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Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.
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Violence Within Marriage

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. Updated: Jan 9th 2012

Violence Within Marriage"I am Only 26,"

This is the case of a woman who wrote to Dr. Schwartz in the "Reader Questions" forum.

She writes that married a divorced man with three kids when she was 19 years old. She now has a child of her own. Seven years later, now twenty six years of age, the man she married is abusive and pathologically jealous. When he is in a fit of paranoid jealousy, he explodes, puts his hands around her neck and chokes her. He then threatens not only her life but those of her family and fellow workers in the event that she would ever leave him. Why did she ever marry him? All we can do is make some very general guesses.

Possible possible reasons are that she:

1. Wanted to get away from home because her parents were abusive.
2. Was looking for security that she thought comes from someone who is mature and has a job.
3. Wass attracted to a surrogate father figure in this man.
4. Thought she was becoming an independent woman.
5. Was s under the powerful influence of romance, love and infatuation.
6. At her age at the time, was a young person and more likely to be naive, vulnerable and easily manipulated. Naturally, this can be said of older people as well.

Keep in mind that she was aware that her husband was married and divorced, and had three of is own children.

What can she do now?

It makes sense for her to move away from her abusive husband so that she and the children can find safety. Recently, it was pointed out to me that many women cannot move  away because they lack money and other resources. While there may be truth to this, it is another and more dangerous truth. Too many women have been murdered in cases of domestic violence. Aside from the possibility of losing self control if under the influence of drugs and alcohol, men like these can, in a fit of rage, commit murder when they are completely sober.

What are your opinions about what this woman should do? I am sure she is looking forward to everyone's advice. Because of the dangers in these types of cases, her email question is included under "Reader Questions."

Allan N. Schwartz, PhD

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

Readers who live in the Boulder, Colorado metro area, or in Southwest Florida may contact Dr. Schwartz for face-to-face consultation. He is also available for psychotherapy through Skype video for those who are not in Florida or Colorado. He can be reached via email at for details.

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