Domestic Violence

Last night, a friend of my wife's was physically abused by her soon-to-be ex-husband (divorce papers were filed a few months ago). After the police report was filed, he was arrested. A restraining order was granted today. They are all staying with family, and safe. After an incident with a close friend last night, I feel like I have to say something about domestic violence. It's one of those things that I just can't wrap my head around. Then again, I'm not the kind of person to react to anger with violence.

When the phone call came, after their things were packed and everyone was safe, they came to our house. While police reports were getting filed, and the hospital was evaluating injuries, I was comforting scared toddlers who watched their father throw their mother around the house. They were unable to sleep in the bottom bunk of our boys' bed because they were scared, whimpering, crying. Eventually, they fell asleep only after I wrapped them all up in a blanket and laid with them on the couch, and told them over and over again that it would be okay, that they were safe, that we loved them. I had never been as angry in my life as I was at that moment, but I had to keep my emotions hidden for the sake of those girls.

In this day and age, it's so easy to just get away, to anywhere other than where you are. Go somewhere, do something, anything other than physically attacking your spouse.

I love my wife and my children more than anything in the world, and I can't imagine laying my hands on any of them in anger. No matter what happens, there are better alternatives that physical violence. It's as easy as taking yourself out of the situation, getting away, and relaxing away from the frustration. If that means that you lock yourself in a room while your kids pound and scream at the door, so you don't hit them - great. If you drive for miles and miles, just to avoid beating your wife or husband - great.

If you love this person the way you claim you do, recognize that as soon as you choose to react physically to anger, you've lost. Not only have you lost control of yourself, but you've lost one of the most important relationships in your life - someone who loves you by choice.