I slapped my Girlfriend
July 7, 2009 3:00 PM   Subscribe

I am not a violent person. I wanted to know if anyone who considers them self nonviolent has been in a violent relationship or used violence in a relationship.

Background - A while ago I put up a post related to my girlfriends cheating. She asked me to take it down and I have since had it removed. To make a long story short, she had 2 lives and was dating someone else during the entire first 3 years of our relationship. He was her boyfriend for a total of 8 years. I was the other guy that never knew. Anyway I changed my life for this person which included leaving my job, moving from another country, moving into her apartment, etc. As you can imagine I was pretty upset with the whole thing. From about a year prior to discovering the truth I had strong suspicions that things were not as she was telling me. This part is complicated and for the sake of being concise, I will just leave it there. In the past other people have told me that I must have known. All I can say is that she did everything she could to protect her secret. When the story finally broke (I broke it by waiting outside all night and catching her with him) everyone went their separate ways. He left her for good, and she left me and told me I had ruined her life.

Over the next months I missed her like crazy. I went away on vacation for a while to try to escape the whole thing but even there she was still the focus of my thoughts. Despite all the good advice I had received from my friends, family, the metafilter community, I began to push her to try again. At that point I had invested so much (and honestly before having suspicions, this was in the best relationship of my life and I was ready to marry this person) and I only thought it reasonable to give things another try. This would be the first real chance we had ever had. During the month apart and early into the restart, she explained to me that what had happened was a terrible mistake, one that she hated the whole time and that she couldn’t get out of. She met me while traveling, cheated on her BF with me, and over time began to fall in love with me. Ultimately she ended up loving 2 people and was incapable of leaving either of us. She didn’t want to hurt anyone. This was not the person she wanted to be and she was seeing someone to help her be that person and come to grips with what she had done. I went for the story however over the next months began to doubt if it was quite as simple as she explained things. For example, the consequences for me to be with her (i.e. moving and leaving my job) under false pretence, presented such a great risk to my life and livelihood that her love for me should have helped her to make a hard but correct decision. If you truly love someone as she said she did with me, you would never put them in a position where your actions could have negative consequences on them. In fact it should be exactly the opposite. There were times that I thought I would do anything for this person if it meant making her life better, shouldn’t she do the same for me?

To the point – In the end we got back together however it was never easy, we didn’t trust each other, there were things she was asking for that were not in line with what she said she wanted to be. For example we agreed to go see a dr together - this never happened. We agreed that we would begin to integrate our friends, something which was partly missing during the first round of our relationship– never happened. To make a long story short after about 2 months we agreed that we had tried to restart too soon, and we would take a 1 month break to reassess the situation. This is more complicated than it sounds because there was an official break up, then promises of fidelity during the break, conversations about how much we missed each other during the break, sex, etc. Basically it was clear that things were unclear but really hadn’t moved forward.

I made a big mistake – Early in the break I fooled around with a girl at a wedding. Not to make excuses for myself but this was the first time I had been with another woman since we were together. I went to this wedding alone, I was confused by all the mixed signals that I had received from my GF, I was tired of being alone and never having 100% of the other person. This was a meaningless encounter at the time, however during the month I began to develop a friendship with this girl. She lives in CA and I’m in NY and we began speaking on a nearly daily basis. We have lots of friends in common and it was easy to stay in touch. I guess I began replacing my GF with this new person but at the same time mostly wishing that my girlfriend was this person and would just be there for me like she once was, as this girl was. I also used this girl as a sounding board for my frustration with my GF. At the same time there was a lot happening in my life. I had just started a job after having been unemployed for 6 months, my mother had been admitted for heart surgery, I was ill for a few days, and my GF was pulling further and further away. She was frequently not sleeping at home (said she was sleeping at a sick friends house to comfort her), often not answering her calls, but still contending that she was alone and this was a break.

Last week, my GF found out that I was talking to a new person and planning a trip to meet her. She asked me and I told her. Rightfully so, I got hell for this. She told me if I went she would never speak to me again. She called me every name in the book and hit me a few times. She was understandably very upset. What I had done was wrong and my actions were completely opposite from what I had been saying to her. I canceled my trip and thought that maybe we could finally start things again. On equal terms. I was susceptible to a similar dishonesty that she was.

