Stuck, Hopeless and Abused

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I feel so hopeless. My husband and I are both 22, and he just isn't the person he used to be. He started out as a loving person, yet had his anger issues and drinking issues.

My husband has pushed me down, pushed me into a concrete wall, put his hands around my neck, and busted every window and door in my car. I don't think I have heard any apology from him.

For some reason, he always finds a way to blame me. He will say things like "You shouldn't have touched me while I was drunk."

Before we got married, he told me he always wanted the family he never had and to be the father he never had. Yet he is turning into everything he promised he'd never be.

We don't have a shared bank account because he says he is so used to doing things for himself. He would rather me ask for money when I need it. I could make that work for myself, but we have a five-month-old baby who needs a lot of things.

He says I am spoiled from my family, stupid, dumb, and calls me all sorts of unimaginable names. He always tells me to "get out if his house" when he is angry.  

I feel like I am now going crazy because he literally treats me like a prisoner in what should be my own home. He is the type of person who will tell all of his family and friends lies about me to justify the things he has done.

He does not help me with our daughter and hates that I talk to my family frequently. When I Skype my parents, he is in the background trying to play with our daughter and always wants me to take and post pictures of him and her on Facebook, yet when the cameras are off ... I see nothing.

I am stuck and hopeless. I keep holding on because he says that he'll be better one day, but I am unhappy NOW. I can't keep being abused, I can't keep hurting. I can't talk to him because he can do no wrong in his eyes.

It's literally gotten to the point where his job is the most important thing in his life and he does not care who he has to put down or abuse to get to where he wants to be. I could really use your advice! 

Sincerely,
Hopeless

Dear Hopeless,

I have one question. Do you want to die at the age 22? Do you want to be around to raise your daughter, to take her shopping for her freshman dance or the senior prom? Listen, you won’t be around very long if you stay with this guy.

Your husband has a serious problem. He is abusive: physically, emotionally and financially. He keeps you away from family and friends. Moreover, he knows how to blame you and how to make you responsible for his actions.

Beating you up is bad enough and it really hurts me to know that you are living in this situation, but his lack of responsibility for his actions and remorse adds another level of pathology (sickness). In other words, his head is all jacked up. He needs help and he needs to leave the booze alone.

Hopefully, by the time you receive this letter, you and your daughter have left him. Listen to me, because I cannot stress this enough: You can’t change him, it’s not your fault, you did not cause his problems. He had these problems before you met him, and he is not your restoration project.

Your family loves you. Do they know that you are being abused by your husband? I’ll bet you are embarrassed to tell them. Guess what: Your husband is hoping that you are too embarrassed and won’t tell anyone. This way, you will stay in this cycle of abuse.

You might be too afraid to leave too, right? If you stay, you need to contact Family Advocacy first thing tomorrow and they will immediately know what to do -- like get him removed from the home. He could be ordered to get treatment.

A Victims Advocate is also a good person to talk to because they can offer you resources and help you with reporting the abuse. They are generally located in the family services. You are not getting him in trouble, you are getting him help. Please write me back and let me know that you are OK. I am very worried about you.

Sincerely,
Ms. Vicki

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Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, is married to an active-duty Soldier and has three sons. She has a Master's of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and currently works as a therapist with military servicemembers and their families. She provides services for a wide array of concerns such as combat stress, PTSD, couples and marital problems, depression, grief and loss, stress and coping.

Ms. Vicki also writes an advice column "Dear Ms. Vicki" that appears in the Washington Times, the Fort Campbell Courier and the Heidelberg Herald Post. Ms. Vicki also hosts an internet radio show and blogs on her community site with the Washington Times. If you want to ask Ms. Vicki for advice about your military life, please email her at AskMsVicki@military-inc.com.

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