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Army April 26, 2012
NO MATTER where Justin
turned, a menacingly familiar
car appeared on the road in
front of him.
Seeing no other way out, Justin
jumped a fence, crossed railway tracks
and hid for hours in a seedy pub.
The car did not belong to gangsters
or government agents but Justin's former
live-in girlfriend whom he had kicked
out of his house just minutes before to
end a year-long abusive relationship.
Justin (not his real name but this is a
real story) moved in with his girlfriend
after two months of dating -- nowhere
near long enough to know someone,
according to Army Principle Chaplain
Geoff Webb who says it can take more
than six months to reveal a person's
"If you're saying she's this 'wonder-
ful girl of my dreams', you're just not
on planet earth," Chap Webb said. "You
really haven't understood you're dealing
with a flawed human being."
Justin, in his mid-20s, said he
ignored several warning signs when he
first met his girlfriend.
"You get to that stage in your life
where you think about settling down with
a girl and that's what I wanted," he said.
Chap Webb said it was better to find
the right person before settling down.
"If you think there's a clock that says
it's time to grow up and settle down ...
that's not going to fix it," Chap Webb said.
"Moving in with someone simply to
get out of living-in is not a good reason.
And if the girl's motivation is 'I want
someone to love' that's not terribly help-
ful."Justin's work performance began to
suffer when his girlfriend came home
and attacked him because her workmate
was given a rose.
"She punched me in the face and said
'you never buy me roses'," Justin said.
When he tried to ignore her, she
attacked him again and began screaming.
Most people tend to move in with a
partner in their mid 20s and 30s, but Chap
Webb said he believed people in the ADF
did it much younger because of fear of
separation through deployment or post-
ing.He said there were some things to
look out for when thinking of moving in
with a partner.
"Be wary of someone who has got a
history of relationships. If they've lived
with a number of people before it can be
a problem. It shows they can't commit.
"Don't get into it too young and don't
move in together if you haven't had any
disagreements. That means you're hiding
something or giving in to the other one
all the time. And be careful of a history of
With the benefit of hindsight, Justin
admitted he did not really know the
young woman he moved in with. She
would start fights and spread rumours
whenever other people were around.
"She was pretty false, always dress-
ing in Armani but she didn't have two
cents to her name," Justin said.
After what he said was a horrible
Christmas visit to the girlfriend's par-
ents, featuring tantrums and physical
violence in front of her family, Justin
decided she had to go.
"We got back to Sydney and I said
'pack your stuff, you're leaving and
you're sleeping on the couch'," Justin
Personnel who experience domestic
violence should report the matter to the
civilian police in the first instance and
provide notification through the chain of
command for further assistance.
Speak to your local chaplain or DCO office for
advice on relationship problems.
It might take six months before the magic wears
off and you realise what you've got yourself in for,
Cpl Max Bree reports.
Unhappy ending: Parting ways with your partner after a failed attempt at living together can be painful.
Photo by LAC Bill Solomou
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