Over the next days she got better, instead of F U you sicko, it became I’m angry at you sweetheart. She was upset and said she needed time. I continued apologizing profusely and told her how I really felt. That this was an honest mistake and that I just missed her and didn’t want to start anything with anyone else. On the third night she called me to check in and tell me that she was going for drinks with some friends and that we could meet the next day to talk about things. And not to worry she was with friends… She forgot to hang up her phone. Over the next 20 minutes I listened to her go back to someone’s house to sleep with him… Not the old guy but a new one. One that she had once introduced me to as her friend. She had been sleeping with him for nearly, as far as I know, the whole month we were off. And possibly earlier.

The next day I went to get my things from her house. Honestly I was just looking for some kind of an explanation and a place to vent my anger. It was a surreal experience and I can’t really remember much of what happened. It might have lasted 5 minutes or 5 hours. I don’t really know. I had a mix of emotions ranging from wanting to hurt her, to wanting to be with her. During our discussion, I screamed at her and called her every name you can think of, I tried to get her to sleep with me, I destroyed some of the gifts that I had given her that were in the room, I told her I loved her, etc. It was a mess but worst of all, I slapped her in the face 4 or 5 times, not hard enough to leave a mark but hard enough that it stung. I have never hit anyone first in my life before.

I have been speaking to a therapist about what has happened. I am extremely disappointed in myself and scared of myself for what I did to her. I don’t really care what a person does but violence is not the answer. I have cried over this at times. My last image of her is her crying and telling me to please not to slap her again. It hurts me like hell. This was the person I loved more than anything in my life and now I am hitting that person. I’m not really sure what my question is but I mostly worried that I will do something like this again? The more I think of the situation, the more I realize that from the moment I first saw her that day, I was physically intimidating. I was in her face, looming, etc. I guess I used the last advantage that I had over her. I am not a violent person but I have done violence. I’m having trouble coming to grips with this. Any commentary would be greatly appreciated. Steps for the future. I can never do anything like this again.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (46 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I understand your confusion over this situation, but you should really have a mod make this post anonymous.
posted by greta simone at 3:10 PM on July 7, 2009


What. Get out. Commit to not ever speaking to this person again and see a good therapist. I repeat: see a therapist. I come from a family where most people have had to see a therapist because of anger issues like yours and it is the best solution. Askme can't make a real dent in your problems like a therapist who gets to know you can.
posted by melissam at 3:10 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I recently read an interesting book called Why Does He Do That? To summarize, the guys who are not likely to keep hitting people are the ones who admit that they hit somebody, without making excuses. There's no minimizing or denial going on here; I think it's safe to say it's unlikely that this is going to turn into a pattern for you or something.

"Steps for the future" = avoid drama in relationships.
posted by kmennie at 3:11 PM on July 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Dear lord, you two should not be involved with each other, you both sound like drama clusterfucks. I'd talk to your therapist about healthy relationship models.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 3:11 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow. First off, never do anything like this relationship again - that's a good start!

Now onto the hitting. I really feel that you should find a therapist. There's so much here that it's almost impossible to list them all, but you need to figure out why you need this much drama in your life. Tell the therapist everything, they can help you with your anger.

It counts a LOT that you want to fix this - go with that. I would heartily recommend NOT dating anyone for a while - you need to heal and find your center again.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 3:13 PM on July 7, 2009


Without getting into too much detail, I'll just say that your violent actions occurred at the end of a long chain of events that led up to them. If you can learn to recognize that chain and break it earlier, you can prevent this from happening again.
posted by dixie flatline at 3:14 PM on July 7, 2009 [7 favorites]


What a way to vent, just to ask if you would be violent again.

First, you are a violent person. Just because you haven't done anything violent in the past does not mean you are not violent; and just because you are violent, doesn't mean you have to be violent in the future. It means you have to be extra vigilant and conscious of your violent tendencies, if they ever arise again, and ensure that you remove yourself from whatever it is that incites your violent tendencies.

