Domestic abuse.. Help?

My boyfriend and I currently live together and have been dating for almost 4 years. He is perfect. He is kind, sweet, attentive... Everything you could ask for, really. However, when we fight, we fight bad. Most of our arguments are resolved easily, but when our arguments get out of control... Everything gets out of control. Usually, when my temper rises, I attack him. I've hit him, and scratched him, and I always feel horrible afterwards. It's almost like I can't control my actions because my rage controls everything, and it's like the only way I can calm down is by hitting something. I've had a very abusive childhood, so being violent when angry is the only thing I know. And yes, I'm currently in therapy for it. The past year however, he's been violent towards me as well. For instance, if I insult him (during an argument) or push him, he'll push me back harder, drag me, slam me against the wall and he's even put his hands around my neck. Last night was the worst argument we've had. We exchanged hurtful words, and instead of attacking him, I began throwing things in our apartment to release my anger. I also threw a belt in his direction which hit him in the leg and then I grabbed his keys and said I would be back later. He immediately snatched the keys from my hand and started dragging me on the floor. I struggled back and he slammed my head on the floor as a means to stop me, and I burst out crying. He threw ice in my direction and then after yelling at each other, we managed to calm down by the end of the night and went to bed. I'm terrified. Not of him, but our anger -- mostly my anger issues. I don't want to leave him... Especially since I'm the one who attacks him first and I'm getting help for it, but I really don't know what to do. He has scratches on his body from where I attacked him and I have bruises from him. And I'm scared that we'll keep hurting each other. I don't want to lose him because he's such an amazing person (aside from the anger).

Updates:
Edit:

Just to clarify, we do not fight like this often. In the beginning, I would shut down and talk about the situation weeks later (extreme end of being cold and distant) and now I am on the other opposite extreme spectrum when it comes to my rage.

Over the course of our 4 years together, we've had maybe 5 bad fights like this one. Last night has been our worst, and hopefully last as I'm going to seek counseling today, I don't know if moving out is an option...
**moving out isn't an option because we have no place to stay separately (can't afford it)

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Most Helpful Guy

  • While reading, as I have had a very abuse-stuffed existence myself, I was thinking, well, why must some lives be like this?

    You should find the reasons of the fights, and solve all problems that originate them.

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    • Easier said than done, I think.

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    • No, I meant that finding the root of all problems is easier said than done. I've been going to therapy for years. Trust me, im trying.

    • Good luck. But the better thing it to fight much less.

Most Helpful Girl

  • Your relationship is toxic and unhealthy. Things are only going to escalate u til you both get your issues sorted out. My advice would be to live separately and break up while you individually seek the help you need to learn healthy relationship behaviours and how to control your emotions. Because of your childhood, there will be a lot you need to unpack and deal with before the real healing can begin so this is not going to be a quick process, but you simply cannot be in a relationship until you get your shit sorted out. The way the violence in York home has escalated so far, you are both endangering one another's physical wellbeing and eventually, one of you will do something that cannot be taken back.

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    • Moving out isn't an option because of financial circumstances, but I'm definitely figuring out how to get space from each other.

    • Do you not have friends or family you can stay with temporarily?

    • Unfortunately no, we just moved out of state for our jobs. We have no nearby family/friends yet and can't afford to live by ourselves in the city. We also can't leave our jobs

What Guys Said 12

  • Generally this kind of anger and escalation comes from both partners feeling like they're being treated unfairly.

    Relationships tend to spiral towards an end when partners *demand* fairness. Things will always never be quite fair, each person develops a narrative of their partner's actions and what upsets them. You could listen to both partners and both will be right and both will wrong.

    If you don't want to lose him, you have to learn emotional maturity and tactics to avoid escalating the situation. I used to be like this (not physically violent, but I would escalate and escalate the situation by being cold and distant).

    The way I found to gain control over my behavior was when I started making a very conscious effort to do the *exact opposite*. When I was so angry at a girl that I was tempted to call her a bitch, the last thing I wanted to do was hug her and gently tell her what was bothering me about her behavior.

    And that's what I managed to force myself to do one time. I was so angry at this girl, but I hugged her and calmly told her what was bothering me. After the first time I did this (it was so hard to force myself), I never got into relationships with women that were no longer quite peaceful. That's not to say I don't get angry sometimes, but I can de-escalate the situation to a point where there's nothing to be angry about anymore within a few minutes.

    If you can get the hang of this one time, it'll really help. Snuggle and hug when you're tempted to yell and punch.

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    • This was really helpful, thank you. I grew up with a very emotionally cold and distant dad and a very very violent mother. So the only two things I know to do are to a) distance and withdraw... Sometimes for weeks or b) escalate the situation by being violent.

      I'm going to consider some couples therapy, because I don't think I have that strength to do the opposite of what my entire body and mind tells me to do.

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    • True, I need to stop playing the victim. I really do think that's what has been hindering my progress for so long. Thank you for all your advice!

