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Short fuse... (38 comments)
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Threesome
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Feb 2008
Re: Short fuse... (Score: 1)
posted Wednesday, May 21, 2008 - 03:03 AM (#42807)

If you look at this discussion, you will find something very interesting here. A huge debate whether this guy is a wife beater or not, yadda yadda yadda.

It is primarily the women who support the woman on this, and the men who are supporting the man. I suspect that women have more experience with situations like this. And they know that it can happen to anyone.

You are all missing one rather important point. It does not matter whether he has hit her yet. It does not matter whether he will actually hit her in the future.

The question that needs to be asked is this: Does she trust him not to harm her ?

And clearly, the answer is NO ! No, she does not trust him. She is afraid that at some point he might cross this line and actually hurt her.

Any relationship needs a certain level of trust, and personal and physical safety are very important needs. If she cannot trust him with those, then the relationship is very biased. If one partner has to dance on egg shells all the time then the balance of power has shifted towards the other partner. That is not a healthy relationship.

It may be that she is wrong, and he would never hurt her, or maybe the guy does not really have a short fuse. That does not matter.
If she cannot trust her own husband with her health and safety, then the relationship is doomed.

There are three possibilities. Either they call it off right away. Or he gets counselling and therapy. Or, maybe, she sticks with him for years, gets used to the abuse until he harms her directly, or the constant fear and uncertainty leads to ulcers, high blood pressure and a heart attack.

I also find it rather ridiculous to claim that he does not fit the profile of a wife beater. I seriously doubt that there is a single profile for wife beaters. Abuse is abuse, and she is clearly reporting abuse. Please take her seriously.

Please also notice this sentence: "I'm thinking about leaving him, but I am not sure if it is the right thing to do."
This tells me that she has made her decision, she wants the separation, but she has ethical qualms about it. Should she stay with him because he is trying to become a better person ? This suggests to me a moral stance that forbids her to leave someone who is defective but trying to improve. She does not mention that she loves him in this sentence. No, she wants to leave him, but she is not certain about the ethical side of it.

So, to answer this question - if you are thinking about leaving him, then it's not wrong to leave him.


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markdf
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Re: Short fuse... (Score: 1)
posted Wednesday, May 21, 2008 - 09:39 AM (#42812)
In Response to TheOriginalJes (#42798):

There's a big difference between accepting and loving someone inclusive of there faults, and accepting and loving someone despite there faults.

 Everyone has those charming, love-you-for-them kind of faults. But we all have the other kind too. The kind of faults that hurt other people, that make us behave selfishly, thoughtlessly, timidly, or downright cruelly. And we should always be trying to eliminate those aspects of ourselves, so that we can be the very best that we can.

 If someone's faults are so glaring that they're obvious when you first meet them -- say, on your second date with a guy, he kicks a small dog and laughs about it -- they're obviously NOT trying to improve themselves. That's the kind of person you avoid.

 If they work on their faults -- say, your girlfriend admits to you that she really likes to steal things but tries not to (true story!) -- that's the kind of person who is worth your time... especially if she steals umbrellas and you live in Canada's rainiest city. They are aware of their faults, and they are mature enough to try to better themselves.

 You can view the world through rose coloured glasses and believe that no one should change because we're all good enough the way we are, but that's the path to stagnation and apathy.

 Ultimately, anyone who at least admits they have a problem and wants to change -- like the husband in this question -- is halfway home. All that remains is to take action, to begin making serious efforts at personal growth.


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aibas
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Re: how easy it is to change if you want to (Score: 1)
posted Wednesday, May 21, 2008 - 01:36 PM (#42814)
In Response to markdf (#42812):

markdf said:

Ultimately, anyone who at least admits they have a problem and wants to change -- like the husband in this question -- is halfway home. All that remains is to take action, to begin making serious efforts at personal growth.
You have a good point earlier (in my opinion) in that we should all be working to be the best people we can be. Unfortunately, personal accountability doesn't seem to be a value for many people. Nor do people appreciate having it shown that they have faults. This has a lot to do with the emotional side of things as opposed to the logic.

I also agree that admitting a problem is the first step towards changing the problem. However, saying that wanting to change is half the battle completely disregards how difficult it is to change. People innately resist change regardless of how much they say they want to. Some of it's fear of the unknown, and some of it's fear of success. I've heard the statistic that 80% of all choices are based on fear. People choose what they think is safe (the known, and therefore coped with) rather than what they want (the unknown and therefore possibly uncopeable).

I personally hope the original poster's husband can take the next steps to changing like he's said he wants to. Personal experience says that it will get to be too difficult, but I still hope he can do it.


