Q:

She's scared of my temper

I have been in a relationship with a woman who I love dearly for about three years now and six months ago we had a baby boy. 

But things between us are not very good at the moment. I have struggled with violence in the past and about a year ago I had a full on panic attack and broke a window at our house as well as punched a wall. 

My partner wasn't at home at the time but when she saw what I had done she was terrified and left to her parents. I sought out professional help with a counsellor to talk about my anger issues and how to control them better and we slowly patched things up and moved in to a new house together just before my son was born. 

Being there for his birth made me love her so much more and I felt awful I put her through all that I had.

I haven't been at home much lately because I have been busy with so much else and I think it was stressing my partner out so one night when I came home late we had a small argument about a job I needed to do and she got angry at me and said that I had messed up and I should have had it organised. 

I felt so attacked and without thinking I lashed out and punched the wall. She was terrified and told me to leave and I haven't seen her or my son since. She took him away to visit her aunty and I am terrified that she will leave me. 

She has since told me that she is often scared of my temper and is uneasy about telling me certain things for fear of me flying off the handle. I had no idea that she thought like that and it makes me feel sick to think I did that to her. 

I have never touched her and I don't call her awful things to keep her down but if she is scared of me does that mean I am abusing her?

She has agreed to go to counselling with me but wants me to move out and keeps telling me that I need to prepare myself for the possibility of not getting back together. 

I love her and my son so much, they are the part of my life that makes me feel truly happy and I don't want to lose them.

What do I do?


A:

Hi, thank you for writing in. 

My friend now that you have emailed in I want you to slow down. Take 30 deep breaths and let's work this through together.

I know your head is racing and your heart is breaking and you're not too sure what to do.

This is normal - not knowing what to do - and it's a good thing for all of you right now, so just slow down and let's get it sorted.

You want to see your partner
You want to see your baby
You want to get with your partner
You want your baby back
You want a life with your partner
You want a life with your baby
You want to be a good partner
You want to be a good father
You want to know what is going on 
You want to know why you can't figure it all out for yourself
You want to know why violence is used as a last resort
You want to know why nothing seems to work
You want to know why it is that it all seems to be your fault

All these noises are going through your head. WELL... take 30 deep breaths...You ask for help. You want to know what to do, to be a safe man, for your partner and your baby.

Your partner is in fear of you and the violence that she has seen you do. Your partner has had enough and she doesn't want it for YOUR baby. Bro you been to counselling and it helped for a short time but you need to get it to where this good safe time lasts a whole lot longer - for the rest of your life.

There's a saying I like to use ‘If you don't know what you don't know, you'll always do what you've always done and you'll always get what you've always got'.

If you don't know any other way of dealing with "things" then the only way you will deal with all these "things " is violence and abuse, cos you don't know any other way.

Counselling helps, but it needs to be done in conjunction with you attending a stopping violence programme and any other course that will give you the tools and skills to really understand what violence is and where it comes from and the effects and impacts that it has on your relationship with your partner and the negative impacts that it may have on your baby in the future.

You have taken the first step in this journey by writing in and I thank you for wanting to get help. You are really fresh in your relationship with your partner, three years in a relationship is a very short time to get to know each other and to have the knowledge and skills to raise a child.

At one time there was just the two of you and now there's three.

Have you had any training from anywhere or anyone to prepare you to be in a relationship or to be a father? I know I never did. So how is a man supposed to be a good man, partner, father if he has never had any training?

If you want to be a good sports person you have to - train.
If you want to be a good plumber you have to - learn
If you want to be a mechanic, you have to - go to mechanic school
If you want to be a good partner - good luck!
If you want to be a good father - good luck!

Well my friend this all has to change and it has to change quickly for you and it has to be complete. I believe you know what is going wrong in your relationship YOU just don't know what to do about it.

First thing to do is to stay away from your partner and baby!

That's right stay away from them. Your partner and baby don't need to see this ugly side of you, they don't deserve to see it - this is baggage you come with that you need to get rid of.

Your family deserve to see the beautiful YOU that you are looking for.

It's this side that you want as the legacy for your baby not the one that your family is seeing now.
YOU have come this far NOW stay away from your family and ring 0800 456 450 and get the contact details for the local stopping violence programme, make an appointment for an interview and get yourself on the next intake and complete it.

If you have any contact with your partner, allow her to initiate that contact.

She has made the moves that she has, to keep YOU, her and baby safe. You need to respect that and keep your distance till you are genuinely safe.

When you are on the stopping violence programme and come to terms with the violence and abuse that you have perpetrated you will come to know what to do.

The journey to be safe is going to be a long one and it's alright cos each stage of change you go through will be a breakthrough and a lifestyle change for the better. You won't need to tell anyone, they will be able to see the change.

You will know it and people who know you will know it.

NOW we are coming up to the end of year with Christmas and the New Year, the holidays and all the celebration and festivities that go with it. It's gonna be hard! Make no mistake about it.

How are you gonna handle this period?.

Think about what your behaviour has been like over the last three Christmases and New Years.

Whatever it's been it has to be better and this is the time of the year to make the changes cos it's when it is the most obvious.

Find and join a stopping violence programme and keep me updated on how you are getting on.

Vic

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