man sits on beach contemplates abusive behavior

At the Men’s Resource Center, we acknowledge October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  We’d like to take this opportunity to underscore that “domestic violence” or “domestic abuse” doesn’t always mean physical violence. And that abuse is also non-discriminating: it can happen regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, culture, or occupation. Recognizing abusive behavior can be one of the first steps to seeking help.

Am I Abusive?

What does being abusive look like? It could be name-calling; telling your partner she’s worthless or a bad mother. It could be controlling behavior; finding ways to keep your partner from doing what he wants to do by taking his car keys. Or tracking his communications by checking his cell phone or social media accounts. It could be economical; not allowing your partner to have access to finances or a job. It could be through intimidation; yelling or slamming doors. Or, it could be isolating; keeping your partner from family and friends. And, yes, it can mean physical violence.

If any of this sounds a little too familiar, you’re not alone. Like some, you may only exhibit abusive behavior periodically. Or, like others, you may have found yourself stuck in an abusive pattern. You know what you’re doing isn’t working, but you don’t know what else to do. In fact, you’ve probably asked yourself the same questions: How did it get this bad? Why do I get so angry? Why do I say and do those things? How do I stop acting this way?

We also know that some men suffer victimization from domestic violence in silence—believing that a real man will just deal with it and not burden others.

For over two decades, we have offered specialized programs for men who are victims of domestic violence and men who themselves are abusive and/or controlling.

Stop Hurting The People You Love

Whether it is you, an acquaintance, a loved one, or a friend, no one should have to experience the physical and emotional pain brought on by domestic abuse. The Men’s Resource Center works with men to help them stop hurting the woman (or man) they love. And, we stand with those men who have been abused.

Our domestic violence programs include our domestic violence support groups and online domestic abuse counseling. We even offer programs for anger management and managing stress. Seeing yourself as abusive isn’t easy. But it can be the first step toward accountability and change. If you wonder whether any of these programs apply to you, please explore the resources available on our website and visit the links below. For more information, contact us online or call (616) 456-1178.

Life Beyond Abusive Behavior

  • Accountability Changes Men Struggling with Abusive Behaviors and Addictions – Al Heystek and Otha Brown are principal therapists at the Men’s Resource Center. In this Revealing Men podcast, they talk about how accountability can become the foundation for change in men who struggle with abusive/controlling behaviors and addictions.
  • Moving Beyond Abusive Behavior and Becoming a Better Man – Otha Brown reflects upon how most men who enter counseling for control, anger, and abuse issues really want to be good fathers, good partners, and good community members but somewhere along the line, things broke down. He shares how the tools of self-awareness and empathy can help men understand their abusive behavior and move toward a vision of becoming a better man.
  • One Man’s Story of Surviving Domestic Abuse – This story highlights the struggle inherent for many male victims of domestic violence: societal or internal beliefs about manhood, the risk of not being believed, and the fear of experiencing shame. It illustrates how, when the customary masculine paradigm of using brawn or fighting back to conquer the aggressor will not work, there is another heroic path available – one of care and nurturing.
  • Counseling Changed His Life – One man’s reflection on how he learned to manage his fear and anger through counseling. And how it helped to make him a better spouse, parent, businessman, and person.
  • Stop Hurting the Woman You Love: Breaking the Cycle of Abusive Behavior – A book that speaks directly to the abusive man. Its authors, Charlie Donaldson and Randy Flood have over 40 years of combined expertise and thousands of hours of therapeutic work in the area of domestic relationships They’ve helped many men learn to stop abusive behavior and stop hurting the people they love. This book combines their knowledge and expertise into a down-to-earth, easy-to-understand, “how-to” self-help manual that will help you understand and avoid domestic violence.