Domestic Violence?

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ChubbyBubbles

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Hi...I have a friend who is struggling in her marriage. She doesn't want to listen to me, so I thought (without mentioning names!) I would post for her. Hopefully after she reads the responses, I can get her to finally listen to me!

Here goes...my friend has been married for many years and although she has a wonderful husband (she really does!), their relationship can get rather violent at times. Both come from very abusive childhoods and have since struggled with acceptance and happiness. She is a ssbbw and he is an FA. From how she describes it, she can get rather moody at times and sometimes provokes an argument. She admits to getting irritated over little things that he does wrong and from there verbally lashes out at him (calling him lazy, irresponsible, a loser, etc.). In turn he responds by hitting, punching, slapping, spitting, and throwing things at her (today he dumped an entire gallon of cold water on her as she sat on the sofa, as well as hit, slapped and pushed her). He also told her that all she is good for is eating since that is all she wants to do. He can be verbally abusive as well. The thing is, my friend told me that he isn't like this at all unless she provokes a fight with him, which is why she feels like it's all her fault and that "she deserves what she gets". She told me "if I can dish it out, I have to be able to take it".

Maybe it's me, but I don't think that a verbally abusive argument (no matter how wrong it is) warrants physical abuse. What bothers me the most is that he blames her and doesn't seem to take responsibility even after they "kiss and make-up". He doesn't take responsibility (hence the "irresponsible" remark) and refuses to seek help for his behavior. She, on the other hand, is seeing a therapist and is at least trying.

Any advice? Please help! I'm at a loss. :(
 

Ruffie

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I see this all the time in my line of work. Sadly there is nothing you can do unless they want the help they so desperatly need. I often tell my clients that they have to decide that they don't want a life like what they saw growing up, and that they are worth so much more than that. Often seeing yourself as others do, and all the positive gifts you possess through others eyes, but perhaps you are stifling to be in this relationship is enought to jump start a change. If they truly love each other couples counselling, combined with their own therapy can help put the marriage back together. Or alternately, set them free to begin a new chapter of their life. Whatever happens I feel for you, because you love your friend and its hard to watch a person struggle in that situation. Just let her know you will love her through all of it and that you are proud of her for making the step to take care of herself.
Ruth
 

Sandie S-R

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What Ruffie said.

Unless someone recognizes that they have a problem and is willing to do something about it, there is nothing that can be done. It seems that they have a "dance" that meets some needs in their relationship and it is highly unlikely that anyone from the outside will have any impact on them getting help.

It is possible that since she is seeking therapy that she will get better, but without help he will likely stay the same. It's hard to say. But in all honesty it doesn't sound like they want to change, and if that is the case then you have no options.

You may have to just walk away from the situation if it bothers you.
 

squidgemonster

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Hi...I have a friend who is struggling in her marriage. She doesn't want to listen to me, so I thought (without mentioning names!) I would post for her. Hopefully after she reads the responses, I can get her to finally listen to me!

Here goes...my friend has been married for many years and although she has a wonderful husband (she really does!), their relationship can get rather violent at times. Both come from very abusive childhoods and have since struggled with acceptance and happiness. She is a ssbbw and he is an FA. From how she describes it, she can get rather moody at times and sometimes provokes an argument. She admits to getting irritated over little things that he does wrong and from there verbally lashes out at him (calling him lazy, irresponsible, a loser, etc.). In turn he responds by hitting, punching, slapping, spitting, and throwing things at her (today he dumped an entire gallon of cold water on her as she sat on the sofa, as well as hit, slapped and pushed her). He also told her that all she is good for is eating since that is all she wants to do. He can be verbally abusive as well. The thing is, my friend told me that he isn't like this at all unless she provokes a fight with him, which is why she feels like it's all her fault and that "she deserves what she gets". She told me "if I can dish it out, I have to be able to take it".

Maybe it's me, but I don't think that a verbally abusive argument (no matter how wrong it is) warrants physical abuse. What bothers me the most is that he blames her and doesn't seem to take responsibility even after they "kiss and make-up". He doesn't take responsibility (hence the "irresponsible" remark) and refuses to seek help for his behavior. She, on the other hand, is seeing a therapist and is at least trying.

Any advice? Please help! I'm at a loss. :(
Under no circumstances does even provoking a row give license to physically assault or bully the other partner.
I have been provoked like this with an ex partner 10 years ago,but I always walked away,(that infuriated her even more,but I refused to discuss anything till she calmed down.
And I am proud to say that I have never hit a woman not once,ever.
 

Fuzzy Necromancer

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Words can hurt, but they don't clang off your head and cause a blood leakage to start swelling up your skull and killing off brain cells faster than a screening of "Meet the Spartans".

A flung object, however, can have this effect.

See if this argument holds any weight with your friend, cuz I think the argument that your friend provokes her man verball won't hold much weight in court.

He needs to stop striking her with fists and missiles and gain enough intelligence and maturity to use his vocal cords instead of his biceps. Otherwise, he might hit her too hard one day, and never be able to take it back.

