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Dealing with anger...

(23 Posts)
2catsandadog Fri 24-Mar-17 09:43:28

Looks like my husband and I are going to be separating at least and probably divorcing eventually...

Predictably, because I told him to shape up or ship out, NOW he wants to try. Because I am a "nice person" or a sap, depending on your outlook, I am letting him try. He won't succeed because I have been telling him that he's an arse and asking him to change for 14 years. And he has singularly failed to manage it. So... it feels like prolonging the pain.

My problem is how angry I am. Every nice thing that he attempts (and he is attempting, got to give him credit) is like rubbing salt in an open wound. And it makes me so mad. Our relationship is only important to him now that his cushy life is threatened.

How do I deal with this anger? Any tips or tricks? All I have is unhealthy coping mechanisms...

MatildaTheCat Fri 24-Mar-17 09:49:04

I would say that you will only feel better if you take back control of this situation. It's not actually up to him to decide whether your marriage is over or not. You clearly have lost the love and for good reason so rip off the plaster and tell him to go.

I think that might help the anger issue.

pudding21 Fri 24-Mar-17 10:53:19

I left my ex 6 weeks ago because of his uncontrollable anger and EA. he was also very unaffectionate outside the bedroom, not very supportive and generally everything was about him. I think the way you are feeling is very normal in that its over and you are going through the motions.

He has been lovebombing me since I left (along side anger and emotional blackmail) none of it seems sincere and he is just paying lip service to me because he lost his meal ticket and is panicking about the future.

If you really want to try, have an open mind. Otherwise, wait until he changes again and then find the strength to leave. It was the hardest thing I have ever done but trust your emotions (we were together 21 years with 2 DS's).

Good luck .

jeaux90 Fri 24-Mar-17 10:59:27

2cats he won't change. People don't. They can adapt behaviours yes with effort but change no.

Sounds like it's run it's course.

My tip with dealing with the anger is to tell him it's too late and you are done. However I assume you don't want to be "the bad guy"

Saying no is ok xx

TheNaze73 Fri 24-Mar-17 10:59:36

Words & figures differ here. If he was truly wanting to change & only he can do that, he would have done long ago. He's chosen to end it

HarmlessChap Fri 24-Mar-17 11:05:44

It may have gone too far and you may be better off calling it a day but if you genuinely want to give it your best shot you have to make a conscious effort to change how you think. That's easier said than done but I've achieved it so I know it is possible.

Don't hang on to blame, draw a line and put that behind you. You have built up resentment, you have to try to let that go and say that if you are willing to see if he can change then you will have to change too.

When you feel the anger build up, maybe take a moment out of the situation to calm down but basically you have to make an effort to not get angry to choose to see the efforts being made as positive rather than a slap in the face. It will be hard to start with but with practice it is doable.

Good luck with, whichever way it turns out.

scallopsrgreat Fri 24-Mar-17 11:15:19

Sounds to me like its too little too late. Gestures now are all well and good but it sounds like that is all they are, superficial gestures. Not actually real change i.e. a change in attitude. That's why you are angry - because you know this. He is putting on a show.

Why are you letting him try? It's clearly not the first chance he's had. If he was really going to change he would have done it 14 yrs ago.
At what point will you accept he has had all his chances? Is it when this chance fails? Or the next chance? Or the chance after that? What keeps you allowing him these opportunities?

Perhaps the most important question you've got to ask is why does not he not feel the need to change/to be a better person? That will give you the way forward.

And in answer to your question of how to deal with the anger. Boot him out. Give him consequences for his behaviour.

scallopsrgreat Fri 24-Mar-17 11:22:40

And ignore HarmlessChap. Papering over the cracks is not the way to let the anger go. That will just allow the anger to fester. It is not your job to be placatory whilst he gets to be the hero who makes token gestures. "Look at me and what I'm doing and how wonderful it is that I am changing - why aren't you grateful?"


HarmlessChap Fri 24-Mar-17 11:31:29

And ignore HarmlessChap

Cheers for that, clearly my opinion and experience is worthless.

OrangeStar Fri 24-Mar-17 11:37:47

Perhaps a strong dollop of distance would help? So you can see things objectively over a period of time and are no longer giving the issue time/energy. Meanwhile, getting on with your own life breezily, and not be invested in the outcome or be drawn into emotional arguments or discussions. Just ... we all know the consequences ... so everything is clear and above board now. Sometimes we get angry because people won't change. Once we realise we can't "change" them, its up to us to make decisions as a result, perhaps there is less anger.

However, the anger may be more involved than that - I don't know your history, only you know that part.

lizzyj4 Fri 24-Mar-17 12:25:19

I don't think harmlesschap is saying paper over cracks, but let the anger go, if you can?

I have a long-married friend in a very similar situation to this, only she's not yet called it a day (don't know if she ever will). She is angry and resentful all of the time. It is a state of mind people get into, and I'm sure it's a lot more damaging to her than it is to him - he seems to just bobble along, largely oblivious, being his usual, selfish self. Apart from the impact on her health, it's no way to spend a life. (This has been going on for over a decade now, almost half of their marriage) And the thing is, in that frame of mind, it doesn't matter what he does, even if he suddenly transformed into a great husband, everything he does is interpreted in the most negative possible light.

Letting go of anger isn't saying it doesn't matter, it's recognising that it is damaging to you and your well-being. Getting it out of the way means you will be able to see the situation more clearly and decide objectively if you should continue to try or just end your relationship.

I agree, OP, if you can't find some way to let the anger go, to start again with a 'clean slate', you need to end it now. Although I suspect the anger and resentment are not going to magically disappear just because he does.

