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Anger - does this happen to you

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Jovie posted 2/15/2014 11:39 AM

It usually happens when I'm at work, BS will call me and get going about things about the A he doesn't understand and will go on about how much better he is than me and how stupid I was and on and on. He makes fun of my behavior during the A and all my former acquaintances that were in the same group as OM. He insults my personality, talks about how it would be easy for him to find someone else, on and on and on. And then at the end he usually says something quick like, "Sorry this is not helpful, I'm sorry, I'll call you later." He has said before that sometimes he will say things because he wants to hurt me.

I just hung up with him and we were on the phone for over an hour, and the whole time was an attack. I don't argue back or defend myself. I understand he's dealing with extreme hurt and anger and to an extent, I think it's healthy that he express it. But it leaves me feeling anxious, worn down and hopeless.

Anger is something we've been talking about at MC. But it seems like something he has to figure out how to handle. I hate that. I feel like it should be on me, since I'm the one that fucked up.

cs2384 posted 2/15/2014 11:44 AM

You're still really close to d-day. Yes, my BH made personal attacks on me for a year. Finally I said enough. I was ready to divorce him. I didn't let him personally attack me anymore. Things changed at that point. He started respecting me and we were able to actually work on ourselves and the marriage. You don't deserve to be personally attacked even though you did hurtful things. You need a plan for when he starts into you again. He is hurt. That's ok. He's just causing more damage by attacking you though

Aubrie posted 2/15/2014 11:55 AM

Contrary to the whole "Sticks and stones break my bones but words will never hurt me" belief, words hurt. For a long time. Years even. He is deliberately using destructive words as a way to hurt you in retaliation for your infidelity. You don't have to be a whipping child. If your ultimate goal is R, I fail to see how his releasing all that poison on you is going to be helpful in the long run.

I'm not of the belief that every WS has to stand there and take that kind of heat. Yes I believe that the BS have anger and hurt to work thru. But I like I said, if R is the ultimate goal, he needs to find a way to release the poison elsewhere and only discuss his hurt/betrayal/confusion/concerns to you.

It's like saying, "Jovie, you look really fat in those jeans. Go on a diet ya cow" but on a much, much larger scale.

I completely understand a BS has rage and anger. I also completely understand that he is further deconstructing you.

Does your MC have a suggestion on how he can get the uglies out without beating you over the head with it? Has he tried to implement it?

Jovie posted 2/15/2014 12:02 PM

Does your MC have a suggestion on how he can get the uglies out without beating you over the head with it? Has he tried to implement it?

She had 2 different suggestions, neither of which he has tried. One was to hit a punching bag, and the other was to try to schedule a time to be angry, and only let yourself be angry for your pre-scheduled time on daily basis. I don't see either of those really fitting into his personality. Any other suggestions are welcome!

Kelany posted 2/15/2014 12:15 PM

In the very beginning, I did this. Maybe for 2-3 months. Then I realized it was not productive. Then every few months I'd rage briefly.

We had to work on communication big time. For us, talking without defensivness, stopping if either one of us got overwhelmed, scheduling time to talk, not disrupting the work day.

Aubrie posted 2/15/2014 12:15 PM

Would he consider journalling? Or maybe ranting to himself, using the record feature on his phone? That way he can verbally get it out, but he doesn't release it on you.

Kelany posted 2/15/2014 12:15 PM

Also, as a BS, journaling. That was so therapeutic for me.

mainlyinpain posted 2/15/2014 12:29 PM

Is he having IC? That would be a good place to let out all his anger and have it bounce off a neutral party.
I think you are so new in R that he needs to get this anger out. In words but also the feelings behind them. When he denigrates you he needs to go deeper and express why he has the need to hurt you--what is prompting it whether a trigger or a mind is hard. He is probably so overwhelmed with so many bad feelings.
I think you did great to not argue back at that time because at that time he needed it to be about him.
But after if you approach him and say that you understand that he has anger and hurt and needs to express it but that you hope you can take the next step together and have a plan for what to do about what he feels. He feels you are/were about what steps are being taken to not be stupid again. Tell him you want to be in life with him working on these problems not two people on opposite sides. Keep telling him things that are great about him but when he says negative things about you say....I am sorry I was they lets talk about how I will never be that way again so that we can be a better us.
I agree also with the focuses the thoughts for when you do have scheduled talks. If he could write what he is feeling instead of letting it out in random conversations with you he could feel more in control. It might not be so overwhelming.

