No, I'm not talking about the very extreme cases where police are
apprehending a criminal, or the military is doing what the military
does. I'm talking about a husband and wife, lovers, friends, or people
in general trying to live together as best we can.
behavior is the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish in these
normal relationships. Violence thrives on fear and intimidation. It
bolsters a weak sense of self at the expense of others, often hurting
the most vulnerable ones among us.
There are only two feelings in the universe: love and fear. We try to
live our relationships out of love by fostering respect, compassion,
kindness, forgiveness and understanding of mutual limitations. Violence
comes from the fear side of life. It comes out of a fear of loss, a
fear of no more options, and the fear of someone "bigger" making me
Which would you rather live out of: your love or your fear?
As humans we are in fear much of the time. We try to mask it, but it's
still there. Why else do we struggle and strive to compete and win?
Just because it's fun? Or, because we believe there is not enough to go
around and we better get our share first?
Isn't it nice to come home from the rat race and feel safe, loved, and
valued? Of course, you may not feel this way at home.
Have you or your partner ever thrown something in anger? Put a fist
through a wall? Shoved your partner? Threatened harm even though you
never raised a finger? Ever filled your eyes with hate and loathing?
Violence is so much more subtle than we realize. So many times I have
heard a person (usually a male) tell me, "I didn't touch her. I just
punched the wall."
Here's the point:
The IMPLICATION of hitting a wall is that YOU COULD
do the same thing to the other person's face.
Read that again because it's slippery. Aggressors always try to explain
away their implied violence by saying nothing actually happened. But
something did actually happen. Someone was intimidated and threatened.
And that is violence. And it is often the beginning of the overt
violence that comes later.
Violence doesn't work for couples, or anyone else. I rarely meet a
couple that didn't get together with some hope for being loved and
accepted as they are. This emotional intimacy requires vulnerability
and openness. It can't happen where any kind of intimidation exists.
So, give it up. Watch out for it. Don't put up with it. Get help.
I watched a close friend this week come close to a lethal ending. I
don't want this for anyone else, least of all you, dear reader. It can
happen, and it does. I wish for you to never have to be challenged by
such violence, either subtly or overtly. But if you are, I want you to
confront it in love and maturity, right now!