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I'm in an abusive relationship with the mother of my child. Verbally and physically. It's been going on for 3 yrs. She's a really good mom. She's the girl of my dreams when things are good. At first, the abuse only occurred after she/we had been drinking. But, since our son was born the drinking was not the culprit. Now it's her inability to cope with stressful situations.
I'm 13 yrs her senior. I met her when she was 23. At 1st I just thought that she was young, had a rough childhood, I want to be there for her, she'll learn with my help and grow out of it. Well, its gotten worse. I'm generally a calm, easygoing, patient person. But when she attacks me verbally, her words are evil. When she attacks me physically, I have reciprocated. There is only so much a person can take.
At this time I have reached my end. I have been staying at a friends house until she gets anger management. She had her 1st appointment last week which she missed. Her excuse was since we are in the process of moving she wanted to make sure she didn't have to begin a new session elsewhere. She wanted to start her anger management class near our new neighborhood.
To me this is a cop out. Anywhere we move will not be more than 20 min drive to the class. Because our 13 month old son has been a witness to the yelling and screaming I refuse to risk another episode In his presence.
I miss them terribly, my son especially. But I feel that this is the right thing to do. I will not continue to live in this abusive relationship for everyone's sake. However, I feel terrified of losing my family or the fantasy of the family I always wished for. All because of uncontrollable anger.
Please, any advice would be appreciated.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Will, and thanks for telling your story here. It sounds to me like you're right on track. If you and your partner cannot manage your anger, then certainly you need to protect your child as well as yourselves from the continued abuse. Hopefully the anger management classes will help, and I encourage you to seek help as well. I will offer some suggestions here that also might be useful to you in your healing of yourself and your relationship.
First of all, I want you to consider that you and your partner probably both are in the early stages of alcoholism. If you weren't, you never would have mentioned that the abuse was related to drinking. Read this page on alcohol abuse, and you will see a description of the early warning signs. If you don't address the substance abuse aspects of your problem, then all of your other efforts may fail.
For your own healing, I suggest you do the three journaling processes described on this page. That will help you understand yourself and your anger better, and begin shifting your focus to the blessings in your life.
Hold your intention on what you want, John. See your family together and whole and healthy, and do everything in your power to make that happen--starting with yourself.
Believe in yourself, and your partner.
My very best to you,
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