“He Beat Me Up, But I Still Agreed to Marry Him”

I am 25 years old and I have been with my fiancé for only six months. We immediately moved in with each other when we met as he was needing a surety (I know he sounds great already, doesn’t he?). He was caught with some bad people and he honestly was not really involved in what he was charged with (eventually the charges were dropped). He has a bad past but has his stuff together now, working a good job and we have a nice house we are renting.

I had never lived with a guy ever so it was a new experience. In the beginning it was rocky; I think he was cheating on me but I forgave him as it was only two weeks into meeting him this all happened. I continued to not trust him as he kept texting people on his phone while in the bathroom, would delete all his texts all the time — stuff that seemed suspicious. I eventually asked him to change his number so I could start to trust him again, which he did. Everything was going good for about a month until one night we both got very drunk and got in a heated argument — over nothing! I am 5’4 125lbs. and he is 6’2 260lbs. He got in my face and head-butted me when I was yelling at him, knocking me to the ground and cutting my forehead open. He then tore the phone out of the wall, smashed it, attempted to tear lights out of the walls, punch a hole in the wall. Twice he picked me up by my throat and slammed me down on the bed. He threw a cell phone at my head as hard as he could, ripped a necklace off of me, tore off his shirt (like the Hulk) threw me across the room, wouldn’t let me sleep (this started at 11:00 at night and he didn’t calm down until 5am) — he kept picking up the mattress and rolling me off the bed…it was a nightmare.

The next day I was ready to leave without telling him. I was considering making a plan when two days after the incident I found out I was pregnant. I was terrified, confused, and scared. I don’t believe in abortion so I was going to have it no matter what. I couldn’t leave him, though, as I had nowhere to go but I was planning out an escape plan. I kept telling myself to just stay calm until I finalized a good plan to leave, but not even a month later I found how I had a miscarriage.

When I found out I was pregnant and then when I had the miscarriage he was supportive. He was so caring and considerate. After the miscarriage I thought I would give him a chance. I love the way he looks at me, how he cares about me, and listens to me. He’s honest with me now, and I trust him now. We’re now engaged and things are well. My only issue is if he could physically hurt as bad as he did that one night, what would stop him again when he is really mad or drunk? He says he gets so worked up with me because he actually cares. He has a temper and when he snaps over nothing, he SNAPS. He throws things, punches walls, paces rooms — it’s scary. He does not scare me on a day-to-day basis, but when he snaps I feel scared.

What do I do? Seems like stupid question. I just question what if we have children and he behaves that way? I grew up with abusive parents, and I don’t want that for my children. I just don’t know what to do and would love your opinion. — Hesitant Fiancée

RUN. Run far and fast from this no-good scoundrel. Even if you hadn’t mentioned the beating he gave you, you listed so many red flags — his legal drama, his bad temper, the possible cheating and suspicious behavior, his booze-fueled rage, and his manipulative character — that staying with him would be like cozying up to a ticking bomb every night. He is going to blow up — and not just once. There is no “if” in this situation. This man WILL beat you again … and again and again and again for as long as you stay with him. He will likely beat any children you have together, and at the very least put another future pregnancy in grave danger if you stay with him. Please, please, please leave him immediately. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your future children. Don’t you want better for them than the way you grew up?

You don’t need some elaborate plan to leave this man. You just need a dose of courage and someone to call for help. Even if you don’t have a single friend or family member you can count on, there are hotlines you can call to speak to people who can help you get out of your situation. They can help you find a safe place to live and formulate a plan for continuing the rest of your life away from this man’s harmful reach. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). You can find additional information, resources and local numbers at their website, TheHotline.org (use a public/safe computer if you are concerned your computer usage is being monitored at home). Here is a link to state hotlines. Here is a link to state shelters for battered women. And here is a link to very important information and resources to keep in mind if you are planning to leave or even planning to stay.

Even if you feel like you don’t have the courage to leave today or this week or this month, please, at the very least, read the information I’ve linked to so you are better prepared to protect yourself in the future when your boyfriend beats you again. Have a support system in place. Memorize a list of emergency numbers to call. Have a code word you can use with friends or family for when you need help. Have a safe spot in your home you can escape to. Change the user names and passwords on your email and other secure accounts. Start saving for an emergency fund you can use to escape. And please get in touch with a domestic violence program in your area. Even if you decide to stay put for now — and I sincerely hope you don’t — they will give you the emotional support and counseling you need as you continue your relationship. Take care of yourself, but don’t do it alone. There are people who want to help you, so please let them.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.


  1. “My only issue is if he could physically hurt as bad as he did that one night, what would stop him again when he is really mad or drunk?”

    Nothing. If he couldn’t stop himself before, he certainly won’t magically stop when you are married or have children. And his violence goes way beyond having a temper or ‘snapping’ – if he snapped and lashed out once, that would be understandable (although not excusable). But beating you up throughout the night? For SIX HOURS? That’s not snapping, that is having serious issues that you really don’t want in a spouse.

    1. demoiselle says:

      He could have stopped himself. He just didn’t want to. And he won’t ever want to, because he is an abuser and gets too much out of being in control.

      1. Good point. I meant the same but maybe could have worded it better.

  2. Wow. Please leave this guy. Run as far as you can. If he has already showed you this much of himself after 6 months (!), you don’t want to see what else he has in store for when you’re already married and it’s even harder for you to get away from him.

  3. You need to get out of this situation, RIGHT NOW. Get out before he loses his temper again and perhaps does something worse – like forget his own strength and accidentally injure, or kill, you. His behavior is 100% unacceptable and it would be foolish to stick around. There are a number of great Women’s Shelters that will help you find a place to stay (many of them offer temporary housing) and make a budget so that you can live on your own. I’ve volunteered at a few such places, and everyone has been kind, supportive and extremely helpful. Please get in contact with one of these services in your area and run like the wind…before it’s too late.

    1. She did state he needed to move in with her within a few weeks… so maybe she can already even support herself. All the better if that is the case.

      1. demoiselle says:

        Or she could be in serious financial trouble because she can’t get him out of the house, and she can’t afford to pay rent/a mortgage for two places at once. She can’t trust him to pay for it/keep her credit good if she leaves. There may need to be a legal intervention. But a shelter may help with that, and no house is worth risking your physical wellbeing.

      2. There is a good chance you are right. I was hoping for the best for her though (obviously).
        But, no matter what your financial situation… get out sweetheart. Whatever sadness you may feel because you miss and love him, YOU WILL GET OVER IT. You have such a long, beautiful life ahead of you. Don’t let him be part of it for another minute longer.

      3. demoiselle says:

        I lost several thousand dollars getting rid of my abusive ex, and it was worth every penny.

      4. demoiselle says:

        Oh, and my mom, who seems the pinnacle of reason and sense, lost thousands of dollars to a con-man ex when she was in her twenties. She had to get a night job at a department store for a year and a half to pay back her debts from him. But she also insists it was worth it — and knowing she had been in this situation, too, made it easier for me to get out and not be ashamed to admit my mistake.

        Many of us have been in this position.

      5. Temperance says:

        It’s not as scary or involved as it sounds. In PA, she can have him out, legally, within 10 days if the judge finds that he’s injuring her or is a danger. Eviction of an abuser isn’t the same as an eviction of someone you just want to get rid of.


      6. demoiselle says:


  4. Wha…Wha…What?!?! If this is all really true, it’s so simple – get out of this situation as soon as possible.

    However, I’m really hoping this letter was sent to Wendy as a joke because I’m not sure how a relationship could get much worse than this. Well, actually I can, which is why the LW needs to get out ASAP if this is a real letter.

    1. BoomChakaLaka says:

      Not gonna lie, I thought the same thing. Not to be inconsiderate, but it sounded a bit over the top after the first paragraph…

    2. I considered it was fake, and even googled the letter and the email address and nothing came up. And then I decided that even if it was fake, there are probably women out there in similar situations and if they read this and my reply and your comments maybe something will click and they’ll get some help. It was worth it to post a potentially fake letter if there was even a small chance to help someone who might need help.

      1. Betty Boop says:

        Shoot! Hit the wrong button! I wanted to thumb that up so hard. There is a far too high percentage of chance that it could be real.

    3. fast eddie says:

      I hope the letter’s fake but if it isn’t or if someone out there is in a similar situation and wants to salvage the relationship for whatever reason, both of them desperately need therapy. Both of them must wholeheartedly participate and he in particular must actually want to change. Words can hurt and being drunk doesn’t excuse using them, but the severity of physical abuse will most likely get worse and no relationship is worth injury.

    4. Temperance says:

      You would be shocked at the things I hear every time I go into work for my internship. I had a woman come in last week whose abuser (on and off again boyfriend) did prison time for the number he did on her face. She had a permanent restraining order against him that expired … and she didn’t renew it, and instead had another baby with him. It happens.

      1. Thats terrible. My God. Its true, people latch onto spouses whether they abuse them or not all cuz we feel we are in ‘love’.
        I left out that this whole incident was at a motel, as well left out he not only would he not let me leave (from what I remember thats why he picked me up by my neck twice and threw me across the room to smash into an end table) but he wouldnt let me go to the washroom with the door closed, I had no where to go even if I did get out. I keep looking at the pictures of my two black eyes and swollan face I had for a month which seems to keep me on track as well. Its just so much shit happened in one night its hard to believe it. Its not like he hit me once and realized what he did wrong. He continued to do it. Man, I need a wake up call. Its bizarre reading out what I have written and actually thinking it happened to me. Sorry I keep going on and on and adding to the story its just like I said, a wake up call. I just forgave and forgot and tried not to think about it. It happened back in Feb/11. Ugh. Anyways, thanks again guys.

