influenced by domestic abuse shelter

minnesota_mamaNovember 16, 2008

Last year, my husband and I were heading downhill fast in our marriage. One day I came home to find his truck backed up to the garage. He quickly ran into the house when he saw me. Curious. I opened up his truck door to look inside. There I saw bank papers that showed he closed our account. I picked them up to read when he came out yelling at me. He grabbed the papers and me. My 12 year old daughter saw him and heard me yelling so she called the police. The police arrived. They arrested him and gave me the name/number of a domestic shelter to contact. I called the shelter and took out a restraining order.

It all seemed so out of control. I was angry with my husband over him closing our bank account. I also found my missing journals in the back of his truck. He had been denying taking my journals. From February until May, I had no contact with him. Then we met for lunch and started being honest with each other about some issues going on in our relationship.

My husband is now on probation and has a record for domestic assault. He's very angry over this. He's never had a record before. He feels that I turned on him by not stopping the arrest and for getting an order for protection.

I was never afraid of him physically. I let the domestic abuse staff influence me. Once you get involved with these domestic abuse groups, the emphasis is on how the man is dangerous and how the woman is 100% victim. Has anyone ever been in this type of situation and had their relationship survive? If so, how?

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Let's see...your husband lied to you, closed your bank account, took your journals, grab and yelled at you in front of your daughter(thank god she had the good sense to call the police) is still angry at you for something that he did, and you are blaming the abuse staff for it?!! You definitely need to speak to a counselor to get you thinking correctly. Your husband is an abuser. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 8:42AM
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I sounds like it could easily be two totally different things:

1) You were abused by your husband and have the so called battered woman thing going on... trying to make excuses for him, etc.

2) This was s typical divorce -- You guys both played different parts in helping to dissolve your marriage. (He was obviosuly leaving you and pissed at you for some reason, right?). By the way, divorce lawyers will often recommend that people planning to divorce close accounts, etc so that they other party can't run off with all the money. We don't know the entire story here. Plus, without being there, I don't know what grabbing you entails and strong yelling (which your daughter may not have been used to) is kinda to be expected. Was there any other history of abuse?

I had a girlfriend who has some pyshcological problems (and that's not to say that is your case at all --just presenting another side). She pratically had restraining orders on all her boyfriends. I thought she was just atttracting the wrong type of man until one day I saw her in action. Let's just say, there are things women can do that lead men to physically have to push them away, grab them etc. I saw her spit in his face, kick him, pull his hair, knee him, etc. and he had to restrain her so that he wouldn't get hurt... She then proceded to say he hurt her when he was restraning her. It was really sad. Again, I know this was not your case. I'm just pointing out that the law will tend to side with the woman and some innocent guys can get the short end of the stick.

With as much as I feel for abused women and appreciate shelters, I could see where they may tend to jump on the "he's an abuser" bandwagon with really, anything you give them.

Any woman could pretty much tell them anything at anytime and they'd believe it. Which is good when physical violence is taking place, which I'm sure it is most of the time. But if it's not, or the woman is really starting it (and don't fool yourself into thinking this can't happen -- woman are just as capable of being abusers), it kinda takes away the system of getting at the whole truth. What happens to the system of due process? Plus, they really could be making something out of nothing in some cases.

Generally, domestic violence usual is an ongoing problem, not a one time push or shove or yelling match during a divorce. Only you and he know how bad the situation actually was. Let's put it this way, if things were in reverse; if you had done the same thing to him but adjusted to be on the same magnitude (since I'm guessing you're smaller) would you think you should have been arrested for domestic abuse?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 11:35AM
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No one knows the whole story... But the parts you included in your post show a man who was leaving you, having taken your bank records (and the money?) and your journals (to use against you?), and who reacted physically when caught.

Sure, he's embarassed. It's a bad situation and he's been cast in a bad light. But you're the only one (and perhaps your daughter) who can know if you truly forced his hand. Was there anything else he could have done? Truly? Anything else he could have done to not get physical? Because if he had another alternative, then he was wrong for making the choice he did, and being angry with you now shows he's still blaming you rather than himself. It's only reasonable to blame you if it's your fault. Not partly your fault, but virtually all your fault and it doesn't sound like it to me.

