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I am angry and don't know what to do
March 8, 2005
9:24 am
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jamaicanwife
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There is something my husband does lately that drives me up the wall, but i can't seem to express it to him clearly enough. I'm not even sure what it is that sets me off. I'll recreate the scene. I'm walking my son through the school gate, when I hear a car horn blowing loudly. I look behind me and assume that it is the van thet is trying to turn in that is blowing at my husband as he is blocking the driveway.

I keep on walking, but I hear the horn again. I turn around again, and my husband is waving me back to the car, still blocking the driveway. Now I'm already late for work, so I mouth "What" hoping to avoid returning to the car. He calls me back again, obviously upset.

I go back to the car, and he sits there and tells me that I have left my son's lunch in the car. He has not picked up the lunch kit, is not handing it to me or making any attempt to make this whole damned process go any faster. By the way, he insisted that I walk him in this morning, saying it was my turn. I didn't know we were taking turns.

Now I'm late, and I'm pissed. So I say 'couldn't you have called me back instead of blowing the horn? How was I to know that you're blowing me? Could you at least pass the lunch kit?"

When I asked him why he didn't get out of the car with the lunch kit, he said that he just wasn't going to, especially after I said "What".

What just happened? And why am I so mad? I want to call him and pick a fight, but I know I shouldn't. Help!

When

March 8, 2005
9:33 am
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Big heart
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Oh, I would be annoyed too. That's like when your in a diffrent part of the house and someone yells your name. You dont respond because you think how rude to yell when they can come to you if they need something, they get mad because you ignored them. You know how they say you have to pick your battels? I would let this one go. This is an everyday failure to communicate properly and I wouldn't turn it into a big blow out. Just breath and let it go. Maybe talk it over with him at dinner tonight once you released some of that anger.

March 8, 2005
9:54 am
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jamaicanwife
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An everyday failure to communicate properly. Sounds like the history of my marriage. Lately this has been happening a lot.

I often wonder if this kind of thing happens to other couples with the frequency that we experience it. Is there any solution, any way to stop the madness before I lose it - I have a short fuse, but I hate arguing.

March 8, 2005
9:59 am
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mamacinnamon
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Maybe a written schedule to put on the fridge or by the door so there is no question as to who is to do what?

Just a thought.

March 8, 2005
10:13 am
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lewis
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It happens all the time!

Don't keep your anger to yourself though, it needs to be expressed, and this is better done when we sit down, and find time to simply talk, and say, ' you know when u did that and this, that really annoys me' let people know, instead of holding it all in, and then exploding, much to our own amazment!

March 8, 2005
10:34 am
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jamaicanwife
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thanks, mamac, bigheart and lewis.

I just called my husband and spoke to him in a nonconfrontational way, and its done. Problem is, it's going to happen again. Any tips on how to keep from losing your cool in the heat of the moment? I tend to snap at my husband, which he thinks is the worst thing ever, and it then becomes a big, ugly THING. All advice welcome.

March 8, 2005
10:44 am
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mamacinnamon
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To keep from losing control:

You can agree that if you are about to lose control that you need to take a 10 minute (or however long of time) break to cool down. Then come back to the conversation.

You can count in your head if you feel you are losing control and cannot get that break away.

I think putting down who does what on paper and posting it is one of the best ways to avoid the miscommunications. That way it is in black and white and there is NO question as to who should have done what.

Those things have helped my hubby and I at times in our marriage.

March 8, 2005
10:55 am
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revelation
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Communication, communication, communication, so important yet I thinks the lack of it is a problem in lots of relationships, including mine!! I lose my cool about it and then there is a row. Wish I had a solution for it....I have a thread about my our most recent argument...see "I'm going to mess this up again need some tips:".

March 8, 2005
10:57 am
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jamaicanwife
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Posting a list sounds like a good idea that might prevent some arguments, but I can't seem to catch myself getting angry, I just start snapping like a cornered dog and then I realize that I've lost it. Again.

My husband reacts to my snapping at him with about the same intensity as though I had poked him with a hot, pointed stick. He comes out of his corner, ready to rumble. I always feel as though he's over-reacting, and this only makes it worse. My father was verbally abusive, and when my husband starts raising his voice, I get a flashback and suddenly I'm fighting with my father all over again. I don't want to do it anymore. It just makes me tired.

March 8, 2005
10:59 am
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mamacinnamon
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Have ya'll thought about marriage counseling? My hubby and I went thru it and I know it has given us the tools we needed to make our marriage work. Well worth every penny.

March 8, 2005
12:02 pm
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jamaicanwife
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We went to several sessions, but then my issues with my father started to come out, and the counsellor actually told us that I am basically reacting to him as though he was my father. Absolutely true, and we basically started getting along by then. Now I'm in counselling on my own, which is probably best because I can be completely honest, but I've only been to about 4 sessions. I know it will take a while, but I just want peace to reign.

March 8, 2005
12:08 pm
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kathygy
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Therapy takes time. Try to be patient with yourself. Be open and honest with your husband. Its good that you have the insight now and you are in therapy.