You can mend hurts left by words with an apology. Broken ribs and brain damage don't heal so easily.
 

Ernest Nagel

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This is a pretty good resource with a self-evaluation referred to me by a colleague who was abused for many years. http://www.youarenotcrazy.com/ User interface kinda sucks but some good info and insights.

You could make a case that Poland provoked Hitler or Dr. King provoked James Earl Ray. Kuwait really did provoke Saddam before the first Gulf War. IT STILL DOESN'T EXCUSE VIOLENCE!! NOTHING DOES!!! Especially against someone who is essentially defenseless!

His violent behavior represents a lack of emotional control that is dangerous in an adult. For her to condone or excuse his violence as somehow even partly her fault is just an invitation for him to escalate further. The odds of resolving this kind of situation without professional help are notoriously small. Help is free. False hope could cost them both far more than either can imagine or afford. JMO.

I'm not a social services professional but I've been a friend of several abused women in my life. The smarter they are the more they think they can "handle it". Neither love nor intelligence is a defense against blind rage. Please, don't find that out the hard way.
 

superodalisque

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Nothing ever does justify physical abuse at all. there is absolutely nothing that she does that would make her deserve such treatment. just as there is nothing he does that deserves verbal and emotional abuse. i think she should leave for her own safety and mental health. and if she still cares about him, thats another reason to leave him. if she stays with him he may do something that would be detrimental to his future as well as hers. that wouldn't ever be good especially if they have children together.

its sad though that people have had a life before their relationships that seems to make them ripe to get involved in a cycle of violence whether they really want to or not. if they really think they love each other maybe they shouldn't live together for a while until they both get help. its not a one person thing but she shouldn't risk her life or his freedom just because she thinks she may contribute somewhat. it wouldn't really matter even if she did contribute. what really matters is her happiness and safety. she deserves to be happy and safe. she has to know and understand that within herself.

sometimes there are certain people its hard to be our best selves with. we shouldn't beat ourselves up about it or let anybody else do it for us either. the victim/victimizer relationship is very complicated. everyone is worried about who the bad person is. there are no bad people. just people with problems that need to be solved. instead of worrying about who is wrong and who is right its better to just be practical and do something that helps everybody. then everybody can be the good guy together.

PS: i've done volenteering re: domestic abuse. believe it or not some couples actually come back from it. its not a totally lost cause. but while they're working on themselves its not a good idea to stay in the situtation or environment where the abuse occurs.
 

Sandie_Zitkus

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If he is doing the things you say - he's NOT a great guy. Not even close. They both need help.
 

mossystate

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An equal type of fucked up relationship = him ' only ' using verbal abuse in response to her verbal abuse.


One knife in his hand. A few well placed punches to the head. She is dead.


Dead.


Dead.


She needs to get away from him.

Now.


Now.
 

SupaSexi

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The fact that this man doesn't want to seek help speak volumes to me and shows his lack of commitment to working things out. Hopefully, your friend will realize that this relationship is unhealthy for her, even if it has its good times. If people are serious about changing then they will do whatever is necessary. Its every disturbing that he thinks he is not the one with the problem just because he isn't the one who starts the fight. No rational person will abuse the person they love, even if provoked. I think the best thing to do is to keep encouraging and supporting your friend on her journey as she works on making changes in her life and I think as she starts to feel better about herself, she will come to a point on her own when she realizes this relationship is toxic. I know its painful to sit back and watch someone you love go through this, but like others have said there isn't anything you can do unless she is willing to and right now it seems as though she is still making excuses for his behavior. I wish her the best and you too. You are an awesome friend for trying to help her.
 

No-No-Badkitty

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She is wrong to be verbally abusive. He should leave. The fact that he hits her instead is worse....she needs to get out that relationship before she winds up with nothing left to salvage.
 

Ichida

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This hits a chord with me...My biological father was abusive...physically as well as mentally and emotionally. Luckily my mother had the gumption (and assistance of HIS friends) to get away from him when I was young. She had to try and protect me through the visitations as well as not TELL me what he did, she didn't want to cloud my views.

Would your friend permit him to act this way to her children? To any children? Her mother? If a five year old or even another grown woman provoked him and he lashed out the same way he would be arrested!

I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years. I am highly agressive and straightforward, he is passive aggressive and roundabout. We have had some pretty awesome arguments that had us both in tears, but he has never, ever laid a hand on me, or thrown anything. If he ever laid a hand on me in anger I would be out of there so fast his head would spin.

The reason why is that I know I don't deserve it, and nothing I do will change someone who thinks so little of me. This has very little to do with the guy, and everything to do with her. She can only control herself - what SHE does, how SHE feels and thinks. She cant wait to see if he grows up or try and change him.

When you see a grown man screaming at his dog, child, or wife, throwing things and beating, what kind of man do you think he is? He is not a "genuinely good man who is set off". It doesn't matter if the wife crashed the car, the kid drew all over the walls or the dog urinated and defacated all over the house. NOTHING excuses that type of behavior.

