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Things to Watch Out For

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Is My Partner a Potential Batterer?

If your partner engages in one or several of the following behaviors it may be an indication that he or she is a potential batterer. An answer of "Yes" to any of the following questions may be cause for thoughtful evaluation of your relationship. You may want to be cautious in pursuing a relationship with this person. However, you will be the final judge of your partner's character and whether you want to stay in a relationship with him or her.

  • Is your partner jealous of your time with other people?
  • Does your partner try to control you?
  • Does your partner blame others for his/her problems?
  • Is your partner unkind to animals or children?
  • Is your partner verbally abusive?
  • Does your partner try to isolate you and cut you off from sources of support?
  • Does your partner get easily upset or annoyed?
  • Is your partner forceful with affection and/or sex?
  • Is your partner unpredictable, with sudden mood swings?
  • Does your partner threaten you with violence?
  • Does your partner break or strike objects in your presence?
  • Does your partner use force with you during an argument?
  • Does your partner have a past history of battering?

Anger Management Exercise: The Rule of Twos

If you find yourself easily becoming angry, especially when you have a conflict with your partner, get your anger in check before you attempt to work through it. A great way to do this is to use the Rule of Twos. Use it the next time you become angry or upset. Here's how it works.

  • Think about and identify your physical responses to anger (e.g., increased heart rate, rush of blood to the face and neck, tightening of your muscles, clenching your fists, grinding your teeth, etc.). Everyone has some physical responses to anger and no one goes from calm to angry without experiencing them.
  • The second you get angry and experience these physical responses, that is your cue to stop and think before you do or say anything.
  • Ask yourself the following questions. Will this thing that I am angry about matter in two minutes?, two hours?, two days?, two weeks?, two months?, or two years?
  • Some things might matter in two years, but the majority of things we get upset about probably won't matter in two minutes, let alone two years.
  • Depending upon how important the issue is, gauge your response accordingly, but do it calmly.
  • If you fly off the handle, you can create a situation for yourself where something that was not that big of an issue can have a long-lasting negative impact on your relationship.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, December 06). Things to Watch Out For. Retrieved January 08, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License