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lost the "right" to be angry

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Neznayou posted 11/12/2013 11:18 AM

I feel like because I'm the one who had an Affair and my Husband didn't do anything wrong, that I have forfeited the right to be angry at him. The way I see it is I've given him plenty of reasons to be angry at me but because of what I did to him, I don't have the right to be angry at him anymore for any reason past or present.

Also, I struggle with the idea of forgiving myself for the decision to have an Affair. He has already forgiven me (which is way more than I feel I deserve). Perhaps when I can forgive myself, it will put us on an even surface and after that happens, I can allow myself to be angry at him for something.

My IC and Husband both insist that anger is a natural human emotion and that I should be able to feel angry. If I don't, then I'm not being honest about my feelings (a huge part of my problem and a work-in-progress).

Any thoughts on anger, emotions, or forgiving oneself?


[This message edited by Neznayou at 11:19 AM, November 12th (Tuesday)]

Aubrie posted 11/12/2013 11:52 AM

Stuffing, hiding, and/or discounting our emotions is probably part of the reason why some of us are on SI.

I understand the guilt Neznayou. You don't feel you have the right to feel anything. But you do. Emotions are real. They are valid.

You must learn to feel those emotions, and then also effectively and clearly convey those emotions to those around you.

Example: QS says we're going to dinner at 6:00pm on Thursday night. However, at 2:00pm, I receive a text that says, "Sorry. Have to work late. I'll make it up to you." I would understandably be very hurt. However, 2 months go by and he has yet to make up our dinner date. I start feeling anger and resentment. What do I do with it?

1. I can stuff my feelings. I'm cranky, hurt, and feel undervalued. When he says, "What's wrong Aubrie?" I'll snap back, "Nothing QS. Nothing at all." He'll say, "I can tell something is bothering you." I pop off with, "Don't worry about it. It's nothing." But it is something. And I just lied to him about my feelings. I stuffed it deep inside. And it's going to fester and infect. Next thing you know, I'm yelling at him, the kids, the cat, the mailman. I'm a ball of anger, hate, and resentment. All because I stuffed.

2. I set aside 20 minutes to say, "QS, remember when we were supposed to have dinner and you cancelled for work? That really hurt me. It made me feel your job was more important than spending time with me. Remember how you said you would make it up to me? Honey, it's been 2 months and we have not had dinner together yet. I feel hurt by that. I feel unimportant to you." What he does with that information is completely up to him. He may get a clue and arrange an evening together. Or he may stay oblivious and head off to another work project. The point is, I opened up, I was honest, I shared my feelings. I was authentic.

It takes practice and time. But you can do it Neznayou.

losingmyground posted 11/12/2013 12:02 PM

Could it be that stuffing your anger is what lead you to have an affair in the first place?

As a BS, I would rather hear/feel the anger and know things are going wrong, then be sheltered and deceived.

Later posted 11/12/2013 12:45 PM

As a BS I can tell you I agree with the posts above. I am sure your husband wants to move toward a more authentic relationship. It's scary to hear a former wayward say nothing is wrong when you know that's not the truth. Also, he has told you that it's okay for you to be angry. Build trust by trusting him with your feelings.

harrypotter posted 11/12/2013 14:15 PM

I agree be angry, be authentic, be honest... But that doesn't mean you have to blow up or steam around the house or take it out on him, right? Forgiveness for you will come when you are able to except others and especially your husbands forgiveness. At least that's how I think it works, I can't imagine forgiving myself without forgiveness from my wife.

ascian posted 11/12/2013 14:23 PM

BS here. I told my WW that I understood that she'd be angry following my discovery of her affair. She'd be angry at herself, at the OM, and even at me, and I accepted that that was normal and a part of the process. So long as she promised to keep the anger from devolving into personal attacks, I promised to understand that the anger was a part of healing.

She's said similar things to you, though, that she doesn't feel like she has the right to get angry with me even when I'm an ass. (and let's face it, we're all in the wrong and deserving of anger some times) So we've talked, a lot. She's getting to the point, three months out, where she can talk to me about feeling angry, and that's a good thing. Communication has been essential to our recovery.

But I understand the fear of anger. When I get angry, myself, it wants to express in physical ways and always has. I learned at an early age to keep an eye on my temper (breaking a few of your favorite Star Wars figures will have that effect on a 8 year-old). My anger still wants to come out in physical ways, but I channel them now. I run, sometimes, or turn that energy towards physical training in martial arts.

Neznayou posted 11/13/2013 00:49 AM

Aubrie, scenario #1 is exactly what I did for years and it was, in part, what helped create the circumstances for my Affair.

Ascian, my Husband and I did Kung Fu together after DDay and before our move. The workout, the outlet, the togetherness helped us both, but we haven't found an affordable studio in our new community.

I have become much better at identifying and expressing my emotions. With anger, I haven't really found anything that my Husband has done to make me angry. I can't be angry at him for his expressions of pain and anger when I'm the one who created the pain and anger. Nowadays, we spend every possible moment together and our communication is so much better and authentic than ever before. Is it possible that we are simply heading off at the pass the situations which under other circumstances would lead to anger?

ascian posted 11/13/2013 10:14 AM

Is it possible that we are simply heading off at the pass the situations which under other circumstances would lead to anger?

I think, at least for my wife and myself, that post-A since we're both very interested in reconciliation we're more willing to talk to each other about our anger.

Before D-Day, we mostly simmered on our own. Sometimes working out the anger alone, sometimes just stuffing it down and letting it compress into resentment. Now, though, we talk it out as soon as it's possible, and we trust each other with our anger.

I can't speak to her motivations, but I can say for my own that there's nothing scarier that I've experienced that discovering the A, and so the fears that seemed so large 6 months ago are rendered insignificant.

Neznayou posted 11/13/2013 10:29 AM

Thanks, Ascian, your response seems to echo what I've been having a hard time articulating. My Husband and I are more together now, in nearly every way possible, and I think that helps us handle anger in a more positive way. I believe that most of the anger I felt before the A and IC came from unexpressed feelings of all sorts.

cinnamongurl posted 11/13/2013 22:10 PM

Hmmm.. IMO, anger is not a right, but an emotion. I think making this distinction is very important! Allowing yourself to feel anger is healthy! You need to be able to acknowledge it, feel it, and from there you can move on from it. I'm a stuffer, and it has been a real challenge for me to learn to allow myself to feel ALL of my feelings, and work through them. Stuffing and hiding is in a sense, another form of lying.

Self forgiveness comes in time. Its not something that happens overnight, and it takes a lot of work to get there, but don't let that get you down! Acknowledge your growth and change, and focus on that. Forgiveness will come in time, when you're ready!

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