A parent receives a call, “Sorry to inform you about the death of your daughter. She was killed today by her husband/boyfriend.” This scene takes place almost everyday, somewhere, and at some point it could happen to you or someone close to you. When it does take place there are sometimes two very common phrases we hear afterwards . . . “He was a good guy” and “We never saw it coming.” Typically, when we are in relationships, we never see the most destructive possibilities until they occur. We don’t pay attention to the blinking red lights or red flags in front of us because our thoughts are often focused on love.
How many lives do you think can be impacted by a single moment of anger that manifests itself in hate or revenge? First we impact the children, parents, siblings, loving aunts, uncles, and cousins. What about those friends who are often more supportive and closer than family and don’t forget about the co-workers a person has spent years with.
In December of 2012, an NFL player, Jovan Belcher, age 25, decided to take the life of his 22-year-old girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins (victim no 1), who was the mother of their 3 month old baby (victim no. 2) and then take his own life (victim no. 3). Mr. Belcher, since his death, has been described as a nice guy, a good team-mate, and someone who worked very hard to obtain his position with the Kansas City Chiefs. If he was such a good guy, why did he do such a bad thing? The answer to that question may be as difficult and complex as any imaginable. We will all be left wondering why. This is a case that received national attention, but think of how many times we see this same scenario played out on our local news day after day, after day.
Parents sometimes engage in personal vendettas against their mate in front of the kids, leaving them exposed to violence, murder and suicide? The most heinous of parental behaviors can sometimes leave the children dead.
Through years of working with people going through relationship turmoil, I am convinced that if you never have a positive, preventive conversation, your emotional position has no protective point of reference. Simply put, if you have never discussed what can happen and how to prevent it, you will be unaware until it occurs. Then it’s often too late.
How often have you had a conversation about how you would handle things emotionally if your relationship takes a negative turn. Have you discussed walking away if something you considered unforgivable happened in your relationship or do you already have a violent reaction planned? Have you thought through the consequences of carrying out your violent reaction? Because we are more prone to do what we tell ourselves we will, wouldn’t it be best to start to tell yourself now that you will have the strength to walk away, peacefully. Trust me when I tell you that you will be glad you did.
Reflect back on your interpretation of what your home life was like growing up. Where you part of an angry home where fear, revenge, aggression or violence was frequent? Are you trained emotionally not to become that way? If not, It’s never to late to start.
Mr. Belcher had a lot of family, friends, and fans who I’m sure will always miss and love him. Ms. Perkins will also be missed and mourned for years. Now we focus on the child. What will her life be like? Will she experience sincere parental love or live with an unfulfilled void because of not having her parents? Will her father’s actions leave her filled with anger and how will that hurt and anger manifest itself?
We train so hard to achieve those things we want in life. We train for sports, the military, our careers, etc. That training can teach us what to do when a crisis situation suddenly crops us. We can go right into what we were trained to do without really even thinking about it. That’s what training does. Think of how much better our families, communities, and the world would be if we put just as much training into handling our emotions.