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My husband hit my child.

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
DISCLAIMER: I was asked to post this for someone who would rather stay anonymous. END DISCLAIMER

My husband hit my child. He left a bruise on his bottom. I confronted him. He admitted it. My husband apologized to my child and broke down and cried. He begged me not to leave him...hitting was the known-up-front deal breaker for me. He's going to see a psychologist tonight to deal with his anger. This is the first time he's done this.

Part of me is saying run away.

Part of me is saying he needs help. He's getting that help. Stick around and help him through.

I'm worried, scared, angry, frustrated, hurt, confused, depressed, and nauseous. I have failed both as a spouse and as a parent. I am completely lost.
post #2 of 62
So he hit him on his bottom? Did he just hit him once?
post #3 of 62
How old is your child? Why did your husband hit him?

If this was rage-induced hitting of your child that had little or nothing to do with your son or his behavior, then it is a good thing he is seeking help.

post #4 of 62
post #5 of 62

have there been anger issues in the past? I think him seeking anger management counseling is a good start. See how that goes, but if you feel safer with a temporary seperation, i could understand that.
post #6 of 62
What was the context?

Sounds like he's pretty contrite- if this is the first time it might just a bad day and nothing to really ring alarm bells about. If you see this as part of a pattern that's escalating- that's something else.

I understand your need to protect your son, and that you're angry and scared- but I'd say give him another chance- don't let him off the hook- make him work for it and make sure it doesn't happen again.
post #7 of 62
This related/unrelated

I have a friend who passed away last year who had 3 girls ..all grown... we ran Adirondack marathon together a few years ago and we were in Shcroon Lake and the phone rings...his kids did not come on the trip ...they were 18-20-22 or something like that..so he and his spouse had left them at home for the weekend.

We get a phone call in the lake house we had rented at 2 am...the middle daughter had thrown a party and the eldest daughter was trying to sleep because she was working the next day. She was tired and stressed out. She asked the middle sister to keep it down...after several requests...she got angry...she lost her temper...she punched her sister in the face..very violently

The middle sister had a bloody almost broken nose and the older sister was in shock that she hit in a very violent manner

Now the reason I tell this story...they went to a family counsellor..the entire family...and one thing the psychologist told the middle daughter..the one who had been assaulted was that it is possible for people to lose their temper..act in an irrational manner and never repeat that behaviour again.

I do not know if this is the case in your situation...but this psychologist said that it was possible.

Also..how can you have failed as a spouse and parent if YOU DID NOTY do the hitting? Push that thought out of your mind right now.
post #8 of 62
The issue was apparently brought up - up front ("dealbreaker"??). The man was immediately contrite? Sounds like there were issues going in - guy has a history or somebody has issues going back to their own family. This sounds more complicated than it looks to be at first glance.

post #9 of 62
Okay, this is kind of a tough one. There's a BIG difference between hitting in an abusive manner, and giving a child a swat in a disciplinary way. Also several extraneous factors here such as age of the child, first time or additional times, etc. This type of situation, although it should be black and white, is not always able to be viewed in such a way. I'm not condoning it in any way, merely saying that qualifying details are needed to accurately judge the behavior in the most objective light.
post #10 of 62
when you say "your" child, does that mean he's a step-dad?...how old is the kid?
post #11 of 62
1) When do you see a counsellor?
2) Don't take advice from the intertubes.
3) That said... see 1.
post #12 of 62
Originally Posted by OldBaldHippie View Post
when you say "your" child, does that mean he's a step-dad?...how old is the kid?
OBH, if I had to guess, I'd say that is just typically motherly instinct. My wife does the same thing in a situation where she believes I'm not doing the best thing for the kids...they immediately become "hers" and not "ours".
post #13 of 62
I'm curious as to the person's motive for posting here. Are you looking for validation that this isn't your fault (because it isn't, he is the one that did the hitting), or for a tar and feathering of your husband (because as others have said, we don't have near enough information to make any judgments, nor is it our right or our business to do so) or something else altogether?
post #14 of 62
Thread Starter 
I dont know... but leaving a bruise, of any kind means the child was hit in such a way that is much more severe then is ever needed for a disciplinary swat!
post #15 of 62
I don't know about that- some people (including kids) just bruise easily.
post #16 of 62
Not necessarily. I'm anemic and have bruised in instances where I wasn't touched nearly hard enough to be considered bruise-worthy. If you dork me on the arm, I bruise. You should see the one I got from the damn flu shot yesterday!
post #17 of 62
Thread Starter 
I think if you read the last line.. it explains why she posted. She trusts her friends here.

