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How do you navigate the anger?

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peoplepleaser posted 5/13/2014 17:29 PM

So the anger us welling up again. I hate these cycles. I go from acceptance to sadness to anger, and all are intense. She lied! She sat in the company if my friend with whom she was sexting and acted normal! She acted fine. She was ok with it. How? How is that possible? Then two years later she had the nerve to bring me around her second EAP and let me hang around this person who she had been spilling the worst if her perceptions of me to! And acted normal...except for chasing the group she was in around all night. Ugh! It's just so hard. It's so hard to trust. It's so hard to swallow. It's so hard to look at her and not feel disgusted. Not feel heartbroken. Not feel angry that she's wanting to bring up relationship issues in which I had accountability. At times she responds to my anger by saying we both have anger. Really?! Not like this. She isn't even far enough in IC to have a true grasp on the reality if her own misguided judgments of me during that time. It's maddening.

So what have others done to work through this?

deena04 posted 5/13/2014 18:42 PM

I let it out! I write in a journal and conveniently leave it for my WS if I feel like it. (Sorry if that's childish, but sometimes I want him to see how angry I was at a time I wrote it and he wasn't home). I also bring it up when I feel the need. I am hovering between D and R so heavily right now and pg hormones don't help I'm sure, but hate limbo so much I just want to end our relationship and move on. That alone makes me angry.

Sorry if I don't have much good advice, but journaling has helped me a lot. It could help to take the journal to your IC as well so he/she can see where you were and how you were feeling. If nothing else you can look through it while meeting and bring up points you need to. Navigating this crap sucks - plain and simple. Getting it out by writing, running, baking, something you enjoy helps me and may help you. Best wishes (((peoplepleaser)))

PollyA posted 5/13/2014 19:26 PM

I am not a good example. I wrote "YOU HURT ME" huge in chalk on our walls. Or, other much worse epithets, all of which were true. I left it there and h didn't erase it. When in the middle of a conflict where he kept saying, "That's the whole truth!" then finding out ten minutes later it was NOT the whole truth, I grabbed a pillow and whacked him. I also left the house in the midst of those situations. I just couldn't take it after such prolonged emotional trauma.

I also went dancing. I took the dog for a walk. I forced myself to watch stand up comedy. I watched animal videos. I wasn't pretending it never happened. I just needed relief from overwhelming emotions.

NOW I think I have the whole truth, but am skeptical. A part of me thinks he's still lying about a couple of things. When I get angry,
I still watch animal videos and other things that take my mind away! Also, H can now hear me say something about my anger and not throw it back in my face, or act like a jerk.

It's not healing, but it's a start.

Is your W ever able to listen and say, "I hear ya"? No matter the issues that led to her cheating, until you can deal with that cheating, and her decision to break her vow of fidelity, how can you even begin to heal without knowing if she's a moral person who would not make that decision again?

After she works on HER, if she convinces you she's a person worthy of a second chance, then you need to find a way to channel the anger.

[This message edited by PollyA at 7:28 PM, May 13th (Tuesday)]

peoplepleaser posted 5/13/2014 21:02 PM

She can. She does at times. The problem is that we are in vacation. There was some pressure to shelf it, but on vacation we are always together. I just now realized that I self soothe throughout the day alone, but now she has to see them all. She called me on my distance earlier, but brought it up poorly. She made me feel bad for it, as if I was choosing it. She said she knew I wasn't, but that it hurt. And age began talking about how she needs to be able to tell me about her feelings. That's true, but if she justices I'm distant I want her to come ask what's going on and offer assistance rather than accuse me of ruining our time together. It was a long discussion, but eventually she came back and apologized. Then she listened to my anger and pain. She apologized, talked and showed compassion. It's just a tough road. And we are still early on. She's only been to five IC sessions and is still figuring out the balance between compassion and her own emotions (because she always hid them before), as well as figuring out what is real about our past relationship and what she sold to herself to justify meeting her needs so selfishly.

Areukiddingme posted 5/13/2014 21:36 PM

I journal also, but I don't leave it out for him to see. If he read it, he may have to sleep with one eye open all jokes aside, it's a place where I can unleash my anger without having to apologize for nasty name calling because that really doesn't do anyone good in the long run.

1ost0ne posted 5/14/2014 08:17 AM

What you are describing is the roller coaster and as much as it sucks, it's the natural process. I've learned to understand where I am and communicate it to the WW. At times, when I'm at the bottom, she responds with understanding when I act out.

The journal helps me out as well. It also organizes my thoughts so I can dig deeper than WHY?? I don't share it with my WW.

sisoon posted 5/14/2014 09:43 AM

1) The anger is part of healing. I try to welcome it when it comes. For me, it's helped just to say something like, 'I'm angry that you (specific thing I'm angry about).' Also, writing (by hand, not typing) for 3-5 minutes sentences that start 'I'm angry that...' or 'I'm angry about...' helps a lot. (Thank my IC for that exercise. )

Don't short change your anger. If you do, you'll slow your recovery, at least IMO. (BTDT.)

2) Part of your WS's healing is to share her feelings with you, but there may need to be limits. There was a need in my M, and the limits have helped a lot.

It's one thing for my W to tell me she's glad, mad, sad, or scared. That's positive for our relationship and R.

It's quite another for her to explain her thought process and justifications for her feelings. That just pisses me off. I simply have no interest in hearing her self-pitying bullshit. I know it's part of her recovery, and I know she has to voice it to get it out of her system, but I don't want to hear it. She saves that crap for IC.

