My name is Aria and I'm 18 and my boyfriend Matthew is 22. We've been together for about a year and a half. My parents have always disapproved of our relationship because of our age difference but we didn't care. Were suppose to move in together in May after I graduate. Things have always been really good between us up until the past few months when he started hitting me. I don't know what I did to make him so angry at me but everything I do pisses him off now. He never apologizes either, he says its my fault that he has to hit me but I don't understand.I just have been blowing it off because I didn't know what else to do. That is until a few days ago when he swore I was flirting with one of my closest friends and he completely flipped out. He kept hitting me and choked me until I almost passed out. I called the police because I was afraid he was going to kill me. He said he was sorry and it wouldn't happen again so I decided not to press charges. I've been trying to do everything to make him happy lately but nothing seems to work. Plus I just found out that I was pregnant, he said he was happy and he was going to change, then this morning he hit me again when I asked him to stop yelling at me. I love him to much to have him arrested but I can't let him hurt our baby. What do I do? Should I tell him to go to counseling or will that make things worse?
Thank you for writing and asking for ideas of what to do and am very sorry you are experiencing such events in your relationship. Uncontrolled anger can lead people to hit others as you are experiencing as well as wanting control in the relationship. In either event, this is NOT your fault that he behaves in this manner and ending this relationship is really your only option. Nobody EVER deserves to be hit and choked.
Even with counseling, people as such usually NEVER change because they are unable to let go of their need for control or get their uncontrollable rage under control. If they go to counseling, they usually don’t complete the process and leave counseling then expect others to “put up” with their uncontrollable rage. Putting up with abusive behavior negatively affects your health and well-being and puts yourself and your baby in danger.
There is nothing you can do for people as such—they are who and what they are and you did NOT cause him to behave in this way even though this is what he claims. Protecting yourself and your baby is the most important issue at this time and reaching out to others who can help protect you is necessary to do. Talking with your school counselor or your parents may help provide you with the needed support and direction. Also calling your county clerk’s office at the court house and ask for phone numbers for domestic violence shelters can also provide you with people who offer counseling, resources and support at no charge. Also, here is a link to find an organization close to you and more information: http://www.mocadsv.org/
Taking these steps to protect yourself and your baby is important to do. Ending relationships with such people is usually NOT easy and he may become very angry. Creating a "safety plan" and having a cell phone with you at all times to call the police if he doesn’t leave you alone is necessary to do. I know that you enjoy the good times but looking at the whole package of the way he treats you is necessary to decide if this is the way you want to live the rest of your life.
Staying away and having NO contact with him is usually the only way to end the relationship and help you move forward to build a happier and healthier life. Taking the steps to contact others who can help protect you and your baby will give you the protection and answers you are looking for. Please take these steps today--you and your baby are worth it and you deserve to live life with love, peace and joy and you have the power to make that happen.
Please write again with any more questions. I am here for you.
Much Peace To You,
Cathy Backlund, Life Coach, Specializing in Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence Education