advice for shaken up friend

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
914 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

any one would say, get up and get the hell out of there to your friend. but we can only wish and hope she is strong enough to want better herself and her baby. its not always easy to end a relationship. the only person who knows the truth is your friend and if she is confused then maybe she is starting to add things togther. everyone says once they start they dont stop. i would document the day as much as possible.

Post # 3
230 posts
Helper bee

anonbeebee1234 :  I have had some knock down drag out fights with my husband. Probably 5 in 10 years that were really bad. I slapped him one time which is unforgivable to put your hands on your spouse. What he did was really bad to me and in the moment I was not thinking. That said, I have not and will not ever do it again. This is worth serious close examination but if he is not verbally abusive usually or in other ways, and she clawed his arm first, they need space and then they need to have a serious talk about how they treat each other and boundaries in an argument. 

Post # 4
5180 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

sf618 :  yikes.did you guys go to some kind of therapy to deal with these really bad physical fights?

OP, this is very scary and no one should ever reach for anyones neck, no matter what they’re fighting about or if she grabbed his arm. How traumatizing for their daughter. She needs to leave and seek emergency therapy. This doesn’t sound like a safe environment for their child, and things will escalate unless they get help.

Post # 5
230 posts
Helper bee

lifeisbeeutiful :  when I say knock down drag out I mean yelling loudly. So like 5 really bad fights in 10 years, and I slapped him once. Other than that own time no hands have ever been laid on eachother and it’s been 2 years since we have had a bad fight like that. No counseling or therapy. We don’t even call eachother names. 

My point is relationships aren’t rainbows and butterflies and if this person has never ever treated her like that than it could have been a momentary lapse in judgement in very bad anger. She said she grabbed his arm aggressively and that was his response.

One of the biggest things married couples need to navigate is how not to fight dirty. Abuse is abuse and this doesn’t sound like break up your family abuse. It sounds like they were both heated and aggressive towards each other. 

Post # 6
877 posts
Busy bee

I agree sf618 that relationships are not all rainbows and butterflies and arguments do happen. I agree that you need to set boundaries for how you argue and STICK to them. If either one of you crosses the line, I think it’s a good sign if there is genuine remorse which includes action steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, not just saying the words.

That said, there is a difference between someone who does something which they bitterly regret in the heat of the moment (like sf618) and which is totally out of character for them, and someone who has a pattern of behaviour that is abusive. I would really encourage your friend to get to the bottom of which one it is.

* How long have they been together?

* Is he at all abusive in other ways, emotionally abusive, belittling, controlling etc.?

* Is this the first time he has ever been physical with her in an agressive way? Sometimes these acts of agression can seem fairly minor, like pushing past you or grabbing your arm, or breaking a plate, but it’s all part of the same family of behaviours.

* Does he have a temper?

I would also really encourage her to look at the reason why she dug her nails into his arm. How does she feel in their relationship as a whole? I’m not excusing her digging her nails into his arm, but if he is controlling or manipulative or abusive in some way, that can lead to a huge build up of anger and resentment in a person. 

My point is, it’s fine to set boundaries, but she needs to get to the bottom of why they both behaved this way. Being physically abusive with someone is very explosive, and it means there are serious issues in the relationship that are not being addressed. It’s not right what she did, but as I say, it could be that she was provoked to dig her nails into him by a huge build up of anger inside herself. She must get to the bottom of why she felt she had to do that, and that might mean work on herself.

As far as his behaviour is concerned… grabbing her by the throat is totally unacceptable. If it were me, I would walk away from this relationship immediately. But I would definitely not recommend that she stays unless he agrees to speak to a therapist and get help on an ongoing basis.

The problem with physical violence is that it tends to escalate, and that is why it is very important to determine whether he momentarily did something which he really regrets and which was out of character, or whether it is a pattern. I will add that every abuser is very apologetic after the first time and wants things to go back to normal as quickly as possible, but it is very important that he doesn’t pressure her and gives her the space she needs.

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