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Justified Anger

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Arais posted 9/27/2013 07:49 AM

My WH had a LTA and I found out 2.5 years ago from the OW. I was TT'd for several months. My WH never volunteered any information I found out all the details from a blog the OW created, this included pictures, hotel names and dates and songs they shared etc. She stalked us to the point that we had to get a lawyer to intervene. I want to mention too that this was his second A with this woman. He knew that the first time it destroyed me and I took him back because he promised to love and cherish me forever if I did. Fast forward 16 years and I find out that he had done it again on a mammoth scale.
He travels with work so we spend a lot of time apart and most of our discussion is done via email or text.
He is a conflict avoider and since day 1 I have had to plead and beg with him to talk about the A. I have been very very angry, not only about the A (obviously) but by his refusal to engage in any kind of meaningful discussion with me about who he is really is.
Recently he has started to ignore any emails I send him related to the A. He will answer almost immediately any that relate to anything else so it isn't that he is busy. I send him emails that reflect how I am feeling, be that triggers or just asking me him how he could have done this to me. He ignores them. When we are together in person he will look for any excuse to exit a conversation about the A. He tells me that he is full of remorse and knows what he has done. He just can't talk about it. The first A I let go without talking because he refused to. I was also younger and afraid. This time I refuse to let it go.The result of him ignoring and avoiding me is that I am angry all the time. I get very angry and when he ignores my emails I explode. This is the reason I explode. Him saying that he is sorry is no good to me - he said that before and this is where we have ended up.
He has being seeing an IC and he has never talked to me about his sessions. Yesterday he told me that he read out one of my emails to the therapist to demonstrate my anger to him. The therapist doesn't know why he stays with me and he said that he(the therapist) was angered by my email and if it were him he would leave me.

My question is this: 1. Do you think my anger is justified?
2. How would you feel about your W reading one of your private emails - chosen selectively- to a therapist? Would you consider this a betrayal particularly when my WH refuses to discuss his therapy with me?

I really need perspective. I am tired of being angry but I think that his behavior provokes me.

vivere posted 9/27/2013 08:23 AM

I'm sure your frustration boils over into anger. Jesus, I am angry for you just reading what you have written. Justified yes, helpful maybe not so much.

The result of him ignoring and avoiding me is that I am angry all the time.

In a moment of calm, when you are getting along well have you told him this ^^ It may be he will 'hear' you better as he probably shuts down when he sees that you are angry or if your voice is raised.

I don't think I would feel betrayed if this professional was there to help my husband explore his issues and thought that it might help. As for the supposed response, how do you know that it is true? Did you husband retaliate with this during an argument? Sounds more like a 'look at me, I'm the victim here' kind of statement. Not sure any IC worth his salt would pass judgement based on one email like that.

SisterMilkshake posted 9/27/2013 08:34 AM

I have not done this, but from what I understand, your WH can sign a waiver for the IC to be able to discuss with you what is going on in his IC sessions.

This is the problem with unremorseful WH (yeah, I don't feel your WH is quite remorseful, sounds more regretful) and IC. They aren't being honest in IC. Oftentimes it seems it turns into the IC helping the WS leave the marriage.

You are justified in your anger. Your WH is a major rugsweeper/conflict avoider from what I read in your post.

1. Do you think my anger is justified?
2. How would you feel about your W reading one of your private emails - chosen selectively- to a therapist? Would you consider this a betrayal particularly when my WH refuses to discuss his therapy with me?

Since this is his IC I actually wouldn't be angry that he shared your e-mails with his therapist. What I would be angry about is the one sidedness that I am sure the IC is getting from the e-mails and your WH.

I would ask your WH to either sign a waiver or ask to go with him for one session and discuss with the IC exactly what they are working on in your WH's IC sessions. If he refuses to do this, I feel your anger would be very justified.

StillGoing posted 9/27/2013 08:43 AM

The therapist doesn't know why he stays with me and he said that he(the therapist) was angered by my email and if it were him he would leave me.

So he's paying someone to validate ignoring you? That sure sounds healthy.

He's full of something but it isn't remorse.


wrt questions:

1. Do you think my anger is justified?

Well I think so. I think this is an interesting view of anger:

Anger admits of at least three forms, the first of which corresponds to what Bishop Butler called “hasty and sudden” anger, a kind of anger connected to the impulse for self-preservation. This is the sort of anger persons and animals may experience when feeling tormented or trapped. The second sense, “settled and deliberate” anger, is anger constituted in part by an agent’s beliefs about how she is perceived and treated by others. P.F. Strawson’s notion of a “reactive attitude” helps amplify this sense of anger. For Strawson, reactive attitudes involve personal feelings which “depend upon, or involve” our beliefs about the attitudes, intentions, and actions of others toward us. Thus, for example, resentment is a reactive attitude typically felt toward another you believe intended to wrong you. Indeed, resentment is ordinarily defined as taking offense, umbrage, or exception to the perceptions or deeds of others, and such notions as “taking umbrage” or “offense” presuppose moral beliefs or judgments. By contrast, resentment is not typically felt toward those who harm you accidentally or inadvertently, for such harms do not reveal another’s wrongful feelings, intentions, or actions toward you.

src - "Courage and Moral Anger" Paul M. Hughes, pg 3

2. How would you feel about your W reading one of your private emails - chosen selectively- to a therapist? Would you consider this a betrayal particularly when my WH refuses to discuss his therapy with me?

