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Something terrible happened last night...

(194 Posts)
Felix77 Fri 22-Feb-13 15:12:05

Hi there,

Thought I might post as its been playing on my mind and wanted to see what others thought. We have two year old dd who is the love of our lives and she is very 'mummy demanding' at present. Im still breastfeeding her so some nights she will call out for me in the night. I'll usually go in and comfort her as my husband, although he offers is usually in a very grumpy mood and has difficulty getting up at that time - he will usually complain, swear and carry on abut her waking so I just tell him to go back to bed. Lately things have been changing. My hubby has been stressed at work - I have also (I work PT and also study and he works FT). Last night DD cried out - I waited for a little to see if she would settle and didn't so I went in - bf her and put her down but she wasnt having any of it. So I asked hubby to see if he would do it, (a very rare occasion indeed to see if she would stop fussing for me) he went in, sat down yawning and said to her "go back to sleep" in a stern voice. I poked my head around the corner and whispered "do that thing you do with her". Anyway he started swearing at me telling me to F off (in front of the child). I went in and told him to stop - DD crying and screaming for me at this point. so I told him not to worry and go back to bed. He went to the spare room and as I brought her in with me (in the back ground he was yelling out) I was so furious with him, I went to the bedroom to tell him how insensitive he was and he was still swearing at me. I had a glass with about 50 ml of water in it in my hand and so I threw it on him and told him he needed to cool down and control himself. Anyway this was a big mistake as he jumped out of bed yelling "you Bitch!" and chased me to the bedroom where DD was, he grabbed me by my clothes and shoved me forward and backward so I feel over on my back. DD was crying again crying out "mummy". I was terrified that she could see what was happening. My husband swearing and yelling at me at this point - grabbed me again and through to the hallway and I fell against the stair banister. I told him to get his hands off me and he stormed downstairs. I went back in to be with DD to calm her down - her heart and my heart was beating so fast it took me hours to get back to sleep. This morning he acknowledged that he was wrong for swearing but seemed to have a mental block for being physical. I told him that shoving me and pushing me around was wrong especially in front of dd. i also have a mark on my chest from his fingernails. He said that she only 2 so she wouldn't know - however i disagree and believe this should never happen. It has happened before a few times in our 7 years of marriage but he has never hit me. What do you think about this?

Zaphiro Fri 22-Feb-13 15:16:00

I think you both completely over-reacted. Throwing water over someone is a physical act, if you ask me. You both need to apologise.

imtheonlyone Fri 22-Feb-13 15:17:16

I think that's awful - sorry, would be a deal breaker for me. Totally unacceptable whether he has hit you or not - physical violence is what it is. He has hurt you physically and emotionally and in front of your dd. sorry to hear this happened hmm

He assaulted you. He will do it again.

Are you safe? Is he there now?

CailinDana Fri 22-Feb-13 15:17:29

You were very violently assaulted in front of your child. Ideally you should report him to the police but at the very minimum you should get him out of the house and never let him back in

GoodtoBetter Fri 22-Feb-13 15:17:36

I think you should ask him to leave.

(but you really should have left him to it if you asked him to settle her - why did you go in and whisper anything?)

CailinDana Fri 22-Feb-13 15:18:55

zaphiro i agree that throwing the water wasn't good but the husband's reaction was way out of proportion.

PhyllisDoris Fri 22-Feb-13 15:19:32

Agree with Zaphiro.

DH and I used to have some humdingers in the middle of the night when one of the DDs woke up - we were so tired, both working full time.

Working and looking after kids at the same time is stressful - I'm sure things will improve as she starts to sleep better. I would argue that a 2 year old shouldn't need to feed in the middle of the night though.

Madlizzy Fri 22-Feb-13 15:20:42

No, you shouldn't have chucked the water on him, but this in no way at all should detract from the fact that he assaulted you very violently in front of your daughter. He will do it again. And again. He needs to go.

chocoreturns Fri 22-Feb-13 15:20:43

I think this is domestic violence and throwing water is no excuse for physically assaulting someone in front of a child. You were silly to do that, and no doubt you know that. But no matter what, there is no excuse for someone using violence. He may consider himself provoked. But many, many people manage to have arguments without shoving, pushing or leaving fingernail scratches. I hope you are ok, I would be really shaken by what you have described and not feel safe. sad

CailinDana Fri 22-Feb-13 15:20:52

phyllis did your dh assault you?

N0tinmylife Fri 22-Feb-13 15:21:50

I think you need to ask him to leave. You do not want your DD to grow up thinking this is normal behaviour. At 2 she will be very aware of what she is seeing! I hope you are OK. I know it is easy for us to say he should leave, but never that simple in RL.

practicality Fri 22-Feb-13 15:22:23

I think this is totally unacceptable behaviour and is likely to escalate. He is bullying you into doing all the childcare because you know you will get a lot of grief if you don't.

You and your child do not need to be around this behaviour. You say this sort of display has happened before. To what extent?

Felix77 Fri 22-Feb-13 15:25:40

hes not here now but at work. I did apologise and recognise I did do wrong Zaphiro. It hard to figure out what to do about this as I feel responsible for his actions/reaction.

Zaphiro Fri 22-Feb-13 15:25:59

Both of them behaved terribly. Just because his act was the final one doesn't mean her initial actions are excused. She asked for his help, he obliged, she told him he was doing it wrong, he went back to bed, she followed him saying he was wrong, then threw water on him.

I'm not condoning his actions at all, but both of them were in the wrong. They need to have a mature, blameless conversation about how to make sure this kind of situation doesn't escalate again. It sounds like there are other stresses and problems that will have led to heightened emotions and responses from both.

Zaphiro Fri 22-Feb-13 15:28:16


Sorry if that came out harsh, Felix. Don't feel responsible for his actions - they're not your fault. He needs to apologise too as shoving is never acceptable, no matter what the provocation.

practicality Fri 22-Feb-13 15:30:51

You know what, I think you went into the bedroom to check on him because you don't trust him to be calm and kind.

I think if someone was verbally abusing me I would ask them to leave my home let alone all the other stuff you have suffered. I think there are studies that indicated that very young children are aware of domestic violence and are affected by it.

You need to nip this in the bud for both the sake of your child and yourself.

AngelinaCongleton Fri 22-Feb-13 15:34:41

That's horrible and shocking. I know night time arguments are fraught but your baby is 2 not 3 months so the worst of it should be over. I think you behaved badly with the water etc but I think your dh was totally out of order. There's one thing being a grumpy bass but totally another to make it so physical. At the very least I'd take photos of the mark on your chest, maybe show him this thread and have serious, very serious discussions about your concern for your safety and his temper. He needs a reality check at the very least. If he is not utterly sorry you have more thinking to do.

practicality Fri 22-Feb-13 15:36:08

Zaphiro- in no way did the O.P. behave terribly. You need to reread the original post.

TranceDaemon Fri 22-Feb-13 15:37:31

You could have thrown a bucket over his head and it wouldn't have justified his reaction. NOTHING justifies domestic violence and you need to recognise how unacceptable this is now.

Lizzabadger Fri 22-Feb-13 15:38:13

He assaulted you. It wasn't the first time. It won't be the last time either unless you end the relationship.

MrsBombastic Fri 22-Feb-13 15:41:13

He shoved you til you fell over, chased you and left physical marks on you... how this this normal/ok?

Your DD may not remember the actual event but she will remember the feeling of fear and that it is linked to her dad which means she will grow up wary and not totally trusting him without really knowing why.

Also, he is a dad, that means that sometimes you have to get up to your kids day or night and NOT swear about it.

You should not have thrown the water or got up and started bossing him around but that does not excuse his behaviour.

You say this has happened before so the likely hood is that it will continue, may actually escalate into something worse at a later date and your child will see it and remember it.

I think it's high time you reassessed your relationship. IME you get what you put up with and it's high time you put your foot down and set some hard boundries.

The reason he won't acknoweledge his behaviour is either a) he thinks he's done nothing wrong, b) he knows he has and feels guilty and doesn't know what to say c) he has done it before and you let him get away with it.

This guy is an asshole.

PeppermintPasty Fri 22-Feb-13 15:41:43

What, exactly, has happened "a few times in our 7 years of marriage"? Do you mean rows, as you say he's never hit you?

Ultimately, he overreacted and was abusive. Ultimately, you are not responsible for another person choosing to assault you. Yes, you did a stupid thing with the water, but this is too much. I have a 2 yo, and it would terrify her to see this I'm sure.

I personally wouldn't recommend showing him this thread. Keep it for yourself, until you decide how to deal with this.

GoodtoBetter Fri 22-Feb-13 15:42:29

Throwing water on him probably wasn't a great idea but it's not the point, his reaction was violent, frightening and totally disproportionate. And he's been violent before.

NaturalBaby Fri 22-Feb-13 15:44:33

It would take me a long time to look a man in the eye who did that to me, let alone be in the same house as him.

Throwing water wasn't the best idea but he overreacted completely.

For your childs sake don't put up with it.

yellowbrickrd Fri 22-Feb-13 15:56:01

Is someone trying to justify the violent behaviour of this person by highlighting the water throwing? Come off it!

He reacted by swearing and being a git when she asked for help; he reacted with violence, shouting and swearing to having a bit of water chucked at him; he now pretends the violence didn't happen. He sounds like a very dangerous person and I wouldn't want to risk living with him.

