Rafael Van Der Vaart – Another footballer fails to separate aggression on the field from his personal life.

It was with some sadness that I heard of the troubles of Rafael Van de Vaart being played out so publicly in the press this week. I also accept the irony of that statement as I proceed to write about him. My sadness is for a relationship that has failed and in particular for their son who will be more aware of the issues than the average child of warring parents.

For those that have not heard the former Spurs player who moved back to Hamburg because his wife was working as a TV presenter there has split from his wife. More to the point on New Year’s Eve, according to news stories, he had a row with her in front of friends at a party and hit her.

Judgements aside violence in a relationship from either side is unacceptable. Whilst it is clear that progressive domestic abuse is about control and not anger, angry relationships will often progress to violence because of escalation and an inability to step back from a dangerous situation.

This incident has more than a sniff of similarity with the incident at the Paris World Cup where Stan Collymore hit his then girlfriend Ulrika Johnson. There are other parallels. In this incident alcohol was involved plus both incidents were between footballers and partners who had successful careers of their own both coincidentally in television).

Both incidents, whilst only one was seen in public were played out in the public eye lending the wounded party some strength from public opinion. I wonder, would Sylvie Van De Vaart have been strong enough to leave if only she and Rafael knew what had happened?

What lessons do I think we can learn from this?

·         If you are in an angry relationship or have anger issues and they are exacerbated by alcohol stay away from it. I always advise my clients to stay away from alcohol until they are sure they have done the work with me that means they are calm and contained and safe with alcohol. Only then do they introduce alcohol gradually and carefully into their social life.

·         Anger affects everyone not just footballers. These are just the high profile cases that seem to grab attention. The real issues are the stand up rows, the simmering sulking and brooding, the passive aggressive behaviours that are acted out in many normal households across the world that show children the unhealthy ways to deal with conflict.

·         Both of these cases and many more have occurred between people that seemingly have it all. My lesson there is that there are areas that affect emotional control such as self esteem that can also be responsible for driving individuals to extreme performances and to be hugely successful. Just because someone is beautiful, and successful it does not follow that they are emotionally balanced. In fact given our culture of celebrity and encouraging people to be famous for the sake of it, soon you will be able to identify individuals likely to have emotional issues just by the fact that they are celebrities.

·         It’s not all the other persons fault. In my experience I see too many couples in angry relationships split and blame each other rather than taking responsibility for themselves. Several broken angry relationships down the line and a pattern emerges. If you value a relationship enough or value your future relationships enough you can change.

If you want to change your relationship by addressing your issues or are in an angry relationship and want to know what to do call 07850614042 and ask for Julian or 07950344658 and ask for Paula.

From their offices in the East & West Midlands and on line, Julian Hall &  Paula Backen deliver transformational workshops and work one to one with those that have issues with both sides of aggression and anger and stress. If you want to know more about the anger management, stress management, and emotional resilience courses run in Derby & Birmingham call the above numbers or click here


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