We have been married for more than 25 years. I have an anger I never knew when we got married. But over the years, I was treated so neglectfully by my husband in minor things that it has caused slowly some disliking in my mind about him. At times he never meant to be rude, but it is the way he talks. I tried to tell him a better way to talk and he would get more angry and state, "This is how I am...you take it or leave it." This would hurt me so much. I could never ever tell him anything. Slowly arguments have led to verbal and physical issues. He called me names and threatened to leave me.
With such a bad marriage, I never wanted to have kids, but we ended up having kids. Once they were born, he continued to treat me like dirt. Things always have to be his way. Constant suppressing of my feelings made me more and more sad and angry. I did not want kids to see that so I started screaming back at him to stop him. But the reverse happened. I am becoming worse, and he never changed. Now we are calling each other 4 letter words, screaming, pushing each other and many more things that I am ashamed to even list.
I screamed at my kids when they were younger. My anger towards my husband came out on them. I have realized it was a wrong thing to do and I am at least not doing that to my kids. I think back about my behavior to my kids and to my husband's family members just because I am mad at my husband. I cannot forgive myself.
I always had a dream of having not even one argument with my spouse and now we are having fights 100 times a day on a daily basis. More fights happen the more angry we both are. Deep down we are so angry that it is just increasing the issue instead of resolving it.
I cannot subject my kids to see this everyday anymore. My kids do not want us to separate and my husband does not believe in listening or counseling. He believes that if I do not talk, we will have no fights. "You need counseling, and not me." This is what he would say. Do not get me wrong. Whenever he says things that I do not like I cross all the limits and say things that make him more angry.
I am afraid our deep down anger is going to lead to something that we will regret and may not be able to correct. My daughters are getting affected emotionally with our situation.
This is anger I never knew in my life. I never talked loudly ever and never knew any bad words. And now I am talking bad words to my husband all of the time. In the past, I did use 4 letter words to my kids due to the bad marriage. They were getting beat up by both of us. I hate myself after the fights, and no matter what I have tried to say to myself, when he starts pushing my buttons, I lose it.
I need peace in our life and I just cannot tolerate any more suffering to my kids. This itself is driving me nuts and making me more angry. How come we can not get control of it?
Maybe deep down I am so angry, and that's how come I am not able to make things right. Help me--what am I doing wrong? I have lost faith in everything and usually I do not quit, but I have failed in my own marriage and family unity.
None of us are bad people. How come we can not make it better?
Thanks for listening and helping.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Thank you for writing your story on this site so that others can benefit. You are very wise and healthy to take this action. You are doing a lot of things right. Like you said, none of you are bad people. Here are some things you're doing right:
1) You reached out for help on this site.
2) You want to protect your children from the abusive anger. That is very, very important, and you seem to understand that.
3) You're right that suppressing your feelings makes you sad and angry.
4) You have learned that taking your anger out on your husband only makes things worse.
These are good things to know. You are a good person, which is why you want things to change. Here are some suggestions for you to consider:
1) Practice these anger management techniques over and over again until they become second nature.
2) Take a look at these books, CDs and audio downloads and consider buying some of them to learn to heal your anger and become more healthy in your marriage.
3) Read this page on relationships and practice the communication skills you will find there. Ask your husband to try them with you.
4) If you are religious, pray every day for help with your anger. Pray for the grace to be kind and loving no matter what. That will definitely help, no matter what your husband does.
5) If you or your children are in physical danger, you absolutely must consider separation or going to a shelter if there is one available in your area.
6) You say, "None of us are bad people." That includes your husband. In your heart and mind, try to believe the best of him.
7) Count the blessings in your life. Keep a daily diary or journal of all of the things you are grateful for. This will help you to shift your focus away from the anger.
8) You asked, "How come we cannot get control of our anger?" My answer is this: Your anger has taken on a life of its own. It is like a beast you are feeding, and it is getting bigger and stronger. You have to stop feeding the beast. If you follow my suggestions above, every one to the letter, you will stop feeding the beast and things will get better.
This web site has a lot of free information. Read it, and take advantage of what is here.
I wish you and your family health, safety and love.