Wednesday

Rage and then Regret

QUESTION: I dated this man off and on for a year-we've had 3 break ups within that time. The first time was because I wasn't ready to commit to moving in together and he left in a rage. We were apart about a week. The 2nd time was because he got mad at me at a friends party because I was asking his co-worker questions. He felt that I didn't trust him and was trying to snoop on his behavior when he was away from me. We got into it and he picked a fight with the friend that was answering my questions. I basically broke it off because I saw more rage. This scared me. We were apart for a month.

The 3rd break up was centered around him feeling as though I had disrespected him. He was angry. His ego was bruised over some things I said. I'm certain I could have chosen my words a bit more carefully but I was being honest...I guess a bit too honest. I compared his drinking and anger to my step dad and a previous ex. That same night that I said this-I walked out on him in the middle of the argument because I no longer wanted to argue...well he went the EFF off...threatened to kill himself -threatened to bash his head with a beer bottle-he got a knife and began to cut up his clothing with it. Now he never came near me-has never hit me or anything- he was just in another rage--hollering and fussing. He eventually apologized but I made him move out and he had NO WHERE TO GO. It hurt me to do that but I was hurt-couldnt believe he went that far with it. He left in peace. That was April 08-around July 08 we had brief contact. He tried to work his way back in. I declined. From July to November we had no contact. He'd call I didn't answer- he'd email- I'd delete.I even moved to a new place.

At the end of Nov 08 we started talking again on the phone. This was because he really wasn't pressuring me to get back together. He seemed to just want to be friends and have general conversations every now and then. This eventually led to us meeting up and talking. Since we've been talking again a lot has changed with him or so it appears.Aside from his anger issues this man would be MY perfect man. That includes compromising-loving and affectionate- provider-protector-giving-extremely respectful of women- not just me BUT all women- treats me like a queen-leaves me wanting for nothing- and I'm not talking about sex. God fearing-reads bible attends church...again his only issue is when he gets mad he tends to get ANGRY.

So here's the point-since he's returned he has assured me he now sees where he went wrong in our relationship. He's never been with a good woman and therefore dealt with me the way he dealt with the other women who dogged him -cheated on him-and argued about everything. He said something as simple as asking her to pass the salt was an argument. He says having all those months apart from me has made him realize that being without me is not worth all the fussing. He has actually"studied" ways to help him keep his temper under control when he's mad. One would be mediation. He's a martial artist-therefore familiar with meditation. He has assured me that if I take him back things will NEVER be like they were. He told me that in relationships when someone does wrong you have to show them theyve done wrong for them to learn. He said especially with men that women have to show them that they will take no nonsense if that man really wants to be with her. He says I showed him no mercy and that I will not put up with his temper and therefore he now knows he cannot act this way in our relationship the way he acted with the other women he had bad experiences with. He said he'll keep his temper under control.

So far things seem to be different. There have been a few occurrences where he could have gotten really angry but didn't. He was clearly upset but didn't go into a rage Should I trust this man and try to give him another chance? Can a person control their temper or is that just them and they'll never change? I honestly feel that if I let him go that I'll be losing out on who I want to be my husband---(minus the temper of course)


GARLAND: INteresting question. Thank you for sending it in.

I guess I want to say upfront that I'm not going to say, "Oh, yeah. Trust him, he's a gem. He's changed his stripes, he's a saint now." I'm not going to say that because you might just believe me and he might just murder you next weekend in a fit of rage. Let me just put that out there.

Before you sign over your heart to this guy, visit some domestic abuse websites like: Abused Woman.com and Woman Abuse Prevention. Now, please don't brush this off like I'm being dramatic here - I can almost imagine you saying, "Oh, he'll NEVER hit ME!" But, I promise you that there are tens of thousands of women who have said that and have been subsequently beaten and/or murdered by these same guys who only have 'temper' problems. Make sure you save YOUR life.

Now, could this guy have changed. Maybe. I guess. Anything is possible. But I have to tell you that the whole "if a person is doing wrong, the person in the relationship has to tell them they're wrong so they can do right... " sounds a little fuzzy to me. Maybe he's legit, for your sake I hope he is, but I'm worried that he may have watched a few episodes of "Kung Fu" featuring David Carradine - that tends to make all guys get a little philosophical. I think he may need a little professional help, maybe a counselor for a few sessions. Since he's already beaten up his co-worker and he's got a bit of Martial Arts in his background - I think you need to make doubley-sure he won't physically harm you.

