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Should I keep defending myself?

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  • Should I keep defending myself?

    I have been having some sort of problems in my marriage. I think my husband is a bully, and I hate bullies. Before reading an excerpt of edit link not allowed on this site I didn't know am a bully too. Apparently I am a "Silent treatment" and a "Body language" bully, while my husband is a "Control freak" and a bit of a "Rage" bully. Because mine never results in violence (actually, I avoid him just to have my peace, not necessarily to get him to do anything), and I actually run away from violence, I didn't know my avoidance of it is a problem too. So now the story:
    About 2 months after we started living together (after the traditional and court marriage), he violently reacted to me for the first time, actually nobody has ever jumped on me before like they were gonna hit me. But he did. I believe what saved the day that day was that I kept quiet.
    Fast forward to after the wedding (church wedding), if there is a big argument and things get heated up, he threatens me with words like “teaching me a lesson”, “pouncing on me”, “giving it to me hot”. I more often than not responded by keeping mute. I have told him that if he ever hits me, that will be the end of the marriage. Although he said he will never do that, I never believed him because I know it’s just time. He always rationalised his behaviour by saying I was being disrespectful, I am stubborn, I never listen, I never like being corrected etc. I always tried to tell him that he can’t control me or anybody but just himself. And anytime he tries to exert his control, all I can do is be more stubborn because as I mentioned earlier, I hate to be bullied. After each of these incidents, and recall into myself and give the silent treatment and mind my own space.
    So few days ago, we got into an argument about my texting him during the day that I want us to improve our marriage and have it better by spending more quality time together, giving each other undivided attention etc. He said it’s all about my “wants” and that I have to separate my perceptions from practical issue and started talking nasty. I decided there is nothing for us to discuss and continued cooking. Again, i gave the silent treatment and recoiled to myself so there will be no further arguments.
    When I was done cooking, I served his food and mine. Invited him and then ate myself when he wasn’t coming and left the table. He came and started eating, as I was about to go upstairs, he ordered me to take the serving plates to the kitchen. I ignored him because his tone was very rude. He finishes eating, comes upstairs and asked if I wasn’t the one he was talking to. I said I don’t know since it sounded like he was talking to his maid (house help). He said he was talking to me and that I should go clear the table. I told him to either clear it himself or leave it there as am not his maid. That’s when he descended on me with his fists and dragging me off the bed. I defended myself so he probably didn’t do as much damage as he intended. So it was more like him hitting me and dragging me up and me restraining and fighting back and tried to free myself. He finally gave up. I cleared and did the dishes before going to bed though.

    Now, the only part he seems to remember is my hitting him, and I told him i was defending myself. Honestly I don't know what I was expected to do: Keep quiet like a lamb to be slaughtered and have him drag me off the bed and down the stairs? Am not sure but the reflex I had was to hit back. I can't even remember my hitting him as I was mostly trying to get him off me. At one time I wanted to bite his hand but I restrained myself. Am now disappointed in myself for stooping to same level as him.

    Before marriage I have told myself that I will leave any man that tries to hit me and I told him that if he hits me the marriage will be over. Unfortunately it's easier said than done.
    Do you have any advice on how we can manage this?
    I must add that whenever I go into my recoiled mode, he flares up more.
    I guess I need help in managing my emotions and kill the bully in me since I can only change myself. As for him, he doesn't believe he has a problem since am too stubborn and provoke him. I suggested marriage counseling and he said the best help is self help. So all I can do now is help myself to be a better person.

    If you have read all these, thanks for sticking through
    Last edited by CHANDLERS WISH; 08-15-2014, 02:10 AM.

  • Hey sweet I had to edit your link as we don't allow links on this Forum or else we end up with an abundance more spammers that we already have.

    Firstly. The abuser never shows his abuse until he marries. At that point in time he wants control and to control her and belittle her, she is married supposedly believes in forever and he believes she will take it and as he continues to belittle her she will lose herself, who ever she was and cower for him.

    Good for you for fighting back.

    He will use that too, that you hit and therefore you are an abuser. Do not believe that, it's not true, you were defending yourself.

    No woman should EVER be hit. No woman. Most controlling abusers avoid that, they use emotional to get what they want.

    He thinks you are a slave that's your role, it's not.

    I'm so sorry sweet, before marriage you said you would leave if ever hit, easier said than done. This Husband knew that and has that as a card up his sleeve. He knows you, your weakness.

    What I would suggest is you need to stay with us, talk it through, get suggestions for help but ultimately you need to walk from this marriage and talk to your parents, let them know exactly what is going on. You may feel that they will not stand by you or that you can't tell them because you believe in marriage but trust me, they are blood they will understand and be there for you.

    Do you have children?

    Doesn't sound like you do.

    I want you to understand what you read on Google in your instance is WRONG.. It's what he would want you to think of yourself to claim his stance.