Understand that you have the capacity to do violent things; this will help you understand how to control it if it happens again. Denial of your violent tendencies will leave you unprepared for future flare-ups.

She forgot to hang up her phone. Over the next 20 minutes I listened to her go back to someone’s house to sleep with him

That was intentional. And your relationship is really fucked up.
posted by jabberjaw at 3:14 PM on July 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


You slapped a manipulative woman who's taking advantage of you, not anyone who's acting the least bit like a girlfriend. DTMFA, please.

I'm not a violent person, but I have slapped an ex repeatedly during a similar shit show of a breakup-fight. I don't feel good about it, and neither should you, but I don't think this is out of the realm of 'normal'. One thing I do know is that it's NOT OK, but everyone makes mistakes.
posted by sunshinesky at 3:14 PM on July 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Don't put yourself in situations that are so stressful that you lose control.

It seems like relationships are stressful for you. Probably best to avoid them until you can learn to control yourself.

She called me every name in the book and hit me a few times.

Evidently she's in the same can't-control-herself boat. Get out of that boat.
posted by desjardins at 3:16 PM on July 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't think this is out of the realm of 'normal'.

Yes, yes it is.
posted by desjardins at 3:17 PM on July 7, 2009 [20 favorites]


You slapped a manipulative woman who's taking advantage of you, not anyone who's acting the least bit like a girlfriend.

Hitting your significant other like this is never okay, no matter what the S.O did to "deserve it."
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:22 PM on July 7, 2009 [7 favorites]


It's over. Apologize to her for hitting her, and tell her this relationship is obviously not healthy for either of you. Continue to see a therapist.
posted by OuttaHere at 3:23 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


You slapped a manipulative woman who's taking advantage of you, not anyone who's acting the least bit like a girlfriend.

Hitting her isn't justified for any reason. Just like her hitting him wasn't justified either.

or on preview, what Solon and Thanks said.
posted by cmgonzalez at 3:25 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think it's time for you to take a long break from her and other relationships. YOU GUYS ARE NOT GOOD FOR EACH OTHER. I have yet to see one example of where two out-of-control people improve the quality of one another's lives. I've seen many more examples ending in jail time, hospitalization, and needless suffering. If this sounds like fun, you guys just keep interacting. It'll happen eventually.

One of you needs to grow up. Looks like it's gonna have to be you.

It's time to get some professional help. You've learned a valuable thing about yourself. Use this painful incident as a good starting point for learning about yourself and about life.
posted by thisperon at 3:30 PM on July 7, 2009


This isn't really a job for metafilter. This is a job for a competent therapist.

I don't think that the concept of "a violent person" is very useful. You've committed violence in a relationship. Now you need to figure out how to have healthier relationships and not do that in the future. This isn't about preserving your sense of what category of person you belong to. It's about identifying and changing thought patterns and behavior that have caused you to behave in unacceptable ways.
posted by craichead at 3:32 PM on July 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


Therapy, now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:34 PM on July 7, 2009


Hitting her isn't justified for any reason.

Of course it was justified. You still don't get to do it. Ever.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:39 PM on July 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Please, please, please stay away from her, for her personal safety and your personal sanity. You both seem to be violent people and two violent people in a severely dysfunctional relationship is a recipe for disaster.
posted by crankylex at 3:47 PM on July 7, 2009


Listen, she's a very bad person and you're not that great, and you need to get the hell out of being in any kind of contact with her whatsoever. You know you don't want to be the kind of person who hits someone they love and you need to get out of ever being tempted to do it again in a stressful and painful situation.

She's a wretched person and now you're total slime. Get away from her. Change your phone number, move, get out, change your name, your friends, everything. You need to change it all. She doesn't love you at all. She's very dysfunctional. Now you're dysfunctional. If she still loved you after you slapped her, she's wrong for it.

I feel terrible for you. You know you can't ever see her again, right, or your mutual friends? You have to be done with her. Look at who you are now. This is the end of the line and the point of no return.

