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devestated and don't know what to do.

(50 Posts)
tryingtobeanon Mon 08-Aug-05 13:34:18

I am expecting my 3rd child and yesterday in a row my dp punched me in the shoulder. I am gobsmacked & shocked and so devestated.

a few years ago he shoved me out of bed in a row and I told him any more violence and I would go. Nothing has happened since - he is not controlling or abusive. No-one in this house is scared of him and I was soo happy that we sorted it out and I didn't make a 'rash' decision.

Now what? I am shocked and really upset and don't know what to do. Should we get counselling or should I just go? It breaks my heart to even think about going. Explaining to the kids that we won't be living with daddy, giving birth on my own, surviving (I don't work). The whole thing is just killing me. Can he change and not do it again?

Mum2girls Mon 08-Aug-05 13:36:38

How scary - are you ok? Did the children witness it? What was the situation - had he been drinking or anything (not trying to give him an excuse, but it might help with any advice that could be offered).

alicatsg Mon 08-Aug-05 13:37:38

so sorry to hear this and I wish I knew what to say. Important thing is to do whatever makes you feel safe.

What has he said/been like since it happened?

tryingtobeanon Mon 08-Aug-05 13:38:35

No, we had just got up. We were rowing about nothing major but more than bickering - as I walked past he did this on my shoulder at the back. I am just really shocked. He is a lame punch so it didn't hurt but I am just so shocked.

Mum2girls Mon 08-Aug-05 13:39:27

Have you discussed it with him? What did he say?

alicatsg Mon 08-Aug-05 13:39:59

is there a chance he didn't mean it as a punch?

tryingtobeanon Mon 08-Aug-05 13:40:12

He apologised immediately - but I was too busy freaking out. Then I left with kids and didn't pick up the phone. We have spoken for 20 mins today and he says he is ashamed, sorry, embarrassed etc etc. I still don't know what to do though. I am not isolated or anything - I have loads of friends & have spoken to one of them and my sister about it.

tryingtobeanon Mon 08-Aug-05 13:40:43

No I think he meant it - he has said so.

anorak Mon 08-Aug-05 13:41:04

Use the shock he is almost certainly feeling as well to insist he gets help.

My dh had uncontrollable bursts of anger where he had a 'red mist' type of experience. Only when he physically went for my teenage daughter did he accept that he needed help. He knew it was wrong and took himself off to a psychotherapist.

After a long course of therapy he uncovered a lot of bad stuff about his parents that was still making him seethe with anger and now his anger is 'managed' we do not have any more outbursts like this.

You absolutely shouldn't and mustn't put up with violence in the home but I wouldn't abandon your dh for this (relatively) small incident. But I would certainly use it to force him to do something about it.

If he is the good guy he sounds he will be just as keen as you to prevent this happening again.

tryingtobeanon Mon 08-Aug-05 13:43:26

Thats the problem - he is a good guy but I think he can't deal with stress. We have a fab relationship which is why this is so shocking.

tryingtobeanon Mon 08-Aug-05 13:46:22

anorak did your dh ever actually hit you?

Mum2girls Mon 08-Aug-05 13:46:30

Agree with the fact that you can't live with this without your dp finding out exactly what triggers it and how he can deal with it should he ever feel like that again.

Do you think he would agree to seeking help?

tryingtobeanon Mon 08-Aug-05 13:47:31

I think I would have to make it a proviso of us staying together. Although I am not scared of him or anything I don't want it to happen again.

dejags Mon 08-Aug-05 13:47:48

tryingtobeanon,

I agree with anorak. If this is atypical behaviour it can be dealt with, as long as he is willing.

Hope things work out for you.

alicatsg Mon 08-Aug-05 13:48:33

absolutley agree - you have to make him get help. If he wants you back he gets help, no get out clause. Thats assuming you want to let him have a third chance.

tryingtobeanon Mon 08-Aug-05 13:50:01

My sis was in a serious case of DV where her partner nearly killed her - unfortunately she thinks my dp is on the way to that - and although she tries not to say, she thinks I should leave.

