Fighting back isn’t the issue…


  QUESTION:

3 nights ago there was an incident where my girlfriends (GF) (whom I live with) ex-husband (XH) came to our house extremely intoxicated and started a fight.

Earlier that night my GF’s 14yr old daughter called and asked if she could stay at her grandmothers house and have her dad bring her home later.  My GF said that was fine.  Around 11:30 my GF was wondering what was taking her daughter so long to get home, so she called her cell.  Turns out that her dad (the ex-husband) and taken her daughter to a bar to sing Karaoke.  A bar where a 14 yr old should NOT be.  My GF said she wanted to talk to her XH.  He told her to be in the garage because he wanted to have a few words with her.  She agreed.

I was in the house watching TV when the XH brought my GF’s daughter home.  A minute or so went by and I could hear some screaming outside.  I went out into the garage to see what the screaming was about.  When I got out to the garage door the XH charged at me and started to hit me.  Before I knew what was going on he had hit me 2-3 times in the face.  I was extremely confused and the only thing I could do was to try and protect myself and get away.  I made it back into the house and called 911.  By the time the police arrived he had left.  I then found out he had pushed my GF to the ground when he had first got there.  This all happened in front of his and my GF’s two daughters.  The 14 year old and her 12 year old sister.

I have always had a civil relationship with the XH.  I’ve occasionally borrowed tools from him and been around him a fair number of times and have never had a problem with him.  
That’s why this is all so confusing to me.  
The night he attacked me, I hadn’t said a word to anyone when I went out into the garage.

He ended up being taken to jail that night and being charged with 3rd account domestic abuse assault and assault with injury.  The other 2 domestic charges had happened when my GF was married to him.  That’s what led to their divorce.  I should also mention that I hadn’t gotten together with my GF until after the divorce was started and they were separated.

I guess my question is, should I have fought back when he attacked me?  I’m pretty sure I could have taken him if I had fought back, but the girls were watching the whole thing and I didn’t want to fight their dad in front of them, so I went back into the house.

I ended up in the emergency room that night and received 5 stitches in my lower lip.  I am still very upset about what happened that night and am having a hard time because I am wondering if I did the right thing or not.  Last night I asked my GF if she was disappointed that I didn’t fight back.  She said she wasn’t disappointed but was shocked that I didn’t.  That didn’t give me the relief I was looking for.  I know by her behavior that she feels extremely bad for what happened, but I can’t help but feel I didn’t do the right thing.

Did I do the right thing?

   

ANSWER:

I’ll give you a list of the several right things that should be done. Your GF should immediately file for a change in any type of custody agreement with this father. He is a dangerous person to have the kids around. If there isn’t one already there should be a restraining order. Your GF shouldn’t have private heated conversations with an angry drunk especially when things like this can be taken care of in court. The EX knows it’s wrong and your GF doesn’t need to lecture him about it.
The final thing you most likely not like. I think the most important right thing to do is about you living with this woman pretending to be a father to these young girls. It is unfortunate they have to deal with the poor choices of your GF. You have a choice to come or go they don’t. So what are they learning? They are learning that violence, drunkenness, non commitment happens in relationships and you are a part of that. A cycle is either continuing or beginning with the experience these girls are having. What’s more important is that a cycle is broken so they don’t have to suffer through the same mistakes.
Should you have fought back? I don’t think that really matters given the more important things at stake.
David
www.help4life.net

 

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