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Alcohol and spouse abuser

It’s thanksgiving and I am sitting in a dirty motel. Last night I got in another fight with my wife. I jumped on her. She hit me. I kicked her. I was drunk. She may have been too. Worst part was my 4 year old daughter was right there in the middle of it. She screamed for me not to hurt her. So I jumped in the car and drove and ended up here. Can’t sleep. Can’t really even think what to do next. My home will be filled with relatives soon but not sure if I’ll be there.

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Hey @AugustBurnsBlue,

That’s a really tough situation and I want to thank you for your honesty and sharing about what happened. It’s very brave to allow yourself to be vulnerable as you did here on this forum.

Can’t really even think what to do next.

It sounds that this might be a breakthrough moment in your life to make decisions that would be healthy and right both for you and your family. I don’t know if you and your wife have been stuck in this dynamic for a long time but, you know it already, it has to stop. If alcohol has been repeatedly part of the problem, you have to stop drinking as well and receive the help you need for that. Same for your wife if it’s also a problem to her.

Your daughter needs her parents to make her feel safe, not scared. And I’m not judging you by saying this by the way. I hear that seeing your daughter being afraid of you was a very difficult moment and I respect the fact that you might be carrying your own burdens. I’m only saying that beyond all of this, your daughter is your responsability and she never asked to witness this violence. As the parent, it is your role to face what’s wrong and make decisions for her well-being, even if it’s uncomfortable. I am the daughter of a parent who was violent when I was young, and it’s with all my heart, love, and compassion that I want to tell you that facing your demons and doing what’s needed for that is the most loving, caring, brave and helpful thing you can do for your kid. And as you are here and sharing your heart right now, I have no doubt that deep inside this is what you want.

I can’t imagine how you might feel right now and I hope you’ll all manage to rest after what happened, so you can clear your mind and make the right decisions. I personally want to encourage you to seek for help asap. Both to stop drinking alcohol if it triggers this aggressivity, for example through steps programs or support groups, but also to talk about what happened with a professional and find ways to stop this dynamic. If you don’t know where to start, consider talking to your family doctor at first and ask for therapist and/or support groups recommendations.

I hear that there will be people at your home for thankgsgiving, but I want to encourage you to not ignore what happened or forget about it later. If it’s possible and if your wife is okay with it, you’ll certainly need to have a honest and calm discussion together. Both to talk about what happened and see if you are ready to address the problem together. If not today because of thanksgiving and the lack of privacy, then tomorrow or as soon as your guests leave. You’ll also need to reassure your daughter when you’ll see her.

If you want, know that Heartsupport has a partnership with the online service BetterHelp that gives access to a free week of counseling with a licensed therapist (then it works as a subscription) - you can get more informations here: https://heartsupport.com/resources/

If you don’t know where to start, I also want to recommend you to share your situation during DrMick’s live stream on Twich: https://www.twitch.tv/drmicklive He’s a licensed therapist, he has at heart to help people understand what therapy implies and he even helps people to find a therapist in their area. The conversations that happen during the stream are absolutely non-judgmental. The reason why I’m sharing this specifically is because I know he’s going to stream today even if it’s thankgsgiving. And as I hear that there will be people at your home, maybe it could be worth to take some time to step away for a bit, hang out during the stream and ask for some practical advices. Knowing what to do next is a very good and valid question.

In any case, it will probably be difficult, but now might be the time to change that dynamic. Step by step, what matters is to make sure that what happened never happens again. And for that, you and your wife will need help. Which is okay. Asking for help is a mark of love and strength. There is no need to deal with that on your own. And the same applies to the reasons that brought you to this situation - I hear that you and your wife might be in pain, maybe for a mix of individual reasons and ones that are about your relationship. But that pain has to be acknowledged and healed in a healthy way and with the right support. You just made the first step by coming here and sharing about what happened. I want to encourage you to keep following that dynamic by making steps further.

If that’s okay for you, let us know how it goes for you and your family.

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