      2. it’s so great that you wrote in. It’s so illuminating when you have to explain things to other people as it makes you spell out in clear terms what actually happened.Thank you for saving yourself here- you will I’m pretty sure have made a few others look and think and re-evaluate their own situations.You are one brave woman, and everyone here will be thinking of you and wishing you all good stuff from now on. X

  5. BoomChakaLaka says:

    I don’t know if I am so quick to say “run” in this situation. If you are truly interested in seeing where this goes (even after what you’ve been through in six months, it is still way too early to say that), I would say slow things down a little bit. I would even recommend you guys not to live together to explore the relationship a bit more in a different light (it seems as though you guys got off to a rocky start). Usually Wendy throws the therapy card now, and I know it isn’t your responsibility to care for him, but again, if you are interested in the future of this relationship, I would also encourage him to get therapy and for you both to get couple’s therapy.

    I would also recommend not to get married until you are certain that you are ready to build a life with this guy. Nothing in your letter indicates any of his redeeming qualities or why you even said “yes.” Are you sure that you even want to be with him? These are questions that you should ask yourself before taking this relationship any further.

    Now if your heart/head isn’t in it, and you’re pretty “whatevs” about the situation, yeah, then I would say get out. Why put yourself through all that anxiety for someone you don’t even love/care about?

    1. Fairhaired Child says:

      I actually agree with the slow down and think part . Esp about moving out in different places, and thinking more about what it means to get married and if she’s ready for a life with that person.

      But I at this point its pretty much the fact that he’s so easily thrown her around like a rag doll and so easily destroys things and the fact that she admits that he easily snaps. This is not a safe situation or a relationship to be in. If she does want to pursue a relationship later with him, then fine but only if she HONESTLY feels he’s sought the help for his anger and has made significant changes to make sure that he doesn’t continue these trends in his life. For now though I think she should MOA and get the heck out of dodge.

    2. How can you be ‘whatevs’ about someone who “picked me up by my throat and slammed me down on the bed” TWICE ??

    3. demoiselle says:

      Therapy–individual or couple–is not usually effective for abusive men. Often, it makes things much worse, and the abuser succeeds in getting the therapist on his side and learns new ways to make his victim feel/look crazy.

      1. And the abuser takes it on his victim when they get home, because she spilled the beans to a third person, and she was not supposed to do that.

    4. SweetChild says:

      No offense intended, I can’t think of a nicer way to say this but ARE YOU MENTAL??? This isn’t a wait and see situation this is a you’re going to get hurt, possibly killed if you stay situation. No exaggeration, no joke. I’m 25 like the LW and am flabbergasted anyone would think this is a relationship that could be salvaged. This line “He says he gets so worked up with me because he actually cares.” That’s classic manipulation. This is how abusers get their victims to stay, by casting doubt in their minds that leaving is the right thing to do, and acting oh-so-loving until the next episode when the victim thinks this can’t be the same person, he will change and our relationship will be perfect. It’s not normal human behaviour to beat the living hell out of someone you care about. Caring means you want the best for them, that you want to protect them and keep them safe. LW, please get out NOW. Be brave, do it for yourself and every other domestic violence victim out there. You deserve someone who will care for you in the right way, and it’s NOT THIS MAN (and I use the word man in it’s loosest possible sense). You can do it! *hugs*

      1. I am glad you brought this comment up. This is one of the comments in the letter that stuck out to me and that I can’t stop thinking about. This man does not care about the LW, he wants to control the LW. As you say, when you care about someone, your SO particularly, you want to keep them safe and healthy.

      2. demoiselle says:

        He might “care” and he might genuinely believe he “loves” the LW, but his idea of love is twisted. He will care and love as long as she is doing exactly what he wants (even though he won’t ever be able tell her what that is and can never be satisfied). Then, he will be filled with rage when she doesn’t fulfill his fantasy. The fantasy he controls is in fact what he loves and cares for–not the real woman. That real woman is inconvenient, and she will get beaten for it.

        That is not love. But his own belief in his “love” may make him very convincing. That’s why you have to judge him by his actions, and not his words.

        People who love and empathize with you do not beat you.

    5. sarolabelle says:

      so you are saying it’s okay for people to beat you if you love them?

    6. Princess Bananahammock says:

      Boom Chaka Laka – are you a troll? I just can’t even imagine someone giving the advice you’ve just given. If you’re a troll, you are really sick. The letter writer is obviously not thinking clearly, and she needs to see that everyone else who isn’t entangled in her situation knows that she needs to LEAVE.

      I’m so sick of people saying, “oh, but I love him/her” so I can’t leave despite all of the red flags. “Love” is not a feeling in your belly. That is obsession or lust or codependency or insecurity. LW, your partner NEVER has a reason or excuse for putting their hands on you. That’s not your fault. But, no one is going to take responsibility for your happiness and safety but you. Get over your “love” for him, and start making responsible decisions for yourself. If you don’t, he will continue to beat you and possibly kill you.

    7. Please re-read this:
      “He got in my face and head-butted me when I was yelling at him, knocking me to the ground and cutting my forehead open. He then tore the phone out of the wall, smashed it, attempted to tear lights out of the walls, punch a hole in the wall. Twice he picked me up by my throat and slammed me down on the bed. He threw a cell phone at my head as hard as he could, ripped a necklace off of me, tore off his shirt (like the Hulk) threw me across the room, wouldn’t let me sleep (this started at 11:00 at night and he didn’t calm down until 5am) — he kept picking up the mattress and rolling me off the bed…it was a nightmare.”

    8. BoomChakaLaka says:

      WOW, No I am not a troll (I’m actually a pretty frequent commenter here on Dear Wendy) and I’ve only been called mental in jokingly. Sorry that not one person agreed with my thoughts, but I was just offering a different perspective.

      Eep, this is the harshest I’ve ever seen DW commenters.

      1. demoiselle says:

        It’s probably because we perceive the stakes as especially high with this LW.

      2. Probably because you’re suggesting she stay with her abuser, which is the WORST ADVICE EVER.

      3. Guy Friday says:

        I’m not dinging your comment, because the point’s been made. And I’m well aware that you’re not a troll, and you and I have agreed on a lot of other threads. But just reread your initial comment, Boom, and ask yourself this question: if your sister/best friend/cousin/etc. came to you and told you the story exactly as this LW did, would you necessarily be advocating for patience and giving the guy a chance to get therapy alone and with her?

        If you’ve seen my other comments here, you know that I’m usually the one saying “Well, look at it from the other side.” And I appreciate that your concern is for trying to find ANY way to salvage this relationship. But, look, my whole career is in the criminal justice system helping people — especially criminal defendants in domestic violence situations — get the mental / substance abuse / emotional care they need to fix these kinds of problems, and I’m proud to say that a good number of the people I’ve helped HAVE been able to become better fathers/husbands/boyfriends to the women that they love. And when I read most of this letter — the property damage, the knocking her down, even the mattress tossing — I thought, “Well, maybe this guy has issues that can be fixed.” (And before you jump down my throat, other readers, please note that I’m saying I THOUGHT it. As in to myself.) But you know what part scared the crap out of me, the part that honestly makes me agree with everyone that this woman needs to RUN and not try to salvage the relationship? The line about his lifting her up by the throat twice and slamming her down. The LW says she’s 125 pounds, but let’s assume this is a fantasy world where women round up their weight, and call her 120. Think about just how much force is required in your arms and chest to lift a flailing 120 pound person up by their throat and then throw them back down again. I don’t know that I could even do it to a reasonably-sized child, let alone an adult. And even if you argued that adrenaline could allow someone to do it once, the fact that it happened twice means that it wasn’t some “so angry my mind goes blank and I just react” kind of thing. It means he did it, actually processed what had happened, and did it again. 10 seconds later, 10 minutes later, 10 hours later . . . it doesn’t matter. He did it again. And that kind of force could have snapped her windpipe, temporarily paralyzed her, broke a major vein. In short, it wasn’t an act of a man out of control; it was an act of a man with genuine malice for her. And the fact that he had genuine malice is enough for me to encourage the “get her the hell out of there” party line.

        I don’t do the “throw the commenter under the bus” thing, and I don’t agree with everyone doing it to you by calling you a troll. But I do agree with them that it’s just very hard to see how you could look at that letter and suggest she wait in the hopes this is fixable. Even if it might be somewhere down the road, she shouldn’t be the one to suffer in wait for it.

      4. Princess Bananahammock says:

        Yeah. Sorry, I didn’t mean to be harsh. I was just pretty upset by anyone giving the LW any reason to think this relationship was okay. I’ve been there. I’ve been so blind to think that an abusive guy really loved me, because no one had ever shown me love before. I’ve learned to demand more for myself. Reading LW’s letter, it didn’t seem to me that she was really going to leave and that she would seize upon your comment as justification for staying. The stakes are just really high and I don’t think there is any room for equivocation.

