My husband was abused as a child. When things got bad he would runaway. He continues that same behavior as a grown adult. When there is any conflict, he leaves and will not come back until I apologize, regardless of any fault. He claims he will always do this. How do work through this?Repetition of Childhood Behavior
Repetition of Childhood Behavior
Thank you for your email. Your husband’s emotional reaction would indicate he is stuck emotionally with the only coping skill he has. While I can appreciate the fact his early abuse caused this reaction, he is letting the abusers still influence him with his inappropriate reaction to conflicts. Because he is using it as his primary method for coping, it puts you in a very precarious position. If you don’t apologized he continues — if you do he has manipulated you in to taking blame for something you didn’t do. This is something a trained counselor can help you look at.
I recommend couples counseling, but, if your husband won’t go, I recommend individual counseling to learn how to cope. The “Find Help” tab at the top of the page can help, and another great resource for finding a couple’s therapist is here.