It is very common to hurt those who love you. Why? Because they are the only ones willing to take or overlook the abuse. Their love for you makes them more understanding and more forgiving and thus they become easy targets for abuse.
You would think that the people you love would be the last persons that you would choose to hurt or treat unfairly but indeed often they are the only people who will allow you to abuse them.
It is understandable that you would be allowing your wife to be the target of your anger or pain but it is not acceptable. I’m sure you know that and that became the basis of your motivation for writing.
You mentioned that you had been assaulted and that your abusive behavior toward your wife began after your assault. If your assault was physical, the physical injuries that you suffered were accompanied by psychological injuries. It’s impossible to have physical injuries without accompanying psychological injury. Human beings are conscious, psychological beings.
The body does a good job of repairing physical damage. The human psyche is not as self-repairing. The bruises have faded but the psychological damage may actually be worsening. It is impossible for me to adequately understand or diagnose your situation from a short, written correspondence.
If you truly feel that your behavior toward your wife is not acceptable and is very unfair to her, then obviously your behavior must stop and the sooner the better. Abuse can be better tolerated by a loved one but it is not forgotten and is rarely forgiven. The intentionality of the abuse will always be considered by a loved one. Did you mean to hurt them? Did you do everything within your power to stop yourself from hurting them?
The obvious answer to your situation is effective counseling. The lingering psychological damage from your assault of a year ago is very likely causing your abusive behavior toward your wife. Counseling can very quickly stop your abusive behavior toward your wife and with time can cure the psychological damage which lingers from your assault of a year or so ago.
Please don’t hesitate to get help and I wish you success.
Dr. Kristina Randle