That said, of course a domestic violence shelter will see things from a certain perspective. They deal with self-blaming women and angry men all of the time. And that is what we have here...

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 1:05PM
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Is this the husband you complained about your daughters being rude to over on the Stepparents Forum? I'm not surprised their opinion of him is low, if this is the sort of thing they've witnessed.
I'm with the other posters here, he has behaved badly and yet is blaming you for the consequent problems. Not sure I wouldn't drop him like a hot potato.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 10:12PM
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You don't want to blame your husband so you are blaming the people who tried to help you. Do you know how often domestic violence victims attack police officers who arrive to help them? You feelings towards the abuse counselors is similar. You don't want to place the blame where it belongs.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 10:52PM
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Ok, I don't want to look like a bad guy here and I know this is far from politically correct but I'm really not seeing all that much that went on.

Ok, first off.. what was in the journals that he took? A lawyer probably told him to take the journal for some reason; they also probably told him to close the bank accounts. Those two things don't really prove anything because we don't have any background behind them. For all we know the journals prove that the op is abusing illegal drugs or having an affair or something even worse. We don't know.

All I know is that if I was leaving my husband and I gathered up all the info and documents and stuff that I thought I would need for court and he came home as I was leaving, found them and tried to take them, I too could see where I may grab him to get the stuff back. And, I would bet there would be a heck of a lot of yelling going on too. Grabbing... while going through a divorce is very, very common and probably generally not worthy of being arrested over and ruining a man's reputation.

Do you know what a domestic abuse charge can do? First off, he may no longer be able to coach his kids sports teams, go on field trips or even be allowed to do anything at their schools. The kid's friends may no longer be allowed at their house. He could loose his job or have trouble finding a new one which could affect support payments. Probabtion, etc... All this because he grabbed her?

I have studied abuse and I have personally talked to people running domestic violence homes and although I admit they do more good than harm, they can sometimes lead people to do things they may regret ... and not in a battered wife syndrome type of regret, but a real rational regret when you have time to think clearly. No one should be taken advantage of when they are not free to think clearly and are in an overly emotional state -even if safety and the best of intentions are the reasonings- a woman should not feel pressured into filing charges and I think sometimes women can feel this way at these shelters.

It really can become a man hating type club -- and yes, 90% of the men may be really worth hating. But sometimes there really are less severe just one time smaller instances that can be written off and dropped. It's not just his life that is affected by this, but probably the whole family's. It really doesn't sound to me like there was ongoing physical abuse or that she has the battered woman thing going on. I sincerely think the counselors should be made aware that their quick judgement and sometimes over zealousness may sometimes not be the best answer.

I know I'll take slack for this posting and I understand I'm not giving the politically correct answer but sometimes we get so tied up in the specifics, we can't see the real picture. This man is probably no threat to her anymore than she is to him. I am still wondering what is in the journal? Can you share? I keep diaries, but there's nothing in them that my husband would even want to steal if he was thinking of leaving me. I don't mean to point the finger at the op. I just think there's a lot more to the story and I have a feeling we may have a different impression of his personality if we knew more about his mindset at the time.

No body, and no system (and no shelter) is 100% perfect. I hope maybe the op and her husabnd can seek out some counseling and work out their differences and that her husband can learn to live with the charges. If he really deserved them or not, he's not totally innocent, and they're there to stay so he's gonna have to accept that.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 11:55PM
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"He feels that I turned on him by not stopping the arrest and for getting an order for protection."

An abuser always blames his victim for the consequences of his behavior, & he'll convince his victim that it's her fault, too, so that when he beats the sh!t out of her... she'll feel guilty for making him angry.

She'll beg the police not to arrest him, she'll cry & abase herself, she'll beg the abuser to give her another chance.

Don't see him.

Don't talk to him.

Don't listen to his phone messages, don't read his emails.

