Hello, and thanks for visiting JA. I think it's fair to say that through counseling, some men can come to terms with the fact that their behavior is abusive, and then change it, but a large proportion do not. It is therefore impossible to predict how he will react. That said, he needs more than counseling. Let me something crystal clear to you - he hit you, and put his hands around your throat. Have you the slightest idea how little it takes to move from 'hands around the throat to a fatal incident, especially when someone is out of control. He needs to be brought up short.
First off, your husband needs to be confronted with your feelings about his behavior, and made to understand that, while you care for him his behaviour is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated, at least by you
He also needs to understand that that any continuation of this abusive behavior will have consequences. They need to be spelled out to him very clearly, with clear emphasis on the fact that they will apply immediately. Especially he needs to be told that if he ever threatens you physically again, or assaults you again – just once - that the police will be involved.
We humans only indulge in behaviour that brings reward of some kind. Only when that reward (whatever it might be) disappears, or the consequences of our behaviour promise to be unpleasant do we consider changing what we do. Stop indulging him. You don’t need counselling for his behaviour.
Here is the clue to sorting things out. When you are faced with non-co-operation – give him choices, and make sure they understand the consequences of his choice – and always follow through. If you don’t he will continue to take treat you the way he is doing just now.
Ask him too, what he is prepared to do to change his behaviour in future – tell him to research what might help him, what professional help he might get, and even consider a ‘contract’ between you. In other words, involve him in his own change, with a prospect of a small reward for success and dire consequences for failure.
However, don’t get angry, stay cool and in control, matter of fact and stick to the facts. Avoid drama.
I do feel that you would benefit from some individual therapy yourself, so that you are seeing ypur situation with as much clarity as possible, and for that reason, I’m going to suggest that you would benefit greatly from a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is a form of therapy that addresses problems in a direct and targeted way and is brief compared with most other therapies.
CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also cause the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.
These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.
If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted,
the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.
Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.
Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.
Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.
Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:
If you cannot afford to see a therapist, there are good free CBT based self-help resources here: