Relationship Q & A: “Physical Abuse”

 

Physical Abuse: A few weeks ago my husband hit me. He said it would never happen again, but it did. I hope you can tell me what to do.Welcome to Soul Survival where I blog through the Bible and on all kinds of other subjects related to living the Christian life. My “day job” is counseling. I’m an ACBC certified counselor. I meet with couples, families and individuals to help them find God’s answers for the issues and struggles they face.

Besides meeting with people formally, I am frequently asked questions at church or by email. I’ll be answering some of those questions here on the blog. If you have a question you’d like to see answered (using only a first name or initial) you can submit it here.

 

TODAY’S QUESTION:

From J.:

A few weeks ago my husband hit me. The first time he told me it would never happen again, but last week it did. We have only been married 2 years and we have a new baby. My parents don’t live here, but I did talk to his mother. She seems to be concerned, but she doesn’t want me to tell anyone. I love my husband, but every time something goes wrong, I start to get afraid. I hope you can tell me what to do?

Donna:

Dear J., that is a very difficult situation and I’m so glad you’re looking for answers. It’s not the kind of thing that you can just keep silent about. That would be dangerous for you and, ultimately, not the loving thing to do for your husband.

You and your husband both need to seek counseling. You need to be wise about when you ask him to go. Choose a time when there is no strife and things aren’t already heated. If you have any concern about how he will respond, you need to bring it up in a safe environment (a public place or with other family members).

If he is not willing to seek counseling, you need to go on your own. You can go to the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors website, put in your zip code, and find a biblical counselor near you.

I understand that his mother has a desire to protect her son and she wants to believe the best of him, but it is not wisdom in this case, to keep silent.

If there is any further violence, you need to call 911, immediately. Romans 13.1-5 says that the civil authorities are ministers of God’s righteousness. They are there for our protection. It would not be loving, even to your husband, to allow him to hurt you and have to face worse consequences. You need to do what is right and necessary to protect yourself and your baby.

If you and your husband attend church, you can also go to your pastor and ask him to help your husband. If this problem continues, he should be made aware of the issues as he has spiritual oversight of his church members (Heb. 13.17).

Finally, I want to reiterate the importance of getting help on this right away before something more serious happens. This is not a problem that will just go away if you do nothing. In fact, the likelihood is that it will continue escalate. You are not alone. There is help available, but you must make those calls.

If you don’t know who to call, contact me again and I’ll give you some more direction. I’ll be praying for you.

If you have a question, you can submit it here.

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Relationship Q & A: “Physical Abuse”

  1. I stayed in an abusive marriage for 13 years. As a Christian I thought I shouldn’t get a divorce. My husband went to counseling once then refused to go anymore. I kept the abuse a secret for many years because I didn’t want it to damage his professional career. But when our 5 year old daughter became very afraid as his rage escalated to include her, I got out, but not before she was emotionally damaged. If a husband refuses to go to counseling or seek help from the church, I believe the situation will be untenable and your child could be damaged. A good counselor helped me, but it has to be a two-way street, or you could be keeping you and your child in a dangerous situation.

    • Much truth in your comments, Bobbi. Thanks for sharing! I’m glad you did get help and not stay in that kind of a marriage.

  2. As a wife that suffered abuse at the hands of her husband, I concur. I would not allow it to happen again though. Time can be spaced between attacks, but at some point, when men cannot control their inclination to hit and and physically abuse their wives, the frequency decreases rather than decrease. Unless he is willing to get help for his anger issues NOW, he will abuse you again. I lived in this situation and you keep hoping it will not occur again. You and your baby deserve safety and love. Please do not listen to your mother-in-law seek help now!

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