Sariah Fri 22-Feb-13 16:01:25

If someone threw water at me in the middle of the night I wouldnt be held responsible for my actions. You escalated it. Take some responsibility for your actions. There are a pair of you in it. I cant understand those who are saying that its fine to throw water at someone. He overreacted but thats what cold water is designed to do its meant to shock someone. You asked him to get up, he got up, you went in after him. What was the point of asking him if you were going to follow him in. why did you just not deal with it. People overreact in the middle of the night when they are tired. I have done it myself. Not excusing his behavior but dont think yours should be excused either.

Zaphiro Fri 22-Feb-13 16:01:41

No-one's justifying his behavior yellowbrickrd. Everyone thinks his behavior was unacceptable and that he was in the wrong. Some people - OP included - think her behavior was unacceptable too.

OP, has he been violent before, or do you mean you've argued before?

sudaname Fri 22-Feb-13 16:03:10

Whats with the throwing water on people lately ? There was another thread about someone doing this lately,might have been a mum over her child.
Anyway I think you wind each other up tbh , both in the wrong. He had got up as you asked although you say he gets grumpy, maybe because he works FT and has to be up every morning, a lot of people are very grumpy if sleep deprived.
But then instead of leaving him to it, to do it his way, you start instructing him how to pacify his DD. He obviously found that patronising.
He did totally overreact however and that language and behaviour certainly can affect a two year old. It is nonsense that she is too young to remember/be affected.
You need to talk seriously about how to stop this happening again and go for counselling as others have said. You need to stop helicoptering over him when he has agreed to see to his own DD when she wakes or any other time for that matter and resist the temptation to ever throw water at him again both of which are very belittling behaviour but as others have said there is no excuse for physical violence and he needs to learn to control his language and temper.

PeppermintPasty Fri 22-Feb-13 16:07:42

I see why people are analysing what the op did. I myself made a comment about the water.

The fact is he was very violent towards her. It was not a normal or acceptable reaction, even allowing for the water.

IME, and sadly I have some, people who do what the op's partner did will not simply stop if they are given a stiff talking to. I daresay it will continue, and get worse.

sudaname Fri 22-Feb-13 16:16:14

That's the problem l suppose, l too have experience unfortunately. Do you get counselling and both try and fix it and then everything is ok and then one night five years down the line live to regret it. There is always a risk that some people like my exh. can put a lid on their temper and 'behave' for months,even years after being called on it and you think they are changed but underneath really it is just still there brewing.

Well if someone was swearing and shouting at me (and no doubt calling me names) and I had some water I would probably throw it at them as well.
He had no right at all to shout and swear at you.
And then because you react he gets violent.
Sorry, but if anyone got even a little bit violent with me, that would be it! End of relationship. Kicked out of the house and never ever return.
That fact he's done it before is quite horrifying.
Taking from someone who has seen this, it will not stop. It will not improve.
You need him out of the house.
How many times has it happened before?

ouryve Fri 22-Feb-13 16:24:37

Felix, you've apologised for your actions, but you are no way responsible for the way he assaulted you and your child.

Call the police and get rid, before he does more than push you over.

Jux Fri 22-Feb-13 16:30:41

felix, you do know that shoving and grabbing are as bad as hitting, really, don't you? They are all physical assault.

CheeseStrawWars Fri 22-Feb-13 16:38:00

He chased you, with the intent of hurting you. He maintained a sustained attack. He shows no remorse. Dealbreaker.

dondon33 Fri 22-Feb-13 16:40:53

I don't really understand the point of specifically waking him to see to dd if you were going to interfere.
I don't understand why you would throw water over him, if I've read the OP right and he's been violent previously. Didn't it cross your mind or weren't you afraid that it could, potentially kick him off? Not that it excuses him.

He was bang out of order, you did not deserve to be assaulted, to be terrified and end up injured. HE chose to do this so please don't feel responsible for that.
What do you want to do? do you think you can trust him after this?
I hope you and dd are ok.

EternalRose Fri 22-Feb-13 16:43:27

I am a bit confused by some of the responses here...

I mean, the OP went to see him in the other room because she could hear him effing and blinding while she was trying to comfort her daughter in bed. To be honest it sounds like was at her wits end and I probably would have done the same. confused

EternalRose Fri 22-Feb-13 16:45:23

I agree with hellsbells, it was verbal abuse from him first, she reacted and then he was violent?

Lafaminute Fri 22-Feb-13 16:51:45

He sounds super stressed. OF COURSE he shouldn't have touched you at all in anger but he had obviously reached breaking point. Maybe he needs help

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Fri 22-Feb-13 16:53:55

I am very sorry this happened.

I do not care you threw water at him. Yes, not great. But his reaction was his choice and the not remembering any of it is so convenient.

Have you got physical marks? Could a GP log it ate least?

What do you want to do do?

My mum taught me to leave at the first sign of violence, ever, so I am afraid (glad) my experience is very limited. More experience posters will come along but in my book this is assault.


ohforfoxsake Fri 22-Feb-13 16:55:45

Take a photo of the markings he made and keep it.

Only you can decide whether or not this is a dealbreaker for you. You both behaved badly, and you have to take responsibility for escalating it. what you did was stupid, what he did was worse.

Life with small children is hard work. Bloody hard work and it takes it's toll. I've been in your position - both my DH and I have behaved badly like you and yours have. It was an angry, hurtful time when everything was just too much and we weren't handling life very well.

Counselling might be something to look at - we used Relate and it helped. As a start you could try acknowledging the demands life is making and try a bit harder with each other. That sounds a bit lame given the extreme behaviour of last night but something's got to give.

happyhorse Fri 22-Feb-13 17:09:41

I would be asking him to leave.

curiousgeorgie Fri 22-Feb-13 17:20:22

You threw water over him. I would find that completely unacceptable.

Dryjuice25 Fri 22-Feb-13 17:24:11

Its progressed from verbal to mild physical abuse and next time it could be gross bodily harm or worse. It will get worse as he has the capacity to do this. Please listen as he is telling you who he really is.

Throwing water is not nice but it would not kill anyone. Physical assault might.

happyhorse Fri 22-Feb-13 17:26:27

The water is besides the point. Yes it was a silly thing to do and had DH done that to me I would be mightily pissed off, but I would never assault him, especially not in front of our child. There is no excuse or justification for violently losing control of yourself.

mattysmum09 Fri 22-Feb-13 17:36:47

I'll be watchin this thread with interest is it basicaly if you both behave badly u should let it go? Although I suppose steps to stop it happening again would be a good start too. For the record I think u both behaved badly but he really shouldn't have done what he did.

Branleuse Fri 22-Feb-13 17:41:57

you cant expect to assault your partner and then it not turn into a physical fight, especially not in the night when youre both exhausted and stressed. You were both just as much in the wrong as each other.

sudaname Fri 22-Feb-13 17:43:41

Has he flatly denied the violence or just not acknowledged it or actually said he cant remember it ?

growingroots Fri 22-Feb-13 17:55:07

I think this sounds like an incredibly unhealthy relationship. You should not be telling him his behaviour was out of order, that seems like you are asking for his approval that you are angry, you should be telling him to live elsewhere until you have both had quite a bit of space and probably counselling together and set down firm boundaries regarding future re-occurances. This is not good for a child to witness. And whatever you did to annoy him, his aggression was not excusable, it shows a total lack of respect for you and a lack of caring for your child.

kirstys23 Fri 22-Feb-13 17:59:24

I think you are both in the wrong. It was a stressful situation with the baby crying and you both having a lack of sleep. You say he has never been violent to you in 7 years. You threw water at him and he pushed you out of the way. I think all the posters saying 'leave him, it's going to get worse, the violence is going to escalate' are reacting disproportionaly. If he had a violent temper or was a potential domestic abuser I think he would have reacted very differently.

Try and imagine the scenario reversed. If he was the one that threw the water and she was the one that pushed him, everybody would probably say that he was in the wrong for throwing the water in the first place.

AnyFucker Fri 22-Feb-13 18:00:52

I would consider throwing cold water on someone an assault

I would consider what he did to you to be assault

I think you should end your marriage before any more damaging lessons are forced upon your daughter. I wouldn't be looking at who is most to blame is waaaay past that.

ifso Fri 22-Feb-13 18:17:46

You poor thing OP. How are things now? Ge should be aware that a 2yr old may well be capable of telling an outsider what happened to mummy. Most importantly you say he has done this kind of thingbefore. Do you feel safe you deserve to feel safe and loved and protected.

PoppadomPreach Fri 22-Feb-13 18:22:14

I agree, AnyFucker.

mattysmum09 Fri 22-Feb-13 18:26:03

But he sounds like my partner wen he's woken or tiered and things can escalate...throwing water is never a good idea and would annoy me too!

ifso Fri 22-Feb-13 18:26:41

Ignoring the throwing water part for a sec - OP went in concerned to dd as she saw him say 'do that thing you do to mummy' and her instincts told her to step in to protect her dd

Then he started the anger and swearing. Then the water. A real man would have gone to the bathroom to dry off and calm down, not chase and attack the mother of his child like a crazed animal nearly pushing her down stairs! What if she had fallen?

Take photos of the marks op, show to gp get it recorded organise paperwork and see solicitor in their free half hour. Be prepared.

Do you want another 7 yrs of this? For dd to have these or worse flashbacks as a teenager?


LinusVanPelt Fri 22-Feb-13 18:31:06

ifso I think you've got that wrong. It was OP who whispered 'do that thing you do' - I think she was talking to her husband, not the child.

