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#2865264 09/07/15 02:26 AM
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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.

But now my wife isn't used to hearing what I REALLY feel about situations. BTW I'm not an angry person in any way.

So 2 days ago my wife and I were an hour late to get to a friends dinner. My wife is habitually late, and once it gets to more than about 20 minutes late I feel that I'm letting others down, I get anxious, I feel resentment. So instead of burying my feelings and sulking for a day I two, I told her...

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.

Then I was kind of OK. But not my wife.

For 2 days (including fathers day) she's sulked. She avoids me. 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"

So I'm in a quandry. Anger is bad - I read the article on this site. 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.

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

Or do I just get angry again and ignore a week of sulking from my wife?

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?

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.

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These articles might give you the answer to what you could have done better.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8115_prob.html
http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3402_disrespect.html

Although you didn't yell, it still was an angry outburst.
"It bothers me that you are late" is the 'correct' way to compain. "It's so rude and selfish" are disrespecful judgements. In the article you can read that disrespectful judgements are verbal abuse.

You should not suck it up, but adress the issue in a respectful manner. If someone tells you you're doing somethng wrong and you are rude and selfish, does that motivate you to do it better next time?

Anger makes people do very stupid things. A friend of mine, angry with her spouse threw things around and he said "You only throw my stuff". She replied "Oh really?" Next thing she knew, grandma's antique teapot she had in het hands was shattered against the wall. She still regrets it.
Angry outbursts should be eliminated, so anger management is recommended.

Read more articles, they all make sense.

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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?


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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?

Or do I just get angry again and ignore a week of sulking from my wife?


Your "anger" is not a solution. It will wreck your marriage soon enough if you don't stop it. Anger is never a solution to a problem. As you can see, all you do is push your wife away. Pretty soon you will push her right out of the marriage.

What you need to do is learn to learn anger management and learn better skills in delivering your complaints. It is good to tell her when you are unhappy, but your delivery is so poor that you will wreck your marriage.

Read this: Angry Outbursts

Disrespectful Judgements

Go listen to all the radio clips on anger management here: here

And then read this article: Complaining in Marriage


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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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?


You must be joking? Does your "counselor" actually know people who do not have a problem with an angry, hotheaded spouse? You might want to check with a qualified marriage counselor because they will tell you that anger destroys marriages. You can email Dr Bill Harley, clinical psychologist and and author of His Needs, Her Needs, for free and he will tell you how damaging anger is to marriages. Just do a search for "anger" on this website and you will find thousands of threads of broken marriages due to anger.

There are hundreds of radio shows on the same subject in the radio archives. Anger wrecks marriages.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Thanks for the strong advice. I stand corrected. I passed judgement, failed to listen properly, had an angry outburst. Not healthy in a marriage.

On the positive side I'm not an angry person, so next time it's pretty easy to switch that off. My new anger comes from other books I've read about "protecting boundaries" and standing up for yourself. I need to find more positive ways to protect boundaries.

Quote:
Had you addressed the problem at a neutral moment in a respectful way

Yes. So I'm watching things unfold, I don't like it, I feel dis-respected, hurt. How do I react?

For example one time our family of four were ready to leave for a function, my wife says "I need to make myself another coffee" and heads back inside for 15 minutes to have her coffee, leaving us waiting. I, like many mortals, feel strong negative emotions during events like this. How do I keep that from being destructive, while at the same time enforcing a boundary that I feel has been crossed? Because what I actually want to do is go inside, pick up the coffee machine, and throw it in the bin. Bad. Angry. Instead I sit quietly and resent her. Also bad.

Quote:
Does your "counselor" actually know people who do not have a problem with an angry, hotheaded spouse? You might want to check with a qualified marriage counselor because they will tell you that anger destroys marriages.


Quote:
I imagine that your wife grew up in an angry family and is extraordinarily sensitive to this.


The counselor was great. My wife started with "my ideal childhood" and ended up realising how angry and destructive her mother is. Her mother dislikes women, including her own daughters. My wife spent her life hiding inside a wall of anger, but is visibly moving past this. I'm very proud of her. What's crazy is how well she hid her anger behind a false persona. The book "toxic parents" left her sobbing in tears, chapter after chapter. And yes, I believe she's particularly sensitive to anger, stonewalling as a defense against her mother.

