Male violence is fucking difficult. There are lots of little ways in which male privilege, to use the going term, is a pain in the bum, but when it comes to anger - well. It's a threat to women, and it's a burden on them too, and sort of explains why a combination of strength and silence is so universally desirable in a man, if by silence one is alluding to a broader self-control.
One of the men I love best in the world got done up for domestic abuse, one time. I don't want to get into the details. His woman told him something - well . I'm not talking sticks and stones, I'm talking a big action, and its bigger consequences, all being let out at once. I'm a pretty calm person, but if the F-word came into the house and told me what this man I love got told, I honestly can't say what I'd do. Maybe I would attack him. Maybe I'd just run away, or die. I mean, it was a really shitty thing to get told, to the degree that it, for most of us, would be a situation as novel as suddenly finding yourself in the middle of a war. What would you do if you were in the middle of the war? I've always suspected I'd crack up but I really don't know.
So I understand why the man I love lost his shit. In fact, he didn't even lose his shit as much as I suspect I might, in a comparable situation. But here's the thing: he's six four, and the woman he lost his shit with barely clears five foot, and whether she's done wrong or not (and you'd have to consult the great god Rashomon to try to work that one out), and whether or not you can understand why someone would lose their shit in that situation, he just can't do it - or at least, he can't do it, and still be in the right.
As soon as it gets physical, that's it. It's gone. You're somewhere different and somewhere wrong. You've moved from two people arguing to one great big person scaring the shit and risking the safety of one little one. Maybe you don't think of yourself as the sort of person who beats on women but now it doesn't matter what you think. By losing control you've lost what is admired in being a man. Yeah, you didn't tie her up and beat the shit out of her for fun; you aren't some sort of calculating sadist, but you've still got to appreciate that being the sort of person who's going to physically mix it up with someone half your size when you get mad enough to lose control makes you at least as dangerous as a sadist.
Anyways, the man I love registered all that. Faced the legal repercussions of what he'd done and more importantly, faced the emotional and psychological repercussions of what he'd done. And life has carried on rather more satisfactorily for him since then.
But Squidsy - gah. Squidsy is not the man I love. Where Squidsy is at now is the end of the progression: "why is she scared of me? I didn't lay a finger on her" segueing into "she shouldn't be scared of me. I didn't put a bruise on her" to "she's lying when she says she's scared of me. She gave me as good as I gave her" to trying to physically intimidate her on the street when she files legal documents he doesn't like.
It's started making me sick to have him around, and I don't really want us to do it anymore. Frankly, I feel betrayed, because we really extended ourselves with him, and really saw him as a victim. I feel stupid for having extended myself and there are few things I like less than being made to feel stupid. And you know, I don't even wholeheartedly want to un-extend, because I still feel sorry for him, because he's got fuck-all else in terms of friends here, besides a nice girl he's seeing who he won't admit he's seeing except when he's drunk, because she's fat, and then he'll only acknowledge her in the crudest of terms. The F-word tells me those sorts of terms are pretty standard for an Australian of Squidsy's social background (BTW, the next person who tells you Australia is classless society? I invite you to kick them in the balls for me) but that, and the whole situation, is starting to repel him pretty badly.
Squidsy, I'm sure, would say he hasn't lied to us. But this sort of slow reveal of things he hadn't said before or that aren't quite the same as what he's said before is wearing us both down. It's all so pathetic. He doesn't deserve to lose his kid - there aren't many who deserve that - but a) he's really giving his ex a lot of ammunition (the "physical intimidation on the street" was in front of the cops, for fuck's sake) and b) what the fuck, man. Your wife left you for a reason, not just to be mean. You have to find a way to think that through and negotiate through that, both so you can raise your son and so you can fucking learn something from this situation.
All of this is based on info straight from Squidsy, BTW. I've started hanging out with his ex-wife a bit again and she's all age-of-Aquarian focused on moving forward, and not doing any bad-mouthing; Squidsy's doing a pretty great job of making himself repellent and then bragging about it.
Fucking people, man.