Hi, thank you for contacting Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X am a mental health counselor. When we are in an abusive relationship and have been told over and over that everything is our fault we begin to believe it. What I hear you saying is that even while you were dating he began to groom you to be submissive and for him to be in control. The violence is not about you, it is about him and his anger. He is an angry man and is looking for someone to take it out on. It sounds as though you are a kind and loving lady and he picked up on that from the beginning and chose you because he figured he would be able to control you. All that you are feeling is very normal, even the feeling you made a mistake and that things will get better. However, they will not get better until he gets some help. There is nothing you can do to make them better. The only thing you can do is what you are doing and that is to take care of yourself and of your children. It is very hard to walk away as you have, so many women cannot do it. So, please, instead of second guessing yourself for this brave thing you have done, be proud of yourself for stopping the abuse before he killed you or harmed your children. The other thing I want you to know is he may also try saying he is sorry, promising it will never happen again and he may sound sincere, however, it is just another plan to get you back under his control. Do not fall for it please. I would like for you to find a counselor you can talk with on a regular basis to assist you with seeing what the real issue is, which is him, not you and who can help you gain your self esteem and skills you need to let go of the guilt and pain and build a good life for you and your children. I hold great admiration for you and your courage and I do know how hard it is as I am not only a counselor, I am a domestic violence survivor who now has a wonderful life.
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In your experience do they really change if they get help? I have done everthing for him and basically my life revolves around him, but it looks like the more I give the more he wants. It is now to a point where I feel like I am crazy. In the month Jan 2012 and December 2011, I have left the house not more that 6 times, trying to avoid confrontations and accusations, basically pleasing him. The one time I left without asking for his permission he slapped and choked me. I feel trapped.
Sometimes they change, sometimes they don't. If they do change it is after some real counseling working on their issues with anger and whatever else it is that causes them to do what they do. You cannot help him or change him. You can only get the help you need to assist you in not feeling trapped and being able to move on to build a good life for you and your children. Please do not let this feeling of being trapped keep you from getting the help you need to rebuild your life and provide a good safe home for you and the children. Do you have access to a mental health counselor?
No I don't at this stage. I will start as soon as possible.
With protection order in place is it me or the margistrate that insists that he gets counselling?
It would be you. If there are charges filed against him they will also require him to get counseling. In the mean time please find a counselor for yourself to assist you with working through all of this. You are a brave woman but you need someone who can be there to encourage and support you mentally and emotionally. Please take care of yourself.
Yes I have laid a charge of assault against him as well and most definately I will get counselling myself, but I am afraid he is going to exhaust the medical aid fund like usual. Unless I cancel him, but I don't know if this is be legal at this stage. I am the one paying the contributions for the whole family.
I have previously insisted that he gets professional help (that is talking to someone ) but he said he doesn't have a problem and he is taking psychiatric treatment for depression, he takes anti-depressants and sleeping pills.