Seconding either asking the mods to make this post anonymous or having it deleted.
posted by anniecat at 3:50 PM on July 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is textbook domestic violence. And assault. Get a good therapist, or a good defense attorney.
posted by tr0ubley at 3:51 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


You don't ever hit your significant other. Ever. If you HAVE hit your significant other, that's a pretty good indication that you aren't in a place where you should BE a significant other anymore.

Leave this woman alone, forever. For her sake. And for your sake. In general, take a long time out on relationships. Go to therapy. Please.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 3:53 PM on July 7, 2009


Also, I'm going to second greta simone on the, "this post should have been anonymous," thing.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 3:53 PM on July 7, 2009


Oh hey, ignore my "therapy, now" comment, it was glib and stupid.

As the relationship, you really need to get away from her and stay away. It started badly and while theoretically it could have gotten better once the truth was known, well, it didn't happen in reality.

As to hitting her, take that as sign of how bad the relationship is. You're doing things you never dreamed of doing, actually engaging in violence within a relationship. Not to be dramatic, but frankly this relationship sounds like its killing you or you'll kill someone from it. That's not good, you gotta let this relationship go. You have to realize and accept what you did. You also have to forgive yourself for doing and work hard on never doing it again.

Good luck and do yourself a favor and stay in therapy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:00 PM on July 7, 2009


Sounds like you need help with removing yourself from situations and with self control/perspective. What's done is done, but in the future:
1) Stay out of relationships that are built on lies.
2) Learn to make a clean break.
3) If you start to get so angry that you want to hit someone, LEAVE RIGHT THEN and clear your head!

If you were able to meet someone while you were still sort of in a relationship with your slimy ex, that should show you that being single is worthwhile for you. Only be with people you trust!

While it is NEVER okay to hit someone, it sounds like her hitting you before and her reaction to you means that she is the kind of person who doesn't find that sort of thing to be unusual or deplorable like most of us do.

Also, make this anonymous, seriously!
posted by ishotjr at 4:01 PM on July 7, 2009


You understand that what you did was wrong, you never want to do it again, and you're taking steps to come to grips with what drove you so far and how to manage your anger better. This is good. Keep seeing your therapist. Take it one day at a time.

I realize that your question was about violence, but I have to address the rest of what you wrote: if you're looking for permission to cut this woman out of your life forever, here it is. Go. Get away. She's not being honest with herself or with you and there is nothing good down this road you've both been on.
posted by trunk muffins at 4:05 PM on July 7, 2009


And not to worry she was with friends… She forgot to hang up her phone. Over the next 20 minutes I listened to her go back to someone’s house to sleep with him… Not the old guy but a new one. One that she had once introduced me to as her friend. She had been sleeping with him for nearly, as far as I know, the whole month we were off. And possibly earlier.

Uh, it is obvious that she did this on purpose. She is a terrible person, you two are terrible for one another, and under no circumstances should you ever be in the same room again. I'm not the person to give you forgiveness or absolution for hitting someone, nor her for hitting you, but it seems very unlikely that this will become a pattern for you - unless you stay together. If you continue seeing this woman you are going to ruin your life, and hers. Get out. Start over.

I have been speaking to a therapist about what has happened.

This is good. You'll be fine.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:40 PM on July 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Cripes man. Just walk away!
posted by chairface at 4:43 PM on July 7, 2009


She called me every name in the book and hit me a few times.

I think it should be pointed out that this is violence. Just because you're (presumably) a guy doesn't mean it doesn't count. Yes, you have some physical and social advantages that make male-on-female violence more widespread and potentially more severe, but female-on-male violence is definitely still unacceptable in a relationship.

I disagree, FWIW, that this is "textbook domestic violence." It is violence that occurred in the course of a relationship, yes; but typically domestic violence is rooted in the abuser's need to have absolute power and control over the victim, a factor which (despite all the other problems) is absent from what you describe.

I think a more constructive way to regard this is as a symptom of a very broken relationship. Even leaving aside the physicality factor, if this bag of lies, suspicion and manipulation was the best relationship you ever had, you need some help identifying what is healthy in a relationship. (Cliffs Notes version: all the good stuff, waaaay less drama.)