    What you are doing is rebelling. Trying to understand. Standing up for yourself.

    I know this because I was never hit, but I married the same man. I'm with a beautiful man now, engaged and did a lot of research myself back then, it's how I got here, at WH. At that time I thought as well I was abusive myself, but I realised that I wasn't I was defending, standing up for myself, trying to stop it.

    This man believes he can control you and have you cowering in a corner doing what he wants.

    Before you met him, you would never have wanted that.

    Don't stand for it now.



    • Thanks CW for responding. I have been wondering if am an abuser too since he believes I am.
      Unfortunately I can't talk to my parents about it as they are both late. And am too ashamed to tell my siblings about this yet. Kind of in a rut. Too sad to admit that what I thought was the best decision of my life has become a nightmare.
      There are no children yet.
      I really don't want to leave yet. I know I should never be hit and nobody has ever tried it, yet am too ashamed to. I really admire those ladies that can say enough is enough and ******** what others will think. Unfortunately am not that lady yet.
      This man is about the sweetest man with others (or when he believes am not being rebellious) , and people will be shocked and probably never believe he is capable of that.
      At the beginning of the outbursts I was really scared and tried working on tip toe, but I decided never to be afraid of him, and I trained myself to block his tantrum out. So now am not afraid of him, I can fight back.
      So is there a way we can have a normal life? Is there a way I can react better to him that doesn't make it worse? Can abuser realise they are being abusive and get help?


      • Too ashamed to leave********


        • The sweetest man with others: ) I don't want to leave yet

          Goodness you sound like me in 2008.

          This is the key. They are sweet around everyone, no one would ever suspect that they abused you, abuse you and I'm glad you have clarified that it is him that suggest you abuse as well.

          Don't be ashamed I was as well. Do you know what my parents told me? We saw it. You were un-happy hiding it, so glad you left, proud of you and we will stand by you.

          The problem is, is that you believe in marriage and you believe you can work this out, you see how nice he is with others and you want that so much in your life with him that you believe you can make it happen.

          Honey, it's a game, that he's playing. So you can believe.

          What you are doing is correct, keep in control, keep standing up for yourself BUT, he is hitting you darling. What if he hits you harder? Because you are rebelling?

          You can not make this man stop.

          Unless, you walk and let him know you will not tolerate it. That he needs help and counselling and if he does that you will "consider"

          Honestly this is the step you need to make.

          If you stay he may hurt you more and I know this frightens you and that's why you are asking, what else can I do?

          Others are sleeping I'm in Aussie Land but you are not alone and we will get you through this.

          I ended up walking on egg shells, hid in my bedroom and one day I remembered who I was before and I changed it, I became assertive, ignored him, but in your case he has laid a finger on you... You truly need to get out.

          Give him the choice if he wants you back.. To seek help.

          You can't solve this, leaving you can, he will step up or walk away but you get to live.


          • Originally posted by CHANDLERS WISH View Post
            What you are doing is correct, keep in control, keep standing up for yourself BUT, he is hitting you darling. What if he hits you harder? Because you are rebelling?
            Yea, am scared of that. Actually the next day after he gave his half-baked apology, he said I slapped him and I said I was defending myself and that I can't just sit still while he has a go at me. Actually I don't even remember slapping him if I actually did. And I even wonder how am able to slap him when he is holding both of my wrists together.

            He said since I insisted am defending myself, that I should bring up all the defense I have for next time. I have been having nightmares of him attacking me and police being called.

            I will call my aunty today and confide in her.
            Unfortunately we live very far from home, another continent actually so I can't move back home.

            I however, have a job and can take care of myself if need be. In the meantime, I have a meeting in the next few days with a priest to hear what he says. Counselling places I have approached by email said to contact women's aid. Everybody is pointing to leave, why am I so ashamed to?
            Last edited by confusedWife14; 08-15-2014, 03:45 AM.


            • Sweet, first I want to say obviously I've been here for 6 odd years and I've read this over and over, what you are going through is not my story, a part, but rather a lot of women.

              I also want to tell you my ex called a 1300 number for 20 minutes after he grabbed my hands so hard whilst I was cooking that I turned the pan on his head Defence. I was scared. He claimed I abused him.

              So he's ready to do that.

              Please do, honestly I can not tell you how I felt when I told family and they already knew blood is thicker than water, thank you.

              I know that it's hard, I had to walk find a new home myself but I did, and I survived and I found a beautiful man and I found a new home.

              You have what it takes with this I believe in you, you already have the guts..

              You wanted marriage to last, yours no shame.

              There is no shame, you/we married the wrong person Your new journey is about to begin, he has made you this way but now more sweet, you are ready and I'm proud of you.

              People are telling you there is a real fear here, for your own life it's now or never

              See you in my morning.... don't be ashamed, it's your time to smile in the knowing of what everyone has said, is correct and it's your life ......
              PUT A LITTLE 'LIKE' IN MY SOUL!