But overall.. I agree with Grizz...
post #18 of 62
sierra, I'm not disagreeing, was merely looking for qualifiers. Don't shoot!
post #19 of 62
Originally Posted by sierra View Post
I think if you read the last line.. it explains why she posted. She trusts her friends here.
I understand that, but that last line is all the more reason why a professional of some sort needs to be consulted, not a bunch of random people on the internet. It's an unfortunate situation, to be sure, but one that is not going to be solved by posting on the internet. Or in a day--like yar said, there are apparently issues here that are beyond most of us.

One more vote for Grizz.
post #20 of 62
Thread Starter 

My husband has been violent once in the past. He punched the glass out of my curio cabinet during an arguement with me about 2 months ago. But he's never done anything like this. He apparently didn't realize how hard he hit my son until the next day when the bruise showed up. My son didn't tell me. I noticed it when he went to get a shower.

My husband was absolutely remorseful, crying even, which I've only seen him do once before. He immediately wanted to get help, without my suggestion.

He has spanked my son before, which I have no problem with, but this time he hit him with the handle of a broom. The reason? My son had been told multiple times to clean his room and had not done so. My husband lost his temper.

He was abused pretty badly as a child. He still has the scars, both physically and emotionally. He has never before sought counseling to deal with any of it.
post #21 of 62
Hmmm Grizz gave the best advice.

I have no idea the situarion, but that it was brought up in the beginning indicates the problem may have already existed.

If this is the case, and you feel your child is unsafe, remove them from the situation... at least until the proper amount of help is received.

The child's protection is the most important thing here.
post #22 of 62
Originally Posted by Horrible Peanut View Post
I don't know about that- some people (including kids) just bruise easily.
Mrs. PH bruises very easily.
post #23 of 62
Aha- this is a little clearer.

Tough situation
(((Anonymous & family)))
post #24 of 62
Well, looking at this through the eyes of a professional, perhaps this is the catalyst her hubby needed to finally address his own issues and get help for them. I understand that this is very very scary for her as a mom, but there are many ways one can look at this situation. Right now it depends on how he handles it, and it sounds like it was a wake up call for him and that he plans to do the right thing by getting help.

I worked with adults who were abused as children for years. None of them are horrible people, they are very injured and it takes a long time for them to heal--and with men it is even harder to seek help because they don't like to admit they were abused. If he is willing to seek help, that is a positive thing that has come out of this, no? It obviously scared the crap out of him that he was capable of such rage.
post #25 of 62
My dad hit me when I was a teenager - once. When we were kids we occassionally got spanked, but that was during the time when spanking your kids was an acceptable and normal form of discipline. The time when I was a teenager was the result of an argument that kept escalating, and like any teenager worth her salt, I knew exactly how to push his buttons, and push them I did! He backhanded me across the face, and his ring caught me near the eye, giving me a black eye. He was immediatly horrified, even though I knew I had seriously earned that smack in the face.

I had fun for a week telling all my friends that "My daddy gave me a black eye". I can only imagine now how horrified he must have been. He was NOT an abusive man, he had no history of violence, but he was not necessarily a patient man and he got pushed over the edge and lost control. People are human and they make mistakes. Sometimes really bad ones.

The answer to your friend's dilemma lies in the circumstances and the history. Spanking a kid hard enough to leave a bruise sounds pretty over the edge, but are there mitigating factors?

A good family counselor is the best person to really assess the situation. If I had one piece of advise for this woman is, put off making any decisions until you calm down, have some time to think about it, and see a good counselor.*

* - If child is in danger, ignore the above and get thee gone - immediately.

ETA - I just read the orginal poster's response. Dr. Genie's response is spot on. Sounds like the husband needs individual counseling, and the family needs family counseling. One thing that stands out though - why did the little son not say anthing about being hit with a broom handle? That seems unusual to me. Most little kids I've known would run crying to mom about something like that.
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