I received the following post from Amy. I thought my response to her questions would greatly benefits others that are in her situation so I wanted to place it as a new post. I encourage you to add other advice and let us know if this has helped you too.
Love & Peace,
Initial Email 5/14/10
I love my husband very much. He comes from a wonderful family and treats me like gold. The only time things are bad is when I disagree with him. If we get in a fight I usually walk away but he will grab my arm and try to hurt me without punching or kicking. He will try and pinch me hard or grab my arm to get me to stay in the same room with him so he can argue with me. I have tried telling him that when we fight I need to sometimes walk away, but he won’t listen. He is an accountant and has total control over our finances. I feel so bad when I spend more than 5 dollars on anything! I just feel like always giving up fights just to avoid an argument and getting my arm hurt. I do not want to leave him I just want him to stop. I have tried telling him that I think he is showing signs of becoming abusive, because he was abused by his older brother. He calls me crazy and then tells me it’s my fault for getting him so mad. Please tell me what I can do? How do I make him realize this is serious and he does have a problem.
You were on my mind since I read this yesterday. Your marriage can be saved and you have the ability to stop the issues you are having now. Remember, we show others how to treat us by what we tolerate from them. You sound like other than this issue you have a great marriage and a great man. Take my suggestions and work them in to something that will work for you.
I would suggest that you take out a pad of paper or a journal and write a list of toleration’s. Toleration’s are things that you tolerate, do, accept, even though in your gut you don’t want to. You do it to make peace or because like me, we don’t want to rock the boat.
That stops today. After making this list write a letter to yourself explaining that you will never tolerate these things again. This stops today. This letter is to remain private, your eyes only.
Then I want you to draft out a very sincere letter to your husband/mate. Write the letter only coming from a place of love so he will hear and feel that. Don’t vent your anger at other issues, deal with this. I created a sample for you, you it or write a fresh one on your own, that would be best. This will just give you an idea of what should help.
I am writing this letter to you because I love you more than anything and want to spend my life loving you completely. I want a marriage based on respect and unconditional love for each other. I wanted to talk about something that really hurts me in my gut and stays with me for days. I do not want this to grow between us because if it continues it will put a wall up between us that we may never be able to tear down. I must ask you this, how you do you feel when you pinch my arm or hold it, preventing me from leaving a room when I have asked to or how upset you are if I spend more than a few dollars. I wanted to share with you from a place of love how it makes me feel.
I feel scared, held against my will, anxious and disrespected by you and not valued in this home. I wish and want for you to accept that I am not you. Sometimes I need 5-10 minutes to walk away and clear my head before discussing something with you. If you asked to do this I would understand and let you leave. I am a part of this family and need to know that I can spend what is needed for me too without the guilt of taking care of me and our home.
Please understand I am writing my feelings to you out of love for both of us. I would love to hug you and start fresh in this area and talk openly without fear of what may be said. I want a relationship of love and most of all, respect for each other.
Amy, again, this is just an idea to get you thinking. I often suggest that you write the letter and edit it until when you read it again, you feel the love back that you have for this man. That is what you want to have him feel too. Maybe give him the card with a tiny present that you know reminds him how much you love him.
No matter what the outcome is, remember the toleration list you wrote just for you. Respect is important but you must insist that others treat you with respect at all times, if not, you need to decide if you wish to be with this person. Don’t allow anyone to ever disrespect you. By standing up for yourself now, while things are mostly good with your husband you will set the stage for a better life with him. If he is not verbally abusing you and physically or emotionally hurting you, this may just be a habit from him that can stop.
I wish you all the best and really want to know the outcome as this will greatly help others here.
Love & Peace,