Dear Dr. Buckingham,
My husband and I have been together for ten years and married for five. We have three children together. My husband recently had an altercation with his boss and quit. I chose to start working and let him stay home with the kids.
Well, a week later, I see he searched for a girl on Facebook, and asked him about it. He got really mad and said it was a photography page. I let it go but my intuition told me otherwise. Two months later while getting ready for work, I see a message from the same girl asking where he was.
I was livid he apologized and cried. He said they were just texting back and forth, never divulging the exact conversations. He created a new page and identity and she was all through his activity log. My children and I went out of town and I’m convinced he messaged her and deleted them.
I was so angry I began calling him a pedophile because she is 18. I punched him in his mouth and threw his Xbox One at him and broke it. I feel better now, but wonder if he can forgive me for putting my hands on him. Am I Wrong for Physically Assaulting my Husband?
Dear Violated Wife,
It is unfortunate that your husband disrespected you, but I am not an advocate of abuse in any form (emotional, verbal or physical). With this in mind, yes, you are wrong for hitting your husband. There is a saying that two wrongs do not make a right.
By verbally abusing and attacking your husband, you gave him a pass to not focus on his inappropriate behavior. He will now view himself as the victim and probably use your violence against him as an excuse to engage in future inappropriate behavior.
I understand your feeling of anger and betrayal, especially after you have and continue to sacrifice for him and your children. However, instead of physically attacking your husband, you should be trying to find out why he has a need to communicate with another woman. His need for attention may be personal or it may be related to something within the marriage.
I often remind people that cheating is a by-product of an emotional void. Men are believed to be physical cheaters. This is partially true. Behind every behavior there is an emotion. Frustration is an emotion, neglect is an emotion, anger is an emotion, betrayal is an emotion, disappointment is an emotion, etc.
You were violated, but responded inappropriately. Seek to understand the source of your problem before trying to solve it. You mentioned that he got really mad when you asked him about the communication and you got angry because of his behavior.
Deal with the emotions and the behavior will likely rectify itself. Violence does not correct inappropriate behavior. In fact, violence typically causes individuals to become defensive and/or withdraw. Violence creates fear and fear creates distrust and emotional distance. No one wins with violence.
I strongly recommend that you seek marital therapy to address your husband’s deception, lying and dishonesty and to deal with your anger. When you put your hands on someone, you increase the risk of being physically assaulted. Please be mindful that you should never dish out what you cannot accept in return. Domestic violence is never acceptable. See a professional.
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to email@example.com.
Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.