If she was refusing to share her feelings with me and instead chose to share them with a therapist in order to minimize or ignore those feelings I'd feel pretty fucking betrayed.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 8:51 AM, September 27th (Friday)]

Eudaimonia posted 9/27/2013 08:49 AM

Whoa, hold on a second here. Let's back up a step. OW has publicly blogged about the A? Please say you took screenshots and documented it all.

I agree with the others, your H is unremorseful at best. You have every right to be angry. Times ten.

Arais posted 9/29/2013 16:14 PM

obliviousnownumb : Yes he did say this. He said that if it were him he would leave. I asked my WH again after the responses here about it and he said his therapist is not thinking about what is good for me but what is good for him. He said his therapist thinks we are in a terrible negative cycle (which is true) and maybe it is time after all this time to call it a day. I said that I thought that he was allowing his therapist to reinforce his bad communication habits and that there can be no healing without proper and balanced perspective. He got angry. He said that therapy is very difficult for him and that he is trying to sort out what happened to make him do the things he did. However he hasn't discussed this with me! And when I asked again about ignoring my emails he said " I never ignore your emails. I read every one of them." But he doesn't respond!!!! So this is his definition. He reads them but doesn't respond or tell me that he has read them - and he wonders why I lose it with him??

StillGoing This is a great definiton of anger. I hate that I am angry, it is so unlike me ( although it has become more me than the nice forgiving patient person I use to be). But I see myself in this hasty and sudden - self preservation is all I can think about. This helps me to feel less crazy.
TruthorGoodbye -Yes, she blogged about it. This is how I found out all I know about the A. Every day/week she added something new for over a year. It was torture. So humiliating. We kept everything and my WH dealt with it through a lawyer. She is nuts and a vicious horrible person. He sees that now. Guess it is too late though right?

Thanks all for the responses. As usual they have helped a great deal to give me perspective.

uncertainone posted 9/29/2013 16:29 PM

If your husband believes you are in a negative cycle (which you agree with) he needs to say that and own that statement. What his IC's opinion is is honestly irrelevent. Sure the letter may have been harsh but I doubt it was presented as anything but look how she feels about me.

Arias, of course your anger is justified. It may not be productive if it's not moving you toward a goal or resolution. That's why anger exists. To create a discomfort with treatment or environment that is unhealthy and unsafe. It's a call to action. If none happens it can become a real ugly unproductive loop.

If he feels it's too much he has choices as do you.

Reading emails is not a form of action. I can't even do that at work without some sort of acknowledgment unless I'm just cc'd on it. That's bullshit. I'm sure he'd be less than thrilled if he asked you a question and you just didn't respond.


Arais posted 9/29/2013 17:34 PM

There was a thread here a while back about what was the worst thing you did to your W. The mods said we were thread jacking and the conversations stopped. Yes we were but I thought it was a really good discussion. As BS we were admitting here what we could probably never say anywhere else. I learned that I was going to far because the majority of people who responded said so. I listened and to be honest was glad to have someone besides my WH tell me. I stopped doing certain things. It was good for me. My anger is ugly. I hate it and I am in a loop, a negative loop.I know it isn't helpful. But I am still angry. Very very angry. Why shouldn't I be able to express that? Why do I have to do that in a way that pleases him? I don't get that. But it seems to me that he is using my anger as a way of avoiding any conversations. Like he says "oh there you go again being angry and saying cruel things" and then the discussion ends. His IC has said that he doesn't have to put up with being spoken to like that. Ok, but I have to live with the daily violence of his betrayal - is that fair? So what I hear is that I have to learn to live with that AND I have to talk about it in a way that doesn't hurt his feelings. That seems screwed up to me.
And I think now that the balance has shifted from being angry at his A to his response to it.

Missymomma posted 9/29/2013 17:57 PM

Arias - Is your anger because you never feel heard by your WH? It sounds like he is severely avoidant and trying to point the finger at you being angry as the cause of his avoidance is very typical. Do you two attend MC? Our MC has been invaluable in helping my SAWH learn to hear and validate me, which amazingly stops my anger. I don't start off angry in a conversation but become that way as he invalidates me. So my recommendation is to find a good MC that will help you two do the Couples Dialogue and read the book "Attached", it is very enlightening about the dance done with someone that is avoidant. I don't agree with all of it but many of the things in it are my SAWH to a T. Including, trying to paint me in a negative light to other people.

[This message edited by Missymomma at 5:57 PM, September 29th (Sunday)]

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