Fix the underlying problem and the symptom should resolve.


and for the love of god STAY BROKEN UP
posted by AV at 4:44 PM on July 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think you just flipped out for a minute. You said you're seeing a therapist, that's good. This chick put you through a lot of emotional distress, and I can see how the situation happened. I don't condone hitting women, but in your instance I don't think you'll be a repeat offender. You seem like you've already beaten yourself up over this, and I think showing remorse separates you from the habitual hitters.
posted by faintly macabre at 4:46 PM on July 7, 2009


Judge how good people are for you by examining how you change over time. If you are becoming a better person over time, chances are the people in your life are a good influence.

I vividly remember your original post, and it seems like you are becoming more upset and a worse person in your ways and actions. Not to say that your girlfriend has turned you into this person, but you need to break apart from this woman permanently as she is obviously a negative influence on your life. It might not be her, per se; it might be the dynamic you two create. Whatever the case may be, you obviously need to leave her permanently, which I believe most people recommended the last time.
posted by milarepa at 4:58 PM on July 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Anonymous, people may skip your post because it is, no offense, incredibly long. So, for those would just whip off a "tl;dr", here is a summary:
She began dating you after seeing a guy for five years. Knowing of the double life she was leading, she nonetheless let you leave your job, and move to her country from your own home country without telling you that she was having you cuckold her boyfriend. When her unfaithfulness comes to light, she blames you for it and tells you that you ruined her life. Ater some time, she resumed her infidelous ways with both of you (at least, that's what I'm parsing from the reference to "her BF" in the paragraph where you describe rejoining her). She agrees to do healthy things for your relationship (seeing a doctor, integrating your friends) but never follows through. You take a break, and during that break, you start becoming affectionate with a woman you meet at a wedding. When she learns of this, she profanely verbally abuses you and hits you. Once you cancel the trip to visit this other woman and start acting repeatedly apologetic to what I would characterize as a grovelling degree, she changes her tone from "fuck you sicko" to "angry sweetheart". She then allows you (either accidentally or "accidentally") to listen to her being unfaithful to you yet a new time. This results in a loud, angry, extended argument in which you slap her.
And the focus of your question is how best to avoid slapping a woman again?

I don't think violence against women is justified in any circumstance, but here is the honest truth, my friend: this woman has been intensely emotionally manipulative, and sociopathically unconcerned with your feelings and welfare.

And you are, I believe, actually addicted to her – and like many addictions, it's really hurting you.

I strongly recommend that you see a therapist, alone, with the express purpose of effectuating as much of a "cold turkey" dump of this woman as you possibly can.
posted by WCityMike at 5:13 PM on July 7, 2009 [8 favorites]


I can't answer your actual question (how do non-violent people do in relationships and do they ever get violent) because I don't fit your categorization. I AM a violent person. I have a quick temper, which I learned from my father, and he learned from his father. I have put my fist through walls when I'm angry. I've destroyed objects I cared about (pictures, etc). But I have never been violent to anyone I've been in a relationship with. And I hopefully never will be. I think violence is a natural biological response when our flight or fight mechanism is triggered. But you should be able to control that response and not ever use it to hurt people, even when they've done incredibly hurtful things to you.

For what it's worth, I believe you when you say you aren't a violent person by nature. It sounds like you are able to put up with quite a lot before you finally break. If I were in your shoes I would have hit that woman too -- the difference, though, is if I were in your shoes, I would have ended the relationship far earlier. It would have never come to violence. Your mistake isn't so much that you let you violent actions control you, it's that you allowed yourself to keep on being in a situation where so much hurt was piled on you that violence became your final response.
posted by Happydaz at 5:23 PM on July 7, 2009


I should clarify that I described this situation as "textbook domestic violence" not because one partner was trying to control the other, but because it occurred when one person was trying to end the relationship. It is a misconception that most DV conflicts are calculated and thought out - on the contrary, many happen in the "heat of the moment" just as the author of this post describes.

When one individuals hits a person they have had a romantic relationship with or have lived with, it is domestic violence. This post describes a crime. I just wanted Anonymous to be aware of the seriousness of posting something of this nature on the internet.