  6. honeybeenicki says:

    Oh LW, please please please get out of this relationship! This struck me in the last paragraph…
    “I grew up with abusive parents, and I don’t want that for my children.”

    If you don’t want that for your children, then DON’T marry this guy. Don’t spend one more day or night with this guy. Just DON’T. You KNOW he is abusive. I have a feeling there may have been little things (did he ever emotionally or verbally abuse you before this?) otherwise this man is even more scary. Most abusive people do not jump straight to beating the hell out of their victims. They generally start with emotional or verbal abuse, controlling behavior, etc. My guess is he’s done this before to other people. If you stay with this man, I guarantee you it will happen again. And like Wendy said, it will likely happen to your kids if you have them together. I can’t think of one single reason why you should give him a chance. Once he put his hands on you, that overrules any “caring and considerate” behavior.

    1. That got to me as well. That is why I SO stress that what is happening is not normal, even if may have been normal for the LW at one point in her life (as a child). Continuing the cycle is heartbreakingly common, but so vital to change.

      1. demoiselle says:

        Yes, it is hard to appreciate that to many people, being abused feels “normal” and is an expected part of a relationship. Please listen to those of us who are repeating that this is nothing like normal–no one who loves you should or could treat you this way, LW.

    2. SweetChild says:

      Absolutely. Everything you said is so SO true and SO important. Deal-breaker doesn’t even seem like a strong enough term for abuse, one time is once too often. If it happens you’re out, it’s over and you should be gone. That’s my view anyway.

      1. honeybeenicki says:

        I was in an abusive relationship as a teenager. Fortunately for me, my mom didn’t buy the “I fell” and whatever she said to my boyfriend at the time made him go away and leave me alone forever. I was really upset at first because I believed him when he said he loved me and when he claimed he only got so upset because he cared about me, but as an I adult I am truly thankful that my mom was there to do that.

  7. Fairhaired Child says:

    What’s with all the LWs with getting involved in something so drama filled so early in the relationship? If someone needed to move in with me asap because of legal reasons, and I did not know them hardly at all etc, I would NOT (even after the legal stuff was dropped) think “well this could be a relationship actually”. He obviously entered into your life because he needed to USE you for something. Then later used you for a punching bag.

    IMHO This was never a real relationship to him, he may have started acting better after the idea of a future child was raised in his mind. He probably was cheating on you or at the very least chatting up other ladies and hiding it from you -but why wouldn’t he? in his mind he had a free ride with you with no prior promises or commitments to you. Only after he was like “shit I made her have a miscarriage pretty much” did he want to commit more to you (marriage).

    Plus if you do stay with him, even if he never hits YOU or your future CHILDREN – he will still hit other things and you will be spending a pretty penny trying to always fix up the messes he makes and replacing the things he brakes.

    I understand finding out that you were pregnant and then loosing that child in a miscarriage must have been a horrible experience – and you may have felt that you both bonded over the loss. But just because someone that your in a relationship is there while you go through a bad experience in life, and supports you at that time, it does not mean that that person is the best person for you to remain with. Its really hard for people to MOA from any kind of relationship (friendship or otherwise) when they have gone through something dramatic and have those emotion-filled memories tied to that particular person.

    Please please please read the stuff that Wendy gave you, and get out of there before more potential harm happens to you, and before he feels the right to have more claim to “you”. Men who are like that are most likely going to see you as a piece of property that is best for sex and popping out babies, and they will control you because that ring means that you are THEIRS and its up to them to decide what happens to you.

  8. Get out. Get out now, as far away as you can.Don’t give him a reason, or a cent of your money or one more minute of your time.
    He could have all the redeeming qualities in the world, but being a good partner is not one. He committed a crime against you. He assaulted you. He is not going to be good at being in a relationship with you, however good a guy you think he is in other respects.
    Personally, I don’t think he sounds like a good guy, but railing against him won’t help you make this decision. Just think of yourself. You deserve to not be scared of your partner. Being scared isn’t normal, or acceptable. What is normal is having the arguments with words. Even when someone is very angry, most people do not hurt the people they love. Most people do not hurt people at all. Its called control, and humanity, and we all deserve it.

  9. demoiselle says:

    There is absolutely, positively no doubt about what you need to do: get as far away as you can from this man as fast as possible, and be ready to get a restraining order or to move beyond his reach. He is DANGEROUS. Any abuser is bad news, but one who beats and tortures you (denying sleep is a kind of torture) like that the FIRST TIME, and who has already moved into your home and gotten you pregnant within six months, is SUPER DANGEROUS. This man might very well be the stalk-and-murder kind of abuser. If he isn’t that, he is someone who will ruin your life for many years. I’m not going to sugarcoat this. Forgiveness and second chances have no place here. You need to save yourself.

    1. demoiselle says:

      And if you have any PETS, get them OUT of your house NOW. Bring them to friends, bring them to parents, bring them to an animal shelter even if it means that you’ll never see them again. This man very likely will threaten, abuse, or kill your pets to control you.

      1. HolsteinHoney says:

        A good point about the pets! The humane society I volunteer at has a program for helping women temporarily house their pets with foster families while they try to get out of dangerous situations. I think they will keep them about 6 months, completely anonymously for the foster families’ safety. I was thinking of doing this once I have an apartment that allows animals.

      2. demoiselle says:

        And this guy seems a prime candidate for animal abuse to control the LW. My emotionally abusive ex had my ferret and was living in an apartment in my name in a different city when we broke up. I am almost 100% sure he would never have even considered hurting her, but it was CHILLING when he got me on the phone and browbeat me for twenty minutes, leaving me sobbing, telling me how angry he was, and then abruptly shifted the topic to how he’d been holding my (very tiny, two-and-a-half pound) ferret just a few minutes before.

        I don’t think he even consciously registered the threat he was making, but it was very effective. I had to travel back to my home-city and “kidnap” my ferret while he was at work before I could continue the process of evicting him and breaking up.

      3. applescruff says:

        That’s a really good point, the pet issue is one that keeps a lot of women from leaving abusive partners.

    2. demoiselle says:

      And I know I always post this, but it is really just so good and illuminating: Lundy Bancroft, “Why Does He Do That? Inside the Mind of Angry and Controlling Men” — you get the kindle application for your computer and read it that way, or get the book from the library.

      This is a matter of survival.

  10. silver_dragon_girl says:

    LW, I feel like you know exactly what you need to do, you just wrote in for a kick in the butt to get you out the door. Well, here it is. GET OUT GET OUT NOW.

    You have only been with this guy for 6 months. He has cheated on you, liked to you, and physically abused you. In the first 6 months. This is your honeymoon period, you know. If this is the “best part” of your relationship, what on earth do you think it will be like years from now?

    Leave him. Right now. You’re young, and you don’t have too much invested in this yet (except living with him). If you’re scared, take it from me, there are very few possessions you own that you can’t live without. Don’t worry about that stuff, you can come back for it later, with friends (preferably large, male friends, if you have any), while your bf is gone. Throw some clothes and toiletries in a bag, take all your important paperwork (ID, car title, insurance info, any bills in your name) and leave.

    There is absolutely NO reason to stay in this relationship any longer.

  11. BigRedYouSay? says:

    What really scares me is that she was willing to subject a child to this man. She got pregnant and DECIDED TO STAY, for chrissakes. LW, my stepmother’s father was extremely abusive. He once punched so hard her kidney loosened – and her mother was too scared to take her to the doctor. She was three years old at the time. If you do decide he’s worth the pain and fear (although I sincerely hope you realize it’s only going to get worse), please don’t have children by him; even if you left him he would still have visitation rights, and would be a permanent part of your life.

    You don’t deserve this treatment and it is NOT a sign of “how much he cares”. Please leave him, and get some counselling so you don’t end up in that type of relationship again. Good luck.

    1. Miscarriages are a tragedy, but I think that was God’s way of telling her “you should not have children with this man.”
      **Disclaimer**Of course, I believe in God, idk if the LW does & I’m certainly not trying to impose on anyone. Just my opinion!

      1. demoiselle says:

        I don’t know about God being involved, but it is a second chance for the LW. Having a baby with this man will mean that you will have trouble ever getting away from him, because you’ll be tied through the child.

        This is a prime case for reproductive abuse (poking holes in condoms, flushing pills, pushing the LW to become pregnant). On top of everything else that responders are suggesting to the LW here, I suggest going to Planned Parenthood and getting a depo-provera shot. That will give you three months when you will be very unlikely to get pregnant, and it is a method that neither you nor he can easily sabotage. And there will be no internal or external evidence that you are trying to prevent a pregnancy.

      2. Well that’s why I added my disclaimer. I believe God was involved, but I know not everyone does, guess some people missed that.

  12. I just recently read in a magazine (one of those women’s mags, I can’t remember the name because I was just perusing through it at the car dealership while getting my oil changed) about a “new” kind of domestic abuse emerging: reproductive control. Men who control their SO’s ability to have children (either by continuously getting them pregnant, hiding their birth control, manipulating them into getting abortions after getting them pregnant, etc) all as a form of abuse and control. This boyfriend reminded me of that article when he flipped the personality switch after he heard about your miscarriage. Suddenly you almost brought his kid into the world and that made him care about you? If you stay with this guy, not only will he continue to verbally and physically abuse you, but you may just find yourself in an endless cycle of pregnancies because it is another way he can keep his thumb on you. You definitely don’t want to bring this dude’s kids into the world. You don’t want to spend another moment of time in his presence. GO GO GO GO GO GO GO

    1. Ugh. I have seen this one in action. My friend married the most disgusting piece of humanity I have ever encountered (made worse by the fact that he pretends to be some religious prodigy). He wouldn’t let her take birth control, citing his right as her husband to make the final decisions. Now she is pregnant. I would feel really awful for her, but she walked with eyes wide open into the worst relationship. It’s her daughter that I really feel for.