*Don't* even think about putting yourself at the mercy of this cruel & merciless person.

Go back to counselling.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 4:19PM
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Minnesota mama: Sylviatexas... Did you actually read her post??????? No where in her post did she state that her husband hit her or hurt her. She clearly stated that she was never afraid of her husband physically.

Her husband does not in any way sound like an abusive man, and she stated that. He has a right to be angry at her for allowing the police to arrest him for abuse. He was arrested in front of his child and his neighbors for domestic violence. His reputation is seriously harmed, and yet, he never hit her.

And she is feeling remorse...not because she is a battered woman, but because in her heart she knows that she is NOT a battered woman. And she is feeling the guilt because she knows he has been falsely accused.

From what she wrote, her marriage was in real trouble. It appeared that her husband was gathering what he thought he would need in a divorce. Yes, he lied about the journals, because there was something in the journals that he felt would help him in court. In the confrontation, he grabbed for the papers and he grabbed her. No where does it state that he hit her. No where does it say he hurt or harmed her physically. He grabbed a hold of her. He yelled. I imagine she was yelling. But it does not make him a wife beater.

Sylvia: Where in the world did you get the idea that this man is cruel and merciless???????

Why shouldn't she talk to him, or listen to his phone messages? They share a child.

Minnesota mama: I do not know either of you or what caused your marriage to fall apart even before this incident. But if he has been unfairly labeled for spousal abuse, and you believe this in your heart, perhaps you need to do the hard thing and help clear his name. If you are in the midst of a divorce, I imagine that you should talk to who ever your attorney is about this. I think of the golden rule to treat others as we would want others to treat us. If the truth is that he has been accused and labeled falsely, then it would seem in good conscience that you need to do the right thing, and clear his name, by sending letters to the appropriate people, and having the integrity and grace to stand by the truth.

I am basing what I have written on your post here. I do not know any of the history that may appear in other posts, (as I have not read your other posts) so if there is a lot more to this than what this post says, then obviously you would take all of that into consideration.

But I don't imagine we ever regret doing the right thing if an injustice has occurred towards your husband. An attorney would advise you on how this will affect you if you finalize your marriage/divorce.

Without knowing any of the specifics, of why your marriage was in such trouble, is there any way of healing for the sake of your beautiful child?

Take a deep breath and ponder what went wrong, your part in it, and his part in all of this. What kind of man is he? Is he a good man, worth doing the work to try and heal this broken marriage? What are his good sides? What are the area's he needs to change, or work on? What are your good points? Are there area's you need to grow and change?

I wish you well as you figure out what to do, from where you are right now. Spend some time on the step parents forum, so that you understand that the decisions you make now, will affect your beautiful child well into her adult life, in the event of divorce and if either or both of you remarry.

I wish you happier days ahead.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 2:07PM
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Ditto Benice.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 3:07PM
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Don't know. Wasn't there. However, from the OP's description it sounds like going after a mosquito with a mallet. I sense an agenda at work. Once the "men are always wrong" ball gets rolling there's no stopping it. Maybe the guy's an SOB and deserves all of it, but from reading the post it looks to me like maybe he got unreasonably hosed.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 6:04PM
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I did not realize as I responded that your 12 year old daughter is not his child. So skip the part referring to the step parent forum, and remarriage.

I am hoping the rest of my post will help in some way.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 9:48PM
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If the posters here in any way are a representative of what a man may face in such a situation, it is stunning. In her post she clearly states that she was never afraid of her husband physically. He grabbed for the papers and grabbed her. No where does she state that she was hit, hurt, or harmed.

It is stunning that in spite of what you each read, you insist that he is guilty of being a wife abuser, and you attack poster for questioning whether she went to far, and an injustice actually occurred to her husband.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 10:56AM
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Well since none of us know the whole truth....

There is one thing we know, that is that a child witnessed something ugly. Adults were acting beneath themselves. Many of us have....and have been lucky that kids haven't been watching us. This time, a child was, and was frightened enough to call police.

