I smacked my wife after she smacked my son and I feel terrible
We have been married for 6 years and have two boys. The oldest 5 years old. I come from a background where hitting a child is totally unacceptable and hitting a woman is equally unacceptable. We have from time to time arguments over her smacking our 5 year old son when he doesn't want to do what she tells him. She often fights with him like if he is her brother, rather than her being the mother. We often end up having really bad arguments over this and she says that I am taking his side and not helping in him respecting her. This morning he did not want to eat breakfast and was just sitting on the floor, not listening to his mother telling him to eat his food. Suddenly she came from the bedroom with a cloths hanger and she hit him really hard over the legs out of frustration. I totally lost it an took the hanger from her and whacked her back over her hip with the same hanger. It happened so fast I was not able to control my temper and take a calm cause of action. Seeing her hit my son hard just made everything go red. I have never hit her or any woman before and although we have had arguments before, I have never laid a hand on her. I feel extremely bad about this and don't have any excuse for what I have done. At the same time my son saw what happened and he being at his age don't understand and is scared because mum and dad fights. Now my wife has left and I do not know where she has went. I want to ensure that I never loose control this way again. I do not know how to start saying sorry and how to get to sit down and talk about what happened. I love her and I do not want my behavior to break up our marriage. At the same time, I am still angry with her for hitting our son, but that still does not justify smacking her back. What can I do?