      1. honeybeenicki says:

        Holy cow. I forget that there are people out there that still go with the “I’m the husband so I make the final decision” idea.

      2. demoiselle says:

        There are lots of people who do. And there are whole churches (and other religious and social groups) where that is the expected norm. And in some of those mini-cultures, an abused woman who reaches out for help will be told that she is the problem, that she must submit, that if she were doing it right, her relationship would work. Such communities are often insular and isolated–so the woman seeking help may never get the message that she needs to get out. She might be convinced that anyone outside her circle is evil or corrupt. That’s why the internet is so helpful in breaking down barriers.

        Some relationships which follow this patriarchal model work and are very functional. But they work because the individuals in the relationship are functional and healthy. With unhealthy or abusive men, it is a terrible trap. Those who are in a relatively functional patriarchal family may not even understand why it works for them and not for that poor woman over there . . .

  13. GET AWAY! NOW! Before this guy seriously harms or kills you the next time he can’t control himself (and there will be a next time).

  14. Thank you all so much for your advise. I really do appreciate it. Its motivation and reassurance that I am not being over sensitive about that one particular situation. My letter is not fake, I reaallly wish it was. Hard to imagine isn’t it. It does not even feel like it happened to me. I am not scared of him on a daily basis…..it’s just when he starts yelling and pacing the room and punching stuff and smashing stuff. Its terrifying. Its hard to understand why I am still with him, he really is an amazing person and treats me very well on a daily basis which I know sounds so dumb after what I said above. I agreed to marry him because I felt if I said no he would take it the wrong way and I know he would have. He is so sensitive like that he would not understand. I know from what i said about the one evening he sounds like a real piece of work, who in their right mind would stay with someone like that? I look stupid to most people I realize that. I really do love him, we get along so well, he is so easy going most of the time and I love being with him. I guess because before him I had a 4 year relationship of an emotional psychotic abuser. I am talking text book abuser which I didn’t realize how bad he affected me until after I broke it off with my ex. When I met my fiancee he seemed amazing because I was so used to something worse (I know, imagine worse then what I described above). It’s scary though he has not been emotionally abusive, never called me a name, never jealous or controlling. It was out of the blue this all happened. I have a counselling appointment today with the Women’ s Shelter. Again, thank you all for your concerns, support and advise. I appreciate all the input. I will be ok 🙂

    1. SweetChild says:

      Hey LW, first of all I think you deserve a hug and moral support so here you go *cyber-hug*! Second, the thing about this guy is that even though he seems so awesome when he’s not beating you up, he’s no different to any other abuser. They always seem like normal okay kinds of people most of the time, that’s why no-one else figures out what’s going on. And why their victims stay for so long, because in your mind since you love him it seems like the good could possibly outweigh the bad. But from an outside perspective, here’s the thing. It’s never just once. It might be years before he snaps again, but he will. No doubt. It sounds like you’ve never been in a non-abusive relationship so I can understand why you’re trying to justify still being with this person, but there is better out there. There are SO MANY good men who would shudder at the thought of anyone treating you as less than human. Please, leave this malfunctioning specimen and find one that isn’t on a time-bomb to short circuit!

      1. *Cyber hug* lol Awww thank you so much SweetChild. I never thought I could get so much moral support on the internet. I appreciate it!

      2. SweetChild says:

        You’re most welcome LW, it’s sometimes astounding that people you have never met and probably never will meet care and want you to have the best life you can have and be with people who appreciate you for who you are! Just think when you need a morale boost or a courage shot that there are people all over the place who wish you only the very best. 🙂

      3. My ex said it would never happen again, but each and every time he beat me was worse than the last time. Significantly worse. He is never going to stop unless he ~wants~ to stop (and seeks therapy and actively tries to participate and get better) and even if he wants to stop it is very hard for him to do so. Just because you love him doesn’t mean there aren’t other people out there to love. Ones who won’t beat you.

      4. demoiselle says:

        Abusers like this are almost untreatable. It is better not to hope that any promise of therapy will lead to real, long term change. Almost all the time, it will just be a method of pulling the victim back in.

    2. demoiselle says:

      LW, I don’t think you look stupid. I lived with an abuser myself, though it was all emotional and not physical. I know the wonderful side of a man like this too. It makes them so hard to give up on! Abusers have to be extra-wonderful when they aren’t abusing, or they’d have no one to control. You must not believe that is the “real” them, and that the monster is someone different. The monster is the real one (that’s who he is on the inside), and the nice person is a means of keeping you nearby. That doesn’t mean he isn’t (as far as he is concerned) in earnest when he’s being nice. But that nice part is not the biggest part of him–that’s what’s there while he’s successfully smothering the rage, which will burst out again and again.

      Please remember that the pacing and yelling is terrifying because it is a form of intimidation. It is not him being angry but refraining from abusing you–it is actually abuse, too, because he’s keeping you in a state of fear and therefore under his control.

      I am glad you are hearing our words and have that appointment. I wish you luck.

      1. I never thought of that, that abusers have to be so extra-wonderful. Your absolutely right. Its hard to understand unless you have been there and I am happy you are not with your abuser now. Thank you so much for your reply.

      2. demoiselle says:

        LW, I am not only not with my abuser, but I am happily married to the kindest, most gentle, most generous man I have ever met. We’ve been together for four years, and have never had an angry fight, he has never emotionally abused or intimidated me, and he’s never laid a finger on me. You could be telling the same story as I am in a few years.

      3. Rachelgrace53 says:

        I love hearing of such turn arounds, especially since I was in two abusive relationships in a row and I know how awful it is. And now I am with a genuine sweetheart who would never dream of abusing me. LW, we are testaments that you too can find a wonderful man who is gentle and loving ALL of the time, not just sometimes!

    3. I’m so glad you have an appointment at the shelter. Keep going and get this man out of your life. Good luck. *hugs*

    4. Temperance says:

      LW, please read my comment below. You can get him out of your home and life. I’m scared for you, but I’m happy that you are getting counseling. Best of luck to you.

    5. “I agreed to marry him because I felt if I said no he would take it the wrong way and I know he would have.”

      You should never agree to marry someone, let alone because you are afraid of their reaction. You should WANT to marry someone because you love them & you know in your heart that’s the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.
      Is this the person you want to spend the rest of your life with?

      “Iam not scared of him on a daily basis…..it’s just when he starts yelling and pacing the room and punching stuff and smashing stuff.”

      You should NEVER be scared of your S/O. Your S/O is supposed to bring you peace, safety, happiness, care, not FEAR. I get into fights with my bf, hell even drunken fights, but we’ve never turned to physcial violence, not even VERBAL abuse to get our points across.

      LW, I am very worried ab you, but you are showing the typical profile of a victim of abuse. Please don’t be a statistic! There IS a better life beyond this disgusting pig you call a bf. There IS a man out there that WILL NOT beat you when he is upset, not even when he’s drunk & upset! Get out before it’s too late & you’re in the hospital or dead! THIS IS YOUR LIFE!!

      1. Your right. Absolutely right. I am so used to being with someone and watching my parents intimidate me it just seems normal. Its not though, I have to keep telling myself that. Thank you so much.

      2. SpyGlassez says:

        LW – you should read Gavin de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear.” Someone else also mentioned “Why Does He Do That?” – that is another good one.

      3. tinywormhole says:

        YES! “The Gift of Fear” is a great book for anyone, I think everyone should read it as it presents many types of situations which any one of us could find ourselves dealing with someday (stalkers, workplace violence, etc.) as well as discussing predictive behavior of abusive spouses. The point of the book is to educate you to be able to predict future actions from current behavior, which can be lifesaving for someone like the LW. The author, Gavin de Becker, is an abuse survivor himself. He strongly advocates using battered women’s shelters as the first resource for a woman who needs to escape. The reason is that their first priority is ensuring that your abuser does not have access to you, and they will help you to move on with your life without your attacker ever finding you.

        Best of luck to you, LW. It is great to hear from the women who have experienced abuse in the past, and left it behind only to find real, true love with a man who would never dream of hurting them. This will be you too!

      4. demoiselle says:

        There are in fact many men out there that won’t beat the LW.

        But she may have a very hard time finding them, because she hadn’t yet learned the cues for recognizing an abuser, and she isn’t aware of when she’s being “tested” as a potential victim. There are resources which can help a person learn these things and therefore protect herself in the future.

        In short, there is nothing wrong with the LW which makes her vulnerable or deserving of this abuse (not that you were suggesting that, LTC039). Some of us were just luckier in learning to recognize the warning signs, and some of us were unluckier in meeting an abuser. In the end, it is the abuser who is 100% (100%!!) to blame.