At the very least of things, mom and dad have an obligation to address the damage done to the child.

Too many men are accused wrongly, and too many women are abused. What are you going to do? Bottom line, kids pay.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 11:52AM
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It is stunning that there are still women in this world that think it is all right for a man to put,lay, or grab his hands on another in anger and not think that he should be punished for it. It's called assault and obviously the police thought it was or he would not have been arrested and convicted for it. Nice how he is angry at his wife for something that HE started and did. As I said before, it is a good thing the daughter had the sense to call the police. She was obviously upset enough at what she saw and heard to know the right thing to do. No injustice happened to the husband. He did wrong and was punished for it. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 8:03PM
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Amy, I'm not so sure the child was as frightened as maybe she just didn't like her step dad, or even thought the fight may esculate (even on her mom's end). I'm not buying into a child calling the police over seeing a grab. Sounds to me like the a typical step child response to a relationship that isn't so great with her step dad and wanting to side with her screaming mom. I took it the mom may have been screaming hysterically or was even screaming at the daughter to call the police so he coudln't take her journals (who knows).. From what else is known, I'm suspecting the child was lead by move motive than just fear of her step dad to call the police.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 9:47AM
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nancylouise: so if someone took something that you valued, like your journals to use against you in court, and you grabbed their arm to try and get it back, you should be arrested for assault and battery??????????? Would the same standards and measuring stick you use for others, apply to you?????????

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 1:38PM
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NONE of US know exactly what happened --

A 'tugging match' shouldn't result in assault charges,
a man 'shoving' a woman reasonably could,
and a hard 'shove' that results in a fall or bruise probably should.

WE don't know which of these pictures is closest to the truth -- only the OP does.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 2:24PM
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My, my BNBK you read so much into something you don't even know if that is what happened. I choose to go by what the OP stated. The police were there and if they decided it was up to the level of assault that is good enough for me. He got what he deserved. And yes I would apply the same standards to myself. But then again, I wouldn't be so stupid as to do something like what the OP's husband did. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 5:06PM
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I do wonder what has to happen in order for assult to be determined. I have a friend who's wife called the police after she strangled him from behind while he was bathing their daughter and hit him a bunch. The police arrived, she tried to say he was assulting her. The police took one look at him, and hauled her off to jail.

Unless there were violence, I doubt the police would have charged him or given her the number of a domestic abuse shelter. Usually, from what I've seen, they come out and talk to both parties when people are fighting and ask one of them to leave until they both calm down. Police don't want to arrest a husband or wife. They'd rather be a calming influence. Again, in my opinion, from what I've seen. Our neighbors get into it pretty heavy sometimes, and I've called the police because they have young children and it sounds out of control. They have never taken either one of them away. They talk to them. And, there has been physical-ness involved (physicality?).

There must have been enough evidence of physical violence that they felt they needed to take him in and file charges. Or else the wife, in the heat of the moment, played it up. In which case, it wasn't the shelter that influenced her to send her husband off with the cops.

Not being coldhearted, or accusing the victim. But the logic in this post seems a bit flawed.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 10:08PM
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Okay let's look at some issues here.
#1 MN is a no fault divorce state. He did NOT need the journals to file for divorce. So drop that arguement, he took them for other reasons.

#2 In MN police are allowed to HOLD a person on DA for 48 hours without charging them. They then collect the evidence and continue on, IF they have enough evidence to convict, the CITY charges, not the spouse. SO if the husband is angry at OP, she couldn't have dropped the charges, so she is not the one to be angry at.

I agree with the posters that say she is blaming the shelter and backing up the abuser.

Before anyone asks, I know this because we are currently going through this with my SisIL, she is not going back to the abuser (he's still in jail), but situations are very similiar, and yes I'm from MN, so the law is exactly the same.

