Are you concerned about your relationship?

Dear aunties,

My husband was very caring and romantic before we got married. He gave masses of flowers and gifts. He seemed perfect.

Everything has changed. My children and I feel very anxious when it’s time for him to come home from work. We know too well what his anger is like.

He often takes things out on the children by destroying things they love. He never hits them, but we are all walking on egg shells. We are very stressed.

He sometimes throws his meals at the wall yelling that he is not going to eat this rubbish. I’m so anxious I don’t know what to do.

Emma

Dear Emma

Image by Julie Hamann

Image by Julie Hamann

No one has the right to behave in this way to you and your children.

We cannot read this without telling you that your husband’s behaviour is often described as being part of the cycle of violence. This keeps you in a state of anxiety and uncertainty. You never know what he may decide is an offense on your part which justifies, to him, his anger.

Often the behaviour pattern in the cycle of violence is that once the build up to the tension has resulted in an explosion of anger or physical violence, the offender will then appear sorry and make promises to not behave that way again and for awhile there is some calm. This lasts until the next buildup of tension begins.

Often the time between the apology and the next outburst gets shorter and shorter.

Your safety and that of your children must be the main priority. If you seek a referral from a doctor, you can get counselling services with local professionals who may be able to help you to resolve these issues.

The Taree Samaritans Refuge should be able to provide you with counselling and support. Approaching them is another option.

The Aunties

About the aunties

The Manning River Times presents a series of letters under the title ‘Ask the aunties’, focusing on potential scenarios that could lead to domestic violence. While the letters are imaginary, the problems are real for many women.

To seek help, phone 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732); Lifeline 13 11 14 or the police 000.

Some signs of abuse can include: unfairly and regularly accuses her of flirting or being unfaithful; controls how she spends money; decides what she wears or eats; humiliates her in front of other people; monitors what she is doing, including reading her emails and text messages; discourages or prevents her from seeing friends and family; threatens to hurt her, the children or pets; physically assaults her (hitting, biting, slapping, kicking, pushing); yells at her; threatens to use a weapon against her; decides what she uses for birth control; forces her to have an abortion or to continue a pregnancy; constantly compares her with other people; constantly criticises her intelligence, mental health and appearance; prevents her from practising her religion.