Q: I’m 35 and live with my husband and two children. My husband hasn’t worked for the past three years and I work part-time to fit in with the kid’s school.
When he first got made redundant, he was quite positive and thought he could get something quite quickly. After a few months he started to get annoyed and depressed, that’s when he started to take it out on me and the kids. He gets so bitter about me having a job, but that’s what keeps our heads above water. He wont help me with the kids so I cant work full time.He has hit me when we’re arguing about bills, and when he’s had a drink. I’m never sure what mood he’s going to be in when I get home. With Christmas coming, I brought home presents for the kids and he got really cross, accusing me of over-spending. I had saved for them and got them in a sale. I cant’ cope with working as well as being in the wrong for earning. He doesn’t help out in the house. I have tried to be positive and help him with his CV, but he dismisses any suggestions and sulks. I feel trapped, what can I do?
A: Firstly, no-one has the right to be violent against anyone else. This needs to be nipped in the bud, there are no excuses. Your husband has to be made aware that this is unacceptable, frustrated, depressed or not. The important thing is to keep yourself and your kids safe. What you do about your relationship is absolutely up to you. Please consider your options carefully.Have you tried to discuss the matter with your husband? What is his reaction when he has been violent? Have the kids witnessed this behaviour? One in four women experience abuse in their lifetime, you are not alone and this is not your fault. Domestic violence against men is also on the increase. None of this is acceptable. Alcohol has a large part to play in the loosening of inhibitions but this is still no excuse. Christmas and social occasions also intensify violence. There is a lot of pressure surrounding these times and ideals to live up to. You do not have to be a victim.It is stressful enough to have to work and manage the house, you do not have to endure any mental or physical abuse. You should be proud of yourself affording presents for your children and covering the household bills. If your husband has dismissed your help in finding a job, then he only has himself to blame. His depression needs to be diagnosed and treated. For advice please contact the 24 hour Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or see Refuge If necessary, make the call from a public or friend’s phone.