Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Domestic violence? Or...

a hot moment, instantly regretted?
Last night while I was working, sipping a coke-no rum and no diet, stupid local shop- a friend of mine called with a major problem.
She is five foot nuthin', dating a six foot something guy and they have a baby together. I knew immediately from her voice something was wrong, I could hear the anguish, the pain, the sorrow. I cut to the chase immediately.
'What's happened?'
'He's gone.' She said, crying. 'We had a blazing row, I shoved him in the shoulder during an argument and he said that was it. He said he didn't grow up that way and he sure as shit wasn't having his daughter grow up watching her parents fight. He packed his stuff yesterday when I was in work, he's gone.'
'Have you spoken to him?'
'He says that's it... he's done.'
'Oh Honey.'
'What am I going to do?'
Well now. What indeed? I was a good friend, I listened, I made the right noise. I was sympathic...but I was also thinking to myself-and I did say it to her- that if she had called me saying he had shoved her or struck her, I would naturally have had a big problem. As it was I told her she should never have put her hands on him, that no person deserved to be struck (except maybe Memnoch, I'd super like to wallop him one) But then there is her...she has always been fiery (very), always been physical ( in every aspect, she's huggy and kissy too) So for her a shove is maybe not what it was for him...but this was the second time she shoved him. The first time he warned her, 'don't do this again or I'm out of here,' that was over a year ago.
She has 'done it again' and he followed through with his threat.
So my useless advice was give him time to cool off. But I don't know. I don't know that two people who fight non-stop should try to get back together. I don't really see the point. Surely when you chose to live as a couple you do so because you love each and respect each other. I don't actually know anyone who thrives on fighting. So as upset as she is I'm am also thinking perhaps this separation is not the worst thing in the world, but then there is the child...
I am conflicted.


Blogger SheBah said...

If someone assaults their partner in anger, a line is crossed irrevocably. The invisible line of respect. No going back. If someone hit, bit, shoved me I'd be outa there in a heartbeat, never to return; cos that ain't love, that's control.

11:55 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Or lack of control. I do agree that she has crossed a line, but she is very very bloody sorry too. She knows she shouldn't have done it. She's even going to see someone aboout her anger. Personally I don't hold out much hope for them. I know he does love her and I know she does love him, but it's not enough.

12:03 p.m.  
Blogger grimsaburger said...

The shove is serious but I think (with all my inside knowledge??) it probably functioned for him as that one last reason he needed to split, rather than a principle. And Cat, I totally see where you're coming from on not knowing what to root for. I do, however, nearly always fall on the side of splitting rather than staying together when the fighting is that constant and has the tendency to blow up like that. She may have a problem with her anger, but it would take a fucking miracle to get over what I assume are years and years of a behavioral pattern--not just her, but her and him together.
It's fun to have opinions about people one doesn't know!

1:49 p.m.  
Blogger finn said...

i agree with grimsaburger -- that shove sounded like the final straw, rather than something catastrophic in itself (even for the 2nd time). shoving someone who's a foot taller and at least 50lbs heavier than you doesn't seem to be "assault" or "control."

the real issue seems to be the constant fighting. do you think they'd fight with other partners too?

2:10 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Ladies, afternoon. Grimsababy, you're probably right, I think the shove was the straw that broke the camel's back. She-my friend- was in a long term but abusive relationship before, and I think that she has never got over it. I think that's part of what makes her lash out too.
The current boyfriend is a mild mannered guy who made a few mistake at the start of the relationship, (that he's never been allowed to forget) but has been trying his damndest to make it up to her ever since. But to answer your question Miss Finn, I actually think-hand on my heart- that he could be happy with someone else. Even she might be, but the heart wants what the heart wants.
It's not nice, nobody wants to see a friend hurting. Especially this nobody.

2:54 p.m.  
Blogger SheBah said...

Finn - I'm sorry to disagree, but an act of violence against another person has nothing to do with height or weight. Children can kill people too. And, FMC, good for him not to retaliate, as most people would probably instinctively do. Apparently there are almost as many battered husbands as wives. Nobody, whatever size they are, has the right to inflict violence on another person. If someone crosses the line and gets away with it, there's always a next time, and all the remorse and "sorrys" and knashing of teeth won't wash, its purely self-pity. (FMC, Sorry for the rant, a bit of personal history involved here!)

3:05 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

That's all right, rant away. That's what I like about the folk that visit here, they have opinions, sometimes differing ones. It's what makes it interesting.
I don't doubt tthere isn't a touch of self pity to her upset, but mostly there is guilt, she knows she shouldn't have done it, she knows it. But as with situations like that she can't undue what has been done. That's what makes it so upsetting. If she didn't give a shit one way or the other we wouldn't be having this post. If she was saying 'yeah well he deserved it' I wouldn't be even slightly interested in defending her-not that I am, you know what I mean. But she's not, she's heart sick over it.

3:18 p.m.  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

It sounds complicated and, at the moment, raw; like many human relationships. There seem to be all sorts of levels of rights and wrongs in your friends' situation and I'm not about to presume which wrong trumps which other wrong.

Time, might be the thing here, though. When the dust has settled, tempers have cooled and people are thinking seriously and rationally again about mistakes and what they want and stuff, then the decision which will be the best one for them stands a chance of being made and accepted by each of them. Obviously. What am I wittering on about?

Yur friend sounds distraught. I hope it all gets better again soon.

3:40 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Me too Miss Sam, me too.

9:49 p.m.  
Blogger Sassy Sistah said...

Yes, it's a very sad situation, especially with a child involved. But I have to agree with those who said there's never an excuse for violence of any degree or type, in a relationship.

Sure, she's sorry - now. She was probably sorry as hell the first time too. And he gave her fair warning - so not much sympathy here.

I think of the millions of men who have been sorry, heartsick and known they shouldn't have "done it." Over and over and over again. Until the wife finally leaves. It's the same sort of thing, in my mind. It just took this husband less time to leave her - than it usually takes an abused wife.

I honestly think the fella did exactly the right thing by leaving - no matter how sorry and heartsick his wife is - now. Maybe after some time has passed and if she does get some real help with her anger issues - maybe he will reconsider. Maybe not.

Until then though, it sounds exactly like any other abusive marital situation to me. And I could never, ever feel that the person who is on the receiving end of the abuse should stay. Nope.

Sorry, I went on rather long there, didn't I? A little history here too. My opinion is obviously colored by experience - and knowing others in similar situations.

1:27 a.m.  
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