DEAR CHRISTINE: I hit my wife in front of the children
PLEASE HELP ME!
Last week I hit my wife in front of my children – the second time in six months, and this episode has left me very angry with myself.
I was once again drunk when this happened and never intended for my children to ever see me abuse their mother.
What had me even more upset with myself is the fact that my father hit my mother on a number of occasions when we were growing up (my sister and I).
He used to drink very hard and I swore to myself that I would never drink or hit my wife.
As you can see from my letter I have not lived up to this.
Christine, how can I make up for what I have done to my family?
Can my children forget my mistakes, or are they doomed to keep repeating this violence from generation to generation? Can it stop here if I get proper help?
How do I prevent my children from following in my footsteps and my parents’ footsteps?
I really want to change because I love my family too much to want to destroy what we have shared during the past seven years of my marriage.
The fact that you have written to me is a clear indication that you are on the road to recovery.
Do not for one minute hold the view that you are doomed, your children are doomed or that their children will be doomed as well.
They can learn better ways to manage their anger, and so can you. Have a one-on-one chat with the children and tell them you were wrong to hit their mother.
Let them know that you are sorry about what you did.
I am hoping that likewise, you would have told your wife that you are sorry,
If you are willing to see a counsellor, explain this to your wife and children.
A counsellor will no doubt share with you more appropriate ways to deal with any anger and frustration.
In addition, you should make an appointment with Alcoholics Anonymous. They will help you understand the dynamics of your behaviour, assist you in overcoming your addiction to alcohol and even help you to understand why you drink in the first place.
I compliment you for acknowledging your problem and for seeking help. I believe you are on the road to a full recovery.