Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

How to move past anger?

(15 Posts)
fastdancer Mon 18-Jul-16 09:43:44

Trying to keep it brief. We have been married nearly 19 years, usual ups and downs, lots of happy compatibility and also various predictable conflicts over the years over time pressures, money, work, DC upbringing etc. We have two teen DC, one with ASD, We have also learned that DH is on the spectrum which explains some of the communication issues we have had over the years.
DH insisted on planning and setting off on a long-haul worktrip which has lasted nearly 3 weeks. (He is back in a couple of days). The trip looks very much like a junket to me - a conference at the beginning, a few meetings, a few days visiting an old girlfriend (!) and attendance at a public memorial ceremony for an event in which he has professional interest. As you can imagine I have not been thrilled by any of this. It has come at a time when both DC are feeling stressed at school, and my mother who lives an hour's flight away from me is moving to supported accommodation and selling the family home. My current focus is on all the different people who need me.(plus work).
I asked DH 1) not to go at this time and 2) to only go to the conference and the meetings, ie skip the old girlfriend and the memorial ceremony. He insisted that it was all important and I should support his endeavours as he supports mine.
I have been really angry and hurt that he has prioritised this quite pleasant but not life changing trip over my very real need for his support. I am desperate to be able to help my mother. I can do so next week, once DH is back, but just feel so stuck at the moment.
When I speak to DH on the phone, our conversations are stilted and not our normal flow. Whatever he says about what he is doing, I just find myself making nasty passive aggressive remarks, like 'must be nice to have free time' etc. I have been very clear to him that I am hurt and let down that he insisted on this trip and he just says that he will make it up to me when he gets back.
How do I move away from the anger that I feel? I don't want to dismantle our lives and LTB. I just want to be back to us at our best. I also want to know that in a similar situation in the future he would do things differently.
I do not think there is any danger to our relationship from the old girlfriend. I believe him that there is no feeling left there (they broke up 29 years ago) and he barely remembers that they were in a relationship. He feels sorry for her as her life has not been very happy. It has just added to my feeling that my feelings have been put down the list.
I do think he has been massively selfish- how can I get past my resentment? What can I ask him to do so that we can be back on track?

Woodman2007 Mon 18-Jul-16 09:51:14

Such a difficult position to be in. I know from my own experience to feel such anger for the one you love and I too don't know how to get past it. Been told by friends that some of the problem is that men think differently to women and what you can see as such a big deal can seem so minor to them.

fastdancer Mon 18-Jul-16 10:14:16

I don't want to get caught up in being punitive- saying he owes me something. I just have found it so difficult knowing that he has been junketing around while I am pulled in so many directions.

Isetan Mon 18-Jul-16 13:00:41

Sorry, can't give tips on how you prioritise ignore your needs someone who treats you as an option because I don't think you should.

Shiteyowl Mon 18-Jul-16 19:04:44

Hi. I'm brand new to MN and have been wondering whether to post a thread of my own about my (probably) ASD husband and his behaviours which are very similar to what you describe. I am also in a long term marriage (20 years) and have been struggling much more over the last 2 years with situations similar to yours. I think it's not just about the behaviour (i.e. being put to the bottom of the list of importance) but equally about how he deals with it once he realises the impact it has had upon you. If he takes time to listen to you, to try to understand that when he did X it made you feel Y and then to look at ways to make amends (his own ideas if possible, even if they aren't particularly good ones!) then you will know that you are a high priority and you should feel a bit more confident that you can work with him to prevent this sort of thing happening again. However, if he dismisses your concerns as not important or doesn't try to understand you (my situation) then I would be quite firm and say cut your losses - you will only get more and more angry and resentful. I know. I am currently in that place.

fastdancer Mon 18-Jul-16 22:25:31

Thank you for your thoughts. I have been (I think) very clear on our phone conversations about the impact on me and the way it is making me regard my marriage. At one point he offered to come home a few days earlier but the cost of changing his ticket was ridiculous. On the one hand I feel so hurt and angry - on the other he is the person I want to chat about my day to.

HeddaGarbled Tue 19-Jul-16 00:04:54

I think that you have every right to be angry. I think that this is his job to fix, not yours.

Shiteyowl Tue 19-Jul-16 08:14:24

Fastdancer, I totally get that. I wish in some ways he and I could just be friends and go to the pub for a catch up a couple of times a week. My husband is good company and the most interesting person I know. It sounds like you have a similar experience. However, being in a relationship is just too hurtful and I've reached the end of my tether. I hope you have more tether left and also a husband who really wants to make things better.

fastdancer Tue 19-Jul-16 12:40:08

It is hard, isn't it shiteyowl ? It is for him to fix but I don't know what he can do to make me feel better. One of my friends said I should 'forgive but not forget'. I've been thinking about that.

adora1 Tue 19-Jul-16 15:06:51

You are entitled to feel angry, I would, he has put that before what is going on for you - basically it's a selfish act on his behalf.

He needs to do a lot of grovelling and making up when he's back but it's things like this that dent relationships, you never really forget.

As for the ex who is unhappy, that would bother me too!

MatildaTheCat Tue 19-Jul-16 17:05:53

When we have disagreements and dh is away I find it easier to not have conversations at all TBH. If it's just a few more days maybe say you don't want to spoil his trip but can't be nice about it so can he just text you updates now and again?

In the end you do just move on but in your shoes I would be feeling very resentful and not inclined to make pleasant conversation just to make him feel less guilty.

SandyY2K Tue 19-Jul-16 17:31:31

Do you ever visit old boyfriends? That just wouldn't go down with me, him visiting an old GF. Why are you convinced there isn't more to it? Is it based on what he's told you?

Because right now you and the DCs don't seem to be his priority.

Shiteyowl Tue 19-Jul-16 19:17:31

Being able to forgive would probably help you get passed feeling angry, so would be a good thing for you. But you need to guard against putting up with being treated in a way that is not ok for you. Small 'transgressions' can build up and become intolerable over time. Are you happy that you are being treated well normally and that your boundaries are generally being respected? Maybe use this time to evaluate where you draw the line (I am sure you probably are!) and then you can be very clear with your DH when he returns home.

fastdancer Wed 20-Jul-16 00:37:04

Yes, I am very clear now about where the line is. I don't know how to behave when he returns in a couple of days - I don't want to be cold, withdraw sex etc because that feels like playing games. But I don't want to just get back to normal.I think my tone is going to be - well you have really been selfish and hurt me- what are you going to do to repair our marrriage?
I am reasonably confident that his visit to the old girlfriend is not a threat to our marriage. Yes, all based on his account of it. What else do I have? I have never met her and never seen them together. He caught up with her briefly a few years ago when he was in her country and then just said he thought she was very sad and lonely.

Shiteyowl Wed 20-Jul-16 18:06:53

I can't comment on the old girlfriend visit. It's not an appropriate thing for him to have done but then you know that and he doesn't, by the sounds of things. You've been with him long enough to understand how his mind works (given his ASD). If you think it is not a threat then you are probably right. It is not the action itself but how he has responded to your being upset about it that's the problem. If he knows and accepts his diagnosis then he really should be looking to you to gauge whether he is being appropriate or not in this sort of situation. If your relationship is good then he should trust you to point him in the right direction with regard to his more inappropriate ideas. And then he should act accordingly. He hasn't done this. That's what I think your real issue is.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now