I think his actions were completely inexcusable and you are not responsible for them, OP. But your actions were inexcusable too, and I agree with others that you assaulted him by throwing water over him. His response wasn't self-defense, though, it was aggression, and I would not be able to trust him again if I were in your shoes.

AnyFucker Fri 22-Feb-13 18:34:34

Yes his response to the water was aggression

You threw water over him as a response to verbal abuse

Relationship fucked beyond redemption

End it as amicably as you can, before it descends any further

ifso Fri 22-Feb-13 18:35:58

Thanks, I see now, i misread it

ifso Fri 22-Feb-13 18:39:49

Wish he had just walked away to dry off and cool down in the bathroom - doesnt he yet know the basic rule it is never ok to push or shove or swear at a woman? When your dd grows up how will he treat her? Worried for both of you hmm

yellowbrickrd Fri 22-Feb-13 18:41:13

How is throwing water on someone assault? That's nonsense. Grabbing someone and violently shoving them back and forth and leaving finger marks is assault no doubt about it.

Spero Fri 22-Feb-13 18:48:07

An assault is putting someone in fear that you are going to harm them, so throwing water could count.

His reaction is more alarming because I assume he is bigger and stronger and could do more harm.

But both have behaved in a way incompatible with a loving and healthy relationship and there needs to be some kind of urgent attempt to deal with this as my bet is it can only escalate.

Can you talk? Do you feel this is safe? What is risk it will escalate again, particularly in front of your daughter? Never for a moment think seeing or even hearing this kind of thing wont absolutely terrify her and leave its mark. It will.

eccentrica Fri 22-Feb-13 18:56:25

Of course his behaviour is completely unacceptable but so is throwing water over someone, it is going to send their adrenaline and their 'fight or flight' reaction through the roof. Especially in the middle of the night when everyone's exhausted and not rational. It would take a pretty unusual person to walk away from that calmly in those circumstances.

I have been at the receiving end of domestic violence myself and I ended up being violent too - throwing things, smashing stuff, even hurting him on occasion.

I think you can get into unhealthy co-dependent situations where you both behave increasingly unacceptably and crazily. Fortunately I didn't have kids at that point, but sadly i had to end the relationship even though I loved him very much (and still do) and had been together over 10 years. For your daughter's sake you need to get out of this relationship and this situation.

PeppermintPasty Fri 22-Feb-13 18:57:13

How are you Felix?

yellowbrickrd Fri 22-Feb-13 18:57:25

No reasonable person could class throwing a small amount of water at someone as putting them in fear of harm. It is annoying and unpleasant, that's it. I can't imagine anyone daring to phone the police because someone threw water at them. To equate it with a violent outburst, laying hands on someone and shouting and swearing - that is trivialising real assault.

ifso Fri 22-Feb-13 19:00:45

'It would take a very unusual person to react calmly...'
I disagree with this - yes he could shout after he did it, but a normal decent man would have shut the door or gone to bathroom locked door to cool off surely? Not chased their female hunting them down and then shaking them all while dd screamed her head off? Wtaf? What a house.

Spero Fri 22-Feb-13 19:02:34

I have dealt with cases where throwing water was taken very seriously by the police. Admittedly a prosecution did not follow but the details of the investigation came up on advanced CRB checks and the thrower lost his job at a care home.

So don't trivialise what the op did - she doesn't.

Of course it is not as bad as being physically assaulted by a bigger and stronger person who could potentially kill you - but it is not behaviour that should happen in a relationship. What if she had thrown the glass in anger?

Lueji Fri 22-Feb-13 19:09:13

What if you had fell over the banister?

"It was an accident, your honour."

Nobody is perfect and this man assaulted his wife over a trivial thing.

AnyFucker Fri 22-Feb-13 19:10:26

The only time in my life I have EVER retaliated violently was when someone threw water in my face

If anyone knows my usual response on these threads, you will know I almost invariably take the woman's side, because mens superior physical strength makes this kind of interaction not a level playing field

But there is something very objectifying about flinging water at someone, and the cold sharp shock is enough to make you lose your rag.. I certainly did

But when that happened, the relationship was totally fucked and never had the potential to recover

So I say, stop the blame game and end it before this twisted mindset you are both in escalates further

Possiblyoutedled Fri 22-Feb-13 19:14:37

I agree AF my ex was extremely and life threateningly violent but the thing that sticks in my mind is sitting on the loo naked and pregnant and him throwing a child's toy if cold water over me repeatedly.
His reaction was inexcusable especially as he has minimalised it since.

Spero Fri 22-Feb-13 19:14:53

I agree with AF. Pointless trying to apportion blame, pointless trying to make one blameless.

Agree man more dangerous because likely stronger but this relationship is currently very toxic and damaging to everyone in it - mostly the child. If this were care proceedings, exposing a child to scenes like that would immediately be part of the evidence to back up assertions that she was suffering serious emotional harm and risk of physical harm.

AnyFucker Fri 22-Feb-13 19:27:09

Possibly, I am sorry that happened to you

I am not trying to demonise the OP here, I have a huge amount of sympathy

The water throwing was possibly because she has been goaded into it

But it doesn't change the fact it happened

End of relationship, if this is what communication between them has become

Fleecyslippers Fri 22-Feb-13 19:28:12

I was in an abusive relationship for 15 years. One of the assaults that my Ex admitted to during a court fact finding hearing involved him throwing a glass of beer in my face.
Do not minimise the Ops responsibility. I am totally anti violence at ANY level in a relationship.
OP I am sorry but I think that both of your actions mean that your marriage is in very, very serious trouble.

PeppermintPasty Fri 22-Feb-13 19:40:36

I wonder if there has been violence before. I can't put that thought out of my head.

Anyway, pure speculation on my part. I hope you're ok Felix.

Bogeyface Fri 22-Feb-13 19:42:40

I'm sorry but I am pissed off that the very same posters who would be screaming "Assault, LTB!!" if he chucked water at her and would be excusing her fighting back, are the same ones saying "Ok, you shouldnt have done that but he is abusive"

She didnt let him get on with parenting their daughter, followed him into the place he had gone to in order to remove himself from the situation, assaulted him and then complained when he kicked off at her.

Imagine that the other way around everyone would be telling her to call the police. But because she did it it MUST be her DH's fault! As for the irony of telling him to cool down and control himself whilst assaulting him.....that beggars belief.

They both behaved appallingly, and in front of their child too. They both need anger management counselling and relationship counselling, that poor little girl must be growing up in a bloody war zone if this is ok behaviour from the OP sad

yellowbrickrd Fri 22-Feb-13 19:53:16

Also hope you're OK felix. Tbh I think you had a pretty good grasp of the facts re the incident at the time you posted so I hope you won't allow other people's distorted opinions to affect you.

If he has never hit you before then he certainly crossed a significant line last night and the fact that he now denies using violence and played down the effect on your dd I think makes him dangerous. Whatever you decide to do you need to feel that you and your dd are safe.

Felix77 Fri 22-Feb-13 19:54:45

Hi all,

I have been reading your posts - thank you for the debate and it is interesting to everyone's view point. Yes, I am guilty and wish I had never thrown the water and should have realised that it would escalate. To be honest, his constant swearing and mood swings in the night and last night the swearing I felt was the last straw. He has done this before, we had an argument (away from the baby - once she was asleep) and he grabbed my wrists and twisted my arm (about 4 months ago now) can't remember what it was about now. Thanks for all those asking how I am, I am ok (a bit shaken but ok) and DD fine, I made sure it was a really fun day for her and determined to never let this happen again. He is home bathing her whilst I write this - he knows that things have reached breaking point now so there will be a need to talk. Something will have to be done but I havent made my mind up yet. DD is the priority and I am determined that she will never ever see anything like that again. I have told him that if he ever touches me again or displays aggression around DD there will be very serious consequences. There are some lovely, caring people out there, thank you to all.

Lueji Fri 22-Feb-13 19:59:32

The point is that both need to fully acknowledge their role in what happened.
While the OP did, her H didn't.

His reaction to everything was disproportional too.

And that makes him dangerous.

My guess is that the OP won't throw any more water.
He is still likely to assault her and insult her again. sad

Bogeyface Fri 22-Feb-13 20:00:06

Have you promised to never assault him again? Or follow him to continue a bad situation that he was trying to remove himself from?

I am glad that you see the need to sort things out, but you are seriously minimising your role in what happened. How would you feel if he said that if you ever do anything like that to him again then he will leave? Because he would be fully justified in doing so.

I am not saying that what he did was right, far from it, but that you were just as bad, if not worse as you initially escalated it. You need to accept what you did before you can expect him to do the same with his actions.

Bogeyface Fri 22-Feb-13 20:01:40

He is still likely to assault her and insult her again

But until she accepts how serious her actions were, the same could be said for the OP. Following someone into a room specifically to verbally and physically assault someone is wrong, no matter whether is a man or woman that does it.

Lueji Fri 22-Feb-13 20:01:40

Crossed posts, but proving my point.

This is the second time.

He should be leaving.

practicality Fri 22-Feb-13 20:02:58

I think the key thing here is that the OP went to her daughter when he sternly told her child to go to sleep because she is fearful that he would take his mood out on the child. I don't think she trusts him. The fact that he started swearing at her when all she did was to suggest something that might work indicates her fears were well founded.

It is not normal to tell someone to fuck off because they suggest something to you. The OP hasn't indicated that she has been verbally abusive towards her partner. He was very verbally abusive in front of the little child and continued in this vein until she lost it and tried to shock him.

