Domestic violence: when the woman is the aggressor

Dr. Phil comes on during the boys’ naps, so sometimes I watch it. Today was an episode in his domestic violence series where the wife, Sara, was the aggressor and the husband, Quinn, was the victim.

The abuse was awful; physical and emotional abuse to the max. She has raged at their children. He went on a second tour of duty in Iraq just to get away from the drama (seriously, wtf? damn…). She also committed adultery. And physically assaulted his mother, after which she threatened to kill her if Quinn called the police.

I’m really glad that Dr. Phil is highlighting the fact that men can be abused by their female partners.

However, still got a few issues:

1. I guess since there was no way to directly deny any of the allegations against her, Sara cries and blames her parents for the entire show.

I am all for recognizing past (or current) parental/home dysfunction. Really. In fact, if people did this more, they’d be much happier. But, at some point you have to move on, take responsibility for your actions, and unlearn the dysfunction.

2. I just didn’t feel the seriousness. Sara got way more understanding from Dr. Phil than she would have if she were male. He said he was sorry for whatever bad treatment she suffered as a child. And even though Quinn was pretty much done with her, all these years both he and extended family have put up with this nonsense way too long. If she were a guy, she’d be in prison still (she was arrested for domestic violence twice).

3. Dr. Phil’s advice? Don’t divorce her yet, give us 45 days to fix her. What? Again, if this were a dude…

But, in Dr. Phil’s defense, Sara put on a great act (imo). The crying, claiming abuse from her parents (which I don’t doubt, actually), the contriteness with just barely a hint of defensiveness, exclaiming she couldn’t believe she said/did [insert horrible thing]. And finally, she insists she wants help. I suppose Dr. Phil has to take her at her word. And he did tell Quinn not to let her near the children unsupervised.

I feel sorry for Quinn because you could see he was at the end of his rope. Too much has gone down (she beat up his mom!). Personally, I think he needs to drop her. Because they have children, he has an investment in her getting better, but that doesn’t mean he has to stay married to her.

Plus, her motivation for getting better needs to be for herself and the welfare of the kiddos, not to keep a man. I have a feeling the later is true; she was fairly confident he doesn’t truly want a divorce.

And to him I say, good luck with that.