2catsandadog Fri 24-Mar-17 13:06:07

Thanks for your advice, even yours, HarmlessChap. ;-)

I love the idea that I could release the anger, but I feel like then my husband gets off lightly. As per bloody usual. I am the one making herculean efforts and he just has mild inconvenience.

He needs to treat me properly and act like a grown up. That should not be a problem for a 47 year old man. I, on the other hand, have to let him be nice to me knowing that he is only doing so because he doesn't want me, his housekeeper and general dogsbody, to leave him. Because then, horror of horrors, he will have to do stuff for himself.

That doesn't seem fair. And it's why I am foot stompingly, wall bashingly angry.

I don't think distance will help either. I don't have anywhere to go anyway. :-/

scallopsrgreat Fri 24-Mar-17 13:30:11

As per bloody usual. I am the one making herculean efforts and he just has mild inconvenience. Precisely. It isn't your job to make him feel better about himself.

Your feelings are valid and can't just be switched off by having a positive outlook (or whatever). That is disingenuous (and the situation sounds way beyond any point for compromise/conciliation anyway). Your husband needs to acknowledge that his behaviour is at the root of your anger and make real inroads into changing. Not just pick up a hoover once a week (or whatever he is doing). Then maybe, and only maybe, will your anger dissipate. He may never do enough because it may have gone past that point. He needs to understand that's his choice. Not great but tbh he should have done an awful lot more 14 years ago.

And if you want distance - ask him to leave. You don't have to go anywhere, Let him have some pain for the choices he's made for the past decade and a half.

Adora10 Fri 24-Mar-17 14:07:50

Anger won't go until you get him out your life, it's been 14 years, he's paying you lip service now but it will go back to how it was; you are just putting off the inevitable.

HarmlessChap Fri 24-Mar-17 14:22:20

I tackled my anger without DW acknowledging that her behaviour was the root of my resentment because I knew that there would be no way of resolving anything while I still focused on that resentment and my anger was fuelling a vicious circle.

We had remained friends but we are now rebuilding communication and intimacy within our marriage and in the last month have made some tremendous strides. Its been bloody hard work but both of us have worked on it. Both of us have contributed to our problems, if we pointed fingers and said this or that is your fault we would be nowhere; it took lots of effort for me to get my anger and resentment under control to the extent that we could address all of the ongoing problems and past problems which have lead to the situation but it was becoming a barrier to doing so.

DW has previously made some half hearted moves to address things but this year we hit a point where it was clear that its a case that we actually fix the marriage or bin it and that seemed to bring her out of a state of denial.

We have not fixed everything yet, not by a long way, but if we both keep up the effort and both work on the changes we need to make, so that we address each other's needs within the marriage then there is a very good chance that we will get there eventually.

The wonderful thing is that although its been hard work we both seem to be enjoying re-connecting and it is snowballing.

2catsandadog Fri 24-Mar-17 16:04:56

Happy for you HarmlessChap and hope it does work out for you.

Not sure my situation is the same though. He knows and I know that he has been an arsehole to me for the whole of our marriage. He said so. He told me he has manipulated me emotionally and financially so I would do everything for him. And I played along because I have had serious esteem and confidence issues. Now that I don't (I have worked really hard to get over them) and I can see him for what he is (an abusive twat) he has decided that he needs to remedy the way he has treated me. Well, yeah, he does, but why didn't it mean enough to you to do it when I raised the issues all the way through our marriage? Why is it only NOW that YOU decide its important that it means something to you? It is so insulting. If I say it, he can ignore it. If he says it, then it must happen.

This is all complicated by religious issues and cultural factors as well. I have HUGE guilt that the marriage is crumbling, but I know it isn't me. It's him. What a bloody mess. Is it wine time yet?

Adora10 Fri 24-Mar-17 16:14:08

Soon be wine time!

No offence but his charm offensive won't work; he won't be able to keep up the pretence of a nice person who is committed to you; his actions over the last 14 years surely must tell you that there just is not enough there to call it love and everlasting; he's just panicking because he's so used to you just putting up with his crap.

HarmlessChap Fri 24-Mar-17 16:59:26

No not the same at all.

The only similarity is that the past can not be changed so if you really do want it to work out then you have to be able to get beyond your justifiable anger and frustration surrounding the way he has treated you.

However given that he openly admits to being manipulative and controlling I can't see why you would either feel guilty or want to find a way to make it work.

As I said in my 1st reply, it may have gone too far already. In your OP you asked how to control the anger, that's what I've been answering but I suspect you really need to be asking how to control the feelings of guilt.

2catsandadog Fri 24-Mar-17 17:19:00

HarmlessChap yes. Absolutely. But before I get to dealing with the guilt, I need to get past the blind fury.

How fucking dare he disrespect me so much that it's only when his housekeeper with benefits is about to walk out that he decides he needs to mend his ways? Not when she asked him time and time again to be nicer, help more, be her partner, grow the fuck up. If I had known that an ultimatum would work, I would have done it years ago.

2catsandadog Fri 24-Mar-17 17:20:39

I think this is just a charade. And it's soon going to be over. I just hope I have the courage and confidence to tell him to fuck off and keep going.

Adora10 Fri 24-Mar-17 17:26:49

It won't work though OP, after 14 years of complete disrespect he's suddenly going to start showing you love and respect....makes no sense so please do not hold out much hope or you will be bitterly disappointed, again.

Don't waste another 14 years on a man who has half his leg out the door most of the time. Fuck that, you deserve a full time partner or else go it alone, nothing wrong being single!

2catsandadog Fri 24-Mar-17 17:35:18

Adora I fear you are right.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sat 25-Mar-17 07:43:49

Maybe direct the anger into your divorce preparations. He doesn't have to know that's what you are doing.

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