I have a problem that I'm really ashamed of and I need help to figure out how to stop.
In a nutshell, when I get really mad, I take it out on my boyfriend by physically abusing him. David and I have been together a little over a year and because he's so much bigger than me, he used to think me hitting him was kind of funny (either that or he was too ashamed to admit it hurt because he's a big, strong guy). Anyway, when he irritates me, I start to kick and punch him. Sometimes I even bite him and he's never done anything back to me except try to restrain me a few times. I always feel really bad afterwards but I just can't help reacting before I have time to think -- and I think he's in a place where he's going to leave me. So what do I do? Do I let him go? Do I try and stop? Do I to counseling? Do we go to counseling? Help! I really don't want to lose him.
Slacker thinks that if this were gender reversed, everyone would think that this is horrible and the guy should be in jail. He agrees with that and Steve says that that it should be the same reversed as well. Both of the guys have been taught that no matter what happens, if a woman is punching you then you don't punch back. Both Slacker and Steve have been in this sort of a situation. For Slacker, it was either when she was high or drunk. In those times, she was out of her mind and she wasn't hitting him in a sober state. Steve's ex was hitting him when she was sober. He would protect himself and he did restrain her once and she fell over and ended up having to go to the emergency room. Slacker just wants to know if this is the first guy that she's done this with. Is there just something about this guy, or has she done this before? Slacker and Steve both ended up leaving after the relationship got to a certain point, and that's their advice. Not to Janine, but to her boyfriend David. He needs to get out before it gets worse.
Ok, so I'm going to sidestep the obvious comments on the fact that what Janine is doing is wrong. She already knows this, is ashamed of herself, and is trying to see how to help her relationship. I say that in order to help she just needs to break the habit. Janine's gotten used to taking out her anger physically and it makes sense that she doesn't even think about it whenever she gets mad. It's a habit that's probably hard to break and I can imagine that the guilt she feels after she's cooled down kills her. Of course she should try and stop, but counseling may be a good idea as well to see why she has such a desire to hit and bite when she gets angry with her boyfriend. Other than this, maybe she should try and take up kickboxing or some other sort of contact exercise. That may take off the edge a bit for her.