ARCHIVE - Leaving an abusive relationship
Hi everyone. I am new to the forum but need some advise. I don't feel i can talk to family or friends as I will worry them.
I am living with a man who is so gentle and caring when he's not drinking but twice now in our 7 month relationship he has got seriously drunk and attacked me. Last weekend he punched me in the face, pulled my hair and tried to strangle me several times.
I am so confused because he's never like that when hes sober or just a bit tipsy. He doesn't try and control me or make me feel bad. After he's been violent hes taken responsibility, never said I deserved it or that it was my fault.
He has been to his GP about his behaviour which I felt was very brave and all he did was give him a web site address about anger management. I sat with him and the GP could see my bruises but thats all he said he could do.
He needs help and hes asked for it. Why can't he have counselling (he has been badly emotionally hurt by previous girlfriends and while I know its no excuse for violence I do believe he hasn't delt with the anger of being so badly hurt.) or some kind of anger management treatment. To only suggest a web site seems ridiculous.
Am I a fool for not wanting to give up on him? We both know he could have killed me. I know drinking is not an excuse but it does seem to be the trigger and he won't stop drinking.
I am so confused, am I stupid to stay?
Created by Anon1979 on 1-Nov-11 11:46 GMT
You have to ask yourself if he is really taking responsibility. If it is soley down to alcohol then why wouldn't he stop drinking in order to protect you? He could ask to go on a repair course find out about this through your local wa services.
My ex was a drinker for 10 years of our relationship, he would always blame the alcohol, he didn't improve when he stopped drinking, he became self righteous and abusive in many different ways.
Alcohol does not make people abusive, it does loosen people's inhibitions though and he may not be abusive whilst sober currently but it is early days and he has shown what he is capable of.
I think you need o be very careful, if you want o give it a go then you should insist that he takes responsibility, stops drinking and completes a course for perpertraters of dv, if he is serious about being sorry he will want to do this for you and himself.
You are not a fool for having hope and I wish you all the luck in he world.
Posted by Marionette on 1-Nov-11 12:09 GMT
Hi welcome, this is a good place to talk openly everyone is so supportive & full of good advice & kindness.
Bless you, its not a easy situation its a classic Dr Jeckall & Mr Hyde senario. You must remember that he chooses to get horrendously drunk & knows what happens when he does get drunk IT IS NO EXCUSE!
My ex was very much the same he'd never lay a finger on me unless he was blind drunk, he would then often fail to remeber the previous nights events at all or they would be very misconstrued in his memory. He doesn't remember that he had me pinned to the floor by my throat screaming for my life, I made a run for it & stayed in a travel lodge that night. He picked me up in the morning very sorry, ashamed, apologetic, never happen again etc so I went back to him & it didn't happen again for a while, then a couple more terrifying outbursts to greater degrees more violent each time. & then I had a wake up call when he publicly shoved me over during an argument at the pub infront of our friends I couldn't hide it or deny it anymore. I packed my bags & left the next day to my parents while he was at work.
Since I left he has quit drinking, I'm still not going back I remember the fear & that helps keep me away from him & safe from harm.
Yes your partner has issues he needs to work on but only he can do that! He is the only one that can fix himself! So yes that's quitting drinking as he obviously has no self control & taking anger management courses. Facing up to the route cause of his anger not burying it & ultimately taking it out on you, its not acceptable!
I'm sorry the GP was not more helpful & forthcoming with advice, its great that you've found the forum. Do check out the links, call the domestic violence help line, speak to the samaritans, if its completely out of control call the police! Try to talk to a friend (not a mutual one if possible) they can be very understanding keep it simple to start your having problems, arguments you may want to stay at theres at short notice, give yourself options. It's a good idea to keep a well packed handbag easy to find house keys not just at the bottom somewhere (separate pocket if possible), your purse, bank/credit card, car keys, ID, keep your phone battery charged, have a spare charger. You can just grab it & go if you have to, if you can't grab it then go anyway! Your safety & your life is too important! Your not a fool to want to try, just keep it in your mind that he is capable of causing you serious harm. Sorry to have rambled on so much.
Stay safe, hugs ((((()))))
Posted by 27midge on 1-Nov-11 12:57 GMT
My husband is not physically abusive - just emotionally. But what I can say is that for YEARS I thought it was the cause of his abuse. I would think to myself, that is how he speaks to me after a couple of drinks. I even stopped drinking altogether at home so that I could check myself and not respond to his vile words. It was always such an issue for me - how much he drank. He put on weight. I thought it was the reason we didn't have sex. I would ask him to cut back, but it just caused rows. In the end I stopped trying to get him to stop - it just was never going to work and I knew it would be something he had to decide to do himself.
Then out of the blue (because he is not religious) he gave up drinking for lent. It was an amazing revelation. HE WAS EXACTLY THE SAME. Honestly he did me a favour. I thought he spoke to me like that because he was drunk. But he spoke to me like that because he was a BULLY.
