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There's A Good Man Inside Me

by Eric
(Santa Cruz )

My wife and I recently got into another heated argument. She grabbed me and I acted out of rage and threw her back. After I tried to call and text her with no response for 2 days I realized that something was really wrong. This was no ordinary fight.

We've been married for 12 years and have had our ups and downs. Recently we've been fighting more and I've been feeling more jealous, since she brings in all the income and I've been out of work for a year. We finally talked and she/we realized that what was happening was closer to abuse than anger.

I unknowingly had been abusing her and in this last incident really scared her to the point of true fear. We've been talking on and off about this but she is firm about me figuring it out on my own and her doing the same before we even consider continuing are marriage and intimacy.

I've been online for days and on the phone with hotlines trying to figure out what is happening with me. Through my many readings I see that I exhibit traits of real abuse. Not only to my wife but also to my children. The whole thing is very frightening to me.

I'm seeking help from counselors of victims since they are the only ones who have some clear perspective on what the effects are. I've met with a therapist just to help me process my shock and lend a compassionate ear. I just signed up with a voluntary battery prevention program to make sure that I do not hurt my wife, my children or myself in any way.

In my search for some truth, all of the literature is painting the abuser (me) out to be this master manipulator who calculates pain and fear. Everyone says "run" "get out", he will not change. On the same note there are no support groups, blogs or hotlines for men like me. I didn't know what abuse was and I don't know how to accept the pain I've caused.

When I called several Battery Programs and let them know I was looking for help they asked for my court case or my "papers". I was so frustrated I set up a time to meet with one and they looked at like I was an alien. They seemed like they were in a hurry and wanted to just process paperwork making me feel really intimidated and scared about what I wanted.

I'm a good man, with a good heart who loves his family. I realize now that I am responsible for the pain and fear I've caused. I'm going to commit myself to making sure this never happens to anyone in my life. No one has faith, no one is providing hope, and there are so many obstacles for resources to for men like me who want to change.

If this is a serious problem then why aren't we supported, encouraged, educated or given the resources to make life long change? What advice can you give me as a man who wants more to life than abuse and fear? Thank you.

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Aug 24, 2017
Thank You For Sharing
by: Anonymous

I know my fiancee isn't at the place you are but this gives me hope to read. I wish you all the luck and strength.

Oh, and if you read this...what made you accept it? And sexism is rampant in hotlines and help groups. You need support too. :)

May 12, 2017
Live Well And Free Yourself
by: Anonymous

Eric you need to do some really deep soul searching. Your wife is right, only you can figure out what makes you tick.

I suggest you continue as you are doing on your own to make yourself a better man, husband and father. Find out why you are so angry and hurt or frustrated. Redefine yourself and what is truly the most important thing in your life.

Bring peace, love and harmony back in. Be humble and grateful for what you do have. Change the way you look at things that have a tight hold on you. You sound very mature, you just need to heal some sort of hurt or betrayal inside you.

I too am seeking peace and a better healthier understanding of how to live my life. Take baby steps but make it your personal growth mission to be the man you need to be for a healthier relationship within yourself and what you’re showing the world.

A job does not define you. Your character as a man does. Discipline yourself and allow peace and harmony back in. What angers you controls you. Live well, live better and free yourself of the toxic garbage you’re carrying around in you.

Take a spiritual path along with some counseling. I for one signed up for a 7 day spiritual retreat in another state. Liberate your soul, you’re worth it and so is your family.

May 10, 2017
You Came To The Right Place
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Eric - thanks for having the courage to tell your story here. What you are going through makes perfect sense to me, and I'd like to share some perspectives that may be helpful to you.

The reason you're not finding much if any help for yourself (someone who is willing to take responsibility as an abuser) is this...most people who become abusive never take the step of reaching out for help. They either deny the problem and continue the abuse, or they end up incarcerated, or both.

Fortunately, you're an exception to this.

Another reason there is not more help/support for acknowledged abusers is that the health care professionals are often too afraid, don't know how to help, or fall into a pattern of judging and condemnation that prevents them from being any help.

I've been in practice over 40 years, and I can only think of a few examples of clients who had become abusive and took responsibility by seeking help and healing. Again, this makes you exceptional.

There is a path to healing for you. It involves discovering the underlying causes of your emotional and behavioral patterns, and completing a therapeutic process at a deep level that prevents the abuse from re-occurring. It will involve a sincere commitment on your part, but I have a feeling you will be willing to do it.

I hope you find the help you are looking for. If for some reason you don't, please feel free to contact me, and I'll see if I can be of assistance to you.

Believe in yourself, Eric, and the good man inside. With your focused effort, that is where your healing will come from.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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