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When Anger Hurts

by Rachael

My husband has been a very angry person from the day I met him. Generally, his quiet moments are less obtrusive than his angry ones, but the angry ones still happen. Over the years, they have gotten less frequent and less severe, but they are still there. The worst moment was when our oldest son was about a year old.

My husband is very meticulous about things. He has a plan in his mind that he wants to follow. When things deviate from that plan (which is regularly when life happens), he becomes frustrated. The worst instance was when we had been married for a little over a year. He arrived home from work early, and wanted to head out to the store immediately. I wasn't expecting him early. I was in the process of taking down the Christmas tree, and our son was about to take a nap. I wanted to wait until after our son had napped so we wouldn't have to deal with a meltdown in the store. It put my husband over the edge.

As he began yelling, I began to cry. He yelled at me for crying, and I grabbed our son and moved to the other side of the room. This infuriated him more. He picked up the Christmas tree and smashed it across the room into a wall. I screamed. I had never been so frightened in my life. He had never once raised a hand to me, and I never believed him to be violent in his anger.

But at this point I was frightened. I called the police. He was even angrier for me calling the police. He was good at manipulating the story so I appeared to be the crazy one out of control. The police believed him.

I looked insane in their eyes. While this was almost five years ago, I still think about it from time to time. It took me a long time to forgive him. I have since then, but I know I will never forget.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Thank you for your story, Rachael. A lot of people (unfortunately) can relate to your experience. It sounds like this type of event has not continued. I hope that's true, and if so that's good.

It makes it easier to forgive. As you probably know, sometimes forgiveness is not something we do once, but over and over. And remember, forgiveness is for you, not for the other person. It's understandable that you cannot forget. Don't worry about that.

Just try to focus on your husband's positive aspects (assuming the abuse is not continuing), and trust in the power of love and forgiveness to bring healing.

You can do this.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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