Domestic violence and anger management

When it comes to clients who seek anger management because of domestic violence issues, there are a number of different causes that trigger and escalate the conflict at home into a verbal or physical violence. I have been observing over the years that one of the causes of domestic violence is unemployment probably because of the strain of the financial stress this puts on the couple in London one of the most expensive cities in the World. One study carried out by Holmes and Rahe (1967) investigated the strength of stress life events trigger in us. They ranked the stressors according to how people perceived them stressful and they found indeed in support of this article that being fired at work was ranked as the eight most stressful life event, change in financial state was ranked as the sixteenth most stressful life event, and mortgage as the twentieth most stressful life event.

Having financial difficulties most people would agree could set off our worries, it could challenge our mood negatively and combined this with having an unsupportive partner could all lead to an escalation of a repeated conflict and later a need for anger management.  The happiness is not only having financial security dependent as we have all witnessed people that have an abundance of money and yet it cannot cure their repeated anger issues, conflicts at home or their depression without a help of a counsellor that can provide objective support and anger management if needed.  I have been observing in my clinical work over the years when people come for anger management that couples where one of the two people is not working but is supportive of the partner will have a smaller volumes of aggression than couples where both people are working and are too exhausted to deal with additional house management tasks or couples where one of the two people is not working but is not supportive or appreciative of the provider. The other issue, I have noticed that often brings people into anger management is linked to the unemployed person who becomes in some respect disconnected from the hardship of the real world in which money are being generated and develops unrealistic views about finances and unrealistic demands from the provider, who then feels unappreciated, devalued, pressured, unhappy, stressed and lashing out with outbursts of anger needing then anger management. Indeed money can be a huge source of stress as one of my clients told me there are three things you will hear men discussing in the gym’s changing rooms: ‘How to avoid a marriage, how to avoid paying tax and how to avoid a bad divorce.’ This is slightly catastrophic view and would reflect a view of someone who is having predominantly commitment issues and high anxiety about being in an intimate relationship but it shows also just how much money causes stress to some men who are socialized to be the providers and protectors.

I have also noticed that many people who come for anger management want to fix their relationships, they want to improve their communication style, they want to get to the bottom of their issue and they eventually improve. The other group of people who call my private practice are women who want to run away from their abusive husbands, who are violent, which is of course, wrong but what puzzles me is that the majority of the victims of domestic violence that call me do not want to resolve the family situation and the conflict through anger management and learning a better communication style, but majority of them are unemployed and seek refuge and help free of charge. I deeply empathize with any woman who cannot work and defend herself or does not know how to defend herself against highly aggressive and abusive partner. However, what puzzles me is why people allow the situation to escalate by co-creating the pressure at home and by not addressing the issues earlier before taking the radical decision of running away from a family system that could have worked had the stressors been addressed early enough? Could the financial stress that fuels violence be in some cases created by unemployed and unsupportive women who put men under unnecessary pressure, could our impossible and unrealistic demands make them feel resentful and later violent and needing anger management? Despite respecting the man’s role of the provider and protector essentially that is a shared value in some couples, should we recognise that financial stress and the sole financial responsibility we place on one person, usually the man, could then put the man under enormous pressure and could this lead to outbursts of anger and domestic violence?  Could having employment as a woman help at least with an acquisition of more realistic views and needs from the provider that would lead to creating a more supportive and understanding home environment and fewer pressures and outbursts of anger and fewer needs for anger management? There are so many different causes that will lead to violence at home but the point of this article was to highlight at least one of them and invite women to reflect on whether we could co-create violence at home at least unwittingly? If yes, could it be in some cases that it is us who need therapy to grow and develop ourselves before we use the domestic violence and anger management card against our men? If you feel in any way affected by this article and would like to explore the causes of violence in your home please do not hesitate to contact me for anger management whether you are the victim or the perpetrator.