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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience:  I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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my partner had a melt down and got verbally abusive the other

Customer Question

my partner had a melt down and got verbally abusive the other morning hes never talked like this before. it was scary.. do i end this relationship because of this outburst as he's not so great at opening up
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 4 years ago.

I would like to help. How long have you both been together and has he ever done anything like this before?
Do you know if he has a history of anger issues or being abusive?

I will await your response, so I can help better.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

we have been together for 1 1/2 years hes never been this hot..he has been upset but nothing like that and it was 4am and he awoke and was upset because the dogs had been sick the last 2 days and we were cleaning up vomit and poop issues..

i was told by his one son that his dad had to go to anger management classes years ago. i don't know anything further about that..

he is a pretty private type of guy just really wants to enjoy life watch his news workout and be loving and affectionate protective..pretty laid back for the most part..i have a 15 year old daughter so this is where I'm thinking more.. he is still at his apartment and he wants to work this out and I do love and care as he stated he is very sorry i didn't deserve that and it will never happen again..

Expert:  Jen Helant replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for sharing and I think you are doing the right thing by analyzing this situation and being concerned especially for your daughter.

That must have been very scary to see him behave like that given his general personality. People's true personalities usually come out when under stress. Some have more patience than others and still would not behave like that even with the circumstances of the dogs. You were probably just as irritated by the dogs vomiting all over as he was, but still did not react in that matter. It is possible that it was a coincidence that he did not have major stress in the last year and a half that caused him to react in this matter and this was the first time it came out. Plus usually people in general are always showing their best behavior in the beginning of a relationship and control the negative. It is around this time when one's true colors are shown.

The fact that he has taken anger management classes shows that he does have a past problem with this. This makes the way he behaved that night even more concerning. Also, his mom said he truly loves you, but needs to fix himself. He probably does love you, but this does not change his issues and whether or not he can control them. It seems like there are underlying things he has not shared based on the past you do know and what his mom said. I would definitely not advise you to jump back into a full blown relationship again anytime soon especially not living together. I think your best bet is talking with him and finding out more about his past. Also, see if he would go to anger management again or counseling. His reaction to this and if he follows through will be the first step to see how he sees his issue and if he is in denial. If he refuses to go to them I really would not consider going back to him because this shows he does not truly feel what he did was serious. He should right now be willing to do whatever he needs to do in order to be sure this gets taken care of and does not happen again.

Overall, him getting help is not guaranteed and can take time. It really is up to you if you even want to get involved. You have been together a while, but not too long. Therefore you are really at a prime time to decide if you want to take these risks or not. The risks are serious because abusive men start with things like this and when they see it is accepted it only gets worse unless true help and change is made.

You are a wise woman to do what you did. Just an example for you. I had a friend who had a great relationship and one day he thought she was talking to another guy and he didn't stop slapping her until she ran away. It was completely a shock to everyone and very scary on her part. Her face was puffy and bruised up. He had a very heavy hand. He was not even verbally abusive prior. Personally I am very rigid when it comes to these types of situations. When there is a sign of abuse whether it be verbal or physical I believe the person should get out. Unless it is a situation where the people have been together ten plus years and one was verbally abusive and completely out of character. In that case of most likely is an issue they are going through and not the person's personality since they know them for so long. Even then it would still be alarming.

Usually men do not come out and start beating as in my friends case. They are usually charming men that get episodes when something sparks them and then apologize and are very sorry afterwards. I would be very careful and it is important to show your daughter what is acceptable because not only it is dangerous for her now, but she will learn that men behaving that way is acceptable when she gets older.

I hope this was helpful and please do not hesitate to ask a follow up if needed. I wish you the very best and you will be in my prayers.
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 4 years ago.
I just wanted you to know that even after rating me feel free to follow up with me anytime you feel the need right here on this thread. Again, I will you all the best.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i hear what you are saying now the reason he had to do anger management was his ex wife got mad at him because he spanked their son with a belt, so she turned him in to child welfare..I spoke with his mother about this and that wife was very vindictive after he was let go from the NFL due to an i don't say this is true anger management issues..

He and i discussed this too. now frustrations do occur and there is no physical, and I am not an angel either..

and I sometimes feel like we all over analyze some things that we don't have all the details about..yes this was a very bizarre moment and he's accepting his wrong for this..I am all about my daughter and she enjoys times with him working out at the gym as our schedules are busy school work and her activities..

I do hope you understand where i am coming from on this . interested in your response..


Expert:  Jen Helant replied 4 years ago.

I do understand and I am glad that you responded. You are right not everything is what it seems especially with the limited info that is available through this site. If the anger management was due to that then that does change things. It is unfortunate when mothers use children against the father. It is sad and unfair.

It could have been just one of those incidents that may never happen again especially if he was under a lot of stress. I think it would be important for you both to sit down and talk. It is good he has seen that you will not accept this behavior and will think twice next time. You say you are not an angel either, so maybe you both can make a compromise about the way you talk to one another. Anything can be discussed and any feeling should be relayed. It is all about how it is said. For example rather than reacting the way he did about the dogs he could have discussed it with you and looked for alternatives to correct the situation. But I see many couples where both the male and female have a habit of talking not so nice to one another. If this is the case then you both can work together as a team to correct this. This does not mean that true feelings need to be suppressed, but they need to be said with respect for the other person. In addition this helps for the problem to actually be resolved rather than just it turning to a big argument without getting to the true issue.

If in general he has not shown other signs, you know his family, and his past has no issues in regards to this then I would not be as rigid as my prior answer. It does change a lot due to the fact the reason he was in the past class. Anyone can truly have an explosion, but should not be done on a regular basis or as a habit.

If you want to pursue the relationship I would discuss as I said above changing the way you both talk to one another and go from there working together. Let him know that this should never happen again and it is important to talk right away, so anger does not build.

Again, I thank you for clarifying, so I can adjust my answer for you. If I can help further please let me know.

All the best,