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Domestic Violence/Is my husband dangerous?

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Question
I have been with this man for a 3 years. Most of the time it's great. He has a temper & so do I. I know this. When we get into an argument it can & most of the time does quickly escalate. He is much bigger than me but at the time of the fight I for some reason am not afraid of him. I will provoke him by saying something that he doesn't like or for example the other day was holding a coke about to get a drink when he said something & in response I laughed. Next thing I know I'm being dragged by my arms into the bathroom, slammed against the window with his hand around my throat. This has happened several times. Wrestling me to the floor, choking me, throwing me on the bed, squeezing my arms. He's never actually hit me & even though I see the bruises he leaves I somehow think I could have stopped it if I just didn't say anything back to him in my defense. He calls me names like stupid bitch or tells me I'm ignorant. I know I have a smart mouth & when we argue I tend to use it but I still don't feel he should do that. He swears he will never do it again after the last one. And he always tells me it's my fault that he did that. I just don't know what to do. I love him & like I said most of the time it's great.

Answer
Dear Tonya,
Thank you for your question and I am so sorry that you are dealing with such an unpleasant situation.

To answer the question you posed in the Subject line - Yes!  Yes, he is dangerous.  Individuals who are violent tend to escalate the cycle.  Here is a link to a web page that helps you to understand the cycle that you are engaged in:  http://www.domesticviolenceroundtable.org/domestic-violence-cycle.html

Unless something CONCRETE happens to change the cycle after the event happens, such as long term counseling, rehab etc.  Nothing is going to change no matter what the person promises they will do.  The most dangerous part of what you have described is the choking issue.  Do you realize that it takes 11 pounds of pressure for 8 seconds to kill you?  Choking is nothing to be flippant about.  The other issue is throwing you around and how a concussion can damage your brain.  Women don't seem to think these things are important but they are incredibly important and it doesn't matter if you said something or did something - the results of the violence will be the same whether you did something or you didn't do something.  No matter WHAT you did, his response is out of line and inappropriate.  If he did this to someone outside your home, he would be in jail for a very long time.  You did not cause his response, he CHOSE to respond that way.

He sounds like he may be personality disordered.  Please go to bpdcentral.org and check out Borderline Personality Disorder.  Most violent individuals can be candidates for this kind of mental illness unless there is some other reason, such as substance abuse etc.  

The best advice that I can give you is to get out of the relationship as soon as possible and don't look back.  This is not going to change without an acceptance on his part that he has a problem and a commitment on his part to LONG TERM therapy.  In the meantime, this is a safety issue and whether he gets help or not, you need to be out of his reach.  You do not have to be in his life for him to get help.  Do not respond to the nice words, behaviors or gifts.  The only thing that should happen is that you leave and he commits to counseling.  It is pretty much as simple as that.  

I wish you all the best as you make these decisions.  Don't stay until you get hurt.  If he is already leaving bruises, you don't want what comes next.  At the very least, call 911 when he gets like that and press charges.  If I can be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact me.

Domestic Violence

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Kriss Mitchell, M.Ed, CRC, CNHP

Expertise

I am able to answer questions with regard to problems that result from emotional abuse or physical abuse in both dating and marriage relationships. Having been in an abusive relationship for many years, I know first hand the feelings, the questions and the doubts we go through as we try to make decisions about our lives. Often victims of abuse have deep faith based concerns regarding staying in these kinds of relationships which I am able to address as well.

Experience

My background started as a victim of an emotionally abusive relationship as well as having family members who were victims of violence and physical abuse. I have gone on to become a professional counselor and I work with abused women.

Organizations
American Mental Health Counselors Association, American Association of Christian Counselors, International Association of Prayer Counselors

Publications
I currently maintain a blog at www.livingwellcc.blogspot.com. I also have links and currently written articles on my website at www.livingwellcc.com. You can also follow me on TWITTER @livingwellcc, or on facebook at Living Well Counseling and Consulting. My writings have appeared in The Good News Northwest and the North Idaho Business Journal

Education/Credentials
Licensed Professional Counselor, Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Certified Natural Health Professional

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