I hope you find a way through your own situation - it sounds like you are not safe with him, and I do hope you don't put yourself in a more vulnerable position. None of these decisions that we have to make are easy I know, and lots of luck to you.
Posted by beingbrave on 1-Nov-11 13:40 GMT
Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your story with us. I hope you find this a safe place to get ongoing support. I am sorry that you have been subjected to so much violence in your relationship. Please understand that you are not stupid by wanting to stay with the hope that you can help the man you fell in love with. We are not here to judge you, but to support you in any decision you make.
You have been given some really sound ‘food for thought’ and advice from Marionette, 27Midge and Beingbrave to help you make an informed decision.
It does however, suggest that you have recognised your partner’s behaviour is abusive, whether triggered by alcohol or not. You are not responsible for his behaviour and whether he will change is entirely up to him. His actions do speak louder than his words and if he is not prepared to address his actions including his drinking then the risk to you will not have decreased.
Please consider contacting the National Domestic Violence helpline on 0808 2000 247 where you can discuss your situation in confidence with a worker. Alternatively you can find a local service on the link on the left.
Your future safety is paramount, keep posting and let us know how you are getting on.
Posted by WA Moderator on 1-Nov-11 15:21 GMT
The first time my ex really really scared me was when we had been out and he was really drunk. He threatened me, held a metal bar up to me and made out as if he was going to hit me but never, told me he would pay someone to damage me, my car and my house, told me he had poured petrol on someone before. I was in the corner of the room shaking and crying and trying to calm him down. It was only because i kept telling him I loved him that he calmed down. Eventually we got back in bed and he slept like a baby while I lay in bed with my eyes wide open absolutely terrified for my life. I was so scared that I was wretching! The next day he left me a note on the mirror which said 'forgive my drunken foolishness'. And I did. But drunken foolishness is doing daft slightly embarrassing things, not threatening to kill your girlfriend or douse her in petrol or in your case punch her in the face. My ex did progress to physically hurting me after that but never after a drink - he was always sober and in control. I know that in this early stage of your relationship you want to defend him and find reasons for his behaviour but as the others have said - he chooses to drink even though he knows it makes him a danger to you. I think you are in serious danger of things escalating and my advice to you would be to tell him firmly that if he wants you to give him a chance then you will not be around him when he is drinking. He can drink if he wishes but you will be sleeping elsewhere if he does. Be very very very cautious and good luck x
Posted by Jelly17 on 1-Nov-11 22:13 GMT
You must get his book "why does he do that?"
Lundy says beware the man that blames his ex girlfriends. Have they all hurt him emotionally??? I doubt it. Other men hae had their heart broken and been hurt but they don't go around hitting their girlfriends
You have the biggest red flag waving in front of you. Pay heed to it.
Posted by Athena on 1-Nov-11 23:16 GMT
Thanks to everyone for their words of support. It has made me feel better just to talk about what has happened.
I feel very isolated as I have moved around several times in the last year and am now far away from family or close friends. I don't have any friends at all near by so if I had to leave I could only go to a local B and B and I don't think I could afford it. I also don't have a car and this adds to my feeling of isolation.
We have tried to get help and have seen two GPs now who both gave us a web site address on anger management. We have asked for help but aren't getting it, not from the NHS at least. He has aready said he would get help for his problems but we've no idea how to get that help and certainly could not pay for private counselling. I have tried the links on here for local services but for some reason all I get is a web site for a housing associattion thats not even in my area. This is the most frustrating thing as I would like to at least try and see if some kind of programme would help him beore I make a decision to leave.
We just got engaged and everyone thinks we are this happy couple. My mum knows we argue about money but if she knew he hit me it would destroy her.
I don't know what to do next. But I do know I don't want to just give up even if that does make me a fool.
Posted by Anon1979 on 2-Nov-11 08:44 GMT
Have you any idea where I might find this book as my library does not have it? Thanks.
P.s I also tried play.com
Posted by Anon1979 on 2-Nov-11 09:21 GMT
Posted by Marionette on 2-Nov-11 10:48 GMT
Found it Thank you, though cannot afford to buy it at the moment.
Posted by Anon1979 on 2-Nov-11 11:19 GMT
try your local citizen's advice or call the helpline to ask for domestic abuse service locally
Posted by Marionette on 2-Nov-11 11:29 GMT
Thanks but I am not sure if I can call the helpline as I only have a mobile and little credit. I have tried the CAB who refer me back to the GP and as I have said hes no help. Its so frustrating.
Posted by Anon1979 on 2-Nov-11 14:42 GMT
you can email helpline
Could you ask at your library?
Posted by Marionette on 2-Nov-11 15:07 GMT
The book is brilliant it's available on Amazon, it's also got a chapter on it in which it describes the type of abuser who is addicted to alcohol for e.g and whose addiction fuels his violence. Your partner needs to give up the drink entirely, also maybe AA could be some help. X
Posted by out on 2-Nov-11 17:44 GMT