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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5839
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Do you think a marriage can survive domestic violence? We

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Do you think a marriage can survive domestic violence? We are newlyweds (10 months) and my husband has gotten physical with me on two occasions. He has broken my things. I am seeking help fo him but I wonder if I should really continue or just walk away while it's still early (we have no children) because this might not ever change. Can it really?

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

Yes, your marriage can change but your husband has to realize that he has a problem and take steps to fix it.

If you are in a domestic abuse situation, you are in a dangerous situation. It is one thing to argue a lot or to cheat, but domestic violence can easily escalate into causing great physical harm or even death. That is why most counselors and other professionals will recommend your first step be to leave immediately. And you should. If your husband is willing to harm you then he is willing to hurt you to the point of taking your life.

No one should have to accept being physically hurt. Abuse shows that the perpetrator cannot control their own emotions and lashes out to hurt someone else because of their own problems. Abusers will try to blame the victim, which makes it worse. It shows that the abuser has no insight into their own problems.

If your husband is willing to seek help, that is a good sign. Keep working on this issue. But in the meanwhile, you should either have him move out or you move out. Staying apart while you work on this keeps you safe and helps motivate him to work on recovery. Also, keep the phone numbers and helpline numbers nearby or on you at all times in case you should need help right away. Enlist the help of family members and trusted friends so you always have someone to turn to.

Educating yourself about domestic abuse can help as well. Here are some other resources to help you:

Healing the Trauma of Domestic Violence: A Workbook for Women (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) by Edward S. Kubany, Mari A. McCaig and Janet R. Laconsay

Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft

Domestic Violence Sourcebook, The by Dawn Bradley Berry

You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.

I hope this helps,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for your answer Kate.

In my situation though, the problem is that my husband has no other place to go since he came from his counry to live with me. He has no family, no friends. I feel that there are two options, either he stays with me while he gets help,or he goes back to his country which will most probably end in a divorce. In this case, do you still think we should separate? I realize that his situation of dependency is probably also a factor in this problem.


You are very welcome! I am glad to help.

I do think it is a good idea you separate. I usually do not recommend such a drastic measure, but in the case of domestic violence, it is about your safety and your life. Nothing, not even a marriage, is worth your life.

Yes, dependency is an issue. Dependency usually factors in in most domestic abuse situations and it is not uncommon. There is also the issues of fear, threats and other precipitating factors. This is why it is very smart you are getting out now, before there is a chance you are in too deep and psychologically cannot get yourself out.


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks again for your honest advice. I needed an independent party's opinion. I hope that our therapist will also suggest this so my husband can hear it himself.

You're welcome! I am here for you anytime. And I hope you do get the support you need from your therapist. I cannot see how they could not offer you support in such a situation.

Take care,