He then physically attacked her after she confronted him because, despite being in another room, he continued in his verbal abuse.

I cannot understand why anyone would try to justify his response.

Lueji Fri 22-Feb-13 20:05:29

I think you need to read the OP properly, Bogey.

He started the swearing and effectively the whole thing.

The op isn't a saint, and the relationship is clearly in trouble.
One more reason to call off the wedding and split, even if temporarily.

Felix77 Fri 22-Feb-13 20:05:37

Hi bogeyface, our home is not a war zone - Our little girl has never seen anything like this before so that is why this is distressing. I want to protect her from his language, his moods and aggression...

Felix77 Fri 22-Feb-13 20:11:10

I think you are right practicality, trust is an issue for me. I wanted him to try what he normally did with her so she would sleep and he could get back to sleep (faster). I didn't expect the huge fuss..

Bogeyface Fri 22-Feb-13 20:11:16

Yes he started swearing, but he removed himself from the situation to calm down as any anger counsellor would tell him to do. The OP then got the water, followed him and assaulted him. His reaction was wrong, but it could have ended when he shut the spare room door. It didnt because SHE chose to push it into a full scale row.

I stand by what I said, they are both as bad as each other and for the sake of the child they need to do something asap, preferably living apart.

OP, do you think that following someone who is already in a bad mood and, forgetting the water for a minute, and having a go at them is the best way to protect your dd from his moods? It seems that his "language, moods and aggression" have gotten worse since you were told by a lot of posters that you were in the wrong too......

AnyFucker Fri 22-Feb-13 20:11:58 need to split

that is the only way to protect your dd from his moods and aggression...and the effect of them on you

don't you accept that, after both of you crossed a line that should never be crossed ?

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 22-Feb-13 20:18:45

I agree with AF, this relationship just needs to end.

I agree with those saying that the reason the OP intervened, is because her DP was speaking to her dd abusively - he did that classic abuse thing of "comforting" the child so badly, that the OP will never ask him again. Shame on those of you characterising that as helicoptering, it is absolutely the right thing to do to intervene when one parent is deliberately being abusive to a child so as to not be asked again.

Also I agree that the water throwing is a violent act. However, don't pretend it's anywhere near as serious or threatening an act in the context of an escalating violent relationship.

To accept "equal blame" is minimising the dynamics - remember, he hasn't acknowledged the physical violence, which means he fully intends to do it again.

I don't know if the OP intends to throw water at her partner again, but tbh if it's got to that stage, I don't think acknowledging and apologising while he doesn't acknowledge his much more serious violence, is the way to go. I think if that happens, then five years down the line he will be beating her up regularly and people will be saying: "FGS why didn't you leave him when he first started showing he was violent?" That's what happens in DV relationships - people minimise the first attack, especially if a woman fights back and so then they stay because of this false equivalence thing "you're both as bad as each other" and find themselves trapped.

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 22-Feb-13 20:19:58

And Bogeyface by saying that she is responsible for his violence because she didn't shut the bedroom door, you are actually making her responsible for his violence.

She's not. She's responsible for her own - the water-throwing. But to say she's responsible for his - no, that is never right.

Shakey1500 Fri 22-Feb-13 20:23:19

I agree that throwing water is an assault. And I also agree with AF that it has gone beyond.

I'm also perplexed by the phrase "it's been playing on my mind". Now forgive me if I'm totally misinterpreting this but I would only use a phrase such as this to describe something much less than what the OP describes. Had I had an altercation like that it would be more than playing on my mind, I would be fucking terrified.

Lueji Fri 22-Feb-13 20:28:28

Victims often minimise what happened.

It happened last night, so the op hasn't been thinking about it the whole week.
She didn't feel the need to post here then either.

She wasn't terrified, but it's still violent.

I wasn't "terrified" of ex the times he assaulted me. So?
He still assaulted me.

Suzanna69 Fri 22-Feb-13 20:39:19

The verbal abuse, the total lack of respect shown to you, the physical attack and the denial following this suggests your relationship has broken down irretrievably. Obviously none of us know the full story but the fact that this is now being displayed in front of your child means you can no longer carry onwithout taking action. I would suggest agreeing to separate although it's not always as simple as that, however once physical violence has occurred it will happen again, it's just a question of when and you don't want that time bomb ticking away in your house with a young child present, it's not healthy for her or you.

At the very least you need to calmly sit down and state what happened. Don't allow him to deny it. He is probably doing this because he's very ashamed but that doesn't mean he shouldn't acknowledge what he did. Take pictures of your injuries (you might need them later if things deteriorate) and show him if he still denies it. At the very least you both need to seek help. If he still won't accept he did this I'm afraid you need to seriously considering ending this unhealthy situation as it will only get worse.

My thoughts are with you and with anyone in an abusive relationship.

practicality Fri 22-Feb-13 20:44:15

Felix- he has already behaved badly enough to merit serious consequences.

This is the second time he has assaulted you in four months. He didn't learn from the first so why do you think it will stop now?

I think you are in an abusive relationship. The way you feel around his moods is unhealthy. I think he is psychologically abusing you and now it has shifted to verbal and physical abuse.

Nobody should feel worried about their partner and asking them to share in the care of their child. You shouldn't feel the need to be avoidant in asking him to pitch in.

I think you live in fear and will continue to as long as you live with this man. It is not good enough for you or your child.

You need to finish this now. The trust has gone and it is over.

MySonIsMyWorld Fri 22-Feb-13 21:10:43

please leave. you can do it. please leave.

ifso Fri 22-Feb-13 21:18:12

he twisted your arm badly 4 mths ago??????

just think about this for a second

ifso Fri 22-Feb-13 21:21:42

even if your kid doesnt see or hear any further altercations between you two for a while, she will pick up on moods, tensions, body language, emotional atmosphere - she will notice. She will remember. She will have flashbacks when she is older. Mental health issues perhaps - but I do hope not.

You are her mother ffs. You have a duty of care - clearly you dont trust your partner with her otherwise last night may have been different?

Dont just say you'll talk about it and TRY to behave better in future with a man as unpredictable and physically agressive as this. Stop minimising what he did 4 mths ago. In another 4 mths, will you post another thread about something else?

EvenBetter Fri 22-Feb-13 21:23:01

Sorry you were attacked OP, sorry your daughter was exposed to that, and probably a regular atmosphere of tension, resentment, fear and walking on eggshells.
This is not a relationship, its a sham and is now damaging another generation, who as other posters have said, will at very least be aware of the tension, fear and atmosphere, and now also be scared of seeing her parents behaving like something you'd see on a wildlife documentary.
End it and raise your self esteem and standards, no point analysing it, it's a joke. Relationships aren't meant to be like this.

Titchyboomboom Fri 22-Feb-13 21:25:39

My dd is 2 and very much aware of everything.

tribpot Fri 22-Feb-13 21:35:41

he grabbed my wrists and twisted my arm (about 4 months ago now) can't remember what it was about now...determined to never let this happen again.

But it did. And it escalated. You are in danger of normalising the violence.

When dd1 was two we were in a very stressful housing situation that meant us making lots of phonecalls to complain. She is 3.5 now and mentioned out of the blue the other day that she didn't like it. Kids are aware and remember a lot more than we realise.

Please look after yourself and your dd, the situation is unhealthy and dangerous and you need to remove yourself and your dd now before it escalates further.

Phone Women's Aid on 0808 2000 247

amillionyears Fri 22-Feb-13 21:48:17

op, have you done anything else physically to him before?

ironhorse Fri 22-Feb-13 22:22:44

you threw a glass of water on him - what do you expect? if you think his reaction was bad go to the pub tomrrow night and take a glass of water and throw it over someone and see what their reaction is... i suspect you will have a sore chin and nose and will be picking your teeth out your arse for a fortnight.

also read other threads where someone threw a little glass of water at her kids and every went mental but now the boot is on the other foot its her hubby thats at fault because he fought back - some people on here seem to want it both ways? you can have it like that, whats good for one is good for the other. some of the posts on here are unbelievably biased and bigoted.

kittybiscuits Fri 22-Feb-13 22:34:26

Oh yes OP, anyone who throws water at someone deserves to get a battering...NOT!

ifso Fri 22-Feb-13 22:35:34

So are you saying that this OP enjoys a fight with him then? Even if she gets assaulted by end of evening like recently? Doubt she really premeditated the water throwing. It takes two to fight like this yes, sel expression etc etc

but the physically stronger male ought to step back and not maintain the attack and let it end in scars on her chest. Agreed?

ifso Fri 22-Feb-13 22:36:43

(My questions were to Ironhorse not you kitty)

ifso Fri 22-Feb-13 22:40:09

Just think, this thread would never have happened if OP had moved the male out 4 mths ago after the arm twisting episode and we all wouldnt be sat here trying to justify a bully assaulting the mother of his child because oh she acted in haste first by tipping water over the arse's head


Bogeyface Fri 22-Feb-13 22:42:48

And Bogeyface by saying that she is responsible for his violence because she didn't shut the bedroom door, you are actually making her responsible for his violence.

At no point did I say she was to blame for what he did. At no point did I say the fault was hers for what he did.

I said that it COULD have ended when he went to the spare room. She COULD have spoken to him today about it and made her feelings clear about his attitude when she spoke to him (which was unacceptable). However it didn't end there.