      5. I know, I was just trying to get my point across because since I don’t personally know the LW, I was very eager to get her to listen! I def. can understand feeling trapped by “love” in a relationship you know deep down is wrong. I’ve never been physically abused but my ex was verbally abusive.
        I couldn’t leave him either, finally he broke up with me & I thank him SO much for that!
        Look, I know someone that was in a relationship with this guy she loved very much. He was great (or seemed so), on paper & in person. One day (after a pretty lengthy amount of time into their relationship) they got into an arguement & he punched her & knocked her to the ground. (He was a karate expert). She got up & walked out the door & never looked back. He tried & tried to apologize but she said “no,” & stood her ground.
        LW, you can do this! One time is too many! You deserve to be happy & safe. I’m really happy you listened to my advice & I hope you get the courage to stand your ground. Think back at how you grew up & break the cycle! Make a name for yourself, I know you can. We’ll be here to help you!

      6. demoiselle says:

        Your advice was very good. I just try to combat the idea that abusers are just out of control whenever I see it … It seems to me that it is an important point to remember, and since it is a bit counter-intuitive and definitely goes against the “common wisdom” it needs to be repeated.

      7. demoiselle says:

        Oops, replied to the wrong thread.

    6. Princess Bananahammock says:

      This appointment at the shelter can be your first step in making healthy choices for yourself. It sucks that he isn’t the person you’d hoped he was. And it is painful to face that. Go ahead and be sad about that loss. Mourn it. But recognize that you NEED to leave. People only treat you as well as you make them. Right now, he’s essentially asked you: “hey, is it okay if I beat you?” And your response was: “yeah, I’m okay with that.” The only way to show him that it isn’t okay and make sure that it won’t happen again is to leave. I’m sure the shelter can also advise you on obtaining an order of protection. You may well need one.

      Stay strong. We’re all thinking of you and hoping for your safety.

    7. I’m going to give you a little piece of advice from my mother after she walked out on my dad with 7 kids(all under the age of 12) and no high school education after spending 12 years in an abusive marriage:

      The first time a man hits you is the hardest but anytime after that will be easier for him because he now knows how you will react to the abuse.

    8. I am glad to hear that you have an appointment.
      I have been through the abusive, controlling husband shtick and I can tell you that when they fly off the handle and break things and yell and pace the floor they are not being “sensitive”, this is the emotional component of the physical abuse you have already tasted. Emotional abuse doesn’t necessarily show itself through name calling, jealousy or controlling behaviour — if you feel you cannot turn him down for something (sex, marriage, letting him live with you) because he would fly off the handle, he’s controlling you.
      You might “get along well” but he does NOT treat you well if you have to ever become afraid of how he is acting! Just because it isn’t every day does not mean that it is not real abuse. Abuse is manipulation and control, and he does not want to lose control.
      PLEASE PLEASE detail to the shelter what you wrote here. Please take your safety seriously. Move on, do not have contact with him, press charges, and hopefully find someone who truly treats you well, not just most of the time except when he’s angry. You deserve better.
      And if you do get pregnant you CAN raise a child without him… its actually easier to raise a child alone than in an abusive marriage.

    9. I don’t think you have recovered from your previous bad relationship.Hopefully your counsellor will help you through that. You don’t sound dumb. Lots of very smart people get caught in abusive relationships.It’s more of a prize for a psychopath to wreck an intelligent woman- more of a challenge.This one may lack some of the worst aspects of your bad ex but he sounds like an abuser all the same, intimidating you even when not actually physically hurting you, because wall-smashing is scary and he knows it. He may be sensitive towards himself and may shed crocodile tears of remorse but I don’t think he’s capable of acting sensitively towards you on any real level. Imagine yourself with him after months of sleepless nights with a crying baby…
      Also, if you really want to help HIM, and I think you do, and if you won’t leave him for your own sake, then leave him for his.If, every single time, without exception, this man attacked a woman, she instantly left him, and stuck to it,perhaps there is a small chance that he might learn and change. It’s horribly sad but true that once he has hit you (over something trivial)he will definitely do it again, and worse. And worse than what he did last time will see you in hospital at the very least. A man who slaps you when he finds you in bed with his brother is temporarily distraught- a man who tortures you over nothing much is seriously disturbed. I know you want to help him, but there honestly is only one thing you can do for him, and that is to leave him.Stay with female friends for a time if you can. Good luck.The rest of your life will be more amazing than you can think of right now,you will have saved a life(your own), and you will have given him the best and only help you can.

  15. “He got in my face and head-butted me when I was yelling at him, knocking me to the ground and cutting my forehead open. He then tore the phone out of the wall, smashed it, attempted to tear lights out of the walls, punch a hole in the wall. Twice he picked me up by my throat and slammed me down on the bed. He threw a cell phone at my head as hard as he could, ripped a necklace off of me, tore off his shirt (like the Hulk) threw me across the room, wouldn’t let me sleep.”

    I am quoting you word-for-word what this “man” has done for you. Now take all that he did to you, and imagine that he did that to the child you miscarried. Would you tolerate such violence in the life of the child you conceived? I don’t think you would LW, because you can’t even bring yourself to have an abortion since it is not what you believe. So why do you want to subject your body, and the womb for your future children, to this poor excuse of a man and his violent tendencies? If you can’t bring yourself to leave him for YOU, please leave for the children that you want to raise someday. No child, no matter the level of existence, deserves to have such a despicable, violent maniac for a father in their life.

  16. sarolabelle says:

    I was going to like this one to post it on my facebook….what happened to the like button?

    LW – RUN!

  17. ugh, whats to think about? i’ll i have to say is, if you do plan on having kids, do not have them with this guy! at least do that much.

  18. Quakergirl says:

    A guy who loves you, cares about you, and wants to spend his life with you would rather die than see you be harmed that way. A guy who cares about you doesn’t pick you up by the throat and slam you down. He doesn’t split your forehead open. He doesn’t tear your necklace off you. He doesn’t break your possessions. And when he sees he’s even accidentally caused you any physical or emotional pain, he apologizes profusely and sincerely. He doesn’t claim that he intentionally hurts you because he loves and cares about you so much. That’s not love, that’s abuse.

    We always say that abusive relationships don’t start out that way, but yours did. That speaks volume about how out of control he is. This guy literally cannot control himself. He will beat you again. He will beat any children you have together. This is who he is– a guy who can’t stop himself from beating the crap out of you.

    That you stayed with him and seem to be seriously considering marrying him probably means you still have some issues from growing up with abusive parents– and understandably so. Addressing those issues is so important, or you risk putting yourself and any future children you have in the path of an abuser again.

    But first you have to take yourself out of the path of this guy. Call one of the hotlines Wendy listed from a safe place– a local police or fire station, a hospital, or a friend’s house– and have them help you put together a plan to leave. Make sure you have money, any medications you need, important paperwork like insurance, ID, tax returns or bank statements that will help you get a new place, clothes, and irreplaceable personal items. Maybe consider getting a prepaid cell phone so he can’t contact you. Take the time you need to get out safely, but don’t linger. While you’re waiting, don’t encourage him to drink or take part in any other activities that set him off (drugs, etc.). And once you’re out, don’t look back. Get yourself into therapy to resolve the issues from your childhood and the undoubtedly complicated feelings you’re going to have about leaving– any number of the resources Wendy mentioned can help you find free or low-cost counseling services. Good luck and keep us posted!

    1. demoiselle says:

      Please take care about suggesting that abusers are “out of control” because that suggests that if they can be taught how to “control themselves” or “manage their anger” they won’t be abusers anymore. Abusers are VERY in control. Usually, they don’t lose their temper and beat their bosses, or their mothers, or their friends. They beat their wives, girlfriends, and children, in private, while maintaining a pristine reputation in public. They beat and injure, but usually not enough to kill. That is being in control.

      If the LW’s fiance is truly out of control and beats up people willy nilly when he loses his temper (not just her, not just in private, not just short of serious injury), then there are other serious problems here. She should still get the heck away.

      1. Quakergirl says:

        Good point– I should have phrased it more as “so far out of touch with the reality of normal and appropriate behavior towards people you love.” Clearly he didn’t even feel the need to put up a front of a normal relationship in the beginning. I definitely didn’t mean to suggest he in any way can be taught to control himself and just not be abusive. I meant more that if the LW thinks this won’t happen again, she should look at what’s already happened. He obviously didn’t see a problem with beating her in the past, and he won’t see one in the future. That’s his reaction and that’s who he is.

      2. demoiselle says:

        Exactly. And moreover, just like the LW has an inaccurate picture of abuse-as-normal, many abusive men believe that they way they treat their partner is normal as well. They really believe that not only are they normal, but they are justified, that other men would (secretly) agree, and that real abusers are the guys who are doing something a bit worse than they are.

        (“If you got a cut lip, its cause you made me so mad. Any guy would have done the same. You’re lucky you’re not with a real jerk, because he’d’ve smashed your face in. Really, anyone would have done the same because you’re being such a bitch/idiot/whore/nutcase-sadsap, but for some reason I love you even though you’re so awful. You can’t expect to do better than me, you’re damn lucky.”)

        It’s rather like rapists. Rapists believe that the majority of men are rapists. This twisted worldview is both what brings the victims back, and part of what keeps abusers from changing. They believe they are normal and justified, and you are wrong and deserve it. Any words otherwise are the product of short term guilt and butt-covering to keep you/keep you from reporting them.

