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Marriage On The Brink

by Anonymous

During my last verbal fight with my husband, I slammed the gate in anger. After I did this, he came at me and started shaking me and then threw me on the ground (injuring my jaw). I asked him to leave, but he insisted I was damaging the house and wouldn't leave.

I called the police, and now he has left. The worst part is, he is still justifying it... he doesn't seem to understand the impact. There have been other incidents, less minor than this one, and I keep hoping it's always the last.

Is there any hope for getting him to change? At this point we are not talking, and I don't know what my next step should be. I'd hate to rip the children out of their home, but I don't know if I can take more.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for your story. It's clear that you're having a rough time, and you're faced with some difficult decisions. I'm going to help you, but I really want you to listen to your own inner wisdom--head and heart working together--to make your final decision.

It is great that you called the police, and that he is out of your house. That was wise, and healthy. Trust that part of you.

You are in a battered woman syndrome. Everything you say fits perfectly with that problem. It is good for you to know this, because it means your thinking may not be clear regarding your husband.

If you don't take care of yourself, no one will--and he certainly is not. You say that he has injured you, and I'm assuming this has happened more than once. You don't even need to be thinking about getting him to change, you need to think about getting help and getting yourself and your child into a safe situation--and it sounds like you're currently separated. You might want to leave it that way.

If you let him come home, it's only a matter of time before he abuses you again. You need to think about the impact this is having on your children. The only way that you or anyone could ever be safe with your husband is if he goes through long-term, intensive counseling with highly trained professionals and stays out of any kind of intimate relationship while he's in treatment. I have helped abusive men heal and get past their rage and anger issues, but it takes a huge commitment of time, energy and money on their part. So far, your husband has not even taken responsibility for the fact that his behavior was wrong.

Meanwhile, I suggest you do some healing work of your own. Start by doing the journaling processes on this page. This will help you get clear about how you really feel, and you'll also start to see where your relationship patterns come from.

Next, I suggest you use these imagery processes for emotional healing. This is a powerful visualization process that actually helps you to heal from past trauma.

See if any of the CD programs/audio downloads on this page are of interest to you.

Believe in, trust, and care deeply for yourself. The best gift you can give your children is a healthy mother. You cannot be healthy while being abused. You are a good person with a good heart, and that's why this bothers you so much. You want better. Make up your mind that you will have it, and don't let anything stop you. You can do it.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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