We recently Interviewed Brent Hofer, author of “Confessions of an Angry Man”. The book is the story of how he is recovering from using power and control in his relationship with his wife.
From the Book: “My circle of life consisted of circumstances that irritated, frustrated or offended me. Around the track I went. My response was to erupt in anger. Around the track I went again. When the emotion of anger ceased, I would apologize. ‘I’m sorry. Around the track I went until the next event triggered my anger…it was an endless, angry cycle. No apologies or promises to my family ever changed my behavior until the day the train derailed. I hit the ground hard. When the dust cleared, I staggered off the dirt, shaken.”
Question: Have there been times since the book that you have felt the need for a refresher from your recovery programs and helps that you mentioned? If so, what have you done to accomplish this?
Brent: Yes! I have come back to ManKind for the “full program” rather than just a once a month visit. Sherry told me two to three weeks ago that I become angry about every six to eight weeks which is quite destructive to my family. At first, I thought about visiting a counselor or my accountability partner. None of these seemed to be the answer. Realizing how serious this issue is and wanting to cease hurting my family, it seemed the wisest step was to see if I could join a group and go through the program again. Obviously, there is something I am missing or something I haven’t dealt with in my life. I have started attending another ManKind group.
Additionally, I wrote down a warning on my calendar six weeks out from when Sherry and I talked so that I could be more aware of what is happening in my life. I want to learn what it is that troubles me, so I can face it without bringing harm to anyone.
Question: How do you stay accountable?
Brent: The person that I am most accountable to is Sherry. She knows me better than anyone and rather than deny her concerns about me, I pay attention to them. As painful as it is to listen to her when she sees a problem in my life, I truly have come to recognize her as the most common and accurate voice of God speaking to me. There is nothing fun listening to Sherry when she is upset with my behavior but over the last seven years, I have found that listening to her and making the changes she requests has brought more healing to our family and it has changed my life for the better. I truly believe that the Holy Spirit speaks through her into my life. It brings change and healing to my life and healing to my family.
Question: How has your continued work benefitted you and your family since the book?
Brent: Being willing to go back into the ManKind program has brought Sherry and I closer after I wounded her emotionally several weeks ago. At first, I thought it might be years before she would trust me again but that has not been the case. We are not as close as we were before I hurt her feelings but much closer since I started ARMS. I realized that wounding someone again, even after years of reconciliation, breaks trust and only time and changed behavior will ever possibly rebuild that trust.
Although Brent has completed a DV program it does not mean he is not at risk of future abuse. As mentioned, he has re-entered the ARMS ManKind program to continue to help with the process of becoming abuse free and staying accountable for his actions.