Post # 1
RBGA. I need to know what advice you’d give a friend in my situation. My husband and I usually get along great, especially here lately. We went out with friends tonight and had a lovely time. As we were standing around saying our goodbyes at the end of the evening, I felt him punch me really hard from behind on my butt/back. I recoiled from the pain and told him to stop. I knew it wasn’t accidental, but I thought maybe he was playing (based on where he hit me) and didn’t realize it would hurt. Well, he did it again. This time I turned around and told him more loudly and more sternly to knock it off. As soon as I turned back around, he punched me in the shoulder twice, with me telling him to stop each time. After that he touched me gently on the same shoulder and asked if it hurt. I said “no, seeing as how this time you didn’t punch me” and went to the car.
Once we pulled off, I started crying hysterically because I didn’t understand what had just happened. Why did I have to ask my own loving husband so many times to stop hitting me? And in public? He raised his voice and demanded to know why I was crying to which I replied as above. He then began saying “what are you talking about? I never hit you.” Now this kind of denial is a habit of his, but it’s usually along the lines of “oh no, I never left the milk out of the fridge; that must have been some one else,” where we both know that it was him but he is jokingly refusing to own up to it. So I told him to stop doing that and said again exactly how many times he hit me with his knuckles and how many times I asked him to stop. He insisted once again that he never hit me and that what I thought were his knuckles were actually his fingertips. Whatever. I couldn’t see him because he was behind me at the time, but I definitely felt sharp ass bones digging into my skin along with force
I asked him to let me out of the car, but he continued driving the rest of the way home with me yelling for him to let me out the whole way. He stopped the car just before entering the driveway and started arguing with me about what part of his hand he’d hit me with. And I was yelling that I can’t believe he’s choosing to focus on a detail like that when the fact remains that he hit me four times after being told several times that he was hurting me and that he needs to apologize. He then started saying something about “well, you didn’t give me a chance to apologize and at least I eventually stopped hitting you” to which I jumped out of the car and slammed the door while he was speaking.
He came in the house after me and has locked himself in a guest room. I’ve been trying to get to sleep for hours, but cannot relax enough to do so. I went in the yard to toss bottles at a brick wall (something I sometimes do to blow off steam which hurts no one except maybe the noise was a bit much at this time of night). I noticed that he was hanging out of an upstairs window pointing his phone at me and saying something I couldn’t make out (as though he was narrating). I cleaned up all the glass and came back in the house and as I was walking past the guest room, he made a big show of loudly locking the door. Which is rich, seeing as how I’m the one semi afraid of him at this point.
This is the first time anything like this has happened. I cannot stand the sight or thought of him and cannot imagine waking up tomorrow and anything being the same after this. This literally just happened and I haven’t spoken with him or told anyone. What now?
Post # 2
It’s bizarre. And he was an ass. But I guess I don’t know if it was abuse. It doesn’t seem like he intended to hurt you. It more sounds like he was being really immature like boys in middle school who would do things to playfully annoy you. And I’m confused why none of your friends said something if they saw him punch you multiple times in the back. It’s just a weird story.
Honestly, I think you should talk to one of your friends who was there and saw it happen.
ETA: Maybe tomorrow try to talk to him about it again? More calmly? Ask why he wouldn’t stop when you asked or why he would ever think it’s okay to hit you.
But if you feel like it was abuse I would never advise a friend to stay in a situation where she felt unsafe.
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle
He’s gaslighting you by telling you that your recollection of events is wrong. Counseling at the very least, but I’d have an exit plan in place too.
Post # 4
hikingbride : thank you for reading and replying. I don’t think anyone saw because he was behind me plus everyone was caught up with saying their goodbyes. I too was consciously trying to be very discreet in telling him to stop in part because I was very embarrassed that this was even happening. I think you’re right that he was probably trying to be… Idk.. Playful? But I cannot for the life of me understand why he didn’t stop immediately when I told him he was hurting me. Plus, we are not a play fighting, rough housing kind of couple. He has never hit me before in life.
Post # 5
“I would never advise a friend to stay in a situation where she felt unsafe.” <- very much this.
It’s all very confusing from the way you described it (and clearly its confusing living it as well). I’m not sure your husband was intending to hurt you, possibly (in his mind) he was just being annoying or playful…but everything after the point of you asking him to stop is beyond strange on his part.
When my husband is playing around and manages to (very minorly) hurt me he had a habit of explaining to me how it couldn’t have hurt/wasn’t meant to hurt/he was only doing whatever. I think it was his immediate impulse because he’s embarrassed. It made me upset because you cannot explain to a person you’ve hurt that you didn’t hurt them…since I’ve shared that logic with him he just apologizes and asks if there is anything he can do. I mention this only for context on perhaps why your husband was being weird about it *before* you guys got in the car.
Not letting you out of the car isn’t okay, imo. Locking himself in the spare bedroom is odd, but at least you don’t have to deal with him right now.
