Q:

I need to control my temper

We have four kids under seven, not much money and too much to do. 

We get tired and frustrated and fight. Twice now (over the seven years) I have really gotten upset and put my hands around her neck. 

I don't squeeze, I guess I just want her to stop arguing and leave me alone. 

I tend to leave before that happens. 

The question is am I becoming an abuser who needs help or someone who should just realise the relationship is not working and move out. 

I don't want to leave my kids and home, I don't want to hurt anyone. 

I am wary of making a big decision under duress but otherwise we just muddle along. 

I have never been violent or aggressive before, but apparently this is typical of domestic abusers. 

I know I have to choose my path, but it's a tough call. 

I guess in the immediate I need to control my temper, no debate there.

 


A:

Hallo and thank you for writing in.

The best thing that you have done is what you are doing now and writing in for help and I am gonna do my best to give you the best help that I can.

You are doing well realising:

‘I have really gotten upset and put my hands around her neck.

I don't squeeze I guess I just want her to stop arguing and leave me alone.'

This is what you need to do - leave - if you are the one perpetrating the violence - leave but let's try and put a new twist to it. Make an agreement with your partner now when things are cool, calm and collected.

The agreement is that when this situation comes up again and you feel the rage burning either one of you will call for a TIMEOUT. You will take 30 deep breaths and leave the house for an agreed time such 20 minutes.

Find a place close by where you can go to calm down, go for a walk to a safe place. You must not drink, drug or drive. You must not ring one of your mates to come pick you up. Find a safe place to go to.

After 20 minutes go back home and check whether you can both take the time now and talk about things.

You have to do this to get peace happening back in the house. Peace has to reign in the house, modelling a way for the kids to resolve issues without resorting to violence or abuse.

You are the man of your house, you have to set the non-violence no abusive mode of behaviour template in collaboration with your partner. You have to be in together.

When you come back together you need to talk about the issue, giving each other time to talk without interrupting each other and you both need to speak from the ‘I' perspective.

‘I got angry because..."

NOT ‘you made me angry...

‘The question is am I becoming an abuser who needs help or someone who should just realise the relationship is not working and move out'.

The reality is that you need help. If you don't know what you don't know, you will always do what you've always done, you will always get what you've always got.

You need help to uncover the cause of you resorting to violence, help to discover all the tools and skills to help heal and then begin the journey to be a safe man and have a safe family.

Help is available. Now this is where you have to do some work. I want you to ring our information line on 0800 456 450 and get the contact details for the local stopping violence programme. Contact them and negotiate with them to start their next programme.

It's on this programme with the other men that you will get a better and clearer understanding and knowledge about what family violence is and where it comes from, who's responsible for it, what you can do about it and the tools and communication skills to prevent it.

Most men I know have never been made aware of the issues and causes surrounding family or domestic violence.

Get on there and complete the programme.

Get back in touch with me so that I can put you in touch with other campaign champions in your area that can further support you.

Vic

 

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