Are you thinking… My husband hit me for the first time and I don’t know what to do? My wife is violent and I don’t know whether to stay or leave? I have hit my wife and want to save my marriage I have hit my husband and he has threatened divorce how do I stop divorce?
I am truly sorry we are meeting in these circumstances. Let me start by saying you are not alone. I decided to dedicate a marriage blog on being hit in a relationship, domestic violence because sadly it’s something that comes up in my couples therapy counselling time and time again. I have men and women fly in for full day crisis sessions because they have either been hit or who have hit their husband or wife and are not sure what to do. My husband hit me / my wife abused me is a horrible ordeal to deal with. Many feel confused scared, shocked and deeply hurt.
Very few marriage counsellors or psychologists in Dubai UAE or anywhere else for that matter will write on such a subject due to it’s delicate nature and fear of giving the wrong advice. Yet not writing about such a common and troubling issue leaves the people who are already hurting enough, struggle even more. So this article is dedicated for those who are hurting because your wife or husband has hit you for the first time.
Well meaning friends and family may tell you to leave and call the police, or suck it up because he or she is a good person, or worse they may not believe you or suggest you deserved it. It can be a double trauma when this happens as peoples reactions can leave you feeling more depressed, anxious or confused.
A lady last week I help asked “Nicola why does it hurt so much emotionally when my husband hit me.” The reason it hurts is because it often involves lots of lossess: A loss of safety in the relationship, a loss of trust, a loss of the feeling that you are deeply loved and will be cared for and protected. With all losses comes a greiving process and a relationship can benefit from some positive steps after to repair and revitalize the love, respect, trust and safety…
The truth is every situation is different and rather than tell you what to do. I am going to give you a few things to consider and share a story of a couple who contacted me recently name changed to protect their identity. As you read the below make a note of how you feel and sit with your feelings each day in silence for 10 minutes until a way forward becomes clear. If you are stuck and want someone to talk through the steps with so you make the right decision for you, then you can take advantage of a free 15 minute call where we can discuss options available to you whether that is fixing the relationship, dealing with the hurt or support to make some new decisions. Contact me on email@example.com
This is what I received a few months back:
“Nicola I’ve been listening to your podcasts and wondered if you can help me. My husband hit me 2 days ago in a drunken argument in the hotel room, I’m still in shock, scared and not sure what to do.”
Linda booked an online appointment and we discussed what happened. Here is how our conversation began to help her decide what to do next:
The first thing I asked her was
Me: Do you feel you or your children are at risk or that he might hit you again?
L: No he never does anything in front of the children and generally is a soft and loving person 99% of the time.
Me: Has anything happened like this before? I asked
“No, he has smashed a plate before when drunk, punched a door and kicked a wall probably 4 or 5 incidents like this, but never touched me in the 16 years we have been married. The smashing plates and throwing things have all occurred when drinking. Although he does get angry when we argue and sometimes kicks the wall or screams, not in a girly way but you know like a raging scream.
Me: So sorry to hear that. Has he shown remorse for what he has done to you and do you really believe he understands how much he has hurt you and the damage caused to your relationship?
L: Yes he has shown remorse, he has given me chocolates and flowers and I don’t want them. He wrote me a letter of apology but I can’t accept it yet I’m too hurt.
Me: Ok, that’s understandable. These are nice gestures and often women or men cannot accept apologies unless other actions are taken, is he willing to get support to manage the anger and rebuild love and trust in the relationship do you think? Have you asked him this?
L: I don’t know, I think he is willing to do anything but I am not sure what I want any more, that’s why I thought I’d come to you.
Me: Ok well, there are a few things to consider. For many husbands and wives who have been hit to fully forgive and let go of the past and give the relationship another chance they need
Therefore, if all you have had is gifts and words then it’s unlikely you are going to feel any different or like you can let go of the past hurt. To believe it is not going to happen again, you will need to see your address the issues and work on the relationship.
When I work with Men and Women to heal after physical abuse has happened I focus on
When women and men are unsure what to do after physical abuse I share the below questions… I hope they help you…
THINGS TO CONSIDER IF YOUR HUSBAND OR WIFE HAS HIT YOU FOR THE FIRST TIME:
DO YOU FEEL SAFE?
Trust and safety is essential for a happy and rewarding relationship. If you don’t feel safe at any point it is important to leave straight away. If you are scared of their reaction if you leave and feel under threat seek advice from a lawyer and contact family and friends or a support group to help you.
ARE YOU HAPPY IN THE RELATIONSHIP?
