When is enough enough?

Written by Lynette Hoy NCC, LCPC

abusebyhusbandWhere do I start? My husband drinks too much, becomes angry, verbally abusive, sometimes slightly physically abusive. He has been this way for the last year. The occurrences have become more frequent (weekly) the last few months. I’ve tried talking to him and he keeps saying things will change and they don’t. When is enough enough? I’m at the point where I want out, but then he says all the right things and I feel like I owe it to the marriage to give it another try. We’ve only been married two years and there are no kids, but I never thought I’d end up in divorce. I’m 29 and would like a family. It’s so hard to want to start over but I’m not sure I have it in me to make this work.

Advice: It is truly time to put your foot down with your husband about the verbal and physical abuse. You need to tell him that you want to go to marriage counseling and want him to start working on substance abuse recovery such as attending counseling and/or AA meetings vs. going to the bars or drinking. Purchase the book What’s Good About Anger? so you and your husband can learn how to identify triggers for anger and how to turn anger into a gentle assertiveness, problem-solving, and forgiveness.

Also, consider how God can help you and how to know God personally. God can and will intervene and guide you in this marriage and personally. It is a step you can take before telling him he needs to move out. You need to let him know that you cannot allow him to verbally abuse or physically abuse you any longer. You must protect yourself. When it is obvious he is becoming angry or becoming verbally abusive, you need to call a time-out. Leave the room and come back together to talk about an issue when emotions have calmed down. If he becomes physically abusive, you need to leave the house to protect yourself or call the police. Read about codependency and setting boundaries, physical and mental abuse. May God bless you and guide you in this difficult time in your life and marriage.

©2004 by Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC

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