Question: I have been married for 10 horrible years! I have finally just realized why my husband behaves and treats me and the kids the way he does, he’s a batterer. We’ve gone broke going to counseling and psychiatrists trying to figure it out. Now it all makes sense.
If you specialize in this type of counseling I would like some information on resources we could possibly use if he’s open to it.
He constantly turns everything into a nonsense argument with no point or subject matter, twists things, and blames, blames, blames. My head feels like a racquetball most of the time leaving me drained and struggling to focus on anything else in my life, much less enjoy life.
Do you have any advice? My kids are suffering terribly watching all of this.
Thank you, Anonymous Struggler
Dear Friend, I am sorry to read about your plight. I recommend that you get separate counseling for yourself. You can get free counseling at a domestic violence center in your area. See: National Domestic Violence Hotline for many articles and a national hotline.
Outside of a radical change of heart and turning to God for help – I doubt your husband will make the necessary changes he needs to make for you to feel safe in the relationship. He also is denying he has a problem and thus, he cannot change and will not until he recognizes his need and problem.
You might consider separating for awhile to give yourself some time and space to think things over and to protect yourself. You definitely need counseling. If you want to see a Christian counselor visit:http://www.aacc.net
I don’t recommend couple’s counseling since he is not taking personal responsiblity for his issues. It will just turn into a blame session. The domestic violence community doesn’t recommend couple’s counseling when a spouse is a batterer. He needs to take a batterer’s intervention program and seek personal counseling. Even if he does – I would suggest you be wise and cautious because any change or steps to seek counseling on his part may not be permanent.
See: www.saferelationships.net for other articles.
Order a couple of the domestic violence resources I offer at thehttp://www.saferelationships.net site. Both you and your husband will benefit from these resources. You do need to learn assertiveness and to set boundaries. I suggest that you do not allow your husband to verbally abuse you. If he begins to communicate disrespect or start putting you down. Call a time-out. You cannot allow him to continue the verbal abuse. A time-out will give you both time to think over the issue(s), time for him to cool off and then, to come back together (within 30 minutes or 2 hours) to talk only about the issue/situation and make a request for change of behavior.
Use the following approach:
When you ___________________________________________________ (describe the behavior only – no character assassinations, blaming, or mind-reading)
I feel (disappointed, hurt, rejected, frustrated, etc.)_________________________________
Then, make a request for change in a respectful way. EX: “I am asking that you take time to listen to me and respond.”
Ask your husband to order the book and course: What’s Good About Anger? Some of the chapters deal with better communication. And he does need to evaluate and control his anger and learn healthy ways to express it. Obviously, he has “control issues” which need to be addressed. He could get some phone counseling if he likes.
I hope this information is helpful you. You will gain something from taking the course as well. God bless you!!!!
Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC
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