Abusive behaviour must be handled before it escalates

After a somewhat hurried courtship, my husband and I married a little less than a year ago.

Recently, I found an entry on one of our bank statements that I did not understand. When I asked my husband about it he got angry at me and pushed me out of the way before running out to the Quonset.

He came back into the house shortly afterward and apologized. He said that he would not push me like that again.

He said the bank entry was some carry-over debts from a little money he owed before he and I got married. He thought that he had paid it off. I of course want to believe my husband, I really love him dearly, but I have to admit that I am uneasy about what happened. The last thing I want is a violent marriage.

My Mom was in one and it took her years to get over it after she finally picked up enough courage to leave my father.

My question is, do I accept my husband’s apology and carry on or should I be doing something more about the incident?

A: Let’s talk a little bit about abusive relationships.

Marital relationships that turn violent never start out that way. Often as not, they start with somewhat seemingly innocent indiscretions that get out of hand. In fact, what happens is that as violence continues, it escalates.

That little push your husband gave you probably did not leave much physical damage in its wake. But unfortunately, that could be a start.

The next time, the push may get a little harder, and then harder and harder, until it becomes a full-blown hook to the jaw, along with some frightening strangulation.

Chances are each incident will be followed by an apology and a promise that it will never happen again. And of course it does happen again and it just gets scarier each time.

You need more from your husband than a lame apology. The two of you need to talk about the incident and you must do so through the wisdom of a competent marriage counsellor.

This is serious. If you are able to get on top of it now, the two of you can resume your relationship with confidence in each other. You need to balance the scales in favour of longevity. The violence will stop.

Who knows? Your husband may one day even be honest to you about the mysterious entry on your bank statement. Then, for sure, you will know that you are on your way to a good marriage.

If, on the other hand, you and your husband don’t do something concrete about that first push, and the violence escalates, you will find yourself in those familiar shoes your mother wore when she got caught in those years of your father’s indiscretions.

Think about it.


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