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I am a 36 year old woman, with 2 teenage kids. I have been seeing a married man for one year and 10 months. It all started off well, but now I get so upset when he doesn't see me often. I feel he doesn't want me, even though he says he loves me. When I'm with him and he says he has to go home 2-3 hours earlier than I thought, I get so upset and start to express my hurt and disappointment and start crying.
He said I have an anger management problem. I said, "No, I don't" many times, but he insists I do. Now I believe he's right, I do have an anger management problem, and I need help.
All I want is the times we used to have, and for him to be with me like before. When he promises to see me and doesn't turn up, I get hysterical and cry. I do occasionally cry and swear over the phone, but I'm just hurt. Do I need anger management? Help!
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Julie, and thanks for telling your story on this site. It is very clear that you are a person who just wants to love and be loved. We all do, and that's a good thing.
You ask if you have an anger management problem. I want to reassure you that anger management is the least of your problems. You are angry for very good reasons--not feeling loved, honored and respected. But I don't think your anger is doing you any good as long as you stay in this relationship.
The thing is, Julie, you are not honoring and respecting yourself. You have hurt yourself by even agreeing to be in this relationship. He is using you as his "woman on the side," and when he's done with you he will probably just walk away.
You can't expect someone else to treat you with respect when you don't respect yourself. What I mean is, that a woman with true self respect would never agree to be the mistress to a married man. You are worthy of a good man's total love and attention, and by settling for any less than that you are saying to him and yourself, "I'm not worthy of full devotion and love."
Use the healthy power of your anger to get yourself out of this relationship. Your desire for things to be like they were is just a fantasy that won't come true. All affairs feel good at first, and then they all go bad over time. Ask anyone who's been through one or two.
You have to take care of yourself, put your own health and happiness first, and give up this man. If you don't, you will continue to feel hurt and angry. There's nothing wrong with your emotions--they are doing their job of letting you know that things are not right. Your job is to listen to the wisdom of your emotions and change your situation.
If you can't do it for yourself, do it for your kids. You're the only mom they've got, and you need to give them a good example of a healthy person who takes care of herself.
When you're successful at getting out of this relationship, write another story on this site and tell us about it.
Believe in yourself, Julie. You are worthy of kindness, love and respect. You are worthy of the love and devotion of a good man.
My best to you,
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