't repeat the pattern with someone else.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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