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Would You Please Tell Me What I Should Have Done In These Situations?

by Lizaanne

In a rage my husband stopped our vehicle on the Interstate and got out and walked in the ditch for about 8 miles...he walked from the Interstate onto country roads, through cow pastures and everything. I had no idea what to do, so I followed 2 mph behind him in the vehicle along the roads, hoping he would come to his senses and get back in.

I wanted to just leave him there but we were 90 miles from home and I was concerned for his safety. Once in winter, he got out of the car in 9 degree below zero weather and walked about a mile before getting back in because he was cold.

On a vacation to California, he was very reckless when his friends were in our vehicle, often making very quick starts and stops. So much so that he hit 3 different parked cars. I was so nervous with his driving that I would often react by covering my face with my hands because I thought he was going to hit something. When we were in the car alone he went into a rage while driving about how I was embarrassing him in front of his friends by gripping the door handle and covering my face.

When I brought up the fact he’d hit 3 parked cars he reached over to the passenger side and started shoving me in the shoulder and hitting me in the back of the head. I didn’t know what to do. He went into a rage several more times about other things… it was an awful trip to say the least….

He is a Deacon in our church and the pastor asked him to prepare coffee/juice/donuts for their ‘coffee time’ before the service. A few years ago he was being really sarcastic and mean to me and I felt really upset. I asked him several times to take me home after everything was set up and each time he said, No. I told him I was going to walk home and left.

I felt too upset to stay at church and be around people. I left church and had walked maybe 8 blocks and he pulled up beside me in his truck and offered to give me a ride home. (I didn't trust him because of so many other horrible incidences where I was trapped in vehicles with him) So I asked him again, if he would take me home and he said, Yes.

I got into the truck and he yelled and swore at me all the way home. When he drove in the subdivision where we live, he slowed down but drove past our driveway. I told him I wanted to get out and he said, No. He said, I had to go back to church and clean up after everyone was done having coffee. I thought to myself, "I'd rather die than be yelled at, swore at and controlled by him any longer," so I opened the door and stepped out of the truck.

It wasn't an impulsive behavior, I knew my choices and I'd thought of the consequences. Unfortunately he was speeding up and I got hurt worse than I thought I would. I've never been suicidal but many times I wished I was dead so I didn't have to live in this situation any longer.

I woke up about 5 minutes later lying on the pavement with extreme pain in my head. I heard the ambulance and was taken to the ER, given pain medicine, a CT scan and sent home. Several days later I received a phone call and was told my skull was fractured. I was really scratched up from rolling on the pavement and my entire face was totally black and blue.

Three days later he left on a five-day vacation out-of-state with his friends. I could barely move for weeks because of the pain in my head. I laid on the sofa for almost two months recovering and haven’t been the same mentally/cognitively since. I couldn’t comprehend anything I read for at least 6-8 months, even a simple recipe and my mind was in a terrible fog all the time. Now, I take Adderall XR and it helps me focus and concentrate.

These are just a few of many, many awful things that have happened in our ten years of marriage, he never says he’s sorry or acts like he cares when he does or says mean, hurtful things. Please tell me what I should have done in these situations. Thank you, very much.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Lizaanne, and thanks for telling your story here. Your situation sounds very serious, to say the least. You ask what you should have done in these situations, so I'll answer you as best I can.

I think you should have moved out, after each of the above abusive episodes. Being married to you gives your husband no right to abuse you in any way. Moving out is not the end of the story, it's just the first step toward safety and healing. As long as you stay with him, you're giving him the message that his behavior is acceptable, and it's not.

I'm not suggesting divorce, I'm just saying you have to protect yourself. And if he does not take responsibility and get help for himself, you will never be safe with him, much less be respected and loved.

Unfortunately, a lot of women are in your situation, and for that reason I have written several pages on how to deal with this problem. Please read these pages and take action to protect yourself

how to deal with abusive relationships
battered wife syndrome

Please take care of yourself, Lizaanne. You are worthy of care and respect.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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