Regardless of circumstances and gender, nobody should ever push their partner in an argument. Pushing can be classified as assault and could be just the first sign that your partner is physically abusive, which will escalate. This is red flag can’t be ignored, and there must be consequences for it.
Relationships can be complicated, and fighting with your partner can get messy, but you also need to know where to draw the line. So, if your husband or boyfriend pushed you during an argument, how should you proceed, and what’s the right thing to do going forward?
Pushing is often seen as a non-violent act that is not intended to be harmful. It’s not a punch, a kick, or strangling, but it is still a forceful act used to intimidate and assert dominance. Whether you’re six weeks into your relationship, six months, or six years, when your partner resorts to pushing you in a heated argument, it is far from being harmless. And next time, that push could become a punch or a slap.
Before we go into the details of where pushing lies on the spectrum of domestic abuse, let’s be clear that it doesn’t matter what your partner’s gender is or what yours is. Everyone can be an abuser and whether you’re physiologically stronger than your partner (men generally tend to have more dense muscles than women) makes no difference to whether you’re exhibiting abusive behavior or not.
There are a few exceptions where pushing is acceptable, and they include the following:
- Consensual pushing (i.e., playful nudges, etc.)
- Pushing someone out of harm’s way
- Pushing an attacker in self-defense
- When someone is blocking you from leaving, you push them out of the way to get past them.
But other than in cases like those above, it is never acceptable to push someone into an argument. There is plenty of legal precedents that would allow you to call the police, press charges, and file for a restraining order from what may be excused as “just a push.”
It’s never “just a push,” and allowing it to happen is the first step to showing your partner that they can get away with abusive behavior. Next time, it will be a punch or a slap and, before you know it, you can find yourself in a relationship where you’re in genuine danger and could fear for your life.
Related Reading: Why Does My Husband Pick Fights With Me When He Drinks?
Should You Leave Your Husband After He Pushed You?
The real question that you should be asking yourself in the wake of your argument that led to the push is whether you should be staying with your husband or not. Was this just a one-time thing? Should you address it directly, or should you just keep quiet and let the tension subside in the interest of saving your relationship?
You’ll often hear excuse after excuse from abusers who will say it’s just “a one-time thing”. They’ll become incredibly apologetic and promise it will never happen again, but the push is a sign of the way that your partner tends to resolve conflicts.
Rather than handling a disagreement in a civilized manner, using words, your partner regressed to an immature response – a physical one. The intensity of that physical reaction will only escalate after you’ve made it clear that you won’t leave; when your partner knows they can get away with it.
You need to acknowledge that any move made at another person intended to intimidate them is wrong and a clear sign that they lack the maturity and knowledge to deal with conflict appropriately.
No level of physical abuse is appropriate, and you need to be very clear, assertive, and even forceful in showing that you’re unwilling to compromise on this.
Suppose you genuinely feel that you want to stay. In that case, you need to lay down the law and insist that your partner takes steps towards atonement, whether that means they agree to attend therapy sessions or if you simply have to remove yourself from the situation temporarily while you figure things out. But, it needs to be clear that this is being taken seriously, and you will not tolerate it. And, if it ever does happen again, you need to leave.
A good rule of thumb is to take a step back and look at your entire relationship and ask yourself objectively if you’ve noticed any other warning signs indicating that this partner has a propensity towards being abusive.
Have they ever been controlling or possessive or expect you to be obedient? Do they assert dominance in a way that makes you uncomfortable? Trust your gut.
Unfortunately, if you are in an abusive relationship, this is the hardest part. But it’s entirely necessary. Do not tell yourself that this person will change and things will get better, or blame yourself in any way. There’s no working around the fact that you need to get out of the relationship because, if you don’t, your life could be in danger.
But getting out of a relationship (particularly a long-term relationship where you share a home, pets, kids, etc.) is complicated. And you may think that letting things be would be far easier than going through the process of leaving. But, if it’s a matter of life and death, you couldn’t be more wrong – and, with abusers, it often is.
When a victim of abuse tries to leave a relationship, it can be dangerous. If possible, you should get help from a lawyer or social worker to gather legal documentation like affidavits. You will also need access to a bank account and a safe place to go to when you leave.
Victims will be safest if they end their relationships quickly and decisively without making threats or changing their minds, and this means you’ll need a safety plan for where you’re working, living, and your children. In other words, try to find a place where your partner can’t find you.
Staying with your parents would be the obvious choice, but it’s also the easiest place for your partner to track you down. However, there are plenty of resources available to victims trying to get out of an abusive relationship. As you prepare to leave, domestic violence programs will provide you with the support you need to transition safely into your new life.
Furthermore, if you have any, both you and your children will also need to enter counseling sessions with a professional to help cope with the psychological effects of the relationship.
For further assistance, get in touch with the following helpful organizations:
If you find yourself being pushed by your partner, it is a sign of abusive tendencies, and you either need to address the issue and make clear that you will not stand for that behavior, or you need to leave your partner.
You should not be trying to assign blame. It is entirely unacceptable, and legally, you’re within your rights to take the matter to the police. But also remember that this is a delicate situation that can go very ugly. Hence, you need to be careful in the way that you approach walking away from your relationship.
However, with a proper action plan, you will be able to get out of your relationship and begin a new life without your abusive partner.