My problems are all about judgement and storing resentment (SO embarrassing to admit out loud, even on a anonymous forum, it's not how I want to see myself). I'm doing my best to move past this as well. Particularly expressing where my boundaries are crossed now instead of storing up future negative hurts. My wife's past anger left me feeling bullied, and I guess I'm sensitive to my boundaries now.

Quote:
Does she think that an hour late is ok? Have you discussed this?


I chatted to her today. She thinks an hour late OK, I couldn't get her to tell me a lateness that wasn't OK. But to me it's something that causes me pain and embarrassment once I'm more than 30 minutes late, I feel I'm now being rude to the hosts. It's also not about the number, for some it's 5 minutes, for some it's 5 hours. I really hope to find a way for my wife to recognize my pain without blowing it off as ridiculous.

So how do I set the boundaries? How do I know if my boundaries are reasonable or I'm over-reacting? How do I protect my boundaries in the moment without anger?

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Originally Posted By: headingwest


For example one time our family of four were ready to leave for a function, my wife says "I need to make myself another coffee" and heads back inside for 15 minutes to have her coffee, leaving us waiting. I, like many mortals, feel strong negative emotions during events like this. How do I keep that from being destructive, while at the same time enforcing a boundary that I feel has been crossed? Because what I actually want to do is go inside, pick up the coffee machine, and throw it in the bin. Bad. Angry. Instead I sit quietly and resent her. Also bad.


You tell her respectfully that it upsets you. If you and your wife use this program, you will learn to not do anything without the enthusiastic agreement of the other spouse. It will become second nature.

Quote:
The counselor was great. My wife started with "my ideal childhood" and ended up realising how angry and destructive her mother is. Her mother dislikes women, including her own daughters. My wife spent her life hiding inside a wall of anger, but is visibly moving past this. I'm very proud of her. What's crazy is how well she hid her anger behind a false persona. The book "toxic parents" left her sobbing in tears, chapter after chapter. And yes, I believe she's particularly sensitive to anger, stonewalling as a defense against her mother.


Hoping that the childhoods can be left where they belong: in the past. Dr. Harley finds that to be a distraction from adult problems.

Quote:
I chatted to her today. She thinks an hour late OK, I couldn't get her to tell me a lateness that wasn't OK. But to me it's something that causes me pain and embarrassment once I'm more than 30 minutes late, I feel I'm now being rude to the hosts. It's also not about the number, for some it's 5 minutes, for some it's 5 hours. I really hope to find a way for my wife to recognize my pain without blowing it off as ridiculous.


Instead of telling her she is wrong, which is disrespectful, ask her to stop doing it because it upsets you. She should not upset you and you should stop blowing up at her and giving her lectures. Our program would teach you how to eliminate love busters and how to negotiate mutual decisions that make you both happy. The goal of the policy of joint agreement is to never do anything that makes the other person unhappy.

Quote:
So how do I set the boundaries? How do I know if my boundaries are reasonable or I'm over-reacting? How do I protect my boundaries in the moment without anger?


Learn how to use the policy of joint agreement and eliminate all love busters. Instead of "setting boundaries," learn to negotiate decisions that make you BOTH happy. This is not about your boundaries or her boundaries, but about finding decisions that make you both happy.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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The alternative to anger is:

"It bothers me when you ..."
"I'd like it if you would ..."

Both of these are expressed WITHOUT demanding that the wife comply, and without consequences if she does not. You keep the complaints on the front burner, bringing them up again if you don't get what you need, and you do it in an environment free from demands, disrespectful judgments, and angry outbursts, and in an environment where you are striving to meet your wife's emotional needs so she will be in love with you (and will care about your complaints).


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Do you have the Marriage Builders app?


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane

Learn how to use the policy of joint agreement and eliminate all love busters. Instead of "setting boundaries," learn to negotiate decisions that make you BOTH happy. This is not about your boundaries or her boundaries, but about finding decisions that make you both happy.


And until you find a decision that makes you both happy, the default is to do nothing. That means (in this example) that you decline all event invitations until the departure time has been settled. Negotiating using the POJA is a skill that comes with practice. It is not easy.


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The above advice is good and I think you would do good implementing it.
On the issue of being timely. I used to have the same issue with being timely. I learned it really bothered my wife and I reflected on it and couldn't come up with a good reason. So, there's some times we're early, some times we're on time, other times we're late. I've learned it's no big deal as it makes no sense to me to get mad and spoil a date when 2/3rds of the time we're early or on time. Hah! And even when we're late, other people will be too!


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