Dear Aunt B,
I got married two years ago but my husband sometimes gets violent and beats me up. It has happened six times so far and the last time he did it i moved out and i am living with my brother. My husband wants me to go back home but i am afraid that he will beat me again. I am also afraid to end the marriage because of the shame i will feel for being married for only two years. We do not have any children. The thing is when he is nice he is so nice but when he gets angry he becomes a monster. Please tell me..how many beatings must a woman face before she calls it quits? Do violent men ever change?
Were you aware that I was in an abusive relationship? The physical abuse ended with me shooting him. Bold statement, huh?
There is a lot to that story. If I had not called the Police on him and had him arrested just two weeks before the incident, I may have gone to Prison. They investigated and knew it was self defense but really, that is not the important part of this. It was the most God awful day of my life. I watched as they took him away, dieing, this man that I loved, I had almost mortally wounded. I had taken the beatings, over and over, in a sick twisted process, thinking it was love. That is not love, no matter how much they say they are sorry.
A man that has been allowed to get away with a behavior, will almost always revert back to it. He will put you in your place, every opportunity, he can. I guarantee, that behavior will not decimate on it's own. It will not go away, it will not stop, as long as he is allowed to do it.
I became isolated, partly by him and partly on my own. If my family had seen my black eyes, there would have been big trouble. Before I shot him, he beat me in a fit of rage. He beat me beyond recognition. I had blood clots and could have died from that beating. There was so much blood, trapped in my face, it dripped down the inside of my neck, like paint drips on a wall. I felt so ugly.
The courts let him out, just two short weeks later. Of course he was sorry but was angry because I had him jailed. How inconvenient , huh? He began to try to make me pay for his short incarceration. I'd had enough and came out with a .22 rifle and told him to leave. He backed me down and I shot him point blank, in the stomach. It exited his back, nicked his liver and kidney, almost killing him. I was never the same, either and I'll leave it at that.
Ask him to go to Anger Management. If he refuses, he does not recognize his problem. Denial is the first issue. Make sure you pay attention to this. If he's said he's sorry simply because he had a couple of little consequences, for his actions and is not sorry for the action, nor understands it, you have your hands full. If he refuses counseling, do not go back. I don't care what shame you think you may endure, having your arm broke in half, as I did and then not being allowed to go to the hospital for three days, for fear, he may get in trouble, is more shameful than anything else. Prisons are full of women, who'd had enough. They'd kept it all a secret because of that shame factor and in a survivors clutch, they killed their oppressor. Try that shame on for size. How do I know all this? I went to prison. After that shooting, I felt into an inescapable abyss of self-destruction and addiction. I was ultimately, incarcerated. Talk about shame.
Look in the mirror and answer to yourself. The hell with what anybody else thinks. The shame you see, of believing that a beating is just the cost of good love, well, you need to question it. Never worry what anyone else thinks, I don't care what it is, as long as you are being completely honest with yourself. Be true to yourself, always.
If he won't go to counseling, he's in denial and all the lies, in the world, won't account for his mindset. He is lying to you and to himself, if he really thinks, he'll never hit you again. I'll stake my life on it.
National Domestic Hotline