Apart from this incident were you happy in the relationship? Notice, I didn’t say do you love each other. Loving one another and being happy and getting on together are two very different things. Your happiness also crucial to consider when considering ending or staying in a relationship after being hit. In another words is your relationship toxic? Toxic relationships have love in them, so enjoyment is a better indicator of longevity of the relationship.
Does your relationship make you happy overall and on an ongoing basis?
HOW ARE YOU BEING TREATED?
Being hit by your husband or wife crosses a huge safety boundary and shows disrespect.
Are you respected in the relationship? Are you treated fairly and kindly? If you are disrespected verbally on a daily or weekly basis, or treated harshly, then chances are incidents like this may happen again.
As losing respect in marriage is a downward spiral.
The good news is, respect can be rebuilt and with the right guidance if the marriage counselling services are good and focuses on actions to rebuild trust, respect and safety then it can be turned around.
If you are being treated well, and there is respect then you may be well placed to consider this as a one-off incident, that would be your choice but I would definitely recommend looking at resentment as resentment is behind all aggression in relationships. So the next thing to consider is:
ARE YOU BOTH WILLING TO RESOLVE AND LET GO OF RESENTMENT?
Resentment in relationships skills passion and closeness and what a lot of people don’t realise is that resentment builds over years, very slowly over a long period of time. Which is why it often goes undetected for years until it reaches an alarming level and causes a HUGE eruption. Resentment is a form of anger but it is worse than anger because it stays longer and builds. If you are in a relationship where you don’t communicate frustrations and true feelings are not expressed as you go along, it’s likely that resentment is building and this makes your relationship prone to angry outbursts if that makes sense?
In My Empowered Love 25 Audio Set Program there 3 exercises you can do to release resentment, forgive and clear negativity… which really help as well as one to one sessions. Click here to read more…
It’s been voted the one number best online marriage course, do check it out If you want to strengthen your marriage…
WHAT IS GOING ON OUTSIDE THE RELATIONSHIP?
When I work with a husband or wife that has hit their spouse once, I always explore both the circumstances leading up to it AND how they feel in life, in the marriage and in other relationships.
For example: if I find that a husband or wife is angry at life, because they are having job stress, financial stress, medical problem, lost a parent or had any other significant loss then anger can come out in ways which is out of character. Especially when drinking is involved like in the case of Linda.
Her husband’s business was in a very tight financial situation and he felt overwhelmed, felt like a failure and this was crushing him.
ARE THEY WILLING TO GET HELP?
Are they willing to get help?
Are they willing to address the issues, be it anger management treatment, or alcohol reduction and alcohol abuse, deal with any issues outside of the marriage?
Are they willing to work on the marriage, focus on repairing the damage, help you feel safe, so you can trust them again?
As the saying goes actions speak louder than words. If they say they are sorry but are not willing to do anything towards changing themselves or making the marriage better through couple counselling services then, their could be a risk that things may happen again. I do believe in the saying nothing changes if nothing changes… MAKE A CHANGE
IS THIS A WAKE UP CALL?
For many couples an incident where a wife or husband has hit their spouse is a wake up call for change. Sometimes it can be the recognition that the relationship is a toxic relationship and you are better off parting ways. Some couples like Linda and her husband I described above; through clearing resentment, anger release hypnotherapy, loving actions, and steps to rebuild trust and respect, now are the closest and happiest they have ever been.
Close your eyes, sit in silence, and ask yourself is there a message in this, is this a wake up call for change, what is the best right action for me to take next. If you struggle with this then do get in touch and I can guide you through it in the free 15-minute call here.
WARNING AND NOTES OF CAUTION
This article was written if your husband or wife has hit you for the first time and every situation is different. You have to go with what you feel inside I can only guide you or them to heal after the hitting incident and repair a marriage, but you have to decide if you want that. If there is repeated physical abuse where domestic violence is happening regularly no one deserves this and there is no excuse. Get support to help you whether you seek a relationship specialist, domestic violence support group or police. If you are scared for your life ACT immediately and consider some after physical abuse support also.
Whilst the people I have helped recently have been women I have also done couple counselling and individual counselling with men who have been beaten up by their wives or emotionally abused too. So want to make it clear it’s not always men.
Thanks for reading, as I mentioned I am so sorry we are meeting online in these circumstances, do take advantage of a chat with me if you would like to and I can help in any way that I can. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S Here is the marriage online course voted best marriage / relationship online courses if you want to take action today https://nicolabeer.clickfunnels.com/empowered-love-sales-page19615178
Nicola Beer is an Individual and Couples Counselor in Dubai & Online – Online Couples or Individual Counselling can be supportive in the areas of depression, anger management, physical, emotional and physical abuse, bereavement & grief recovery as well as eating disorder and obesity help.