But to be more constructive, perhaps something like batterers anonymous might help.
posted by tr0ubley at 5:30 PM on July 7, 2009


What you did was wrong, but understandable since you no longer have the capacity to handle the emotions you're feeling. It is important to own the fact that you put yourself in that situation. If you want to avoid hitting her again, never see her again. Because of what she's done to you over your long history together, you are no longer capable of being a gentle person around her.
posted by Simon Barclay at 5:55 PM on July 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


Last week, my GF found out that I was talking to a new person and planning a trip to meet her. She asked me and I told her. Rightfully so, I got hell for this. She told me if I went she would never speak to me again. She called me every name in the book and hit me a few times. ...

... but worst of all, I slapped her in the face 4 or 5 times, not hard enough to leave a mark but hard enough that it stung. I have never hit anyone first in my life before.


Listen, if you had knocked the fuck out of her in self-defense, after she struck you first, I would have been the first to congratulate you for flattening that manipulative tramp you're so in love with.

But for you to strike her first, the following day, is pretty low. You need to get yourself out of this situation, it is a toxic and destructive relationship for which there is absolutely no hope. This girl sounds completely crazy --- cheating on you for three fucking years, but if you go visit another girl she is going to dump you (even though it is almost certain she was banging one or more other guys during the very same period she was making this ultimatum to you?). Based on her behavior, it is only fair that you would be out getting laid constantly with whatever women you could get your hands on, because it seems like she was getting plenty of strange when she was "dating you."

Normal, civilized people do not live like this. This woman has victimized you, and through her manipulation and abuse, has turned you into an abuser. Get away from her, and move on with your life.

And at least be grateful that the person you struck --- as inexcusable as your violence is --- was someone who has a beating coming.
posted by jayder at 5:59 PM on July 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


But to be more constructive, perhaps something like batterers anonymous might help.

Batterers Anonymous is for batterers. You're not a batterer, you are the victim.
posted by jayder at 6:01 PM on July 7, 2009


1. Break up
One month not a break up. It's barely time enough for a decent cup of coffee.
2. Do some therapy.
One month with a therapist is not therapy. It's barely time enough to say "my momy hates me," or whatever.

You are in a seriously messed up relationship that you need to take a looooooonnng vacation from.
posted by SLC Mom at 6:06 PM on July 7, 2009


I believe almost everyone has violence somewhere inside them. Most of us have just never been pushed to a point where our adrenaline and fury override rationale and constraint. You unfortunately reached your threshold. You don't need therapy, you need to never put yourself in that type of tempest ever again.
posted by jasondigitized at 6:36 PM on July 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


A good rule to follow: If a relationship leads or provokes you to do things you really really don't feel good about, things that are not you - it's time to get out.
posted by Locochona at 7:11 PM on July 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm not a fan of this therapy for every possible problem thing that gets done around here, so just to keep it simple:

(1) Break up. (2) Stay broken up. (3) Think about what kind of woman this was and try to make sure the next one isn't crazy like this. (4) And think about yourself and how to be less crazy next time, too.

It's possible for good people to do bad things. And everyone is capable of violence, no matter how many Oh-I-would-nevah's they throw out there.

Some people just shouldn't be together: they bring out the worst in each other.
posted by rokusan at 8:02 PM on July 7, 2009


It is never OK to hit someone in anger. Ever. Its a perfectly normal human emotion to FEEL like you want to give someone a good smack, but it is never acceptable to act on this emotion. You have committed a wrong. Furthermore, this wrong should lead to the immediate and irrevocable end to this relationship because (1) neither party should consider violence an acceptable form of behavior and (2) it is clear that the dynamic of this relationship is causing both parties to act in an unacceptable fashion.

That being said: based on your self-reporting, I believe you when you say you are not a violent person, and I do not think you have a fundamentally abusive personality. You acted unacceptably out of anger, and have since accepted responsibility for your actions. You appear to feel guilty, and express remorse and regret. This guilt, remorse, and regret is not symptomatic of abusive behavior. Abusers don't act out of anger, but in order to control; they tend to deny the seriousness of their actions and place the blame on anyone but themselves. This doesn't sound like you. But I'm not a therapist.

