Violence and Assaults
When you can recognize that what is happening to you is sonething that really shouldn't, it's time to review your escape plans and get out of that situation.

Dear reader,
Every once in a while I receive an email that quite literally scares me greatly.
This email is from a woman who moved a great distance for love. Uprooted herself and her son and ended up in a bad situation.

I hope she heeds my advice and I hope even more that if you are ever in this same position that you will also heed my advice and do what really needs to be done to stay safe.


Is he controlling or abusive?

Hi Rob,

I am suddenly very confused about my relationship with my husband. I have always believed in marriage as something that is “til death do us part,” but lately I am not so sure I can do this. Please, I need your advice as to whether or not I am in a bad spot and should think about leaving. Part of me thinks so, and then the other part of me feels like I am overreacting.

It began with a very short online dating relationship. We lived across the country from each other, but he would fly out to be with me as often as he could. My family loved him, and I really do believe that he made himself out to be something that he isn’t. He seemed so quiet and respectful. I think if I was perfectly honest with myself, even back then I knew he wasn’t the one. I never really felt comfortable with him being there, and when he would tell me that he hates the thought of leaving, I was secretly glad he was going. I was a single mother, and he was great with my son from day one. I guess part of me thought that if I was nearing 30 and a single mom, I should settle for whoever wanted me. Sad, I know.

He asked me to marry him only five months after we started chatting online, and two months after that, I moved across country to be with him, leaving behind all of my family. I know that I was stupid for doing that, but I guess I convinced myself that I was in love and that I would have the life I always wanted. Shortly after I arrived, though, I began to see my life was anything but ideal. He started off my yelling and screaming with his mother all the time they were together. I excused this by telling myself that he and his mother just don’t get along, and that it is no big deal. I worried that this behavior would then turn to me, though. We got married 4 months after I moved out here. At our wedding, he stopped mid-vow to yell at his mother for making a scene while crying. I was shocked, but kept going with my vows. Our wedding night was a disaster. I asked him to try to tone down his language in front of my mother, and that is when he started yelling and screaming at me. He yelled and screamed until I passed out from exhaustion. The next day, he was very sorry and swore it would not happen again.

It has…many times. If I talk to him about anything he doesn’t like, he starts yelling and screaming, sometimes throwing things. When I say I want out, he threatens that I will never be able to leave, and pointing out all the things that I am doing wrong and why everything is my fault. In the end, he cries and apologizes and begs me to stay. He even went through this whole anger-management course to “change” so I would not leave.

Every argument is the same. He blocks me so I can’t leave, towers over me, and says everything I am doing wrong. He has never hit me, but he has grabbed my wrists and pushed me. Yesterday, we were driving home after being with my son (who was hospitalized for three days) and we ended up getting into a fight on the highway. He braked in the middle of the highway, was bending my finger so that I was in pain, and when my son tried to stop him, he proceeded to call him names. When we got home, he took everything away from my son that he paid for, and even grabbed his wrists to push him out of the way so he could continue yelling at me.

Aside from his yelling, I feel so suffocated by him all the time. He calls me constantly when we are not together. He calls for such stupid things or to just find out what I am doing. He also has to know who I am talking to all the time, what I am doing online, or who I have been texting. He throws it in my face that he pays the rent, or pays for my phone, or other things. I just feel like I can’t take it any more!

I don’t know if I am in a bad situation, or if I just never loved him and can’t see myself with him for the rest of my life. What do you think? Should I stay or go? Is there anything to be concerned about here, especially with my child?

Thanks for your help!

Dear XXX,
You’ve been assaulted both physically and emotionally. So has your son.
This man is both controlling and abusive and he’s crossed the line into physically assaulting you and your son.

You need to be in a better place so you can make better decisions. If possible, go home for a family visit, take your son to see his grandparents.

This guy won’t change, he’ll just get worse.

Correct the mistake you have made, and choose one of the following:
– move out and begin your life anew, but in safety
– begin marital counselling and hope for better but live in fear

Normally counselling is as far as I will suggest to someone, but your position screams out at me that drastic action needs to be taken to keep you and your son safe. I really hope that you do have an escape method, somewhere to go and a way to get there safely.
Please keep in touch.

Best wishes,