      3. demoiselle says:

        The edit function is not appearing for me (firefox, linux) right now. I meant that “This twisted worldview is both what brings the victims OF ABUSE back to their abusers . . .” but the way I typed it seemed to suggest I was referring to rape victims coming back. I was not.

      4. Thank you for making this point. I think you’re completely right, and I hadn’t thought of it that way. Thanks for the perspective.

    2. SpaceySteph says:

      “A guy who loves you, cares about you, and wants to spend his life with you would rather die than see you be harmed that way.”

      Thank you, it really all comes down to that. If he could EVER hurt you, then he is not the one for you. I imagine it must be very hard for you, since you came from an abusive family, to understand that love and abuse are mutually exclusive… but they are. You really do deserve better. You deserved better from your parents too… don’t do the same to your children. Don’t do the same to yourself!

  19. sweetleaf says:

    RUN was the first thing that came to my mind too! Sounds like my real father and you know where he is now because of his temper and abuse? Rotting in a coffin underground. I was 9 years old when his temper got him murdered and now I’m in therapy not only for the death of a parent at that age, but the terrible abuse I received those few years he was with me.

  20. I usually just lurk on this site, but…my god. LW, I’m responding to your follow-up comment. You’re aware that you “sound so dumb” and “look stupid to most people”— do you think it’s because we just “don’t know” what he’s like on the good days? I just want to let you know that being in your relationship doesn’t give you a magic ability to see this guy’s good side. Being so close to him is skewing your perspective. Please read your response back to yourself. You appreciate the reassurance that you’re not being “over-sensitive” to a situation in which your boyfriend is beating you. That indicates you already have a victim’s mindset. His behaviour is unacceptable and there’s NO way you should feel like you’re “over-sensitive”

    “I am not scared of him on a daily basis…..it’s just when he starts yelling and pacing the room and punching stuff and smashing stuff” You should NEVER be afraid of someone you’re in a relationship with. There is nothing right about this sentence. Is the fact that you’re not fearing for your personal safety every day supposed to change our viewpoint that you should leave? This is still very much an abusive relationship. You mention being in a 4-year “textbook” emotionally abusive relationship, but you’re in one NOW & you need to realize that– even if he’s “never called me a name, never jealous or controlling”. He’s just a different kind of abuser, and you still need to get out.

  21. Also, LW, sorry if I was harsh or seem to be repeating things others have said– many comments showed up as I was writing mine. Glad to see you’re responding to everyone & considering the advice!

    1. No, its not harsh, I need the truth I need people to ‘slap some sense’ (sorry bad pun) into me. So I appreciate your honesty. Thank you Fabelle. I know I minimize, I need to remind myself of that as well.

      1. demoiselle says:

        I understand your pun, of course, but now might be a good time to fight any voice in your head that suggests that you need to have sense knocked into you. You don’t, and those are the kinds of thoughts which can undermine you and create that bit of doubt upon which other people can work. So if you ever think that you deserved something bad happening to you, answer yourself that no one deserves that. Even in jest.

  22. spaceboy761 says:

    Abusive relationships breed abusive relationships because once the mental division between intesity and love becomes blurred, it’s very hard to reestablish normal behavior. If you want your children to grow up in a healthy home, it’s not going to happen with this “man”. Break the cycle.

    1. SO TRUE. Courtesy of my screwed up childhood, it took half a dozen emotionally abusive relationships before I figured out what a healthy relationship was supposed to be. After the LW exits this relationship, she needs to get therapy to sort through her own childhood and prevent this from happening again. Kids from crappy homes don’t know what normal looks like.

  23. YES, he could physically hurt you again & best believe he WILL! Hun, you are a victim of domestic violence, no matter which way you want to paint it! PLEASE get out! Get out NOW! If you don’t take a stand now, you will always be a victim. Anything else I say will be useless. If there’s one thing you’re going to take from this comment take this: Just GET OUT NOW!

  24. GertietheDino says:

    Leave, now! Tell someone who can help you get out. you need a strong support network now. If there is no one you can turn to, turn inward, find the strength and get out. Your life depends on it.

  25. Temperance says:

    I work in domestic violence for my summer law internship. Sweetie, he is a textbook abuser. I’m more frightened that things are moving so quickly; it usually starts with overwhelming romance, then isolating from family/friends, and then the abuse escalates. He came straight out of the bag and headbutted you. That’s REALLY a bad sign. Please get him out of your home …. he will kill you one day. I’m so sorry.

    Keep records and take photos of your injuries; if you go to the hospital, they’ll keep a record. If you are afraid, which you are, go to your local domestic violence unit. Your county will have one. I know each state is slightly different, but here is the procedure in PA. We have emergency restraining order centers open on holidays and from 5:00 PM – 8:00 AM. The regular centers open at 8:00 or 9:00 and are open until 5:00. The staff will take your information and help you to petition a judge to keep him away from you. That day, you will be filing for an emergency protection from abuse order, which, if approved, can mandate that he stay away from you and gets his crap out of your home. The police in your district can serve him. You will be in court within 10 days for an order that will last up to 3 years.

    It’s easy to get rid of someone like him. Please be careful.

    1. Thanks Temperance. I keep hearing all the same things that it’s crazy it has all happened so quick. I took lots of photos of my scars/bruises. So sad, 24 years old at the time having to go to my parents unmarried in a 3 month relationship with two very black eyes and a swollan forehead to tell them I was pregnant. Of course I lied as to how I got the black eyes. Reading all the responses is bringing me to tears. Thank you everyone I can’t say it enough. I have just repressed this all and have never spoke this much about it. I have been good at repressing things since things were not perfect as a kid so bringing this all up and really truly being honest with myself is so hard yet liberating to actually think straight without heart shaped glasses on. I keep saying thank you to everyone, I really mean it.

      1. demoiselle says:

        LW, when you get out from this relationship, try to find models for what healthy families look like and spend time with them. Read books. Write back to Wendy and ask for resources. Talk to people. See if you can find a therapist who works for you and seek longterm counseling. Not because there is anything wrong with you, but because a proactive approach is the best thing you can do to get the tools to recognize abusers and also to recognize healthy relationships.

        Unfortunately, one of the best predictors for having a healthy and functional family life in your future is having grown up in one. And one of the warning signs for someone who may be bad news is having grown up in an abusive home. BUT the past does NOT determine the future. You (and all of us) are able to learn and to grow and change.

        My mother grew up abused by her father. He left scars on her entire generation. But my mom did years of therapy in her late twenties, and held off on marriage until her mid-thirties when she began to recognize good men and functional families. Although their marriage wasn’t perfect, it was pretty healthy and not at ALL abusive. And my marriage is much, much healthier than theirs was.

        There is hope for you, and there is hope for any children you may have. You have the power.

      2. Betty Boop says:

        LW, your letter made me cry because I’ve been in a very, very similar place to you. I had a terribly unhappy childhood filled with abuse and bounced from relationship to relationship repeating the cycle. You’re probably gonna go through a lot of fear from leaving him, feel tempted to go back just for the security and wonder if maybe it wasn’t really as bad as you thought. It was. Never, ever forget that it WAS that bad and that you were right to save yourself.

        I cannot emphasize enough the wonders of finding a really good therapist, understanding why you are stuck in the cycle and staying single while working through this. It’s so, so tempting to find someone to love and validate you while you go through the tough process of dealing with this but you cannot build something beautiful until you can see yourself as worthwhile and beautiful.

      3. AWWWW betty, I’m sorry you went through the same shit. Your so right, its so tempting to find someone to validate and make you feel worthy. I agree, I can’t love someone if I dont love myself and thats what will put me back into another bullshit relationship unless I get some help. Wow, I am so happy I shared my story I had no idea i would get such support! Thanks for sharing Betty.

    2. demoiselle says:

      The sooner you act, the fewer times you go back, and the less time you sink into this guy, the easier it will be for you to leave. Not that it will be EASY–it will still be hard–but it will be easier now than it would be six months (and another pregnancy) from now.

  26. demoiselle says:

    I think I’m going to shut down my computer and go away for a while. This really is one of the more frightening letters I’ve read on any online advice column. Everyone is giving such good advice. There is support out there for you and women in your situation, LW.

    1. Thanks Demoiselle. I am lucky I have a very good job, and I am educated. I grew up in a patriarchal family, very rural on a farm so I grew up dometisticated but knew I needed to have independence in order to survive on my own without depending on anyone else. I am lucky in that sense I know there are women MUCH MUCH worse off then me. I hope this helps others who are stuck too.

      1. demoiselle says:

        If you grew up in a very patriarchal, religious family that is deeply invested in that kind of male-as-head-of-household model, I’d advise seeking help and counseling outside your church and religious community. You may find support there, but you might be even more likely to be encouraged to take the blame, submit, or stay with your fiance. In this case, it is probably not healthy.

        You’re going to be fine and you’re doing the right thing.

  27. JESSIEPIEXO says:

    LW- I’m a victim’s advocate so I have alot of experience with this kind of thing. Get an Order of Protection. The police will go to your residence, serve him, and them give him 15-20 minutes to pack and vacate the property-permanently. If he tries to contact you again, shows up at your house, stalks you etc etc, call the police and they will arrest him for violating the order of protection. Get out. Now. While you can still walk. Trust me, I’ve seen it and it always gets worse.

