He was violent and abusive – what now?

Dear Suzie, 

Hi. I am a mother of three and split from a bad 12 year relationship,who was the father of my 3 children.  I was very successful and had two shops but after staying at home looking after the house and children while my partner managed my businesses, everything fell apart and I lost my businesses and just managed to hang on to my home.  My home is substantial, everything I have is tied up in it, but it’s my home and I feel I’ve lost so much already so I want to stay. 

After 2 years I met a guy who seemed loving and caring and willing to take me and my three children on. He was married himself twice with 2 grown up children and works full time.  I live in Ireland and he is from Scotland but lived in parts of England for a while, so all of his past is across the water.  He can be very loving and caring and when things are good they’re great.  But he has a moody side that evolves to a very stubborn streak and can elevate to harshness and coldness.  When agruements get really heated he can get very agressive.  He has pushed me around and broken lots of things.  

After just two months of marriage the rows are frequent, usually at the weekend when my children are away.  I don’t like rows.  When I row it’s usually a blow up but goes away, he tends to hand onto things that drags on throughout the day, which can infuriate me, I see no point to it. Anyway, now I am also 4 months pregnant!  He gives me no allowances and argues just as harshly. Yesterday we had a row that started small and grew.  I told him I couldn’t handle these cnstant weekend rows and would he please stop. It got to the point where he asked if I’d likehim to leave, so I said “If you want to go, go, but make sure it’s what you really want”. He left. I’ve told him before that when we row and he needs a break, not to let it go too long.  He sent me some texts accussing me of taking him for a mug and compalining he doesn’t spoil me enough.  He tells me he bought me a jeep, but on the first row he took it from me.  Anyway, he stayed out all night as he seems to be doing using these rows as an excuse, while I stayed at home, hoping he’d come home to sort things out. He eventually arrived at the door after 2am completely drunk and agressive. I refused to let him in. He slashed all 4 tyres on the jeep and cut the telephone line.  I live in the middle of nowhere with no neighbours!  4 months pregnant and stranded. What sort of guy does this.  He drove off, returned about an hour later, slept in his car outside. At 7.40 am he started beeping his carhorn and banging on the door.  I told him to calm down, that I wouldn’t let him in when he was this angry.  He’s gone now, I just don’t know what to do.  I’m 38, gave up my job to have this baby, now I feel like I’m back to where I was when I met him but worse, a new arrival on the way. Please, please help me make some sens and get some direction. 


You’ve described a violent bully who has isolated you, taken more from you than he has given you and is now crushing your confidence and self esteem. It starts with shouting – that’s bad enough. Then goes to pushing – that’s out of order. What next – punches, kicks, weapons?

I’m really, really sorry to hear about all this and I’m really worried about you. Men who are violent often start or escalate their violence dramatically when a baby is on the way and it doesn’t stop with that. I would ask you to put your foot down. Call the police and report his behaviour to the Domestic Violence unit, so they know you’re at risk and can take steps to protect you. If he comes back tell him there is no longer any leeway – the violence stops now. He doesn’t come back unless he accepts counselling and that’s that.

You can get help from the Northern Ireland Women’s Aid 24 Hour Domestic Violence Helpline on 028 9033 1818. and call your friends and what neighbours you have so they are there for you, if he comes back or just to support you if you’re now on your own. If he was willing to accept it, he could get help from the  Male Advice & Enquiry Line on 0845 064 6800. I know it seems an awful situation to be in but you’ve weathered as difficult a situation before, haven’t you? Once you stop accepting the violence you’ll realise you can rise above this and manage.

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