DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married for five years, with two children. I have been putting my hands on her in such a bad way that she's saying we are no longer a family and she wants a divorce. I need my wife and children back. It hurts me to stay away.
I'm currently going to church and Sunday school and Bible study. I have been praying many hours these past few weeks, and it is helping me. I will do anything and everything I can to get my family back because I don't want to lose them. What can I do to get them back? -- LEARNING A LESSON IN NEVADA
DEAR LEARNING: A good first step would be for you to gain some insight about what triggers you to act out violently. Was physical abuse an example that was set by your parents? Does it happen because you have a substance abuse problem? A course in anger management could help you break this destructive pattern. Search online for a program near you. After that, if your wife sees you are making a sincere effort, she may trust you enough to risk reuniting. A warning, however: Do not pressure her. This will have to be her decision.