I recently had a massive argument with my husband, but unfortunately it’s not the first time. We have discussed our problems and argued about them in the past, but there have been no changes from his side.

I feel I’m being reasonable, but with nothing coming from his end in terms of real change, I punched him during this row, which resulted in him hitting me back.

We spent the rest of the weekend talking, rowing and then physically abusing each other.

I will admit that I started the hitting each time. I feel very sorry, especially as he has now got a scar that he’s had to explain to his colleagues and clients.

I have told him why I lashed out, and also promised him I will control my anger as it’s unacceptable.

I am genuinely sorry. But I feel like he’s lost respect for me and I feel terribly guilty.

Now we’re dealing with the issue of me lashing out rather than the underlying issue, which may never get solved, and I don’t think he’ll take anything I say seriously now.

What can I do?

Aunty Lisa says

You definitely have anger issues that you need to address with anger management or counselling.

I don’t know whether your marriage can be saved, but I think it’s very hard to come back from physical abuse.

I think when you cross that line something dies and it’s difficult to go back to how things were.

One way you can show him you’re serious about saving your marriage is to get help for your anger.

I think he needs help too – he hit you back, which is also totally unacceptable.

Things are toxic between you at the moment and it’s spilling over into dangerous territory. You could end up really hurting each other.

My advice would be to agree on a period of separation when you don’t live together and have little contact, if any. Then commit to having relationship counselling if you decide the aim is to try to stay together.

Right now, you don’t have a healthy relationship.

As a couple you need to be able to sort out your differences without resorting to physical abuse.

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