I Want To Stop Allowing My Anger To Cause Verbal Abuse To My Partner
by Commited to Change
Teeth Of Anger
Hello Dr. DeFoore,
Thank you for taking the time to read my scenario. I am a 34 yr old gay male and met the love of my life, a 30 yr old artist, two and half years ago. We moved in together after 3 months as this was a whirlwind romance, the only of its kind for both of us. While I had never been so happy, things began to change around the 6 month mark.
I began to take my frustrations out on him with a tone in my voice, nit picking, etc. I would then apologize a day or two later and the cycle would repeat itself. At the one year mark, I became explosively angry from feeling hurt and neglected, and got slightly physical by tapping him with my finger. Many would say that tapping someone with their finger is not aggressively physical, but I still include this detail because I am normally a very peaceful and gentle person.
From that point on our relationship took on a cycle of happiness, followed by a big argument where I exploded and got verbally abusive, followed by my partner breaking up with me, followed by extreme sadness and sorrow on my part and promising to change, followed by reconciliation, only to fall back in the pattern two months later.
I have resorted to name calling such as you are "ugly", "bald", "loser", etc, all said out of hurt because he threatened to leave me. On another instance I did get physical by talking in his face and pressing my chest against his.
I have known for some time now that I have an issue with anger, and last summer I began anger management and therapy. While it has helped me and my blowouts are not as explosive or frequent, I still can seem to fall back into old ways every now and again...but I did not want to become the boy who cried wolf when it comes to change.
I promised my love that I would never name call again, because I said some hurtful things back in March 2011, but I slipped up and my anger got the best of me and I resorted to hurtful name calling again in November 2011 and his heart just couldn't handle all the pain I caused, once again.
My partner and I are now in the most serious break up of all. He lives in one state and I am in another. How can I finally prove to him that I am changing and changing for good? He wants to believe me, he truly does, but he is afraid that he will open up and I will hurt him once again.
I don't want to hurt him ever again, I want to rebuild trust and connection with him, have a peaceful home that is ours and a beautiful life together. How can I convince him that I am dedicated to change, and that I will NEVER hurt him again if we are separated by 700 miles of distance?
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. It is clear that you love your partner, and that you want to heal your anger issues. I'm glad that you've made some progress in your therapy. I will suggest some things that might take your further in your healing.
First, follow all of the recommendations on this FAQ page, in complete detail. The more you put into this, the more you'll get out of it.
Believe in yourself. You can do this. You are a good person, and that's why the anger bothers you so much. Make up your mind to become that good person full time, by using the tools I recommended.
My very best to you,
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