She CHOSE to get a glass of water and follow him. She CHOSE to invade the space he had gone to in order to remove himself from an angry situation which, as I said, any anger management counsellor would tell him to do. She CHOSE to throw the water onto him, which constitutes assault under UK law and tell him that he needs to control himself (really?! Am I the only one getting the irony of that?!).

The fact that she did all of that doesnt mean that what he did was ok, it wasnt, it was absolutely wrong. However, if he had followed her to her bed, verbally abused her and thrown water in her face, would you be blaming her for hitting him back? No, I dont think you would. He tried to do the right thing after losing his rag and she kept on going. Thats why I said that they are both as bad as each other and need to do something asap for the sake of their poor little girl.

I do think that on MN it seems that simply by virtue of being a man it is assumed that he is in the wrong. Women can be aggressive abusers too you know!

practicality Fri 22-Feb-13 22:44:32

I think she expects not to be verbally and physically abused and have her child witness this iron horse.

Wow I am astonished by your laissez-faire attitude. Have you read what happened 4 months prior to this?

You are saying his response was reasonable basically or indeed moderated given the 'provocation'? I think you have the attitude of a knuckle-dragger.

ifso Fri 22-Feb-13 22:46:02

Crikey i once saw my always angry mother throw a glass of water over my teenage sisters face during yet another argument in the 'home' Was not aware it constituted assault under UK law useful info

Sorry thread hijack

Bogeyface Fri 22-Feb-13 22:46:20

BTW, not saying she IS an aggressive abuser!

Just that being a vagina owner doesnt mean that we are always right.

What the OP did was wrong.

Him being wrong too doesnt make her right.

kittybiscuits Fri 22-Feb-13 22:47:57

Thanks ifso, I realised that. Yes, practicality that! I thought we'd moved on from blaming the victim for provoking the abuser!?

Wingdingdong Fri 22-Feb-13 22:48:14

I can't say anything about your relationship because I've never been in that situation, but DD is 3.7 and 3 or 4 times a week will mention things or incidents from well over a year ago. Last week she talked about a man who smiled and gave her a necklace - I was horrified until further details revealed she remembered a restaurant manager on holiday when she was 13m.

Don't underestimate children's memories. I have 3 strong (visual/emotional) memories of my grandfather who died when I was 2.2.

ifso Fri 22-Feb-13 22:49:10

Did she claw his chest though or shake him near the bannisters or constantly swear at him?

Sounds like he upped the ante after the water incident, to her detriment

Bogeyface Fri 22-Feb-13 22:49:42

Ifso it would usually come under "common assault" in UK law although it is unlikely that anyone would be prosecuted for that alone, it is more likely to be in addition to other charges.

Bogeyface Fri 22-Feb-13 22:52:09

Ifso yes he did. I am not minimising what he did or blaming the OP for it. Equally, I am not minimising what she did!

She could have left him to it, but she chose to assault him. Its that simple.

kittybiscuits Fri 22-Feb-13 22:58:04

classic deflection bogey

Bogeyface Fri 22-Feb-13 23:01:38

Deflection of what?

I lived through an abusive relationship that included rape ffs. I know that an abuser will do what they want to do regardless. And in this case, he tried to leave the situation but she followed him and assaulted him.

THis happened to me many times, being followed and screamed at and having things thrown at me was not unusual. What she did was wrong.

It doesnt make what he did right, of course it doesnt. They are BOTH in the wrong and the only loser here is their daughter.

kittybiscuits Fri 22-Feb-13 23:03:51

Yes bogey, the OP pointed that out herself at the beginning of the thread. Nothing justifies his actions though.

ifso Fri 22-Feb-13 23:04:29

Or get this, if he really respected his home and offspring, he could have chosen to leave the dd's room before he started swearing at his wife in front of terrified dd?

But some posters think that OP would have still gone on to cause herself to get assaulted by provoking this delightful animal into a rage

Unbelievable female responses here this evening. hmm

This relationship is not good or healthy and is by no means what your child should be brought up around.

Yes, he assaulted you. Yes, it is DV. But you've done it too.

When you're both at this kind of behaviour, it's time to end it.

I don't think you're coming across as sincere in your acknowledgment of your behaviour if I'm honest.

He is very likely to do it again. Are you?

ifso Fri 22-Feb-13 23:09:20

Curious as to how OP is seen as an equal sparring partner in this if male let's face it knows he is physically stronger has upper hand? I dont get that part of it

Bogeyface Fri 22-Feb-13 23:10:12

Kitty nothing justifies her actions either. Why are people so blind to that?

If an OP posted that her and her DH had a row where she swore at him and she went to bed, he followed her, verbally abused and threw water at her so she screamed at him and put him in a physically threatening position, who would they blame?

YOu know the answer and so do I.

I think the point is when it gets to a point where they're 'sparring' partners a split is the safest and most logical thing to do.

Bogeyface Fri 22-Feb-13 23:12:00

Ifso no one is suggesting she deserved it. No one is saying that what he did was down to her.

What we are saying is that if you give it out you have to be prepared for a bad reaction! If he threw water in her face and she smacked him one, who's fault would it be?

She'd have been congratulated for standing up to him and we all know it.

Bogeyface Fri 22-Feb-13 23:14:59

Walter and AF are both right in that, regardless of rights and wrongs, if this is what they have come to then its time to call it a day. If only for the sake of the poor child.

I grew up in a family where the parents screaming at each other was normal. Broken crockery, threats to leave followed by hours where the threatener disappeared (which is DAYS when you are 5 and frightened), family wading in to "help". It all has an effect. I ended up in abusive relationships until I was 28 because it was all I knew! I thought throwing milk bottles at your husbands head meant you loved them.

Bogeyface Fri 22-Feb-13 23:16:16

Incidentally, the parents are still together 45 years on. Dsis and I are both still very fucked up.

ifso Fri 22-Feb-13 23:16:23

I see what youre saying bogey, but the implication is still there from many on this thread that had she not hung around him,hovered around (as her instincts were obv telling her to when he was near her dd) then nothing at all would have happened that evening.

Strange logic if you ask me

ifso Fri 22-Feb-13 23:20:07

Sorry to hear that Bogey. Agree with you it needs to end tho for the kid's life if nothing else. Wonder what OP is doing this eve hopefully not throwing water at anyone

Bogeyface Fri 22-Feb-13 23:32:32

But Ifso what he did was

"said to her "go back to sleep" in a stern voice"

Sometimes I do that. I have had 5 two year olds and have 1 that will be two very soon. Sometimes the "OK, jokes over, sleep time now" works, especially coming from the "bad cop" parent. He was parenting differently, but not abusively. So no, she didnt need to hover, she didnt need to follow him, she didnt need to assault him. She didnt actually need to do anything but trust his parenting ability, and she didnt.

Perhaps thats why he is so angry. He needs help, serious help with the way he deals with his anger, what he did was completely and utterly wrong. My point is that just because what he did was wrong doesnt make what the OP did, right.

sudaname Fri 22-Feb-13 23:43:46

I hardly think OP would have asked him in first place to help out/take over getting DD to sleep if she didnt trust him not to be abusive to their DD.
She calls their DD in her opening paragraph 'the love of our lives'. She goes on to say he always offers to get up in night but then is grumpy about it,so by and large she does it.
Also when she asked him on this fateful occasion to step up to the mark, she said he did so, apparently without protest.
Sorry but l am not getting picture of anxious mummy behind childs bedroom door to protect her child from abusive daddy, ready to jump in.
All he did was say to her 'sternly' to go back to sleep. I for one stand by my 'helicoptering' remark about the OPs intervention at that point.
There is nothing to suggest the man is directly abusive to his DD - l say directly because yes l know that being abusive to her mother in front of DD isnt healthy, but a child witnessing abuse and child abuse are not one and the same.

sudaname Fri 22-Feb-13 23:45:53

Sorry Bogey x post - l agree - obviously !

cjel Fri 22-Feb-13 23:51:30

Must say I agree with Bogey and sudaname.

Skang Sat 23-Feb-13 07:54:26

You shouldn't have thrown water at him, but violently assaulting you in front of your two year old who was scared and callin for her mummy?? Just get out. There is nothing worth that.

My 16 month old DD was recently terrified of a doctor listening to y chest with a stethoscope and was calling out 'no!' and trying to pull it off. A 2 year old seeing mummy and daddy being violent to each other and mummy being scared?? That is just awful. The poor little thing.

FastidiaBlueberry Sat 23-Feb-13 09:58:10

I think those of you analysing the actual incident are making the mistake of not acknowledging the context of the incident.

Of course saying "go back to sleep" in a stern voice isn't in of itself abusive.

But this man already has a history of abuse. He's already used violence against the OP before this incident and he makes it very clear that he doesn't want to be asked to "help" parent his own child.

The context here, is that she usually doesn't ask him because he is "grumpy" about it. That to me sounds like minimising of eggshell-stepping - the reason some people are permanently "grumpy" about something, is so that they're not asked to do it. When adults do it about looking after their own children, combined with other abusive behaviours, it's recognised as an abusive behaviour.

One of the reasons emotional abuse is so much more difficult to identify and more pernicious than physical abuse, is because it's actually incredibly hard to spot it. This is a classic example: you give the verbal message that you're willing to "help" parent your own child and then every single time you're asked to do it you make clear that you are resentful and unwilling to do it. What this leads to, is the narrative that you are a willing co-parent while the reality is the opposite of the narrative - the other parent is afraid to ask for co-parenting and does the "eggshell treading" thing around that particular issue. But because of the narrative, it's her fault she doesn't ask for help, because the narrative helps to obscure the reality.