    • Good luck!

  • You will keep hurting each.
    neither of you two should be in a relationship right now, with each other or otherwise. you both have very serious abusive tendencies. you both need to work those out. being with each other is like putting a lit match and oil rags in a closet together, they are going to start a fire.

    until you two both can resolve your anger issues and abusive tendencies the relationship is going to continue to be toxic

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    • You're right, we definitely need help. If anything, my guilt over hurting him will be what ends the relationship

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    • are there friends one or both of you could stay with for a while as you two sort things out

    • Unfortunately not at this time. We just moved to an entirely different state for our careers. No family or friends nearby :/

  • I am a nerd and the amount of abuse that I received in school is palpable to you hopefully. I understand your problem well. Because when hurt or angry those past feeling just rise up and you realise that things were never fair for you. You feel messed up, being targeted for others fault! And I sympathise ! I suggest you take a break out of the relation! Do not break up or something! Just take a break or distance yourself a bit! And get on serious with your therapy! I know it helped for me! Your violent relation might ruin both your lives! I tried to commit suicide myself out of trauma and anger and the depression! Do not delve into this things! Sit down and talk maturely with your boyfriend and get a break! OK? Abuse is not the solution! You are making things hard for him too and you have no right to do it! So take a break that all I suggest!

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    • Thanks, you're so right. I have serious anger towards my parents which comes out during our arguments and I direct it at him.

  • Well you wouldn't have this problem if you weren't punching him and throwing things at him.

    If you don't control your own behavior, who will?

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  • I know you don't want to hear it, but look at the worst case scenario. You're both unfit for a relationship. My advice break up, and work on your issues. Only get into a relationship when you have dealt with your issues and feel ready. Alternative doesn't sound good, lets not ever get to worst case scenario.

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  • I'm always amazed by such amount of disharmony in a relationship. The hardest fight I had with my girl so far is that she got angry with me and then I left. Later on I apologized to her and everything was alright again. Seriously, I see hardly any real love between you two.

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    • Love varies from relationship to relationship. I grew up with the wrong kind of love, so you're right, maybe I don't know how to love properly. But I do love him in my own way, despite what you may think. My anger issues aren't towards him, but my past. And overcoming that is a lot harder than one may think.

    • I don't really remember what happened to my sister in the past, but today the whole family realized how bad the relationship to her (now) husband even started, and the parson mentioned the fights so damn often during the wedding ceremony, yet she doesn't get it.

  • You both need to go to therapy.

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  • You should write a book

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  • at least one of you should control rage and must try to resolve any argument. If it's going to be like present you two will get doomed.

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  • You both need help, like seriously.

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  • You both should go to couples therapy..

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  • Omg, this is scary. I think you guys need time away for a while. Woa

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What Girls Said 7

  • Man, this is a real bad situation. If y'all keep going this route, someone is going to end up dead and you may not think so but this will only get worse if something doesn't change NOW. Your getting help, but do you feel its helping you with your rage? Are they telling you ways to calm yourself as soon as you feel the rage and are you doing it?

    I don't see how anyone can stay with someone who hurts them physically but hey to each its own. This is not healthy and you know it. Sounds like no one wants to leave, but y'all should not be together if its to the point of abuse.

    Its only a matter of time when it goes too far.

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  • Does this happen especially in the week before you get yr period? (if you can remember the dates of the last few particularly serious incidents)

    ... or is it something that just seems to happen at totally random dates?

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    • Well it happened this week and I'm on my period. Our bad fights are spaced out though. Over the 4 years we've only had 5... All spaced out.

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    • *Thanks for the tactics

    • Good luck.

      And, as much as possible, WRITE DOWN how you are feeling, along with any self-discoveries you do make.
      If you and yr boyfriend are willing to write down honest, candid evaluations of each other, too (in terms of self-control, acknowledging each other's emotions/priorities, and so forth), that will also help.

  • Neither of you deserve to be in a relationship. You're not the only one that needs help, he does too.

    You both need to break up already. That's not a healthy relatioship and you should stop blaming your abuse on your past childhood years. You decide who you want to be once you're an adult.

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    • Im not blaming my actions on my childhood lol. I know that it's on me, no one else, which is why I've been going to therapy. But having been abused, provides a reason as to why I have toxic and unhealthy responses to anger.

    • It's good that you're going to therapy but I would also suggest you to break up and go to your separate ways. You can start dating again once you've solve your anger issues.

  • Both y'all need help

    Like seriously, go to therapy or counselling.

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  • You both sound crazy honestly. You both need therapy.

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  • Well, you acknowledge you have a problem. next thing to do is talk to someone about it.

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  • I was taught if you want to act like a man you get treated like a man. So if I put my hands on a mad I expect for him to hit me back. You know what I'm saying. Lady why don't you just leave when you get angry or just try to avoid the argument alltogether. if he starts arguing don't say a word.

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