Anger Management for Partner Abuse

Have you heard the story of a guy who shot his girlfriend full in the face? Are you aware of her plight as she struggles on without a nose and only the back of her head? Well, she was a victim of partner abuse. If you are a victim of partner abuse get help or get out before it’s too late.

Partner abuse is abuse committed by a spouse, ex-spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend and ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend. Partner abuse also takes place in homosexual relationships (gays and lesbians).

Partner abuse is all about power, control and manipulation. An abusive relationship is multifaceted. It is a blend of emotions like anger, depression, fear, hostility, rage and dependence. It is even more complicated when children are involved. The victim may put up with the abuse for the sake of the children.  

Partner abuse does not just happen overnight. An abusive partner generally displays signs at the very beginning of a relationship. These signs are normally passed off as momentary lapses. Before you realize it, abuse occurs in all its glory and you feel you’ve already invested too much in the relationship to get out. Perhaps, this is the reason why many partners keep going back to abusive relationships before they eventually bail out.  

Abuse among partners takes shape in several ways like physical, verbal, sexual and emotional abuse. Physical abuse involves violence. Raising hands, kicking, pushing, punching and slapping are all forms of physical abuse to partners. Verbal abuse includes screaming and using profanity. Sexual abuse entails forcing sexual relations on an unwilling partner. Emotional abuse involves threatening, blackmail and intimidation.  

The astonishing thing about partner abuse is that it is not restricted to any particular community or echelon of society. Anyone can become an unwitting victim of partner abuse. Affluence, beauty and talent do not assure you of a life free of partner abuse. Celebrities and regular people have fallen prey to partner abuse.

An interesting fact is that most of the abusers are men while the majority of victims are women. Partner abuse can also be extremely traumatic if children are involved. Kids carry emotional scars for years to come and may in turn become abusers themselves. Extreme cases in partner abuse have seen the aggressive partner shooting, burning and even murdering the victim.

Reaching out for help: Society is changing. Things are no longer being kept under wraps. Abusive cases are being reported as never before. Action by volunteer groups and policemen makes all the difference in the world. If you are a victim of partner abuse, the sensible thing to do is get help immediately. Help for yourself and your abusive partner as well. If things are burgeoning out of control, ask for intervention from the police or take help from a crisis center. If things haven’t gone that far it’s advisable to speak to a friend or relative. If you are an abusive partner, you need counseling sessions to get to the heart of the matter. The best thing to do would be to move out for a few days until your issues are tackled.   

Anger Management and Partner Abuse: It is observed that abusive partners tend to suffer from anger management issues. Abuse is often the result of buried emotions of anger and rage. Anger by itself is not a primary emotion. It stems out of more basic emotions like insecurity, depression, hopelessness and fear. Perhaps, a childhood traumatic experience that was suppressed causes an abuser to behave in this fashion. He could be a victim of abuse himself when he was a child. Things become easier once you get to the crux of the matter. If an abusive partner is taught to manage anger, half the battle is won. Anger management in abusive relationships involves expressing feelings and stating needs to release suppressed anxiety and fury.

This writer believes men and/or women who abuse their partners could benefit from an anger management program that focuses on teaching skills in anger management, stress management, assertive communication, and emotional intelligence skills; however anyone who commits domestic violence should also be referred to a Batter’s Prevention and Intervention Program (BIPP).

Anger Management Institute of Texas is a certified Anderson & Anderson ® provider.

Anger Management Classes and Anger Management – Executive Coaching available in Houston, Texas.

Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers