Don’t want to divorce my abusive husband, will he change with counselling?

Close up of a woman's face, sadness


Dear ma’am,
My husband gets physically aggressive during arguments. It ranges from pulling and twisting arms, to pushing, slapping and pressing the neck. It is generally followed by a complete denial of his actions. He tries to convince me that I provoked him. I understand he resorts to gas lighting. It makes me scared, as I think he seems to absolve himself of any guilt by convincing himself he has done nothing wrong. I walk on egg shells during arguments. I had severe PTSD after the last assault during pregnancy.
Is such physical abuse ever corrected by counselling or is it a lifetime problem? When he’s not angry, he can appear to be a jovial person. I am currently not living with him, but as a divorce will destroy my life more than his, I want to know if there is any success with counselling.

Related reading: I’m in an abusive marriage and hoping my husband will change

Counsellor Snigdha Mishra says:

Dear Girl,

This is not gas lighting, but a clear case of physical and [restict]emotional abuse and is a punishable offence. I understand your concern and can empathise with your need for social security.
However, I cannot give you a definitive yes, whether your husband’s behaviour can or will change with counselling. For any person who takes therapy, its important to understand a problem as a problem. Your husband needs to acknowledge that he has anger and aggression issues and if not, then he must at least be ready to see a therapist. Each person is different, hence their results in therapy differ. Success in counselling depends completely on your husband. Counselling is a process and will take time. It needs sustained efforts and persistence, both in taking therapy and applying what you learn during therapy to your life.
What makes you think a divorce will destroy your life? I understand divorce and separation are painful. But I urge you to think rationally about all your best options. Please feel free to write back and seek further help.

All the best,



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