I disagree with Troubly's characterization of this incident as "textbook domestic violence." Theres a DOJ office that deals with this stuff: the Office on Violence Against Women. This office, which I think can fairly be called a pre-eminent authority on Domestic violence, defines domestic violence as "as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner." I think anger issues and domestic abuse are important distinctions to make, OP, and you don't seem much like an abuser.
posted by HabeasCorpus at 9:18 PM on July 7, 2009


And at least be grateful that the person you struck --- as inexcusable as your violence is --- was someone who has a beating coming.

WTF?

and now you're total slime

While I actually agree with a lot of anniecat’s post, this actually isn’t particularly descriptive of the problem.

You're not at that point yet. You have stepped back from the brink and you want to step back even further. Good for you.

I don’t know what your problem is. I don’t know whether you have an underlying anger problem or not. The fact that you stayed that long in such a horrible, abusive relationship indicates that you have been through some amount of pain in your life and unreasonably adapted, or you would have been able to recognize this for what it was and gotten out of it. I think you need. Real. Help. For that. At some point in your life, you were victimized in such a way that you (sub)consciously put yourself into a situation where you were kept in that role again. You ask:

I’m not really sure what my question is but I mostly worried that I will do something like this again?...Steps for the future. I can never do anything like this again.

This is where it starts; this is the first step. You put yourself in a situation where you were stretched to the breaking point and snapped. Why did that happen?

You’ll need to ask yourself that. You need to find out where you are. You say you don’t want to do this again, I believe you. You need to come to terms with who you are (an innately violent*, flawed person) and who you want to be (a consciously peaceful, flawed person).

Good luck.

Also, I nth really sticking with the DTMFA-ing this time. I don't know what her problem is but unfortunately the both of you together is a disaster.

*I say this in the sense that I think all humans are naturally aggressive and violent. Not because I think you are especially violent.
posted by twins named Lugubrious and Salubrious at 12:22 AM on July 8, 2009


Wait...

I screamed at her and called her every name you can think of, I tried to get her to sleep with me...

Are you saying you tried to get her to have sex with you against her will?
posted by aielen at 2:28 AM on July 8, 2009


Do not get into contact with this person ever again, for any reason. Nothing else will help you as much as this. You might need therapy, but like jasondigitized said, first and foremost, you need to never put yourself in this kind of situation again.
posted by ignignokt at 7:45 AM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


You endured serious manipulation and emotional abuse. It is not ok to answer one type of abuse (emotional) with another type (physical), but it seems like you know this, given what you wrote.

Unless you are considering seeing her again, I don't think you need therapy. I think it is important to recognize that there is a limit to the amount of abuse anyone can endure, and to never allow yourself to be in that situation again. Recognize the mistakes you made along the way. It was a mistake to confront her so angry, it was a mistake to not walk away, it was a mistake to stay with this person or try to repair the relationship in the first place.

fwiw - I speak from experience. Your story sounds incredibly similar to my own, so I honestly empathize with you. And if you are like me, then no, you have nothing to worry about in future relationships, as long as you learn from this experience. However, do not expect empathy from most people. Few have endured the same types of abuse you have, and so have no idea the magnitude of emotional stress or how they'd even react in the same situation. But nearly everyone is quick to pass judgment.
posted by Tooty McTootsalot at 8:41 AM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


HabeasCorpus quotes a definition for domestic violence: This office, which I think can fairly be called a pre-eminent authority on Domestic violence, defines domestic violence as "as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner."

According to this definition and the story as it is presented, anonymous is the victim of domestic violence. Calling him a batterer or other such labels seems not only out of line with the actual degree and form of the violence (which was not part of a pattern), but unnecessarily hurtful.

Anonymous, emotional abusers have a way of making you doubt your own reality, and anecdotally, I would say that victims often lash out physically under these circumstances.* I join the chorus of people who say get away from her and never look back. The more distance you have, the more chance you have of returning to the non-violent, in-control person you once were.

*For the people who have trouble with this: it doesn't make it *right* but it also doesn't make it a pattern or something that will necessarily repeat in a relationship that can even begin to claim to see "healthy" on the distant horizon.
posted by carmen at 9:56 AM on July 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


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