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My Husband's Anger Is Ruining Us
My husband is a great man, loving, caring, etc. He started becoming angry and having depression about five years ago and today it is totally out of control. He gets angry if people don't listen to him. He's always negative about everything, We don't communicate at all anymore. We sit in silence at dinner.
He seems to hate his life and when I ask if it's me he says no. I am very open and honest with him and am not the type to argue. He gets mad if I don't see his point of view and think he is right. It's just too much for me to handle anymore. I get anxiety from this. Please give me some advice, I'd like to stay married and become the couple we once were.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
It sounds like you love your husband very much. That is excellent. There are some things that you can do that will definitely help your marriage.
Here are a few ideas:
1) Begin journaling daily about the things you like about him. Try to keep your focus on those things.
2) When the timing is right, tell him what you appreciate about him. If he works, tell him how much you appreciate him going to work and earning income for the family. Do this on a regular, ongoing basis.
3) Work to be happy yourself. Do good things for yourself--things that feel good to you. Make up your mind that your top priority is to feel good physically and emotionally. This will make you more loving and positive about yourself and toward your husband.
4) To improve your communication, practice these communication skills, which include "reflective listening."
5) You don't have to agree with your husband and tell him he's right--but it is also very important that you not get in the habit of disagreeing with him and suggesting that he is wrong. He just needs to be heard and understood, as we all do. Reflective listening means just telling him what you heard him say, without any arguments or opinions from your side. As you read over the communications skills, you will also learn about empathy--which is putting yourself in the other person's shoes to see their viewpoint. That really helps a lot to avoid arguments.
6) Set your mind on what you want, and write in your journal about it every day. If you're feeling angry, write from your anger first, then write about the good things you want, and make up your mind that you will get there--and you will!
My best to you,
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