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How Do I Stop The Cycle Of Destructive Behavior?

by Don
(Palm Beach)

I have been with my partner for 2 1/2 years and I love her deeply. We have been on again off again, engaged and disengaged. We always seem to find our way back to each other after every "episode".

Our typical arguments center on her perception of my "moodiness" which is followed by her statements like "I have zero tolerance for this type of behavior," or "I do not know if I want to continue this relationship".

These statements have become my triggers and as time has progressed the anger that is generated has increased, though never violent. I moved my son and myself to Atlanta to be with her and to be engaged. After about two months she once again gave me the "zero tolerance can't move forward dialogue" which ended up in an argument and me asking for the ring back.

She then suggested that I return to Palm Beach. The next day I did just that. On the way she called me and asked me where I was and why I left. We patched things up again only to have another zero tolerance argument a few months later. We broke up for four months and then got back together for two months when the zero tolerance discussion broke us up again.

This last break up, I wrote her several hurtful emails and targeted her vulnerabilities. I wanted to hurt her as much as she had hurt me. I knew it was wrong but I was so angry I could not stop myself.

What can I do to better resolve these types of conflicts without the reactionary behavior and the aggressive actions? My remorse is overwhelming because I truly never wanted to hurt the woman I love.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Don, and thanks for telling your story here. It is clear that you are a good man, who wants to get better and do the right thing.

You obviously can't do anything to change your partner, but you have total freedom and responsibility for improving yourself.

I encourage you to Sign up for Anger Class Online. There are 8, 12, 16 and 26 hour programs to choose from, and you can complete them anywhere you have access to a computer.

Believe in yourself, Don. Make up your mind to get healthy, and follow these recommendations. You can do this.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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