I’m in a 27-year marriage. It’s always been a bit rocky, and we’ve both made mistakes. But recently, things have gone from bad to worse, and while we’ve been in counselling, things have not improved.
We have been living in separate rooms for almost a year, and no marital relations except once on our anniversary. We have kids, only one under age 18.
A few days ago, I became impatient during an argument and dropped the “f” bomb. This really upset my wife who followed me to the bathroom where I was going to brush my teeth before bed. She threw my toothbrush in the toilet, and the conversation became very heated. When I tried to leave the room, she blocked the way, and in my frustration I told her to move her fat ***. I’m ashamed of saying that, have never gone there because I know she’s sensitive about her body image.
It really set her off and she grabbed my arms forcefully (I have bruises) and then with both hands grabbed my hair and wrestled me to the floor. I could only have resisted by punching or kicking and didn’t want to do that. She kept a tight grip on my hair and got on top of me, pinning me to the ground. After almost an hour, the only way short of violence that I could get her off of me was to scream at her to let me up and call for our son to come help me, telling her I didn’t want to hit her to get her off of me.
Now, two days later, she’s all nice and contrite, which is fine. We’ve been polite, but I’m not sure she understands how serious her behavior was.
I’d already been considering separation, which would be highly disruptive/embarrassing to us in our parish circle of friends not to mention expensive. Our older kids all see that we are living apart in the house, and I’m sure they heard this fight.
Am I justified in separating? Or should I/must I stay and try to work it out? Is one episode of violence enough to justify separation?