For years I stayed with my ex husband through his lying, cheating, and abuse. Emotional and physical. Until I had finally left him. Now in a relationship with my current significant other and am having an externally hard time. Him even working sends me into anger and panic attacks. When we have fights (like most couples do) it doesn’t matter how small or insignificant it may be I get extremely angry. I have recently hit and bit myself in anger while upset. And have even slapped or pushed him. Afterward I regret it and am extremely upset that I could do such a thing to him. And go into panic attacks where I have to lay and rock back and forth and take deeps breaths to even have the ability to breath. This is not who I am and it is extremely upsetting to me, the anger and panic seems to only arise with him. what can I do to help resolve this problem.
A. You should seek professional help immediately. All of your issues are treatable with therapy and medication. Anger, panic and trust issues are common reasons for entering therapy. Medication can “take the edge off” while developing healthy coping skills in therapy. Many people have found that a combination of medication and therapy have significantly improved their overall quality of life.
You have admitted to physically abusing your new partner. This is often an attempt to gain control in the relationship, to gain the safer “upper hand.” It is not a conscious, well-thought-out behavior. It is an unconscious, learned behavior.
It was unacceptable for your ex to abuse you and it’s unacceptable for you to engage in that same behavior with your new partner. As you know from firsthand experience, abuse is detrimental physically and psychologically to a person’s well-being. It’s simply wrong.
If you continue to abuse your partner, and refuse to seek help, then your partner will likely end the relationship. If you’re serious about changing your behavior, then you should seek professional help. It’s the most responsible course of action. It will show that you’re serious about change. I would strongly encourage you to deal with this issue. It is a way to finally end the abuse of your ex-husband. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Jan 2014
Randle, K. (2014). Abuse Causing Emotional Issues. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 30, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/01/08/abuse-causing-emotional-issues/