I want to stop physically abusing my girlfriend

I have anger issues that have worsened over the years because I’ve never dealt with my emotions. My anger has never been expressed physically until the past year. My girlfriend has had to endure these episodes. I love her, and I think I’m about to lose her, if I already haven’t. I throw things at her when I’m angry, and sometimes I hit her. I may not hit her enough to cause harm, but I still physically lash out at her. I don’t want to lose her, and I don’t want the situation to worsen. I am a lesbian in my early 30s, and I have been dealing with anger since my childhood. I'm ready to change. I need help now. I'm about to explode.

Good for you for recognizing that a change has to be made quickly. Regardless of whether or not your girlfriend leaves your relationship, taking control of your anger needs to happen sooner than later. If left unresolved, it will follow you into any relationship you have. Have you talked to a therapist? I would suggest you take that step first. A therapist will help you explore the source of your anger and teach you new, adaptive ways of dealing with your anger. Until you're able to get some professional help, I would advise that you start recognizing when your emotions are becoming escalated and take a time out before the anger turns into aggression. If you feel yourself becoming heated, excuse yourself from the situation, go to a quiet place or on a walk, and practice some deep breathing. Clear your mind of the problem and focus only on your breathing as you inhale slowly counting to four and exhale slowly counting to six. Don't get discouraged if it doesn't work right away. Deep breathing takes practice! Return to the situation or your girlfriend only once you have calmed down and are confident that you are not going to hurt anyone. You might also want to ask your girlfriend to remind you to take a break when she recognizes that your emotions are escalating. Know that with help and support, especially from a therapist, the issues you have can be resolved and new ways of coping can be learned. Good luck!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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