That's how emotional abuse works. And there is no physical abuse ever, without emotional abuse underpinning it. I really do think context is everything here and those of you only looking at the incident without acknowledging all the underlying dynamics, are making a mistake - probably with the best will in the world, but 1 in 4 women live with domestic violence and the lack of recognition of its dynamics, is one of the major reasons why. I think it's really important that we recognise it.

I recognise a lot of the posters on this thread who are very knowledgable about the dynamics of abusive relationships.

I think we've all acknowledged it is abusive. Some of us feel though, that given they are both abusive, it is time to call a halt to it so that child doesn't suffer any more for it.

MrsSham Sat 23-Feb-13 10:06:21

Can I just say I have vivid memories from around 2 or 3 of domestic violent incidents and well quite old now but remember and it has its effects.

delilahlilah Sat 23-Feb-13 11:01:53

OP - some responses here are very helpful to you others are getting over excited. Those of you having a field day over throwing water, not one of you has noted the '50ml' - do you no how much that is? Absolutely miniscule. A double measure of a spirit served in a pub. It was not going to terrify him, it just wasn't helpful to the situation. Whoever mentioned him going to 'dry off' - a mere wipe with a sleeve would remove such a small amount of water.
The OP has committed one minor indiscretion here, not incited all of his behaviour.His behaviour was out of order prior to this. Rather than trying to pick this to bits, the basics seem to be that he is volatile and aggressive and the OP is better off without him. When you have been a victim of domestic abuse / violence it is possible to snap and do something back that you would never normally do / do to another person. Living with someone with a temper is not a good place for you or your DD.
Have you ever displayed any aggression towards any other person in your life OP?

yellowbrickrd Sat 23-Feb-13 11:52:10

For those who have categorised the op's actions as 'assault' imagine for a moment that the police had been called - what would have been their first priority? A shaken person with nail marks on their chest apologising profusely for throwing water or a person with a bit of water on them who has a 'mental block' about the attack?

Hope you are feeling a bit better today felix.

It's not a competition yellow!

I think there's a bit of misunderstanding here.

I think she is better off out of this relationship. They both are.

His behaviour doesn't excuse hers that's all I'm saying. And I'm not saying that to be nasty. I think felix will only benefit from acknowledging her behaviour as completely unacceptable.

Not in comparison to his!

I would categorically, 100% encourage her to leave as I would always encourage someone to leave an abusive relationship.

Spero Sat 23-Feb-13 13:45:23

I agree its not a competition. Have said repeatedly that the man's actions were more dangerous. But agree with all who say both have behaved wrongly.

Chucking water at someone is an assault. It's not likely to end up a court, but it could. That's not my view, that is the definition of common assault in the criminal law.

But this is derailing that thread. The central point has been made over and over. This can't go on. One of them -probably the physical weaker one - will end up seriously hurt or dead and their child will be emotionally screwed up or even hurt if she tries to intervene to protect her mother.

AnyFucker Sat 23-Feb-13 13:47:36

I haven't examined the dynamics of this particular incident

My view is that because this has now happened, it is overdue that the relationship be ended

I wouldn't spend any time looking for where the blame lies, or taking sides. If either of these people were my friend in RL, whilst acknowledging which one of them it would be more likely to be, I would be urging them to protect their child from bearing any further witness to the wreckage of this relationship.

yellowbrickrd Sat 23-Feb-13 14:24:06

What on earth do you mean 'it's not a competition'? I am not trying to score some petty point here, i was asking a genuine question in my last post.

I am also hoping to mitigate, for the op' sake if she's still reading, some of the terrible distortion i have seen on this thread. She has already felt the need to apologise twice here for doing something extremely minor which resulted in an inexcusable attack on her. Posters who have highlighted the water throwing to the same extent as the attack are potentially making the op feel that she deserved the attack or that somehow the water throwing minimises it.

It's not only the child who is vulverable here, the op herself is in real danger from this man.

Spero Sat 23-Feb-13 15:33:24

I have said it is not a competition because you seem to want to analyse this in terms of who did worse, to extent that it reads to me at least that you are attempting to say that the water throwing should not even be balanced in the scales as it is so trivial.

I, and I think pretty much everyone else have all been saying the same thing - there is no excuse or justification for what he did and he is likely to be dangerous, this is likely to escalate.

But to deny that water throwing is in itself an assault is just wrong and I don't think moves the argument on at all.

Both parties have behaved badly. The consequences of their behaviour for each other and their child may vary in severity but the actions of each demonstrate a massively toxic and unhealthy relationship.

A relationship is usually a dynamic, and each party has to recognise and take responsibility for their own behaviour.

wannaBe Sat 23-Feb-13 16:12:31

the one true victim in all this is a two year old child.

None of the rest is justifyable. none of it.

FastidiaBlueberry Sat 23-Feb-13 16:56:13

So the fact that one of the parties has marks on her skin is totally and completely irrelevant then?

How unlike the home life of our own dear queen. hmm

I'm not in favour of the blame allocation - how much percentage can we allocate here, how much there, what proportion of this is criminal assault, what proportion of that - it's all pretty pointless, it just all needs to end - but to try and pretend that leaving marks on someone's skin is irrelevant, is minimising domestic assault IMO.

LoopDeLoops Sat 23-Feb-13 17:06:00

Probably not important, but can I ask what "the thing he usually does with her" usually is?

Spero Sat 23-Feb-13 17:22:46

Who is saying the physical assault on the woman is irrelevant??

I feel like I am in an alternative dimension here. What he did was appalling, criminal, wrong, unjustifiable etc.

But I am really worried by the trend of some seeming to say that was she did was so utterly trivial it shouldn't even be discussed.

They both behaved badly. It has got to stop. Because it will hurt their child.

FastidiaBlueberry Sat 23-Feb-13 17:44:05

Sorry Spero, I thought Wannabe was saying that actually.

"the one true victim in all this is a two year old child."

That emphasis on the word one, for me carries a clear implication that the physical assault didn't have a victim.

It did.

Spero Sat 23-Feb-13 17:49:41

Of course it did, and I hope I have stressed over and over how absolutely unjustified and dangerous his behaviour was. She could be seriously injured or even killed - I don't think anyone is denying that.

But there is an interesting undercurrent that she should not in anyway take responsibility for her own behaviour because it was so 'trivial' in comparison with his, and lots of posts have wasted time arguing over whether or not this is an assault. It is. It's just not one the police would be particularly interested in pursuing, especially when faced with a serious physical assault. I totally accept that.

But it is NOT 'victim blaming' to say that we all have to take note of our behaviour and take responsibility for it. Violence in relationships - at least from what I have seen over a decade - is rarely 100% evil male perpetrator, 100% innocent female victim. The problem is, if a man hits he could kill you, if a woman hits she will do less damage. But that doesn't mean a woman who hits should never have to account for her behaviour.

I don't think violence or threatening violence to another human being is ever justifable, unless you are trying to protect yourself or someone else from being killed.

And I totally agree with Wannabe that the one 'true' victim IS the child. If by 'true' she means the one person in this sorry mess who has just had to sit back and watch and listen to her parents behave in this way. She has no choice, she can't ring the police or get out. There is masses of research on the really, really serious impact on children of having to watch or listen to violence in their home.

FastidiaBlueberry Sat 23-Feb-13 17:59:50

I don't think it's helpful to use that sort of language.

What's the opposite of a "true" victim?

A false one?

I just think the effect of that is to minimise, sorry.

Spero Sat 23-Feb-13 18:02:46

I disagree. I think this is an important and useful discussion.

These are adults who need to take responsibility for their behaviour.

I don't see how this is minimising anything.

FastidiaBlueberry Sat 23-Feb-13 18:04:49

Talking about "true victims" is what I referred to when I talked about minimising, Spero.

yellowbrickrd Sat 23-Feb-13 18:13:25

By saying that the op 'needs to take responsibility for her action' you are clearly implying that she was in some way responsible for the man's reaction.
That is not an important or useful discussion - it is taking the issue of DV back to the dark ages.

Spero Sat 23-Feb-13 18:13:34

So was I.

I don't think it is at all sensible to follow and goad a violent man who has tried to remove himself from a situation. Which is what op did.

To say stuff like that is usually shot down as 'victim blaming' - but here is the thing. It is a stupid thing to do. It does not in any way justify a violent physical assault but to ignore this issue is to ignore the fact that we have to take responsibility for what we do.

It wouldn't be much of a defence to a charge of a serious assault but it might well work in mitigation to any sentence he got.

But I don't see it helps the op to say well - he was 90% to blame, you were 10% or whatever proportion you think is appropriate. Both need to take responsibility for their part in this. The child is the only person who did not make a choice to escalate a situation.

By saying that the op 'needs to take responsibility for her action' you are clearly implying that she was in some way responsible for the man's reaction.

That's not true yellow. Nobody is saying that.

Spero Sat 23-Feb-13 18:26:16

Yes, I am not saying, have never said that she is to 'blame' for her partner's aggressive and criminal behaviour. That was his choice.

But she does have to ask herself why she chose to follow him and throw water over him, knowing he had been violent in the past and knowing her daughter was in the house. She presumably was sufficiently in control of herself not to throw the glass but only the water.

She should have phoned the police immediately and had him arrested. If this goes on she will be 'blamed' for failing to protect her child.