              • Thank you for your kind words and encouragements. Hopefully I will get all the confidence I need from here


                • I'm betting on it

                  So for the members when they wake up and me too

                  Tell us about yourself "before" you got married, your dreams, beliefs, morals, what you wanted out of marriage, I guess if you feel comfortable your past a bit.

                  And STAY with us...

                  Past my bed time sort off

                  If I could do it, you can do it... We all deserve the "right" love

                  hugs to you
                  PUT A LITTLE 'LIKE' IN MY SOUL!


                  • ConfusedWife:

                    There should be no confusion on your part and certainly no shame. You have been physically abused. It should not matter how sweet he is to others, or to you when he is not hitting you.

                    Originally posted by CHANDLERS WISH View Post

                    No woman should EVER be hit. No woman. Most controlling abusers avoid that, they use emotional to get what they want.


                    Don't stand for it now.

                    Repeat CW's words. Let them resonate. Physical violence is a line in the sand. It is one that can never be crossed or tolerated. It does not get better, only worse. If you "defend yourself" he will take it as an invitation to escalate his level of violence. There is only one piece of advice I can give to you. Leave now.

                    Is the only reason that you are reluctant to leave what others might think? I do not get the shame at all. Shame to allow a man to hit you? You had no control over his actions. The only shame now is to allow it to continue. If you are concerned that no one will believe you, start documenting it now. Tell someone and document it in an email . . . keep a journal.

                    Your husband is counting on everything that you are doing -- keeping quiet, worried what others will think because he is so sweet and no one will believe you, and internalizing the shame. HE is the abuser. The shame should go on HIM.
                    "The only consistent feature of all of your dissatisfying relationships is you." Despair.com "Dysfunction"


                    • Thank you effy...I don't have much evidence apart from telling his brother; and will be discussing with the priest. I will also tell my aunt. The only evidence I have from him was an email I sent him previously asking him to learn to control himself and quit threatening me and sent him some information on abuse. He responded that he will read the documents and not threaten anymore, but there is no smoke without fire and we will have to understand what starts it. Otherwise saying I drive him to it. Will try to keep that email backed up.

                      The shame, is actually from admitting that I made such a bad error of judgement, marrying someone without dating them for a very long time etc. I know I can't cry over spilt milk, but I wish I can make it all go away.

                      Thanks for listening


                      • It's not evidence you need in the sense of bruising etc. it's too late at that point. I meant exactly what you are doing. Contemporaneous documenting of what happened. Time has a way of making things "fuzzy". Documenting what you were fighting about, how he responded both verbally and physically will make you a far more credible person.

                        From what you posted, you did NOT make a bad error in judgment. His behaviors changed after marriage. Even if you did, you are human. We all make bad judgments. I am divorced and stayed in a bad marriage for years-- that doesn't make me a hero, it just made me even more stupid than I was for marrying her in the first place.

                        The only shame is compounding the original error with staying and taking more abuse. For me, his comment demanding that you clean the table was as bad as the physical crap. As CW said, you are not his slave or chattel.
                        "The only consistent feature of all of your dissatisfying relationships is you." Despair.com "Dysfunction"


                        • Keep your own word to him and leave the marriage. These things don't get better, they get worse.

                          I'm sorry you find yourself in this situation now. It isn't easy & it isn't going to get easier any time soon. Gather your strengths, find a support channel & get out. We are all here for support, hopefully your parish & your aunt will provide some support and this can be as smooth a transition as possible for you.


                          • As others have said, leave. It will only get worse and you don't want to accidentally get pregnant. Tell your family. Don't be ashamed. You did nothing wrong. They would be devastated if they learned you were hiding this from them. Go see a divorce lawyer immediately so you know what you can get financially from the marriage. If that is not a concern and you just want to get away from him, then pack your bags and leave today. Don't wait another day. Either go to a woman's shelter or family. Don't tell him where you are going. You will need all the support you can get. That will be the most dangerous time for you. I know it is scary, but he will get even more violent when you try to leave. That is why it is so important for you to have support. Go to the police and file a restraining order. I don't know where you live, but in most parts of the US, it is fairly easy for a wife to get a restraining order against a spouse who had physically abused her. No evidence is required.

                            Good luck and keep us posted here on WH.
                            Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)


                            • It has all been said. Just add me to the list of those urging you to no longer tolerate the intolerable.

                              DreamP is right about departing to be with family, friends or a shelter. Go when he is out and don't tell him of your plan. He could well become ferociously violent if he sees you defying his will by leaving. Just go and, as Dream said, keep your whereabouts and activities secret.

                              You mention you have a job and I am guessing he knows where you work. That is where a restraining order is a particularly useful tool. That's where he'll be able to find you. You do not want to be "pounced on" at work or when commuting to work.
                              I do not grow old; if I stop growing, I am old.



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