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markdf
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Re: how easy it is to change if you want to (Score: 1)
posted Wednesday, May 21, 2008 - 02:12 PM (#42815)
In Response to aibas (#42814):

I personally hope the original poster's husband can take the next steps to changing like he's said he wants to. Personal experience says that it will get to be too difficult, but I still hope he can do it.

 Change IS difficult. Hence the call for a psychologist.

 There are techniques for making significant personality changes, particularly ones related to emotions. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the most notable. It is startlingly effective if the subject is committed to the process. And that's where the help and encouragement of a loved one can be invaluable.


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TheOriginalJes
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Re: Short fuse... (Score: 1)
posted Wednesday, May 21, 2008 - 02:16 PM (#42816)
In Response to markdf (#42812):

I agree with most of that. But, I'm saying that she still has to decide if he meets her qualifiers to merit her continued support. Not this tangent of what the nature of support is.


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reynoldsrap
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Re: Short fuse... (Score: 1)
posted Wednesday, May 21, 2008 - 11:14 PM (#42825)

To the original poster: have you ever been the target, directly or indirectly, of your husband's tirades? When he swears, is he swearing at inanimate objects, or does he involve you (besides you having to listen to it, which I'll admit is unpleasant)?

A lot of the women here are assuming domestic abuse. That is NOT the case if the husband is taking his aggression out entirely on inanimate objects and isn't targeting the wife! It IS domestic abuse if he directs his rage at her, be it directly or indirectly.

I get mad when things don't work. I swear. I try to limit it as best I can, but there are plenty of physiological and psychological reasons why a man (or woman - my mother is even worse than I am) has this kind of behavior. A counselor would be one option... a doctor is the other and probably wiser. It's not always a man's fault that he has a short fuse. Thyroid problems, hormone inbalances, and other things can cause short tempers.

If he hasn't crossed the line into targeting you, then there is plenty of hope to be had. Professional help will help him. But DON'T make him go alone! Go with him! Support him! Otherwise, he will resent you, because it will seem to him that you're just sick of him and want the time away from him.

Please, please, please, for the love of God. Do NOT assume that he's an abusive man simply because of his temper. Rage at inanimate objects and yelling at people on the highway who can't hear you anyway are NOT signs of an abusive relationship.


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Murgatroyd
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Re: Short fuse... (Score: 1)
posted Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 02:48 AM (#42829)

What reynoldsrap said!


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Murgatroyd
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Re: Short fuse... (Score: 1)
posted Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 03:00 AM (#42830)

It is primarily the women who support the woman on this, and the men who are supporting the man. I suspect that women have more experience with situations like this. And they know that it can happen to anyone.

And I suspect it's the men who have been in situations like this -- who have become frustrated and cussed a blue streak and maybe slammed a door or two -- who know that losing one's temper is not necessarily the mark of a wife-beater, and that attempts by well-meaning strangers to brand them as such can cause more harm than good.


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LisaDroesdov
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Re: Short fuse... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, May 23, 2008 - 11:24 PM (#42871)
In Response to markdf (#42777):

Markdf:

Are YOU an abuser? Are you a person with anger problems, perhaps a member of Rageaholics Anonymous? An aggressive driver, possibly?

If not, I see no reason for you to become so defensive and begin making assumptions about my private life. That's inappropriate and doesn't help the OP at all. These comment threads are here to advise each questioner, not to tear one another down and set an example of how NOT to control one's temper. If you wish to dispute the points made in my post, please, go ahead. The more opinions she can get, the better, especially since we don't have the whole story or a way to ask followup questions and get an answer from OP. But speculation upon the nature of my past, present, or future relationships doesn't help anyone; and I'd wager it doesn't help you, either. Who ever gained anything from throwing pejoratives at a stranger on the internet?

However, if you're truly curious, my primary partner, who I've been with for four years, is a flawed person, as are we all. But no, I've never valued another person's company enough to set aside concerns for MY OWN SAFETY. I have shouted, cried, stomped away angrily, and everything else people do in the course of a normal relationship, but never have I feared for my safety or felt beaten- emotionally OR physically. Nor would I remain in a relationship in which I did feel that way.

Again, a trial separation is always an option. Maybe she married him for all the right reasons, and he is able to control his anger. But it's a whole lot easier NOT to control one's anger when it feels like there are no consequences for making only a token effort to do so. If she did marry him for all the right reasons and he is deep down a good, but flawed, person, he can start anger management counseling while she explores life on her own. Maybe they will find they need each other enough to work together on a real, concrete change in his behavior. But then again, maybe she'll find that once she's no longer under the thumb of someone who dishes out "emotional beatings," she doesn't miss him at all.

There is no moral obligation to tolerate abuse, no matter how committed a relationship is. Committment is the perception of permanence, but permanence comes in many forms, and it can come in the form of a marriage that, for one reason or another, requires that the partners hit the pause button and separate while one or both work on issues that aren't being worked through while cohabiting.