It is not taking violence 'back to the dark ages' to ask that all parents acknowledge and take responsibility for their choices and their behaviour.

yellowbrickrd Sat 23-Feb-13 18:42:54

As far as I can see it is just substituting the word 'responsibility' for the word 'blame'.

On the one hand spero you state that you have never said she is to 'blame'. On the other you question her actions in a way that makes it clear you think she is partly to blame and also that she is to blame for not phoning the police and will be further to blame for not protecting her child if there is any more violence.

On numerous other dv threads the victim is strongly advised not to blame themselves for the violence that someone chooses to use. What is different here?

FastidiaBlueberry Sat 23-Feb-13 18:43:57


Problem with this is it all sounds perfectly reasonable on one level.

But it's not. It's the beginning of telling women they shouldn't provoke men into violence. It's the beginning of telling them to walk on eggshells.

But the OP is already doing that (with regards to not asking him to do his share of parenting at night). Victims of abuse already do that most of the time.

There are enough people out there willing to tell women that they "should ask themselves" why they followed a course of action which led to a man violently attacking them.

I know what you're getting at Spero but I think that it's far too fine a line to tread with any safety tbh. The reason that sort of thing is called victim-blaming, is because that's what it eventually becomes.

Bogeyface Sat 23-Feb-13 19:31:54


HE is the blame for what he did. But equally, she is the blame for what she did. And thats why people are saying that they are both responsible for the situation that ensued.

He shouldn't have attacked her, no one has said that he should have done or that she deserved it, but I agree (and said earlier) that she escalated the issue by following him and assaulting him, that surely cannot be denied? As I said, one of the things that an anger management counsellor will tell a man like is to remove himself from the situation and calm down. He tried to do that and she deliberately followed him and made the whole thing far worse than it needed to be.

Him being wrong doesnt stop her being wrong too. And I agree that the only true victim here is the child. She has no choice and no one who is putting her first. Her mother took her from her bed into their bed then and was left there alone while her mother got a glass of water to throw at her father whilst verbally abusing him. The deliberateness (?) if that action is actually quite chilling.

For the childs sake this has got to stop and both of them need professional help.

FastidiaBlueberry Sat 23-Feb-13 19:43:16

Actually anger management doesn't work for domestic abuse perpetrators.

Most of them don't have any problems managing their anger - they only ever inflict it on the people they live with.

It's not their anger that's the problem, it's their (often unconsciously-held) belief system.

It's a very common (and dangerous) misconception that DV can be addressed by the perp going on an anger management course. It can't. It teaches the perp how better to abuse and get away with it.

AnyFucker Sat 23-Feb-13 20:12:30

God, no

I hope there is no attempt to resolve this completely unresolveable toxic relationship by one or both going to "anger management classes"

By it's very definition, it makes no sense at all. If you have to "manage your anger" it means you accept is is ok to act out in that way and all that needs to be done is you channel it better.

having "anger" and taking it out on your partner about perfectly normal and common domestic scenarios like a child crying in the night is not fucking normal

Bogeyface Sat 23-Feb-13 20:15:18

I agree, which is why the OP shouldnt have done what she did.

Bogeyface Sat 23-Feb-13 20:16:33

Incidentally, I dont think that AM would work either, but merely pointing out that what he did was what would be suggested by a counsellor if someone feels they are getting angry.

JuliaScurr Sat 23-Feb-13 20:27:07

practicality and others are right

contact Women's Aid and asap

Things will get better
You will be OK and you will be happy again

johnnycomelurky Sat 23-Feb-13 20:27:21

Uh I'm pretty sure retreating to another room and continuing to swear at the other person is not a recommended anger management stategy. It is just him continuing to be very aggressive and bully the OP. I don't think throwing water was a good decision but I certainly cannot see how the understandable, justifiable reaction to this is to chase someone and shove/push them. Even if you think throwing water is assault how does one assault justify a worse one confused

Spero Sat 23-Feb-13 21:11:35

sorry, yellowbrickrd but the reality is, if you repeatedly allow your child to be in this situation, you will be blamed for failing to protect. you could lose your children.

When have I ever said the op should continue to 'walk on eggshells' or blame herself for his violence?

She should have called the police the moment he laid his hands on her. I don't think she is safe.

But equally she needs to think WHY did I chose to follow him and chuck water at him? What was I hoping to achieve?

But this is getting circular.

She hasn't come back. I hope she is alright. I hope something happens that is positive and they don't just carry on 'until the next time'.

yellowbrickrd Sat 23-Feb-13 21:30:39

If you repeatedly allow your child to see you being violently attacked you will be held responsible? Throwing 50ml of water on someone who is verbally abusing you is assault? I'm really learning a lot here.

Why are some posters so determined to ignore that op's behaviour wasn't acceptable?!

Her behaviour doesn't make him less of a violent, aggressive bully but it does highlight the very real need for this relationship to end.

That's all anyone is saying!

rodandtheemu Sat 23-Feb-13 23:02:15

Both Op and DH were out of order , but to varying degrees. She should be able to go in the room to tell him to shut up , with out being in fear, but she shouldnt have thrown the water, regardless if he would have had turned over and ignored her OR jumped out of bed.

If this was a thread about ' my husband threw water over me last night while i was in bed'' There would be calls of ''leave him!''

The throwing of water was the cayalyst which shown some very ugly and dangerous behavour.

This is a red flag. One which shouldnt be ignored. The fact he hasnt acknowledged it should be setting alarm bells off!

*Actually anger management doesn't work for domestic abuse perpetrators.

Most of them don't have any problems managing their anger - they only ever inflict it on the people they live with.

It's not their anger that's the problem, it's their (often unconsciously-held) belief system.

It's a very common (and dangerous) misconception that DV can be addressed by the perp going on an anger management course. It can't. *
great post fast

yellowbrickrd Sat 23-Feb-13 23:19:32

Acknowledgement that one half of a couple is 'a violent, aggressive bully' should be enough in itself to 'highlight the very real need for this relationship to end.'

amillionyears Sun 24-Feb-13 07:45:45

I dont think some posters like to think the unthinkable, that a woman's actions may have contributed in any way to a man acting violently.

This man has done it before.
The poster will not say whether she has been violent at all before.
Maybe she has, maybe she hasnt.

As just about everyone has said, this is not at all a healthy relationship.
In fact, this is a violent relationship, which the op has yet to see. Or perhaps, yet to accept and acknowledge.

yellowbrickrd Sun 24-Feb-13 11:53:31

Felix - I can assure you if you contact people such as these (apologies if someone's already linked this) you will not be blamed in any way for your partner's violence.

A quote from the above website: The abuser is always responsible for the violence, and should be held accountable. There is no excuse for domestic violence and the victim is never responsible for the abuser's behaviour.

If you are still reading I hope you will concentrate on the excellent posts from practicality and fastidiablueberry.

Bogeyface Sun 24-Feb-13 11:56:41

The abuser is always responsible for the violence, and should be held accountable. There is no excuse for domestic violence and the victim is never responsible for the abuser's behaviour.

No one is saying that she is to be blamed for what he did. Why do you keep assuming that? But the quote above could just as easily be levelled at the OP, and until she realises that then her relationships and her childs upbringing will always be blighted by domestic abuse, whichever parent is involved.

Spero Sun 24-Feb-13 12:46:54

Yes yellowbrickrd. If you enter into a relationship with a violent man, if you let him back into the house time and time again to beat you in front of your children, if you won't co operate with the police or take out an injunction, your children could be removed from your care by the State because you have failed to protect them.

Why do you express surprise about this? It is sadly common. Time and time again I deal with women who have been raped and beaten with their children in the next or even same room. But the next time he knocks on the door they let him in. It seems that any man is better than none.

It is very sad. I guess it is a self esteem issue. Everyone should be given as much help and support as possible to get out of violent relationships - or even better, not get into them in the first place.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 24-Feb-13 14:24:33

Actually it's not just a self-esteem issue.

It's an issue of safety, long term security and social and economic survival.

Everyone knows that the time a woman is most likely to be murdered by a violent partner, is when she leaves him - either just as she's about to, or has just done so. (Actually that's not true, most people are blissfully unaware of that, but they ought to know.)

The courts and judicial system do not deal with male violence, they pretend it's not as serious as it is. The single biggest clue as to whether a man will murder his female partner, is whether he has threatened to or not. If he has, he is x times more likely to murder her than a man who has not threatened to kill her (I can't remember the exact figures.) Yet when a woman tells the police that he's threatened to kill her, they don't take it seriously and usually either don't believe her or just minimise it - heat of the moment, blah di blah.

Added to this we live in a society that gives women the very clear message that without a man they're incomplete. We also tell them that the children of single parents do worse than those whose parents are together (even though that's only because of income), we make sure that we punish single parents with poverty, we don't make men pay maintenance (only 2/5 of NRP's do and the average figure is a pittance), we give violent men sole contact with their children so that their mothers can't protect them and overall many women make the calculation that they may have more chance of protecting their children and giving them a better life if their fathers stay - better to have them inside the home pissing out, than outside the home pissing in. (They ignore the fact that often, they're inside pissing in, but heyho.) Society gives non-resident fathers no responsibilities and lots of rights, is it really any wonder that so many women in violent relationships make the calculation that it might be easier to stick it out for a few more years than to split?

Stop blaming women for the societal factors which make living with an abuser look like a better decision than dumping his worthless arse.

Spero Sun 24-Feb-13 14:32:22

Stop accusing me of blaming women when I do no such thing. If you want to debate, do it honestly or it is all just a waste of time.

I agree with you that a powerful and dangerous message is constantly reinforced that women are less worthy if they don't have a man. We need to combat this.

But I don't agree courts fail to take violence seriously. It is almost always an element in the care cases I deal with and women are always supported and encouraged to take advantage of all avenues available to protect themselves and their children. Where it often breaks down is when women will not separate from abusers.

I am sure that societal and economic pressures play a big part. But I would also like to encourage more people to think about why they end up with abusive bastards, not just accept it as something that happens.

Asking people to think, to try to claim their own autonomy is nothing to do with 'blaming' them when it goes wrong. But as I have made this point many, many times and it is not grasped, I have to conclude that it never will be, by some of you at least.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 24-Feb-13 14:49:24

I am debating honestly.

I think the tone of your arguments are consistently woman-blaming.

I'm sorry but if you look at the figures, it is just wrong to say that the courts take male violence seriously. Time after time, men who break injunctions are simply not dealt with. Men who get cautioned, are allowed back into the family home. It is also wrong to say that there is loads of help; there is some, but it is minimal and the eventual end is usually poverty, there's no way round that.

You cannot divorce women's self-esteem (and I do agree with you that there is a massive issue there) from the society which has a vested interest in ensuring that women's self-esteem is kept as low as possible and that it stems mainly from the acceptance and approval of men.

amillionyears Sun 24-Feb-13 15:01:59

I think we forget that women get lonely. To a greater extent than men do.
And scared to go it alone. Again, to a greater extent than men do.
And sometimes it is a case of, fear of the unknown.
And dont know what to do in a marital or partner split. though I must say that there is heaps of advice on MN about that.

I actually think that it is a woman herself who feels less, and I dont know what the word is, worthy?, important? if she doesnt have a man.

Who do you think, Fastidia, has the vested interest?

Viviennemary Sun 24-Feb-13 15:13:19

You threw a glass of water at him in the middle of the night. If somebody did that to me I'd be furious. Not sure what I'd do as it hasn't happened. It does sound as if you've both behaved very badly indeed and need to look at your relationshiop overall to see if it can be rescued.

Spero Sun 24-Feb-13 15:20:49

I think to consider women as passive acceptors of male cruelty is just as offensive, limiting and blaming as saying that they should take responsibility for men's actions. We all need to look at our behaviour.

I do not recognise your description of how courts treat male violence and I have worked there for ten years now. So maybe we will have to agree to disagree. I have seen on countless times the frustration of police who will fit panic buttons etc and then get repeatedly called back.

I think the vast majority of humans get lonely and want someone else around. That's ok. What I think is sad is why so many of us think so little of ourselves, or have so little choices in our lives that we hitch our wagons to anything going.

If that is victim blaming, so be it. Can't think of any way to put it more clearly.

I`m with AF et all, if your relationship has descended into this then its time to finish it, there really isnt any comeback from here.

Good luck

MerryCouthyMows Sun 24-Feb-13 15:33:42

Spero - you obviously haven't had the experiences if family courts that I have. Locally, if you are an abused woman, you can guarantee that you will lose your DC's to your abuser AT LEAST 50% of the time. And often are reduced to seeing them EOW.

I have seen it happen to 3 of my friends in the last year alone.

If I was abused again, and there were DC's involved, there is NO way I would be leaving my abuser. Because I KNOW what happens in those cases here.

amillionyears Sun 24-Feb-13 16:14:54

How much abuse would you be prepared to put up with Merry?

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 24-Feb-13 16:27:52

"I think to consider women as passive acceptors of male cruelty..."

But that's an over-simplification, I don't think it's so clear-cut. But you're right, we prob need to agree to disagree. smile

Amillionyears I think you raise interesting points. I'm not sure that women do get lonelier than men, research has consistently shown that the heirarchy of happiness goes:

Married men
Single women
Married women
Single men

I think men get just as lonely, but I think they are not assumed to be lonely by other people, as women are. If you look at likelihood of suicide, depression, ill-health etc., it's single men who are more likely to suffer. Being married is a massive benefit for men, not so much for women if you believe the heirarchy of happiness. However the public narrative, is that it's single women who are unhappy, surrounded by cats, dead bodies being eaten by alsations etc. But we are all the products of our culture and yes I do think it's very difficult not to internalise those negative messages and to not be afraid of being alone, especially when you have children and you know you won't get any maintenance and you may well be unemployed. Also of course, you may well have a very negative view of single mothers, because that's what we're fed and the thought of joining a despised class, even though you may not despise them yourself, is pretty awful.

The other thing that I think is important is that it is actually extremely difficult to face up to the fact that you are the victim of domestic violence. Again, our culture has a narrative about that: we have a view that says women who "put up with" male violence in their home are weak, or stupid, or dependent, or uneducated, or a mixture of all plus a whole load of other negatives. A woman who is going through this, doesn't see herself in this negative narrative, so she doesn't necessarily link it to her situation and herself. Hold on, there's a brilliant Ted talk on this by an abuse survivor who points out that she saw herself as a strong woman who was having some relationship problems, not this pathetic victim of legend. I'll see if I can find it.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 24-Feb-13 16:30:36

Found it

This really is well worth a watch, she's a brilliantly articulate speaker and really explains well, how someone with all the advantages she had, can still become a victim of an abuser.

amillionyears Sun 24-Feb-13 17:21:20

Excellent video.

Can I make some observations on it?

Good points.
1.The fact that she is telling everyone.
2.The stages abusers use, including isolating people. Though I would hazard a guess that some abusers dont set out as abusers as her DH did.
3.Telling people that it can happen to people from absolutely all walks of life.

Bad points or mistakes she made?
Seems a bit mean to do this, but we are having a frank discussion so will say them.
1. Calling anyone a soulmate. I done believe that anyone can be all things to another person. All humans are flawed.
2. He attacked her 5 days before the wedding. I would like to think that there is no way on earth that I would have still gone through with the wedding.
3. She seemed to fudge the bot near the beginning about men and women abusers. She said that in the USA, 85% of men are the abusers. therefore 15% are women. I think she was scared to say that bit more openly.

Overall though, everyone should watch this. [The video runs for 16 mins]

Spero Sun 24-Feb-13 17:34:06

Thanks for the video link, I will watch when daughters awful film has finished.

I am sorry you feel that way Merry, I don't know what experiences you have had, but clearly not great.

All I can say is that I have never been involved in a case where violence. Wasn't taken extremely seriously and I have never been involved in a case where children went to live with someone who had been found guilty of serious violence in a criminal court or had serious findings made against him or her in civil court.

If anyone is living with children and someone violent you MUST leave or get help, you must co operate with the police in prosecuting them. One of the reasons that a cycle of abuse continues is that children grow up thinking that violence between adults is normal and acceptable. It never is, no matter the provocation, no matter the excuse.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 24-Feb-13 17:34:28

Yeah I think the soulmate idea is a really destructive one.

That, along with the exhortation to "work on your relationship" (and we can see who is trained to do the emotional work of the relationship - look at women's magazines and compare them to men's magazines - where are the endless articles talking men through how to make sure their relationships are happy and healthy?) keeps women in relationships they should leave, because to leave your soulmate would by definition be a waste of your life surely? Unless you believe in re-incarnation, this is your one in a lifetime chance to be together with the person destiny allocated to you. It is the most ridiculous idea but a surprising number of otherwise quite sensible people seem to buy into it. confused

Spero Sun 24-Feb-13 17:41:45

I have always found 'boiling the frog' a helpful way of understanding why some people stay. A lot of abusers start off charming then ramp up the abuse little by little. What you put up with months into the relationship you wouldn't put up with at the beginning. Just as a frog wouldn't jump into a pan of boiling water, but you can gradually raise the temperature so he doesn't realise he is boiling until its too late.

I am a well educated woman with access to money, family support etc but I still found myself with someone who tried to suffocate me with a pillow - it took another six months to extricate myself because I guess on some level you just bear to admit that this is happening to you.

If some one attacked me just before my wedding it would take enormous courage to call it off and to explain why - I can completely understand and sympathise why someone might desparately try to stick head in sand, pretend it hadn't happened or he was 'tired' or 'stressed'.

All I want is to raise my daughter to know that it is NEVER acceptable to be in a relationship with a man or woman who belittles her or hits her. I want her never to have to make that choice.

Spero Sun 24-Feb-13 17:43:58

Agree about the emphasis on relationships too - all down to the woman to 'bag' the man, keep the man, worry abut whether the man is happy. Such a shame. It should be a mutual obligation to keep our relationships healthy.

amillionyears Sun 24-Feb-13 18:53:18

Spero, shock at what happened to you. sad

My DD came into the room as I was watching the last few minutes of the film.
And afterwards she asked in a quiet voice "dad isnt doing that to you is he?"
I told her no, no way was dad doing that to me. I thought it was sweet of her to ask.

The only thing that happened to me was, after we had been married for about 6 months, one day DH took me by the elbow and slightly manhandled me down the hall.
I told him in no uncertain terms that if he ever used any force against me again, I would'nt be staying around. He has not, I am glad to say. He knows I would be straight out the door if he did.

AnyFucker Mon 25-Feb-13 00:55:18

I believe my soulmate is an Inuit Eskimo living in an igloo near the South Pole. It is highly unlikely I will ever meet him.

Until then, I'll make do with one of the probably thousands of men living within my own environs that make a perfectly acceptable life partner for me

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