How Anger Hurts My Family
Everyone in my house has anger issues. My 6-year old has started displaying some alarming anger issues lately and I am just heart-broken. He is very touchy and defensive and angry, he throws things, screams, shouts and hits his sister or anyone that he disagrees with,
I struggle to calm him down. My husband is of Mediterranean origin, and he has a lot passion and emotional explosiveness. His culture is very patriarchal and I notice that children often have very negative relationships with their parents here even though on the outside it may seem that the parents are very caring and self-sacrificing. I have seen my husband ill-treat his mother and pinch her or lightly slap her or even once, throw a glass of water in her face. She never reprimanded him or disciplined him.
We have been together for almost 8 years and he gets violent with me at least 3 times per year. He has spat at me, kicked me, slapped me, tried to strangle me. I've never had serious marks or bruises physically but emotionally it is a hard thing to bear because all of this happens in front of our children.
I am no angel either and this makes me very sad too. I get irritated and angry, I shout, and in the beginning of our relationship I tried to slap my husband a few times. I have not been physically violent towards him for more than 5 years now.
My childhood was traumatic and I feel as if my whole life has actually been traumatic. I am a very sensitive person and so is my whole family. We are artistic, emotional people but for some reason our anger gets the better of us.
I love my children very much and I wish that they could be the radiant sparkling beautiful souls that I know they are but I realize that for that to happen, me and my husband should be the beautiful souls that we want to be. We are very different in culture, religion and background and have a lot of issues with mutual respect and tolerance. It has been very difficult for me to adapt in a strange country and learn a new language and new customs in such a closed society and I carry a lot of pain and resentment towards my husband. I feel guilty for leaving my family and friends behind.
Our story is ultimately a spiritual journey. I am a spiritual being and I find a lot of joy in my seeking of the Creator. I do not belong to a specific religion and I respect and can see the beauty in all religions and ways. My husband is a very religious man who adheres to strict fasts and a lot of rules and guidelines. Almost every day of the year is a different religious celebration for him. He does not tolerate other religions or belief-systems.
80% of our disagreements and fights come from our inability to compromise. We have both been waiting for 8 years for the other person to come around to our way of thinking. We both believe in a Creator and we both realize that we are here for a higher purpose, but the way that we live this out is in stark contrast to what we supposedly believe. It is embarrassing to admit that a couple could scream and fight and physically abuse because they disagree on the purpose of life and how to love and follow 'God' but we do.
We broke up once for a two year period, and I believe that this has also hurt my child. My husband is a wonderful father, but as they say 'THE BEST GIFT A FATHER CAN GIVE HIS CHILDREN IS TO LOVE THEIR MOTHER.'
I feel as if I am physically and emotionally and spiritually abused and this makes me angry. And when I see my children, the creatures that I love the most on this earth, suffer the consequences and mirror the bad habits that they see in their parents, it just breaks my heart.
We need help with tolerance.
We need help with communication.
We need help with love.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. I like what you say about you and your husband need to be the beautiful souls you want to be. I suggest that you are indeed a beautiful soul, and that is why the anger (yours and your husband's) bothers you so much. It just doesn't match with who you are or how you want to be.
Here is what I recommend:
1) First, do your own healing, using these powerful tools.
2) As you know, it is your responsibility to protect your children to the best of your ability. First, by doing the above exercises, protect them from your own anger. Then, by using these communication skills, reduce or eliminate the conflict that your children have to witness.
3) And the positive journaling will help you with the love. Use these tools, and you will reach your goals. You will see your husband improve when you do. Get your focus off of him and put it on yourself. That is where your freedom and responsibility are.
Believe in yourself, and the goodness in your heart.
My very best to you,
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