Did my husband's upbringing make him abusive?: Roswell family lawyer


I live in Roswell, Georgia, with my husband and three children. Lately he’s been very verbally abusive to me and the children, and he seems to be on the verge of acting out against me, of hitting me, although he hasn’t yet. He’ll call me and the kids all kinds of names and be extremely insulting.

I think his father was the same way towards him. His father was ex-military and had a drinking problem; he said his father was a violent alcoholic who probably suffered from PTSD from being in Vietnam and then he was a contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I’m trying to figure out if his upbringing makes him abusive towards me and the kids.

C.K. in Roswell, Georgia


As Roswell divorce and family law attorneys, we are often asked if a person’s upbringing can make them abusive. It's possible that your husband's upbringing could have influenced his behavior towards you, but it's not necessarily the sole determining factor.

Upbringing and early life experiences can significantly shape a person's attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, including how they interact in relationships.

Here are some ways in which your husband's upbringing might have contributed to his abusive behavior:

  1. Modeling Behavior: Children often learn how to behave by observing the actions of their parents and caregivers. If your husband grew up in an environment where verbal abuse or unhealthy communication patterns were prevalent, he may have internalized these behaviors and now replicate them in his own relationships.
  2. Family Dynamics: Family dynamics play a crucial role in shaping individual behaviors and attitudes towards relationships. If your husband witnessed or experienced dysfunctional family dynamics, such as conflict, aggression, or emotional neglect, he may struggle to engage in healthy communication and conflict resolution strategies as an adult.
  3. Lack of Role Models: In some cases, individuals may lack positive role models for healthy relationships. If your husband did not have access to healthy relationship models or received inadequate guidance on how to navigate conflicts and express emotions constructively, he may resort to abusive behaviors as a way of coping with relationship challenges.
  4. Trauma and Emotional Wounds: Childhood trauma, neglect, or abuse can have long-lasting effects on a person's emotional well-being and interpersonal relationships. If your husband experienced trauma or emotional wounds during his upbringing, he may struggle with unresolved issues that manifest in abusive behavior towards you.

While your husband's upbringing may have contributed to his abusive tendencies, it's essential to recognize that abusive behavior is a choice. Individuals have the capacity to learn and change their behaviors, especially with the right support and intervention.

If you're comfortable, you may consider discussing your husband's upbringing and its potential impact on his behavior in a safe and supportive environment, such as couples therapy or individual counseling. A qualified therapist can help both of you explore underlying issues, improve communication skills, and work towards building a healthier and more respectful relationship.

Regardless of the underlying factors, it's important to prioritize your safety and well-being. If you ever feel unsafe or threatened, consider reaching out to local resources for support and assistance. You deserve to be treated with respect and dignity in your relationship.

When you need a Roswell family law attorney, call attorney Valerie Sherman and attorney Bill Sherman immediately! 

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