If you are abusive
Abuse is a pattern of behavior in which physical violence or emotional
coercion is used to gain and maintain power or control in a relationship.
If you are abusive, you must take responsibility for your actions and recognize
that you are committing a crime. This article provides tips and advice to help
you overcome your abusive patterns of behavior.
Although you may think you are only feeling angry, abusive behavior in fact
represents many intense emotions such as vulnerability, anxiety, fear,
confusion, and helplessness. The use of violence to deal with uncomfortable
feelings is a means to once again feel in control. This control, however, is
at someone else's expense. This violent pattern of behavior
is likely to repeat itself unless you address the feelings underlying your
In order to stop violent behavior, you need to
- Take responsibility and be accountable for your actions.
- Stop blaming your partner or other factors in your life such as
job stress, life problems, or a past history of abuse. Your partner has
no responsibility for these problems, nor does he/she make you act violently.
Acting violently is a choice, and you can choose to act non-violently.
Apologizing and "making up" do not solve the problem; they
don't prevent future episodes. Your partner does not wish to be
assaulted, and it's likely she/he will leave you if you continue to be abusive.
- Recognize that you are committing a crime.
- Assault is punishable by law. You do not have the legal right to abuse your partner,
and she/he may choose to press criminal charges.
- Seek counseling.
- Acting violently is a choice, and you can choose to act non-violently.
You can change, but first you help to understand and stop your violent
behavior. You need to learn ways of coping with uncomfortable feelings and
other factors such as alcohol,
drugs, job stress, life problems,
or a past history of abuse.
- Learn different ways of behaving.
- You may use any number of excuses to justify or excuse your violence. There
is no acceptable excuse or justification for violence. Violence is a dangerous
and frightening means of asserting control over your partner. Abusivness is
not restricted to physical violence. (See Types of Abuse.)
Being psychologically or emotionally abusive is just as damaging and frightening
to your partner as physical assault. You can learn new ways to behave by:
- Thinking back to past incidents of violence.
- Look back to incidents when you have been violent and identify what provoked
your violence. Examine what was happening, what you were thinking and
feeling, and what you were doing before becoming violent.
- Recognize things what may trigger a violent episode.
- Learn to recognize signs or signals that indicate when you may become
abusive. Take alternate actions, such as leaving the situation immediately,
calling a distress line, or seeing a counsellor.
- If necessary to stop your abusiveness, leave the relationship.
Following are just some of the wonderful books on this topic
available from Amazon.com. Click on the cover art to learn more.
For even more resources, visit Amazon.com
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