Originally Posted By: headingwest
After a rough patch my wife and I have got along well for over a year. One of my issues identified in counseling is that I "carry baggage" instead of communicating my feelings. I store the resentment.

No more, I've cured that.

No you haven't

Originally Posted By: headingwest
I opened the door to the room she was in and said something like "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE MAKING US LATE AGAIN, IT'S SO RUDE AND SELFISH". Not yelling, not swearing, but obviously furious. I was seething.

That is a classic example of the result of storing resentment. Had you addressed the problem at a neutral moment in a respectful way, you would never have got to the point where you had an angry outburst like this.

Here is an example of how this would be handled in an MB marriage:

When you received the invitation, you discussed whether to accept or not. At that point you would have brought up the lateness issue. You might have explained that being late left you sufficiently uncomfortable that you would rather decline the invitation than arrive 30 minutes late. At that point your wife would have been able to suggest some solutions if she actually wanted to go to the party. Off the top of my head I can think of at least five ways to have solved this.

Originally Posted By: headingwest
Then I was kind of OK. But not my wife.

Anger is a curious thing in that it gives us an emotional release but at a very heavy payload.

Originally Posted By: headingwest
For 2 days (including fathers day) she's sulked. She avoids me.

This is the payload. Do this enough times and you will come back from work to an empty house and a note on the kitchen table.

By the way, 'sulked' is a disrespectful judgement. A disrespectful judgement is any negative assumption about your spouse. You need to eliminate not just the use of words like 'sulked' but also thinking that way. Actually your wife was not 'sulking' with its implied punishment of you. She explains her feelings here:

Originally Posted By: headingwest
When I finally got her to open up she said something like:

"You're SO rude, you do so much damage with your anger. You don't love me. How dare you talk to me like that"

Nice that she was honest about how she felt, I hope you thanked her.

Originally Posted By: headingwest
But if my wife thinks an hour late is OK and I should just suck it up, where do I go besides anger?? Our lateness values are different, and frankly an hour is outside my comfort zone.

Does she think that an hour late is ok? Have you discussed this? I have a friend with OCD who is habitually late for everything because she has to go back and check 10 times that she locked the house and remembered everything. She is beside herself with embarrassment about her lateness. I on the other hand choose to arrive at parties late because I don't like standing.

Originally Posted By: headingwest
What do I do next time? Are there alternatives to anger when you're feeling pissed off? Go meditate?? Get over it?

Go to the links that Goody posted. Yes there are grownup alternatives to anger.

Originally Posted By: headingwest
And also counseling identified anger as my wife's problem. Unknown to me she'd lived her life in a pool of anger! But I can't be angry at her?

No you can't. Her anger is not a get out of jail card, rather the opposite. I imagine that your wife grew up in an angry family and is extraordinarily sensitive to this.

Originally Posted By: headingwest
I'm surprised at how much this has affected me, I feel like I'm straight back to the bad part of my marriage where my wife manipulated me with her anger. Hhhmmm.

More disrespectful judgements; 'manipulated' is not the word you would use about your own angry outburst so why are you ok using it about hers?

3 adult children
Divorced - he was a serial adulterer
Now remarried, thank you MB
(formerly lied_to_again)