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I would like to remain anonymous, so let's just say my name is Sarah.
I've been dating my boyfriend, Max for over a year now, and lately I just haven't been able to control my anger with him. I used to always be happy, even when he would say the most pointless things. But lately, everything negative that comes out of his mouth has thrown me over the edge.
A few months ago, we were arguing over something silly, a TV show. I got really angry, and I picked up a glass of water and threw it at him, I started screaming extremely loud and I shut the door on his face and drove home. Another time, he had criticized me about the way I talk and how it sounds rude sometimes.
I started feeling the uncontrollable anger again, but this time, I grabbed an object and threatened to throw it at him and hurt him. I ended up slamming the door and driving off again. And the most recent event, we were arguing on the phone and he was saying that sometimes I repeat myself too much.
I got extremely angry, I started screaming, and I grabbed the closest object to me (a picture frame) and threw it on the ground. The picture frame broke and also cut my foot and arms. The picture frame was a frame given to me by my deceased aunt, so it was very valuable to me, but at that time, I didn't even think of that.
Events like these happen at least once a week. At times, I have gotten stitches and injuries from throwing objects and breaking objects.
Is this normal? Do I have anger management problems? My boyfriend is a really good person, and I feel that my anger issues are pushing him away. I feel like I can't even take a little constructive criticism from him without blowing up. I am also concerned with myself, I don't want to hurt myself anymore.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Sarah, and thanks for telling your story here. You definitely need some anger management help, but you knew that already--that's why you told your story here. You sound like a very smart woman, and you can use your good mind and intelligence to help yourself with this problem.
I also want you to consider that your anger might be justified, even though you're expressing it in very unhealthy ways. Nobody likes to be criticized, and it sounds like you get quite a bit from your boyfriend. In addition to following my recommendations on what to do with your anger, you might consider asking him to stop criticizing you, and use these communication skills to deal with criticism and conflict in a more constructive way.
Meanwhile, it is very important that you understand, heal and manage your anger. Do the exercises on this FAQ page for a few weeks or longer, before trying the communication skills I linked to above.
You're a good person, Sarah. You are worthy of a good life, and you can reach your goals.
Believe in yourself.
My very best to you,
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