So Minnesota Mama, he's handing you a bunch of bull because he's having remorse for the trouble he got into, not what he's done. He still is blaming you for what he's done, and if you get back with/stay with him, it will continue to happen, and escalate. Get out now before he beats the sh1t out of you, and then blames that on you also.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 10:29AM
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Of course he took the journals for other reasons. I never thought he wanted the journals to GET a divorce. Generally anyone can GET a divorce if they want it. I'm pretty sure you don't need a journal to get a divorce - LOL. But, I would guess there is info that would help with custody or financial splits in the journals, and who gets to keep the house, etc.... That would be the reason he may have wanted journals. Serioulsy, why else do you think he would have tried to take them and gotten so mad he got caught with them?

They could prove she was hiding a bank account, dealing drugs, was an alcholic, was neglecting the kids, etc... Those things would matter in court. So, why do YOU think he wanted them so badly if he didn't need them to get a divorce?

#2 That type of law is in a lot of areas.. It's not that odd that the state can still prosecute even if the victim doesn't want to later... That's again, no smoking gun. But, the state still has to have evidence... evidence that in abuse cases generally comes from her... My guess would be in the form of her filing for a restraining order (or comparable).. Sadly that is often what courts use to determine severity/realness not the acutal truth because it can become a "he said she said" game. If the shelter talked her into doing that when she didn't want or really need to, the courts don't know that, they have to assume the worse... and proceed to convict. It's not the courts fault. But, it doesn't mean they necessisarily collected all this additional strong damning evidence against him themselves. Their evidence is probably what she said and did and told us here. A police call, complaint of any kind, and restraining order is probably all they need to prosecute (if not less). The courts almost have to be overly strict. But, do you know that he could have been arrested and prosectued without even touching her, just for calling her a name? People can and do take advantage of these laws at times. I don't think the op meant to take advantage of them, I think she was overly influenced when she was upset.

Can you even imagine a situation where a woman is at a shelter, files charges and nothing has even happened? It can and does happen. I know this is not the same case here, but there are woman who file false reports or exagerate arguements so that they can get full custody or they have more power in court cases. It is a manipulative tactic. It's a shame that women are generally decided to be the right ones in most abuse cases, where the whole truth should be what is sought.

If the poster was a man and this story was in reverse (with the husband and wife) would/could we even be having this discussion? Would you feel the same way about the 'wife' being arrested if she had grab him after taking his journals, etc...? What advice would you give this poster if he were a man?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 1:08PM
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When you feel like you need to go to a "womans shelter" it is because you don't feel safe. If you felt safe-you would have said so, I think. The reason you must fill out a letter of protection (restraining order ) is not only for your safety, but the safety of others at the shelter, and their children. I believe you felt that was where you needed to go to feel safe. I also believe now, looking back on the event, you are not so sure...why? Because he has told you once again that YOU MADE him have a record. YOU? Did you tie up his hands and arms, and make him say the things he said. Do you really believe you have that much control over another human being? If so, why didn't you MAKE him be a good husband to you and your children? See what I mean, HE makes bad choices and doens't take the responsibility for his actions and now he has to take the responsibility. Also, if a policeman was with you and stated you should go to a shelter, then you should. What the policeman saw must have made him worry about your safety also, and that of your daughter,
Thank goodness we have shelters, and people who care working there. Please think about this and see you were not the only one scared and frightened, and it's time for you to own up to the mistakes of getting involved with this man and set a good example of strength for your children so that if they are ever faced with this ugly scene they will have the strength to leave, stay gone, AND seek and accept help.
Take care and good luck to you.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 12:41AM
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Minnesota mama - Where is Minnesota mama on her own post? She posts and leaves?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 9:22AM
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MM will most likely not show up - she's been schooled here, and there is no chance she'll be anything but defensive. That is the problem with these boards - we tend to come off a bit high and mighty, pretty aggressive, and it leaves no room for reflection when someone comes looking for one thing and gets the complete opposite.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 11:34AM
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either that or someone was trolling....

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 12:51PM
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Just a note regarding the fact this husband was convicted of assault. The OP said he now has a record for domestic assault. To be convicted a judge must be convinced "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the crime occurred.

This is a very high standard of proof. It means very, very certain. You don't get that kind of certainty without strong evidence - like the OP testifying in court about what happened.