If this sounds familiar to you, I suggest trying the 4 feeling approach - limit your WS to telling you what she feels, and let her work on why she feels that way with her IC.

Rebreather posted 5/14/2014 10:16 AM

You, and most importantly she, need to remember that trauma doesn't stop being trauma because you are on vacation or out to a nice dinner. Triggers won't stop because you aren't at work. Sometimes I think it actually makes them worse; the juxtiposition of the goodness of now to the hellness of then. It makes your brain go "wait, WTF?"

I'm glad she came back around, but don't stuff the feelings. Give her the opportunity to be successful in comforting you by sharing how you are feeling. It is scary when you aren't sure if sharing is just going to cause you more pain, but I always figured there was no reason for me to suffer alone.

peoplepleaser posted 5/14/2014 13:46 PM

Those are all great suggestions and good points. It has been difficult to structure our communication. Because we usually have so much going on in our lives, and because her communication style responds best to planned time to talk, I usually wait to express what I'm feeling. My communication style, however, is to wear my heart on my sleeve. I just struggle to hide what's going on with me until a good time to talk. I think because of that when I do bring it up she's already feeling dismissed or rejected or even sad. So in my attempt to share my feelings I get a response about how my behavior (when it's usually simply withdrawn) made her feel bad. From my perspective it seems a brilliant tactic to avoid receiving my pain or anger from what she did, as it shifts the focus from my feelings to hers or to what I'm doing wrong. We have MC when I get back so maybe that will help.

She is also mentioning from time to time that she doesn't have a right to being up relationship issues right now. I'm guessing that there is some resentment about that. However, the issues she brings up are (in my mind) linked to the misperceptions she had of me based on both FOO distortions and things she looked to find in justifying her EAs. There have been times she recognizes this, but there is still some clarification that needs to happen on her part with regard to that before I'm ready to address them. I'm not declaring that free from blame for relationship issues at all, but I am certain that I wasn't as bad as she is still making me out to be. Especially when some of the statements contradict other things she has said about her ability to misperceive, pass judgment and hide her true thoughts and feelings. For instance she contends that I rejected her. I'm flabbergasted by that. I NEVER rejected her. Further, to hear her day that fills me with rage. Given the nature of her betrayal and the timing of it (I was begging her for intimate attention she was giving and getting from someone else while I was reeling from depression after my third miscarriage) she doesn't understand what true rejection is!

So I probably need to journal more. And I will tell her when I'm having a rough time immediately and tell her we can talk when she's ready. Maybe that will help.

Rebreather posted 5/14/2014 13:51 PM

And I will tell her when I'm having a rough time immediately and tell her we can talk when she's ready. Maybe that will help.

I think it is a better strategy. But I'm going to tell you, my husband talked when I needed him to talk. His choice was a) learn how to deal with how *I* needed to communicate or b) he could leave. Don't hand hold her through this too much. I know there is the "oh we have to communicate in a way our partner can understand" kind of stuff and it's all cool. Except for when the partner took a fishknife to your guts. Then? Then can suck it up and change, and quick, because who knows how long a BS can sit around waiting for that change.

Your communications can become a bit more balanced out later on. For now, it's about you and your needs. She's still awful worried about herself; which is a problem.

jjsr posted 5/14/2014 14:07 PM

I am not sure how far out from it you are but I can tell you now at almost 3 years out my anger has subsided a lot because I saw what it was doing to me. We had decided to R and it wasn't helping with R either but what it was doing to my health etc. Are you seeing someone, IC, or someone else that you can talk to.

peoplepleaser posted 5/14/2014 16:39 PM

Thanks. Yes We are both in IC and MC. My IC is atypical, but I think what I need. Normally I see someone who just lets me talk and guides me toward my own understanding. This one recognizes that I use my thoughts and speech to rationalize my feelings or attempt to control the situation by applying some understanding. He's teaching me to trust my feelings, self soothe and be more present.

Our communication patterns were a huge contributor to our relationship issues. I'm very open and genuine with my feelings, but I also express them in a raw and passionate way that comes across as aggressive to most people. In this case I am dealing with a WS with codependency from FOO issues, so any expression of emotion was seen as a personal attack and a failure on her part. In order to get to a fully safe space for me to express my feelings in general we have work to do. I see a lot if it plainly, but she's still getting there. Basically right now she is able to field my emotions related to who she was but not who she is, if that makes sense. A pp mentioned that she needs to just share her feeling while avoiding interpretation or assignment to my behavior, which is true yet she has not come to a place where she understands that I don't "make" her feel any particular way. Until she gets that we are a bit stuck.

That said, she is showing remorse, giving me 100% transparency, going to IC and MC and recently agreed to take time and recover the details from her first EA that was almost 3 years ago now. We are 9 months from DDay 1, 5 months from DDay 2, 4 months in R following a horrible in-house separation and still uncovering truths due to "not remembering." I see her as a good person at heart who suffered misguidance from maladaptive behaviors learned from FOO. I know that it will take time for her to uncover the expanse of damage she caused because of those behaviors even before the EAs. Her heart is in the right place as she navigates learning how to share her thoughts and feelings, demanding what she needs in the relationship, identifying what needs she has to fulfill on her own and facing the true horror of what she was capable of doing to the love of her life as a result of her past. I am navigating understanding all of that, recognizing what I need from her to successfully R and teasing apart my own responsibility for relationship issues while letting go of the resentment for both her destructive behaviors in the relationship and outside of it. I know she wants to move through this and go on with the wonderful life we could share, but I don't think she has yet fully realized the time it will take to do so.

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