There is no doubt that what he is doing is abusive. You’ve been married for three years and say that things had been “great.” There have been situations lately that seem to have increased his stress level and thus his abusiveness. However, it would be unusual for someone to change their personality and or behavior so drastically. Generally speaking, people don’t become abusers overnight. There may have been concerning aspects about his personality and behavior that you had overlooked or were not willing to acknowledge.
Unfortunately, you don’t have many options. Continue to encourage him to seek help and hopefully he will. Beyond that, there’s little else you can do except protect yourself against his abuse. At some point, your only choice may be to live elsewhere and giving him an ultimatum about seeking help. It may send a clear message that you’re serious about him getting help and that you’re unwilling to tolerate his abuse.
In the meantime, you should seek counseling. He may not be willing to attend treatment but that shouldn’t stop you from doing so. It may be the necessary for your complex situation. The therapist will help you to navigate the relationship and determine your next move. Both of you must acknowledge his abuse and jointly work to end it. Good luck and please stay safe.
Dr. Kristina Randle