NOTE: This archive only contains Carolyn Hax columns through March 2011. Her more recent columns are located here.

Carolyn Hax

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By Carolyn Hax
Thursday, March 12, 2009

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My fiance threw a lamp at me. It missed me and hit the wall, leaving a big hole. I don't know if he was aiming for me. He would say he wasn't, and that he was just mad. We'd been fighting a little that night, and he was trying to go to bed when I interrupted him.

He told me to sleep on the couch, which I did. He also told me to "get the [expletive] out!" And even took the doorknob off the bedroom door so I couldn't come to bed. To be fair, I did call him an expletive before he threw the lamp.

I packed up my things and left his house the next morning. It's been seven days now, and he has not called me to apologize, or anything. I'm almost 40, he's 46, and I really wanted to marry this man, whom I still love very much. Should I forgive him, should he eventually call me to apologize profusely? Is a first-time violent offense forgivable?

Still Holding My Breath

When bad aim (or good, for that matter) is the only reason you escaped serious injury, you need to bypass the informal remedies and go straight to professional counseling. It's not just the seriousness of his resorting to violence, it's that you're aching for him to come back to validate you.

This puts you in both a physically and emotionally precarious position. Call 800-799-SAFE (National Domestic Violence Hotline) or 800-656-HOPE (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, to talk to someone right away, and also to get names of people you can see more regularly.

Please take care of yourself.

Re: First-Time Violent Offense:

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