Now she might have lied (in which case we have a different situation) but assuming she didn't lie in court, then an assault happened. He did it. Even if some of us don't think he should have been convicted, the judge who heard all the evidence did think so.

The husband had the opportunity to be represented by an attorney and to cross examine the wife and any other witnesses such as the police officers or even the daughter. After all that, I think the judge was in a better position to know what happened than we are reading the post by a person who has now been made to feel responsible for the harm done to HIM.

She feels guilty and seems to be looking to place the blame on the shelter in order to get it off her shoulders. The blame really should be put on him, but if she puts it there, she has to admit he assaulted her and right now she isn't ready to do that or end the relationship (since she asks if this relationship can survive).

Unfortunately, that is very normal. Most women leave an abusive spouse up to 35 times before they leave for good.

Just my two cents based on years of working in and with agencies that provide legal advice to abused women.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 1:10AM
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"She feels guilty and seems to be looking to place the blame on the shelter in order to get it off her shoulders. The blame really should be put on him, but if she puts it there, she has to admit he assaulted her and right now she isn't ready to do that or end the relationship (since she asks if this relationship can survive)."

The best way for a wife or other favorite victim to keep an abuser from taking out his rage (& he *will* have rage; he feeds on it) on her is to be sure that his rage is directed elsewhere.

For years, I thought I was the target of an old neighbor's anger, since every time something negative happened in her life she would make some sort of trouble for me.

When the ambulances & police cars showed up one night & took her to the hospital & her husband to jail, I realized that I was the "deflector";
she deflected her husband's rage toward me to keep from suffering it herself.

It was a cruel thing to do to me, but given her situation, it was only to be expected.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 3:10PM
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My question had to do with how do we move on from here. What has worked for others with healing and growing in the relationship? I was hoping someone else had been in a similar situation and could give some advice.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 4:00AM
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Hi MM,

You say he is angry with you about you not stopping the charges.

Did you follow through in charging him with domestic abuse or did the courts determine that there was abuse?

If you charged him with it on your own...did he abuse you, or did you lie?

If he abused you, are you really willing to "work" this out with him and possibly endanger your child?

If you lied, you need to walk down to the police station and be charged with false witness.

Personally, I would not want to be with an abuser. But nor would I want to be with a liar.

Until I have a more clear picture of what really happened I have no advice for you. Healing and growing a relationship with such a deep injury will be difficult if not impossible. If you had falsely accused me, I would have a hard time trusting you ever again. You would really have to work very hard in gaining my trust. If you had abused me, I would never trust you not to abuse me again, and there would never be security or trust there either. You've got an uphill climb either way.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 10:22AM
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Anger management,
and trust.

Anger management classes for both of you. If his physical abuse was not specifically provoked, he needs it desparately, and for your own safety, you need to make sure he gets it. And if your behavior was extreme enough to provoke an otherwise reasonable man to violence, then you need it just as badly.

Truth regarding what happened. If you lied about the abuse, apologize. And if there was physical violence, he needs to stop denying it, admit his own culpability and do something about it.

Charity about cutting each other some slack. Forgive each other your human failings, past and future, and vow to do better yourself.

Learn how to communicate kindly and clearly -- a good therapist can teach you how. It's truly amazing what a difference there is between "You made me feel... and "When you did that, I felt..." The first statement is blaming the other person for your hurt/angry feelings; the second explains your feelings and their cause, but avoids the blame.

And finally, trust. I put that last, even though it's most important, because the other issues need to be fixed first before trust can begin to be rebuilt.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 10:54AM
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I agree with everything you said, sweeby, except for:

"And if your behavior was extreme enough to provoke an otherwise reasonable man to violence, then you need it just as badly."

I always thought that there was no excuse for physical violence. Am I missing something here?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 10:59AM
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I think what Sweeby was trying to say is that if her husband is a reasonable person, not an abuser, and was mad enough/provoked enough to actually strike her/hurt her that she needs to look at her own actions too, and get some anger management as well.