  28. Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com says:

    I feel sad today about all the cruelty in the world. Casey Anthony murdered her baby girl. This man can strangle the woman he claims to love. Tonight I will go home and hug my boyfriend extra tight –for being compassionate, empathetic, gentle, and for never causing me to feel anything less than 100% safe and secure in his company.

    1. Oh man. I was watching that case since 2008. I’m still upset about that verdict.
      I agree with you, it makes you appreciate what you have. I also feel I want to help the LW & other people in her same situation.

  29. Guy Friday says:

    I wish more than anything I knew where this LW lives, though I’m not trying to solicit that in an open public thread by any means. I just wish I could give her more concrete and specific state resources she could utilize. She doesn’t need money or clothes or anything at all; most state programs have subsidized programs exactly for this kind of situation, so that the woman can run without looking back.

  30. I am re-posting this from Guy Friday’s comment above because I think it is so so important for the LW to read:

    (Thanks to Guy Friday for pointing this out!)

    “The LW says she’s 125 pounds, but let’s assume this is a fantasy world where women round up their weight, and call her 120. Think about just how much force is required in your arms and chest to lift a flailing 120 pound person up by their throat and then throw them back down again. I don’t know that I could even do it to a reasonably-sized child, let alone an adult. And even if you argued that adrenaline could allow someone to do it once, the fact that it happened twice means that it wasn’t some “so angry my mind goes blank and I just react” kind of thing. It means he did it, actually processed what had happened, and did it again. 10 seconds later, 10 minutes later, 10 hours later . . . it doesn’t matter. He did it again. And that kind of force could have snapped her windpipe, temporarily paralyzed her, broke a major vein. In short, it wasn’t an act of a man out of control; it was an act of a man with genuine malice for her. And the fact that he had genuine malice is enough for me to encourage the “get her the hell out of there” party line.”

    1. Guy Friday says:

      Aww. I feel special now 🙂

      1. I felt it truly highlighted the violence this man is capable of. LW, no matter how nice he is to you on a day to day basis, he is VIOLENT. This one instance in itself could have killed you!

        Maybe look at this from another perspective… imagine he lifted up a cat, or a dog or a child by the throat and slammed them down. What would you think? It’s appalling, right? It’s sickening that he could do that to another living creature. Now, what makes you think it’s ok when he does it to you?


    2. Thanks MissDre and Guy Friday. It scares me how much force he used against me. He could really damage me, its something I have thought about a lot. He could kill me real easy with one hand because he is so big. I have a bad scar on my face where I likely should have gotten stitches. I’m lucky thats all I have. Had an appointment with a Women’s Shelter. We are putting together a plan. I actually do not live in USA. I am from Canada, very close to the Michigan boarder and in a very small town. The shelter is going to help me though. All of your advise, support and encouragement has pushed me to do something about this. Thank you all again so much for all your care. Honestly, this day will change my life/future now and it’s all thanks to all the kind people who replied. 🙂

      1. I’m in Canada too. I’m so glad you were able to find a shelter. If you ever end up in Ottawa, you’ve got a friend here.

      2. caitie_didn't says:

        Seconded! I’m also in Canada and you have a friend or advocate in me if you ever need one.

        LW, if you haven’t already, it may be a good idea for you to find out if there’s a Yellow Brick House in your area. I know there are several in the GTA region and they do excellent, excellent work and have a close working relationship with the police in their area to ensure abusers are prosecuted.

    3. Skyblossom says:

      It was the act of a man very much in control. If he doesn’t go around doing this to everyone you know that he does have control and does this to be controling.

  31. Rachelgrace53 says:

    Get out NOW. Before he has you convinced everything is your fault and you stay out of guilt. I say this from the experience of 3 years with a very abusive, controlling man. Things will ONLY get worse. Every abuser has their terrific moments. That’s how they manipulate you to keep you around. They may even be sincere when they’re being wonderful. It. DOESN’T. MATTER. He will continue to beat you (or worse) until you leave him. Period. I’m so sorry to hear you are going through this. But if you get out now, you’ll look back and be thankful that you didn’t allow things to escalate further. I got out of my abusive relationship, and it was the best decisions I EVER made. Now I’d rather be living on the streets in a cardboard box than go back to him. Good luck to you.

    1. Thank you. Its so weird, my last relationship was so awful he was so emotionally abusive I have no idea why I stayed and still struggle with the idea that I wasted 4 years of my life and still healing from that and yet this relationship seems SO MUCH BETTER. Even though he did assault me bad, even though he scares me, even though I seriously wonder if he will kill me someday, this is a wonderful relationship to me. Sick isn’t it? Your right, everybody is right. I will be leaving him this weekend. Thanks 🙂

      1. Rachelgrace53 says:

        I’m SO glad to hear you’re leaving him now, and not waiting. Thinking that this relationship is better isn’t crazy. It’s a different kind of horrible than the last one that you were so used to. It’s so good that you recognize that you need to leave. But I definitely hope you will seek help from a therapist at some point to help you work through all of this. I know I couldn’t have done it alone.

  32. LW – You deserve better. No one deserves this treatment from someone that claims to love them. It’s better to be alone than with this person who could possibly do great harm to you if you stay. There is someone better out there for you, but you need to leave now. Good luck to you!

  33. applescruff says:

    LW, please leave him. There is a cycle that comes with domestic abuse, and part of it involves a honeymoon phase, which it sounds like you are in now. If it has been that bad once, it will be again. Please, please look at the numbers Wendy listed and find yourself help. There are a lot of shelters and programs that can help you, and counselors that specialize in domestic violence recovery that can help you get back on your feet. Some states (like Oregon) even have DV grants you can get, as well as passes for transportation and help getting a job, including interview clothes. You are worth so much more than the way he is treating you.

    1. Thank you for your concern and support applescruff.

  34. If you don’t believe how bad it can be, please just read this story:

    It makes me cry just thinking of it. This story was one motivating factor for me to leave a relationship that wasn’t abusive but where my boyfriend’s self-control was not what it should be & I have urged him to seek help so that he never, ever crosses that line.

    Even if you don’t think your boyfriend *wants* to hurt you, keep in mind how large he is compared to you & how truly fragile life is.

    1. Here’s another story of what could happen to you… a university student from University of British Columbia, her husband became enraged one night and attacked her.

      He gouged out her eyeballs and now she is blind. Her HUSBAND did this. The father of her child. The man who is supposed to love her and take care of her.

  35. SherBear400 says:

    After you get rid of this sorry excuse for a man (no real man will ever hit a woman, much less head butt her and throw her across a room) I strongly urge some intense therapy to not only heal from your abusive childhood but to also learn how to break the cycle of abuse.

    1. Thanks SherBear. Your right, I just can’t break this friggen cycle. Im so reliant on others to make me feel worthwhile I need to be alone to build up self esteem and break the cycle. Thank you.

  36. Wendy is so right when she said: “This man WILL beat you again … and again and again and again for as long as you stay with him. He will likely beat any children you have together, and at the very least put another future pregnancy in grave danger if you stay with him. Please, please, please leave him immediately.”

    My sister-in-law lived through this and eventually left the monster. He beat her so badly she lost three pregnancies in the process and suffered numerous broken bones. But when he was sweet, he was wonderful.

    It’s no way to live. Get out now, don’t look back and for God’s sake, DO NOT LET HIM KNOW WHERE YOU ARE! He’ll try to manipulate you into going back to him. Go now before you find yourself pregnant or married to him and really have trouble extricating yourself!

    Do it now. Today.

    1. He won’t let me go, I know this. Its happening this weekend, I am getting the hell out of there. Thanks Kali

      1. Hugs and best wishes.

  37. Chaotonic says:

    I’m going to share something very personal, LW. Your finacee sounds just like my step father. Growing up I was a bastard child and he never let me live it down, this man stepped in the picture when i was three months old and when my mother decided she couldn’t raise a child without the help of some “big, strong man”. By the time I was 5 I had seen my mother hit, shoved, pushed, screamed at, and threatened and I had come to believe that this was natural. Every family must be like that. My step father was a raging alcoholic who dabbled in drugs and cheated on my mother every chance he had. Once he realized he couldn’t break my mother down any more then she already was, he turned his sights on me. I the child he had raised since before I can remember, a very petit child, who could never lay a hand back on him. I was beaten. There are no words to discuss the beatings anything he could grab he would use on me. Belts, sticks, fists, furniture including lamps and the power cords were used to subdue me. I don’t wear shorts because the scars on my legs although less visible 5 years later still stand out to me, I have scars where he has taken a knife to my legs and scars where he had used cigarettes as a form of punishment. By the time I was in fourth grade I had attempted suicide by hanging to escape, my entire family turned a blind eye to what was going due to it being “normal”.
    You may ask where my mother was during all this, what kind of mother wouldn’t step in and defend her only daughter? She was right there, watching him, knowing full and well what was going on. But she didn’t stop him, because she “loved” him. Or at least that the answer she gave me when I asked her why years later. Child Protective Services had been called to my house multiple times by my school, but thanks to my mother constantly covering for my father and lying through her teeth, they never took any action, the investigators never checked the house (which had holes in the walls from where my step father punched, or the bigger one where he threw me into the wall), and the case was closed.
    By my senior year of high school he took to molesting me, I weighed a whooping 86 pounds at 5’6 because he dictated when I could eat, usually the only actual meal I was able to consume was a school lunch. I could no longer concentrate on my studies, my step father had taken over every inch of mine and my mom’s life. I was not allowed to leave the house except for school and he had effectively shattered any hope for a normal life once I left home, with my grades I would never have gotten a scholarship for college.
    When I finally snapped it was because he threw me into a second wall, mid way through Senior year, I had hit a stud and as I laid there I realized I wasn’t going to live through the future summer. There was no way my body nor my mental health would survive the treatment much longer and I came to the logical conclusion (at the time) that I would have to kill him. I made the plans and of course I was going to immediately turn myself in, because life in prison would be ten times better then what I was living now. Lucky for me though the Navy Recruiters called two days later because my ASVAB scores were awesome. My recruiter was amazing when he found out my living situation he took me away and let me live with his mother for awhile until boot camp.
    My mother stayed with this man until he threatened her son (his biological son) and then she left. I have never felt so worthless as I did the moment I heard her reasoning behind her leaving him.
    What I’m trying to say and what I really hope you take to heart is to never stay with an abusive man just because you’re pregnant. You never know when he might use your child to hurt you. I was an extreme case and in the end my mother honestly didn’t care enough, but you obviously do if you’re asking for help now. Get out, run, change your phone number, change your routine, change everything you can to keep him from following you and never go back.