March 8, 2005
12:13 pm
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dmurphy
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jamaicanwife

Here is something that is in a workbook that I got since my wife and I are separated. It says to go through and write down all of the positive traits that your partner has. It says that it is easy to forget the good things and focus on the bads things. You can't change every bad thing. You can explain to him why it hurt you that he did that. It says to express it in that way, that it HURT you. If you say that it upsets you or makes you mad it will make him defensive and he WILL do it again just to piss you off! Men are stupid trust me. The whole workbook talks about tolerance. The little things that you can live with you try to live with. The major things are what you talk about and try to compromise. I know for me I had lost track of all the good things about my wife and was focusing on a bunch of little meaningless crap that didn't really matter. It says that above all to just be open about the things that you like and dislike. They may continue to do things that you don't like but at least you told him. If you can live with it great, if you can't you have to keep telling him how much it hurts you until either he stops or you put a stop to it.

March 8, 2005
12:28 pm
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jamaicanwife
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"It says to express it in that way, that it HURT you. If you say that it upsets you or makes you mad it will make him defensive and he WILL do it again just to piss you off! Men are stupid trust me"

Okay, this made me smile. I'm glad a man said it this time.

Seriously, I have noticed that my telling him that something irritates me only makes him do it more. And usually it's something that my father used to do, which just makes me overreact. I just reread my first post, and I realize that the honking horn set me off. My father used to pull up outside the gate and sit in the car honking the thrice-damned car horn until somebody came to open the gate for him. Now I do not get up when I hear a horn, because it is like the most unbelievably rude thing you can do. My husband will get up out of a sound sleep to check if someone is outside when he hears a horn, and we have argued about this in the past.

I think that when I realised that he was honking at me, I probably did over-react. Hell.

March 8, 2005
12:34 pm
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dmurphy
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But he is still being insensitive too. He may not realize how much it hurts you since the way men and women deal with things is so different. We usually have no idea how much something we are doing bothers a woman because it seems ok to us. You need to hit us in the head with a brick to make us understand.

March 8, 2005
12:42 pm
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jamaicanwife
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So now I have permission to hit my husband with bricks. Cool.

So what does he think will happen after I have already told him that something really bothers me? He always seems surprised when I flip out and is really reluctant to apologise.

I have written him off as an insensitive lout on many previous occasions, but then he has a moment of insight, or we spend all night arguing and he says something like -- Well, why didn't you say THAT? -- and I wonder what he was hearing all those other times I was saying it.

March 8, 2005
12:51 pm
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dmurphy
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My wife can say th sam thing a hundred times and I will hear something different. Our problem is about perception. What wer say and what the other hears are two different things. He may not hear you simply because he doesn't agree with what you are saying. It doesn't make you any less right because they are your feelings. It just means that he may never change some of the things he does wrong. If it is something major he needs to compromise. If it is something minor it may be easier for you to let it go. The wookbook says to pick your battles wisely because if you turn everything into an all out war you will both start to try to find things to argue about. Men are all just cavemen at heart.

March 8, 2005
2:14 pm
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jamaicanwife
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Thanks, dmurphy, but you can't stop there. I had no brothers, my father was abusive, I went to an all-girl's school, and I taught at an all-girl's school for most of my working life. Men are a mystery to me, and when I don't understand something, I poke at it until I understand it. Well, poking at my husband only upsets him. Maybe you can explain my husband to me.

He's very bright, but was very popular in school (before I met him) and loves to go out and meet people. He has worked for entertainers, in nightclubs, and currently works in public relations. He can talk to everybody, regardless of background and gets along with ALMOST everybody. I am the only person that he has disagreements with, that he allows himself to lose his temper with, that he is ever less than nice to. I don't get it, and have often told him that I would prefer having him as a friend or an employee, because then I could be sure that he would always be nice to me.

Is he typical, or am I right to be disressed?

March 8, 2005
2:53 pm
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dmurphy
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He sounds a lot like me. I get upset with my wife over stupid little things and we end up arguing. She does the same thing to me. It seems like we are so used to each other that we start to finish each others thought. Most of the time though we are thinking something different from what the other thought. I can tell when my wife is upset about something so I will ask her what is wrong. then when she says nothing I ask her again, and again and again until she blows up. I know she is going to get upset and yell but I just want her to tell me what is wrong so I push her. I know I need to give her space but I just can't help myself sometimes. I treat her differently than anyone else and she does the same with me. I am now able to see many of thie things that I have been doing worng and I am working on them. I just hope it is not too late for us because many of the things that I thought were really important before are really little meaningless garbage that we should have never fought about.

March 8, 2005
3:03 pm
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jamaicanwife
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I have caught bits of your story on various threads, and if it helps, my husband and I were on the verge of divorce for 2 or more years, but we are still together. Is your wife going to counselling, or doing the same thing you're doing, working on understanding herself better?

March 8, 2005
3:12 pm
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dmurphy
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We are seeing a counselor together. I am also going by myself and also seeing a psychologist to help me deal with certain things. It is hard for me because at times I feel like she is only willing to sepnd an hour a week even dealing with our problem and I want to work harder than that. I can see what this is doing to our family and I want things to work out. I do know that nothing will change overnight and that we both need to want this. It took my wife asking me to leave for me to really see what is importnat and what is just crap that people argue about.

March 8, 2005
3:45 pm
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jamaicanwife
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I hope you can both work it out, and come to a place of understanding. As you say, both of you need to want the same thing, but it is possible for one person to love enough to keep things limping along while the other person makes up their mind. That was what happened with my marriage, and like your wife, I was the one who wanted out. I was so angry for so long, and I had no idea how to express it. I just went cold inside, couldn't love him, didn't want him, just wanted the misery to be over. Now we're apparently fighting over the same crap that other couples fight about, so that is actually an improvement.

There's always hope.

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