Wedding Woes

Yes, this is abuse pt. II

Dear Prudence,

I just left my very short marriage after he said that he felt I was “asking him to hit me.” He normally does have a short fuse, but during our time living together prior to our wedding, he seemed to really try, and made big changes. After the wedding, not only did he start to shut down every conversation, he started to blame me for things I had little if any control over. He stopped doing what little he did around the apartment. We had fights every weekend, no matter how “good” I tried to be. I am normally anxious, and my first marriage ended in that husband choking me as my baby cried at him to stop. I admit that I take any threat very seriously.

This husband has finally said sorry, and we are texting. It has been hard, but I do want to make this work, yet I am not only skeptical, I am worried I am being naive. My family, friends, and coworkers who saw how bad I was at the end, before I left, do not want me to go back. I don’t want to go back to that either. I don’t really know how to sort out my anxiety, and legitimate fears. EVERYONE says to leave at a threat, but now that I have, I worry I overreacted. Abusive helplines say leave, but then without there being physical abuse, not many supports are offered. I feel like I am supposed to leave them for “real” victims, and that makes me feel like maybe I am the odd one? Yet even if not, how do I know he has changed, and how would this convince my loved ones to trust I am safe?

— Confused

Re: Yes, this is abuse pt. II

  • That was a threat!  If any relationship is going to work then he needs to tell her he recognizes what he did that was wrong and the steps he's taken to change and gain her trust.   
    MissKittyDangershort+sassycharlotte989875STARMOON44
  • Leave now. Your instinct is right. It will only get worse. 
  • It's funny sometimes how romantic feelings work.  Even putting the threat aside for a sec, everything else she talks about is how MISERABLE she was with him.  But yet, still wants to get back together with him.

    Maybe it would work...and that's a huge maybe...if they go to couples counseling and he also goes to anger management classes.  And he willingly wants to do all of that.  Not because it's an ultimatum for her to come back.

    Another red flag to me is that the LW's first husband was abusive.  I hate that this sounds like "blame the victim" because I don't mean it that way.  But people do tend to choose very similar romantic partners and keep doing that until they are aware of it.  And then make a conscious choice to avoid XYZ qualities that have previously been a problem and/or incompatible. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    VarunaTTMesmrEwe
  • ei34ei34 member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You were smart to leave.  I hate this phrase- or, not the advice, but how lazily it gets thrown around here, since it's so so so hard to find it, but I wish/hope this LW can find therapy to recognize signs of abuse and to find and raise their own self worth.  You are a "real" victim!
    mrsconn23banana468VarunaTTSTARMOON44
  • It's funny sometimes how romantic feelings work.  Even putting the threat aside for a sec, everything else she talks about is how MISERABLE she was with him.  But yet, still wants to get back together with him.

    Maybe it would work...and that's a huge maybe...if they go to couples counseling and he also goes to anger management classes.  And he willingly wants to do all of that.  Not because it's an ultimatum for her to come back.

    Another red flag to me is that the LW's first husband was abusive.  I hate that this sounds like "blame the victim" because I don't mean it that way.  But people do tend to choose very similar romantic partners and keep doing that until they are aware of it.  And then make a conscious choice to avoid XYZ qualities that have previously been a problem and/or incompatible. 
    Agree that sometimes people seem to be in a pattern of abusive relationships.  It's not their fault!  That said, it can be helpful to recognize what may be signs of an abusive partner in the same way that it can help for an interviewer to ask the questions of an applicant that help to filter out the BS.  
    VarunaTT
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