    1. SpyGlassez says:

      Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry about what your mother allowed your step-father to do to you.

    2. I am really sorry that this happened to you. I, too, felt worthless when my own father stood up in court in support of my step brother, the man who molested me for 5 years starting at the age of 7. My father’s reasoning for supporting him was because “the boy needed a father”.

      Thank God I had a mother to turn to. I’m so so sorry that you did not. I’m trying not to cry at work right now, because I wish I could put my arms around you and tell you that you deserve better.

    3. Im so sorry you went through all that. It makes me so sad you lived through a life of hell like that. Thank you for sharing. I hope your doing better now and going through counselling as well. None of that was your fault, I wish I could give you a hug Chaotonic

    4. That makes me sad. *hug*

    5. I’m so sorry you went through all of this. Sometimes I wish I could bottle up my dad and give him to the girls that never were fortunate enough to have a guy like him to call Daddy. I’m so glad you’re doing better now, and good luck with everything.

    6. I am sorry you had to go through all that. Good for you for not only having the strength to overcome that horrible situation but also to share it with LW so that she can have the same strength too! Thank you for the ancedote and your service in the Navy.

    7. Betty Boop says:

      I hope you know just how much ass you kick for leaving that shit behind!

    8. Lots and lots of hugs for you. I am appalled that someone could do these things. I am also astounded at how brave you must be to have lived through them.

  38. Has anyone else considered that the miscarriage may have been caused by his mistreatment of her? That’s very scary to me.

    1. It makes me feel sick everyday to think about it Desiree.
      “SO TRUE. Courtesy of my screwed up childhood, it took half a dozen emotionally abusive relationships before I figured out what a healthy relationship was supposed to be. After the LW exits this relationship, she needs to get therapy to sort through her own childhood and prevent this from happening again. Kids from crappy homes don’t know what normal looks like.”
      I hope your doing better for yourself, I really feel for you as well.

  39. SpyGlassez says:

    One time, after my boyfriend and I had been dating about 4 months, we got into a nasty argument. He was furiously upset, upset enough to hit something. He put his fist into the wall. The WALL. Not my face. Not my body. Immediately after, he started crying. He was afraid that I would leave because of that. We have been together going on 2 years now; that was far from our last argument, and he has never done anything like that since. I know he won’t, but we left the hole in the wall (hidden under a calendar) to remind him of that.

    Rage sometimes is hard to control. I’ve dealt with it myself. Forgiving someone for a hole in the wall is one thing. Forgiving someone for using YOU as a punching bag is very different. You deserve better, LW. For yourself AND your future children.

  40. You should have called the cops the first chance you got so he could have gone to jail the first time. Keeping you from being able to report a crime is against the law as well.

    When you leave, he will stalk you. So, make your plan, and make sure that when you go, everyone else you know knows of his issues so they are aware and can protect themselves. He may not act like that around them, but you never know. An abuser is most violent when they have lost everything because there literally is nothing left to lose, so your life is forfeit. I am not joking with you. They will leave warnings that you or your friends may not even interpret as warnings, but HE will. A missing vehicle key, and then a few weeks later missing paperwork from your vehicle. A week later, a loaded, sawed-off shotgun in your backseat (it’s a warning that he knows where you are and that you WILL be killed eventually).

    Document ALL violent acts that he has done to you. Research his history. Check for other restraining orders. Those can be used against him when you leave and file for a restraining order. Yes – you need to file for one when you leave (or when you kick him out).
    Talk to your landlord. Explain to the landlord what is going on so the landlord is aware of the situation and that you might be needing to cut the lease early. If both of you are on the lease, find out what it will take to get you off of it. Make sure the landlord knows that if he talks to your “guy” (ABUSER) that you could wind up dead and he could end up with a lot of stuff to haul out himself while someone is burying you and his other tenant is in jail.

    Stay strong. Many phones now have an automatic 911 button. I hope yours does. Keep your phone on you 24/7. If he starts to get violent, hit that panic button and do NOT feel ashamed. That 911 button may save your life. Your life is the most precious thing you will ever have (until you have children).
    He was only sweet to you because you were “incubating his seed”. To abusers, women are nothing more than the soil that incubates their precious seed. To be walked on until they are fertilized and used for planting and then treated like gold until harvest. Do what you have to to survive and get away, but use protection (triple if you have to), and make sure you get the hell out of there quickly. Do NOT get pregnant. Getting pregnant means you will have to deal with him for life, unless you are lucky enough to get his parental rights terminated, and even that takes a while (I know what I’m talking about on this one, I’ve got two with terminated parental rights).

    *hugs* I’m sorry you went through a miscarriage, but right now, it was better in the long run for you than having this monster’s child. You WILL find a better guy who will treat you like the earthly goddess you are, not a plot of dirt like this asshole. Stay strong, stay safe, and ask for help. Your friends and family have noticed and want what’s best for you, and this loser isn’t it.

    1. Thanks AKchic. I really don’t want to charge him, I don’t want to hurt him or put him in jail. I just want all this shit to stop. But I know he won’t ever change, he won’t ever get help. I understand what your saying about the prego thing, I did not mean to get pregnant and never have been pregnant before. I don’t plan on getting pregnant anytime soon, I do not want children for a while but I do get what your saying about abusers having that control. I believe he will stalk me…he has mu name tattooed on his arm for Gods sake. It went from getting the shit kicked out of me to finding out I was prego within days and then within the nexts few days he got my name tattooed on him. Its insane. This was all after 3 months too. Ugh, I do not want to leave him because he is not a bad person at all he just gets so worked up when we argue. I know I have to. Its going to happen this weekend. And it sucks so bad. Anyways, thank you. He is an asshole and he does not deserve me. I keep telling myself that.

      1. demoiselle says:

        Remember that someone can not be a bad person in many parts of their life (they can be a great friend, or a great coworker, or a great leader in their profession, or an inspiration to everyone around them to excel), and yet still be a very, very bad person in one part of their life. That part is real, too.

        You are brave and I admire you for it.

      2. LW, you may not want to charge him, but at least make a police report (they may insist on arresting him) especially since you believe he will stalk you. The authorities need to have this guy on their radar – this is just to add a small extra bit of protection for you.

        Hang in there. It will get better.

  41. im not going to comment on the story, there is more then enough to read here, but i just want to say that there is some more love coming your way from Colorado, LW.

    everyone deserves happiness, make sure you actively find it each day.

  42. bittergaymark says:

    Additional sad and conclusive proof that women are, indeed, the DESPERATE sex. Could there ever possibly be a more clear case of MOA? I think not. Can’t wait for the next update. “He broke my arm in seventeen places. The Doctors almost had to amputate, fortunately they did not. Sadly, I may never again move all my fingers… But I don’t want to leave him, I like the way he looks at me. He makes me feel so wanted. Plus, he really isn’t a bad person… He just gets too mad sometimes. I should be a better girlfriend and not forget what kind of toast he eats on every second tuesday….”

    I know I will catch hell for this post, but you know what? My patience is at an end with those who WON’T help themselves, even when the answer is so fucking obvious.

    1. Youranidiot says:

      Sexiest much? Pretty sure abuse happens in STRAIGHT AND GAY relationships. Its a self esteem issue. Its not that ppl cant help themselves, they want to but are not strong enough. Ppl know what they need to do but need support. You have obviously have no idea what its like to be abused. Have some empathy.

  43. I work in the domestic violence field, and I have experienced an abusive relationship. And, I totally agree with Wendy and most everyone else here. HOWEVER, I want to point out– you DO need a plan! Safety planning is an extremely important part of leaving a D.V. relationship- because leaving the relationship is a huge trigger to an abusive person, and women are often hurt the most, or even killed, while trying to leave. Safety planning is not difficult, but it is an important and necessary step to getting out of this relationship and getting on with your life. Talk to your local Women’s Shelter to build a safety plan, better safe than sorry.

  44. OMG, he did ALL OF THAT the VERY FIRST TIME??? You’re in for it, sister. Get away NOW. Most abusers at least work UP to that kind of violence, not fly out of the gate with it! This is serious business. RUN!!!

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