I don't think there is any excuse for physical violence, but I do know that *sometimes* a person can be driven to do something they would not ordinarily do.

No Excuse. But someone who keeps at someone else beyond the breaking point needs to look at their behavior too. They both should have walked away. But it escalated, and the place they went to was not a pretty one.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 2:47PM
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Minnesota mama, you say you want to continue this relationship. Are you sure abut this? If he did assault you, can you ensure your and your daughter's safety? What would you advise a good friend or sister who was assaulted by a partner who did the things your husband did?

If he did not assault you but you said he did, how can you rebuild his trust in you? You said he feels angry and betrayed by you which is certainly understandable if he didn't assault you.

If that was a lie on your part, was it the first one you have told him or about him, or is there a pattern in your relationship/life of saying things that are convenient at the time and then sometimes regretting them later? That would be much harder to forgive than a one time lie.

Can you see that we don't really have enough information to help with the question you asked?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 6:11PM
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Through it all I've done a lot of soul searching. I think I have what's called Histrionic Disorder which falls under the Borderline Personality. A histrionic overreacts, is dramatic, portrays herself as a helpless victim, gets attention by all the "poor me" information she shares with others. The domestic abuse group I was in magnified this in me. They supported my attitude of being a victim and my husband being an abuser. Can I really say he's an abuser when he was restraining me?

I think that what happened was wrong. It was wrong for the altercation to occur, it was wrong for him to grab me, it was wrong for me to escalate things like I did.

Now my husband is angry about the assault charges on his record. He's a retired professional who's led a quiet life until I came along with all my drama.

How does one get to forgiveness? I'm working hard at being accountable for my actions. I don't want to continue living life blaming others for my problems. I also don't want to continue letting people treat me with disrespect. My main question has to do with whether or not anyone else has been in this situation with the domestic abuse charges and able to keep their marriage intact and hopefully in a much better place.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 11:24AM
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Well first off, it's pretty rare for one with personality disorder to discover it on their own, but let's assume that you are Histrionic, for argument sake.

Your question is how does one get to forgiveness, and can you have a healthy relationship based on your rx history.

The answer is simple, the process complex: He has to take ownership for doing his part, and so do you. If he remains angry at you for his part, forgiveness is not possible. If you blame him for your part, forgiveness is not possible. Instead, what happens is cheap forgiveness, and it's empty and loaded with unresolved issues. In which case you can still co exist, but it sounds like you're shooting for something more meaningful - again, this requires him taking responsibility for his part - his choice to deal with your histrionic behavior with violence.

Even if you stand on his head, there is no excuse in the world for violence. Unless of course he has to defend his life. He is stronger than you, and has a responsibility to walk away, always. If that means sacrificing his sense of self, then he shouldn't be with you. Never never an excuse for violence, and he needs to own up to that. Sounds like you are owning up to yours.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 12:43PM
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Well said, Amy.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 10:57PM
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Actually in most states its considered abuse if a person restrains another unless they are being hit. So the charges are well deserved. You cannot be the only one to take ownership for your actions he needs to also or it will never go away! You really need to consider going to couples counseling having a third party help you guys work out your issues and anger.

I must also say I have worked in counseling offices for years mostly anger management and domestic violence counseling. I am not a counselor I first will say but I sat in on the classes. For you to say the group you were in fed you well you had to be stretching the truth with them for them to believe that he truely abused you if he did not that or you are lieing on the boards! I don't mean to be rude but domestic violence is a serious issue not some ploy to use to get attention. I should know my kids dad tried to kill me and stalked me for several years. I find it kind of insulting that you blame it on a group though I was not there in most groups they don't just gang up on someone to convience them their spouse is abusive unless they have reason to. Not only that but you were not an offender and chose to go to a group for victims. It was not forced on you.

If he is truly wrong in what happened making excuses and taking the blame upon yourself helps no one in the long run. If he has done it once and you take blame he will do it again. So you really need to be honest with yourself to figure out what the truth really is maybe counseling.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 5:42AM
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