Much is said about the unfortunate escalation of domestic violence in recent years, but not much is said about its underlying causes. Sometimes, relationship violence bubbles over with little warning due to an unresolved issue in one of the partners in the relationship that brings about frustration. Left unresolved, it can boil over into violence or threatening behavior.
This truth was recently brought to light in a high-profile story about Colton Underwood, a former reality star on The Bachelor who recently came out as gay and whose story is told in more detail in the new Netflix docu-series Coming Out Colton. After their appearance on The Bachelor in 2019, Underwood and contestant Cassie Randolph began a relationship that soon ended in 2020. At one point, Randolph took out a restraining order against Underwood, accusing him of stalking her—an order she later had lifted.
Getting to the Root Issues
In the trailer for Coming Out Colton, Underwood references his restraining order, saying, “The reason I'm coming out is because I'm ashamed, and I'm sort of mortified of what got me into this position in the first place.” He also makes reference to the stress he was under while trying to live as a straight man. “I didn't want to be gay...Never thought I was gonna come out. I thought I was going to die with this secret,” he says.
While we don't know for certain what specifically led to the violence in Underwood and Randolph's relationship, it is possible that unresolved repressed sexuality played a role. It is not uncommon for people who have difficulty reconciling their sexuality to act out in destructive ways. This may manifest as physical or emotional violence against a partner or as stalking or other forms of harassment.
When tension builds up to the point that it can no longer be ignored, resentment and anger may boil over into violence or aggression. The best way to deter this eventuality is to be willing to explore the root causes of the tension, whether it's repressed sexuality, false expectations, anger issues, prior abuse, or any other issue that is feeding the frustration. Sometimes we can do some of this internal unpacking on our own, but other times, it may call for the help of a skilled therapist or counselor to uncover the underlying causes of any tension. Once the underlying causes are discovered, it is often possible to begin addressing them using a variety of tools, including cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness practices, and visualization techniques.
Sometimes, as in the case of Colton Underwood, the best outcome is to end the relationship, especially if repressed sexuality is a factor. This can be a difficult conversation to have, but it is often the most compassionate thing to do for both parties. It is important to remember that the person you are breaking up with is still a human being who deserves your respect, and it is easier to have an uncomfortable conversation about sexuality than it is to let the unresolved tension boil over into violence, possibly resulting in restraining orders and criminal charges.
If you have been served with a restraining order in New Jersey, regardless of the reasons, you could be facing a cascade of repercussions ranging from eviction and custody issues to complications with your employment. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can help you navigate the tricky waters of contesting a restraining order. Call 888-535-3686 to learn more about how we can help.