Here are some tools that you can use right now to stop abuse in your relationship:
The first thing you have to do to stop violence and other abuse is to stop making excuses and blaming your partner. You cannot force the other person to change, but you can change yourself. Make a commitment to yourself that you will not be violent, no matter what happens.
Remember this slogan, "there is no excuse for abuse."
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The most important tool is simply to take time out when you feel yourself getting angry. It is simple, but it is not always easy, so here are some tips:
Tell your partner about time out before you use it so she knows why you are leaving and approximately how long your time out will be.
Recognize your symptoms of anger-things like a knot in the stomach, tight chest, or clenched fists.
When you start to feel the symptoms, leave the situation immediately, no matter where or when it happens.
Stay away long enough to cool down, usually about 1 hour, but don't stay away to get even or to punish your partner.
Don't drink, do drugs, or drive while you are angry.
Don't go over the argument or other resentments while you are away-calm down.
If you can talk about what upset you when you return, do it, but be prepared to leave again if you are too angry to listen.
Most men feel they have to "finish the fight, and "stand up for my rights," not "wimp out," and that's what leads to violence. If you take time out every time you need to, you will never be violent. Your partner also has a right to take time out.
Your anger is your responsibility. It is not your partner's responsibility to tell you to take time out, this is something you need to do because of your feelings. By taking a time out you are taking responsibility for your feelings and for preventing abusive behavior.
- Many men make the mistake of using time out to avoid talking about difficult issues. A time out is an emergency measure. It does not solve anything. Your relationship will still fall apart if you cannot listen to and talk about the issues that are important to your partner.
Time outs allow you to regain your self-control, and this helps you to be able to hear the other person's point of view. When you come back, describe your feelings by using "I" statements instead of "you" statements, which blame the other person.
Taking time out can be a healthy step toward recovery and better communication.
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