03/28/2012 06:00 pm ET Updated Jun 26, 2012

Emotional Or Physical Abuse = Divorce

Dear Agi,

I have found the Divorce section of the Huffington Post to be one of the most fascinating places on the Internet. I recently read an article that you wrote called "Divorce Over Infidelity." The article stuck out because it was similar to my situation. I am just about to turn 29. I have a 4 1/2 year old and a 2 year old. My husband and I have been married 7 years. He is an Active Duty soldier in the military and is currently not deployed.

The best way to describe our relationship is to compare it to a roller coaster. When it's good it's great; when it's bad, it's torture. Cliché, I know. However, we have had a lot of highs -- the births of our children, buying our first house, all the "things" that should qualify as a high. We have had a ton of lows. He has the worst temper and he has cheated on me twice that I know of. Most recently he had an affair, and the most gut wrenching part of it was that not only was it physical, but it became emotional too. We were having an argument one night because I had walked outside when he had been drinking too much and I overheard him arguing with his girlfriend/affair. He was crying to her on the phone:
"I love you. You and your children are the first thing I think about in the morning."

Needless to say, this set me off. Nonetheless, they continued their relationship, despite denying it continually. hey went behind not only my back, but her husbands as well. During the course of all these events I began to withdraw from all areas of my life. I no longer cared if he went out of town for travel or if he went out with the guys. I saw this as a liberating time to show that I could really live on my own and take care of my two wonderful boys by myself. At one point, I had a moment of weakness where I flirted with a co-worker -- just flirting -- nothing more. My husband witnessed my flirting and to this day now treats me like I did the worst possible thing. He now watches my phone bills, what I purchase, where I go and to whom I speak. He has become controlling.

As I mentioned earlier, he has a horrible temper, something all his friends and family know about. At my office holiday party in December 2010, he became so inebriated that he lost control of who he was. While we were driving home, he had convinced himself that the car was bugged, and that he had to "kill me" in order to save me. Suffice it to say, it was a horrible night. I drove him to his supervisor's house, not the police. To this day, I am not sure why. I figured I didn't want my kids to have to deal with any of this. He swore up and down he would never touch hard alcohol again. Well you guessed it, that didn't last long. He was at a happy hour with the other woman (I forgot to mention he works with her) and he came home flipping out at me. He broke my bedroom door down. I finally said, either you leave or I will leave. He packed a backpack and left for the evening. He called me bawling hysterically. He did the ultimate worse thing possible; he told our 4 year old that "mommy is making me leave."

I consider myself a very smart woman in life, just apparently dumb in love. I have a great job, a degree from a good school and two wonderful children. Yet I can't seem to get my marriage right. A good friend who knows the situation is so concerned about my safety she has given me a key to her home in case I ever need to leave. However, when push comes to shove and he is putting me down, or getting upset at me, I can't leave. I have in fact saved him numerous times from being demoted or thrown in jail. I think I am worried about my children and how would I be able to support them on my own. I know I am doing the cliché thing by staying. He keeps telling me he can change and he wants to and that he will spend forever proving it. It will never happen Agi, will it? We may go up that roller coaster, but eventually it's going to come flying down until one of us gets hurt. Do you think it's possible for change? Should a relationship even be a roller coaster?

Roller Coaster Wife

Dear Mother,

I name you mother because that is what you are first and foremost. This makes you the person who is responsible for caring enough for herself that she can care for and protect her children. Let me get straight to the point:

"Danger Will Robinson!!! (Red Hazard light flashing with the screeching sound of a warning buzzer bellowing.)"

Mom, you are in trouble and you need to get help now! I am very much an advocate of marriage and not divorce, however, when you tell me that you fear for your safety, which in turn means your children too are in danger, you need to take action quickly. He told you he had to "kill you!" This is a crisis situation and you must make immediate arrangements to extract yourself and your children from this environment until he gets the appropriate help he needs. At this point, his indiscretions are minimal compared to his violent threats, behavior and misuse of alcohol. Please get the support you need to help you make this move quickly and safely. There are many resources you can tap into. For example, you can go online to a women's shelter group and anonymously ask for help. It is very common amongst military wives who are being abused to not seek help for fear of ruining their husbands' career. Please don't let this stop you from seeking help. The military offers many programs for spouses in your position. One of them is the Family Advocacy Program designed specifically for the military. They can help you and your children transition along with getting your husband the help he needs.

My dear child, your husband's cheating is the very least of your problems. Your only focus right now should be to seek safety for yourself and your children and thereafter, you can begin to heal the wounds that you don't even know are apparent. Any relationship that emulates a rollercoaster ride is one that will inevitably end with someone getting hurt either emotionally or, in your case, physically. You need to go to a different amusement park, one that offers you love, kindness, respect and compassion. You are a beautiful soul who should be cherished, not abused or threatened.

As to your question; "It will never happen Agi, will it?" I can't say yes or no. Sometimes people do change, but it is my experience that change only comes when someone has a primal scream internally shouting at them that they need help and must change. In other words, very rarely do people change. What I do know is that you are looking for the right type of change in your life and by doing so you will teach your children a better way. Be very proud of yourself that you are reaching out. I am guessing it has been a while since someone told you how special you are. I am here to tell you:

You are a unique sparkle designed specifically for this time and space. This makes you perfect and beautiful. This life is here to love you.

Now, go get the help you need to love yourself.

I wish you all the best my friend ~

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