Post # 6
Also, I don’t know if it’s abuse either. Actually, I rather suspect that it’s not. But I was raised never to let a man hit me. I don’t play like that. I guess I’d have been willing to move on if he’d stopped immediately and been apologetic, but the way it played out plus the gaslighting and the ridiculous emphasis on which part of his hand he hit me with, made me very concerned. Many times in the past, he’s done something I didn’t appreciate and refused to apologize, but Iet it go in the interest of peace. However, I lost certainly do not wish to set a precedent whereby he feels free to hit me anytime he likes and does not need to be accountable for it.
Post # 7
I could maybe see the hitting being initially a misunderstanding I.e he didn’t think he’d hit you hard enough to hurt and was attempting a bit of play fighting/joking.
However, the two worrying things for me are that he didn’t stop when you told him to, and that he wasn’t apologetic/ mortified when you started crying. Insisting on arguing over whether it was his knuckles or his fingers is beside the point- he did something that hurt you and hasn’t acknowledged that at all. In fact he’s trying to minimise it.
If he isn’t willing to talk about it rationally and without nitpicking over which body part it was in the morning, I think it’s a more serious issue.
And what’s with the filming you and the childish locking the door? Is this normal behaviour for him??
Post # 8
pond : thank you for your reply. I don’t know what’s up with the filming and locking the door either. He’s normally a pretty mature guy. However, he can be prideful and he has never been good at apologizing. There have been several times where he has hurt my feelings and I calmly try to explain that his words/behavior were hurtful and as a PP said, rather than apologizing, he goes into a discussion of why it’s not possible that he actually hurt me.
Post # 9
You said this is the first time this has happened? It is indeed bizarre.
1. Go to the police station tomorrow and make a report. You don’t have to press charges but it will be on file should anything happen again at a later date.
2. Sit him down and calmly explain your side. I would also advise telling him from the very beginning you want to have a discussion without anger and would really like to sort this out as you’re confused by what happened and why it happened.
3. His “little” lie and dismissal about the situation is very immature but also can be abusive behavior. Right now the main concern is that he won’t admit and apologize to what he’s done but if he is an abuser, this could be the beginning and he needs to know NOW it is NOT okay.
4. The fact that you asked him to stop repeatedly and in public yet he continued is alarming to say the least. And unprovoked. This is the main reason I’m asking you to file a report with police.
I can’t say whether it’s abuse or not and it could very well be playful manners gone wrong but he saw your reaction and that should have been more than enough for him to realize how serious the situation is and apologize. Just in case it turns out to be the start of a cycle, PLEASE report this. You don’t want to regret it later.
I hope this never happens again Bee.
Post # 10
confusedaf : To be honest, that’d pretty worrying too- that rather than admit he’s done something hurtful, he tries to minimise you by explaining that your experience of the event was wrong or didn’t happen.
With that knowledge, I would absolutely not back down from this. If he is unwilling to apologise, admit he was in the wrong and take steps to make it right (depending on what you think those steps are), I would consider leaving. I know that seems extreme but I think this had been a pretty telling event.
I’m sorry you’re having to go through this.
Post # 11
pond : thank you. I’ve been telling myself that he “needs to make this right,” but I can’t put my finger on what all that would entail. I mean an acknowledgement and an apology–not just for the hitting but his behavior afterward– would be a start. I definitely don’t want our marriage to end over this, but I truly don’t know what he could possibly say to make me go back to trusting him and being vulnerable around him again. I don’t think this has to be the end of us, especially since I believe he didn’t set out to hurt me, but maybe embarrassment and pride have kept him from being proactive about smoothing things over. Also, I want and need for him to take the initiative to right the wrong. This is not a situation where I feel it would be appropriate to sit him down and spell out for him what he needs to do. He has to recognize, without my convincing him, they he is dead wrong here and take some steps.
Post # 12
This is really bizzare behaviour – I totally understand your hurt and confusion. I would advise counselling, especially because it’s so hard to understand why he did this…
Post # 13
This is extremely serious.
He seems to be experimenting to see what he can get away with.
He knows that he punched you hard. He knows that it must have hurt by your reaction to the punches. He did it several times and so he did it on purpose and not by accident. (Do you have any bruises, by the way? Even faint ones?)
He DID mean to hurt you. (How could it have been accidental?)
He punched your back so your mutual friends couldn’t see what he was doing.
He denied what he had done to get you to doubt your own version of events.
He wouldn’t let you out of the car. He filmed you letting off steam by smashing bottles and he locked the door noisily.
Why did he film you? I can’t think of any benign reason for it.
He filmed you because he thought it was funny to see you so upset (and wanted to replay the moment time and time again) or he filmed you to send the video to someone else to have a good laugh at your expense or he filmed you to provide himself some ‘insurance’ so that if he punches you again you are the one who looks bad/crazy.
I confess to being a little worried about your safety.
If I were you I’d tell someone else such as a friend about the incident for your own ‘insurance’. Don’t keep your worries to yourself. Bring his behaviour out into the light.
I think you also need to pack a small case and go and stay with friends or parents to work out what you would like to do next.
If you are at all worried for your own safety then leave immediately.
Post # 14
confusedaf : I agree. I think that’s why I mentioned leaving because if I was in your situation, I can’t think what could actually make this right.
And it needs to be his proactiveness.
Post # 15
He put his hands on you in a way you didn’t like, you told him to stop and he didn’t. That’s a problem and he should apologize to you.