LA44 posted 2/15/2014 14:16 PM

Well, as I recall when we were 4-6 weeks from D-Day, I would send a note to say that I just remembered something and I was really angry.

He would take the time to respond and would do so very gently.

But at one point, we were going back/forth with notes and later that night he said, "I am all for talking about this but there are days when I need to concentrate on my work, esp at X time of year." I knew this was true. Knew we had plenty of time to talk when he got home and after kids were in bed.

Perhaps it is time to say this - gently - to your BS.

Yes I am the BS but I do agree with Aubrie on this point below.

"I'm not of the belief that every WS has to stand there and take that kind of heat. Yes I believe that the BS have anger and hurt to work thru. But I like I said, if R is the ultimate goal, he needs to find a way to release the poison elsewhere and only discuss his hurt/betrayal/confusion/concerns to you.

Working out regularly helped me a lot as did going to IC.

jstbreathe posted 2/15/2014 14:27 PM

The first 6 months post Dday were very difficult. The rage and anger I felt as a BS was scary, even for me. I actually understood for the first time how people commit crimes of passion. I could have literally killed my H or OW during that time and just felt like, Oh we'll you got what you deserved. The pain is overwhelming.
Anyway, what helped? Time, and SI. SI gave me somewhere to focus other than on my WH and OW. It made me feel validated, and understood. Instead of venting all my anger and frustrations on my H, I would go on SI and read other posts, or post my thoughts. If he is open to it, it can be such a healing place and a wonderful support system for a BS.
I wish you peace and healing along your journey.

Sal1995 posted 2/15/2014 16:02 PM

In the very beginning, I did this. Maybe for 2-3 months. Then I realized it was not productive. Then every few months I'd rage briefly.

Ditto what Samantha said. I can relate to how Jovie's husband feels. For me it would feel almost like a demonic possession, or temporary insanity. Once the storm passed, I would feel almost human for days, even a week or more at a time. Then it would hit again.

One day about 2-3 months ago I realized that I had control over my emotions. The hurt still comes at times, but it's manageable. And the desire to "punish" my wife for her indiscretions is completely gone.

I know it's hard, but try to be patient. This storm will eventually pass.

[This message edited by Sal1995 at 4:03 PM, February 15th (Saturday)]

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 2/15/2014 17:02 PM

I'm not of the belief that every WS has to stand there and take that kind of heat.

I know this isn't going to be a popular opinion, but I have a much different perspective here. I think that in the early days, remorseful or not, it is so incredibly difficult to comprehend as a WS what is exactly we have done. The amount of pain that we have caused towards our spouses isn't something we can grasp, heck it's not something our BSs can grasp either. There was a time when HT would describe it as being entirely different people. Content HT, angry HT, hurt HT. They were separate entities and it was difficult to enmesh them. He was having a hard enough time figuring out and dealing with his own emotions that it seemed too much to ask him to try to please be nice in the process.

I'm not sure I ever would have really understood the severity of the situation had he not been angry. My husband has always been one to think of others feelings. He is genuinely a great guy. I used to call him a "duck" because he would let everything just slide right off his back. If he had stayed quiet and been nice about my A, I would have had a very difficult time finding any amount of empathy and certainly would have never found an ounce of humility. Seeing my husband angry demonstrated to me just how devastating this whole thing was. He wasn't going to just let this one "roll right off his back". To be honest, many of the things he said in anger (or otherwise) were absolutely true. But unfortunately sometimes the truth hurts too. And it's those things that I learned to change about myself. The things he said that weren't true? Well, I actually told him they weren't and then did my damnedest to back it up with a good reason why.