I don't think that my dp is like that though - but maybe I am being naiive. We have been together for nearly 10 yrs and this is the first time he has hit me - is it possible he's just going through a hard time and wouldn't do it again? I feel so confused.

tryingtobeanon Mon 08-Aug-05 13:51:18

Yes, sorry it would be a 3rd chance obviously. I think last time I decided in my mind that if anything ever happened again I would be out so I feel stupid now not going.

tryingtobeanon Mon 08-Aug-05 13:54:51

Please feel free to post advice etc - I am going to lie down as am feeling drained. Thanks.

Mum2girls Mon 08-Aug-05 13:55:58

You're not stupid - it's only human to want to believe the best in someone you love.

It's interesting that after 2 relatively (although inexcusable) minor incidents (hope that doesn't offend you), that your sister is drawing parallels with her obviously highly abusive relationship.

Are you sure you're being honest with yourself and that there are no other traits he is displaying?

anorak Mon 08-Aug-05 14:22:02

My dh has never hit me, but he would have hit my daughter that day if I hadn't stood in front of him screaming at him. He totally lost it. Couldn't even remember it afterwards.

But I do know how it feels. I was hit daily by my mother, and have been hit by other partners in the past.

Your sister is worried for you, but I don't think from what you've said that your man can be compared with hers.

I can tell by your words that you love your dh. I think anyone can be violent, given the right circumstances. And that may not be anything to do with your row, it might be something from years ago that has been unresolved and waiting inside him like a time bomb.

The difference between whether you should stay or not is all up to him. It's to do with his attitude following this incident. If he's willing to seek help to make sure he doesn't do this again then my advice would be to support him all the way. But he has to understand how important it is to really mean it and do it.

Heathcliffscathy Mon 08-Aug-05 14:24:31

great advice and perspective anorak. i totally agree that given how ashamed he must be feeling now is the time to insist that he seeks some help. Either anger management group/specialist counsellor or straight psychotherapy.

tryingtobeanon Mon 08-Aug-05 14:29:02

Thanks.

Mum2girls - I am being honest with myself - I looked at womens aid and read through this huge list of 'abusive' traits and none of them were my dp. It literally is these two incidents - and I am not offended - it is nice to talk to someone who also views them as relatively minor.

The only other thing that I have noticed is that my dp doesn't seem to be able to deal with stress. He stews for a few days then gets over whatever it was. The strange thing is he doens't get stressed much so its not an everyday thing. Family & children he never really gets strssed over. For example - a few months ago a customer was refusing to pay him and was a right b*ard, putting my dp down and he didn't say anything but came home in a mood and then burst into tears. I tried to say 'put it down to experience' but he was just too upset and wouldn't listen. Incidentally, that was only the 2nd time I had seen him cry - the first time was when thinking about how he had disappointed his parents (they are the kind who would tell him too) - in fact I left my xh for dp and his mum said to me infront of her son 'why the hell did you leave him for X(dp)'.

My sis (understandably) views them as on a par with almost being strangled to death.

steffee Mon 08-Aug-05 14:32:00

tryingtobeanon, you're not stupid. It takes guts to stand up and say something isn't right. I don't have any suggestions really, if you're being honest (with yourself - sometimes you can delude yourself into thinking it's not really as bad as it is) then it doesn't really sound like he'll go on to be a fully-fledged abuser.

Hope I don't offend you, I don't mean to call you a liar!!

Mum2girls Mon 08-Aug-05 14:33:34

Tryingtobeanon - what do you think you will do then?

tryingtobeanon Mon 08-Aug-05 14:39:14

We will talk later today - and I think I will say that he has to have some kind of counselling or maybe we could go to relate. Then, we'll have to take it from there.

I think he needs help dealing with stress and anger in a more constructive/adult way. I am still really upset - and my sis will be disappointed if I stay.

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