Women who become snared in physically violent relationships have usually forgiven the first instance of violence accepting their partner’s excuses, explanations and rationalisations and then seeing his violence as an aberration. It is not. Do not give him the benefit of the doubt. Good men do not lash out physically. If you don’t end the relationship the first time he’s violent you could become trapped, finding it difficult and riskier to get free of him. If he physically hurt you—serious hurting such as punching, kicking, head-butting, strangling, cutting, eye-gouging, burning, drowning, spitting, suffocating or threatening with weapons—he is likely to do so again and it may escalate over time and he will blame you for it. His violence tells you that he lashes out mindlessly, or with intent, in order to ensure your compliance and that he is misogynistic, lacking in empathy and dangerous.
Over time he will instill fear through intimidation, threats and coercion and you, your children or your pets may be targets of his unmitigated rage. Psychological fear renders you helpless and abandoned in confusion, denial, loss of confidence and isolation. Self-blame is a natural outcome of this. On the other hand he may also suffer from anxiety, depression, insecurity, a terrifying inner emptiness, an inability to manage strong feelings and lack skills in conflict resolution. If you are a loving empathic person you will be drawn to that side of him in the hope that a good relationship will repair his damaged self. With such serious levels of physical violence positive change is highly unlikely and following separation you and your children may be at increased risk of harm, even death. A dangerous perpetrator may kill a woman’s children as the ultimate revenge. Escaping soon and safely may be your only option.