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TheOriginalJes
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Re: Short fuse... (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - 11:09 AM (#42918)
In Response to LisaDroesdov (#42763):

I would like to add this to what LisaDroesdov said. If for nothing else, a trial separation will give him the opportunity to see if these outbursts are isolated to the marriage, or if he has them about other things as well. That might give him what he needs to re-double his own efforts, or change his situation for the common good.


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Thenodrin
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Re: Short fuse... (Score: 1)
posted Thursday, May 29, 2008 - 09:47 AM (#42959)

I wish that I had thrown my now-ex out after her first temper tantrum. Three months, and less than ten tantrums later and I was worried for myself.

You should never be afraid of your SO. You just shouldn't. And, him saying that he is working on it isn't the same as actually working on it. You say that he claims to have gotten better while in your opinion he has gotten worse.

Well, guess what? It is your opinion that matters here. Not his.

I agree with the sentiment that you could (not necessarily should, but could) stay with him because he is trying to change to be a better person. But, IMHO, you should only do so if he is actually trying to change. Not if he is just claiming that he is working on it, and making no noticable progress (and especially not getting worse).

Theno


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Creature
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Re: Short fuse... (Score: 1)
posted Monday, June 09, 2008 - 08:48 AM (#43195)

Hi there,

I am the original poster and thought that it would be a good idea to answer as many of the many questions as I could since everyone took the time to help me out by taking the time to give me viewpoints from outside of the situation.

First off, I did not know that my husband had a temper until he had a blow up about a computer game and threw a baseball through our bedroom door a week before our wedding. It was the first time I had ever been scared of him and I should have done more about it, but I was just so shocked that I didn't know what to do except duck. He was very ashamed of his actions and that was the first time he promised to never do it again. He had been trying to keep it from me because he was ashamed every time it happened.

Next, his fits have mainly been in the so called "privacy of our own home", but apartment living makes screaming at the top of your lungs public knowledge, though I am surprised that nobody has ever called the cops. There have been several outbursts in public, such as mentioned in my original posting in regards to him throwing his bicycle. There have been others, a recent one of which I will get to in a moment.

Thirdly, the outbursts have mainly been focussed towards inanimate objects, but a few have been directed towards our friends and several towards myself. There is usually destruction involved, like throwing his expensive bike (which was his main source of transportation to work since we couldn't afford a car) or throwing the PS2 controller through the TV or chucking a speaker at my laptop while I was using it in bed. A few plates and bowls have been lost and he broke one of my kitchen knives by snapping the blade in half. He is not a big man, only 5'8", but he is very strong and athletic and can go from as sweet as a puppy to pit-bull in 30 seconds flat, though he was pretty good at concealing it for a while. There is nothing physically wrong with him, no diabetes, no hypoglycemia, no high blood pressure (in fact, he has low blood pressure from being an athlete who was on his way to the Olympics for running when he ran out of money and joined the army), no chemical imbalances (which was first tested for after he and his brother got into a fight that put both of them in the hospital and had child services asking if the parents did it because his brother had black bruises around his neck from being choked into unconsciousness and my husband had to have a felt tip marker extracted from his thigh because his brother had stabbed him with it, among other injuries they had both sustained in the childhood fight), nothing physically wrong with him at all. Most of these things I found out about after we got married, just goes to show that there are always new things to learn, important things, even after 2 years of dating.

Another thing, there are no kids. We both hate children and him not wanting any was a big positive in his favor.

After reading quite a few of the postings and taking them all with a grain of salt I decided that suggesting counseling was a good first step. He and I were going to hang out with a group of friends to go do table top gaming, but the friend who was picking us up was late. He finally got there and my husband was screaming angry with him. The fit lasted through the entire ride and my husband decided that he was tired of all of our friends taking advantage of him and demanded that our friend turn around and drive us back when we were only a block away. The screaming continued until we were dropped off at home and our friend left shaking. The bag of book was thrown down the street after our friend's car and more obscenities screamed at top volume. I couldn't take it any more so I sat down on the curb and let him finish his rant for about 20 minutes. When he had finally calmed down I asked if he thought he would ever hurt me and he said, "of course not, why would you ever think that?" and I knew that he didn't even realize that what he had done was wrong. He didn't realize that he had ostracized one of our best...

Read the rest of this comment...

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TheOriginalJes
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Re: Short fuse... (Score: 1)
posted Monday, June 09, 2008 - 10:38 AM (#43201)
In Response to Creature (#43195):

To Creature (The Matchstick Wife):

I just wish to say that I am sorry for loss. And, in light of your recent post, believe that you are on the right path now. Please stay vigilant, for now.

Best wishes to you.


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