I never struck my SAFWH. But boy, did I have some wicked images of violence I'd have liked to have wreaked on his AP. Images that we're graphic and nasty, and totally out of character for me...
But that issue has been beat to death here, why we blame the AP more than the spouse. I don't, but wish damage to them more than him, certainly.
However, the violence perpetrated by words is clearly as damaging as fists. Despite my many hours of pain, sobbing, semi and not so semi hysteria, my sometimes obsessive recounting of the many acts of betrayal by my SAFWH, the guy I trusted to have my back, I always took the time, and had the presence of mind to attack the ACTS, I NEVER called him names, never lost control to the point where I physically attacked him. When asked why by my IC, I said that I wanted to be sure there was an intact man if we were to come out on the other side of this nightmare. Of course, I wasn't so charitable when it came to his APS.
He was never as concerned about my well being. He was very good at slinging the insults. I was attacked about everything. He was a rager, exploding at the moment I dared to question any of his late nights, extra expenditures, strange phone numbers, etc. Even attacking my (pretty good, gym rat, 48 year old, two kids over 8lbs at birth) body as "disgusting" when I begged him to explain to me why he wasn't interested in a physical life with me. On final d-day, he told me I wasn't a "real woman."
All of these words, and dozens more, leave scars just as permanent as ones made with fists. They certainly hurt a lot.
Why did I put up with it? For the same EXACT reason why victims of physical DV do. He'd overwhelm me with apologies and love bombs. He'd verbally beat himself up, he "didn't mean it" he "was an a$$hole." I would accept that, make excuses in my head about chronic depression (his) and the need for compromise in marriage (mine) and I'd hide my head in the sand and, next time, ignore that scary $200 regular bank withdrawal, not call when I suspected he wouldn't pick up anyway, and try to placate him into loving me.
He trained me well.
BTW, he now realizes all of this. And hates himself for it. It took him a long time to see that this is what he was doing, he was so used to seeing ME as the control freak since I took care of house, kids, bills, etc., while he abdicated it all. IDK how long it will take me to heal let alone trust him. A
long time, since his recovery hasn't been linear.
As Blake says, God help us all.