As far as your MC suggesting to schedule times to be angry, if he is anything like my husband I just don't see that happening. You are angry when you are angry. We got a punching bag but a little late in the process. I wish we had it earlier, for both of us! Finding some sort of healthy release would be beneficial like exercise or writing.

There will lots of times that you will feel anxious, lots if times you will feel hopeless, and certainly lots of times you feel worn down. But I can tell you from experience (and lots of hard work from both) that there is a light at the end of the very long and very dark tunnel. I have one if the most messed up stories I have read here on SI, I TT'd, and The shit ton of pride my BH has to swallow to R hasn't made any of this easy. But here we are. We bought our "forever" home last year and we continue to plan our future together. Most people we encounter think we are disgustingly sweet. We have what I would consider a very successful R. But it wasn't always that way. Our own MC would not have put money on us! Put in the work though and give it time.

RegretsTillIDie posted 2/15/2014 17:11 PM

I know it may sound like I have some kind of weak personality but considering what I did to my BW and then the 3 years of TT while she literally begged me to be honest with her, I see me taking whatever anger comes my way as just a shred of what I've dealt to her. She has been working on R a lot longer than me and has every right to be angry for as long as she wants. As long as she's willing to hang in there and give me any kind of chance then the anger outbursts are a small price to pay. They are getting fewer and farther apart and I'm hoping we are getting a little better every day.

SusanR posted 2/15/2014 17:19 PM

I am a BS. I was not able to express my anger for quite some time. My IC suggested some things that helped. Primal screaming worked well and so did writing it all down freeform by hand with no intention of sharing what was written. I bawled the whole time I wrote. Recently, in my women's support group, I got to beat the snot out of a leather couch with a big plastic ball bat. Felt much better afterwards.

I try very hard not to trash my WH. He says he is ashamed of himself and has to live with that every day. He is getting counseling for sex addiction.

If I didn't think he was really remorseful and ashamed, I might feel the need to blast him verbally. I have a black belt in sarcasm and a degree in filleting with words. I have managed NC with the OW but I have written her a few scathing letters that will never be sent, as well. I don't know if she is remorseful or ashamed but my WH said she is afraid of what I might do to her. I give her crickets. Let her worry.

numb&dumb posted 2/17/2014 08:04 AM

The reality of this is that he is going to be angry and at times there will be anger that he will need to communicate to you.

As much as the punching bag is great idea, it only goes so far to help expressing the anger. Anger needs a target. All the punching bag does is physically exhaust you, which is not the same as not being angry. Being Angry takes a lot of energy and if your are physically exhausted it isn't always possible. Endorphin release helps too.

While it may feel like punishment, and at times it is, he needs to learn to drawn a distinction between expressing his Anger and punishing you. They are very different.

His anger will have to be spent, but one thing that may help you is to realize that Anger is s secondary emotion. There is always something underneath it. In this case probably a whole lot of pain.

I've said some of the vilest things you can imagine to my W. I regret some of them, but some of it was the truth. Those truths did and can change over time.

The best thing you can do is to not just shut down when he gets angry. Try to respond to what has been said. He is looking to argue with you and by agreeing with him once and awhile, it validates his pain and defuses his anger. Apologize for specific things. It is hard to be angry at someone and expressing it becomes more difficult when a sincere apology is offered. Speaking is hushed slower tone of voice helps defuse too.

Honestly the thing that helped me most with the anger was detaching from my W. I needed to get to a place where I cared less about the M surviving or not. Detaching to gain perspective and evaluation what direction my life was going to go is important. It may sound as if he is trying to do some of that. He needs to do more if you want the anger to subside. FWIW- It never really goes away, it just gets easier to control.

While scary for you, it is one of many healthy directions he can go right now.

I can tell it does pass. His pain is in direct proportion to how much he loves you. The level of anger is good indication of the amount of pain he is in. Based on what you have wrote here he is hurting a lot. Try to keep that in mind too.

ETA: Grammar. Also Anger is an accessible emotion to most men. We are taught from a young age that sadness is weak, but anger is OK. (e.g.- Big boys don't cry.) Remember that while you allow yourself a whole gamut of emotions in this, he may only allow one to come to the surface. Anger. It is not that the rest of them aren't there, he has a spent a lifetime learning to mask them with Anger with great efficacy.

