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Life As We Know It

by Patrick
(Slidell, LA, USA)

Hello Dr. DeFoore. My name is Patrick and my girlfriend Amanda for two years broke up with me last night.

These are the facts of why I am too controlling of her. I barely can control my anger, and I never show my trust.

I grew up with arguing all around as a kid and I feel that's the only way to communicate.

I am going to the VA clinic next. You see I am a National Guardsman and I went to Iraq in 2010.

What do you suggest I do to try to make myself a better person? I also have trouble with motivation.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Patrick, and thanks for telling your story here. I first want to thank you for your service to our country. I'm glad you're going to the VA, and I hope they have some valuable help for you.

You sound like an intelligent man, who has thought through his situation and understands his limitations. And you're taking responsibility for your actions, which is a tremendous asset, and it speaks to your high level of integrity. And I really like your question about how to make yourself a better person.

You already are a good person, but habit and emotional trauma have caused you to behave in ways that don't match up with that good person you are and want to be.

I think you'll find the exercises on this FAQ page to be very helpful, and I strongly encourage you to do them.

Also read about these conflict resolution skills, which will teach you reflective listening and empathy--excellent tools for avoiding arguments.

This should be very helpful to you, Patrick, in becoming the good person you truly are.

And I think you'll find the motivation to do the work. You are worthy of a good life, and these tools will help you move in that direction.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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