If she has been married many years the chances of him changing now are minimal unless something huge happens. From his perspective why should he change or try? He believes shes not going anywhere. She needs to give him an ultimatum and be ready to stick to it if he refuses to change.
 

superodalisque

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This hits a chord with me...My biological father was abusive...physically as well as mentally and emotionally. Luckily my mother had the gumption (and assistance of HIS friends) to get away from him when I was young. She had to try and protect me through the visitations as well as not TELL me what he did, she didn't want to cloud my views.

Would your friend permit him to act this way to her children? To any children? Her mother? If a five year old or even another grown woman provoked him and he lashed out the same way he would be arrested!

I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years. I am highly agressive and straightforward, he is passive aggressive and roundabout. We have had some pretty awesome arguments that had us both in tears, but he has never, ever laid a hand on me, or thrown anything. If he ever laid a hand on me in anger I would be out of there so fast his head would spin.

The reason why is that I know I don't deserve it, and nothing I do will change someone who thinks so little of me. This has very little to do with the guy, and everything to do with her. She can only control herself - what SHE does, how SHE feels and thinks. She cant wait to see if he grows up or try and change him.

When you see a grown man screaming at his dog, child, or wife, throwing things and beating, what kind of man do you think he is? He is not a "genuinely good man who is set off". It doesn't matter if the wife crashed the car, the kid drew all over the walls or the dog urinated and defacated all over the house. NOTHING excuses that type of behavior.

If she has been married many years the chances of him changing now are minimal unless something huge happens. From his perspective why should he change or try? He believes shes not going anywhere. She needs to give him an ultimatum and be ready to stick to it if he refuses to change.

the temper thing is really important. yep, men even with a little temper scare me. i was dating a guy i thought was fantastic once but he did small things in the beginning to let me know that he was moody, had a tendency to be jealous and had a LOT of double standards. he got to be very intense. he was great with other women that he wasn't interested in. also he wasn't big on communicating his exact feelings with me. i think he was attracted to me because i'm relatively mild and he thought that i could be controlled. but when he found out i was not he tried to get violent. luckily i had a very protective family and group of friends to help me etc.. unfortunately the next woman he focused on didn't. so now if i meet someone who is not very communicative and even a little prone to temper where i'm concerned i find it very scary. even something little makes me wonder if i'm getting into that again.
 

southernfa

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Hmmm, this might not be a populist view and I am in no way trying to dismiss domestic violence as being anything but assault and, in this country, illegal; but I wouldn't underestimate the power of verbal violence either.

Words have a very real and observable power of their own, say to raise up a nation for good ("I have a dream...", "Ask not what your country...") or for evil ("We need breathing space..."). This power is every bit as effective at the personal level.

And in personal experience I have observed it to be every bit as damaging as physical violence. I would characterise my first father-in-law as a manipulative, untrustable, appallingly controlling sonofabitch but in fact he is probably a low-level, high-functioning sociopath who genuinely doesn't understand the difference between love and control.
A saint in his own mind and confirmed pacifist and liberal, his verbal tirades have had a significant and negative impact on his immediate family and descendants, including my children :mad: which I reckon will take generations to weed out. Just thinking about that b*****d... :mad::mad::mad:

So, ahem, words have an effect...

In the OP's subject couple it does rather sound like a toxic relationship and perhaps they both need time out to stabilise and mature within themselves before reviewing whether they have any future together.
 

Ichida

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OH i agree TOTALLY.

Even saying "I feel like you don't love me!" hurts like hell to say and to hear, let alone anything meaner.

My bio dad used his verbal abuse to try and make me feel isolated and alone, putting down my family and friends as well as myself! And that hurt worse than any shaking or hitting he did
 

mossystate

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Words matter. Words can dig a hole and push a person into said hole. Verbal abuse hurts the soul, and that is never to be taken lightly. Physical violence can kill the physical self. That is why it has to stop....immediately.

It is possible to get back some of your self. It is never possible to come back from physical death.


It's a crazy dance some people dance. You just have to almost put the verbal shit on the back burner and find physically safe spots for all involved.


You can't work on building a safer levee as the storm is churning around you....you FLEE.
 

superodalisque

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yep, all the people here dealing with the after effects of what a friend calls a nasty mouth can attest to their power to destroy and damage.
 

Butterbelly

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I learned a long time ago that you can't really help someone unless they're first willing to help themselves. I feel bad for this couple, but unless they both decide to get help and willingly admit that they both have a problem, the relationship will maintain as is.
 

JiminOR

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yeah, I'm going to echo pretty much everyone else here, they don't sound like either one of them is ready to change things, and until that happens there isn't anything that anybody else can really do about it.

But yeah, they should both probably leave each other. I wouldn't stay with someone who was constantly calling me a loser, and I definitely wouldn't stay with someone who raged out of control so hard that fists started flying.

I know, I've been there. My parents had an abusive relationship, and I had an abusive relationship once a long long time ago, and being alone is definitely far more preferable to having to put up with those type of issues.
 

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