[This message edited by numb&dumb at 9:07 AM, February 17th (Monday)]

RightTrack posted 2/17/2014 20:12 PM

Makes fun of your behavior during the affair? How stupid you were? ...Former aquaintances who were friends of the affair? Might as well just own up to that stuff. As far as how much better he is than you (well, he didn't cheat but that was the you THEN) and insulting your personality, I'm sure that it's not nice to hear but you may have some things to work on. You don't have to take abuse but he's probably angrier than he has ever been in his life and it's all because of you, your behavior during the affair, the friends of the affair, and probably something about your personality. That said, you can only do what you can do to change and make things better. The past is always going to be there but it's the past. Nothing about that means you have to take abuse.

Ellejay posted 2/18/2014 07:22 AM

Was he verbally abusive before discovering the A?

I have said and written some things to my ex H that even surprise me (looking back). The level of my anger and hurt was so intense. I can't regret any of it though. It was my only release. My ex H shot a bullet into my heart and that of many other people so I felt he should at least feel my hurt on some level. I stopped it after a few months though because I realized he had no empathy anyway and I was only making myself ill.

You have to understand that you have thrown a grenade at him and his whole psyche is shattered. If the abuse continues to be relentless then I guess you have to consider that his pain is too great to let it go and you should take whatever action you need to protect yourself going forward. There are no winners in all of this, only survivors.

Jovie posted 2/18/2014 18:13 PM

We've agreed to try to avoid these conversations while I'm at work.

Was he verbally abusive before discovering the A?
- No

We haven't talked about it too much since the other day, but this morning he told me he wants me to stand up for myself to him and not let him go off on me anymore. (???) I think he has a tendency to blame shift because of his drug addiction and that's where that idea comes from. But, I've always been a pushover and think I will probably just continue listening to his outbursts and take what I can from it.

TrulySad posted 2/19/2014 08:23 AM

My WBF actually told me just this morning that he felt like I was attacking him. We were sitting in the car, talking about how yesterday was the one year mark from DD. I was expressing how his attitude wasn't helping the situation, or us.

When he mentioned feeling attacked, at that point I did get mad. There was no attack going on, but he was seeing the fallout of his actions, and not liking them. He wants everything to be better and for me to believe him and his word now.

I can't, and may never again.

Are you sure what your WH is doing is an attack? When you wrote what he said, honestly, I feel the same things regarding my WBF. It's our reality now. We want our W to see what they've lost. And we are seriously hurting. If we're trying to work things out, and are actively in R, then things need to be said. When a spouse cheats, it's more than an attack, it's killing vows and crushing the B. Our feelings and emotional reactions aren't attacks...they are the results of the horribleness we all know now as betrayals. I can tell you right now, knowing my WBF will read this, that I know there are better men out there who wouldn't do this to me. That's not attacking him, that's stating the truth. But at the same time, I love my WBF and want for him to do right by me. I don't want those other men. Would it be easy to just leave, and eventually start over with someone new? Maybe. But today, that's not what I want. He needs to hear this though. He needs to know how on the edge I am about everything.

I do think you need to set some guidelines regarding work though. Those conversations need to be kept to private time. And when you do talk about them, try and hear what he's trying to say. When he says something about your personality, is he referring to your character, regarding the cheating? And regarding the other people surrounding the affair, and his making fun of you guys during that time... I think it's a coping mechanism. It's easier for us to deal with the truth, if we believe those people in your circle, to include you, were acting like a bunch of childish, selfish, dumb asses (not meant to insult anyone here). By us believing that, it gives us hope that you can change. That by getting rid of those people in your life, and you doing what's now needed... that just maybe you're still that person we thought you were, somewhere deep inside you.

I don't think it's right to call horrible names, be physically abusive, fight in front of the children, or allow for this to impede the ability to work. But I do think there will be some seriously painful things to hear from both sides. I hope you both can work things out... Good luck.

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