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My Husband And I Have Abused Each Other

by Anonymous

I am at a crossroads, and desperate for guidance. I have been married for 10 years, with 2 kids with my husband. Things have never been perfect, but this time last year, we sought out some real counseling to assist us in saving our marriage.

We have always had rough fights with lots of nasty name-calling, and screaming, and in the early days, I slapped him in the face plenty of times.

But last year, after I had angered him with some sarcastic remark directed at him, he shoved me. After that, we took our classes as a last resort, and it saved us. It was then that we realized how wonderful our life together could be, when we truly put forth the effort we had for so long neglected. Fights became fair and low-key, and we realized how foolish we had been for so long in dealing with one another.

Fast forward to this year, and many changes in circumstances. For the last few months, our needs were once again being unmet, leading to many arguments, and threats of leaving. We had reached that unthinkable place again. But after a friend reached out and offered a free night out alone for us, we were relieved.

After many drinks that night, we were floating on air, loving our time together...and then it happened. All the anger and frustration of the last few months surfaced in our drunken state, and although the details are unclear, I am sure that he said something that clearly upset me, and I struck him.

He struck back, harder than I could, leaving me bruised. He packed his things and left, assuming there was no way I could ever forgive him.
That next morning, I woke up and attempted to sober up and recall the details of what had truly happened the night before. Had it all played out so filthy, the way I remembered? I couldn't believe it.

I always knew that the both of us have always had tempers and anger management issues, but this was farther than either of us had ever dreamed it could go. I begged him to come home, realizing that this is not a violent man, but one who was provoked in a drunken state. I do not excuse his behavior just as I do not excuse mine, but I do believe that this is something we can work towards fixing.

I asked him to come home on several conditions; one - we throw out all alcohol. We stay sober indefinitely. Second - we both seek anger management.

Am I naive that this can be fixed with both of our efforts? I do not feel as though he is the only party at fault, and I am more so aware that in order to expect him to fix his problems, I need to wake up and realize my own. With both of us putting our best efforts into this, can this marriage be saved?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. I think that you and your husband can definitely save your marriage, if you both do exactly what you outlined. Getting sober and staying that way can be very challenging for many people, and then there's the anger management on top of that. That's a lot of work, but if you're both willing and committed, you can do it.

Here is what I suggest:

Both of you read this page on alcohol abuse, to make sure you understand that part of it. And then do all of the exercises on this FAQ page, which will take the two of you through an anger management healing process.

If you do all of the above, thoroughly and consistently, you may reach your goals, and I hope you do. If you need more help than that, or guidance for these processes, please consider professional counseling to support your efforts.

You can do this, if your love is strong enough...and I have a feeling it is.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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May 06, 2018
You're Trying To Be Healthy In A Toxic Relationship
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. I know you don't think so, but you're in an abusive relationship. You are minimizing the abuse, but you are correct in thinking that it will get worse.

The only way for this relationship to work is for both of you to get involved in some intensive counseling for at least 6 months to a year. These patterns are hard to break, and breaking them requires a lot of work...which you and your boyfriend may not be willing to do.

My advice is to end the relationship now, before things get worse. Saying that you don't always fight or hit each other, is like saying that there is only a little bit of poison in your soup. It's going to hurt you, regardless, and the abuse needs to stop.

I hope this is helpful to you. Keep in mind that you are the only person who can take care of yourself, and if you don't, no one can.

Love yourself enough to take the right action.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

May 04, 2018
Me And My Boyfriend Hit Each Other Please Help
by: Anonymous

Myself and my boyfriend hit each other when we have a row. I know it’s not normal. I have a very short temper which I try and work on regularly, just by doing exercises.

However, both me and my boyfriend suffer from adhd which doesn’t help at all. I am on medication for it, my boyfriend however isn’t. He can be extremely hyper and rude at times without meaning it.

He also gets a kick out of annoying people, especially me. A lot of the time arguments will start because he will be annoying me to which I can feel my temper start to boil. I’ll try to calm myself down, then he will see that but will continue to annoy me. He will do stupid things like get in my face, or give me a light (it’s not aggressive) shove. I can’t express how much the shove is not aggressive, but because I am already irritated it will annoy me and he will continue to do it even though I’ve asked him to stop.

This then leads to me either pushing him really hard or having to lash out. I’ve tried to walk away to calm myself down but he follows me. Or I do my exercises to which he laughs. This morning an argument happened and he thought it would be funny to keep covering my face with his hands as I was typing an important email.

I am ashamed to admit this because it’s vile, but I bit his thumb. I know that should never have happened. However I asked him on more than once to remove his hand. I tried to get up and walk away but he wouldn’t let me. He found it funny.

After I bit him he slapped my thigh really hard and it left a red burning hand print. I got upset and he apologized and I also apologized, because I know that how we both act isn’t normal.

I know some people from the outside looking into our relationship think we are not compatible. However, we don’t always argue and do have a good time together when we don’t argue. I also want to clarify that we don’t always end up hitting each other.

I’m just looking for some guidance on what to do because I do love him, but I know it’s not a healthy thing to be hitting one another, because one day one of us might take it a bit too far.

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