My gf and I have been dating for about 6 months. We both go to the same school, so we see each other all the time, and are both going to graduate in June. We have had a great relationship, and I have no reason to dislike her. She is a rational, level-headed, and smart woman who I absolutely trust.
My gf is trained in Jiu Jitsu and I believe she is decently good (I’ve never seen her fight). She has been training at a fancy gym consistently since she started college 5 years ago. I have zero self defense training as I don’t have the time or money to go to classes or a martial arts gym. I boxed briefly in early college but had to quit pretty early on because I got a new job.
So last night we had just got back from my friends birthday party and we started to mess around. Sometimes we play fight and wrestle around, normal couple things. But last night while we were rolling around out of nowhere she puts me in an ACTUAL head lock.
For context, neither of us were intoxicated. We had both had a couple drinks a few hours prior but we were totally sober by the time we got home. Also for context, I am about 5 inches taller than her but I don’t think I outweigh her by too much (I don’t know how much she weighs but I am pretty skinny, about 145 lbs). I think I am stronger than her but again, I don’t have any training.
I tried to get out of her hold but I didn’t know how so I’m just kinda squirming around. Then she really starts to tighten up. In a matter of maybe 2 seconds, she is full on choking me. My airway is completely closed and I immediately become extremely angry (don’t know why really, is that the normal reaction?). My emotions just start going crazy, which is clouding my judgement and my thought processes.
I didn’t know what to do so I started tapping on the ground and on her head. She lets go and I backed away quickly. She still had a smile on her face, I’m assuming because she thought we were having fun.
I immediately started yelling at her and was completely enraged at this point. She was initially confused because she didn’t seem to know what she was doing.
I walked downstairs to try to cool off and process what happened.
When I came back I didn’t really know what to do, so I decided to just go home. I started to put my clothes on and she starts crying and apologizing, saying she didn’t mean to and didn’t think she was doing anything serious. I felt bad because this was the first time I’ve ever seen her cry.
I’m still very angry at this point but I decided to stay. I still didn’t really know what to do so I just decided to go to bed. She went downstairs and came up a little bit later and eventually came to bed. Now we sleep together probably 5 nights a week but I have never slept with her angry so I just kinda faced away from her and tried to fall asleep.
She kept apologizing quietly but I told her I just wanted to go to sleep. We woke up this morning and took a shower together (something we normally do) but we didn’t talk and I didn’t touch her at all. We talked a little before I left (I had to go study for a big test I am taking tomorrow), and I assured her I wasn’t going to break-up with her over this incident. She seemed worried that I might end it.
I am still very confused about the situation and seek advice on how to deal with this. I don’t know how to feel about her, but also, and maybe more importantly, I don’t know how to feel about myself. I felt something I haven’t felt in a really long time. I felt helpless. I thought about trying to hurt her to get out of her hold but I refrained because I would never hurt her.
But now the thing that keeps plaguing me is that I don’t know if I could’ve gotten out of her hold. I don’t know if I could’ve defended myself from her.
This feels like it is taking a big toll on my confidence and my self-esteem. Feeling helpless to defend myself from my own girlfriend is a very confusing feeling when I know she didn’t “mean” to do it.
Another thing that made me feel even worse was she kept saying (in an apologetic tone, not a mean one) “I do that all the time at practice, with that amount of strength, and it never seems to have that effect on the other person”. That made me feel like she was implying that I was weak or something. Like my neck was somehow easier to choke than the other people in her gym.
That made me feel like I was even more helpless than I previously thought.