One last thing, you mentioned that he is God-fearing and reads the bible and goes to church - (Chuck might touch on this too) But, don't let those actions blind you. I think a lot of guys use that behavior as a smoke screen for some women. Some guys flip through a few pages of Deuteronomy and sit up in the front of the church for a few weeks and women start thinking that they have a TD Jakes on their hands. Just look at everything with a critical eye. Angry, bad tempered dudes can be very dangerous, me and Chuck's primary concerns rest with YOU.

Make sure that you put YOUR well being ahead of HIS and you'll be okay. Best wishes and best of luck!

CHUCK: This is one situation that is really hard to call, and I don't want to be flip, because there's a lot a stake here. Maybe your life. A lot of women let men with these same issues into their lives, let them BACK into their lives after they screw up, and then suffer the consequences when these destructive impulses lead to their inevitable result. Jennifer Hudson's family tragedy is only one of the more recent tragedies resulting from women allowing bad, angry men into their lives.

By the same token, I do think that it is possible for people to change if they have the will to. Recognizing that you have a problem is key. Following up on that recognition is important, as well. I have to say, though, that the steps this man is claiming to have taken to get himself right sound a little dubious to me. Meditation? Martial arts discipline? How about a formal anger management class? Some actual counseling? That would make me feel more comfortable.

What gives me the most pause is his behavior during your third breakup. Threatening to kill himself or bash himself in the head with a beer bottle, grabbing a knife and cutting at his clothes, these are unhealthy actions even for the angriest angry man. And with behavior this violent, if he were to just briefly think to turn that rage on you... It wouldn't be good.

Should you trust him and give him another chance? In the interest of your continued personal safety, I'd say no. But if you should decide to give him another chance, STRONGLY suggest that he seek counseling or anger management, and reduce, if not eliminate, his drinking. If you mean that much to him, it shouldn't be asking to much that he should try to make you feel secure.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The guys make some valid points - however this guy sounds like he still has anger issues. It appears he has just gotten better at hiding them and stuffing them down - not at working through them effectively and honestly. As a woman I would walk away from this guy. The fact that you are asking this question seems to indicate that on some level you instinctively sense something is not quite right. It sounds like the reason for his rages in the previous incidents is that he suppresses all that and finally it blows. The reason for the suppression is that he is insecure and wants to be 'loved' and respected. A person who threatens to kill himself or do himself harm sounds like someone with deep self esteem issues and insecurity and feels powerless. That can cause a lot of rage which it sounds like in this case. Still waters run deep and even though he seems calmer know the concern is that beneath that calm may be a raging volcano. Check out the abused woman sites the guys suggest before you reconsider this or at least do a serious gut check. Questions usually mean there is something there - so exam it carefully.

Clarice

Chuck and Garland said...

Thanks Clarice for your comment.

I agree with your point about underneath the calm may lie a raging volcano - THAT is a million dollar comment and I hope the questioner heeds it.

On the other hand, I really don't agree with the comment "The reason for the suppression is that he is insecure and wants to be 'loved' and respected." I think for women to start hearing comments like that and to start BELIEVING comments like that - it would start to justify staying with an abuser. If women believe that their men suppress their feelings and rage out at them because they want to be loved and respected these women might irroneously start thinking that if they keep giving love and keep giving respect and keep putting makeup on the black-eyes and keep claiming to be clumsy when they show up to work with a new brace or bandage then eventually HE'LL STOP ABUSING ME. But they will be wrong and then people will die. WOMEN will die.

I think the reasons that men are mentally and physically abusive towards women are vast and far reaching but I can't have anyone reading this blog NOT hear me say that wanting to be loved and respected is a reason for suppression and raging out. That to me, almost makes the abuser the victim here.

Despite my disagreement with that one sentence, You make a lot of really good points here. Thanks as always Clarice!!!

-Garland

Anonymous said...

Good point Garland! After I wrote the post I started thinking and I came back this am to add in exactly what you said. It may seem self explanatory - but it is better to be stated clearly and unambiguously. To any woman reading this or the original poster - DO NOT be fooled into thinking that loving this or any guy with issues can fix this. IT CAN'T - the love a 'good woman' or for that matter the reverse the love of a 'good man' cannot and will not fix a persons issues. A person has to be healthy and whole and dealing with their issues effectively in order to be in a healthy relationship. A partner cannot fix their partners issues - no matter how hard the person may try! Do not knowingly get involved with someone with issues thinking you can save them - only they can save themselves by their working with professionals and Divine intervention.

Thanks for being on top of that Garland!

Clarice

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